The Most Difficult Floor Routines in the World

Let’s round out the collection with some floor routines. Obviously, Simone’s in first, but there are about 80,000 different people that are either in the high 5s in difficulty, or just an “actually getting credit for that D dance element that you’re never getting sweetie” away from being in the high 5s.

Simone Biles – 6.8

SIMONE BILES
Double layout full (H) + Split jump (A)
= 0.1 CV
Biles (G) + Front layout (B)
= 0.2 CV
Switch leap full (D)
Wolf turn double (D)
Front full (C) through to Mukhina (E)
= 0.2 CV
Switch leap (B)
Split leap 1.5 (D)
Silivas (H)
Acro – HHGEC – 3.1
Dance – DDD – 1.2
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.5
Total D – 6.8

So, it’s not super close between Simone and Rest of World, but it is worth noting that Simone’s reigning  highestD-score routine is the one from Classic, without the triple double, where she received a 6.8. The routine from nationals is also intended to get a 6.8 D, but she has not yet received the full 6.8 for that set.

This routine from Classic is more reliant on connection value (0.5 here compared to 0.3 in the nationals routine) and less reliant on skill values (4.3 here compared to 4.5 in the nationals routine) and actually puts her behind Jade Carey in total skill value since Carey is going for 4.4 on skills, just with fewer connections.

Theoretically, if Biles puts out both the triple double and the Biles + front layout combination at the same time (she was doing the stag out of the Biles at nationals), she would have a 6.9 routine.

Jade Carey – 6.4

JADE CAREY
Moors (I)
Popa (C)
Double layout full (H)
Leg-up hop full (C)
Switch leap full (D)
Silivas (H)
Split leap 1.5 (D)
Front tuck (A) through to Mukhina (E)
Acro – IHHE – 3.0
Dance – DDCC – 1.4
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.0
Attempted D – 6.4

The most we’ve seen Carey receive for this routine this year is 6.3—in the embedded edition, where she would not have received credit for the split leap 1.5—but she is attempting 6.4 should everything go to plan.

There is no connection bonus in this routine (Carey performs a connection in her final pass with no bonus in order to fulfill the front tumbling requirement), so all value must come from skills.

MyKayla Skinner – 6.1

MYKAYLA SKINNER
Moors (I)
Front tuck (A) through to Mukhina (E)
Leg-up hop full (C)
Switch leap full (D)
Silivas (H)
Split leap 1.5 (D)
Double L turn (D)
Back 2.5 (D)
Acro – IHED – 2.6
Dance – DDDC – 1.5
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.0
Attempted D – 6.1

Skinner is trying to go for a max of 6.1 for this routine. The most she received at nationals was 5.8—where it looks like all the leaps will have been taken down 1 CV (at least that’s how I get to 5.8). She’s nearly there on the skill difficulty, but like Carey, has to go entirely on that because there’s no connection bonus in the routine.

Angelina Melnikova – 5.9

ANGELINA MELNIKOVA
Double L turn (D) + Double turn (B)
= 0.1 CV
Double layout full (H)
Switch leap (B)
Sankova (D)
Double layout (F)
Wolf turn double (D)
Front tuck (A) through to double tuck (D)
Memmel (D)
Double pike (D)
Acro – HFDD – 2.2
Dance – DDDD – 1.6
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.1
Total D – 5.9

There’s quite a bit of risk in Melnikova’s attempted 5.9 D score because she has to get credit for the double L and the turn combination and the Memmel all in the same routine to get up there, but it worked for her at Euros, where she was credited at 5.9 on multiple occasions.

Rebeca Andrade – 5.8

REBECA ANDRADE
Double layout full (H)
Double layout (F)
Split leap 1.5 (D)
Memmel (D) + Stag (A)
Back 2.5 (D) + Front full (C)
= 0.2 CV
Switch leap (B)
Frolova (C)
Double pike (D)
Acro – HFDDC – 2.5
Dance – DDC – 1.1
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.2
Total D – 5.8

Sigh. Andrade was going for a 5.8 for this routine and received everything she tried (which means she got credit for the Memmel in the above routine). The back 2.5 to front full is becoming increasingly popular because it gets that 0.2 CV, but that’s also the pass where the Achilles went wrong for Andrade, so it is canceled.

Mai Murakami – 5.8

MAI MURAKAMI
Triple turn (C)
Silivas (H)
Double layout (F)
Back 2.5 (D) + Front full (C)
= 0.2 CV
Switch ring (C)
Split leap 1.5 (D)
Double L turn (D)
Double pike (D)
Acro – HFDDC – 2.5
Dance – DDC – 1.1
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.2
Total D – 5.8

A 5.8 is the most we’ve seen Murakami get this season, though if she were to get the quad turn at the outset of her routine, this one would be up to 6.0. If we see her do floor again this year. Grumble grumble.

Grace Mccallum – 5.8

GRACE MCCALLUM
Silivas (H)
Front layout (B) + Front 2/1 (D) + Front tuck (A)
= 0.2 CV
Switch ring leap (C)
Frolova (C)
Mitchell (E)
Mukhina (E)
Split leap 1.5 (D)
Double tuck (D)
Acro – HEDD – 2.1
Dance – EDCC – 1.5
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.2
Attempted D – 5.8

McCallum would have received 5.7 for this routine in normal circumstances (in this instance at Classic the domestic stick bonus got her to 5.8), but she’s attempting a 5.8 here, which puts her just ahead of the bevy of people this year we’ve seen attempt 5.7—a list that includes Fragapance, MDJDS, Lee, Di Cello and a bunch more routines that didn’t quite make the cut.

Lilia Akhaimova – 5.8

LILIA AKHAIMOVA
Double layout (F)
Dos Santos (F)
Double L turn (D)
Double Arabian (E)
Mitchell (E)
Mukhina (E)
Switch leap (B)
Split leap full (C)
Wolf turn double (D)
Acro – FFEE – 2.2
Dance – EDDC – 1.6
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.0
Total D – 5.8

Akhaimova is the only person on the list not attempting either a Silivas or a double layout 1/1, though she does have two F elements, including being the only person on the list to perform the criminally undervalued (compared to back tumbling elements) Dos Santos.

Denisa Golgota – 5.8

DENISA GOLGOTA
Silivas (H)
Double Arabian (E)
Split leap 1.5 (D)
Leg-up double turn (D)
Mukhina (E)
Wolf turn double (D)
Switch ring (C)
Switch leap full (D)
Double tuck (D)
Acro – HEED – 2.2
Dance – DDDD – 1.6
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 0.0
Total D – 5.8

When Golgota gets everything as she did here, including that switch leap full—note that the US domestic routines included here are the only ones that experienced dance element downgrades, so watch for that at worlds—she’s looking at a 5.8.

Note that even in some of the most difficult floor routines, athletes are counting C elements, which we don’t really see from the highest-scoring bars and beam routines, where it’s unusual to see such a paltry skill included. Only Golgota and Melnikova are aiming to count all skills of D value or higher. Everyone else has to throw in a fifth acro or fourth dance skill at C.

 

 

25 thoughts on “The Most Difficult Floor Routines in the World”

  1. Skinner probably loses two tenths from not getting the double L turn, because that wasn’t fully rotated in the slightest, and then one tenth from one of the leaps, no? Charitable that she gets the other one credited.

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  2. God, the floor situation is as terrible as I thought. The handful of girls who are good at back tumbling (so, most of them Americans) and literally nobody else. There is no other way to build D on floor. Dance isn’t worth it, front tumbling isn’t worth it, twisting isn’t worth it, CV isn’t worth it. Double double or get out. Donatella Sacchi turn on your location I just wanna talk,

    (Also, what happened to not using skill names other than the most known ones? This was such a good detail of this blog. 😔)

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    1. I agree. Front tumbling and twisting across the board is criminally undervalued. I wouldn’t mind seeing the following skills upgraded to be more in line with their actual difficulty and frequency in which they’re competed:

      Front twisting Saltos:
      Rudi – D
      Double – E
      2.5 – G

      Double front saltos and Arabians:
      Double front: F
      Double front half out: G
      Double Arabian piked: G

      Back twisting saltos:
      3.5 – G

      Downgrades:
      Double double – G

      Adjusting the difficulty of some of the twisting and front Saltos to be in line with the ubiquitous double double (which never should have been an H) would be a small way to create more parity.

      With that being said, gymnasts do have an opportunity to receive the equivalent of G or higher skills already through the existing connection formulas. The C + E indirect for 0.2 and A+E for 0.2 are great options and shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for many of the top gymnasts. Even Khorkina and her underpowered tumbling managed a good whip into triple twist and Nastia had a punch front layout into front 2.5 – both equivalent to a G. Going the Chinese route and adding rebounding front tucks and pikes can increase these tumbling passes further. Back 1.5 indirectly connected into a triple twist into immediate punch front is equivalent to an I skill… obviously not easy, but more feasible for some gymnasts than a Moors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would actually be fine with not going all the way with those upgrades – the piked dohble arabian staying at an F, the front 2.5 also being just an F, the front 2/1 not counting as E for CV – if we had some downgrades. The double double should be a G, probably the DLO 1/1 too, and most importantly the DLO needs to be an E yesterday.

        As for CV, I have to think it’s too much effort for little reward if someone has an E pass and doesn’t tack a 1.5 before it for 0.2 CV always. There needs to be more options. I would actually be fine with indirect B+E being worth 0.2 – indirect B+D is already 0.1 and nobody has picked up on that except MDJDS, maybe they would for B+E. Maybe there should be some sort of series bonus for people who do three acro skills in one pass too, kinda like beam? Just spitballing here, CV needs to get opened up on floor.

        (Not just on acro – what do we think about CV for connecting leaps/jumps coming back like it still exists in NCAA? It’s inherently hard to exploit and would add some diversity to dance elements)

        No encouraging counter saltos though. I want them banned like in MAG. I can’t bear to see any more Chinese girls nearly snapping their necks anymore lol.

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      2. Thanks for the post Spencer. It looks like the difficulty of this year is higher than 2015 actually, once you boost up the scores by 0.5 to compensate for the composition reduction. Also, by 2015 people were abusing incomplete leaps/turns connected for CV to boost the scores, which doesn’t exist in 2019.

        The Rudi is a D in NCAA and people are screaming to have that downgraded to a C just like Elite. The front 2.5 could use an upgrade of one letter though.

        The back 3.5 could also use a one letter upgrade, along with the theoretical quadruple twist to an I. I would also bump up the Dos Santos II to an I.

        For the double saltos, the Silivas seems ubiquitious but back when it was a G (circa 2008) only two high-powered gymnasts did it for the quadrenium (Ferrari and Johnson). While it seems like a downgrade should fix the problem, it runs the risk of killing off the skill entirely for the new generation of gymnasts (see the Amanar vault).

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      3. Cheng Fei and Sam Peszek also performed the Silivas back when it was a G. Your point absolutely still stands though.

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      4. Of course if the DLO is an F and the double double is a G then we risk killing it off because you could just do a DLO and lose a tenth, but if both are downgraded, we probably will see plenty of double doubles still. Just worth less, as it should be. I am finr with rudis being a D though, both in NCAA and in elite if that ever happens. Why do people get tired of rudis but never of double tucks and pikes? It’s such selective indignation. They are D passes, they are *supposed* to be everywhere lol. A rudi doesn’t look necessarily easier to me than a double tuck at all.

        The Amanar as it was should have been killed off, imo. Most of them, specially in the Beijing and London quads, were terrifying and ugly. The emergence of the rudi this quad is much more agreeable and more fairly judged.

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      5. I posted the long response at 7:38am above. I agree that counter saltos, when performed like the Chinese do, are not good and should be deducted for body position. However, I’d argue that when done correctly, counter saltos look amazing (i.e. Vanessa Atler and Mohini Bhardwaj).

        I also agree with your point that connections should be opened up. I proposed a system in another post that instead of using connection value in passes, the entire pass itself, whether consisting of one or multiple skills should be assigned a single difficulty rating. Passes of one skill would receive their already-assigned valued, while passes with multiple skills would receive adjustments to the “main” (hardest) individual skill in a pass. This would prevent the issues we see with passes like back 5/2 punch front layout 1/1. Instead of that gymnast being forced to count a low C and D skill with only 0.2 in bonus, the entire pass would be assigned an F or G which I believe appropriately values the relative difficulty of the pass.

        When skills were capped at a G rating, connections were more valuable because they would get you closer points-wise to individual hard skills. But with the proliferation of H, G, I, and now J skills, there is SO much separation that even the most intricate combination passes aren’t able to keep up. Although I love seeing extremely difficult skills and believe they are worth their high difficulty values, I also believe that there are combinations out there that are equally as difficult and should be rewarded equivalently. Aly’s opening pass is a great example of a tumbling pass that actually was valued appropriately – the equivalent of an I skill (0.5 for the E skill and 0.4 for connection value). However, there are many other combinations that don’t get rewarded appropriately.

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      6. Hmmm no.

        In this were the case back 1.5 – rudi would get C+D direct for . 2 bonus making it worth .9 overall so as much as a moors right now. This was Nastias third pass in 2008 over a decade ago.

        Laurie’s third pass flo+front double+front tuck would be worth .8 so more than a double double if you downgrade it back to a g

        That’s crazy

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      7. Sorry I didn’t make myself clear. I’m not proposing simply adding up the values of the individual skills, but rather rating the pass as a whole with a single difficulty rating.

        For example C + C direct would be equivalent to an E and C+D would be equivalent to an F.

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  3. Fun question: how many women in the world could do a double double on floor of the stakes were high enough? Like say I said I’d give $10k to every woman who can land a double double October 1. Would it be more or less than 30?

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  4. I love Melnikova’s routine at Euros, it’s so packed and she just doesn’t stop, plus she works beautifully with the music.
    I agree with beamscoring above that it was a bit hard to place the skills that aren’t as well known by their “official” names (e.g. it would’ve been easier to say “double Arabian piked” instead of “Dos Santos”).
    thanks for doing this for floor scores!

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    1. I actually really like the use of names, since it helps me learn them! (Especially on bars, where my knowledge of skill names is dismally sad) And he includes a link to a helpful article about each skill (with video) so it’s easy enough to click and find out what it is without waiting for it to occur in the routine. 🙂

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      1. Ahahaha I’m the opposite. For some reason, I can nail names on floor right away but on bars, I’m much better with a few names with suffix descriptors, like stalder-shaposh-half or whatever. Wonder why that is?

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  5. IMO they should change the value of the following:

    Silivas – G
    DLO 1/1 – G
    Back 3.5 – G
    Double front – F
    Dowell – G
    Front 2.5 – F
    Dos Santos – G

    Change the rule about adding fronts out of twisting passes, so you no longer have the Chinese doing scary 2.75 and 3.25+punch fronts.

    Single wolf turn – A
    Double wolf turn – B
    Triple wolf turn – C

    Elimination of switch ring half and full, just because they’re ugly and impossible to do well enough to be worth it.

    There needs to be more options to earn CV, as floor D scores are so low compared to bars and beam. You can have someone with 2 E passes and a couple D dance skills and still have a D score below 5. I’m open to suggestions.

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    1. Dance CV like in NCAA would be a small help – 0.1 for B+D and C+C. Upgrading some dance elements would be good too. Judges are already harsh at crediting them anyway, they might as well give gymnasts more options to attempt.

      I am not against the triple wolf turn staying an E – almost every attempt I have ever seen should be credited as a double anyway, and that one should be downgraded to C.

      Acro CV should have more opportunities indeed – 0.1 for direct B+C and indirect C+C would benefit lower level gymnasts so much! I also wouldn’t be opposed to certain combinations earning 0.3 CV, like that back 2.5 indirect to DLO juggernaut that Trinity Thomas trained once.

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      1. I don’t want too many opportunities for gymnasts to bump up their D scores via dance elements – if anything I think dance elements are overvalued on FX. I would like to see the code put some more effort into discouraging/disincentivizing routines like Derwael’s. An elite routine should not consist of two easy tumbling passes – I don’t care how much you commit to your weird choreo. If I wanted to watch dance I’d watch a dance competition (and people would be significantly better at dance). I think maybe this is an unpopular opinion given how delighted most folks were with the whole Team Netherlands-renaissance on FX, and how many people seem to be fine with Derwael as a competitive AAer despite having only 1.5 good events.

        Encouraging more diversity in acro via CV (including more indirect CV) and incentivizing front tumbling is something I can really get behind though. I would be hopeful that some of the less powerful gymnasts could use those changes to their advantage.

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      2. @Anonymous: I see the validity in not wanting to emphasize dance elements, but if that’s going to be the case then something else needs to done about how floor routines are composed. Asking every floor routine to cripple itself with 3 or 4 elements that cannot go further than C or D, have no CV opportunities, and are mercilessly deducted ensures floor D scores stay very low and very bunched together compared to bars and beam, only being able to significantly stand out if you have multiple very hard passes like Simone or Jade.

        Either dance elements need to be encouraged and legitimised as a way to increase the D score, or their weight on the D score needs to be decreased by a lot and another way must be found to make sure women’s floor doesn’t become men’s floor.

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      3. I believe that gymnasts who are strong at dance elements should be able to score competitively on floor. The code is already set up to heavily award good dance skills – especially turns – but there has yet to be a gymnast who has maximized dance skills as much as the top tumblers have maximized tumbling.

        The hardest leaps are often appropriately devalued and for many gymnasts their D-level turns are a crap shoot at best. What most gymnasts and coaches don’t realize is that the best way to boost the score is to nail the dance elements exactly. The difference in difficulty between a split leap 1/1 and 3/2 or a switch split 1/2 and 1/1 is immense but the harder versions are only worth 0.1 more in difficulty and are almost always devalued and deducted for form and precision issues.

        Nastia Liukin is a great example of a gymnast who didn’t have the most difficult tumbling but also gave very little away on her dance elements and was able to score competitively with Johnson, Izbasa, and Cheng.

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      4. “Nastia Liukin is a great example of a gymnast who didn’t have the most difficult tumbling but also gave very little away on her dance elements and was able to score competitively with Johnson, Izbasa, and Cheng.”

        Yeah see I really hated that Nastia’s floor could score competitively with those gymnasts, so maybe it’s more of a question of taste/opinion. Nastia’s tumbling difficulty was mediocre and her tumbling form was not great, so it bothered me that her ability to hit turns and oversplits was able to lift her so far up. I’m not saying she was a terrible FX worker, but I just don’t think you should get bronze Olympic medals (or even into Olympic event finals) just because you can hit dance elements.

        For me, that doesn’t demonstrate gymnastic ability. I don’t want to watch gymnasts poorly perform complex dance skills (even the best gymnasts are not strong dancers) – I want to watch them tumble and display flexibility and strength.

        I wouldn’t mind increasing the value of things like Chiles’s full twist to front support, just because I think these kinds of skills add something interesting to FX – sort of a combination of choreography and acrobatics.

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  6. Interesting bunching in terms of difficulty. Makes me think more about execution. If someone does, say, a double double with adequate height and a clean, chest up landing, there is nothing to take. But then someone else comes and goes 50% higher and floats down to the landing – and that’s the same score. The only way to guarantee higher is to add *more* difficulty and hope you hit it adequately. So at big meets most tumbling looks labored. I sometimes wish E scores could be open ended. A 9 for adequate and a 10 for superlative maybe?

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    1. I’ve been thinking about that lately, and I agree there should be a reward /penalty on skills form, so take a sheep jump done by Carlotta Ferlito, Nastia Liukin and Komova: Ferlito gets a -0.3, Liukin a 0 and Komova a +0.3. Same goes with acro skills, where Biles would get a +0.3 for a DLO 1/1, Golgota a -0.3 (or maybe even -0.5), Steingruber -0.1, Sae Miyakawa +0.2….. I think figure skating has something like that on jumps and spins which we could get inspired of… Of course you keep steps on landing and balance checks as well, but it could help differentiate more. For example Biles would get a proper reward (+0.3 for example) for her insane height on Amanar while someone like Andrade at her peak would get a neutral score because no form error / no lack of height or amplitude.

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      1. I would wait for proper robotic judging to take over before attempting a system like that. I don’t think the human eye can pick apart certain small details to make that system fair and feasible in real-time, but a robot may be able to tell things like handstand angles, vault height, distance, height above the beam and floor, or how closed a ring position truly is, and then give out an award/deduction appropriately similar to what you are proposing. There’s already vault deductions in place for dynamics, but I would like to see the reasoning justified quantitatively, while expectations should be normally standardized by family (i.e. different mean heights and distances for Tsukahara vs. Yurchenko entries).

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  7. This is off topic but I followed the link for the Mukhina skill guide entry in one of these routines and, uh, the country code for the USSR was URS, not SOV. Might want to fix that there and anywhere else it occurs.

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