2016 Guide to Watching Women’s Olympic Gymnastics

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watch gymnastics olympics on tv

The 2016 Olympic gymnastics competition runs Saturday August 6th through Tuesday August 16th : here is your guide to watching women’s gymnastics at the Olympics on TV. Below you will find both the TV and streaming schedules, information about the US Women’s Gymnastics Team, and the competition and how it is scored. If you are watching the Olympics and considering having a viewing party, here is how to throw a Fun Olympic-Themed Party.

Want a printable version of the Olympic Gymnastics Schedule? Click Here to Download

Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Fast Facts:

Competition Dates: August 6th-August 16th

Gymnast Minimum Age: 15, Gymnasts must have been born in or before 2000.

Venue: HSBC Arena, originally Rio Olympic Arena

Venue Capacity: 15,000

olympic trials beamThe Event Apparatus: 

  • Vault– The vault table is about 4 feet
    tall, 4 feet long and 3 feet wide table.
  • Uneven Bars– The bars are made of fiberglass. The high bar is 8.2 feet tall and the lower bar is  5.6 feet tall.
  • Balance Beam– The balance beam is 4 inches wide, 4 feet tall and 16 feet long. It has springs in it and is covered in leather or suede.
  • Floor Exercise– The 39 feet by 39 feet square spring floor is made of springs, rubber foam and plywood.

2016 Olympic Gymnastics Schedule- Women’s Artistic

All Olympic events are going to be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app.




Watch on TV

Competition Format

Sunday August 7th Stream All Day, US starts at 4:30PM EST 7 PM EST on NBC  Qualifying
Tuesday, August 9th Stream 3pm EST  8PM EST on NBC Team Finals
Thursday August 11th Stream 3pm EST  8PM EST on NBC Individual All Around Finals
Sunday, August 14th Stream 1pm EST  7PM EST on NBC Individual Event Finals (Vault and Bars)
Monday, August 15th Stream 1pm EST  8PM EST on NBC Individual Event Finals (Beam)
Tuesday, August 16th Stream 1pm EST  8PM EST on NBC Individual Event Finals (Floor)

Competition Format

womens olympic gymnastics

There are 4 phases in the artistic gymnastics Olympic competition. Scores from each of the sessions do not carry forward to the next: this is referred to as the New Life scoring rule.


Teams qualify for this session based on their performance at the World Championship the year prior to the Olympics. During the team qualifying competition the five gymnast teams will compete to determine which teams will advance to the team finals. This competition is also used to determine which individual gymnasts will advance to the individual, all around, and event finals. The format of this session is 5-5-4, which means that 5 gymnasts are on each team, 5 gymnasts will compete and 4 scores will count. The lowest score on each event will be dropped. The top 8 teams will advance to the team finals. The top 8 women on each apparatus will advance to the event finals. And the top 24 ranked individual gymnasts will proceed to the All-Around Finals.

Team Finals

The team finals competition will consist of the 8 teams that advanced to this day from the team qualifying session. The format of this session is 5-3-3. Where there are 5 gymnasts on each team, 3 gymnasts will compete and each of the 3 scores will count. This is crucial because none of the scores will be dropped.

All- Around Finals

The individuals that qualified during the team qualifying session will compete in this session for the all-around title. Only two gymnasts per country are allowed to advance to this competition. During the all around session each of the gymnasts compete on each of the 4 events. All four scores are added together and the three highest scoring gymnasts will receive medals (gold, silver, bronze).

Event Finals

In the event finals competition, the top eight gymnasts from each event during the team qualifying session will compete for metals. Only two gymnasts per country are allowed to advance to the event finals.

Olympic Gymnastics Scoring

While Olympic gymnastics scoring used to be out of a 10.0, since 2006 there is a new scoring system in place for international competition. Now there are two components to the final score: the execution score and the difficulty score. In the old system the execution score was the only score. This score remains out of a 10.0, but now the difficulty score is added to it. The difficulty score is based on what skills the gymnast performs and the bonuses she gets from connecting one skill to another. So now in theory, scores can be infinite because the difficulty score isn’t out of anything. However, scores in the 15s and 16s are good. The final score is calculated like this:

Final Score = Execution Score + Difficulty Score – Penalties

Penalties are neutral deductions, such as stepping out of bounds.

A 9 judge panel is used to determine the score for each event. The difficulty score is determined by 2 judges. The execution score is determined by 5 judges; the score is calculated by dropping the highest and the lowest score from these judges and averaging the other 3 scores. The remaining 2 judges on the panel are the reference judges.

Common Deductions

  • Fall- 1.0
  • Leg or Knee Separations- up to .30
  • Out of bounds- .10
  • Extra Step on Landing- .10
  • Large Step or Jump on Landing- up to .20
While the Olympic gymnastics deductions aren’t the same as the USA gymnastics Junior Optional program deductions–they are very similar and here is a list of those deductions that you can use as a guide when watching the Olympics on TV.

2016 US Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team

The 2016 US Olympic Gymnastics Team was determined at the Olympic Gymnastic Trials in San Jose, California July 8th-July 10th.

Simone Biles

Age: 19
Hometown: Spring, Texas
Specialties:  All-Around, Floor and Beam are her strongest
Notable Achievements: 2013, 2014, 2015 World All-Around Champion; 1st woman to win 3 consecutive world all-around titles
Practice Schedule: Biles trains for 32 hours a week

Aly Raisman

Age: 22
Hometown: Needham, MA
Specialties:  Floor Exercise and Balance Beam
Notable Achievements: 2012 Olympic Gold Medal winner on the Floor and also in the Team competition
Practice Schedule: Raisman trains for 35 hours a week. She has both a morning and an afternoon workout.

Gabby Douglas

Age: 20
Hometown: Newport News, Virginia
Specialties:  Bars and Floor
Notable Achievements: 2012 Olympic All-Around Gold
Practice Schedule: Douglas practices 4-6 hours/day, 6 days a week

Laurie Hernandez

Age: 16
Hometown: Old Bridge, NJ
Specialties:  All-Around, Balance Beam
Notable Achievements:  Placed 3rd All-Around at the US P&G National Championships
Practice Schedule: Hernandez practices 4-6 hours/day, 6 days a week

Madison Kocian

Age: 19
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Specialties:  Uneven Bars
Notable Achievements: 2015 World Championships 1st Place on Bars (tied)
Practice Schedule: Kocian trains for 35 hours/week

US Olympic Team Alternates: Ashton Locklear, McKayla Skinner and Ragan Smith.

I hope you enjoy watching the Olympic gymnastics on TV–and I hope my guide has proved helpful. If you have enjoyed my guide–I’d appreciate a share! Thanks 🙂

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2 comments… add one
  • Karen. Remy July 30, 2012, 12:55 am

    Thanks for all your well written info. I have tried and tried to find out who are the nine women’s gymnastic judges and I cannot find their names and/ or countries. Any information would be appreciated!
    Thanks, Karen R

  • Katie July 11, 2014, 2:52 pm

    Karen, I am having the same problem! I would like to know what it takes to be an olympic judge.


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