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Gymnastics - 31. March 2009.

Gymnastics want to change scoring for London 2012


Gymnastics officials are investigating changing the scoring system again for the London 2012 Olympics because television executives are unhappy with the current format that has eliminated the perfect 10.


Bob Colarossi, the president of the marketing commission of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), is experimenting with a scheme that could make the open-ended scoring system easier to understand.


He hopes to have at least some minor changes in place before the London Games in 2012.


Colarossi said: "I don't think there's any way it goes back to the old system.


"We're looking at what we can do with the results mathematically to make the scores easier for the average person to understand."


One possibility is condensing the current system - which grades execution on a 10-point scale and difficulty on an open-ended scale - into a formula that ends with a maximum of 10 points.


The biggest problem with the new scoring system, which was introduced in 2006, was not only that 16s and 17s replaced 9.6s and 9.7s, but that the scores meant different things on different events.


One of Colarossi's goals is to even out the disparities between events.


Another is to include more ways for fans on television and at the events to know more about what is going on.


For example, posting scores for longer and adding in-arena radio with commentary from former gymnasts.


Broadcasters at the Olympics have met with FIG and talked about the difficulty of explaining the scoring system to viewers, most of whom tune into the sport once every four years.


Colarossi said: "Whenever there's a major change like what we did, it's going to be a little confusing f or a while.


"The object is to make it so people understand things better."

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