The 10s of Week 8

This week, 23 routines received a 10.000 from at least one judge. Please enjoy this rebroadcast of the Utah/UCLA meet.

The 10s

Olivia Trautman – Vault – Oklahoma

Grace Glenn – Beam – UCLA

Abby Paulson – Beam – Utah

The 9.975s

Lexi Graber – Vault – Alabama

Leah Clapper – Beam – Florida

Alyssa Baumann – Floor – Florida

Mollie Korth – Vault – Kentucky

Drew Watson – Vault – Auburn

Anastasia Webb – Vault – Oklahoma

Ragan Smith – Floor – Oklahoma (passes)

Helen Hu – Beam – Missouri

Emily Muhlenhaupt – Bars – Boise State

Natalie Wojcik – Beam – Michigan
Lexy Ramler – Beam – Minnesota

FLO hasn’t uploaded individual routines from the Big Fives, but in the full beam replay, Wojcik’s routine is at 2:33:42 and Ramler’s routine is at 2:57:06.

Kyla Ross – Beam – UCLA

Adrienne Randall – Beam – Utah

Nia Dennis – Floor – UCLA

Gracie Kramer – Floor – UCLA

Kyla Ross – Floor – UCLA

The 9.950s

Rachel Gowey – Beam – Florida

Maddie Karr – Floor – Denver

Alexia Burch – Beam – Utah

Sydney Soloski – Floor – Utah

25 thoughts on “The 10s of Week 8”

  1. Besides the Glenn and Ross beam routines, NONE of those routines in the Utah/UCLA meet should have received 10.0s. Some of them should have been stuck in the 9.85 range. Sad that this is what NCAA gymnastics is coming to. I got into NCAA gym around 2014 and loved the competitiveness of the meets. I just can’t get as excited anymore because I feel like it doesn’t matter what the gymnasts do, they are going to get the same scores regardless. It’s also awkward for commentators because their job is to point out flaws, but when they do this and the routine gets a 10.0 or 9.975 what are they supposed to say then? I just really wish after this season they would figure out the inflation of the scoring for the sake of all viewers. Gymnastics was so much more exciting when 10.0s were serious rarities, not scores that were seen on half the routines.

    1. I wish commentators would call out the judges a little bit. If an official makes a bad call in college football or basketball, the commentators aren’t afraid to say so. Not to mention that conferences often admit mistakes were made by officials, as well. If it’s particularly egregious officiating, crews are suspended in other sports. None of this ever happens in gymnastics. Until there is accountability, scoring won’t change.

      1. I wish the gymnasts would call out being over scored themselves – that’s good PR and advocacy for the sport. The gymnasts have the following, we do not.

      2. I meant broadcast commentators —not people commenting on this website.

        It shouldn’t be on the athletes. That would pose a conflict — if an athlete calls out a judge, they’ll get slammed the rest of the year by the other judges. It needs to come from the broadcasters, conferences, and the NCAA.

      3. As a huge football, baseball, and basketball fan, there’s a lot of blown calls that the commentators don’t talk about or dwell on…it seems to be the more egregious errors that they point out. And there’s quite a few games I’ve watched where one team gets more calls there way than the other team and a lot of time, that kind of thing isn’t ever mentioned by the commentators.

      4. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a gymnastics commenter look at a replay of a routine, identify an obvious and non-negotiable error (say a non-stuck landing) and then state clearly that the score failed to accurately deduct for the error. Maybe once or twice there’s a replay and they discuss whether a stick was a stick or a college stick or a slide, but I haven’t ever heard a commentator directly critique poor judging with clear examples.

        Mainstream officiated sports may not comment on every single bad call, but there are absolutely replays and discussions of whether a call was correct on a regular basis. Gymnastics needs to get with it – even just for the sake of educating viewers about why this is a sport rather than a performance.

      5. Honestly? I think Tim and Nastia come closest in terms of digging into deductions and trying to parse scores that surprise them. It might get repetitive for us viewers who watch on a regular basis, but they make a concerted effort to educate on not just identifying errors but understanding how they affect the score (for example, they frequently explain what bumps a hop up from a 0.1 to a 0.3 deduction). I know there are plenty of issues with the network-driven storylines, and I know they’re less objective when it’s Americans competing internationally than they are when it’s just a domestic meet, but otherwise I think they do a good job of calling what they see.

    2. Unfortunately, commentary that accurately points out mistakes and gives them the proper weight is hard to come by. I get so sick of commentators tripping over themselves to downplay errors as though it’s mean and rude to call them out, as though that’s not the entire basis of the sport’s scoring system. It’s very possible to do it well if you approach it objectively, not personally—Kathy Johnson Clarke pulls that off best, IMO, but I struggle to find others who strike that balance.

      Then again, I’m the kind of monster who holds the opinion that while there’s much to be admired about Olly’s approach, he’s frequently too soft, resulting in little differentiation between routines that wind up with very different scores.

      For me, it comes down to communication and education for viewers, especially casual ones. For example, I would consider myself to be a casual viewer of soccer. In the most recent women’s World Cup, the commentary and analysis was way more blunt, but because of that, I learned so much more from it than I would’ve if it mirrored typical gymnastics commentary. I enjoy a good celebration of positivity when there’s a great goal or a cool play, but I also enjoy being able to identify an error or missed opportunity that leads to a play’s failure.

      It’s how other sports are called and analyzed; why should we accept less for gymnastics?

      1. I think you have it confused. Bars are so easy to get to the 10 level there is absolutely little to no incentive to go further. Instead, you concentrate on your other routines to get a better score. It’s why you’ll see an entire team do virtually the same bars routine (or vault – another loophole). Bars isn’t that hard for those at the collegiate level.

        Men’s gymnastics doesn’t suffer from this problem in optional routines. I remember the struggle for ROV. Is that even still an element in NCAA Women’s Gymnastics?

        In international competitions judges (past or present) can appear fair while favoring one country over another. I wonder if these high scores are to ausage those teams who lose by appeasing them with participation scores.

        Again, what penalty is there for such errant judges?

      2. Aggregatvier, I don’t think you’re right about bars at the collegiate level. It is not easier than the other events to get to a 10.0 D-score.

        I also don’t see any less variation in UB routines than on any other event. Just because a beam or floor routine has different choreo doesn’t make it substantively different – double tuck, double pike, 1.5 to layout is about as ubiquitous as tkatchev-bail-1/1-FTDT.

  2. Agree – but especially the get on, stand on the low bar, get off uneven bars routines. I had no idea the requirements were so pathetically low until I read the excellent article on this blog about the minimal standards the NCAA set for this event – and still score high. Just watch World Cup routines for what this event is really capable of (and compare the difficulty regularly shown during NCAA beam competition). Now, especially after attending this UCLA meet, the ridiculous score inflation cheapens the sport even further. Is there even any review or penalty for this kind of judging incompetence?

    1. Thing is, you don’t want to add too many difficulty requirements to UB or else a huge portion of competing gymnasts struggle to do them, and only a few teams can be even remotely competitive. It also takes even more focus away from college coaching and puts it entirely on whether you can recruit an ex elite or a top L10 who excels on bars. NCAA is not world cups. It isn’t. (I’m also not totally sure how you look at beam and determine that it is more difficult than bars in NCAA – I’m open to the idea but I don’t find it so obvious).
      I’d be pleased if they would just score appropriately and consistently, in a way that allows true differentiation between routines.

      1. Beam at the Level 10/NCAA level has always been fairly close in terms of relative difficulty to elite. Most of the elements and series you see on NCAA beam (back handspring layout stepout, aerials, switch split into connected jump) are what you see in standard elite routines. There is, and always has been, more of a difficulty gap on bars because that apparatus clearly has a steeper difficulty curve.

        You have to remember that UCLA, Flordia, and Oklahoma does not represent all of college gymnastics. For many gymnasts, the NCAA requirements are a stretch and getting a 10.0 start value is not easy. Difficulty needs to be accessible yet still allow for differentiation between gymnasts.

  3. Q: How do the recent numbers of 10.0s compare to historic seasonal counts in NCAA W Gymnastics?

    A: In 2004 there were 91 10.0s. In 2017 there were 35 10.0s, in 2018 there were 39, in 2019 there were 37. In 2020, the total will probably be down with Kyla’s apparently lower number of overall 10s this season compared to her previous seasons.

    If recent numbers of 10s are making people go nuts now, then one can only imagine what the reaction would be if there were now 91 10.0s in a single season like in 2004. Back then, even non-stuck landings received 10.0 scores like participation medals. (After 2004, there was a crackdown and the total for 2006 was only 5 10.0s. In 2011 there were only 2 10.0s. See graph.)

    [Raw data source (approx) from TBBS hall-of-10s page. Ideally the figures should be normalized by number of routines…There may have been more teams and routines in earlier years.]

    Question: Is it now time for another crackdown in scoring?

    1. The fluctuation is wild as it is, but this doesn’t begin to capture 10s that are thrown out by only 1 of 2 judges, which is a lot of what people are complaining about with the Utah/UCLA meet among others. I think those numbers would paint a very interesting picture, especially when massive gaps between scores occur, like the recent 10/9.85 that averaged out to 9.925.

    2. Yes, time to rein it in.
      I like having about ten perfect 10s given per season. They should be for truly exceptional routines. It should not be expected that every single top gymnast gets one (or many) in her college career.

    3. It’s BEEN time for several seasons now. Scoring becomes the main topic of discussion every season instead of the actual gymnastics, and it does everyone a disservice.

      Utah-UCLA had a fantastic meet. Two teams that brought out the best in each other. And instead of focusing on that, we are all (justifiably) focusing on the outrageous scoring. It’s unfortunate.

  4. I think some people are forgetting the code allows for a .2 difference in judges scores above 9.5. If one judge has a 9.85 and one has a 10.0, this is an allowable range. Gymnastics is a subjective sport, no? These athletes have been competing their routine or similar routines for many, many years so why wouldn’t we expect them to be near or perfect at this point? I think everyone is blowing it all out of proportion, especially after watching them all on this post.

    1. “These athletes have been competing their routine or similar routines for many, many years so why wouldn’t we expect them to be near or perfect at this point?”

      Because… they’re not? What kind of a question is this? People can do gymnastics for years and still struggle to keep their knees flat in LOSOs or their toes pointed. They can do a routine a thousand times and still miss a handstand on occasion. Do you really not see a difference between, say, Sierra Alexander’s recent FTY and then the FTY of any early-lineup gymnast on a mid-ranked team?

      There is a wide, wide variation in the ability of NCAA athletes to perform things without form or execution errors. Maybe this is a point you disagree on, but I think the truly exceptional gymnasts should be rewarded for being better than the others (and the above-average should be rewarded for being better than the average, and so on). I don’t like the idea of NCAA conflating “perfect/near perfect” with “no major mistakes.”

      1. “I don’t like the idea of NCAA conflating ‘perfect/near perfect’ with ‘no major mistakes.'”

        This, exactly. The code may say it’s okay, but to me, one judge seeing a routine with zero deductions and another seeing that same routine with two tenths worth of deductions should not be happening. More often than not, the judge throwing the 10 is ignoring something that they should take a deduction for, making a conscious choice not to.

        The discrepancy in scoring doesn’t matter as much the lower that the score is—it’s not insane that two judges could come up with scores two tenths apart when there are a ton of deductions in a routine to take. Maybe it could be capped, where scores below 9.7 or whatever can be two tenths apart, but scores above that have a smaller margin. I have no idea, man, I just feel like a 9.8 and a 10 are less acceptable than a 9.45 and a 9.65 but I am also speaking as a bonafide hater of the 10 system so take that as you will.

  5. I don’t have a problem with high scores being given out as long as they are consistently given out. Awarding a mix of 10.0s, 9.95s, 9.9s, 9.85s, and 9.8s is equivalent to awarding 10s, 9.9s, 9.8s, 9.7s, and 9.6s AS LONG as whatever scores are given out are truly given out consistently. Taking that to the extreme, it also wouldn’t matter if the range was 10.0, 9.99, 9.98, 9.97, and 9.96 or 10.0, 9.0, 8.0, 7.0, and 6.0.

    The problem is not the numerical value of the scores themselves, it’s that whatever scores are being awarded are not consistent from day-to-day and school-to-school. A 9.90 is either a “school record” or “basically a disaster” depending on who did the routine and when. While skill level does play into that, unfortunately, name and school recognition plays into that too. A 10.0 at some meets is a 9.0 or even 9.85 at other meets for an equivalent routine.

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