Modern Pentathlon Scoring

The points scoring system in the modern pentathlon is pretty complex, so we've put together a beginner’s guide explaining exactly how points are scored.

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  • Each modern pentathlon discipline is scored on a 1,000 points scale.
  • For the swimming and running events, there are set times that secure 1,000 points. Any second above or below that time results in additions or subtractions to the score.
  • The other events (shooting, fencing and riding) have specific set targets to aim for to maximize the points for each event.
  • The concluding event sees the lead competitor (after the first four events) set off first, followed at intervals by the other competitors, which are determined by the points differences between them (a three-point difference equals a 3-second gap).
  • The first three competitors to cross the line at the end of the run fill the gold, silver and bronze medal positions.

Shooting in the modern pentathlon

  • A target score of 172 equates to 1,000 points, with every target point above or below 172 adding or taking 12 points from the pentathlon score.
  • The maximum target score of 200 (from 20 shots) would convert to 1,336 points.

Fencing in the modern pentathlon

  • The 1,000-point score is obtained for winning 70 per cent of the available bouts.
  • Each victory above or below this 70 per cent mark is worth a specific point value depending on how many competitors there are.
  • In a competition with 22 to 23 matches, each additional win or loss would result in 40 points being added or subtracted, while a competition with 34 to 39 matches would be worth 24 points for each additional win or loss.
  • 22 to 23 matches gives +/- 40 points
  • 24 to 26 matches gives +/- 36 points
  • 27 to 29 matches gives +/- 32 points
  • 30 to 33 matches gives +/- 28 points
  • 34 to 39 matches gives +/- 24 points

Swimming scoring in the modern pentathlon

  • For men, a time of 2 minutes 30 seconds for the 200m swim results in 1,000 points, and for women the target is 2 minutes 40 seconds.
  • Every third of a second above or below results in four points added or deducted.

Riding scoring in the modern pentathlon

  • A time limit (the standard time) is set for the course, which allows a minute for every 350m (383 yards) in length.
  • A fault-free ride within the allowed time is worth 1,200 points.
  • Each mistake results in a loss of points as follows:
  1. Knocking down a fence costs 28 points.
  2. Every refusal by the horse to jump costs 40 points.
  3. Any disobedience leading to the knocking down of an obstacle costs 60 points.
  4. After two refusals, the rider must try to jump the next obstacle, but every failed obstacle costs 80 points.

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