Coverage Roundup of Bruno Grandi’s Letter on Gymnastics Scoring

Blythe Lawrence of has published a report of a letter written by Bruno Grandi, the president of the F.I.G. and a history and analysis of international scoring in the sport of gymnastics. The report is also now available on the F.I.G.’s site at Oh, that Code!

The well timed gymnastics Code of Points report card article written by Rick McCharles of in February makes many interesting points on the current international gymnastics scoring system.  His report card shows specific results of the open-ended code and he gives specific recommendations as potential changes to the code to improve scoring, especially for men’s gymnastics.

It is my hope that the many reputable source reporting on this letter can make everyone acknowledge that a significant discussion of gymnastics scoring is far overdue.

Issues We See Raised By Bruno Grandi’s Letter

  • Three of the components of gymnastics scoring are difficulty, combination and execution
  • The code needs to be simplified
  • Judging scandals
  • Judges are unable to evaluate routines because of over-complicated scoring system and rules
  • Current code asks too much of gymnasts
  • The current code will be reviewed and changed after the 2012 London Olympics
  • Possibilities for video replay system, like the IRCOS (Instant Replay and Control System)
  • Use of Fairbrother system to check for judging bias

Issues Raised By Blythe Lawrence (in article of

  • Overuse of skills in one group
  • Choppy beam routines
  • Choreography minimal to abandoned
  • Ugly leaps and jumps because of difficulty rating
  • Inability of current F.I.G. leaders and committees to rectify situation

Two Articles by Andy Thorton

Andy Thorton of has written two articles about this important topic. The first article is about lowering the number of skills counted for difficulty to 7 for both men and women. The second article advocates completely scrapping the current system and for the federation and the judges to stop trying to micro-manage the sport.

Now What…

Two things seem apparent from the above:

  • There is a tremendous need to identify the problems in the international gymnastics scoring and competition system.
  • There is a tremendous need to come up with solutions.

While it would be easy to wait to see what will come of this from the F.I.G. I urge those who wish to see gymnastics move forward to help identify current problems and put forward traditional or innovative solutions as comments to this article or on one of the above forums. As a community, we have the rare chance to improve the sport of gymnastics for years to come!

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