In NCAA gymnastics, execution is important to an athlete’s success. Gymnasts strive for perfection and look to minimize form deductions as much as possible, and difficulty often takes a back seat as a result.
At the same time, the NCAA’s top athletes will also aim to include high difficulty in their routines without sacrificing on execution. In fact, routines on bars, beam, and floor all start from a 9.5. Gymnasts are required to achieve bonus points to get to the 10.0 start value, and they do this by adding in difficult skills and connections. “D” level skills get an extra 0.10 in bonus, and “E” level skills get an extra 0.20. In addition, connection bonus is determined differently on each event. Gymnasts can only receive a maximum of +0.40 in bonus from connections and +0.40 from D/E skills.
Have you ever wondered which NCAA teams have the most difficulty in their line ups? The Super Six lineups were looked at and ranked by difficulty. For the observation, any falls that took place in the competition were ignored.
The Florida Gators have the most difficulty distribution of D and E skills within the Super Six teams. Next, Oklahoma gained their bonus from mostly E level skills. They had seven different “E” level skills, which were competed by various gymnasts in their lineup. Next for UCLA, they had four of their “E” level skills competed by Peng-Peng Lee, which is a lot. LSU was fourth when it came to difficulty in their bar routines, they had one “E” level skill and the rest of the routines included “D” level skills. As for Utah, they also tied for fourth place with LSU when it came to bar difficulty. They had one routine with an “E” level skill, and the other routines included “D” level skills. Finally, Nebraska came in sixth. Overall, their line up only had “D” level skills.
Overall, there were a wide range of “D” and “E” level skills that were exciting to see in the team’s routines. What team bar line up was your favorite? My personal favorite was UCLA’s bar lineup.