Category Archives: Code of Points

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. Continue reading The Most Difficult Floor Routines in the World

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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

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

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

WTF Is NCAA Scoring – Floor Edition

Before the NCAA season begins, it’s time for the now-annual venture into the murky world of NCAA scoring for those who might want to know a little more about what’s going on. Fair warning: you’ll be saner if you don’t.

For the full experience, be sure to check out of the previous posts on vault, bars, and beam.


Composing a routine

Routine requirements
  • At minimum, an NCAA routine must include 3 A-valued elements, 3 B-valued elements, and 2 C-valued elements.

You don’t have to worry about this part. It’s basic and every routine you see in NCAA will have been designed specifically to meet this standard. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see it in competition.

Gymnasts must also fulfill a series of special composition requirements, each worth 0.2. On floor, those four requirements are

1 – One acrobatic combination, featuring 2 saltos. The 2 saltos can be directly connected to each other or indirectly connected to each other within a single tumbling pass, but they must appear in the same line of acrobatic skills.

2 – Three different saltos within the exercise. Because the majority of gymnasts perform three tumbling passes, one of which must be a combination pass, they tend to have four different saltos in their routines anyway, easily fulfilling the minimum requirement of three.

Some will not have four, either because they are performing a routine with just two passes, or because they are repeating a skill in one of the passes, but they must have at least three.

Continue reading WTF Is NCAA Scoring – Floor Edition

WTF Is NCAA Scoring – Beam Edition

Before the NCAA season begins, it’s time for the now-annual venture into the murky world of NCAA scoring for those who might want to know a little more about what’s going on. Fair warning: you’ll be saner if you don’t.

For the full experience, be sure to check out of the first two posts on vault and bars.


Composing a routine

Routine requirements
  • At minimum, an NCAA routine must include 3 A-valued elements, 3 B-valued elements, and 2 C-valued elements.

You don’t have to worry about this part. It’s very, very basic and every routine you see in NCAA will have met this standard.

Gymnasts must also, however, fulfill a series of special composition requirements, each worth 0.2. On beam, those five requirements are

1 – One acrobatic series. This means two acrobatic flight elements, “directly connected,” with at least one of the elements being C value or higher.

The most common acrobatic flight series you’ll see is the back handspring + layout stepout series (or loso series).

It’s the classic NCAA series, and you’re probably sick of it. Or, you would be if there weren’t several other worse options.

You’ll notice I put “directly connected” in quotes in the above rule because while an acrobatic series on beam would have to be directly connected and generate rebounding speed in one direction in Spencer World, it doesn’t have to do that in Actual World.

Forward + backward series may also be used to fulfill the acrobatic series requirement, of which the most common by far is the front aerial + back handspring series.

Much to the chagrin of me, everyone has decided to agree that this counts as a directly connected acro series, despite not featuring continuous rebounding movement. In reality it is just two different acro elements performed in the vicinity of one another. Still, it can be used to fulfill the requirement. Continue reading WTF Is NCAA Scoring – Beam Edition

WTF Is NCAA Scoring – Bars Edition

Before the NCAA season begins, it’s time for the now-annual venture into the murky world of NCAA scoring for those who might want to know a little more about what’s going on. Fair warning: you’ll be saner if you don’t.

For the full experience, be sure to check out of the first post on vault.


Composing a routine

Routine requirements
  • At minimum, an NCAA routine must include 3 A-valued elements, 3 B-valued elements, and 2 C-valued elements.

You don’t have to worry about this part. It’s very basic and every routine you see in NCAA will have been designed specifically to meet this standard, otherwise you wouldn’t see it in competition.

Gymnasts must also fulfill a series of special composition requirements, each worth 0.2. On bars, those four requirements are

1 – Two separate bar changes. This means that you can’t just start on the low bar, get up to the high bar, and then dismount. At some point in the routine, you have to transition from low to high, and from high to low.

2 – Two flight elements, not including the dismount. Flight elements include same-bar releases, as well as transition skills in which the body is not in contact with either bar at some point.

Gymnasts will typically fulfill this by using their two transitions (e.g., a bail handstand and a toe shoot; a Pak and a Shaposh), or by using one of those transitions skills along with a same-bar release. Gymnasts do not have to perform a same-bar release, and you’re supposed to have a really strong opinion about that one way or the other.

The two flight elements typically must be at least C-value skills, but one B-value skill can be used to meet the requirement as long as the other element is D- or E-value.

3 – A turning element, minimum C value. Turning elements normally make us think of pirouettes, but that does not have to be the case. Turning pirouettes do fulfill this requirement, but so does any skill including at least a 1/2 turn at any point. That means a skill like a bail handstand can be used to meet this requirement.

It’s not the spirit of the rule, but it does count.

4 – A dismount, minimum C value. This special requirement is a lie. NCAA gymnastics absolutely does not want you dismounting with an isolated C element, despite what the requirement says.

You can, but if the C-level dismount is preceded by two giant swings (as most dismounts are), you lose 0.1. Plus, if it’s not performed in a combination that earns bonus, you lose an additional 0.1. So basically, you can’t dismount with a C.

The requirement should just say a dismount, minimum D value, or C-value in direct bonus combination. That’s what it boils down to anyway.

Missing any one of these four requirements is a 0.2 deduction from the start value. Every routine you watch will have been composed to ensure that doesn’t happen. Any gymnast with a routine that includes 3 As, 3 Bs, and 2 Cs, and that fulfills the four requirements above will begin with a 9.50 start value.


Bonus

From there, gymnasts attempt to get up to a 10.0 start value by earning five tenths of bonus. Bonus is earned in two categories.

1) Skill value – Each D element earns 0.1 in bonus, and each E element earns 0.2.

2) Connection value – There are a few formulae through which gymnasts receive connection bonus on bars.

C+C = 0.1 (but only if both elements show flight or turn, OR if both elements begin from the clear-hip, toe-on, or stalder roots)
C+D = 0.1
D+D = 0.2

To earn the full five tenths of bonus, at least one tenth must come from each category (skill value and connection value), so you can’t load up exclusively on one category or another.

But, as long as you get your 5 tenths of bonus, and fulfill all the requirements above, you’ve got your 10.0 start!


Up to level

Unless. There are several possible routine-composition deductions in NCAA routines, but the one you’ll hear me talk about the most during the season is the “up to level” deduction.

This deduction is a flat .10, taken from any routine that does not fulfill the standard of being “up to the competitive level.”

What does that even mean? Good question. On bars, a routine is considered up to the competitive level, and therefore avoids this deduction, as long as it fulfills ONE of the following areas.

1 – A same-bar release of D value (e.g., Jaeger, Gienger, or Tkatchev)
2 – A release element of E value (e.g., Ricna, Shap 1/2, or Bhardwaj)
3 – Two D releases (e.g., Bail handstand AND Shaposhnikova)
4 – Two E-level skills (e.g., Stalder 1/1 AND Double layout dismount)

Achieve any one of those, and you’re good.

“Up to level” is also where that 0.1 deduction for performing a C dismount without bonus connection that I mentioned earlier comes in. It’s classified as an “up to level” deduction.

Judges must display if they have taken an up-to-level deduction on a routine. So in a meet, if you see a card flashed that says “UTL” next to the start value, this is what has happened.


Example

Let’s go through a straightforward example routine, where I’ll point out exactly how it meets the composition topics outlined above. Continue reading WTF Is NCAA Scoring – Bars Edition