Deconstructing the MAG Code of Points

We’re officially in a new quad, and as always, that means forgetting everything you thought you knew about the code of points and spending the next four years trying to remember everything new, only to have to start all over again in 2021.

As we gear up for Winter Cup and American Cup leading into the elite season, we’ve been prepping an event-by-event breakdown for you, as well as a general look at the biggest changes facing the code this quad.

The biggest change will decrease all-around scores by about three points for the men thanks to different credit requirement (CR) getting tossed. Last quad, if gymnasts hit all five credit requirements, they got an automatic 2.5 points in their D scores per event. With the elimination of one required element group from each routine, the max CR is 2.0 per event instead of 2.5. Pommel horse, rings, parallel bars, and high bar all have four (4) element groups to choose from. Floor is the exception; there are three (3) element groups to choose from and the dismount group is counted as element group IV.

Unlike the WAG CoP, there was no change to the required degree of difficulty for dismounts. The gymnast must still perform a D dismount to receive full credit as a senior and a C dismount to receive full credit as a junior. However, the men have now included an H element which is worth 0.8 per skill. Skills that have been reevaluated or added to the CoP at this value include the Liukin (triple back on floor) and the Shirai III (triple twisting double layout).

One of the biggest changes seen is the limit on the amount of skills taken from each element group. There is now a maximum of five (5) skills that can be used within the 10 counting skills, including the dismount. I like this rule, as it should increase the variation in routines.

Another rule that will affect all four events is related to landing deductions. For safety, the men are allowed to land with their feet apart as long as they are close enough to click their heels together without moving the front of the feet.

Unlike the women, there still remains an amount of ambiguity when discussing landing deductions. The specific wording can be seen below:

Action (without steps, hops, or arm swings) Result Landing with feet slightly apart and gymnast lifts heels and joins both heels together without lifting and moving the front of his feet, no deduction.

Landing with feet slightly apart or less than shoulder width apart and gymnast picks up a foot moving both feet together, OR does not join both feet together by lifting only the heels, 0.1 deduction for landing with feet apart.

Landing with feet more than shoulder width apart, AND gymnast picks up one foot moving both feet together, OR does not join both feet together, 0.3 deduction for landing with feet apart.

From here, let’s take a closer look at each of the six events.


As previously mentioned, there is a cap at 5 elements per group. What’s interesting about floor is the dismount is included in the cap of 5 counting elements. There is also now a cap on connections. Only two connections may be used per routine. What’s unique is that now you can receive bonus from connecting on either side of a skill, so theoretically, a gymnast could receive all their bonus connections in one pass.

For safety, rollout skills are prohibited with the exceptions of dive rolls and arabian dive rolls. We will hopefully no longer see gymnasts with concussions trying to continue routines after falling on these types of skills. Gymnasts are also no longer allowed to jump to prone position after a pass (with a few exceptions). If performed, this element will incur a 0.5 deduction.

There is no longer a limit on how many times a diagonal may be used in succession, however, the whole floor must be used during a routine or there will be a 0.3 neutral deduction.

The new groups are as follows:

Group I. Non-Acro Elements (flairs, press to handstand, etc.)

Group II. Acro Forward

Group III. Acro Backwards + Arabians

Group IV. Dismounts.

D (or higher) + B or C = 0.1 bonus  (Note: D + A no longer receives connection bonus)

D (or higher) + D (or higher) = 0.2 bonus

Other information:

  • Counter saltos can no longer receive connection bonus. (e.g. back triple to punch front)
  • Double saltos are now required in the routine.
  • There is a max of two strength elements per routine.

What does this mean as far as what we will see in routines? I anticipate an increase in the pass of a back 2½ to punch double (D + D) or front double full to punch double (D + D) for the 0.2 connection value as a D + D will be the easiest way to garner the highest amount of bonus.

As there are now limits to the connection bonuses, we are also going to see an increase in the H value skills such as the Liukin.

So even though we may love Kohei and Kenzo and their perfected twisting connections, there are going to have to be some changes to their routines to stay competitive. Personally, I would love to see Kenzo go for a triple back after there was so much complaining about his 2013 routine where there were no double saltos.

Element changes include…

Skill Old Code New Code
Japanese press handstand C B
Japanese press from split C
Roll-out skills eliminated
Liukin G H
Tamayo F E
Double front tucked half-out D E


For pommel horse, there was a significant amount of clarification on the completion of skills and the form in which skills should be performed. Compositionally, I don’t think we are going to see a lot of changes, but rather an increase in better form which otherwise would result in heavier deductions.

For example, a lack of amplitude can be deducted per element instead of overall in the routine and all Tong Fei’s must continue into a circle or Russian to receive credit. Immediate leg cuts are not allowed.

The new groups are as follows:

Group I. Single leg swings and scissors.

Group II. Circle and flairs, with and/or without spindles and handstands, Kehrswings, Russian wendeswings, flops and combined elements.

Group III. Travel type elements, including Krolls, Tong Fei, Wu, Guonian, Roth and Traveling Spindles.

Group IV. Dismounts

The one major compositional change comes in regards to a max of elements including handstand skills, travel elements, and Russians. There is now a maximum of two (2) handstand skills, excluding the dismount. If a gymnast chose to perform a Li Ning scissor to handstand and then a reverse Li Ning scissor to handstand, they would no longer be allowed to do a Busunari in their routine.

Travel elements will no longer be given any credit unless they are completed in full. For example, if the the gymnast is performing a Magyar and completes hands 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4 and then falls, he would not receive credit for the skill.

The max on cross travel is now two (2) per exercise. There are some exceptions to this rule including Nin Reyes type elements.  Likewise, Russians also received a max of two (2) per routine, but unlike the handstand rule, the dismount is included in the two-per-routine count. Kroll, Roth, Wu Guoinian, and Tong Fei type elements are excluded in the Russian count.

Element changes include…

Skill Old Code New Code
Berki E
Busnari G F
Sohn D E


The new element groups are as follows:

Group I. Kip and swing elements & swings through or to handstand (2 sec)

Group II. Strength elements and hold elements (2 sec)

Group III. Swing to Strength hold elements (2 sec)

Group IV. Dismounts

In an attempt to decrease the number of false grips used, the committee has further clarified that false grips, even with straight fingers, are still false grips and regardless will not change the evaluation (0.1 deduction).

There is now a max of one (1) final strength position from each element group that can be counted towards the D score. This means that only one final strength element can come from group II and one final strength element can come from group III.

Allowed: Kip to Cross (3), Pineda Cross (2) because they come from differing groups.

Not Allowed: Azarian cross (2), bounce cross (2) because both would come from group II.

No more than three (3) elements can be in direct succession from the same group. This is to help diversify the routines!

Expect to see the use of Yamwakis and Jonassons to break up the strength elements.

Even though they have eliminated swing to handstands as an EG (formerly group II), it is still a requirement in the exercise to have a swing to handstand and have it counts as a part of the gymnast’s 10 elements.

Element changes include…

Skill Old Code New Code
Li Ning II C B
Tsukahara III D
Balandin II E F
Triple back salto F G
Tuuha F


Most vaults were devalued by 0.4, some a little more. I suspect that this is to even the playing field with the other events as those events are now missing an EG (0.5) from each routine. The men’s vaults underwent huge hits in the last code, slashing them all by a point so the same vault performed in 2012 is now almost 1.5 lower in start value.

Element changes include…

Skill Old Code New Code
Handspring double (Roche) 5.6 5.2
Dragulescu 6.0 5.6
Blanik 6.0 5.6
Ri Se Gwang II (piked Dragulescu) 6.4 6.0
Driggs (Kasamatsu 1½) 5.6 5.2
Lopez (Kasamatsu double) 6.0 5.6
Ri Se Gwang 6.4 6.0
Shewfelt (Yurchenko 2½) 5.6 5.2
Shirai – Kim Hee Hoon (Yurchenko triple) 6.0 5.6
Melinassanidis (Yurchenko double back) 5.6 5.2


On Parallel Bars the big things to watch out for are the max two (2) skills per giant to handstand and basket swings to handstand. (I’m looking at you, Danell!)

There were a list of clarifications on how to perform skills appropriately which I won’t bore you with, but essentially the changes that were made such as completion of turns (Healy skills), length between skills (Makuts), and when to bend your knees (Moy and giant swings) were put in place for aesthetic and rhythm of routine.

If you want a skill to one rail upgraded, you must connect it to a Healy, otherwise the skill receives the same value as the skill would to two rails.

The new element groups are as follows:

Group I. Elements in support or through support on 2 bars.

Group II. Elements starting in upper arm position.

Group III. Long swings in hang on 1 or 2 bars and underswings.

Group IV. Dismounts

Element changes include…

Skill Old Code New Code
Diamidov ¼ to handstand C D
Diamidov 1¼ or more to handstand eliminated
Forward uprise half to handstand D E
Dalton (roll backwards with half tuck to handstand) E
Yamamuro (basket to handstand to Makuts) G
Tejada (basket with salto backwards to up arm hang) D E
Larduet (double salto forward tucked full) G


Besides floor, the event I’m most excited to see is high bar. A flight element with a salto over the bar now requires a giant swing out of it or the gymnast will receive a 0.3 E score deduction. In addition to that, there are no longer bonus connections for on bar elements to release moves. 

Gone are the days of the flying Dutchman a la 2012 and say goodbye to Tak full to Yamawaki. What we WILL see is a lot more single release skill connections in a row.

The element groups are as follows:

Group I. Long hang swings with and without turns.

Group II. Flight elements

Group III. In bar and Adler elements.

Group IV. Dismounts

On high bar, several elements that were considered flight elements are no longer such as the Carballo, Quintero, and Walstrom. In addition, several of the triple back dismount variations saw an increase in difficulty, so expect to see an increase in the performance of high-flying triple back dismounts, otherwise known as Belle (tucked) or Fardan (piked).

Element changes include…

Skill Old Code New Code
Walstrom E F
Deff E F
Pegan E F
Mara (Pegan piked) F G
Kolman F E
Triple back dismount with 1/1 (Belle) F G
Triple pike dismount F G
Triple front tuck dismount F G

In addition to the above, basically every Piatti skill (toe-on, stalder, or free hip to Tkachev in a hundred variations) was upgraded one skill level.

Hopefully this pulls the new code together for you! As with all quads, until the meets start happening, a lot of theory about connections is just that, theory. New stars and new trends will emerge. Some we will be sick of and some we will cheer on! Thanks for reading!

Did I miss anything? Are you looking for a more comprehensive explanation? Are you like “what do all of these words mean, help me”? Just want to share your feelings? Comment below and let us know what’s up.

Article by Kensley Behel

14 thoughts on “Deconstructing the MAG Code of Points

  1. Thanks for this!

    I’m guessing the peach skills that a lot of the Chinese love to use will have to be changed? And does this mean HB will be like PH and PB where there’s no CV at all?


    • Of course! If someone used a large number of Peach skills, then yes, it’s now limited to two per routine. HB can still have connection bonus added but only for connecting flight elements! Hope that helps!


  2. Pingback: Back in Gymnastics Mode – kensleyanne

  3. Hey there,

    Great write up. It’s nice to see all the upgrades with commentary in one place. However, I noticed you wrote that a triple back tuck off HB is a G. In my 2017-2020 code it’s an F. Piked is the G.


  4. I don’t understand why the Tamayo has gone down. Hardly anyone was doing it and no one is going to bother any more. What a shame.
    Meanwhile the girls – who incorrectly do it in a open pike – get it upgraded to a H?


    • My guess is that now, since there is a cap of 5 skills per element group, there is going to be a push to do the hardest skills within that element group, so they’ve devalued some of them.


  5. Looks like women in the high 14’s is leaning toward great with a 15+ being exceptional on beam, bars, and vault, and a high 14 is exceptional on floor. Is this going to be true with the men? Lower start values so lower overall scores? So what’s a “good” vs “great” score on each event now?


    • Yes, so each routine is essentially “devalued by .5” Additionally, many of the vaults were devalued further so that one even would not have scores that “stick out” for the AA, look for scores from 88 – 90 to stand top of the podium! For any event 15 – 15.5 are going to be the top scores to look for! 🙂


  6. Hey! Thanks..these all are really helpful as u put all the changes in one frame..
    In parallel bar I think there is a mistake about DALTON. Because it finishes in hang position neither in handstand.(roll bwd with 1\2 Tuck to hang


  7. Hi, I think there is now even an “I” element on high bar called the Miyachi, which is a double-twisitng straight Kovac or the Bretschneider in layout, and I am guessing it should be worth 0.9. Would this be accurate?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s