Retton’s vault should translate to a score of 15.20 by 2012 scoring standards.
But What Does that Mean?
Back in 1984, the highest score you could receive in artistic men’s and women’s gymnastics was a 10.0, which is if you perfectly completed a routine or vault that achieved some arbitrary “maximum difficulty”. Thus the concept of the “Perfect 10”
After the 2004 Olympics, this system was overhauled and starting in 2006, gymnasts could score far above a 10.0.
How the New Scoring System Works
The 2009-2012 F.I.G Code of Points, the official handbook for judging/scoring gymnastics at the international level, indicates that every event is scored by adding two sub scores together:
Difficulty Score (D-Score)- basically how hard your routine or vault was (max value is ostensibly unlimited)
Execution Value (E-Score) - basically how well you performed all the moves (max value 10.0).
Retton’s Score Against 2012 Olympic Trials Competitors
Looking at the results from Day 2 of Olympics Trials, Retton’s 15.20 would have put her in 7th out of 11 vault competitors [largely because current vaults are much more difficult and have much higher D-scores than Retton’s vault did].
That seems relatively competitive after 28 years, but my speculation is that the judging is a lot tougher now and in looking at her video, I don’t think Retton would have scored a perfect 10 today. She lands with her feet slightly apart and she makes a small hop after the landing. The highest E-Score of Day 2 at Olympic Trials was a 9.65 and in fact don’t know when the last time someone actually scored a perfect 10.0 on the E-Score at an international competition.
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