Scoring at the international level is regulated by the Code of Points. At the elite level there is a panel of judges; the score is the average of the panel's marks with the highest and lowest scores thrown out. Under the new Code of Points there will be two different panels judging every routine, evaulating different aspects of the performance.
Before 2006, every routine was assigned a Start Value (SV). A routine with maximum SV performed perfectly was worth a 10.0. A A routine with all required elements was automatically given a base SV (9.4 in 1996; 9.0 in 1997; 8.8 in 2001); it was up to the gymnast to increase the SV to 10.0 by performing difficult skills and combinations.
The Code of Points has traditionally been revised after every Olympic cycle. However, for 2006, the entire COP was completed dismantled and overhauled. The most significant change of the new and controversial Code is the abandonment of the "Perfect 10". Instead, scoring will be open-ended. Theoretically this means that scores could go infinitely high, though it is thought that the average marks for routines will be somewhere around the mid-teens.
As of February 2006, the Code has not yet been used in a World Championships or Olympic meet, and it remains to be seen how it will affect team and individual gymnasts. Many gymnastics insiders, coaches, officials and gymnasts have protested the new Code, which eliminates the "perfect 10", with Olympic gold medalists Lilia Podkopayeva, Svetlana Boguinskaya,Shannon Miller and Vitaly Scherbo publicly voicing their opposition. FIG officials, including FIG president Bruno Grandi and Women's Technical Committee member and Olympic gold medalist Nellie Kim, argue that this alteration was designed with the help and advices from the majority of FIG member federations and many judges. They also underline, that this system will be tested on major international events before the final adoption.