It’s the start of collegiate gymnastics season, and we are so fortunate to have our sport broadcast on many different TV networks! Of course, part of the fun of watching is trying to figure out the scores. That brings up the question, how does scoring work in college gymnastics?

General NCAA Scoring Information

NCAA competitions are based off of USAG Level 10 rules, with some modifications.

On bars, beam, and floor, a routine that fulfills all of the Value Part requirements and Special Requirements will start from a 9.4. Bonus (both connection value and D/E bonus) can be used to bring the Start Value up to 10.0. At least 0.10 must come from Connective Value and 0.10 must come from D/E bonus. The remaining 0.40 can come from either category.

Each event has their own list of Special Requirements. These Special Requirements are worth 0.20 for NCAA competition, which differs from 0.50 in Level 10 competition.

Value Part Requirements are the SAME as Level 10: 2C, 3B, 3A.

Each event has specific criteria that must be met to avoid an Up To the Level (UTL) deduction of 0.10. Judges will flash the orange UTL sign if this deduction is taken.

If you’re interested in reading the entire NCAA rules document, it can be found on the NAWGJ website.

NCAA Vault Scoring

Rules Unique to NCAA vault

In collegiate gymnastics, gymnasts perform only one vault. This means that if they fall, there is no second chance!

The vault chart is different from Level 10. There are no bonus vaults.

A Yurchenko-layout full is the most common vault you will see. This vault was devalued to 9.95 several years ago, to encourage gymnasts to perform more difficult vaults. Every 0.05 counts in college gymnastics, so it can make a difference in the team score!

New this year, there will be lines on the mat to help judges to determine if a directional error has been made.

Common Deductions on Vault

Here are some common execution deductions on vault. Watch for these during the vault rotations!

  • Landing errors (steps, hops, balance errors, posture)
  • Directional errors
  • Insufficient height
  • Insufficient distance
  • Leg separations
  • Bent knees
  • Bent arms on the table
  • Insufficient dynamics of the vault

NCAA Bars Scoring

Special Requirements

A NCAA bar routine has four Special Requirements, each worth 0.20. These are as follows:

  • Minimum of 2 bar changes
  • Two flight elements (minimum of 2 C’s OR a D and a B) – not including dismount
  • One element with LA turn (minimum C) – not including mount or dismount
  • C dismount (Modification: C dismount immediately preceded by same 2 A or B elements = 0.10 deduction from SV)

Those requirements are the basic necessities, but to really get a great bars score, gymnasts also need to meet the compositional requirements.

Composition

There is a flat 0.10 deduction if the skills in the routine are deemed not “Up To the Level” (UTL). To avoid this deduction, gymnasts must perform the following:

1.Element(s) as noted below:

  • Single bar release – minimum D OR
  • E release element OR
  • Minimum of 2 D releases OR
  • Minimum of 2 E elements (not including dismounts)

2. Minimum of D dismount OR C dismount with Connection Value

Common Deductions on Bars

Here are some common execution deductions on bars. Look for these while you’re watching the routines!

  • Leg separations
  • Bent legs
  • Bent arms
  • Short handstands (should be within 10° of handstand for no deduction)
  • Late turn completion (most turns should be completed within 20° of handstand)
  • Insufficient amplitude of release moves and dismounts
  • Landing errors (steps, balance errors, chest down)

NCAA Beam Scoring

Special Requirements

There are five Special Requirements on beam:

  • Acro series x2 flight w/1 skill min. C, OR A+E series (may not be connected to the dismount)
  • Dance/Dance OR Dance/Acro series (min. 2 elements with dance element min. C, may not be connected to dismount)
  • Leap or jump with 180° split
  • Minimum 1/1 turn
  • Minimum C dismount

Note: It is no longer acceptable in collegiate gymnastics to perform a C/D acro or dance skill into a B dismount. This means that the days of aerial-full dismounts are gone, and the gymnasts need to step up their dismount game this year.

Once again, the Special Requirements are the basics, but the top scores will go to gymnasts who also meet the compositional requirements and perform them exceptionally well.

Composition

Gymnasts must perform both a backward acro element and a forward/sideward acro element = 0.10 deduction if either are missing.

The gymnast will receive a 0.10 UTL deduction if the following criteria are not met:

  • If the flight series does NOT have Connection Value, an additional D/E acro skill is required. D/E acro element directly connected to the dismount will NOT fulfill this requirement.

It is also noted that if the acro series does not receive Connection Value because of a fall, the UTL deduction is not taken.

Skill Values Different from Level 10

On beam, there are many skills with different values than in Level 10. Here are some common skills, along with their value in the NCAA program:

  • Straddle jump ¼ (C)
  • Ring jump (D)
  • Layout stepout (D)
  • Back layout salto, pike down with legs together (D)
  • Double full dismount (D)
  • Rudi dismount off two feet (D)

Connection Value Exceptions

There are also Connection Value exceptions on beam, as follows:

  • B+C salto = NO bonus
  • B+D acro (BHS + Layout pike down to 2 feet = +0.10 CV (not +0.20)
  • Layout stepout and Aerial walkover receive D bonus but are considered as C’s when awarding Connection Value in a BHS series ONLY.
  • Connection of 3 acro flight skills, including at least 1 C, will receive an additional +0.10 bonus
  • B acro + C dismount = +0.10 CV
  • C dance + C dismount = +0.10 CV

Common Deductions on Beam

Here are some common execution deductions to watch for on beam:

  • Balance errors
  • Insufficient amplitude of leaps, jumps, dismounts, or acro flight skills
  • Bent legs
  • Bent arms
  • Leg separations
  • Insufficient split (180° is expected)
  • Landing errors (steps, balance errors, chest down)

If a balance error occurs in the middle of a series, the connection is considered broken. This can result in a lower Start Value, and a lower score.

NCAA Floor Scoring

Special Requirements

There are four Special Requirements on floor:

  • One acro pass with 2 saltos. Acro pass is now defined as a pass with at least 1 skill, including a C salto. This means that front layout-front layout or front layout-front layout ½ will NOT count for this requirement.
  • 3 different saltos within the routine
  • Minimum C salto within the last acro pass
  • Dance passage which includes 2 different leaps, jumps, or hops, and includes at least 1 leap with 180° split

Composition

Lack of dance bonus = 0.10 deduction (can be Connection Value or D/E)

Gymnasts must perform both a backward salto and a forward/sideward salto = 0.10 deduction if either are missing.

Floor also has the Up To the Level (UTL) deduction. To avoid this deduction, the routine must include:

  • One E element OR 2 different D elements (one must be acro)
  • An acro dismount minimum D, or C in bonus combination
  • If a 2-pass routine, it must include a minimum of a D in one pass and D or +0.20 CV in the second pass.

Skills with Different Values from Level 10

There are only a few skills on floor which have values different from Level 10. They are:

  • Front pike = A
  • Ring jump 1/1 = D
  • Switch side ½ = D

This means that gymnasts performing a front pike in connection will get less bonus than they would in Level 10.

Example: Front-full, front pike = C+A +0.10 in NCAA (would be +0.20 for C+B in Level 10)

The additional D dance skills give gymnasts more opportunities to get bonus from dance, and gives us more variety that we might see while we’re watching!

Connection Value Exceptions

Turn + jump IS allowed to receive bonus in NCAA competition. Example: double turn + Popa = C+C bonus if performed well. However – it is extremely difficult to perform this combination without shifting a foot in the middle and breaking the connection. So even though it is allowed, it still isn’t commonly seen.

B+B bonus must be 2 different elements to receive the +0.10 bonus. (Example: front layout-front layout ½)

C+C Acro direct connection = +0.30 bonus (Example: 1 ½ twist, front full)

Common Deductions on Floor

Here are some common execution deductions to watch for on floor:

  • Landing errors (steps, balance errors)
  • Posture on landing
  • Insufficient amplitude of leaps, jumps, or acro skills
  • Bent legs or arms
  • Leg separations
  • Insufficient split (180° is expected)
  • Failure to hold ending pose one second

Further Reading

2022-26 Optional Gymnastics Requirements

Optional Gymnastics Home Page

Compulsory Gymnastics Home Page

Xcel Gymnastics Home Page

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