All posts by balancebeamsituation

The Most Difficult (Attempted) Beam Routines in the World

In today’s edition, I’m working through the highest D scores that have been attempted on beam in 2019 (and we’ll get to the issue of getting credit for them in a moment).

As such, there may be other gymnasts who have attempted 6.4+ routines this year, but since they got awarded a 0.6 or something, they didn’t make the radar.

Kara Eaker – 6.8

KARA EAKER
Switch split mount (D) + Split ring leap (D)
= 0.2 CV
Y spin (C)
Front aerial (D) + Split ring jump (D) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Side aerial (D) + Layout stepout (C) + Layout stepout (C)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Split leap (B) + Side somi (D)
= 0.1 CV
Switch ring (E) + Back handspring (B) + Korbut (B)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Switch side (C)
= 0.1 CV
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Back 2.5 (D)
– 0.1 SB
Acro – DDDD – 1.6
Dance – EDDD – 1.7
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 1.1
Series bonus – 0.4
Total D – 6.8

Eaker received credit for the full difficulty she attemped at Classic this year with her 6.8 en route to that 15.400 total.

Her basic value—that is, if she got credit for no connections in her routine and just the skills—is 5.3, which is on the lower side in this company and means she is exceptionally reliant on hitting connections with appropriate rhythm in her routine. Kind of her thing.

Eaker’s 1.5 intention of 7 separate combinations of skills earning bonus is the highest in the world, with even the Chinese connection queens typically going for five.


Ou Yushan – 6.8

OU YUSHAN
Back dive candle mount (D)
Front handspring (B) + Front tuck (D)
= 0.2 CV
Switch leap (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Korbut (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Front aerial (D) + Split jump (B) + Straddle jump (B) +
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch ring (E) + Split ring (D) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Full turn (A)
Side somi (D) + Split jump 1/2 from side (D) + Straddle jump 1/2 from side (D)
= 0.4 CV, 0.1 SB
Round-off (B) + Back 2/1 (C)
Acro – DDC – 1.1
Dance – EDDDD – 2.1
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 1.2
Series bonus – 0.4
Total D – 6.8

Ou has to count her dismount, which is a C, and that takes her difficulty down by a tenth because it means she cannot count her side somi (D) as one of the acro skills. Otherwise she would be at 6.9, the highest being attempted in the world.

Ou has the two single most valuable combination being done by anyone in her routine, the side somi to two side leaps, connecting three D elements for 0.2 for each connection and a tenth for series bonus. It’s a tough one to get credit for, but she did in this case.

In this routine, Ou has the highest connection value being attempted in the world at 1.6. Her base difficulty without connections is just 3.2, so she’s even more reliant than others on getting that combo credit.


Guan Chenchen – 6.7

GUAN CHENCHEN
Switch split mount (D) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.3 CV, 0.1 SB
Round-off (B) + Layout (E) + Split jump (B)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Sissone (A)
Korbut (B)
Front handspring (B) + Front tuck (D)
= 0.2 CV
Front aerial (D) + Straddle jump (B) + Back handspring (B)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Split jump 1/2 from side (D) + Straddle jump 1/2 from side (D)
= 0.2 CV
Full turn (A)
Round-off (B) + Double pike (E)
Acro – EEDD – 1.8
Dance – DDDD – 1.6
Composition – 2.0
Connection value – 1.0
Series bonus – 0.3
Total D – 6.7

Guan has a number of different routine options, and we’ve seen this particular 6.7 routine pop up only at Chinese nationals. The routine she attempted this month at junior nationals moves that initial switch 1/2 combination series and eliminates that orphan Korbut, which brings her down a tenth in intended D but seems a more comfortable arrangement overall.

Compared to Eaker’s routine or Ou’s routine, Guan has a bit more skill difficulty and is going for a bit less in connection value, with 1.3 total in connections instead of 1.5 and 5 distinct bonus sequences instead of 7.


Simone Biles – 6.6

SIMONE BILES
Squat through mount (A)
Wolf turn triple (E)
Front aerial (D) + Split jump (B) + Straddle jump (B)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Back handspring (B) + Layout stepout (C) + Layout stepout (C)
= 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Back pike (C)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Side aerial (D)
Split jump 1/2 from side position (D)
Sissone (A) + Wolf jump (A)
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Double-twisting double tuck (I)
= 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Acro – IDDC = 2.0
Dance – EDDC = 1.6
Composition requirements = 2.0
Connection Value = 0.6
Series Bonus = 0.4
D-SCORE = 6.6

The double double routine puts Biles up at 6.6, with composition that’s quite different from the two above since Biles doesn’t rely as much on connections. Her basic score with no connection bonus for this routine would 5.6, and even that would never happen because quite a bit of Biles’ connection bonus is from series like the 2 losos and the dismount, where it’s a true rebounding series and therefore not really a subjective rhythm thing in the same way. If she doesn’t fall on those series, she’s getting the bonus.

Five tenths of Biles’ difficulty here is what I’d consider “whatever the rhythm happens to be on the day” difficulty, whereas a full point of the difficulty in Eaker and Guan’s routine could be lost if it’s a pause-y kind of day, even in an overall hit routine, and 1.4 could be lost in Ou’s routine.

Biles has removed some of the highest value acro skills from her routine this year like That Damn Barani and the front pike, though especially when the new dismount is in, you don’t really notice.

Interestingly, even with the new dismount in, Biles is not showing the highest total skill difficulty on beam this year. At 3.6, her value from elements is close to the highest, but not the highest. Continue reading The Most Difficult (Attempted) Beam Routines in the World

Advertisements

The Most Difficult Bars Routines in the World

A D-score analysis of the most difficult bars routines of 2019 so far. Just because.

Routines are arranged in descending order of D score, and I haven’t included elements like casts and giants in the D-score breakdowns because snoozer.

Nina Derwael – 6.7

NINA DERWAEL
Nabieva (G)
Downie (F)
Derwael-Fenton (F) + Ezhova (D) + Stalder Shaposhnikova (D) + Pak (D) + Van Leeuwen (E) = 0.6 CV
Toe-on full (D) + Full-twisting double tuck (D) = 0.1 CV
GFFEDDDD = 4.0
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.7
D-SCORE = 6.7

In this group of highest D routines, Derwael is performing the most difficult individual elements (the only one getting 4.0 for her skills) and is in a tie the second-most connection bonus at 0.7—so kind of a recipe for the lead in the D-score race. She’s the only person in the world right now performing 3 elements rated F or higher on bars.

The only category in which Nina doesn’t reign is in most connection value gained on bars, a title that belongs to Fan Yilin.

Fan Yilin – 6.5

FAN YILIN
Piked-Stalder 1/1 (E) + Komova II (E) + Pak (D) + Stalder Shaposhnikova (D) + Gienger piked (D) = 0.6 CV
Piked-Stalder 1/2 (D) + Healy (E) + Ling (E) + Fan (D) = 0.3 CV
EEEEDDDD = 3.6
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.9
D-SCORE = 6.5

What’s remarkable about this routine is that Fan is done in just two sequences of skills, requiring just two cast handstands—the lowest of any routine here. Most have four different sequences of elements, meaning four cast handstands and that many more opportunities for deductions.

Fan has no skill in her routine rated higher than E, but she gets up to second-highest in difficulty through connection bonus, which at 9 tenths is clearly the best of the bunch. The only downside is that she has to add in an extra element (9 elements of D or higher in this routine when only 8 can count) to get that CV total, which is another opportunity for deductions.

Sunisa Lee – 6.4

SUNISA LEE
Nabieva (G) + Pak (D) + Maloney (D) + Bhardwaj (E) = 0.5 CV
Van Leeuwen (E)
Giant 1.5 (D) + Piked jaeger (E) = 0.1 CV
Full-twisting double tuck (D)
GEEEDDDD = 3.8
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.6
D-SCORE = 6.4

With Derwael, Sunisa Lee is the only other one performing a G element. That allows Lee to get up to this 6.4 plateau despite having the lowest CV of all the gymnasts reaching 6.4, with 6 tenths in bonus. The rest are at 7 or higher. Lee is also the only one in this 6.4 group performing an isolated dismount with giants beforehand. For now.

Elisabeth Seitz – 6.4

ELISABETH SEITZ
Maloney (D) + Ricna (E) = 0.2 CV
Piked Jaeger (E)
Downie (F) + Pak (D) + Van Leeuwen (E) = 0.4 CV
Toe-on full (D) + Full-twisting double tuck (D) – 0.1 CV
FEEEDDDD = 3.7
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.7
D-SCORE = 6.4

No one’s composition is exactly identical here, but they all have the same general idea (except for Fan). The same basic style and type of skills and Van Leeuwens, just in different orders. What’s interesting about Seitz’s routine formulation is that she saves the most highly valued portion of her routine—the most difficult single element and most important CV sequence—for the second half of her routine when most gymnasts try to get that out of the way at the beginning. Continue reading The Most Difficult Bars Routines in the World

Things Are Happening – August 16, 2019

A. Retirement news

In surprising elite retirement news, Juliette Bossu has decided to call it quits. I still had Bossu on my prospective French worlds team to contribute her fantabulous bars right up until…she announced her retirement, so this is quite the significant development.

France still has a convincing core four in MDJDS, Boyer, Charpy, and Devillard, so they may try to replace the bars number that Bossu would have contributed with someone like Carolann Heduit, but this could also open up a spot for Aline Friess and her rudi to pump up the vaults since Friess also has a somewhat viable bars routine. The fifth person on the team must bring a bars routine now because neither Boyer nor Devillard will bring much of a countable score there.

Our favorite cat Celine Van Gerner also announced that she will be leaving gymnastics behind, so there’s no point anymore. We’ll always have the time the FIG felt it had to make a rule just for her. Van Gerner has been an essential contributor on bars, beam, and floor for the Netherlands for so long that it will be difficult to replace those routines, but now is the time that newer athletes like Naomi Visser and Sanna Veerman must rise to fill that role.

Agnes Suto-Tuuha has retired from elite competition as well, having spent a good chunk of the last three quadrennia as one of the top all-around gymnasts in Iceland. She won the all-around title at nationals just this year as well as being Iceland’s top finisher at worlds in 2018, and since it has been a few years since we’ve seen Irina Sazonova, Suto-Tuuha has filled that position as the scoring leader of Iceland’s team. She was also the most likely gymnast to be able to qualify a WAG Olympian for Iceland, so that’s going to be quite the tough ask now.

Oh, also, Valentina is trying to retire Aliya but neither Aliya nor we are having it. I’m sorry your application has been denied. Come back 1 year. Mustafina has, however, withdrawn from Russian Cup.

B. NCAA developments

Because LSU looked at the concept of losing Sarah Finnegan, Lexie Priessman, McKenna Kelley, and Julianna Cannamela next season and went, “Well crappit,” they went out and added Alyona Shchennikova to the roster for the 2020 competitive season.

Shchennikova had previously verbally committed to Michigan like her sister, but then switched to LSU, and it seems as though this year’s Achilles tear clinched the decision to head to LSU this fall rather than try for the 2020 Olympic process.

Coming off that injury, I would treat anything you get from Shchennikova in the 2020 season on vault and floor as a bonus, but there should be enough recovery time for them to get a bars routine and potentially some beam from her. That would provide a solid complement to Kai Rivers (who can compete all four, but her main things will be vault and floor) and Kiya Johnson who’s expected to compete all four pieces. Continue reading Things Are Happening – August 16, 2019

Simone Biles Difficulty Score Analysis

Basically this is my version of every single news organization publishing its WhAt HaPpEn WhEn SiMoNe DoInG aLl ThEm GuMnErStIcS? article. A REAL LIFE GUMNERST EXPLAINS SIMONE’S COOL JUMP.

The only way to survive this onslaught of normals trying to discuss Simone bounce-somersaulting her quiple-dumple flop-flop on the floor dance is to wrap ourselves in the warming glow of D scores.

So, I’ll be going through Simone’s D scores on each event (except for vault because just look at the list) for each day of nationals competition—because there were different things going on in each of her routines each day. It was a real adventure.

On beam on the first day of nationals, Simone performed the double double dismount, which has been given a provisional I rating, which increases her intended D score to 6.6. That’s now just one tenth lower than the D score she was attempting on beam in 2016 when the scores were all 0.5 higher.

Simone Biles – Beam – Day 1
Squat through mount – A
Wolf turn triple (E)
Front aerial (D) + Split jump (B) + Straddle jump (B) = 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Back handspring (B) + Layout stepout (C) + Layout stepout (C) = 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) + Back pike (C) = 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Side aerial (D)
Split jump 1/2 from side position (D)
Sissone (A) + Wolf jump (A)
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Double-twisting double tuck (I) = 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Acro – IDDC = 2.0
Dance – EDDC = 1.6
Composition requirements = 2.0
Connection Value = 0.6
Series Bonus = 0.4
D-SCORE = 6.6

Keep in mind that the I value for the double double beam dismount is a temporary one. It will not be official until Simone submits the skill at worlds and the women’s technical committee makes a final determination—after Donatella gets out one of those jewel-inspector glasses and is like, “SEVEN FLAWS.” The WTC can adjust the value at that point if they want, and you will lose your shit if they make it lower. Sunrise, sunset.

In that day 1 beam routine, Biles received credit for every skill and connection she attempted to get that 6.6, the double double dismount garnering an additional two tenths over her typical intended routine, which would be 6.4.

That 6.4 routine is the one she attempted on day 2, but she did not receive full credit for that routine.

Simone Biles – Beam – Day 2
Squat through mount – A
Wolf turn triple (E)
Front aerial (D) + Split jump (B) + Straddle jump (B) = 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Back handspring (B) + Layout stepout (C) + Layout stepout (C) = 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Switch leap (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (D) = 0.1 CV
Back pike (C)
Side aerial (D)
Split jump 1/2 from side position (D)
Sissone (A) + Wolf jump (A)
Back handspring (B) + Back handspring (B) + Full-twisting double tuck (G) = 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Acro – GDDC = 1.8
Dance – EDDC = 1.6
Composition requirements = 2.0
Connection Value = 0.5
Series Bonus = 0.3
D-SCORE = 6.2

In addition to performing the G dismount instead of the I dismount, there was a broken connection between the switch leap 1/2 and the back pike this time, which eliminates a tenth of connection value as well as the series bonus for that whole sequence, bringing her total D score down to 6.2. Continue reading Simone Biles Difficulty Score Analysis

The Scores: Post-Nationals Edition

Now that the US national championship has provided a lovely, juicy, delicious (can you tell I’m hungry) chunk of new numbers to bolster and clarify Spreadsheet Nation, let’s take a new look at the updated scoring hierarchy and what it could mean for potential worlds team selection.

First, the athletes are ranked by peak score recorded on each event so far in 2019, with the top 3 on each apparatus highlighted.

Using those numbers, the highest-scoring team in a 3-count scenario would be as follows:

That team would be “burn down the world” good on bars and beam, though I do think the peak scores somewhat misrepresent vault because this group of 5 is far from the strongest vault team the US could come up with. It would be perfectly reasonable for the US to object to heading into worlds with McCusker, Lee, and Eaker on the same team knowing that one of them would have to vault in the team final.

Now, you could counter that argument with “but the other events are so good they make up for it” or “they’re going to win the team final anyway, so why not maximize event medal possibilities” in support of this team of five. Your choice.

Basically, counting the McCusker vault is the only non-amazing part of that team (should everyone hit), and there’s no other permutation of gymnasts that comes very close at all to matching this peak team score.

What the peak team doesn’t take into account, of course, is consistency, so it doesn’t mind if you fall 80 times as long as you hit once and that hit was an amazing score. Continue reading The Scores: Post-Nationals Edition

US Nationals – Senior Women Day 2 Live Blog

7:00pm CT. NBC. International stream. Scores.

Thus we arrive at the ending. Of course, the race for the title remains in 0% doubt, but Simone’s eh of a day on night 1 does change the skill-competing dynamic a little for herself.

I imagine if she had hit the triple double on the first day, we wouldn’t be seeing it again, but as she didn’t, she’s going to have to do it again tonight. The double double on beam, however, was successful on day 1, so it seems there would be less incentive to put that one back in again.

But to the real show—all the other spots. The standings after the first day were basically like you put everyone in a rock polisher and went, “This is the ranking.”

I mean what even is that nonsense? The surprise would be if they stay in anywhere close to the same positions after tonight’s competition.

I don’t expect the likes of Eaker and McCallum to repeat their struggles today to the same extent, but they’re already two points out of second place, so there may not be an opportunity for them to move up drastically in the standings even if they hit solid meets tonight. There’s just so much ground to make up. Hurd is likely in the same boat. She had three good events last time and then a monstrous floor experience, but that floor experience was enough to truly devastate her ranking.

Continue reading US Nationals – Senior Women Day 2 Live Blog