Category Archives: Code of Points

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

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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

WTF is NCAA Scoring – Vault 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.


Vault values

Unlike on the other events, where we have skills and letters and composition requirements and bonus rules, on vault we have simply a set of predetermined start values for every vault.

You can check out the full list of vaults if you’d like, but the most pressing issue on vault is the quest to have a 10.0 start value. Because the omnipresent Yurchenko full is valued at 9.95, having a 10.0 vault can provide a decisive advantage, and a lineup of all 10.0 vaults would begin with a margin of .250 over a lineup of all Yurchenko fulls.

Here is a list of the 10.0-value vaults that you’ll see with any frequency in NCAA. The golden geese of vaulting.

NCAA 10.0 Vaults
Yurchenko 1.5
Yurchenko 2/1
Yurchenko 1.5 tucked
Yurchenko 1/2 on, front tuck 1/2
Yurchenko 1/2 on, front pike (Omelianchik)
Yurchenko 1/1 on, back tuck or pike
Tsukahara 1/2
Tsukahara 1/1
Handspring pike 1/2
Handspring tuck 1/1
FHS, Handspring front pike

One change in NCAA for the 2019 season is that the athletes must flash the vault number they intend to perform, just as they do in elite. In the past, NCAA vaulters only had to flash the family number.


Deductions

With the values set, all we have left to deal with are the deductions. Just those. The most important thing you need to know about NCAA deductions is ‾\_(ツ)_/‾. Keep that in mind at all times.

NCAA pretends that it follows the JO code of points, except it obviously doesn’t. Not even a little. There’s a tremendous amount of subjectivity remaining in NCAA scoring, including an unwritten understanding regarding which deductions from the JO code actually count and which ones magically don’t for the purpose of scoring NCAA routines. The standard is, “We take the JO code of points, and then just ignore all of it. The end. Here’s your score. Fetch.”

So, in these sections, I’m going to deviate from (deviate from = completely ignore) the code of points we’re actually supposed to be following and instead discuss the reality of what I see getting taken. Continue reading WTF is NCAA Scoring – Vault Edition

Attack of the Side Leap

In 2016, the split jump 1/2 and straddle jump 1/2 on beam both had B value.

Oh, what simple times those were.

Carefree almost.

For 2017, both the split jump 1/2 and straddle jump 1/2 have been revalued and bumped up to C elements.

At the same time, the one-tenth difficulty bonus for leaps beginning and ending in side position has been expanded to include those leaps with just a 1/2 twist.

Add it all up, and what does that spell?

It spells that the split jump 1/2 from side position and straddle jump 1/2 from side position, elements that 9 months ago would have been B skills, are now D skills.

THIS WILL BE GREAT FOR UPGRADES.

WHAT A COOL AND TRENDY D-SCORE HACK.

NOTHING COULD GO WRONG.

NOTHING AT ALL.

THIS IS GOOD AND NORMAL.

EVEN RAGAN SMITH IS FINE WITH IT.

BEAM WILL NEVER BE THE SAME IN A GOOD WAY.

7000 WORTH-IT POINTS FOR EASY SIDE LEAPS.

IT’S SO SIMPLE DO THE DANCE.

THE FUTURE IS SIDE LEAPS.

 

 

 

CSI: Your Floor Score

The judges are not here for your trash leaps.

At U.S. Classic, the floor-credit whip (you know that) was cracked in all directions, at everyone, frequently to the tune of 3- to 5-tenth downgrades for those attempting multiple turns and twisting leaps. Basically, if you’re wondering what elements everyone got credit for, the answer is nothing, and she didn’t.

And rightfully so.

The moral of U.S. Classic is that just because a split leap 1.5 is a D element, that doesn’t mean you should try it. Really. You won’t get credit anyway.

Let’s start with Jade Carey, who recorded a still-impressive 5.7 D that currently ranks as one of the highest in the world.

JADE CAREY
Double double tucked (H)
Double layout 1/1 (H)
Double L turn (D)
L hop 1/1 (C)
Switch leap 1/1 (D)
Front 2/1 (D)
Split leap 1.5 (D)
Double tuck 1/1 (E)
Acro – HHED = 2.5
Dance – DDDC = 1.5
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.0
Attempted D-SCORE = 6.0
 Awarded D-SCORE = 5.7

Carey has just 8 countable skills in the routine, which means she’s relying on getting full credit for all of them. Other gymnasts will throw in backup C dance elements like switch rings just in case, though the risk there is that more elements = more deductions.

In this case, Carey would not have been given the double L turn, receiving only B value for the single L turn and bringing her down to 5.8. Then, the split leap 1.5 would have been bumped down to a split leap 1/1 for C value, which brings her down to the 5.7.

We don’t know what was downgraded because we don’t get judging receipts (heaven forbid there be some transparency), but we can make educated guesses.

This isn’t a dire D situation. A 5.7 is still quite high, and she’s taking a calculated risk in the hope that occasionally she’ll receive more than 5.7. It will be tough to get credit for the split 1.5, but completing that double L to get up to 5.9 is doable and makes for a very competitive D-score.

Others were downgraded more severely.

Continue reading CSI: Your Floor Score

Who’s Winning the Beam Code?

Last year, I did a couple comparisons (1, 2) to see what the major 2016 beam routines would score under the 2017 code, a way of examining who needed to make the most changes to their routines (and what kinds of changes needed to be made) to remain competitive in 2017.

Now that we’ve actually seen a hefty crop of reorganized 2017 beam routines, it’s time to revisit those same beam routines to find out who has been most successful in minimizing the loss of D—and how they’ve done it.

In the first column, you’ll see the gymnast’s 2016 beam routine evaluated with the 2016 code, and in the second column, you’ll see the current 2017 routines evaluated with the 2017-2020 code.

Let’s begin, as last time, with the composition queen, Sanne Wevers. Because her composition varies wildly basically every time she does a beam routine, I’ve combined her two routines from Euros to try to see the full breadth of what she may be intending to go for.

Sanne Wevers
2016 2017
Bhs 1/1 mount – E Bhs mount + Wolf jump 1/1 + Bhs 1/1 – D+D+D = 0.4 CV, 0.1 SB
Double L spin – E Double L spin – E
Side aerial + side aerial + aerial + wolf – D+D+D+A = 0.4 CV Side aerial + side aerial – D+D
Front aerial + split jump – D+B = 0.1 CV
Triple spin – E Triple spin – E
L spin + single spin + double spin – C+A+D = 0.2 CV L spin + single spin + double spin – C+A+D = 0.2 CV
Switch split + bhs 1/1 – C+D = 0.1 CV Split leap + straight 1/1 + bhs – B+C+B = 0.1 SB
Gainer layout 1/1 – E Gainer layout 1/1 – D
CR – 2.5 CR – 2.0
Acro – EEDDD – 2.2 Acro – DDDDD – 2.0
Dance – EED – 1.4 Dance – EED – 1.4
CV – 0.7 CV – 0.9
Total D – 6.8 Total D – 6.3

Sanne’s current combined kitchen-sink routine holds up OK, though she is still losing the full five tenths compared to last year’s late-season routines and hasn’t actually attempted this new 6.3 all together in one routine yet in 2017. Right now, that final split leap combo appears to be just a backup plan in case she doesn’t get her preceding spin combo, which makes sense since that final combo is a lot of deduction risk just for one tenth in series bonus. So, she may actually be intending a 6.2 right now, not 6.3.

The removal of non-rebounding acro CV was always going to be difficult for Sanne to adapt to, but she’s currently attempting to replace it with the opening mount combination. It’s a tough combo to get every time, but I do like the wolf jump 1/1 + bhs 1/1 choice. That’s a really valuable combination now that the wolf jump has been upgraded, and it’s pretty doable for her.

I also expect that what we’re seeing right now is work-in-progress stuff with 28 other CV backup plans ready for later in the year. Because Sanne.

For instance, she has broken up the side aerials from the front aerial for now, but those side aerials should still be used for series bonus. They’re screaming for some random B to be connected afterward for another tenth. (Or to combine two lines in her routine and do side aerial + Side aerial + split jump + front aerial. Very Sanne.)

Eythora Thorsdottir
2016
2017
Sissone + side aerial + Korbut – A+D+B = 0.1 CV Split + side aerial + Korbut – B+D+B = 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Split ring + sheep – D+D = 0.2 CV Split ring – D
Illusion – D Illusion – D
Split leap + aerial – A+D = 0.1 CV Aerial + Split + Stag ring = D+B+B = 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
L spin + switch split + Y spin + single spin – C+C+C+A = 0.3 CV L spin + switch split + Y spin – C+C+C = 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Round-off + triple full – B+F Round-off + triple full – B+F = 0.2 CV
CR – 2.5 CR – 2.0
Acro – FDD – 1.4 Acro – FDD – 1.4
Dance – DDDCC – 1.8 Dance – DDCCC – 1.7
CV – 0.7 CV – 0.9
Total D – 6.4 Total D – 6.0

Eythora has been able to cut her losses to just four tenths fairly comfortably, predominately because she can take advantage of the new dismount CV, which mitigates her only major loss from the 2016 routine, the downgrade of the sheep jump. Continue reading Who’s Winning the Beam Code?