Artistic Gymnastics World Championships

Rules & mode


The competition is 5:4:3, which means that the team is made up of five gymnasts, four are going to the apparatus and the best three form the result. The mode in the team final has been changed to 5:3:3 to increase excitement – without a strike mark. It’s not a detail for the line-up, it’s a significant difference depending on the gymnasts available.


The final score is composed of the D-score (difficulty) and the E-score (execution).

The D-score is determined by two judges, the E-score by five. The E- mark is a maximum of 10.0 points, with deductions taken such as: 1.0 points for a fall; 0.5 for a big mistake in posture or technique; 0.3 for medium mistakes, and 0.1 for small mistakes (for example, one foot landing outside the floor area). The D-score has no upper limit – the nine most difficult elements of an exercise plus the dismount are added together. Elements are rated for their difficulty, starting with A for the simple moves, which earn 0.1 points, while the most difficult element, currently an I, is valued at 0.9 points. For vault, the D-score is shown in advance. If two athletes receive the same final score, the higher E-score decides the winner. The coaches can only protest against the D-score of their own gymnast. If the protest is not granted, a fee of $300 is due for the first time, and $500 for each subsequent protest.

For the men there are 0.5 points for each of the three gymnastic structural groups, also a C-dismount or higher adds half a point to the D-score. Thus, a maximum of 2.0 points can be achieved by element groups. Connections between elements on the floor and horizontal bar give additional tenths in the D-ranking. For example, if a C-element is followed by a D-element or higher, there is an additional tenth in the D-score, and if a D-element is followed by a D-element or higher, an additional two tenths are added.

It’s the same for women: There are four composition groups on each apparatus. A group can be fulfilled when the gymnast performs an included skill of this group. Each fulfilled group adds 0.5 points in the D-score. Additionally, the D-score can be increased by performing connections between certain elements. On beam and on floor, the gym-nast must add dancing and artistic elements, otherwise they will get a deduction in their E-score.

Video Analysis

Meanwhile there is also video analysis in gymnastics. However, this is only used if a protest is submitted. In addition, the judges can watch the exercise again via video when the two D judges come to a different score than the supervisor, who additionally and independently determines the D-score on each apparatus. The Japanese technology company Fujitsu System is currently testing a video control system with elaborate 3D recordings, but this system will not be used at these World Championships. The evaluation will still be made exclusively by the judges. However, if the tests are positive, there could also be automated judging in the future.

Maximum Difficulties

The most difficult elements currently per-formed in gymnastics are rated as I. The only I-element for men is performed by Hidetaka Miyachi of Japan – it is a double layout somersault with a double twist on horizontal bar. Germany’s Andreas Bretschneider already competed this move in the tucked position, which is named after him. Unlike Miyachi, however, he never succeeded in the layout version in an official FIG competition, which is why that version of the element is named after the Japanese.

For the women, Simone Biles could set a new standard of difficulty on floor. At the US Championships in August this year, she showed a double somersault with three twists. If she does it successfully in front of the FIG, it will be the first I-element in women gymnastics.

Apparatus Explanation Video

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