Floor (gymnastics)

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In gymnastics, the floor refers to a specially prepared exercise surface, which is considered an apparatus. It is used by both male and female gymnasts. The event in gymnastics performed on floor is called floor exercise. The English abbreviation for the event in gymnastics scoring is FX.

A spring floor is used in most competitive gymnastics to provide bounce. Spring floors are also used sometimes in cheerleading. The similarly named sprung floor used for indoor athletics is designed to reduce bounce.


The apparatus

The apparatus originated as a 'free exercise' for men, very similar to the floor exercise of today.[1] It wasn't until 1948 that women were allowed to compete on the floor.[1]

Most competitive gymnastics floors are spring floors. They contain springs and/or a rubber foam and plywood combination which make the floor bouncy, soften the impact of landings and enable the gymnast to gain height when tumbling.[2][3] Floors have clearly designated perimeters—the "out of bounds" area is always indicated by a border of white tape or a differently colored mat.[2][3]

The allowed time for a floor exercise is up to 60 seconds for males[4] and up to 90 seconds for females.[5] Unlike men, women always perform routines to music.[5]


Measurements of the apparatus are published by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) in the Apparatus Norms brochure. The dimensions are the same for male and female competitors.

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