Solution to A Routine Matter

by Josh Alman and Jimmy Koppel

The given notation depicts the elements from four different gymnastics routines. First, we identify the apparatus used in each routine: in order, these are the Men's High Bar (or Horizontal Bar), the Men's Still Rings, the Men's Pommel Horse and the Men's Parallel Bars.

Having identified the apparatus for each of them, we can identify the elements in each routine. See the details section below for the specific IDs. For example, the symbol that occurs three times in the third sequence is an Eichorn.

Once we identify the elements, we notice that the first letters of their names spell TOKYO COP ELEMENT NUMS. We can compute the score that each routine would receive (see below for the details) according to the Tokyo Olympics Code Of Points. Doing so, we notice that they differ from the given score. As clued by the flavor text (“something was added”), we compute the difference between the correct score and the given score, which yields a positive integer for each apparatus. Using the given (I), (II), or (III) to disambiguate, we take the element with that number in the COP for that apparatus. Those four elements are:

Men's High Bar, III.13,
Men's Still Rings, I.87,
Men's Pommel, II.80, Reverse stockli,
Men's Parallel Bars, I.21,
The four symbols spell out the answer, FORD.

Scoring Details

If you are not familiar with gymnastics scoring, it may be helpful to read section 6 of the Code Of Points.

Note: Repeating the same element multiple times in a routine counts only toward the E score; see articles 7.1.4, 7.5.3, 7.6, and 9.3.2b in the Code of Points. As suggested by the flavor text, each routine receives a perfect E score of 10, and so for our purposes (in computing D score and the short exercise penalty) we may ignore any repeated instances of an element.

Men's High Bar
(II, 9) Tkatchev. C difficulty
(I, 74) Ono. B difficulty
(II, 17) Kulesza. E difficulty
(II, 4) Yamawaki. D difficulty
(I, 74) Ono. B difficulty (repeat)

Execution Score: 10 points
Difficulty value: B,C,D,E: +1.4
+0.2 connection bonus for Kulesza-Yamawaki
Two element groups: +1.0
Short exercise: -6 for 4 distinct elements

Final score: 6.6

Men's Still Rings
(II, 114) Carmona. F difficulty
(I, 29) O'Neill. E difficulty (the two different symbols depicted in the CoP correspond to whether the O'Neill finishes through a Li Ning; in our case it doesn't)
(II, 46) Pham. D difficulty

Execution Score: 10
Difficulty value: D,E,F: +1.5
No swing to handstand: -0.3
Two element groups: +1.0
Short exercise: -6 for 3 distinct elements

Final score: 6.2

Men's Pommel
(II, 29) Eichorn. E difficulty
(I, 4) Li Ning. D difficulty
(II, 29) Eichorn. E difficulty (repeat)
(I, 16) Mikulak. D difficulty
(II, 29) Eichorn. E difficulty (repeat)
(III, 34) Nin Reyes. D difficulty
(II, 1) Thomas. A difficulty

Execution Score: 10 points
Difficulty value: A,D,D,D,E: +1.8
Three element groups: +1.5
Short exercise: -4 for 5 distinct elements
Non-utilization of all three parts of the horse? No, because the Nin Reyes is a travel.

Final score: 9.3

Men's Parallel Bars
(I, 63) Novikov. C difficulty
(I, 113) Urzica. E difficulty
(I, 29) Makuts. E difficulty
(I, 15) Salazar. C difficulty

Execution Score: 10 points
Difficulty value: C,C,E,E: +1.6

One element group: +0.5
Short exercise: -6 for 4 distinct elements
Final score: 6.1

Authors’ Notes

Special thanks to Kathi-Sue Rupp and Kensley Behel, our expert consultants for gymastics scoring!