What happened to the perfect 10 in gymnastics?
Q. How are Olympic gymnasts scoring in the 15s? Isn't 10 a perfect score?
A. The International Gymnastics Federation changed the scoring system to differentiate the difficulty of gymnasts' routines, says Byron Knox, a former national team athlete and coach.
Under the new scoring system, there are two panels of judges, giving out two separate scores, says Connie Maloney, USA Gymnastics Women's Jr. Olympic Program Director and a judge for international gymnastics competitions.
The "A" score is the level of difficulty; credit is given for the 10 most difficult elements, complex elements performed in close succession and including the elements that are required for each event, she says.
She says that number is open-ended, which means there is no such thing as a perfect score anymore. A 6.5 or higher A score is very good, she says. American gymnast Nastia Liukin's uneven bars routine has a sky-high 7.7 difficulty value.
The "B' score is for the execution. The judges start at 10 and then deduct for errors, she says.
Those two scores are added together. A 16 and over is an excellent score, she says.