We all know that the scoring in gymnastics is a bit confusing, but it isn’t as bad as NBC would have you think it is with their red, yellow and green marks which both simplify it beyond recognition, without really discussing what makes up a good or bad score and leaves out the difficulty score all together. I also feel that NBC, by talking down to us , does a disservice to gymnastics fans, old and new. Don’t even get me started on this comment
From International Gymnast: For those of you complaining (still) about NBC’s Olympic coverage, get ready for more of the same: “The people who watch the Olympics are not particularly sports fans. More women watch the games than men, and for the women, they’re less interested in the result and more interested in the journey. It’s sort of like the ultimate reality show and miniseries wrapped into one.” John Miller, NBC’s chief marketing officer.
Geez, really? That comment Makes me a bit sick. Will we ever get past the idea that women are mindless fluff bags. Ugh.
Anyway for those of you that would like to understand what is being performed and the basics of how it is scored, I will be posting about each event one by one. Let’s start with floor.
There are two parts to scoring a gymnastics routine.
This part of the score is a combination of three things…
Each routine must contain certain skills and requirements. For floor at the elite level these requirements are…
- A dance passage including two different leaps or hops. The objective is to create a large flowing and traveling movement.
- A salto (flip where hands DO NOT touch the floor) in two directions – Must do a salto backwards and then either forward or sideways
- A Salto with a long angle turn of at least 360 degrees. This means a twisting flip where the hands don’t touch the floor, such as a front 1 1/2 twist or a back double twist or a full twisting back tuck.
- A Salto with a double flip – like a double back tuck, pike or layout
- The last tumbling pass that a gymnast does must be of a D difficulty value to receive full credit, lower level skills will receive less points toward – each skill is given a letter value for how difficult it is with A being the easiest and currently I being the most difficult
Each of these requirements is worth .5 points for a total of 2.5 points toward the difficulty score
Top 8 skills
Each skill is given a value based on it’s difficulty. An A skill is worth .1 with a tenth added for each level of difficulty up through and I being worth .9
For floor, the top 8 skills are counted as part of the D-score with a maximum of 5 tumbling elements and a minimum of 3 dance elements counting. This will mostly consist of C,D and E skills with the best in the world throwing in some really crazy even higher level skills
The adding of these skills will make up the difference between the top gymnasts and the rest. I will lay out a couple of examples below.
If a gymnast completes two skills of a certain value connected to one another then they can receive and extra .1 or .2 added to their D-Score.
For floor exercise, this basically means a D or higher skill connected to an A or B skill or connecting of two C or higher skills. Only skills without hand support count for connections.
You can also get a connection for connecting a dance element to an acro element and you will see many gymnasts leaping or jumping out at the end of their tumbling passes to get this connection bonus.
There is also a connection bonus for two directly connected turns.
I find this the most confusing part of the code so I have included a video in the resources section below from one of my favorite YouTube Channels. Hopefully this will help clear it up a bit.
Add it all Together
So the D-Score is a total of the above three things all added together.
2.5 for Composition
Top 8 skills difficulty value
Difficulty Score (D-Score)
This is where deductions come for how well a gymnast executes the skill as well and things like artistry and performance.
The Execution score is more like the traditional 10.0. The score starts from a 10 and points are taken off of that for every mistake a gymnast makes.
This includes things like bent legs, crossed legs, form breaks, steps on the landing and other technical deductions but it also includes things like expressiveness, confidence, quality of choreography, musicality and specific apparatus deductions. For floor this can included standing in the corner for too long before a tumbling pass or improper distribution of elements, such as they can’t start their routine directly into a tumbling pass. The difficulty of skills must also be distributed with dance elements of high difficulty as well as tumbling of high value.
As you can tell some of this is very subjective and the part that makes this a subjectively judged sport.
The execution score is added to the difficulty score to produce the final score.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples
Simone Biles – 2016 P&G Championships (US National Championships)
She scored 16.050 (6.9 D-Score + 9.150 Execution)
Full Twisting Double Layout – H
Straddle jump with a full twist + stag jump – C+A
Biles + sissone – G+A – .1 Connection Bonus
Front Arial – A
Double Wolf Turn – D
Switch Leap + Tour Jete full – B+D
Double Double – Double Back with 2 Twists – H
Switch Full – D
Full In Double Back Tuck – E
Composition – 2.5
Top 8 Skills – Tumbling -HHGE Dance – DDDC – 4.3
Connection Bonus – .1
As a contrast let’s take a look at another gymnast who is an amazing little up and coming firecracker from The host country of Brazil. One of my favorite’s to watch.
Flavia Saraiva – Floor Exercise 2016 Rio Test Event
She scored a 14.65 (5.8 Difficulty + 8.85 Execution)
Back 1.5 twist + Front 2x Twist – C+D – .2 bonus
Full Turn – A
Full In Double Back – E
Switch Ring + Tour Jete full – C+D
Double Back Pike – D
Switch leap with full turn – D
Double Back Tuck – D
Composition – 2.5
Top 8 Skills – Tumbling -EDDDC Dance -DDC – 3.1
Connection Bonus – .2
Here is a great video that outlines what combonations of tumbling and dance can receive connection bonus. Enjoy!
photo credit: radu09 women gymnastics olympics 2012 sandra izbasa 01 via photopin (license)