It’s officially time for the new compulsory routines!

As of August 1, 2021, the routines will change. The old routines from 2013-2021 will no longer be allowed in competition.

With these changes, the level system will still stay the same. There will continue to be five levels of compulsories and five levels of optionals. Level 4 will still be the required entry level, with clubs having the option of whether to compete at Levels 1, 2, and 3. There is a 2021-2029 skill list on their website, which I will review in detail below.

The following skills are the official 2021-2029 compulsory skills. 

Vault

There are no changes to Level 1 or 2 vault.

Level 1 will continue to perform a straight jump onto a mat stack (min. 16″).

Level 2 will still perform the jump to handstand, flat back onto a mat stack (min. 16″).

Level 3 gymnasts will no longer perform a flat back vault, but will do a handspring over the sideways resi pit, like Xcel Silver does. Check out this video to see what it will look like.

The Level 4 and 5 compulsory vault will still be a handspring over the table. There are no changes to this vault, and the deductions are almost identical to the previous cycle.

Bars

Gymnast in front support on bars

The coaches have been asking for it for years, and finally their wishes came true… NO MORE MILL CIRCLES!!!!

Level 1 Bar Routine

The Level 1 routine will stay the same. No changes this cycle!

Level 1 Bar Skills

  • Pullover
  • Cast
  • Back hip circle
  • Dismount: straddle sole circle OR underswing

Level 2 Bar Routine

The Level 2 routine will change in a few ways. A glide swing will be added to the pullover mount, so the new Level 2 mount will be the same as the Level 3 mount of glide swing, pullover. Two casts will be performed before the back hip circle (no angle requirement for either cast). The leg cut, mill circle/basket swing, and backward leg swing have all been deleted from the Level 2 routine. Instead, the gymnast will move directly from the back hip circle into the underswing dismount.

Level 2 Bar Skills

  • Glide swing, return to stand
  • Pullover
  • Cast (no angle requirement)
  • Cast (no angle requirement)
  • Back hip circle
  • Underswing dismount

Level 3 Bar Routine

There are also some changes to the Level 3 bar routine, in particular the deletion of the mill circle and a new dismount. Level 3 gymnasts will now be performing a squat on, jump off dismount to prepare them for the Level 4 skill of squat on, jump to high bar. Another change is that they will now perform two back hip circles in a row, since they will no longer connect the back hip circle to an underswing dismount.

Level 3 Bar Skills

  • Mount: glide swing to stand, pullover OR glide kip (both 10.0SV)
  • Cast (no angle requirement)
  • Back hip circle
  • Back hip circle
  • Front hip circle
  • Cast (no angle requirement), return to support
  • Cast, squat on, stretch jump dismount

Level 4 Bar Routine

The Level 4 routine has changed only minimally from the current routine. Level 4 gymnasts are now allowed to perform a sole circle, jump to high bar after their squat or pike on. They are now allowed to straddle on the back swing during their counter swings. Other than that, the routine remains the same!

Level 4 Bar Skills

  • Straddle or pike glide kip
  • Cast to horizontal, return to support (legs together)
  • Cast squat/pike on, OR squat/pike on, tuck sole circle, jump to high bar
  • Long hang kip
  • Cast to horizontal (legs together)
  • Back hip circle
  • Underswing
  • Counterswing to 30° below horizontal (straddle on backswing ok)
  • Tap swing forward
  • Counterswing to 30° below horizontal (straddle on backswing ok)
  • Dismount: tap swing forward with 1/2 turn

Level 5 Bar Routine

The Level 5 routine also has only minimal changes. The structure of the routine remains the same, but gymnasts are now allowed to perform a straddle cast for either or both of their casts, and they are allowed to straddle on the backswing of their counter swings (just like the new Level 4 routine).

Level 5 Bar Skills

  • Straddle or pike glide kip
  • Cast above horizontal (straddle cast ok at Level 5 ONLY)
  • Clear hip circle above horizontal OR sole circle to clear support OR stalder to clear support
  • Glide kip, squat/pike on OR squat/pike on tuck sole circle jump to HB
  • Long hang kip
  • Cast above horizontal (straddle cast ok at Level 5 ONLY)
  • Long hang pullover
  • Underswing
  • Counterswing 15° below horizontal (straddle on backswing ok)
  • Tap swing forward
  • Counterswing 15° below horizontal (straddle on backswing ok)
  •  Tuck, pike, or layout flyaway

Beam

Gymnast performing kick on beam

Level 1 Beam Routine

The Level 1 beam routine has a lot of similar skills to the previous Level 1, but a few changes have been made. Notably, the lever has been removed from the routine in favor of a tuck stand-pike stand-needle kick-tuck stand-straight stand series. The cartwheel to partial handstand dismount will now be performed from a kneeling position. The order of the elements has been changed around from the previous routine, too.

Level 1 Beam Skills

  • Mount: jump to front support
  • Tuck stand-pike stand-needle kick-tuck stand-straight stand
  • Releve-lock-hold
  • Forward passe balance on flat foot
  • Stretch jump
  • Arabesque 30° (no hold)
  • Step, leg swing, step, leg swing
  • From kneel, cartwheel to partial handstand dismount

Level 2 Beam Routine

The Level 2 beam routine is mostly the same as the previous cycle. Again, the lever is gone. In its place is a tuck stand-pike stand-single leg kick up to straight stand. The mount is unspecified, the document just states the gymnast will perform “a mount without a board”. Otherwise, the skills are all the same as the current routine.

Level 2 Beam Skills

  • Jump to front support mount
  • Single leg V sit, tuck stand-pike stand-single leg kick to straight stand
  • Passe leg balance, press to releve, lower, hold 2 seconds
  • Stretch jump
  • Arabesque 30° (hold 1 second)
  • Front leg swing-close, back leg swing-close, plie-releve-lock
  • Pivot turn
  • Cartwheel to side handstand dismount

Level 3 Beam Routine

The Level 3 beam skills are virtually the same as the previous routine. The only difference is that the mount is now a front support fish pose mount. Of course, the choreography is different, but the major elements are the same.

Level 3 Beam Skills

  • Front support fish pose mount
  • Cross handstand (mark, no hold)
  • 1/2 heel-snap turn in forward passe
  • Stretch jump-stretch jump
  • Arabesque to 45°
  • Straight leg leap (90°) to plie arabesque, pause
  • Pivot turn-pivot turn
  • Cartwheel handstand 1/4 turn dismount (mark, no hold)

Does your gymnast need a practice beam for home? Check out The Best Gymnastics Beams for Home

Level 4 Beam Routine

There do not appear to be any significant changes to Level 4 beam, either. Last cycle, the jump series was split jump-straight jump, and this time, the jumps are reversed. The mount, just like Level 3, is a front support fish pose mount (with slightly different choreography). Other than that, it looks to be all the same! 

Level 4 Beam Skills

  • Front support fish pose mount
  • Cartwheel
  • 1/2 turn in forward passe
  • Stretch jump, split jump
  • Cross handstand, hold 1 second
  • Scale at horizontal
  • One step entry, straight leg leap 120°
  • Cartwheel to handstand 1/4 turn dismount (hold 1 second)

Level 5 Beam Routine

The Level 5 beam routine has gotten some upgrades compared to the previous routine. In the past, the gymnast was allowed to perform a back walkover, back extension roll, or back handspring stepout for their big acro skill. In the new routine, two new acro choices have been added: back handspring to two feet, and front walkover. The dismount is more progressive as well, as the gymnast now needs to perform a cartwheel-straight jump combination and a back salto dismount. I agree with this decision, as the cartwheel-handstand dismount did not lead up to any optional dismounts, and the new dismount is clearly training the gymnast for cartwheel-back tuck and more difficult dismounts. 

Level 5 Beam Skills

  • Mount (not requiring a board)
  • Back walkover OR
    Back extension roll to 3/4 HS OR
    Back handspring stepout OR
    Back handspring 2 feet OR
    Front walkover
  • Full turn in forward passe, arms in crown
  • Split jump, sissonne
  • Scale above horizontal
  • One step entry, straight leg leap 150°, stretch jump
  • Cartwheel, stretch jump
  • Back salto dismount

Want these skill lists in a printable checklist format?

Floor

Level 1 Floor Routine

Level 1 floor is almost exactly the same as the current routine. All the skills are the same, except they have replaced the current split jump with a straight jump. Easy peasy!

Level 1 Floor Skills

  • Forward entry cartwheel 1/4 turn in
  • Backward roll tucked
  • Candlestick
  • Forward passe balance – mark/press to releve
  • Forward chasse
  • Stretch jump
  • Forward roll tucked
  • Minimum 3/4 handstand

Level 2 Floor Routine

The Level 2 routine has a few changes, which will carry over to the higher compulsory levels. Instead of the roundoff, the gymnast will perform a cartwheel step in. The backward roll gets an upgrade, to a straight arm backward roll to pushup position (which had previously been a Level 3 skill). Instead of the 1/4-1/4 heel-snap turns, the gymnast will now perform a passe, releve, into a 1/2 heel-snap turn. The pivot turns are no longer in the new Level 2 routine.

Level 2 Floor Skills

  • Cartwheel step in
  • Straight arm backward roll to pushup position
  • Passe, releve, heel-snap 1/2 turn
  • Forward chasse-straight leg leap 60°
  • Split jump 60°
  • Handstand
  • Candlestick to sit
  • Bridge, back kickover

Level 3 Floor Routine

The big change in the Level 3 routine is that the straight arm backward roll is now required to open to 45°. The rest of the skills in this routine remain the same, although we will, at long last, get new music and choreography!

Level 3 Floor Skills

  • Handstand forward roll straight arms
  • Chasse, Split leap 90°
  • Stretch jump, split jump 90°
  • Handstand bridge, back kickover
  • Forward split
  • 1/2 turn in forward passe, arms in crown
  • Straight arm backward roll tuck, open to 45°, lower to pushup
  • Roundoff back handspring rebound stick (no required # steps)

Level 4 Floor Routine

There are a few changes to the Level 4 routine structure. The straddle jump and jump 1/2 turn are no longer connected. The gymnast will now perform a front handspring stepout, cartwheel step in, back extension roll. This acro series replaces the front handspring to two feet that is in the current routine. The dance passage will still include a leap to 120°, but the only other skill in the dance passage is a chasse prior to the leap. 

Level 4 Floor Skills

  • Back walkover
  • Power hurdle or one step, front handspring stepout, cartwheel step in, back extension roll
  • Stretch jump 1/2 turn
  • Straight leg leap 120° dance passage
  • Straddle jump (120°)
  • Forward split
  • Full turn in forward passe – arms in crown
  • Roundoff 2 back handsprings, rebound stick (no required # steps)

Level 5 Floor Routine

The Level 5 routine has similar changes to the Level 4 routine. The front handspring pass is changed to 2 front handspring stepouts, cartwheel step in, back extension roll. This replaces the previous pass of front handspring stepout, front handspring two feet. The gymnast can choose to perform a front or side aerial instead of the front tuck. And the dance passage is a chasse into the leap (or switch-leg leap) for the Level 5 routine too. 

Level 5 Floor Skills

  • Front tuck OR front or side aerial
  • 2 front handspring stepouts, cartwheel step in, back extension roll
  • Stretch jump 1/1 turn
  • Split leap (150°) or switch-leg leap (150°) dance passage
  • Straddle jump (150°)
  • Forward split
  • Full turn in forward passe, arms in crown
  • Roundoff, back handspring, back tuck stick (no required # steps)

Overall, USA Gymnastics is making some great, progressive changes to the compulsory program. Every event has new changes to it, in order to improve the quality of gymnastics at all levels.

Want these skill lists in a printable checklist format?

For more information on compulsory gymnastics, check out the following: 

Compulsory Gymnastics Home Page

Level 2 Gymnastics

Level 3 Gymnastics

Level 4 Gymnastics

Level 5 Gymnastics

General Categories for Exemplary Compulsories

If your gymnast wants to practice more at home, take a look at: 

Home Gymnastics Equipment 

The Best Gymnastics Mats for Home

The Best Gymnastics Beams for Home

The Best Gymnastics Bars for Home

Sources: USA Gymnastics website; USA Gymnastics Compulsory Handbook, 2021-2029.