The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

The Scores: Post-Classic Edition

Now that everyone got a 65.750 for every routine at the US Classic, it’s time to revisit the hierarchy of US scores from before Classic and examine how things have changed now that everyone has added a new score to the mix.

Let’s start with arranging the squad by top score achieved on each event at any meet so far in 2019, with the top three on each event highlighted for the purposes of highlighting.

Compared to the pre-Classic scores, the biggest changes come from MyKayla Skinner’s Amanar bumping up the standard on vault—ensuring you now have to be vaulting something more than a DTY to get into the highlighted zone on vault. Of course, the problem still persists that she and Carey are likely too similar to be chosen for the same team of five, so the race for the best DTY among the others is still live.

The standard has also been raised on beam by a pretty exceptional margin, where those 14.3s and 14.4s that looked OK before Classic no longer look that convincing by comparison. The 15.400 that Eaker showed on beam will keep getting her on teams because it looks so valuable even compared to the very strong 14.3s from Lee and Wong. But how realistic is it? Eaker was getting 8.0 E scores at worlds last year, so should we expect something more like 14.8 for her rather than 15.4? And is that 14.8 as convincing?

Questions, questions. Anyway, if one were to select a world championships team for a three-up-three-count TF scenario using only these peak scores, the highest-scoring team would be


If that particular scenario doesn’t strike your fancy, may I interest you in average scores? Here is the same list, but using averages of all 2019 scores on each event for each athlete instead of just the peak score.

The world doesn’t change exceptionally drastically using averages, with really only that American Classic routine dragging down Sunisa Lee’s bars number, and the Birmingham World Cup performance taking McCusker much farther down the standings. Those McCusker averages account for the only change we’d see in the best-scoring Team Final group, which would include Hurd instead of McCusker because Hurd’s performances so far this year have been more even.

Meet back here after nationals when we actually know a little something more? OK. It’s a date.

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