The Influence of Music on Judges’ Evaluation of Complex Skills in Gymnastics


  •   Frederike Veit

  •   Juliane Veit

  •   Thomas Heinen


In technical compositional sports, such as gymnastics, judges' decisions regarding deductions for errors in an athlete's execution of complex skills lead to the final evaluation of the exercise shown. Different variables can become important in the context of decisions in sports, and consequently, various factors influence the judges’ performances. Therefore, the current study aims to investigate the influence of music on the evaluations of female gymnastics floor routines. Participants' task was to evaluate gymnastic series on the floor in three different conditions (audio-visual, beat-matched, and visual). The results show that the participants (22 judges and 22 laypeople) rated the executions of the gymnastic series in the beat-matched condition (unchanged video file and selected music) higher than in the audio-visual (unchanged video file and auditory information) and visual (unchanged video file and no auditory information) conditions. By the fact that performances in the beat-matched condition are rated the highest by the judges, one could conclude that it makes it worthwhile for the gymnasts to select their music so that the rhythmical structure coincides with the corresponding motor activity.

Keywords: auditory information, auditory perception, female gymnastics, floor routine, judging


Allerdissen, M., Güldenpenning, I., Schack, T., & Bläsing, B. (2017). Recognizing fencing attacks from auditory and visual information: A comparison between expert fencers and novices. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 31, 123-130.

Baudry, L., Leroy, D., Thouvarecq, R., & Chollet D. (2006). Auditory concurrent feedback benefits on the circle performed in gymnastics. Journal of Sport Science, 24(2), 149-156.

Bremner, A.J., Lewkowicz, D.J., & Spence, C. (Eds.) (2012). Multisensory development. Oxford University Press.

Cañal-Bruland, R., Müller, F., Lach, B., & Spence, C. (2018). Auditory contributions to visual anticipation in tennis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 36, 100-103.

Chiat, L. F., Ying, L. F., & Piaw, C.Y. (2013). Perception of Congruence between Music and Movement in a Rhythmic Gymnastics Routine. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 3(11), 259-268.

Cohen, J. (1998). Statistical power analysis for behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Damisch, L., Mussweiler, T., & Plessner, H. (2006). Olympic medals as fruits of comparison? Assimilation and contrast in sequential performance judgements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 12(3), 166-178.

Eliot, A.J., Maier, M.A., Moller, C, Friedman, R., & Meinhardt, J. (2007). Color and Psychological Functioning: The Effect of Red on Performance Attainment. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 136(1), 154-168.

Ernst, M.O., & Bülthoff, H.H. (2004). Merging the senses into a robust percept. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(4), 162-169.

Eysenck, M. W., & Keane, M. T. (2015). Cognitive psychology. A student’s handbook (7th ed.). Psychology Press.

Fédération internationale de gymnastique (FIG). (2020). 2022-2024 Code of points - women’s artistic gymnastics. Lausanne: FIG.

Findlay, L.C., & Ste-Marie, D.M. (2004). A reputation bias in figure skating judging. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 26, 154-166.

Goldschmied, N., Furley, P., & Bush, R. (2020). Critical review of uniform color effects in sports. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 1-26.

Goldstein, E.B., & Brockmole, J. (2010). Sensation and Perception (10th edition). Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Heinen, T., Vinken, P. M., & Velentzas, K. (2012). Judging performance in gymnastics: A matter of motor or visual Experience? Science of Gymnastics Journal, 4(1), 63–72.

Heiniger, S., & Mercier, H. (2021). Judging the judges: evaluating the accuracy and national bias of international gymnastics judges. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 17(4), 289-305.

Hildebrandt, A., & Cañal-Bruland, R. (2021). Effects of auditory feedback on gait behavior, gaze patterns and outcome performance in long jumping. Human Movement Science, 78, 102827.

Joustra, S.J., Koning, R.H., & Krumer, A. (2020). Order Effects in Elite Gymnastics. De Economist.

Kennel, C., Hohmann, T., & Raab, M. (2014). Action perception via auditory information: Agent identification and discrimination with complex movement sounds. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26(2), 157-165.

Kennel, C., Pizzera, A., Hohmann, T., Schubotz, R.I., Murgia, M., Agostini, T., & Raab, M. (2014). The perception of natural and modulated movement sounds. Perception, 43(8), 796-804.

Kennel, C., Streese, L., Pizzera, A., Justen, C., Hohmann, T., & Raab, M. (2015). Auditory reafferences: the influence of real-time feedback on movement control. frontiers in Psychology, 6(69), 1-6.

Leskošek, B., Čuk, I., Pajek, J, Forbes, W., & Bučar-Pajek, M. (2012). Bias of judging men’s artistic gymnastics at the European Championship 2011. Biology of Sport, 29(2), 107-113.

Pizzera, A. (2012). Gymnastic judges benefit from their own motor experience as gymnasts. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 83(4), 603-607.

Pizzera, A., & Hohmann, T. (2015). Acoustic information during motor control and action perception: A review. The Open Psychology Journal, 8(3), 183-191.

Pizzera, A., Möller, C., & Plessner, H. (2018). Gaze behavior of gymnastic judges: where do experienced judges and gymnasts look while judging? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 89(1), 112-119.

Plessner, H., & Schallies, E. (2005). Judging the cross on rings: A matter of achieving shape constancy. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19, 1145-1156.

Rizzolatti, G., & Craighero, L. (2004). The mirror-neuron system. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 169-192.

Sors, F., Lath, F., Bader, A., Santoro, I., Galmonte, A., Agostini. T., & Murgia. M. (2018). Predicting the length of volleyball serves: The role of early auditory and visual information. PLoS One, 13(12), 1-17.

Ste-Marie, D. M. (1999). Expert-Novice Differences in Gymnastic Judging: An Information-processing Perspective. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 13, 269-281.<269::AID-ACP567>3.0.CO;2-Y.

Veit, F., & Heinen, T. (2019). The role of visual and auditory information in the observation and evaluation of complex skills in gymnastics. Journal of Physical Fitness, Medicine & Treatment in Sports, 6(2), 1-7.

Veit, F., Jeraj, D., & Riedel, L. (2021). Does jumping to the beat result in better ratings from gymnastic experts? Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 17(4), in press.

Woods, E.A., Hernandez, A.E., Wagner, V.E., & Beilock, S.L. (2014). Expert athletes activate somatosensory and motor planning regions of the brain when passively listening to familiar sport sounds. Brain Cognition, 87, 122-133.


How to Cite
Veit, F., Veit, J., & Heinen, T. . (2022). The Influence of Music on Judges’ Evaluation of Complex Skills in Gymnastics. European Journal of Sport Sciences, 1(5), 1–7.

Most read articles by the same author(s)