All-Time 10.0 Rankings

It’s not all team-by-team previews. A major storyline you’ll have to look forward to in the 2020 season (because I probably won’t stop talking about it) is the race for all-time career record for most 10.0s. Seniors Kyla Ross and Maggie Nichols currently sit in sixth and seventh place respectively, with Ross nine 10.0s away from tying the record. She recorded fourteen 10.0s during the 2019 season.

1Jenny Hansen (Kentucky)28
2Jamie Dantzscher (UCLA)27
3Hope Spivey (Georgia)24
4Kim Arnold (Georgia)21
5Karin Lichey (Georgia)20
6Kyla Ross (UCLA)19
7Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)17
Leah Brown (Georgia)17
9Beth Wymer (Michigan)16
10Jeanette Antolin (UCLA)14
Theresa Kulikowski (Utah)14
12Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA)11
Ashley Miles (Alabama)11
Sarah Cain (Michigan)11
Kristen Kenoyer (Utah)11
16Peng Peng Lee (UCLA)10
17Alex McMurtry (Florida)9
Ashleigh Gnat (LSU)9
Georgia Dabritz (Utah)9
Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA)9
Kate Richardson (UCLA)9
Maggie Germaine (Arizona State)9
Andree Pickens (Alabama)9
Nikki Peters (Michigan)9
Kim Kelly (Alabama)9
Jennifer Wood (LSU)9
27Bridget Sloan (Florida)8
Courtney Kupets (Georgia)8
Ashley Kelly (Arizona State)8
Richelle Simpson (Nebraska)8
April Burkholder (LSU)8
Mohini Bhardwaj (UCLA)8
Heather Kabnick (Michigan)8
Dee Foster (Alabama)8
Chari Knight (Oregon State)8

*The usual caveat when talking about NCAA history applies in that this information is correct to the best of my research knowledge going through team records, but the records from the 90s are baaaaaad somehow even though, like, we had computers then. You’ll see a discrepancy with the Hall of 10s in regard to Jenny Hansen because I don’t have dates/years for the majority of her 10s, but Kentucky’s team records credit her with 28 in total—21 on vault, 6 on floor, 1 on beam.

24 thoughts on “All-Time 10.0 Rankings”

  1. Super interested to see where they both end up in the all time ranking. Both obviously have the potential to put up enough 10s to get to first but who knows. I honestly think I would be shocked if neither ended up in first?

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  2. 1) I Love that first place belongs to a gymnast from Kentucky, which isn’t a top 5 school for gymnastics (yet)

    2) I am very sure that both Kyla and Maggie will surpass Jenny Hansen for 10s this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one/both of them get all around 40s sometime this season.

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  3. If Kyla has a season like she had last season- she’s got it. If she has a season like she had her first 2 seasons- it’s questionable.

    If Maggie has a season like she had her first 2 seasons- she’s got it. If she has a season like she had last season- it’s questionable.

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  4. I wish NCAA would get ahold of itself. Of course it’s hard to stay consistent year-over-year with regards to scoring, but they’re SO wildly inconsistent that looking at the all-time 10.0 rankings isn’t even remotely close to an accurate list of the best college gymnasts of all time.

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  5. Comparing numbers of 10s across different time periods is nearly meaningless.

    It’s particularly hard to take the 2003(83 Tens) and 2004(91 tens) numbers seriously (which includes UCLA’s Dantzscher, Antolin, Richardson) when 10s were handed out like participation certificates–whether you stuck your landing or not.

    There was a scoring judge crackdown after that, and then gymnasts basically couldn’t get a 10 (2006 only had 5 tens, a 95% decrease from 2004’s 91 tens). 2011 had only 2 tens (both on vault, so there were 0 bars tens, 0 beam tens, and 0 floor tens that year…likely due to a scoring crackdown and not due to weaker athletes).

    #1 Jenny Hansen’s years 1993/4/5/6 averaged 48 Tens per year in W NCAA.
    #6 Kyla Ross and #7 Maggie Nichols years 2017/18/19 have averaged 37 Tens per year in W NCAA which is 11 less than an average year when Jenny Hansen competed. [Ideally the total year figures should be normalized by number of routines (not done here) for comparative purposes…There may have been more teams and routines in JH years.]

    QUESTION: Would you like to see another scoring crackdown and reduction in tens? Or, how high would the number of annual 10s have to go before you would want to see a crackdown?

    Number of W NCAA 10s by Year:
    37 2019
    39 2018
    35 2017
    22 2016
    26 2015
    27 2014
    14 2013
    5 2012
    2 2011
    10 2010
    15 2009
    13 2008
    10 2007
    5 2006
    21 2005
    91 2004
    83 2003
    45 2002
    61 2001
    29 2000
    36 1999
    28 1998
    68 1997
    59 1996
    44 1995
    34 1994
    55 1993
    25 1992
    6 1991

    Source:
    https://balancebeamsituation.com/hall-of-10s/

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    1. I think this doesn’t necessarily have to do *only* with judging crack. In the case of Maggie and Kyla, they both grew up in the open-ended code. Elite and NCAA are diverging further from each other when there is no end to difficulty. The USA has thrived in the open-ended code like never before. Might it be that the level in NCAA is better than ever? (This is a very high claim, I realize. Let’s say: At a very high standard?) And that the depth in the USA leads people into NCAA that are simply some of the best athletes that have competed there?

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      1. I disagree (respectfully, I hope!).
        I think you’re right that NCAA is getting better and better (as do most sports), but I don’t think being a strong elite is all that correlated to being a strong NCAA gymnast. And I don’t think the current top athletes are significantly stronger NCAAers than the stars of prior generations… if anything, I think some of the hype around Ohashi, Nichols, and Ross and their prior elite careers has led to them being awarded with a lot of undeserved 10s.

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      2. I think the main way that they’re diverging is by elite rewarding difficulty over execution, while getting a 10.0 in NCAA requires a high level of execution you dont see in most elite routines. It may be that doing easier difficulty than elite helps with execution in a select few (see: Skinner, although she still doesnt get many 10s) but overall I wouldn’t argue that this is why they get 10s.

        On another note, I didnt know Peng Peng only had 10 10s; seems low to me although she did spend a lot of time injured. But how cool that 2 of them were at that final NCAAs!

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      3. Fully agree with the previous two anons. Skinner, to me, exemplifies the challenges faced by modern elites who have spent their whole careers building up difficulty in order to be competitive within the US. I can totally see why she got frustrated with NCAA, at least from an individual perspective. The difficulty ceiling would be annoying on its own for a gymnast like her, but mixed with the uneven scoring it’s even worse. Other former elites massively downgrade their routines (absolutely fair given the code but arguably with some cop-out choices) and get over-rewarded for it.

        The flip side, of course, is that she was in a position to ramp back up to elite within a few months. I don’t think the others would be able to do the same.

        It’s great that NCAA works for who it does and that non-elites get their chance to shine there. It’s just too bad that it doesn’t similarly reward people who thrive from challenging themselves.

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    2. For all the reasons you listed, I feel like this set of stats should be treated more as an historical record of fluctuations in scoring guidelines than actual numbers used to compare gymnasts to one another. The decrease from 91 to 5 over 2 years is bonkers, as is the 2011 number that you pointed out. You should only get massive swings like these from concrete rule changes.

      I think it can also be true that NCAA has improved overall, though you’d think with a larger talent pool that the distribution of 10s would be wider, not concentrated so heavily among a small handful of athletes from an even smaller handful of schools. But when judges are artificially capping scores based on line-up placement, missing obvious deductions, and (intentionally or not) giving more leeway to big-name schools and athletes, the overall increase in talent can only have so much impact.

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      1. And watching as a somewhat more casual fan in the 2004-2006 period, the change was really confusing and disheartening. It felt like all the teams got somehow worse and I got somehow stupid. Routines that I was used to seeing go 9.9 were barely going 9.8 and I was so confused as to why, and disappointed that everyone was suddenly so ‘bad’.

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      2. @AnnieA

        That’s one of my biggest complaints about this scoring system! People talk about how much more friendly it is to casual viewers than the open code in elite, and maybe it would be if it were followed as it’s designed. As it is, though, big teams and their fans are primed to expect high numbers, and when they don’t get them, it can be demoralizing. Perfect example from last season is Georgia—when they hit the wall of reality in the postseason, they hit it hard.

        Mentally, it’s a weird shift from something like football or basketball. Either you get a touchdown or you don’t. Either you shot your basket from behind the 3 or you were within it so you only got 2. The chipping away aspect of gymnastics scoring is confusing on its face; when it’s applied arbitrarily, it’s straight up baffling.

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      3. Reply to Anonymous @12:33 – you know what would be really cool? (Probably for elite, not NCAA) – just a list of skills and how many point you got for the skill. With an extra set of points for overall routine or whatever for beam/floor, and an extra set for special requirements. So something like:

        Candle mount 0.7/1.0
        Double turn 0.7/1.0
        Standing back full 1.6/2.0
        BHS (no credit – not in top 8 skills)
        BHS (no credit – repeated skill)
        LOSO 0.9/1.0
        rebounding series bonus +0.3
        front aerial 0.9/1.2
        straddle jump (no credit, not in top 8 skills)
        split jump full 1.0/1.2
        mixed series bonus +0.2
        switch 1/2 0.8/1.5
        front full dismount 1.7/2.0
        rhythm & form in choreography & repeated skills: 2.5/3.0
        special requirements met: 3.0/3.0

        Total score: 14.3
        Attempted max score: 17.4

        And you are guaranteed half the skill value if you successfully complete the skill (no falls/hand touching beam/etc.) and 1/4 if you complete it at all (e.g. finish the skill and the fall). So if you see someone land a back full you automatically know they got at least 1.0. Or whatever.

        I feel like this would be a much better system than we have now.

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  6. Interesting that one of NCAA and USA greats, Ashley Postell, didn’t receive many 10’s yet was at the top of the awards podium for most of her Utah career.

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    1. Ashley Postell was 2005-2008 which was right when the 10 crackdown occurred due to 2004’s scoring madness. Her five 10s in 2005-2008 are an impressive accomplishment since 10s were infrequent then.

      If Postell had competed NCAA in 2004 (or other 10 friendly period), then she likely would have received a ton more 10s and would be up on the all-time list. She is a good example as to why this all-time list of 10s isn’t meaningful.

      However in this upcoming season, we’ll likely hear non-stop about Kyla and Maggie climbing to the top of this list as if all periods and their scoring are directly comparable (which they are not). It will be interesting to see whether any of the announcers/analysts/press point out that scoring was/is not consistent over all the years–or whether the announcers/analysts/press are only fixated on an individual’s total number of 10s and never mention the incomparability of periods.

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    2. If we think of it like this: in the seasons from 05 to 08 there was only a total of 49 10.0s awarded in the NCAA; Postell’s 5 mean that she had 10.2% of all Perfect 10’s in those four years combined. Crazy impressive!

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  7. Totally random, but interesting to me that Kyla and Maggie are both taller than average women (5’7, 5’6). That’s a significant contrast to the elite national team who are almost all hovering between 4’8 and 5’1.

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    1. Not random at all, it’s a part of the bias of judges toward longer, leaner athletes that’s been pointed out for decades. It’s one of the many things that should be addressed in code of points and inquiries that currently isn’t.

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      1. I think that’s true in elite, but less in NCAA. You can’t say Ohashi, or Zamarippa, or Antolin, or many of the others on that list are ‘longer, leaner’ gymnasts.

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      2. I would also say that while Maggie and Kyla are long, they don’t fit the gymnastics definition of “lean”. They are muscular and have womanly attributes (thighs and breasts) which is not the general “balletic” physique that the commentators go gaga over. The fact that they can overcome the bias that “her gymnastics look heavy and labored” because they don’t have the bodies of first year juniors is actually indicating the system is working better than elite.

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      3. Yes – you’re definitely right about the bias towards leaner gymnasts in elite, OP, but this isn’t an example of it.

        I think occasionally, say, McMurtry might get the benefit of the doubt somewhere that Boren wouldn’t, but on the whole NCAA is fairly good about not confusing body type for form (they are pretty bad about confusing reputation for form, but that’s different).

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