Category Archives: Fun with Numbers

NCAA All-Around Leaders (All-time)

I blame Maggie Nichols. All of these high all-around scores she’s dancing around in right now mean that we need some historical reference points by which to compare what she’s doing to the highest all-time individual AA performance. So here we are.

Rank Name School Score Year
1. Karin Lichey Georgia 40.000 1996
2. Mohini Bhardwaj UCLA 39.975 2001
3. Suzanne Metz Utah 39.950 1995
4. Maggie Nichols Oklahoma 39.925 2017
5. Jamie Dantzscher UCLA 39.900 2002
Kristen Kenoyer Utah 39.900 1993
Courtney Kupets Georgia 39.900 2009
8. Jeanette Antolin UCLA 39.875 2004
April Burkholder LSU 39.875 2003
Jenny Hansen Kentucky 39.875 1995
Jenny Hansen Kentucky 39.875 1994
Ashley Kelly Arizona State 39.875 2006
Ashley Kelly Arizona State 39.875 2004
Ashley Kelly Arizona State 39.875 2003
Karin Lichey Georgia 39.875 1998
Emily Pritchard Washington 39.875 2004
Melissa Vituj Utah 39.875 2004
18. Jeanette Antolin UCLA 39.850 2004
Ashley Kelly Arizona State 39.850 2004
Courtney Kupets Georgia 39.850 2009
Karin Lichey Georgia 39.850 1999
Maggie Nichols Oklahoma 39.850 2017
Andree’ Pickens Alabama 39.850 2002
Jeana Rice Alabama 39.850 2004
Kate Richardson UCLA 39.850 2004
26. April Burkholder LSU 39.825 2005
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney LSU 39.825 2008
Rheagan Courville LSU 39.825 2015
Natalie Foley Stanford 39.825 2004
Larissa Fontaine Stanford 39.825 2000
Alaina Johnson Florida 39.825 2014
Karin Lichey Georgia 39.825 1999
Courtney Kupets Georgia 39.825 2009
Kristen Maloney UCLA 39.825 2005
Kelly McDonald Washington 39.825 2004
Maggie Nichols Oklahoma 39.825 2017
Emily Pritchard Washington 39.825 2004
Elise Ray Michigan 39.825 2002
Kate Richardson UCLA 39.825 2003
Tasha Schwikert UCLA 39.825 2005
Richelle Simpson Nebraska 39.825 2003
Bridget Sloan Florida 39.825 2014
Lindsay Wing Stanford 39.825 2004
44. Jeanette Antolin UCLA 39.800 2004
Kim Arnold Georgia 39.800 1997
Kim Arnold Georgia 39.800 1997
Mohini Bhardwaj UCLA 39.800 2001
Mohini Bhardwaj UCLA 39.800 2001
April Burkholder LSU 39.800 2004
Chelsa Byrd Georgia 39.800 2004
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney LSU 39.800 2008
Jamie Dantzscher UCLA 39.800 2002
Natalie Foley Stanford 39.800 2004
Dee Foster Alabama 39.800 1993
Dee Foster Alabama 39.800 1993
Cory Fritzinger Georgia 39.800 2002
Maggie Germaine Arizona State 39.800 2004
Kristen Guise Florida 39.800 1996
Jenny Hansen Kentucky 39.800 1995
Kytra Hunter Florida 39.800 2013
Ashley Kelly Arizona State 39.800 2004
Kristen Kenoyer Utah 39.800 1993
Theresa Kulikowski Utah 39.800 2002
Theresa Kulikowski Utah 39.800 2002
Courtney Kupets Georgia 39.800 2009
Courtney Kupets Georgia 39.800 2006
Ashley Postell Utah 39.800 2008
Elise Ray Michigan 39.800 2004
Kate Richardson UCLA 39.800 2004
Agina Simpkins Gerogia 39.800 1993
Richelle Simpson Nebraska 39.800 2003
Richelle Simpson Nebraska 39.800 2003
Richelle Simpson Nebraska 39.800 2003
Bridget Sloan Florida 39.800 2015
Heather Stepp Georgia 39.800 1993
Melissa Vituj Utah 39.800 2004
Onnie Willis UCLA 39.800 2003
Onnie Willis UCLA 39.800 2003
 79. Jeanette Antolin UCLA 39.775 2004
Jeanette Antolin UCLA 39.775 2004
Jeanette Antolin UCLA 39.775 2004
Mohini Bhardwaj UCLA 39.775 2001
Leah Brown Georgia 39.775 1997
Leah Brown Georgia 39.775 1997
April Burkholder LSU 39.775 2004
Chayse Capps Oklahoma 39.775 2016
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney LSU 39.775 2007
Georgia Dabritz Utah 39.775 2015
Jamie Dantzscher UCLA 39.775 2003
Jamie Dantzscher UCLA 39.775 2003
Jamie Dantzscher UCLA 39.775 2003
Annabeth Eberle Utah 39.775 2004
Cory Fritzinger Georgia 39.775 2002
Maggie Germaine Arizona State 39.775 2003
Kristen Guise Florida 39.775 1996
Jenny Hansen Kentucky 39.775 1995
Katie Heenan Georgia 39.775 2008
Kytra Hunter Florida 39.775 2013
Courtney Kupets Georgia 39.775 2009
Karin Lichey Georgia 39.775 1999
Kristi Lichey Georgia 39.775 2000
Rani Liljenquist Arizona 39.775 2002
Nina McGee Denver 39.775 2016
Heidi Moneymaker UCLA 39.775 2000
Ashley Postell Utah 39.775 2005
Katie Rowland Penn State 39.775 2003
MyKayla Skinner Utah 39.775 2017
Bridget Sloan Florida 39.775 2016
Bridget Sloan Florida 39.775 2016
Lori Strong Georgia 39.775 1996
Lori Strong Georgia 39.775 1995
Meredith Willard Alabama 39.775 1997
Vanessa Zamarripa UCLA 39.775 2012
 114. Jeanette Antolin UCLA 39.750 2004
Jeanette Antolin UCLA 39.750 2004
Caitlin Atkinson Auburn 39.750 2015
Monica Bisordi Arizona 39.750 2004
Monica Bisordi Arizona 39.750 2004
Chelsa Byrd Georgia 39.750 2004
Sarah Cain Michigan 39.750 2000
Sarah Cain Michigan 39.750 2000
Chayse Capps Oklahoma 39.750 2017
Chari Knight Oregon State 39.750 1993
Rheagan Courville LSU 39.750 2014
Rheagan Courville LSU 39.750 2013
Georgia Dabritz Utah 39.750 2015
Jamie Dantzscher UCLA 39.750 2003
Dee Foster Alabama 39.750 1993
Dee Foster Alabama 39.750 1993
Erin Dethloff Iowa State 39.750 2004
Erinn Dooley Florida 39.750 2004
Annabeth Eberle Utah 39.750 2003
Cory Fritzinger Georgia 39.750 2002
Tami Harris Nebraska 39.750 2004
Kytra Hunter Florida 39.750 2015
Kytra Hunter Florida 39.750 2015
Jennifer Wood LSU 39.750 1995
Jenny Hansen Kentucky 39.750 1993
Karin Lichey Georgia 39.750 1998
Ashley Kelly Arizona State 39.750 2004
Ashley Kelly Arizona State 39.750 2003
Kim Kelly Alabama 39.750 1996
Kim Kelly Alabama 39.750 1994
Kristen Kenoyer Utah 39.750 1993
Kristen Kenoyer Utah 39.750 1992
Theresa Kulikowski Utah 39.750 1999
Courtney Kupets Georgia 39.750 2008
Courtney Kupets Georgia 39.750 2007
Courtney Kupets Georgia 39.750 2006
AJ Lamb Nebraska 39.750 2003
Leah Homma UCLA 39.750 1996
Alexis Maday Iowa 39.750 2004
Kristen Maloney UCLA 39.750 2005
Kristen Maloney UCLA 39.750 2004
Kristen Maloney UCLA 39.750 2004
Maggie Nichols Oklahoma 39.750 2017
Andree’ Pickens Alabama 39.750 2002
Andree’ Pickens Alabama 39.750 2001
Andree’ Pickens Alabama 39.750 1999
Ashley Postell Utah 39.750 2008
Ashley Postell Utah 39.750 2008
Elise Ray Michigan 39.750 2004
Jeana Rice Alabama 39.750 2004
Jeana Rice Alabama 39.750 2003
Jeana Rice Alabama 39.750 2003
Kate Richardson UCLA 39.750 2004
Kate Richardson UCLA 39.750 2004
Kate Richardson UCLA 39.750 2003
Tasha Schwikert UCLA 39.750 2007
MyKayla Skinner Utah 39.750 2017
Bridget Sloan Florida 39.750 2014
Bridget Sloan Florida 39.750 2014
Bridget Sloan Florida 39.750 2013
Bridget Sloan Florida 39.750 2013
Bridget Sloan Florida 39.750 2013
Lindsay Wing Stanford 39.750 2001
Vanessa Zamarripa UCLA 39.750 2013
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2017 v. 2016

It’s one thing to compare teams to each other, as we do in the rankings every week, but how a team measures up to its own standards is also a significant benchmark, particularly for those teams with no realistic postseason or beating-other-schools aspirations.

So, today’s journey into the numbers offers an intra-team comparison of how all the teams are currently scoring versus how they were scoring after the same number of meets in the 2016 season.

For most teams, the comparison is reason for optimism, even for a roller-coaster team like Georgia that, in spite of its “the bus is in the gully” start to the season, has improved on 2016 in each subsequent meet and is now better off than it was at this point last year.

In fact, the heavy majority of teams are scoring better this year than they did in 2016, with 54 teams having improved their averages versus just 28 teams falling off from last season. This is particularly apparent at the bottom of the rankings among the DII and DIII teams where only a handful of teams are weaker this season and many have improved their averages to the tune of multiple points. The national average of averages for all 82 teams sits at 192.500 right now, compared to 192.082 at this time last season, which is not an insignificant bump. Teams are scoring a half point better than they were last year. So, yeah, that trend of increasing scores doesn’t show much sign of abating. Continue reading 2017 v. 2016

First Meet History

The first meets of the season are in the books (for almost all the teams), and since everyone has decided based on only that who the Super Six teams will be, we should probably just fast forward to regionals, right? We have all we need to know.

Last night, Stanford performed a catastrophic floor rotation, a clunky beam rotation, and a surprisingly OK vault rotation to score the traditional first-meet 1.100 in a show of true compassion for Georgia. Stanford’s 193.250 is its lowest first-meet score in over a decade, and yet my general impression was, “Could have been worse.” So there’s that. Stanford would like us to know that starting slowly is all part of a cunning master plan that works almost a third of the time. UNSTOPPABLE.

Considering various teams and their general trends of starting slowly/quickly and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing or even matters, I plotted the first-meet scores of the eventual champions for each of the last 10 years.

champions

What this tells us is that there’s not a rule. You could be Oklahoma in 2014 and start high, stay high, and end high (team motto?), or you could be Alabama in 2011 and start in the garbage before pulling it back. The good news for teams that struggled in the first meet this year is that apart from that Oklahoma 2014 number, these aren’t overwhelming scores. (But they’re also not 193s, Georgia and Stanford.) Champions don’t have to be champions in the first week and often aren’t.

That’s also reflected in the average first-meet scores for the six ultimate Super Six qualifiers.

super-six

In 2014, the good teams all started well and remained excellent right through to the end, but that’s sort of an outlier. In 2015, Stanford and Auburn were trash in the first meet and came back to make Super Six. In 2011, none of the six final qualifiers scored higher than 195.700 in the opening meet. Scores were lower as a whole in 2011, but not that much lower. So it can be done. Continue reading First Meet History

Does It Pay to 1.5?

The start value of the Yurchenko full may have been changed to promote more variety on vault, but the most delicious byproduct of the move has been the creation of a big, fat dilemma. The new strategic twist for coaches to grapple with: does an extra .05 actually make the Yurchenko 1.5 worth it, or is it smarter to stay with the trusty full?

Preseason training videos reveal that this dilemma is even more widespread this year than last year, and over the next month or so, coaches will have to make major decisions about whether their gymnasts should actually compete that wonky 1.5 they’ve been training.

So……should they?

Thankfully, we now have a whole season of evidence to use in making that decision for them, so let’s take a look at whether competing the Yurchenko 1.5 actually ended up being worth it in 2016.

Item 1: The average vault scores from the national championship (semifinals and Super Six), separated by type of vault. The first table includes all vaults, while the second table removes the falls.

2016 Nationals – Average Scores (with falls)
Yurchenko 1.5 9.829
Other vaults 9.821
Yurchenko full 9.803
2016 Nationals – Average Scores (no falls)
Yurchenko 1.5 9.867
Other vaults 9.863
Yurchenko full 9.803

The story these tables tell is a relatively optimistic one for Team 1.5. Even with a few falls at nationals, the 1.5 still ended up being more valuable than the full on average, a good argument for its being worth the risk. When falls are not included, the margin between the vaults balloons to 0.064, greater than the 0.050 difference in start value. Continue reading Does It Pay to 1.5?

Returning Routine Rankings 2017

Yes, that is a picture of D-D Breaux in a pink hardhat. Because there doesn’t need to be a reason.

Now that the NCAA schedules are finally coming together-ish, it’s probably important for us to start remembering who the people are and what the things do. It’s a really tough job. We need three months.

Before beginning to evaluate this year’s incoming freshmen, I decided to check out where the teams stand without them, how they rank using only scores from 2016’s returning gymnasts. It’s a totally scientific and unimpeachable way of quantifying just how much work the freshmen and new transfers will need to do for teams to return to (or improve on) last year’s level.

When available, I used RQS for each gymnast, but when not, I used full season average.

Most teams do return at least five people who competed on each apparatus last year, but when they don’t, I filled out the remaining scores with punishment 9.700s (I told you, totally scientific). It’s a way of making sure each team has a comparable total, operating under the belief that for these top 15 teams, the backup gymnast who wasn’t good enough to compete probably would have scored a replacement-level 9.700. That is, unless the returning scores were already lower than that (*cough* Utah’s beam *cough*).

1. LSU – 197.726
VAULT
Gnat – 9.965
Ewing – 9.905
Hambrick – 9.880
Finnegan – 9.835
Cannamela – 9.835
Macadaeg – 9.790
Priessman – 9.750
49.420
BARS
Finnegan 9.915
Hambrick – 9.905
Zamardi – 9.875
Priessman – 9.869
Gnat – 9.727
Cannamela – 9.663
49.291
BEAM
Finnegan – 9.915
Gnat – 9.895
Macadaeg – 9.890
Hambrick – 9.885
Ewing – 9.870
Priessman – 9.725
Cannamela – 9.603
49.455
FLOOR
Gnat – 9.980
Macadaeg – 9.950
Kelley – 9.885
Hambrick – 9.880
Ewing – 9.865
Finnegan – 9.692
Zamardi – 9.517
Cannamela – 9.050
49.560

Losing only Savona and a not-100% Wyrick from last year’s Super Six team, LSU is sailing smoothly on most events. Continue reading Returning Routine Rankings 2017

United States v. Russia v. China

Following up on my exploration of which skills are the most popular in US elite routines, I decided it would be interesting (to me exclusively) to compare US composition to routine composition in Russia and China to illustrate the very different approaches taken by the three countries and where they can learn from each other.

And by each other, I mean the US. Because, let’s be real, the US won by 8 points.

The US numbers are based on routines from the three major domestic competitions this summer, Russia’s are based on Russian Cup (and occasionally Russian Champs if the gymnast didn’t compete at Russian Cup), and China’s are based on the Chinese Championships. I did not include all of the seniors from Russia and China at those meets because…well, they’re not on Youtube. But also because many gymnasts attend those meets to compete for their region/province but aren’t international elites and don’t have a comparable skill level.**

So, here we go. The “winner” for each skill is highlighted.

UNEVEN BARS

versusltoh

  • Russia and China have been much more diligent about getting rid of those trash-shoots that do nothing to boost the D score than the US has, though the toe shoot does remain popular among the bad Chinese bars workers—the non-L-grippy ones who aren’t allowed to be seen in public and have long since been given up for dead because they’re not Fan Yilin. (Yeah, I’m talking about you, Liu Jinru.)
  • The toe-on Shaposh 1/2 is Russia’s compulsory bars skill, while China is more comfortable with Stalder Shaposhes than either the US or Russia. It is interesting to note how few Chinese gymnasts do any variety of Shaposh 1/2 considering how valuable it is and how high their D scores are nonetheless. The toe-on Shaposh 1/2 is absolutely essential to Russia’s high bars Ds.

versushtol

  • And we thought the lack of transition variety in the US was bad. While the Pak is “compulsory” in the US, it is LITERALLY COMPULSORY in Russia and China. (Which also explains the lack of shoots since the Russians and Chinese never even face that direction on the low bar.) The US is the only nation crass enough to still use outdated and obsolete bail handstands.

versussamebar

  • It’s worth noting not only how few same-bar releases are being done, especially by Russia and China, but also how different each country’s choices are. Every US gymnast does a straddled Jaeger, every Russian does a piked Jaeger (which will suit them very well in the next code), and every Chinese gymnast does a Gienger.

Continue reading United States v. Russia v. China

American Elements 2016: The Hottest (and Frostiest) Skills in the US

It’s that time of year. Put on your gymnerd hat, your spreadsheet suspenders, and your white orthopedic percentage-comparison socks because oops, I made some charts again.

As is annual and traditional, I have taken all the skills performed by US senior gymnasts this summer and ranked them based on the percentage of total routines in which they appeared, comparing that data to the same information from the previous four years. Which skills are wildly popular? Which skills are horrible losers? How has it changed over time? Let’s find out.

I have highlighted a few of the significant trends in bluish and reddish as a way of COLORS.

Also the usual disclaimer that I didn’t include skills like giants and back handsprings because meh. Everyone, obviously.

So, like an NCAA away team, we’ll begin on uneven bars and let everything go downhill from there.

UNEVEN BARS

2016samebar

  • The rise of original-recipe Tkatchev. I didn’t expect this. Compared to 2015, the regular Tkatchev is more popular this year, while E releases like the piked Tkatchev and Stalder Tkatchev are less popular. It should be the other way around considering the extreme value of E releases for connection bonus. Then again, the US gymnasts racking up the D score on bars right now like Locklear and Kocian are not same-bar releasies by any means.

Continue reading American Elements 2016: The Hottest (and Frostiest) Skills in the US

Bars Scores: Pretty Cracky, Right?

Right. Let’s get into it.

If, upon subjecting yourself to some of the bars execution scores from the Olympics, you began formulating questions like, “Huh?” “What?” and “How’s your crack addiction?” you were not alone.

To me, the most unexpected scoring-related development at the Olympics was those massive bars scores (high vault scores and beam taking forever were both way too predictable), especially compared to previous years.

This table lists the average execution scores awarded this quad during all world/Olympic finals (team, AA, and event) on each apparatus.

Year VT Execution UB Execution BB Execution FX Execution
2016 9.027 8.549 8.267 8.324
2015 9.097 8.259 7.906 8.338
2014 8.933 8.150 8.179 8.058
2013 8.962 7.848 7.716 8.117

We have some degree of Land of the Rising Scores happening on all the events compared to 2013, which is consistent with the 2012 quad when the execution scores were alarmingly low in 2009 and rose progressively from there. Continue reading Bars Scores: Pretty Cracky, Right?

*UPDATED* US Women’s Olympic Team Calculator

NOTE: This has been updated to include the results from both days of P&G Championships.

Following up on the men’s Olympic team calculator, I’ve also done one for the women so that we can compare the scoring potentials of all the various team options we could possibly imagine, and some we couldn’t imagine.

We don’t have as much to go on yet for the women, but this calculator takes into account all scores recorded so far in competition in 2016 to make up for it.

Once again, here’s how it works. In the cell next to “Team Member #X,” write only the surnames of the five gymnasts on the prospective Olympic team you’d like to test. Once you’ve listed at least three gymnasts, you’ll see a three-up, three-count total for that team on each event along with a full team total. There are two calculation options here. The first is based on the highest score each gymnast has achieved in competition this year on each event, and the second is based on the average score each gymnast has achieved in competition this year on each event. The optimism option and the realism option.

As a handy reminder of who the people are and how their last names are spelled (be sure they’re spelled correctly), here are the 24 women included in this calculator: Biles, Raisman, Douglas, Hernandez, Nichols, Smith, Skinner, Baumann, Dowell, Locklear, Kocian, Gowey, Schild, Hundley, Dennis, Desiderio, Gaskins, Navarro, Frazier, Trautman, Paulson, Ramler, Musselman, DeGuzman.

*FINAL* US Men’s Olympic Team Calculator

NOTE: This has been updated to include the final results from Olympic Trials.

Because we’ve all (and by “we’ve all,” I obviously mean just me) been agonizing over various US men’s team options ever since nationals made everything harder, I’ve put together a handy-dandy little calculator so we can assess and compare all the possible groups of five Olympians (both realistic and five-Paul-Ruggeris-type). That way, everyone can join in the fun! This is what fun is, right?

Go ahead and give it a whirl!

Here’s how it works: In the cell next to “Team Member #X,” write the surname only of the gymnasts on a prospective Olympic team. Once you’ve listed at least three gymnasts, you’ll see a three-up, three-count total for that team on each event—as well as a full team total—based on the scores from nationals.

There are two options here, the first one is based on the highest score received by each gymnast at nationals (if you’re a glass-half-full kind of person), and the second one is based on the average score received by each gymnast at nationals (if you’re a glass-half-pommel-horse kind of person).

As a handy reminder of who the people are and how their last names are spelled (be sure they’re spelled correctly), here are the 18 remaining options for the US men’s Olympic team: Mikulak, Brooks, Dalton, Modi, Melton, Whittenburg, Moldauer, Kimble, Ruggeri, Orozco, Maestas, Naddour, Oyama, Bailey, Penev, Leyva, Legendre, Wynn.