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Greg Johnson, | August 16, 2021

Dual meet format, team scoring modified in men's gymnastics

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The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Thursday approved changes to dual meet formats and team scoring in men's gymnastics.

For the upcoming 2021-22 academic year, dual meets must follow the head-to-head format, with gymnasts from both teams alternating performances on the same apparatus. This change eliminates the dual meet format of teams competing on different events during the rotation.

The rationale for the move is to make it easier for spectators to follow the competition. This format also should provide consistency within the judging panel for all competitors on each event.

Panel members also approved conducting men's gymnastics competition in a five-up, five-count format for the entire regular season. The rationale for the change is to shorten the competition to make regular-season meets more attractive for television.

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Previously, the scoring format allowed for six gymnasts to perform per event, with five scores counting, before being switched in March to the five-up, five-count format. Teams are limited to 15 student-athletes for the entire season. This recommendation does not change that limit.

The panel also approved establishing a six-minute halftime during dual meet competitions.

The six-minute intermission would occur after the first three events. This would not be used during multiteam events.

Virtual meets

The panel also approved new rules to standardize the video capture positions and angles for each event in men's gymnastics virtual meets.

All video recording must be in landscape viewing mode. An athlete's full body must always stay within the frame during routines.

All performers must be visible from the initial salute to the judge at the beginning of a routine until the presentation salute at the conclusion of the routine. Video must continue uninterrupted if there is a fall during the performance. Each routine filmed must also be recorded simultaneously.

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Each team is responsible for providing a dedicated videographer to capture each routine on video. Any deviation from the items below must be agreed upon by all head coaches. Both teams must conform to the same angles. The recording will be the backup system to judge any routine if the live video cuts out during competition.

Other rules changes:

  • A 1½-hour warmup period on the meet equipment plus a minimum of 30 minutes of general warmup must be provided for the visitors before a competition. All head coaches must agree on a shorter warmup period.
  • For virtual competitions, all events should conform to normal competition equipment and matting standards. If standard competition equipment or landing surfaces are not available, the equipment or landing surface may be accommodated to use for competition.

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