The Land of 9.9s

It’s all about the 9.9s. To win a national title, it usually takes about 50% of routines receiving 9.900 or greater. Last year in Super Six, Florida scored 9.9+ in 58% of routines, and they needed every bit of it after beam. We’re quite some distance from Nationals right now, but many teams appear well on their way to vacationing in the land of 9.9s already. 

In fact, over the first two real weekends of the season, the 9.9s have been flying. So, for this week’s quick look at statistics, I checked out some of the destinations of those 9.9 flights. Which teams are getting the most 9.9s, how many are they getting, and how does that compare with precedent? 

I limited this to the current top fourteen teams because they are the ones that have been putting up a measurable number of 9.9s. After that it’s more like . . . one. For each team, I took the number of routines scoring at least 9.900 as a percentage of the total routines competed.

% of routines scoring 9.900 or greater
1. UCLA [8] – 31%
2. Oklahoma [1] – 29%
3. Florida [3] – 25%
3. Utah [4] – 25%
5. Georgia [6] – 24%
6. LSU [2] – 23%
7. Minnesota [13] – 17%
7. Michigan [5] – 17%
9. Alabama [7] – 15%
10. Nebraska [9] – 13%  
10. Auburn [14] – 13%
12. Stanford [12] – 11%
13. Arkansas [10] – 8%
13. Illinois [11] – 8%

It’s worth noting that both of the top two teams in this table have yet to compete away, which is clearly a significant factor in the results. UCLA and Minnesota have noticeably outperformed their current rankings in the 9.9 table, and usually when a team does that it means they are on track to improve that ranking soon as they get rid of the nasty little low numbers bringing the team score down for the time being.

After just two weeks, when routines (and particularly landings) are usually still a little ragged, the top fourteen teams are already recording an average of 18% of routines in the 9.9+ range. Last year during Nationals, that number was 24.5% for the twelve teams present, which is not that far ahead. And it’s only January.

As a point of reference, here are the same teams’ numbers from the same point last season. (The same point is judged by number of meets, so this is Georgia’s % after four meets, but Oklahoma’s % after two meets, to mimic the current sample from this year.)

% of routines scoring 9.900 or greater (2013)
1. UCLA – 27%
2. Alabama – 25%
3. Florida – 21%
4. LSU – 19%
4. Nebraska – 19%
6. Georgia – 17%
7. Michigan – 15%
8. Utah – 8%
8. Stanford – 8%
10. Oklahoma – 6%
11. Minnesota – 4%
12. Arkansas – 2%
12. Auburn – 2%
12. Illinois – 2%

Only Alabama and Nebraska had a higher % of 9.9s at this point last season. Every other team has increased the number this year, some quite significantly. Interestingly, UCLA led the pack at that point as well, and also started last season with two consecutive home meets. The overall jump in average is also significant, from 12% to 18% of routines receiving 9.9s at this point in the season. In raw numbers, that’s 47 more routines scoring 9.9 across fourteen teams in two (or three) weeks. 

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