In 2006, the IGF (International Gymnastics Federation) changed to a new scoring system for gymnastics, one that does not use 10 as the “perfect” score. For those that might not be familiar with either system, gymnastics used to be scored from 0 – 10 points with 10 being considered perfect. In order to simplify how this worked, let’s just say that there were requirements, including difficulty of skill, which had to be met for a routine to be worth a 10.0 mark. This was considered the start value of the routine. In order to start at a 10.0 mark you had to fulfill all the requirements for that event. Then there were deductions taken for any mistake made by the gymnast when they performed. These deductions were added up and subtracted from the start value of the routine, wherever that was. The goal was to always have a start value of 10.0 and then perform with flawless execution. So a routine that actually scored a 10.0 not only met the requirements of the event but was also executed perfectly, at least according to the rules and in the eyes of the subjective judge. There was no “real” separation of difficulty once you met all the requirements, at least on paper.
Now, the total score that a gymnast receives is much more separated with judges giving a difficulty score (my understanding is that this is open-ended) which will then be added to the execution score (which, I think, is limited to 10.0) to come up with a total score. Top scores will now range in the 15’s to low 17’s, depending on the event.
I thought it might be interesting to get a discussion going on how others feel about this new change. Is it a positive change? Will it be to confusing for people to relate to? How will it change the sport of gymnastics? Is it a more “fair” scoring system? And does the open-ended difficulty score increase the risk to athletes due to the possibility of athletes and/or coaches pushing the envelope in order to “win” at any cost?
For a more detailed explanation of this new system you can go to teamusa.org at this link:
Or the article written by former Olympian Dominique Dawes on the subject at Yahoo Sports at this link: