There are 14 medal events in Olympic gymnastics: men’s team event, women’s team event, men’s all-around, women’s all-around, and 10 event finals (six for men, four for women).
Women compete on four apparatus:
1) Vault 3) Balance Beam
2) Uneven Bars 4) Floor Exercise
Men compete on six apparatus:
1) Floor Exercise 4) Vault
2) Pommel Horse 5) Parallel Bars
3) Rings 6) High Bar
All routines are scored by two judging panels. One panel of judges starts from zero, adding points for requirements, difficulty and connections; the final value is the gymnast's difficulty score, often called a "D-score" or "start value." A second panel of judges starts from 10.0, and deducts points for imperfections in execution and artistry; the final value is the gymnast's execution score, or "E-score." The final score for each routine is the sum of the difficulty score and the execution score, with a typical score under today's rules ranging from 13 to 16 points. See "The Scoring System" for a more detailed explanation.
|PHASES OF COMPETITION|
|Competition IV||Team Finals|
|Competition II||All-Around Finals|
|Competition III||Event Finals|
|Pommel Horse||Uneven Bars|
Twelve men’s teams and 12 women’s teams (with a maximum of four athletes per team) compete in the Olympic artistic gymnastics competition. In addition, 100 individual competitors (50 men and 50 women) may compete. That is a maximum of 98 men and 98 women for a total of 196 athletes.
There are four phases of Olympic gymnastics competition:
Every gymnast, whether competing for a team or as an individual, competes in the qualification round. Men and women have qualification on separate days – one day each. Gymnasts are divided into groups by random draw – gymnasts competing individually are drawn into “mixed groups” of five or six, with gymnasts from the same country staying together (for instance, if Cuba sends two individual gymnasts, they might be drawn together into a group with three individual gymnasts from Greece). “Mixed groups” are randomly put into subdivisions, or larger groups, with team gymnasts. A subdivision, therefore, might consist of the U.S. team, the French team, and two mixed groups. NOCs that have individual competitors as well as a team at the Olympics, like the U.S. women, will have all their gymnasts together in a group; the gymnasts who are not part of the four-woman team will wear a different leotard to distinguish themselves as individuals. During each subdivision’s time slot, the smaller groups within that subdivision will rotate from one apparatus to another until they have completed them all (the groups are not mixed up – in the example above, the U.S. team would start on one apparatus and stay together, as would the French team and each of the mixed groups). Within each team, the working order of the gymnasts competing on each apparatus is decided by the team leader.
This round serves as the qualifier for the team final, all-around final, and the event finals. A team consists of four athletes, in a change since the Rio Games, where teams were composed of five athletes. In qualifying, up to all four athletes can compete on each event, with the top three scores counting (this format is often verbally said as "four up, three count"). An athlete attempting to qualify for the all-around final has to perform on all four events (for women) or six events (for men) in order to get a cumulative all-around score. Otherwise, they will only be in contention to make individual event finals and/or team finals if they are competing as part of a team.
The men will be divided into three subdivisions (a subdivision is one set of groups) and the women will be divided into five subdivisions for qualification. For each gender, the 12 teams and mixed groups of individuals will be divided evenly amongst the sessions. All four or six apparatus are in use at once, and there are no “byes.” So a team (or a group of individuals) proceeds in Olympic order from event to event with no bye rotations. The event on which a team starts is determined by random draw, as is the composition of the sessions. Olympic order is as follows:
Men: Floor exercise, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, high bar
Women: Vault, uneven bars, balance beam, floor
Gymnasts do one routine per apparatus, with an exception on vault – if a gymnast wants to make the individual event final on vault, they must do two different vaults, the scores of which are averaged, to be in contention. In this case, only the score of the first vault will count toward their qualifying for the team and/or all-around finals.
In all, a team’s final qualifying score in the men’s team competition is made up of 18 scores — the top three scores from six different apparatus. The women’s team competition is made up of 12 scores — the best three scores from the four different apparatus. Individual all-around scores are the cumulative scores from one athlete on all four or six apparatus.
Scores from qualification (which do not carry over to the finals) determine the following outcomes for both genders:
1.The top eight teams qualify for team finals.
2.Top 24 individual gymnasts qualify for the all-around finals, with a maximum of two gymnasts per NOC.
3.The top eight individual gymnasts on each apparatus qualify for the respective event finals, with a maximum of two gymnasts per NOC per event.
4.Final individual all-around placings 25th and lower will be determined.
5.Final team placings 9th-12th will be determined.
Team finals take place after qualification and before the all-around and event finals. The top eight teams from qualification advance to the team final, and all eight compete in one session.
Scores start again from zero. In the team final, only three athletes can compete on a given event for each team and all three scores count toward the team final ("three up, three count"). Thus, the final team score will be the total of all 12 routines for women and all 18 routines for men.
This format (only three athletes per event with no scores dropped), which first appeared in Olympic competition at the 2004 Games, means that a country with several talented gymnasts is unable to exploit its superior depth as compared with other nations with less depth (though the magnitude of this is reduced now that teams consist of four gymnasts instead of five). In other words, the team final will only compare the strength of each nation’s top three gymnasts on each event, and having an additional gymnast who is strong on a given event, as compared to another country, will be of no advantage.
Also, the fact that no scores may be dropped allows for some surprise results, because an athlete from a favored nation may have a fall and move his or her team down in the rankings, while a lesser regarded nation could potentially contend for a medal by hitting all 12 (women) or 18 (men) of its routines cleanly. In past Olympics before this format, a blown routine was less significant for a team’s result, because most likely that routine’s score would be dropped. And in the past, even if a team counted a missed routine in its final total, there were more total routines that counted toward the final team score, so the impact of that fall would be diluted. Under the current system, a fall is more damaging to a team’s medal chances.
During the men’s team final, each team goes from event to event in Olympic order (floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, high bar for men). The teams that ranked first and second in qualifying start on floor, third and fourth start on pommel horse, fifth and sixth start on rings, and seventh and eighth start on vault. So the top teams will finish (and medals will be solidified) on high bar.
During the women’s team finals, each team goes from event to event in Olympic order (vault, bars, beam, floor). The teams that ranked first and second in qualifying start on vault, third and fourth start on uneven bars, fifth and sixth start on balance beam, and seventh and eighth start on floor. So the top teams will finish (and medals will be solidified) on floor.
Each performing athlete is allowed only one routine per apparatus, including on vault.
The highest cumulative team score wins. The team final determines the top eight placements in the men’s and women’s team events including the gold, silver, and bronze medals.
Individual All-Around Finals
The 24 gymnasts with the best cumulative individual scores from qualifying advance to the individual all-around final. No more than two gymnasts from any one country may advance to the individual all-around final. As a result, some gymnasts whose scores are not among the 24 best from qualifying may advance to the all-around final, and some who are among the 24 best from qualifying may not advance to the final. (It is common for strong programs, like the U.S. women, to have multiple gymnasts in the top 24 who don't make the final because of the two-per-country rule).
Scores from qualifying are not carried over, and each of the 24 participants in the individual all-around final will begin the all-around final at zero. In the individual all-around final, each gymnast does one routine on each of the apparatus, including on vault. The scores from each exercise are added together, and the gymnast with the highest total is crowned the individual all-around champion.
In the women’s all-around, the 24 qualified athletes are divided into four groups of six. The top six gymnasts from qualifying will begin on vault, qualifiers seven through 12 will begin on uneven bars, qualifiers 13 through 18 will begin on the balance beam, and qualifiers 19 through 24 will begin on floor exercise.
In the men’s all-around, the 24 qualified athletes are divided into four groups of six. The top six qualifiers will begin on floor exercise, qualifiers seven through 12 will begin on pommel horse, qualifiers 13 through 18 will begin on still rings, and qualifiers 19 through 24 will begin on vault.
After each rotation, the athletes move to the next event according to Olympic order so that in the fourth and final rotation, the top six qualifiers are competing on floor in the women's event and high bar in the men's event (and the number one qualifier is competing last of those six).
The final phase of Olympic gymnastics competition consists of event finals, also called apparatus finals. The top eight scorers on each apparatus from qualifying — with a limit of two per nation — advance to the respective apparatus finals.
The starting order for each apparatus will be decided by random draw. As is the case in the individual all-around final, gymnasts have “new life” in the apparatus finals — no scores are carried over from qualifying or other finals in which they may have competed.
Each gymnast will perform one exercise on the apparatus for which he or she has qualified. In the men’s and women’s vault finals, however, two different vaults from two different vault groups (or families) must be performed. The scores of the two vaults are averaged to arrive at a final apparatus score.
There are nine judges assigned per apparatus at the Olympic Games. Each group of nine is called an Apparatus Jury. Judges are appointed and approved by the FIG. The chosen judges are separated into three panels:
1) The R-panel, or the reference panel, which serves as a check on other judges’ scores (two judges)
2) The D-panel, which calculates the Difficulty Score (two judges)
3) The E-panel, which judges the Execution Score (five judges)