Execution Deduction Symbols Part 1

Developing E Score Accountability

Following the 2020 Olympics Men’s All Around Final, the FIG did something unprecedented. They gave a public statement with a detailed account of the E jury deductions for Hashimoto Daiki’s vault.

This now sets a precedent for E jury judges to be able to account for the deductions they give in a similar manner to how D jury judges can account for their difficulty evaluations. Unfortunately, most E jurors would not be able to give an accurate detailed account of each specific deduction they took for a routine without performing a video review.

E jurors just notate the amount of the deduction they take, with little indication as to why they took it.

Judges have used symbols to notate gymnastics elements since the 1970s. In doing so, they can easily account for the D scores they award and have a record of their D score judgment that can last as long as the paper (or electronic media form) on which it was written. By using element symbols, judges can identify discrepancies in judgments and resolve differences between D jurors. As a result, D jury judgments have become more objective, and judges can become quite proficient in their D jury evaluations. The standardization of element symbols has facilitated communication between judges of different nationalities making gymnastics shorthand its own universal language.

However, there is no widespread use of symbols to aid E juries in a similar way. Currently, nearly all E jurors just notate the amount of the deduction they take, with little indication as to why they took it. Many judges might symbol the element on which they took the deduction, but not the reason for the deduction. As such, they have very little record to look back on to have a precise accountability for the E scores they give.

In an effort to resolve this problem, some judges have begun to develop execution deduction symbols to better account for the E scores they give. This article will look at how those symbol systems function in order to encourage more widespread and universal use of execution deduction symbols.

Benefits of Using Execution Deduction Symbols

Execution deduction symbols are small symbols placed next to the deduction notation to specify why a judge took that deduction.

Deductions with symbols written above a line of element symbols in judging shorthand.

Benefits of using execution deduction symbols:

  • More precision in judging – the judge must consciously think of exactly why they took each deduction.

  • Greater E score accountability – the judge has a detailed written record of their E jury evaluation.

  • Judges can provide meaningful feedback for coaches/gymnasts – the judge has a written record they can share or reference, even after the competition is complete.

  • Aids in communication with other judges – Symbols can be universal, and not language dependent.

How Execution Deduction Symbols have been developed

Execution deduction symbols are based on the same principles as FIG element symbols.

The FIG element symbols are based on 3 different principles.

  1. Symbols that are a simplified drawing of the element

  2. Symbols that follow the action of the element

  3. Symbols that are an abbreviation for the element

1. Element symbols based on simplified drawings of the element look something like these:

L-sit Planche Handstand

The symbols look like a person performing the element. Or in some cases, a decapitated person.

Notice that these symbols are all drawn as if the gymnast is facing toward the right (or had started the element facing towards the right).

2. Symbols which follow the action of the element look like these:

Backward flipping salto Forward flipping salto Twisting elements

Again, the symbol is drawn following the path of the movement as if the gymnast initiated the element facing towards the right.

3. Symbols which are abbreviations of elements are symbols such as these:

S = Stutz D = Diamadov

R = Russian Circles P = (Peach) Basket

The Execution symbols are based off the same principles.

The symbol for bent legs is derived from what the legs would look like if someone was standing facing the right and bent their legs:

= Bent legs symbol

Likewise, the symbol for bent arms is derived from what the arms would look like if someone was performing a handstand and bent their arms:

= Bent arms symbol

Same for legs apart:

= Symbol for legs apart

The symbol for a hip bend is identical to the FIG symbol to notate a piked position:

Some other execution deduction symbols that follow this principle:

= arched position

= crossed legs

Other execution deduction symbols follow the principle of following the action of the element:

= Brush, touch or hitting the apparatus or floor

= Low/deep landing

= Change of direction/lowering of legs

= Empty swings forward or backward

= Hop, step, or step of hands

And of course, other execution deduction symbols are just abbreviations for a key word (in English) describing the deduction:

= Insufficient height, lack of amplitude

= Lack of preparation for landing

= Loss of balance (“Wobble”)

Or some other universally recognized symbol:

= Angular deviations (i.e. from handstand vertical or skewing in circles)

Essentially, nearly all Men’s Artistic Gymnastics deductions can be captured in about 20 symbols.

You can find a handy dandy downloadable cheat sheet of all of these symbols here:

Execution Deduction Judging Symbols
Download PDF • 154KB

Do you use execution deduction symbols? If so, how do they differ from these?

Let us know in the comments section below.

To find out how to get started using Execution Deduction Symbols, read on for Part 2.