The prospect of reading a complete rulebook can be a bit intimidating, but fear not – I’m going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to become a routine-assembly-master. It’s really quite easy!
Figure out what you already have
Download the newest version of the rulebook from this page. It’s best to have your stunt group with you when going through the rulebook. Remember – if one member of your stunt group is under 16 years old, the youngest and the oldest member of your team can only be 5 years apart!
You can skip right ahead to the very last two pages of the rulebook: The list of stunts grouped by type. I think this one is the easiest to navigate. Take three differently coloured highlighters and go through the complete list of stunts, marking:
- The stunts you can execute perfectly
- The stunts you can usually hit, but maybe with some wobbling
- The stunts you’ve started working on but can’t hit very reliably yet
If you’re not sure about a stunt on the list, go back to part 4 of the rulebook and read through the according definitions.
Assess your stunts
Now that you know which stunts you could potentially perform, go back to part 4 of the rulebook and read through the definitions of the stunts you’d like to perform. Make sure you can do them with the required technique. When you’re done, go even further back to part 2 of the rulebook: Deductions.
Now this is a good time to go through some footage of you stunting. Assess your own stunts and technique: How many of your stunts can you actually perform without a deduction? Check the Difficulty Value of the stunt you’d like to do against the table of deductions.
Let’s say you can do a TicToc (ground to high), which is a D-element. So the stunt is worth 0.4 point. Now usually when you do it, your Flyer kicks her leg out to the side (-0.1) and bends her landing leg (-0.1), and also one of your bases absorbs the catch by bending her arms (-0.1). These are the deductions you expect to get, which leaves you with only 0.1 points for that TicToc. If you had instead done an absolutely perfect Extension (ground to high) with no deductions at all, you could have earned the full 0.2 point of a B-element.
Sometimes it’s worth taking a small deduction, sometimes it isn’t – be smart about the stunts you want to do!
Assembling and Tweaking
Now that you know which stunts you want to do, it’s time to collect some bonuses. For this, you first need to know the division you compete in. There are three:
Novice – can perform anything up to C-valued elements (and all Body Positions)
Advanced – can perform anything up to E-valued elements (and all Body Positions)
Elite – can perform all stunts
The most important bonus that every team should aim for is the Minimum Requirements bonus – it’s 2 full points! Check the list at the end of part 3 (Connection Values and Bonuses) of the rulebook. In all divisions, you must show 1 Body Position other than Liberty, 1 twisting stunt and 1 transition. Then, there’s some more requirements depending on which division you start in. You will lose -0.5 point off the Minimum Requirements bonus for each one you’re missing, so make sure you have them all in your routine!
Next, we hunt for other bonuses. Can you perform any of the stunts without a backspot or maybe even single-based? Can you do any of them into an immediate Body Position? Can you pass through extended arm level in any stunt that you land at shoulder height? That might improve the value of lower level elements significantly.
Last but not least, check if you can connect any of the stunts. There’s a separate table with all connection bonuses, depending on your division.
Time to practice
Read through part 1: Basic Rules in the rulebook and make sure you understand the set-up you need for the competition. Then try to squeeze all the stunts you want to do into one minute, as this is the amount of time you’ll get for your optional routine. Take some test-videos with the competition camera set-up and assess your own stunts; can you spot any deductions?
Now it’s just practice, practice, practice until you can nail your routine flawlessly. Once the video for the mandatory routine is published, you have 2 more weeks to record a great video and send it in for assessment. That’s it!
Have fun getting all your amazing skills into one routine – I’m looking forward to seeing your videos!