Understanding The Code: How To Breakdown Scores.

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A post I’ve been meaning to do for a while now, as I get so many questions about the code, and how scores are made up. If you know your D from your E,  CR and CV, and how the bonuses work,  you’ll not need to read any further on this one.

It’s a very long post, I feel I should offer some sort of prize for anyone that makes it to the end in one go, but having looked at breaking it into several posts, it seems to work better this way. Hopefully this can serve as a dip in resource for anyone interested in learning more about how to breakdown scoring, or wondering how or why a certain score was awarded.

I hope to do a skills spreadsheet at some point for people to easily find the value of skills they are looking for, but until then, all skills are available here in the code of points :

http://www.fig-gymnastics.com/publicdir/rules/files/wag/WAG%20CoP%202017-2020%20EN.pdf

If you you have no idea what a good score is, how the judges arrive at a 13.400 or a 14.700 when you thought both routines looked equally good, then hopefully I’m about to shed a little light on the matter, and perhaps make competitions a little easier to follow in the future!

So What Makes Up A Score?

A final score is made of the ‘D’ or difficulty score, and the ‘E’ or execution score added together to give a total.

D score

The D or difficulty score relates to what the gymnast performs, it is opened ended meaning that within the parameters of the code requirements, there is no upper limit as to the total a gymnast can achieve. It will go as high as the difficulty of the skills she successfully performs. The D score is made up of skills, Composition Requirements, and Connection Value.

Skills

Elements of the same difficulty value are counted in chronological order.  A skill can be used only once for difficulty value, and to count towards composition requirements, but can be repeated for connection value. For example, flick layout layout on beam, the first layout only could be used as one of the eight counting elements, but both layouts can be used for the C+C  series bonus.

Skills are given a difficulty ranking with a corresponding value, at present A is the simplest skill, and I the most highly valued.

A= 0.1
B= 0.2
C= 0.3
D= 0.4
E= 0.5
F= 0.6
G= 0.7
H= 0.8
I= 0.9

Other than on vault where each vault is assigned a difficulty value, the D score is made up of the eight highest scoring skills that the gymnast performs. I will go over this in more detail further along.

Composition Requirements (CR)

On bars, beam, and floor, there are set composition requirements, four for each apparatus, each worth 0.5, making a total of 2.00 available. One element may be used to fulfil more than one CR, however, as I mentioned above, an element may not be repeated to fulfill another CR. Most gymnasts competing at elite level will fulfil all of these requirements, however there are times when errors are made and skills are missed, and it is up to the judges to notice that the requirements haven’t been fulfilled, and not award the points automatically. This does occasionally happen, most recently at the European Championships when initially a gymnast was awarded the requirement for having a front salto in a tumbling run, when in fact she had missed the skill.
I go into the individual apparatus requirements further down.

Connection Value (CV)

On bars, beam, and floor, there is bonus available for gymnasts who can seamlessly connect skills of specific value. Connection bonus is only awarded to successfully completed skills in connection, should a connection be made but the gymnast then fall, there is no bonus given. The skills used for connection value can, but do not have to be part of the eight skills used for the D score total. On beam, there is also bonus available for series. The bonuses available are very specific, I will set them out under each apparatus.

E score

The E score relates to how the gymnast performs her routine. The E score begins from 10.00, and gymnasts are deducted set amounts for specific errors as they go through the routine, what is left of that 10.00 at the end is the final E score.

So these are the component parts, add them together and:

 D (Skills + CR+CV)  + E = Score

Judges

For each apparatus there is a judging panel, at major events such as the Olympic Games, and the World Championships there are two D panel judges calculating the difficulty, and five E panel judges calculating the execution scores. At smaller events there can be less E panel judges. There are also two reference judges at the major championships, these judges mark independently from the rest of the panel, not contributing to the final score, and were introduced to have a system in place in case of problems with execution scores.

There are also line judges for floor and vault responsible for judging whether a gymnast stays within the area, and time keepers on beam and floor to ensure exercises do not overrun, and on bars and beam to ensure that routines are restarted in time in the event of a fall. The time keepers also monitor whether a gymnast has begun her routine in time.

General Deductions

As well as specific apparatus deductions which I will cover further on, there are a set of deductions which apply across all apparatus. As you can see, this is why clean well executed gymnastics is so vital, if you don’t have your basics right, you technique right, your progression into high levels skills is going to cause you problems with the E panel, who are there, pencils ready for every small error. I am happy to see both these, and the apparatus specific deductions ramping up, I would far rather see beautiful clean gymnastics within the specific gymnast’s capabilities, then a routine packed with higher difficulty, but scrappily done. I still feel the balance isn’t quite right yet, but we are moving in a better direction.

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There are also a set of deductions for outside of the routine technicalities such as equipment, presenting, clothing, strapping etc, but I have left them out as we are concentrating on understanding routine breakdown, and these deductions are rare at elite level.

Specific Apparatus

Vault

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Vault is the more simple of the scores to understand, in that there are just the two component parts. The D score will be which vault the gymnast has performed, and the E score the mark out of 10.00 when all deductions are taken off.

Vaults come from one of five groups, gymnasts may pick a vault from any of the groups, but those wishing to qualify for apparatus finals at senior level must select vaults from two different groups.

Group 1 

Vault without salto (Handspring, Yamashita, Round-off) with or without long axis turn in 1st and/or 2nd flight phase

Group 2 

Handspring with or without 1/1 turn (360°) in 1st flight phase – salto forward or backward with or without long axis turn in 2nd flight phase

Group 3 

Handspring with 1⁄4 – 1⁄2 turn (90° – 180°) in 1st flight phase (Tsukahara – note, the WAG code doesn’t yet recognise the Kazamatsu) – salto bwd with or without long axis turn in 2nd flight phase

Group 4 

Round-off (Yurchenko) with or without 3⁄4 turn (270°) in 1st flight phase – salto bwd with or without long axis turn in 2nd flight phase

Group 5 

Round-off with 1⁄2 turn (180°) in 1st flight phase – salto forward or backward with or without long axis turn in 2nd flight phase

Of the vaults we may well see in elite level competition from the British gymnasts over this coming quad, looking at who is in, and coming into the senior ranks, the values are as follows:

Cheng – Roundoff onto the board, half turn onto the vault, one and a half twisting straight somersault off:  D = 6.00

Amanar – Roundoff onto the board, flick onto the vault, two and a half twisting straight somersault off: D = 5.80

Double Twisting Tsukahara – Half turn onto the vault, straight back somersault with double twist: D= 5.6

Double Twisting Yurchenko – Roundoff onto the board, flick onto the vault, double twisting straight somersault off: D = 5.40

Lopez – Roundoff onto the board, half turn onto the vault, straight front with half twist off: D = 5.2 

Handspring Pike Front Full – Handspring onto the vault, pike front somersault with full twist off: D= 5.0

Full Twisting Tsukahara – Half turn onto the vault, straight back somersault with full twist off: D= 4.8

Handspring Tucked Front Full – Handspring onto the vault, tucked front somersault with full twist off: D=4.8

Full Twisting Yurchenko -Roundoff onto the board, flick onto the vault, full twisting straight somersault off: D =4.6

Handspring Pike Front Half – Handspring on to the vault, forward pike front somersault with half turn off: D = 4.6

So, depending on the vault selected, you take your D value, and add 10.00 for the maximum potential score.

For the E score, you have your general deductions as set out in the table above, then in addition, the vault is split into three sections, with deductions for each section. The first flight phase where the gymnast goes from the board to the vault,  the repulsion phase, where the gymnast pushes from the vault, and the second flight phase where the gymnast moves through the air, into land. Landing deductions are taken from the general deductions table. For a piece that takes seconds, as you can see, there is a lot to get right!

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Examples

Here we have Ellie Downie’s Double Twisting Yurchenko from the 2017 British Championships Apparatus Final. From a possible 15.40 maximum, Ellie scored 14.950 (I have removed the 0.2 GB bonus  which gave her 15.050 here in the interest of understanding the code), meaning with her 5.4 D score, she was awarded a 9.55 E score, so the judges found 0.45 in deductions.

Amy Tinkler also vaults a superb double twisting Yurchenko, this one at the London World Cup. Awarded 14.600, with a 5.2 D score,  9.2 E score, she had just 0.8 in deductions from the judges.

For vault, high thirteens are a good score,  14.500 or above is a very strong score, the top ten individual vault scores for 2017 at time of posting range from 14.750 to 15.050.

On bars, beam, and floor as I touched on above, things get a little more tricky, so I will go through the technicalities, then explain by breaking down some routines.

Bars

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The D score is made up of the eight highest valued successfully performed elements, including the dismount. Judges expect a variety of skills, and skills are capped at three maximum from each root skill group (the entry into the skill, and direction it follows e.g. Stalder, clear circle, pike circle etc), other than giants, upstarts, and casts.   The E score, beginning from 10.00 of course,  is then the general deductions from the first table above, as well as specific apparatus deductions as follows:

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There are also composition deductions, although at elite level you will not tend to see any of these.

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On bars, the composition requirements (CR) are as follows, each are worth 0.50, so an elite level gymnast will be looking to gain 2.00 points here

Flight element from High to Low bar
Flight element on the same bar
Different grips (not on cast, mount or dismount)
Non flight element with min. 360° turn, (not on mount)

The bonus to be gained from connecting skills (CV) is as follows:

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*The D+C for 0.2, the C skill must have flight, or a minimum of 180° turn.

As you can see there are values required, but also specific types of skill to gain certain bonus. Flight elements refer to elements with visible flight, so release and catch skills, transitions from high to low, and low to high bar, and dismounts.
Unless stated, connections can be performed in any order, so D+E or E+D flight elements would be fine for the 0.2 bonus. Skills can also be used to end one, and begin another connection for bonus,  for example Tkatchev-Pak-Van Leuween is D+D+E, the gymnast would receive 0.1 for the D+D Tkatchev to Pak, and then be able to use the Pak again as the start of a new D+E  connection  for 0.2, giving her a total of 0.3 connection for those three skills. The same element may be performed twice in one connection for connection value as long as the two same skills are directly linked together.

A note on falls, the majority of falls on bars understandably occur on flight elements, if the gymnast is judged to have grasped the bar with both hands in a momentary hang, she will be awarded the difficulty value of the skill, although of course still be deducted for the fall.

So that’s the technicalities, lets look at it in practice!

This is Becky Downie’s qualification routine from European Championships. She was awarded a D score of 6.1, and an E score of 8.333. We know that the 8.333 is from the 10.00 she started with minus execution deductions, so lets look at how her D score was put together.

Firstly the skills, I’m writing out the entire routine, and have put the eight most highly valued in bold.

Upstart = A 0.1
Straddle cast to handstand = A 0.1
Forward pike circle with half turn = C 0.3
Stalder Shap to High bar (Chow) = D 0.4
Hindorf = E 0.5
Upstart = A 0.1
Straddle cast to handstand = A 0.1
Toe full = D 0.4
Ricna = E 0.5
Pak = D 0.4
Upstart = A 0.1
Straddle cast = A 0.1
Maloney = D 0.4
Gienger = D 0.4
Upstart = A 0.1
Straddle cast to handstand = A 0.1
Longswing = B 0.2
Full out dismount = D 0.4

So taking the eight highest skills we have

2xE = 1.0
6xD = 2.4

Total 3.40

Next, does Becky fulfil the composition requirements? Yes she does, she has her Pak for flight from high to low bar, three same bar flight elements, uses reverse grip on her forward toe circle half, and has the giant full for her non flight 360° turn.  All 2.00 awarded here

Finally connection value, Becky is awarded 0.7 in connection value here.

Stalder Shap to Hindorf – D+E both flight = 0.2
Toe Full to Ricna – D (non flight)+E = 0.1
Ricna to Pak – D+E (both flight) = 0.2
Maloney to Gienger – D (Flight LB to HB) + C (Has to be C or more here) = 0.2 

Adding it all up we have

Skills 3.4
Composition Requirements 2.0
Connection Value 0.7

6.10 Total

For a second example, lets look at Georgia-Mae Fenton at the British Championships.

This is Georgia’s routine from the AA competition, again I have put the eight highest skills in bold.

Upstart = A 0.1
Straddle cast to handstand = A 0.1
Ricna with 1/2 turn = G 0.7
Ezhova = D 0.5
Upstart = A 0.1
Straddle cast to handstand = A 0.1
Maloney = D 0.4
Clear circle to handstand = C 0.3
Ricna = E 0.5
Shoot half = D 0.4
Stalder shoot to HB = C 0.3
Upstart = A 0.1
Straddle cast = A 0.1
Giant full = C 0.3
Longswing = B 0.2
Full out dismount = D 0.4

So we have

1xG = 0.7
1xE = 0.5
4xD = 1.6
2xC = 0.6

Total 3.4

Next, does Georgia fulfil the composition requirements? Yes she does, she has her Maloney for flight from high to low bar, two same bar flight elements, uses reverse grip catching her Ricna half and into the Ezhova, and has the giant full for her non flight 360° turn.  All 2.00 awarded here.

Finally connection value, Georgia is awarded 0.4 in connection value here.

Rina half to Ezhova F+D both flight = 0.2
Ricna to shoot half E+D both flight = 0.2

Adding it all we have:

Skills 3.4
Composition Requirements 2.0
Connection value 0.4

5.8 Total

For bars, anything from a mid thirteen suggests a strong D score of 5.5+ with good execution. The then highest scoring routines so far this year are from a 6.1 or 6.2 D score and scoring 14.650 to 15.050. We will likely see the very best upping their D scores a little more as the quad progresses.

Beam

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On beam, the D score is again made up of the eight highest valued successfully performed elements, including the dismount. Within those eight elements, there must be a minimum of three acro elements, and a minimum of three dance elements, the remaining two elements can be either. Routines must not exceed 1 minute 30 seconds, if the gymnast does go over time, there is a 0.1 deduction.

Note, jumps that are listed in the code cross ways in other words facing down the beam, are given one value higher when performed side on.

The composition requirements (CR) are as follows, each are worth 0.50, so an elite level gymnast will be looking to gain 2.00 points here

Connection of at least two different dance elements, one must be a leap or jump with 180° split.
A turn from Group 3 of beam elements (Group three has all spins in it)
One acro series minimum of two flight elements, one must be a somersault (The elements may be the same)
Acro elements in different directions (fwd/sideways and backwards)

The bonus to be gained from connecting skills (CV) is as follows, connections must be smooth without pause to be credited. As with bars, unless specifically stated, the elements can be in any order, and again any element can end one connection, and begin another.  For example, Change leap to change half leap to back tuck would be C+D+C . The gymnast would be awarded 0.1 for the C+D change leap to change half, and 0.1 for the change half to back tuck. The gymnast would also receive 0.1 series bonus here for having three elements of B+B+C or above linked together. The same element may be performed twice in one connection for connection value as long as the two same skills are directly linked together.

There is a series bouns of 0.1 for three successfully connected skills, either acro, dance, or mixed.

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For the E score, there are the general penalties found in the first table again, and then the following starting of course from 10.00. A huge amount of deductions possible on this piece, as well as performing her skills cleanly, the gymnast must satisfy artistry requirements, transforming her set of skills and choreography into a complete performance with style and confidence. The judges expect to see a variety of skill selection, changes of level, changes of rhythm and tempo, as well as creative and original movement.

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Lets have a look at a couple of routines to put it into practice.

This is Alice Kinsella’s beam from the British Championships AA, currently the highest scoring GB beam of 2017. She was awarded a total of 14.040, a D score of 5.4, and an E score of 8.450. We know that the 8.450 is from the 10.00 she started with minus execution deductions, so lets look at how her D score was put together.

The full routine, I have bolded the eight most difficult elements, you can see that Alice uses nearly all C and D skills here with one B at the end, so after we count her five D skills, it would be her first three different C skills that count. In this case, as Alice uses two layouts, remember that we wouldn’t be able to count the second layout in the skills total, as only one of each type of skill may count for difficulty.

Remember when calculating this part, that three of the counting skills  skills must be acro, and three must be dance.

Flick to chest stand mount = D 0.4
Double spin = D 0.4
Change leap = C 0.3
Change leap to side = C 0.3
Free cartwheel = D 0.3
Layout = C 0.3
Layout = C 0.3
Free Walkover = D 0.4
Roundoff = B
Two and a half twist = D 0.4

So we have

5xD = 2.0
3xC = 0.9

Total 2.9 

Does Alice fulfil the composition requirements? Yes she does. She has her two connected dance elements with the change to change to side leaps. She has the double spin, she has the acro series of two or more flight elements with her free cartwheel layout layout, and she also has her acro elements in different directions within the same series. All 2.00 awarded here.

Finally connections. Alice has 0.5 in connections in this routine.

Change to change half leaps C+C = 0.1
Free Cartwheel layout D+C = 0.2
Layout layout C+C = 0.1
Series bonus free cartwheel layout layout = 0.1

Adding it all up we have:

Skills 2.9
Composition Requirements 2.0
Connection Value 0.5

5.4 Total

This is Taeja James on beam at the British Junior Championships, I hope she’ll forgive me using a routine with a fall, but she has a good variety in her skill set here, for a different example of elements and bonus. Should Taeja have been awarded everything in this routine (more on that later), she starts from a 5.8, a big score for a junior.

The full routine, again the top eight skills in bold, three acro, three dance, two optional.

Flick to chest stand mount = D 0.4
Double wolf turn = D 0.4
Round off = B 0.2
Straight somi = E 0.5
Change leap = C 0.3
Change half = D 0.4
Front somi = D 0.4
Sissone = A 0.1
W jump = A 0.1
Side somi = D 0.4
Round off = B 0.2
Triple twist = F 0.6

So we have

1xF = 0.6
1xE = 0.5
5xD = 2.0
1xC = 0.3

Total 3.4

Does Taeja fulfil the composition requirements? Yes she does. She has the change to change half, and backed it up with the sissone to W jump to be sure of getting CR. This is something you will often see from gymnasts with a new or tricky series, a back up easier series as losing 0.5 is big deduction. Gymnasts will also often add two connected jumps in should they miss their series, even when not planned, from very young you will see them aware of not missing this connection. The turn is there with the double wolf, the acro series is there with the roundoff straight. As Taeja got her feet on the beam, she gets the requirement, if she hadn’t, that is presently her only series, and she would have counted the fall and 0.5 off for no CR. The acro in different directions was also there, all 2.00 awarded here.

For connections, Taeja has 0.4 in this routine

Roundoff Straight B+E = 0.1
Change leap to change half  C+D = 0.1
Roundoff triple twist dismount B+F = 0.2

Adding it all up we have:

Skills 3.4
Composition Requirements 2.0
Connection Value 0.4

Total 5.8

On beam, we’re seeing mid mid 13’s and over placing gymnasts high up at European level, with near to 14.00 needed to medal. On a world level so far this year, the top ten go from 14.500 to 15.300, with low 6.0’s difficulty, aside from China’s Liu Tingting who has competed a 6.6!

Floor

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On floor as with beam,  the D score is made up of the eight highest valued successfully performed elements, including the dismount. Within these eight elements, there must be a minimum of three acro elements, and a minimum of three dance elements, the remaining two elements can be either. Routines must not exceed 1 minute 30 seconds.

The composition requirements (CR) are as follows, each are worth 0.50, so an elite level gymnast will be looking to gain 2.00 points here

A dance passage of two different, leaps or hops, (from the Code) connected directly or indirectly (with running steps, small leaps, hops, chassé, chainé turns), one with 180° split. The objective is to create a large flowing and traveling movement pattern. No jumps or turns, as they are stationary, the first leap or jump must land on one leg  as the passage must keep moving. 

Salto with a long axis turn e.g. a twisting salto

Salto with double broad axis e.g. a double somersault

Salto backwards and salto forward within the same or different tumbling line, no aerial saltos may be used. 

Connection values are as follows, the acro skills must be somersaults rather than flicks and roundoffs. Again the order of the skills does not matter unless stated.

As you can see there are marks available for indirect acrobatic connections, so somersaults not immediately following each other, but within the same tumbling run. For example one and a half twist linked to roundoff flick double Arabian, the bonus comes from the twisting somersault and the double Arabain so in this case C+E would give 0.2. Whip whip flick double tuck would give 0.1, the whips being A value skills, and the double tuck a D.

For direct acrobatic connections there are no skills in between the somersaults. So whip triple twist would gain 0.2 for A+E, two and a half twist to straight front would gain 0.1 for D+A

For the mixed connections when you see the gymnast jumping out of tumbles they are attempting to have a sharp enough connection for bonus. Ellie Downie has used the  double Arabian to stag leap for 0.1 E salto +A, Claudia Fragapane has W  jumped from her full twisting double straight for H+A 0.1, and her double straight for F+A 0.1.

For the spins, Latalia Bevan uses a double leg up spin to double back spin to single L spin for D+B+B giving her 0.1 for the D+B, and 0.1 for the B+B. As with skills in all connections, the spins have to be accurately performed which means fully rotated without the heel dropping in order to receive bonus. Although they don’t look as difficult as the tumbles, the harder spins, especially in combination are incredibly difficult.

The same element may be performed twice in one connection for connection value as long as the two same skills are directly linked together.

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The E score again takes into account all of the deductions in the general faults table at the top, and then in addition, a huge range of potential deductions for artistry, composition, musicality, fluidity and amplitude. As with beam, the gymnast is expected to take her set of skills, and create a performance which seamlessly incorporates them. A variety of skills, movements, and tempo are expected, character and musical interpretation must be shown.
The trick here is to find the gymnast’s personal style, what type of music and choreography they are most comfortable with to bring out the best in their level of performance. Some hugely talented gymnasts are not naturally comfortable performers, the most skilled and experienced choreographer in the world will not be able to force a high level of performance to a style the gymnast is completely unsuited to, as real performance, connection to the music, expression, emotion and projection, can only come from the gymnast.

For me personally in it’s attempts to increase levels of artistry, the code has also slightly stifled creativity in that the boundaries for where, when, and how the gymnast can move on the floor become tighter and tighter with each update. That’s just my personal view on it though.

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So lets have a look at a couple of routines.

I have left out the roundoff flicks from the skills list, as they are not relevant at this level in terms of contributing to scores.

This is Claudia Fragapane’s floor from European Championships qualifications. She was awarded 14.00 from a 5.5 start value, and topped the rankings. We know that her E score will have been 8.50, so just 1.5 in deductions, so lets see how the D score was put together.

Claudia uses nine elements in the routine, so I have bolded the eight which she has counted.

Full twisting double straight = H 0.8
Tucked double Arabian = E 0.5
Change to W = A 0.1
Split leap full = C 0.3
Jump full turn = B 0.2
Change half = 0.3 C
Double Straight = F 0.6
Split leap one and a half = D 0.4
Double Pike = D 0.4

So we have

1xH = 0.7
1xF = 0.6
1xE = 0.5
3xD = 1.2
2xC = 0.6
1xB = 0.2

Total 3.5

Does Claudia fulfil the Composition Requirements? Absolutely. The Change to W to split leapfull to jump full turn passage starts with two connected leaps, she has two of her tumbling requirements in her first tumble, with the full twisting double straight giving her both long and broad axis turns. She then used the double Arabian for the forward tumbling requirement. All 2.0 points awarded.

No connection value in this particular routine, so

Skills 3.5
Composition Requirements 2.0

5.5 Total

This routine is Ellie Downie in the AA final at European Championships, she was also awarded a 5.5 D score, for Ellie a 8.333 E score, so 13.833 total.

Ellie only uses eight skills in her routine, so counts them all.

Split jump full = C 0.3
Double twisting double back = H 0.8
One and a half twist = C 0.3
Double Arabian = E 0.5
Change leap = B 0.2
Split leap one and a half = D 0.4
Double pike = D 0.4
Change leap full = D 0.4

So we have

1xH = 0.8
1xE = 0.5
3xD = 1.2
2xC = 0.6
1xB = 0.2

Total 3.3

Ellie also has all of her Composition Requirements in place, she has the dance passage with her change leap though to split leap one and a half, her opening double double tumble covers the long and broad axis requirements, and she also used the Double Arabian for her forward tumbling requirement. 2.00 awarded.

Ellie also has a indirect connection bonus in this routine, her second tumble of one and a half twist through to double Arabian gives her C+E indirect for 0.2

On floor so far this year, we have seen 13.00 as a reasonably strong score, enough to make the top ten in Europe. To make the top ten in the world, you are looking at a 13.900 to a 14.25 as things stand.

Trouble Shooting

So lets say you have watched a routine, seen the D score, and decided to have a go at calculating it yourself, only you go through all the steps, and come out with something different. Having checked, and checked again that you got the skills and their values right, what has gone wrong?

The answer here is that the gymnast either hasn’t been awarded a skill because the judges feel that she didn’t complete it well enough, so she has to count a different skill in her routine instead, or the skill has been devalued to a lower level different skill, or lowered one level difficulty. This is where you will need to do a little detective work going over things again.  When this happens there can also be an effect on composition, and connection, so it can greatly alter the score. The key here is to look at what the D score is, have a look at the routine again, carefully look at the skills, and see which one, or ones may not have quite been performed to the standard required.

On vault, this isn’t too common, but it can happen. The gymnast will put up the number of the vault they intend to compete, the judges will judge what they see. For twisting vaults, if the vault isn’t rotated fully, the vault will be downgraded. Example, an Amanar attempt without clearly getting fully round will be judged as a double twisting Yurchenko instead. In these cases the clue is in the D score awarded.

On bars, there are several elements that will be devalued one difficulty level if not completed to required standard:

Cast to handstand if more than 10° short of handstand
Circle elements to handstand and flight elements from high to low bar if more than 10° short of handstand
Swinging elements with turns that do not reach handstand, do not pass through vertical, or do not continue movement after the turn in opposite direction.

Lets have a look at this in practice, remember Georgia’s routine above from the British AA, she had a 5.8 D score. Here, she seems to do exactly the same routine, but is awarded 5.5 D, losing 0.3.

Look carefully at the shoot half from high to low bar, just not quite landing in handstand, the D skill is devalued to a C skill.  That accounts for 0.1 off as she still counts this skill, however, Georgia also then loses her bonus on this skill, what was an E+D Ricna shoot half for 0.2 connection value now becomes E+C, no connection value. The tiniest error can make a big difference.

On beam, there are numerous things that can affect the D score, firstly we’ll look at Taeja’s routine again, same routine, that if fully credited would have received a 5.8, however for this particular routine she received a 5.6. The key here is the bonus. The change to change half C+D connection you can see she wasn’t quite smooth enough on here, so wasn’t awarded the 0.1.  The roundoff straight is fully connected, but to receive bonus, skills must be successfully completed, so the 0.1 bonus couldn’t be given this time.

 

What was vital here was that Taeja got her feet on, meaning she could count the skill still, and this is something to also look out for. Had she really been off line and missed completely, there would have been no acro series, and as this is her only one, she would have been down 0.5 for missing a composition requirement. Add to that, she would have had no backward acro skill counting, as although she uses the flick to chest stand mount, acro skills must be on the beam to count for composition requirement.
This happened to Georgina Hockenhull at the European Games, she had a nasty fall at the beginning of her routine on her free cartwheel layout, recovered incredibly well to perform everything else beautifully. A a very classy beam worker Georgina minimises her execution deductions, so the score came out much lower that you would have expected for what looked like a routine with only one real error. The issue was of course the D score, it dropped from a 5.7 to a 4.3 with Georgina losing the connection bonus, and on top of that 0.5 off for the resulting missing acro requirement, and for the missing backward acro. Adding the point off for the fall, 2.2 marks off for an error on one skill.
Yes, the code can be brutal.

So if your predicted score is way out, has there been a fall, and what sort of fall was it in terms of affecting counting skills, connection, composition?

Repeated elements can also come into play. Here we have beautiful beam worker Gabby Jupp. She does a great routine here, just a small pause after her flick, then did the flick layout again. She can use the flick again for series bonus, which was what she actually planned here, the flick flick layout,  but she cannot use it again for composition, so that pause meant the repeated flick couldn’t count for her acro series, and it being the only one she used, automatically 0.5 off.

The other issue on beam, is getting credit for skills. Again skills have to be completed to the required standard to be fully credited. If you are struggling to match your score to that of the judges, look at whether the right positions have been hit on everything. One of the hardest skills to receive credit for is the straight back somi that Teaja uses, the gymnast has to maintain the stretched position throughout to gain the E credit needed otherwise she will be downgraded, which will affect both her counting skills total, and her eligibility for bonus.

Leaps, jumps, and spins are particularly susceptible to not receiving credit, recognised as a different skill, or devalued. Leaps must hit the correct position, turning jumps and spins must be fully rotated. Failure to do so can again affect the value of counting skills, and consequently affect bonus. The change to ring leap is probably the most frequently devalued skill on beam, failure to arch the back or release the head means counting it as a change leap only, composition is key here, as if you have already used a change leap, it has been counted, and the change ring attempt will not just be downgraded from E to C, but then count for nothing.
For spins on beam, difficulty value is in 180° increments, both for reward and devaluation, Twisting skills and dismounts in particular must also be fully rotated, a short twist can be devalued to half a twist less, under rotated triples will become two and a half twists, and therefore also lose bonus.

The code is very clear on what is and is not acceptable, see images below for details.

For floor, like beam it is a question of accuracy on skills. Twisting elements can also be devalued, the exception being skills that are immediately linked to another skill. We have seen some very short three and a half twists or rather three and a quarter linked to punch front somersaults, as if the gymnast can get the front round, the under rotated twist is not devalued.
More commonly what we see on floor is leaps, jumps, and spins either not counted, recognised as a different element, or devalued. Again see images below. On floor spins are recognised in 360° increments, you’re either a whole rotation round, or you’re not.

Here we have Ellie Downie’s superb routine from European’s apparatus finals, her highest scoring routine of the year at time of posting, but remember her AA 5.5 D score? Here she was awarded a 5.4. What was the difference here? An under rotated leap downgraded, and the 14.066 she took the silver with, would have been 14.166 and enough for gold had she got it that little bit further round. I’m sure Ellie was able to deal with this one without too much trouble, she was AA European Champion after all!

These are the technical directives in detail for body position, twists, leaps, jumps and spins on beam and floor, as you can see, very clearly set out in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable.

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 00.48.14Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 00.48.28Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 00.48.44Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 00.49.01

 

So there you have it, hopefully an insight, and a little help in working out what has gone in to making up those scores you see flashed up. If you decided to have a go yourself, have gone over the guide, and are still struggling to see why things aren’t adding up, feel free to leave a comment, and I will hopefully be able to resolve it for you!

2 thoughts on “Understanding The Code: How To Breakdown Scores.

  1. I saw on twitter that a super long post was coming! I am waiting to have a few hours free to read this properly but I have skimmed it and it looks very helpful. I read all your posts but hardly ever comment, so I just wanted to let you know that you do have people who read and appreciate your content.

    Liked by 1 person

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