The International Gymnastics Federation's (FIG) scoring system for men's and women's gymnastics, instituted in January 2006 and updated for the 2009-12 quadrennium, incorporates credit for the routine's content, difficulty and execution, as well as artistry for the women. In the United States, this system is used at all elite level events. Women's Junior Olympics (Levels 1-10) and collegiate gymnastics use the system based on a 10.0 maximum, while men's Junior Olympics and collegiate gymnastics use a modified version of the FIG scoring system.
In addition to the scoring mechanism, the FIG's scoring system is governed by the Code of Points, which is revised for each quadrennium through re-valuing skills and adjusting individual apparatus requirements. The system instituted in 2006 that eliminated the use of the 10-point maximum was approved during meetings in Baku, Azerbaijan, in October 2005 and has been revised for the 2009-12 quadrennium. Although the basic process is the same for men and women, some differences exist between the two. The men's and women's gymnastics scoring system is similar to those used in rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, and acrobatic gymnastics.
Under the current system, a gymnast's total score includes values for both the routine's content and his/her execution. Basically, the scoring procedure adds the Difficulty Score, which includes difficulty value for skills, connection value and element/compositional requirements, to the Execution Score, which encompasses execution - and for women, artistry on the balance beam and floor exercise - to determine a gymnast's total score. Scores no longer have a maximum value of 10.
Difficulty Score: difficulty and technical content. The Difficulty Score (previously referred to as start value) includes credit for the specified number of skills performed in the routine, along with connection value (credit for connecting high-level skills) and element group/compositional requirements. The men use the term element group requirements, which are the basic categories of skills/elements that must be included in a routine. The women use composition instead of element group to describe this requirement. The element group/compositional requirements vary by apparatus. This score is determined by the D (Difficulty) Panel, which is a two-person panel.
The difficulty value is determined by totaling values for the most difficult skills - eight for women and 10 for men, including the dismount. Each skill has a set difficulty value, as outlined in the Code of Points, and are divided into seven classifications. The difficulty value of a skill or element is not recognized if it fails to meet its technical requirements. Also, credit is only given once for a skill. For the women, they must perform a minimum of three dance elements and a maximum of five acrobatic elements in their balance beam and floor exercise routines.
Connection value is awarded when specific skills or skill types are executed successfully in succession. The women can earn connection values for the balance beam, uneven bars and floor exercise, while the men can earn it for the floor exercise and horizontal bar. For men and women, each connection value is either 0.1 or 0.2 points. No connection value is awarded if the gymnast falls.
Element group/compositional requirements are the basic skills or elements that must be included in each routine and vary by apparatus. This area is similar to the special requirements in the past. If all five requirements are included, a maximum of 2.5 points is awarded.
Each judge on the D Panel independently reaches his/her Difficulty Score and then the two compare and reach a consensus.
After the score has been posted, a coach may inquire about the Difficulty Score, first verbally and then in writing. An inquiry may be resolved by using video review. The initial inquiry must be made prior to the completion of the next gymnast's routine. The written inquiry must be submitted before the end of the rotation, and the Superior Jury reviews the inquiry. At FIG events, a fee is assessed for filing an inquiry; it is returned if the inquiry is upheld.
Execution Score: execution and for women, artistry (balance beam and floor exercise). The Execution Score, determined by a six-person E Panel, now begins at 10 and deductions are made for errors and faults in technique, execution and artistry. Each judge independently determines his/her score. The highest and lowest scores are dropped, and the gymnast's Execution Score is the average of the remaining four judges' scores. Deductions for neutral errors are subtracted from the sum of the Difficulty and Execution Scores. The deductions for various errors range from 0.1 point for a small error to 1.00 point for a fall. Neutral deductions include those for stepping out of bounds or violating time requirements, as well as attire or podium violations. Inquiries are not allowed on the Execution Score.
Total score. The gymnast's final score is the total of the Difficulty and Execution Scores less any deductions for neutral errors. Here's an example on how the scoring is calculated. The example uses a woman's routine.
|Difficulty Score on uneven bars|
|Difficulty (4C=4x0.3, 4D=4x0.4)||+2.8 points|
|Element groups (5x0.5)||+2.5 points|
|Connection value^||+0.6 points|
|Total Difficulty Score||5.9 points|
|Base start||10 points|
|Total Execution Score||9.0 points|
|Final score||14.9 points|
NOTE: For the balance beam and floor exercise, a routine's breakdown could include 1 E-level acrobatic skill, 2 D-level acrobatic skills, 2 C-level acrobatic skills, 2 C-level dance moves and 1 B-level dance move. The gymnast may count more dance elements if they are of higher value than the acrobatic movements. However, the total number of elements cannot exceed eight. The dismount value always is counted, regardless of its value.
* The Execution Score is calculated by averaging the middle four of six scores.
& For the men, deductions are listed as exercise presentation deductions rather than divided into execution and artistry.
^ The connection value used in the example is for women and does not reflect a viable number for the men.
This explanation reflects the set-up at FIG events, including the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cups. The number of members on the two panels may be different at events that are not conducted by the FIG. The scoring mechanism and processes remain constant throughout, but the number of judges used on the panels may change.
As the system is used, the FIG may make adjustments as needed, which has been done in the past with other changes. Although the "10" designation is no longer the top score, the current system enables fans to see what a gymnast has scored and how it was determined. The current system, in essence, is a new calculation of the previous pieces of start value, deductions and score.