Publications En
Camille Trimardeau,
A writing system for gymnastics

In 1979, for the first time, the International Gymnastics Federation released a series of symbols representing the main acrobatics practised in women's artistic gymnastics, thus providing the sport with its own writing system. It became a universal language, which is now part of the official scoring system used by referees. The aim was to improve existing symbols and conceive a writing system that took into account recent developments in gymnastics in the past years, and to note appropriately all the executed movements during a competition.

Gymnastics as a sport is essentially visual, and offers hundreds of complex acrobatics. Understanding, learning and scoring these movements requires serious analysis. On top of this, a new scoring system was introduced in 2006, which aims to be more precise and fairer to gymnasts than previous solutions. This new system might appear more complex, but does perform better when it comes to marking differences between competitors.

As part of my ANRT research project, this new scoring system and its notation are seen as an opportunity to create new documents that will clearly expose the basics of the scoring system, in order to make it more accessible to a wider audience. The study of this symbolic writing system has enabled me to better grasp the combinatorial power of this language. The current objective is thus to develop a coherent typographic system that will take into account the specific grammar of the script, and to develop new interactive tools for gymnastics.