How Gymnastics Is Scored? Scoring System In Setail:

The new scoring system appears complex in comparison to the old 10.0 system. However, the present scoring system has become straightforward. 

Gymnastics routines involve skills of which 8 are for women and 10 are for men. Each skill possesses a pre-assigned numerical value pointing to the difficulty level. 

How does gymnastics get scored?  

Let’s know how gymnastics get scored. 

For a routine, the first score is the D score which is also called the ‘start value’. It is the sum total of the skills included in a routine. Hence, a higher D score means a harder routine. 

Theoretically, the D score is open-ended. Usually, it ranges from 5s to 6s at the Olympics. It is rare to see a gymnast with a D score of 7s. 

The second score is the E score which is also called the ‘execution score’. It can start with a 10.0. Judges deduct scores for certain flaws in forms including crossed feet, bent legs, poorly pointed toes, and in execution including stepping on a dismount or shaking after landing a tumbling pass.

The addition of D and E scores together gives the event’s score.

Men’s gymnastics scoring system  

Earlier, both men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics consider 10.0 as the top score. In 2005, the gymnastics officials initiated the Code of Points.

Now, the routine’s difficulty and execution are combined to judge the final score.

The D score (difficulty score) starts at 0.0. It increases with the performance of each difficult skill. The E score (execution score) starts at 10.0.

The judges deduct scores for flaws in performance. In the present system, a gymnast can achieve any score. In men’s gymnastics, the top performers are scoring in the 15s, and sometimes the low 16s.

Women’s gymnastics scoring system

In artistic gymnastics, a woman gymnast has to complete 8 difficult skills. The score of 8 skills is added to get the difficulty or D score.

The Code of Points determines the certain value attributed to each skill. The skills, in women’s gymnastics, are based on difficulty.

Skills that are under the letter ‘A’ are considered the easiest skills. These skills are given a 0.1 score. With the advancement of the letters that is B, C, D, E, etc., a score of 0.1 is added. Hence, a skill under the letter ‘I’ gets a score of 0.9.

Nadia Comaneci’s ‘Perfect 10’ in 1976’s Montreal Olympics will be on everybody’s mind forever. At that time, the gymnast had to perform a routine with multiple skills that totaled a score of 10.

Nadia was the first gymnast to perform a ‘faultless routine’ technically and achieved a score of perfect 10. But, the scoring system has evolved.

As per the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG), the difficulty or D score is established from the gymnast’s highest rating with the 8 skills. FIG added “composition Requirements’ with it.

Besides, gymnasts need to include specific skills in their routine for developing a stronger D score. 0.5 points are awarded to each requirement. 4 requirements worth 2.0 points add to the substantial part of the D score. 

Again, women gymnasts need to secure points from connection values. It is common to hear from the commentators that gymnasts had made their connections or missed a connection. Here, the gymnasts get bonus points by connecting two or three skills consecutively in their specific routines.

The execution and artistry scores determine the gymnast’s brilliance in the execution of their routines. The gymnasts are awarded 10 points for execution or E immediately after their completion of the 8-skill routine.

The judges monitor the routine of the gymnasts and count the errors in their performances. Deductions are made based on the errors. 0.1 deduction is made for a small step done poorly while performing. Again, 0.3 can be deducted for a big wobble.

Certain exceptions are there for women. Deductions can be made concerning dance, grace, and artistry on the floor and beam routines.

The vault events’ scoring is also included in the exception. The woman gymnast has to perform a vault that already contains a difficulty score.

After that vault, judges deduct points for execution errors that occurred in the vault performance. 

What’s a good score in gymnastics?  

Mid-13 ranges can be called a good score. 14 ranges are very good. 15s are superb. Scores lower than 12.5 are taken as a miss.

The addition of difficulty and execution numbers makes the score that is out of 10. Depending on the start value, the final score ranges from 12 to 15. The gymnasts earning 15s scores are the gold medal winners. 

What do gymnastics judges look for?

Judges look for several things while evaluating a gymnast’s routine. They start deducting marks for mistakes after the gymnasts complete the required elements in the compulsory routine.

The obvious errors are bent arms and bent legs, wrong steps on a landing, falls, flexed feet, feet apart, etc. 

The first thing a judge checks is whether the participant possesses the entire requirements for a routine. It determines the start value of the gymnast. 

Requirements for compulsory routine:

Here, judges ensure whether the gymnasts have performed all the skills in the order they are supposed to perform. 

If a compulsory routine misses any requirement, then the judges make deductions:

Omission of a skill:– subtract twice the skill’s value

Reversion of a skill:– Subtract half the skill’s value

Requirements for optional routine:

Here, judges ensure whether the gymnasts have fulfilled the requirements by skills. Taking an example, in Level 6, a gymnast has to perform an aerial or a salto element. 

The judge will check the gymnast’s routine and determine whether he/she wrote the skill that fits that particular requirement. 

A front tuck can be taken as one of the skills. Hence, the judge will deduct if the gymnast misses one of the requirements.

In case of missing special requirements, .5 is deducted. Additionally, there are value part requirements. 

Like, each beam, bar, and floor routine at Level 6 should have 5 ‘A’ value parts and 1 ‘B’ value part.  Here, the judges look for the fulfillment of the value part requirements by the gymnast through skills. 

The judges deduct .1 for missing an ‘A’ value part, .3 for a ‘B’ value part, and .5 for a ‘c’ value part. 

Besides, Level 9 and Level 10 should have bonus connections starting from 10. 

The judges review their shorthand to check if the gymnast has performed any skill not allowed at that particular level.

For example, it is not allowed for an Xcel Gold gymnast to perform ‘B’ valued saltos, and C or higher level skills on the floor. The judges deduct points from the start value if gymnasts perform skills not allowed at their levels.

In fact, if a gymnast performs a skill that is not allowed at his/her level, then the participant’s routine can become void.

For example, the judges will declare a vault void if a performer performs a vault that is not allowed at his/her level. So, the gymnast gets a ‘0’ score.

Another thing that the judges look for is the execution of the skill. The judges note down the execution deduction for each skill with their shorthand during watching the routine. 

Execution of compulsory routine:

The gymnasts should execute compulsory routines without error. Otherwise, deductions will be there. Adding, dance and transition movements can have deductions if not performed well. 

For example,

up to 0.2 will be deducted if the gymnasts keep their legs separated when they should be together. Up to 0.3 will be deducted for bent arms and legs when they are supposed to be straight. Up to 0.3 will be deducted for balance errors. 0.1 will be deducted for reversing, changing, and missing a small part of a routine. 

Execution of optional routine:

The judges deduct up to .2 for leaps, jumps, and hops that are not high enough either from the floor or off the beam. 0.05 is deducted for toes not pointed.  Up to .2 is deducted for knee or leg separations. 

After judging the start value of the routine and execution deductions, the judges monitor the overall routine and decide about other general deductions.

Also, the judges remember the gymnasts’ ranking at the meet and compare the overall routine with other routines from the same level.

Other deductions:

The judges check whether there can be any miscellaneous deductions before deciding the final score of the gymnasts.

Flat deductions are made for spotted during any routine, overtime, stepping out of bounds, not presenting to the judges, and so on.

The score of the gymnast is computed after the evaluation of the four aspects including requirements, execution, overall performance, and miscellaneous deductions. 

Unique considerations for each set:


The judges closely monitor the entry and exit angles of the gymnasts.

Floor scoring:

The judges evaluate the height of jumps and leaps, and the angles achieved.

What is the highest possible score a gymnast can get?  

Presently, there is nothing called a ‘perfect score’. However, scores ranging from 11 to 16 are considered world-class scores. 

Again, a perfect team score can be 200. So, 196+ can be said to be a good score for a team. It means, the average score of the team is 9.8 for each routine.

Similarly, a score of 197 can be averaged at 9.85 for each routine.  Again, 198 scored a mean of 9.9 average for each routine. 

The participants have to start with a 10.0. 

What is the highest score in the gymnastics Olympics?

The International Gymnastics Federation has changed the scoring system in 2006.

Under the old rules, for both men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, the gymnasts used to receive a score of 10 points at maximum. It was called the ‘Perfect 10’.

The new scoring system allows the gymnasts to receive two scores which are the difficulty score and the execution score. Both scores are added to set the final score.

The skills of the gymnasts are given a difficulty rating in the Code of Points.

In the case of women gymnasts, the difficulty scores for the routines are the total value of their performance of the 8 most difficult skills.

In the case of men gymnasts, the difficulty scores are the total value of their performance of the 10 most difficult skills.

Depending on the difficulty of the skills, the gymnasts get points. More difficult skills mean more points. 

‘10’ is the starting score for execution. Deductions are made depending on the errors in the performance of the routine. The range of deduction is 0.1 to 1 point. 

How are gymnastics team scores calculated?

The calculation of the team score involves the addition of the top three scores on each event per level. Two judging panels remain present for scoring each routine. 

The first starts with a zero score and the addition of points take place for requirement, difficulty, and connection. The second judging panel sets a score that starts at 10.0.

Deductions of points are made for errors. In the case of men’s team events, the final score of the team involves 18 scores which incorporate the best three scores from the 6 apparatus.

In the case of women’s team events, the final score of the team involves 12 scores which incorporate the best three scores from the 4 apparatus. Only the top 8 teams can qualify for finals.

What does ND mean in gymnastics scoring?

ND means Neutral Deduction. The head judge makes deductions from the final score. The points are deducted for breaking larger rules.

For example, gymnasts showing up late in a particular performance, routines continuing for too long, the outfits of the gymnasts not meeting the standard requirements, etc.

How is rhythmic gymnastics scored?

Rhythmic gymnastics is scored on the basis of difficulty and execution of the routine. The final score comes from the combination of the Difficulty and Execution scores.

After each Olympics, the renewal of the Code of Points is done.

The D or Difficulty score depends on each element of the gymnast’s performance which involves using apparatus, jumps, and leaps. The D score has no limit.

The E or Execution score depends on the proficiency of the execution of the routine either by an individual gymnast or by a group of gymnasts. The starting value is 10 points. The average of the middle three scores gives the final number. 

Deductions are there for errors. The judges penalize the gymnasts for taking too much time, landing poorly, breaking apparatus, etc.

How do you score artistic gymnastics?

In artistic gymnastics, the performers achieve a D score for difficulty in the routine and an E score for the execution of the routine.

In the case of a D score, a gymnast can earn between 0.1 and 1.0 points per move for the performance of moves.

For women, the top 8 moves are counted. For men, the top 10 moves are counted. In the case of a vault, the score is connected to the vault move.

In the case of an E score, the gymnasts begin with 10.0. Points are deducted for mistakes. The winner is the owner of the highest combination of D and E scores.

If a gymnast gets the highest combined score for all events, then that individual wins the Around Event.

How is vault scored in gymnastics?

While performing vault, gymnasts must land on their feet first for getting consideration for Value Part credit. A vault failing to land on the feet first is given a score of zero.

How do you score bars in gymnastics?

In the case of bars, the scores are calculated by the addition of two numbers which are difficult or start value, and execution that is out of 10. Final scores usually range between 12-15 which are based on the start value.

Gymnastics scoring Sheet  

This is what a Gymnastics Score Sheet looks like:-  

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This is what an All Around Score Sheet looks like:

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