Compulsory Routines

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Does anybody know of a good site that describes the different compulsory routines? My niece is Level 5 and her best friend is a Level 4. I don't get to hang out at the gym anymore because of my job, so I'm not there to see exactly what the coaches are showing the girls. It seems they are missing something... as the girls seem to be doing well, but their scores are suffering from something. Maybe a video or a list of requirements I could find somewhere would help clear things up for the girls and us as spectators so we could have a better idea of where their scores are coming from. My mother-in-law watches at every practice, but she doesn't know what to look for as far as deductions go... so it's frustrating to her when she thinks Ashleigh has nailed it, then scores in the 8's. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


you could start by asking the coach to give you copies of the routine for each event. Also, you can purchase the USAG compulsory DVD from Discount Leotards or directly from USAG. if you get the video, you need to remember that what is on the written sheets is exactly the way things are to be done.

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
The routines up through L6 are compulsory and are scripted down to where the gymnast's leg should be in certain skills. It is very easy for judge's to take deductions with these routines. Easy things to see that will lose points---bent arms on vault, bhs, kip. On vault if the gymnast tucks, pikes or arches---deduction. Plain and simple on vault the judges want to see a handstand position. There are alot of potential deductions on bars--bent legs, flexed feet, legs apart. In the L5 routine the cast on the low bar has to be at least to horizontal, so its best for the girls to practice getting above horizontal each time. Beam also has alot of requirements for leg position in the leap and scale to arabesque(also arm position), time the scale and the handstand dismount are held etc. Of course, wobbles get deductions. Floor is much like beam---they really need to extend through the leaps etc. plus do the tumbling correctly(and stay with the music).

If the girls are scoring in the 8s early in the season, sounds like they're on the right track. Now its spending time getting the routines to look better---tight bodies, toe point and stretch.
Sep 22, 2007
You can purchase a dvd and also the compulsory program guide from USAG. I don't recommend it, however, based on personal experience, because the girls need to respect what the coach is teaching them. There is a reason they don't concentrate on every detail so early in their gymnastics careers. These levels should be enjoyable, and gradually build on skills. Our coaches tell us not to worry about the numbers until they are optional and have the routines that bring out their talents. The girls will burn out quickly when parents push too hard (Not that you do, I know you're just trying to be supportive, just like me! I bought the book and dvd just to educate myself about what the judges are looking for.) They really need our approval so I just focus on what they are doing well and leave the rest to the coaches. Ballet training is the best way to straighten bent legs and add grace to the dance elements. This being said, the materials are available if you want them.
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