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A Breakdown of Gymnastics Meet Scores

If you’ve ever found yourself confused about how gymnastics scoring works, whether while watching the Olympics or at your child’s gymnastic meet, there’s a high chance that you’re not alone. Those numbers could easily leave anyone confused, wondering about the basis of scoring used by the judges.

Well, you’re in luck, as this article has all the answers you’re seeking. Here, we will explain how gymnastic meets are scored, ideal gymnastic meet scores, and what the numbers and letters used in scoring mean. Let’s get right to it!

How Is A Gymnastic Meet Scored?

Gymnastic meets are comprised of individual and team events. Each of these events has its method of scoring.

For individual events, gymnasts are scored based on the difficulty and technicality of their routines (difficulty score) and how well they executed their skills and techniques (execution score). A gymnast’s total score is the sum of the values of their difficulty and execution scores.

Difficulty Score

The difficulty score sometimes referred to as the start value, is determined by totaling all the values a participant earns in the most difficult skills. A panel of two judges determines the difficulty score.

The difficulty score is the sum of;

The Value of the Ten Most Difficult Skills In the Routine

Each skill is only counted once throughout the routine and has a set difficulty value obtained from the Code of Points. For floor exercises, difficulty skills begin from Group A and progress to Group J.

Beams, on the other hand, have difficulty with skills ranging from Group A to Group H. As the skill level increases, the number of points allocated increases by a tenth.

Here is a breakdown of the points the varying skill groups attract.

  • Group A skills - 0.1 points

  • Group B skills - 0.2 points

  • Group C skills - 0.3 points

  • Group D skills - 0.4 points

  • Group E skills - 0.5 points

  • Group F skills - 0.6 points

  • Group G skills - 0.7 points

  • Group H skills - 0.8 points

  • Group I skills - 0.9 points

  • Group J skills - 1.0 points

The total score in this section is established by 8 of their highest rating scores.

The Connection Value

The connection value is awarded when the gymnast successfully executes specific skills in a row. Each connection value is about 0.1 or 0.2 points for male and female gymnasts.

The Composition Requirements

These points are obtained when an athlete performs the elements required on a particular apparatus. There are four composition requirements, and each of them is worth 0.5 points. The highest number of points attainable under composition requirements is 2.5 points.

Execution Score

Execution scores are points awarded for the flawless execution of skills and techniques. The starting value for execution points in most events is 10.0 points. While a gymnast performs their routine, points are deducted when faults or errors are detected in their execution of techniques.

For small errors, 0.1 points are deducted, and up to 0.8 points could be deducted for a fall. A panel of six judges determines the execution score. Each judge in the six-person panel determines the athlete’s scores individually.

The emerging score is the average of the ratings from the remaining four judges after eliminating the highest and lowest scores.

Total Score

The gymnast’s total score is the value obtained after penalty points have been subtracted from the addition of their difficulty and execution scores.

Simply put, Total Score = Difficulty Score + Execution Score - Penalties

It is important to note that neutral deductions are taken from the sum of execution and difficulty scores. Neutral deductions include faults like inappropriate attire, exceeding time limits, and stepping out of bounds.

What Are Good Gymnastic Scores?

Every gymnast aims for a perfect execution score of 10.0 points. However, an execution score between 9.7 to 9.9 indicates that there were very few mistakes in their routine and can be considered a good score. For the difficulty scoring, it is almost impossible to surpass 6.5 points. Hence, a total score of around 16 is what most gymnasts aim for.

With the accumulation of difficulty and execution points, total scores are usually between 12 and 15 points, depending on the start value. Gymnastic scores in the mid to high 13’s range can be considered average. They are well-grounded and consistent.

Those in the range of 14s are very good and can even win medals. Scores in the 15’s range are exceptional and can win gold medals. Any score lower than 12.5 points is not a good gymnastic score.

Meanwhile, for gymnastic teams, scores between 188 and 192 indicate an average team. Team scores of 196 points and above indicate an exceptional team. A team score of 196+ tells that the team is a good one and translates to the team having an average of 9.8 for each routine.

A team score of 197 is also a great score, but most teams aim for a score of 198 as it pans out to an average of 9.9 per routine.

How Do Team Gymnastics Scores Work?

For gymnastic teams, the team score depends on the size of the team. For small teams, this score is made up of the top three scores that the gymnasts on the team made for that event.

For large teams, their score comprises the top five scores that the gymnasts on the team made for the event.

This implies that only the top scores on a team count. A large team consists of 7 or more gymnasts, while a small team has 3-6 gymnasts.

At gymnastic team competitions, each gymnast’s score is first calculated individually. College teams’ gymnastics scores are calculated using the same scoring method as level 10 gymnastics.

Scoring Method of Level 10 Gymnastics

Although each event has a perfect score of 10.0, the starting value (SV) is only 9.50 points. The extra 0.5 points are bonus points and can be earned in two ways;

  • Difficulty bonus points: This can be earned by incorporating highly scored skills such as D and E skills into your routine. The maximum points obtainable for difficulty bonus points is 0.4.

  • Connection bonus points: Like the difficulty bonus point, a maximum of 0.4 points can be awarded for form combination maneuvers

For vault events, the number of points attainable is 10 points. Although some events have starting values below 10 points, others have their values at more than 10 points.

Once each gymnast has completed their routines in an event, the top three scores are added to form the team’s score for that event. This process is repeated for all events and all teams.

At the end of the competition, the team scores will be added to form the teams’ All Around Score (AA score). The group with the highest AA rating will be declared the winner.

The perfect team score for a tournament is 200. In addition, a team score of 196+ shows that the team is exceptional, which translates to an average of 9.8 for each routine.

A team score of 197 is also a great score, but most teams keep their eye on a score of 198 as it pans out to an average of 9.9 per routine.

What Is The Highest Difficulty Score In Gymnastics?

Theoretically, the highest difficulty score a gymnast can obtain is 10.0 points. However, the emergence of the Code of Points and the new scoring system by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) have made it a daunting task to earn difficulty scores beyond 6 points.

Legendary gymnast Simone Biles has, however, been able to earn a difficulty score of 6.5 points.

Before the effect of the new scoring system by FIG, the highest possible score was a perfect 10. Remarkable athletes such as Nadia Comăneci, Julianne McNamara, and Li Ning achieved a perfect ten before the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) scrapped the old scoring system.

Making Inquiries

An inquiry is one way to contest a gymnast’s score. If a coach suspects their gymnast’s score is too low and the judges have made a mistake, they can submit an inquiry. However, inquiries can only be made about difficulty scores and must be submitted before the next gymnast completes their performance.

A panel re-evaluates the difficulty score and uses video review where necessary. An inquiry can sometimes lead to changes in the ranking of gymnasts. For instance, Aly Raisman won a bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympics balance beam events due to the inquiry filed by her coach.

Coaches must, however, pay a fee to submit an inquiry. The cost is reimbursed if the investigation modifies the gymnast’s rating. If the investigation yields no new information, the funds are donated to the FIG foundation.


So there you have it! All you need to know about gymnastic scoring is now at your fingertips.

If you’re considering registering your child for a gymnastic meet or any other competitive event, a great place to start would be to ensure that they are adequately prepared by signing them up for the right gymnastics classes.

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