Scoring in Gymnastics


So I’m reading about the new Olympics Gymnastics scoring in Slate. It’s a compelling argument for making a scoring system which has no upper limit, rather than having some weird idea of perfection in what is ultimately a creative game. There is a “B” score which starts at 10 and goes down every time you make a mistake. Then there is an “A” score.

The “A” score measures the difficulty of the routine. A relatively easy move like a one-handed cartwheel on the balance beam adds 0.1 to your A score, while bringing off the astonishing Arabian double front layout rakes in 0.7. (And no, you can’t inflate your score by doing 10 cartwheels in a row; only the 10 most difficult elements are counted, and repeated elements don’t count at all.) Performing two or more elements in close succession tacks on “connection value” of up to 0.2 points per transition. The way to max out your A score, then, is to cram the toughest possible moves into your routine and pack them as tightly together as you can manage.

Guys, they have CHAINS and COMBOS in gymnastics now!