How Are Gymnastics Scored

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How Are Gymnastics Scored?

Gymnastics is a sport that combines agility, strength, flexibility, and grace, captivating audiences worldwide with its breathtaking routines. Whether it’s artistic gymnastics or rhythmic gymnastics, scoring plays a crucial role in determining the winners of competitions. But how exactly are gymnastics scored? In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of gymnastics scoring, shedding light on the system used, the criteria considered, and some frequently asked questions.

Scoring System

Gymnastics routines are scored using the Code of Points, a comprehensive guidebook that outlines the rules and regulations for gymnastics competitions. The Code of Points is revised every four years to accommodate changes in techniques and to encourage innovation in the sport. Each routine is judged by a panel of qualified judges who assign scores based on the execution, difficulty, and artistry of the performance.


Execution refers to how well the gymnast performs the routine, including factors such as technique, form, and precision. Judges deduct points for errors such as wobbles, falls, steps out of bounds, and bent knees, among others. The execution score starts at 10 and deductions are made for each mistake.


Difficulty, also known as the D-score, reflects the complexity of the routine. Each element within the routine has a predetermined value based on its level of difficulty. The D-score is calculated by adding up the values of all the performed elements, including turns, leaps, tumbling passes, and apparatus-specific skills.


Artistry encompasses the grace, style, and presentation of the routine. It includes factors such as body posture, expression, musicality, and synchronization with the accompanying music or apparatus. Artistry is an essential component of gymnastics, as it adds aesthetic value to the performance and makes it more captivating for the audience.

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1. How many judges are there in gymnastics competitions?
– There is usually a panel of six to eight judges who evaluate each routine.

2. Are deductions subjective?
– While some deductions, such as falls, are objective, others, like execution errors, may have some subjectivity. Judges undergo extensive training to ensure consistency in their evaluations.

3. How are deductions determined?
– Deductions are determined by the severity and frequency of errors. Minor errors may result in deductions of 0.1 to 0.3 points, while major errors can lead to larger deductions.

4. What is the maximum score in gymnastics?
– The maximum score in gymnastics is 10. However, due to the increasing difficulty and complexity of routines, it is becoming rarer for gymnasts to achieve a perfect score.

5. Can deductions be appealed?
– Deductions can be appealed, but only if a gymnast or their coach notices a scoring error. Appeals must be made immediately after the routine, and the jury will review and make adjustments if necessary.

6. Do different apparatuses have different scoring criteria?
– Yes, each apparatus has its own set of rules and criteria. For example, the uneven bars focus on swinging and release elements, while the balance beam emphasizes balance and acrobatic skills.

7. Are judges required to have gymnastics experience?
– Yes, judges are required to have extensive knowledge and experience in gymnastics. They must attend regular training sessions and pass exams to maintain their judging qualifications.

8. Are there any deductions for taking longer than the allotted time?
– Yes, exceeding the time limit results in a deduction of 0.1 points per second.

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9. Are there deductions for repeating elements?
– Yes, repeating elements within the same routine can lead to a deduction, as judges value variety and originality.

10. Can a gymnast modify their routine during a competition?
– Gymnasts can modify their routine, but they must inform the judges before they begin. Failure to do so may result in penalties.

11. Is there a deduction for not sticking the landing?
– Yes, a small hop or step on the landing can result in a deduction, depending on its severity.

12. Do the judges confer and discuss their scores?
– The judges do not confer or discuss their scores during the competition. Each judge independently assigns their score, which is then averaged to determine the final score.

In conclusion, gymnastics scoring involves evaluating the execution, difficulty, and artistry of each routine. Judges follow the Code of Points to assign scores, taking into account deductions for errors and rewarding high levels of difficulty and artistry. The scoring system ensures fairness and consistency in gymnastics competitions, showcasing the remarkable skills and abilities of gymnasts worldwide.