Okay, so you are watching your first gymnastics meet in a while and the first guy up does a nice job, but nothing spectacular. The score comes up 12.95.
WHAT? You were used to scores in the 9's being good, and the closer you got to 10, WOW!
But this is different. That is because the NCAA has adopted the new international scoring system used in the Olympics, and you are getting a preview of what to expect in Beijing this summer.
Actually, the 10 is still there, but now that is in addition to the difficulty of the routine and the required elements that a gymnast must perform.
Theoretically, a gymnast could score up to 18.5 or so, if he did 1- of the most difficult skills perfectly, but realistically top world class performers are starting from between 16 and 17. From there the penalties are taken for any mistakes that a gymnast may make.
The following should help explain how routines will now be judged at NCAA men's competitions.
Lets start with the skills and their value; "A" = 0.1, "B" = 0.2, "C" = 0.3, "D" = 0.4, "E" = 0.5 and "F" = 0.6. The difficulty of a routine is determined by adding the 9 best skills plus the dismount. So if a gymnast performs 2 A's (0.2), 3 B's (0.6), 3 C's (0.9) and 2 D's (0.8) his routine difficulty would add up to 2.5. Next, the judge looks for the 5 event Element Groups / Worth 0.5 each = 2.5. These are required elements that must be performed in a routine. They include the following:
Floor Exercise (FX): 1) Non Acrobatic Elements 2) Acrobatic forward 3) Acrobatic backward 4) Sideward acrobatic elements 5) Dismount
Pommel Horse (PH): 1) Single leg work 2) Circles, spindles, handstands 3) Side & cross travels 4) Kehres & wendeswings 5) Dismount
Still Rings (SR): 1) Kip & swing elements 2) Swing to handstand 3) Swing to strength 4) Strength & Hold elements 5) Dismount
Parallel Bars (PB): 1) Support on rails 2) Upper arm on rails 3) Long hang swing 4) Swing through hang on both rails 5) Dismount
Horizontal Bar (HB): 1) Long hang swings 2) Flight elements 3) In bar elements 4) El-grip 5) Dismount
Therefore, 2.5 (added skills value) + 2.5 (5 element groups) + 10 = 15.00 (start value score)
From this start value score deduct any technical errors, form breaks (small error 0.1, medium 0.3, large 0.5, fall 0.8) = Final score
START SCORE & FINAL SCORE
Two different flashing systems must be used to flash both the Start Value and the routine's Final Score independently. The final Scores may be posted as 14.2, 15.5 or 16.1 and will be labeled Final Score on the score flasher.
So be sure to catch the Start Value and you can compare performances from there.