This Level 8 gymnast did a super clean floor routine! Gymnast and coach are thrilled, but when the score comes up, it’s not as high as they thought it would be. What gives?

For Levels 8 and above, there may be a problem with composition deductions.

What exactly are composition deductions? Let’s take a closer look.

The newest set of compositional deductions are the “Up to the Level” deductions. Similar to NCAA gymnastics, which has used specific “Up to the Level” deductions for a number of years, the JO program decided in 2018 to make their deductions more specific in this category. There are three categories of “Up to the Level” deductions: Acro, Dance, and Dismount. Today I will review the application of these deductions, along with lots of examples!

This is the first in a series of three posts, Making Sense of Floor Composition. Check out the Level 9 and Level 10 posts too!

When a coach and gymnast are constructing a Level 8 floor routine, they will first want to consider the skills that are allowable for a gymnast’s level. For those who are unfamiliar, skills in the J.O. Program are valued from A to E, with A skills being the easiest, and E skills the most difficult. Level 8 gymnasts are permitted to perform any A and B skills, any C dance skills, and one C acro element on floor. C elements count as B’s for Level 8 gymnasts. For the purposes of this post, I will only be reviewing A and B skills as they relate to composition. C skills do not give Level 8 gymnasts a compositional advantage.

 

Acro Composition Deductions

For Level 8 floor, the gymnast has the option of performing 2 or 3 tumbling passes in her routine. To receive NO deduction for acro level in a 3-pass routine, the gymnast needs B saltos in all three passes or B,B,A+A direct. For a 2-pass routine, she needs both passes to have a minimum of B+A directly connected saltos. The maximum deduction is 0.2, if the gymnast has no B saltos (for both a 2-pass and 3-pass routine). See chart for details.

2-Pass Examples:

  1. Pass #1: Front layout + front pike (B+B direct)
    Pass #2: Whip, back layout full (A+B direct)
    NO deduction
  1. Pass #1: Front layout + front tuck (B+A direct)
    Pass #2: Back layout 1 1/2 + front tuck (B+A direct – 1 1/2 twist gets B credit at Level 8)
    NO deduction
  1. Pass #1: Front layout + front tuck (B+A direct)
    Pass #2: Front tuck stepout through to back layout full (A+B indirect)
    0.05 deduction
  1. Pass #1: Front tuck stepout through to back layout ½ (A+B indirect)
    Pass #2: Front pike, front tuck (B+A direct)
    0.05 deduction
  1. Pass #1: Front tuck stepout through to front pike (A+B indirect)
    Pass #2: Whip through to back layout full (A+B indirect)
    0.10 deduction
  1. Pass #1: Whip, back tuck (A+A direct)
    Pass #2: Front pike stepout through to back layout full (B+B indirect)
    0.10 deduction
  1. Pass #1: Back layout full (B)
    Pass #2: Front tuck stepout through to back tuck (A+A indirect)
    0.15 deduction
  1. Pass #1: Front tuck stepout through to back tuck (A+A indirect)
    Pass #2: Back layout (A)
    0.20 Deduction

There are some common combinations that do not have a “formula” listed on the composition sheet. For those situations, judges use their discretion to determine which category most closely fits the skills that were performed. 

3-Pass Examples:

  1. Pass #1: Front layout, front tuck (B+A direct)
    Pass #2: Back layout full (B)
    Pass #3: Front pike (B)
    NO deduction
  1. Pass #1: Back layout full (B)
    Pass #2: Front tuck, front tuck (A+A direct)
    Pass #3: Front pike (B)
    NO deduction
  1. Pass #1: Back layout full (B)
    Pass #2: Front tuck stepout, front handspring, front tuck (A+A indirect)
    Pass #3: Front pike (B)
    0.05 deduction
  1. Pass #1: Front layout, front pike (B+B direct)
    Pass #2: Back layout (A)
    Pass #3: Back layout full (B)
    0.10 deduction
  1. Pass #1: Back layout (A)
    Pass #2: Front tuck, front tuck (A+A direct)
    Pass #3: Front pike (B)
    0.10 deduction
  1. Pass #1: Back layout (A)
    Pass #2: Front tuck stepout through to back tuck (A+A indirect)
    Pass #3: Front pike (B)
    0.15 deduction
  1. Pass #1: Back layout (A)
    Pass #2: Front tuck stepout through to back tuck (A+A indirect)
    Pass #3: Back tuck (A)
    0.2 deduction

All of these routines meet the acro special requirements, as well as the compositional requirements of a forward/sideward and backward salto. There are certainly many other combinations of skills that could be performed, so if you have a question about a particular combination or routine, please shoot me an email or leave it in the comments!

NOTE: When constructing a 3-pass Level 8 floor routine, consider carefully whether it is worth adding an “A” tumbling pass, especially an isolated “A”. If the other skills in the routine meet the special requirements and the compositional requirements for forward/sideward and backward saltos, it may make sense to leave out the additional “A” pass. There will be a level of acro deduction taken, a level of dismount deduction if it is the last salto, and execution deductions also apply.

Dance Composition Deductions

To receive no deduction for level of dance at Level 8, the gymnast must perform 2 B’s and 1 A dance element. For the maximum 0.2 deduction to be applied, she would not perform any B dance elements. If she completes the dance passage Special Requirement along with the B turn compositional requirement, she will already have 3 elements in her routine, 1 of which is a B. Therefore, if the gymnast uses 1 B element in the dance passage, she will receive no deduction for her dance level.

Partial list of B dance elements:

Switch leap

Side leap

Straddle jump

Pike jump

Tuck jump full

Split jump ½

Cat leap full

Shushunova

Straight jump 1 ½

Full turn with leg at horizontal

1 ½ turn

Dismount Composition Deductions

Compared to the other categories, the dismount is easy to comprehend. Ready?

  • B salto = NO deduction
  • A+A (direct or indirect) = 0.05 deduction (see above routines for examples)
  • Isolated A salto or no salto dismount = 0.1 deduction

Examples of B dismounts:

  1. Back salto full (any body position)
  2. Back salto 1/2 (any body position)
  3. Arabian salto (any body position)
  4. Front pike
  5. Front layout
  6. Front layout 1/2

Examples of A+A dismounts:

  1. Front tuck stepout through to back tuck, pike, or layout
  2. Front tuck, front tuck
  3. Whip to back tuck, pike or layout

Examples of A dismounts

  1. Isolated front tuck
  2. Back tuck
  3. Back pike
  4. Back layout

A word about dismounts:

If a gymnast does not receive Value Part credit for her dismount, due to failure to land on the feet first or the same skill performed in the same combination, she will receive the maximum 0.10 composition deduction for her dismount.

Saltos that do not land on the feet first (ex: front tuck off one leg to sit) do not count as a dismount, and therefore will not be used to determine dismount composition deductions. If the sole of one or both feet lands first, and it is the last salto in the routine, this does count as the gymnast’s dismount.

Other Composition Deductions

The up to the level deductions are the newest modifications to the floor composition, but there are a few other compositional deductions that could be taken on floor. Here they are:

  • Lack of minimum “B” turn: 0.2.
    If the gymnast attempts a B turn but it is more than 90 degrees incomplete, or if she does not attempt one at all, she will receive this deduction. It doesn’t come off the start value, but instead is taken at the end of the routine.
  • Lack of minimum of 3 “A” saltos: 0.3.
    The gymnast must perform at least 3 saltos in her routine. Each of these saltos must get at least “A” credit. It’s also allowable to perform “B” saltos to meet this compositional requirement.
  • Failure to perform saltos or aerials in two different directions: 0.1.
    The gymnast must perform a backward salto/aerial, and a forward or sideward salto/aerial. An Arabian salto is considered a forward salto. Aerial cartwheels or walkovers will fulfill this compositional requirement, even though they do not fulfill the salto Special Requirement.
  • Overuse of dance elements with same shape: 0.1.
    This deduction would be taken only for more than two straddle jumps (with/without turn), or more than two elements with a wolf or tuck position (with/without turn).
  • Insufficient use of floor exercise area: up to 0.1.
    This deduction could be applied if the gymnast stays in the same section of the floor mat for most of her routine.

If, after reading all of these examples, it’s still hard to understand where the score came from, check out this article about general deductions.  That Level 8 floor routine will be top notch in no time after addressing all of these categories!

Further Reading

The Ideal Composition for a Level 8 Bar Routine

Making Sense of Composition: Level 8 Beam

Making Sense of Composition: Level 9 Beam

Making Sense of Composition: Level 10 Beam

Making Sense of Composition: Level 9 Floor

Making Sense of Composition: Level 10 Floor

References

USA Gymnastics J.O. Code of Points, 2018-2022.