Virginia Men's Gymnastics
So when does 12.7 = 10.0?  In men's gymnastics of course.  Gone are the days of the perfect 10.0.  Now you'll hear things like base score, virtuosity, and the stick-it bonus.  Here's how it works:
  • Every gymnast in compulsory levels 4-6 competes the same routines with the same skills.
  • They start with a base score of 10.0 for the basic routine.
  • Next comes the Specified Bonus.  Each routine has 2 to 3 bonus skills that can be added to the routine.  Each bonus is worth 0.5 point.  
  • Some bonus skills are "additive".  For example the level 4 base tumbling element is a round-off rebound.  The 0.5 bonus adds a back handspring after the round-off.
  • Other bonuses are "replacement".  For example, a press to headstand is a basic skill in the level 4 floor exercise.  For a 0.5 bonus, the gymnast can opt to replace the press to headstand with a press to handstand.  This is where strategy can come into play because with replacement bonuses, if the gymnast misses the handstand, not only does he not get the bonus, he also gets a deduction for failing to complete a required element, the headstand.    
  • Next comes the Virtuosity bonus.  This is the difference between an A paper in school and an A+ paper.  There are 0.5 points available for virtuosity in 0.1 increments.  0.3 are specified for certain skills and the other 0.2 is at the judges discretion, to reward a gymnast for demonstrating "a special impression of artistic excellence that may set him apart from other athletes."
  • Finally there is the self-explanatory Stick It bonus.  Stick the dismount, get the bonus.  
  • The chart below gives the maximum value of each routine by level as well as the minimum ages required to compete that level.
Compulsory Scoring
Routine start values are composed of two pieces, the "E" Score (Execution/Presentation), and the "D" Score (Difficulty).
  • The "E" Score or Execution start value is 10.0 for all gymnasts.  
  • To that is added the "D" or Difficulty score, which is a combination of the Element Group score, the values of the individual skills performed and the 0.2 Stick It bonus. 
  • There is also an Execution bonus that can come into play for a very clean routine.  If total execution deductions are less than 0.9, the gymnast is awarded with a 0.2 bonus.  For execution deductions between 0.9 and 1.2, the gymnast is awarded a 0.1 bonus.     
  • The chart below breaks out the score components.
Optionals Scoring
Start Value
Once a gymnast reaches Level 8, mandatory routines and skills are gone.  Also gone are the preset routine start values.  Now he enters the realm of A, B, C, D skill values and element groups.  Welcome to the world of Optionals.  Here's how it works:
  • Each event (minus vault) contains five element groups (one of which is the dismount).  An element group contains similar skills.  For example, on floor, one element group contains front tumbling skills and another element group includes back tumbling skills.  
  • A gymnast must perform skills from each element group.  Level 8's only have to perform elements from 3 of the 5 element groups. Each element group successfully executed in a routine receives 0.5 points, up to a maximum of 1.5 for level 8s, and 2.5 for Levels 9-10. 
  • Individual skills within each element group are rated on a scale from A to G, with A skills worth 0.1 points, B worth 0.2, C worth 0.3, etc.
  • Levels 8-9 are scored on a maximum of 8 skills per event, Level 10s on 10 skills.

Age Group Competition Program Table - Compulsory Levels
All Events Except Vault