US Scores, Post-Classic

It’s time for a little score check-in. Now that we have a few more numbers for everyone, it’s a little easier to see where we are now and what people need to do at nationals in a week’s time (!) to save their team-selection narratives.

These scores take into account every meet so far in 2021 for those who have qualified to nationals, along with the associated/presumed petition people. (I think. We’ll know whenever USAG announces the roster.)

I’ll start with what happens when taking everyone’s best score on each event from any competition in 2021.

Best Score All-Around

So, no surprise that Simone is on top with two falls. The thing I didn’t expect before hitting “sort” was Leanne Wong up there tied with DiCello in third place. That’s largely thanks to her vault and floor scores from the March camp, which were quite a bit higher than we saw from her at the Classic meets on those events. Whether that’s a realistic representation of what we might see at nationals/trials, who can say, but it’s worth keeping in mind that her apparent peak is right up there for now.

Continue reading US Scores, Post-Classic

Things Are Happening – May 26, 2021

A. Who’s Going to the Olympics?

The women’s competition at the African Championships finished up earlier today, giving us two brand new Olympians to add to the pile. In an upset, Zeina Ibrahim Sharaf of Egypt won the competition to get an Olympic spot over her countrywoman Farah Hussein, who ended up in second. Both had some strong moments early in the day with Ibrahim looking very poised on beam, and Hussein having to wait 784 hours for her own beam routine before pulling out a confident set without major error. Going into the final rotation on vault, Ibrahim led Hussein by just 0.3, so it could have gone either way, but Hussein crashed her Yfull while Ibrahim landed hers, giving the competition to Ibrahim.

Because it’s just one per country, Farah Hussein will not get an Olympic spot, nor will Egypt’s Jana Mahmoud, who finished in 3rd place. The second Olympic spot on offer from the African Championships instead goes to Naveen Daries of South Africa, who fell on all four routines she attempted to finish 4th in the all-around but nonetheless gets an Olympic spot because no one (who wasn’t from Egypt) did better than her.

For fans of negative scores, we did have some at this competition, but it looks like they just showed up as zeroes on the final standings.

Ibrahim and Daries will be the second Olympians from their countries as Mandy Mohamed of Egypt and Caitlin Rooskrantz of South Africa already qualified at 2019 worlds.

The men’s competition is tomorrow.


This week also brought the announcement of four more Olympians on the men’s side, with Great Britain naming its team of James Hall, Joe Fraser, Giarnni Regini-Moran, and Max Whitlock.

The only member of the 2019 worlds team who did not make this squad was Dom Cunningham, who is understandably having his moment about it, but his results from the various trials this year really weren’t putting him in the highest-scoring team permutations, where Regini-Moran has passed him as the most useful FX/VT contributor, to join their typical top AAer James Hall, PB world champion Fraser, and Whitlock’s pommel horse.

Becky Downie also competed in her individual trial redo. I watch that first bars routine and say, “That’s all I needed. Put her on that team.”

Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 26, 2021

Simone’s Vault Value – Does It Make Sense?

On Saturday at Classic—well, on Friday at podium training—Simone debuted her long-awaited Yurchenko double pike, forcing Sports-Balls across the nation to try to learn what gymnastics words are and say things like, “To put this in perspective, it’s like if a basketball ran the 100 meters without an interception.”

Thankfully, we can move a little bit beyond “gymnastics, boy, I don’t know” and talk about what really matters, that 6.6 D-Score decision. According to Tom Forster, this value came directly from the FIG, so even though it’s technically provisional until the Olympics, it’s pretty likely to stay the same because…the exact same all-powerful TECHNICAL WOMEN will be deciding its value 2 months from now.

As for the value itself, I’ve thought more about it, and here’s where I am in a little bit more detail: It’s low for me. I’ve mentally had this at 6.8 since we heard about it, and I still agree with me. But honestly it’s not as low as I thought they were going to go, and not as egregious a case of undervaluing as the beam dismount from 2019.

The problem with Simone’s double double beam dismount in 2019 being given an H value is that it did not adhere to any kind of recognizable precedent or logic established by previous values of other beam dismounts. On beam, a double tuck dismount is a D. Adding a full twist to that bumps it up three tenths to a G. And then adding another full twist bumps it up…1 tenth? To an H? Any logical progression falls apart pretty quickly, and the FIG’s post hoc explanation of the value as an effort to preserve the safety of gymnasts was fully laughable coming from an organization that, for example, doesn’t allow a touch warmup for event finals or has a checkered history with the various equipment manufacturers selected for various world championships.

Continue reading Simone’s Vault Value – Does It Make Sense?

US Classic Session 2 – Live Blog

Let’s do this thing. Welcome to The Simone Vault Show: featuring some other girl, probably named Lisa or something.

The first session was a little…roughety rough, which is to be expected at Classic, but we’ll see whether that continues for the second session, which is a bit deeper with top athletes than the first group was.

In the first rotation, the Skinner/DiCello group is on vault, the Lee/Hurd/Lee group is on bars, the Simone/Chiles group is on beam, and the GAGE/Arizona group is on floor.

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US Classic Session 1 – Live Blog

Life is starting. Well, more accurately session 1. In a…soon.

First rotation start list:

At least allegedly. Faith Torrez pulled out of the competition. And this doesn’t reflect the rest of the event scratches (except Memmel, whom we already know is doing vault and beam today).

We haven’t seen a full AA performance from Konnor McClain yet this year—namely because she hasn’t done bars for a score—so I’m interested to see what that bars routine looks like in the first rotation. (ALSO NEVER MIND SHE’S NOT DOING FLOOR. But bars will still be interesting.) Also, will McCallum go for the Silivas on floor that she was warming up with a spot yesterday? And Skye Blakely on beam because duh.

Latest word is that Hernandez will not be doing UB or FX and Jones will not be doing FX. Malabuyo is off VT and McClain is off FX. That means that Hernandez would have to rely on a petition to do the AA at nationals (as Memmel would), and the way the athletes have been talking, it kind of sounds like they’re being free with the petitions in the Tom era. We shall see.

Expect this competition to go pretty quickly with a lot of 3-person floor rotations. NBC will be like, “NO MATTER. CHELLSIE’S GRIPS.”

Continue reading US Classic Session 1 – Live Blog

Things Are Happening – May 21, 2021

A. Classic Podium Training

Someone showed up to Classic podium training and did a lil ol’ Yurchenko double pike.

So, this is like…too good. It’s not supposed to be this good. She did a second one after this and fully ran backward out of it.

Simone didn’t have to show up looking the most prepared of anyone at Classic podium training, but she kind of did.

Now, to the most important question: What’s it going to be valued? Timmy the Dags said on twitter that is has been given a 6.6 for this meet. And keep in mind that this would be a provisional US rating and can change once the women’s technical committee gets hold of it at the Olympics (like when the beam dismount got an I nationals but then an H at worlds).

A 6.6 is little low for me, though not quite as disastrous as it might have been (and again, we’ll see what the WTC does). I had it at 6.8 based on precedent. In the men’s code, the Yurchenko double pike is a 5.6 vault, so we can compare that to vaults that exist in both codes like the handspring double front, which is 5.2 in the men’s code and 6.4 in the women’s code. So keeping the same 0.4 progression that the codes lovvveeee, that would have put the Yurchenko double pike at 6.8. Which is where I came up with the number.

Comparing the men’s and women’s codes in this case does have its limits, however, because the Yurchenko layout 2.5 is a 5.2 in the men’s code compared to the Yurchenko double pike at 5.6. Using that logic, the women’s Yurchenko double pike would be only 6.2, which would be comically low compared to the recent 6.4-valued inventions like the Biles I.

(Meanwhile, if the double pike is 6.6, does that mean the tuck version would be 6.2? Because that’s also comically low in comparison to other vaults. Though they are redoing all the vault values for 2022, so they have a chance to address the prospective difficulty discrepancies. Ha ha ha, I do like to kid.)

A few notes on some of the other people who were there and did some things.

Chellsie Memmel – The Memmeling is happening. She participated in all four warmup rotations but showed actual full routines on two—a Yurchenko full on vault, as well as her beam with the same content as in the mock meet from her last video. She looked understandably tentative, but beam and vault should bring competitive scores. Memmel is not competing bars here, though she actually showed more content than I expected in podium training, including her double front dismount. On floor, she didn’t do any tumbling but did give us a very important dance through.

Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 21, 2021