Gymnastics 101: Scoring

Gymnastics 101: Scoring
Posted at 12:56 PM, Mar 16, 2020

Scoring basics

The Code of Points was introduced in 2006 to allow for a more open-ended scoring system.It removed the ‘Perfect 10’ (earned by a 10.0 execution score) but that doesn’t mean a gymnast can no longer receive a perfect score for their routine.


For each Olympic gymnastics event, nine judges are chosen from a pool of multinational candidates approved by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). They are categorized into three groups:

  • The D panel calculates the Difficulty Score
  • The E panel calculates the Execution Score
  • The Reference panel corrects any problems with the Execution Score

How it works

Two judges sit on the D Panel and determine the Difficulty Score. A routine has a set difficulty score that is calculated starting from 0 and determined by combining the total difficulty value achieved through each skill and connection.

Five judges sit on the E Panel to determine a routine’s Execution Score. This is determined by the execution and artistry of a gymnast’s routine. This score starts at 10.0 and deductions are made for various errors.

The difficulty score and execution score are combined for the final score. A score under the current Code of Points ranges from 13 to 16 points.

Final Score = [Difficulty + Execution] - Any neutral deductions

To learn more about how these scores are calculated, read further.

Difficulty Score

Both judges on the D Panel individually record his/her Difficulty Score. The eight most difficult skills for women and 10 most difficult skills for men are counted. This includes the dismount. The two judges compare scores following the completion of a routine and reach a consensus, which becomes the Difficulty Score.

Elements must be performed as technically described to receive the difficulty value and can only do so once in an exercise. Each skill’s difficulty value is outlined in the Code of Points.

Judges award connection values on every event, except for vault,  for unique combinations of elements. These connections are evaluated at 0.1, 0.2, or 0.3.

Composition requirements are the basic skills or elements that must be included and differ by apparatus.The men define ‘composition requirements’ as Element Groups in their Code of Points.If all the requirements are included, a maximum of 2.5 points is rewarded.

Vault is the only apparatus that has a predetermined difficulty score, which is shown to the judges on a scoreboard at the beginning of the runway. The difficulty score is assigned to each vault in the Code of Points.

Execution Score

Five judges on the E Panel independently record a routine’s Execution Score. The highest and lowest scores are dropped, with the three remaining scores averaged for the final Execution Score. The score is determined based on the execution and artistry of a routine with deductions for falls, errors in technique, and execution. Deductions range from 0.1 to 1.0.

Neutral deductions

Errors, such as time violations, stepping out of bounds, behavior faults, or falls, are penalized using neutral deductions. Falls receive a 1.0 deduction under the 2017-2020 Code of Points.


An inquiry is a verbal challenge of a routine’s score. It is followed by a written inquiry that must be submitted before the end of the rotation. The challenge can only be brought forward after the gymnast’s final score is posted and before the end of the next gymnast’s routine. A fee is required for filing an inquiry and is returned if the inquiry is upheld. It can be resolved by using video review.

A score can be raised, lowered, or remain the same as a result of an inquiry.