Judging Difficulty

British Gymnastics Difficulty Judging
Introductory Guide

Produced by Andrew Aistrup
Reviewed by Andrew Jones
V2.00       09/13

This guide is suitable for those with a basic background in how trampoline execution judging works, with particular knowledge on how to identify a skill and its various components. The following information is suitable as a guide to learning how to calculate difficulty of basic skills (up to single twisting somersaults).

In a trampoline routine, difficulty (also known as ‘tariff’) is the value assigned to the level of complexity of the elements performed within it: a full twist is more complex than a half twist and is therefore afforded a higher difficulty score (D), just as a rudy (one and a half twisting front somersault) is more complex than a front somersault tucked (without twist). Each element is judged on its difficulty independently – these are then added together in a routine to give the total D score (usually ten elements).

Learning BG Notation

As a general guide, difficulty is calculated via a number of components in each element:

1)    The number of quarter rotations.

A front somersault would therefore be worth 4 quarters as a complete 360o rotation. A double front would be 8, and so on. Note a back landing is one quarter of a complete rotation, as is a front landing. A seat landing is not deemed to rotate (only the leg and landing position changes but the torso does not rotate), and is therefore 0 quarters for the purposes of difficulty.

2)    The number of half twists.

A half is 1, a full twist 2, etc. Therefore, if someone does a barani, they do 4 quarter rotations and 1 half twist.

 3)    The shape of the move.

These are represented by quite simple symbols:

  • Tuck:          o
  • Pike:           <
  • Straight:     /

Elements performed in the tucked shape, by default, are written without the ‘o’ – this is usually just used for the tuck shape on its own. A piked-straddle (or just ‘straddle’) jump is noted as ‘V’, although it is important to remember that the straddle shape is only a valid shape in a (straight) piked-straddle jump.

4)    Where it lands.

Feet is default; for other parts, we write down S for seat, B for back and F for front. Where it is not obvious or for ease, ‘Ft’ can be used to denote feet.

5)    Direction.

The natural direction of the element is written without notation. For example, a single straight somersault without twist would rarely go forward – and so a straight back is not noted as going backwards – by default, it does. However, for elements that could go forwards or backwards, F is used for forwards, while nothing is used for backward. If a move would be expected to go forward and it goes backward (for example, a half twisting straight back as opposed to a straight barani), you would note a B before it to differentiate. Direction always goes at the front of the notation – if ‘F’ or ‘B’ is at the end, this is where the move lands and is thus a landing notation.

So, a back landing would end with a B, a front somersault would start with an F. This may sound complex, but with practise it becomes very clear. The examples below will also explain this more clearly!

These are the fundamentals that define what difficulty an element is awarded.

The first step to calculating difficulty is to be able to write the element in the correct BG notation. This is achieved by quite simply writing down the ‘components’ of the elements (as identified above) in the correct order.

If an element has no rotation but has twist (e.g. a half twist to seat landing), you miss out the rotation component and simply write the twist – so in this case 1S (half twist = 1, to seat = S). Similarly, if an element has rotation but no twist, the twist component is left out (e.g. back somersault tucked = 4). In other words, with very basic skills, ‘zero’ is not written to denote a lack of twist or rotation.

Here are a few simple examples of BG notation, applying the above components:

  • 1         half twist
  • 2         full twist
  • 3         one and a half twists


  • F4      front somersault (tucked)
  • F4<   front somersault (piked)
  • 4         back somersault (tucked)
  • 4<     back somersault (piked)
  • 4/     back somersault (straight)


  • S      seat landing
  • 1S    half twist to seat landing
  • 1       half twist to feet
    (This is the same as half twist on its own – remember the up to feet from seat isn’t rotation and so no rotation value is written).

So: ‘swivel hips’ (seat, half twist to seat, half twist to feet) would be:

  • S
  • 1S
  • 1


  • 1B    back landing (the 1 is for the quarter rotation backward)
  • 1F     front landing (again, 1 for the rotation)
  • 11    half twist to feet (from front or back – the first 1 is the quarter rotation up to feet, the other 1 the half twist)
  • 12    full twist to feet from front or back
  • 11B  half twist to back landing
  • 11F   half twist to front landing


  • 41    barani (tucked)
  • 41<   barani (piked)
  • 41/   barani (straight)


  • 3B    ¾ front somersault – 3 is the quarter rotations from feet to back, the landing position is B (back)
  • 3F    ¾ back somersault to front

Based on these rules, you just simply apply them further for more advanced moves:

  • 42    full (full twisting back somersault)
  • 43    rudy (one and a half twisting front somersault)

You may wonder why a backward full is written 42, while a forward rudy is written 43 without the F for forward. This is because a rudy is conventionally performed rotating forward, and therefore direction is not needed if it is only performed in one way – this is also a time saver!

Once you learn the basics, you learn it all – it’s then just a case of being able to recognise the elements, be quick at writing them down in BG notation, and then applying a numerical value to the notation. There are some exceptions and more rules for multiple somersaults, but in general these rules apply.

Calculating Difficulty Numerical Values

Difficulty is calculated in divisions of 0.1.

To quote Jack Kelly, ‘twist is the easy bit’! Twist values are simply the number you give in note form to one decimal place, so:

  • half twist (1):    0.1,
  • full twist (2):     0.2
  • Etc.

Rotation is the same per number of quarters (0.1). For every complete rotation, a bonus 0.1 is added. So, a front somersault tucked (F4) is worth 0.5 (0.4 plus bonus 0.1)

If the rotation is straight or piked, another bonus 0.1 is added. So a pike back (4<) is worth 0.6.

Baranis (half twisting front somersaults) are the same – 4 for the rotation, plus the bonus 1, plus the 1 for the half twist = 0.6

EXCEPTION: the bonus 0.1 for the straight or piked shape is not applied to baranis. Baranis in all three shapes are worth 0.6.

A few examples:

 front somersault (piked) F4< 0.6
 front somersault (tucked) F4 0.5
 back somersault (tucked) 4 0.5
 back somersault (straight) 4/ 0.6
 barani (straight) 41/ 0.6
 back landing 1B 0.1
 half twist to feet (from back landing) 11 0.2
 half twist to back landing 11B 0.2
 full twist 2 0.2
 ¾ front 3B 0.3
 ball out 5 0.6
 this is 0.6 because you have one quarter from back, then 4 quarters over the somersault to feet (5 quarters).  This is 0.6 including the 0.1 bonus
 ball out barani 51 0.7
 front landing 1F 0.1
 full twist to feet 12 0.3

Note that the rules change a little once you exceed doubles – this is currently covered on the BG Regional level judging course and above.

Example Routines

 back somersault (straight)4/ 0.6
 seat landingS0
 half twist to feet10.1
 back somersault (tucked)40.5
 barani (tucked)410.6
 back somersault (piked)4<0.6
 barani (piked)41<0.6
 ¾ front3B0.3
 ball out barani510.7
Total D Score4.0

If an element is repeated in a routine (or across two routines where D is also added to the first), the difficulty for that element is only awarded once.  This is noted via ‘Rpt’ (repeat) for each recurrence.


half twist to front landing11F0.2
to feet10.1
piked jump<0
barani (piked)41<0.6
back somersault (piked)4<0.6
barani piked41<Rpt
tucked jumpo0
back landing1B0.1
half twist to feet110.2
1 ½ twists30.3
Total D Score:2.1


Write the notation, values and total of the following routine:

  1. Back somersault (straight)
  2. Tuck jump
  3. Back somersault (tucked)
  4. Half twist
  5. Half twist to front landing
  6. Half twist to feet
  7. Straddle jump
  8. ¾ front
  9. Ball out barani
  10. Front somersault piked

Write the following routine in English, and calculate the value and total:

  1. 2
  2. V
  3. 1S
  4. 1S
  5. 3
  6. o
  7. F4<
  8. <
  9. 41/
  10. 2