Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 14, 1908
Date Finished: July 16, 1908
Format: Voluntary mass exercises of teams between 16 and 40 gymnasts. Time limit for exercise 30 minutes. Team possible 480 points.
This event was somewhat like a scored gymnastics team exhibition, as teams could consist of between 16 and 40 gymnasts who performed voluntary mass exercises for up to 30 minutes. Teams could score up to a maximum of 480 points. In this era there was a battle over the best system of gymnastics to be used to promote health. The two main systems were the German turnverein system promoted originally by Johannes Guts-Muths and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, and the Swedish system of calisthenics and exercises, which was founded by Pehr Henrik Ling and was much less rigidly formatted. The 1908 team all-around was performed using the Swedish system and it is not surprising that Sweden won the gold medal, nor that their Scandinavian neighbors, Norway and Finland won the silver and bronze medal.