With the 2021 summer of sport in full swing, we are all watching events we might usually think little about.

The Olympics gymnastics always attracts lots of viewers to watch as the athletes spin and somersault their way to gold medals.

The strength and finesse of the athletes is astounding, and the untrained eye will often miss mistakes which could cost the gymnasts medals.

But who exactly decides who wins and loses, and how does the scoring system work?

Here’s everything you need to know about how Olympic gymnasts are scored...

How does the Olympic gymnastic scoring system work?

Gymnasts receive two separate scores from two different panels of judges for their routine.

Firstly, there is the D score, in which two judges mark the difficulty of the routine.

D scores tend to range from 5s to mid 6s, and although it is not unheard of to achieve a difficulty score of 7, it is highly unlikely.

Different moves are assigned to certain levels of difficulty and are awarded points accordingly.

Then comes the E score, which stands for execution and is judged by a panel of five.

Athletes begin with a score of 10.0, and marks are deducted for flaws in form, for example, bents legs or lack of pointed toes, and for execution, for example a dodgy dismount or landing.

The two scores are then combined to make a total score.

What days are the gymnastics taking place at the Olympics?

The artistic gymnastics will begin with qualifiers on July 24 and 25.

Finals will then be held across seven days:

  • Men’s Team Final: Monday July 26
  • Women’s Team Final: Tuesday July 27
  • Men’s All-Around Final: Wednesday July 28
  • Women’s All-Around Final: Thursday July 29
  • Men’s Floor Exercise Final: Sunday August 1
  • Women’s Vault Final: Sunday August 1
  • Men’s Pommel Horse Final: Sunday August 1
  • Women’s Uneven Bar Final: Sunday August 1
  • Men’s Rings Final: Monday August 2
  • Women’s Floor Exercise Final: Monday August 2
  • Men’s Vault Final: Monday August 2
  • Men’s Parallel Bar Final: Tuesday August 3
  • Women’s Balance Beam Final: Tuesday August 3
  • Men’s Horizontal Bar Final: Tuesday August 3

Meanwhile the rhythmic gymnastics takes much less time, covering three days right at the end of the Olympics. 

  • Individual All-Around Qualification: Friday August 6
  • Group All-Around Qualification: Saturday August 7
  • Individual All-Around Final: Saturday August 7
  • Group All-Around Final: Sunday August 8