Most Difficulty In The 2017 NCAA Super Six: Floor Exercise Edition

For the third installment in our series on the most difficulty in the 2017 NCAA Super Six, we're taking a look at floor exercise. Floor scores are calculated similarly to bars and beam scores -- gymnasts start from a 9.5 and add in difficulty value and connection value in order to get to a 10.0 start value. Gymnasts can add difficulty by performing "E" skills (worth 0.20) and "D" skills (worth 0.10). For connection value, gymnasts can add points by connecting both acrobatic skills in their tumbling passes and by connecting dance skills, such as leap passes. In general, gymnasts will typically have at least one acrobatic connection and one dance connection on floor.

Check out our ranking below for the most difficulty on floor out of the teams who competed at the 2017 Super Six. 

1. LSU

The LSU Tigers place first in our ranking for the most difficulty on floor. Floor was one of the team's best events last year, and several of the gymnasts in the lineup are known for their explosive tumbling. LSU had the most "E" skills out of any of the teams at six total and were tied for the most "D" skills with 13. The Tigers' routine composition is designed to take advantage of difficulty as opposed to connection bonus -- the team had the least amount of connection bonus out of the six teams. 

Every gymnast in the lineup competed an "E" skill as her opening pass with the exception of Sarah Finnegan, although Finnegan competed three "D" skills instead -- a back 2 1/2 twist, double pike, and double tuck. McKenna Kelley had the most difficulty, competing two "E" skills (a double layout and full-in) and a "D" skill (double tuck) as her three passes.

Check out the full breakdown:

"E" Skills - Total: 6 x 0.20 = 1.2
1. Front double full: Sydney Ewing
2. Double layout: Ashleigh Gnat, Myia Hambrick, Kelley
3. Full-in: Kelley
4. Double arabian: Shae Zamardi

"D" Skills - Total: 13 x 0.1 = 1.0
1. Double pike: Ewing, Finnegan, Gnat, Hambrick
2. Back 2.5 twist: Finnegan, Gnat, Hambrick
3. Double tuck: Finnegan, Kelley, Zamardi

Connection Bonus - Total: 1.7
1. Ewing: Front full (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20, Switch side (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10
2. Finnegan: Back 1.5 twist (C) + 2.5 twist (D) = +0.20, Switch ring (C) + Switch leap 1/2 (C) = +0.10
3. Gnat: 2.5 twist (D) + Punch front (A) = +0.20, Switch ring (C) + Tour jete 1/2 (C) = +0.10
4. Hambrick: 2.5 twist (D) + Punch front (A) = +0.20, Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Wolf 1/1 (C) = +0.10
5. Kelley: Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Tuck jump 1.5 (C) = +0.10, Front tuck (A) + Double back (D) = +0.10
6. Zamardi: Switch side (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10; Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20

TOTAL Bonus: 3.9

2T. Florida

The Florida Gators tie for the No. 2 spot for the most difficulty on floor. Interestingly, they did not have the most "E" or "D" skills or the most connection value out of the six teams, but they had a relatively good balance of all three across their lineup. For "E" skills, they have four total: a piked double Arabian from Kennedy Baker, a full-in from Alicia Boren, a front double full from Grace McLaughlin, and a triple twist from Alex McMurtry. On "D" skills, three of the gymnasts in the lineup had two each in their routines.

Rachel Slocum had the most connections in her routine. She competed a whip through to double pike, Tour jete 1/2 to wolf jump full, and front full to front pike. Boren and Amelia Hundley had the max connection bonus as well. Boren connected a back 1 1/2 twist to front layout and a switch leap full to wolf jump full, while Hundley competed a whip through to double tuck, front layout to front full, and switch side to Popa.

Check out the full breakdown:

"E" Skills - Total: 4 x 0.2 = 0.8
1. Piked double Arabian: Baker
2. Full-in: Boren
3. Front double full: McLaughlin
4. Triple twist: McMurtry

"D" Skills - Total: 10 x 0.1 = 1.0
1. Double tuck: Baker, Boren, Hundley, McMurtry
2. Switch leap 1/1: Baker
3. Double pike: Hundley, Slocum
4. Rudi: McLaughlin, Slocum

Connection Bonus - Total: 1.9
1. Baker: Switch leap (B) + Switch leap 1/1 (D) = +0.10, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front 0.5 twist (B) = +0.20
2. Boren: Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20, Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Wolf 1/1 (C) = +0.10
3. Hundley: Whip (A) + Double tuck (D) = +0.10, Front layout (B) + Front full (C) = +0.20, Switch side (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10
4. McLaughlin: Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front pike (B) = +0.20
5. McMurtry: Front layout (B) + Front full (C) = +0.20, Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Wolf 1/1 (C) = +0.10
6. Slocum: Whip (A) + Double pike (D) = +0.10, Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Wolf 1/1 (C) = +0.10, Front full (C) + Front pike (B) = +0.20

TOTAL Bonus: 3.7

2T. Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Sooners were the No. 1-ranked team in the country on floor last season, and they tie for second for the most difficulty at Super Six. Like LSU, the team had a lot "E" skills in the lineup - five total - but not as many "D" skills. They make up for this with connection value. Out of the six teams, Oklahoma had the most connection bonus in their lineup with a total of 2.3. 

Each gymnast in the Sooners' lineup competed an "E" skill, with the exception of Charity Jones, who competed two "D" skills (the most in the lineup) and had the most connection bonus. Jones connected a back 2.5 twist to punch front, a back 1.5 twist to front layout, and a Tour jete 1/2 to Popa. Maggie Nichols, AJ Jackson and Chayse Capps all competed an "E" and a "D" tumbling pass in their routines. Nichols performed a piked full-in and double pike. Jackson competed a full-in and double pike, and Capps competed a double layout and Rudi. Brenna Dowell had the most connection in her routine -- a double front to stag jump, a back 1 1/2 twist to front layout, a tour jete half to Popa, and a front layout to front full.

Check out the full breakdown:

"E" Skills - Total: 5 x 0.20 = 1.0
1. Front double full: Natalie Brown
2. Double layout: Capps
3. Double front: Dowell
4. Full-in: Jackson
5. Piked full-in: Nichols

"D" Skills - Total: 9 x 0.1 = 0.5
1. Rudi: Brown, Capps
2. Double pike: Jackson, Jones, Nichols
3. Back 2.5 twist: Jones

Connection Bonus - Total: 2.3
1. Brown: Front layout (B) + Front full (C) = +0.20, Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10
2. Capps: Front full (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20, Switch side (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10
3. Dowell: Double front (E) + Stag jump (A) = +0.10, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20, Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10, Front layout (B) + Front full (C) = +0.20
4. Jackson: 1/2 whip (B) + Front full (C) = +0.20, Switch side 3/4 (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10
5. Jones: Back 2.5 twist (D) + Punch front (A) = +0.20, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20, Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10
6. Nichols: Back 1.5 twist (C) + Back double twist (C) = +0.10, Switch ring (C) + Tour jete 1/2 (C) = +0.10

TOTAL Bonus: 3.7

4. Utah

Utah, which placed fourth in the national rankings on floor last season, is also in the No. 4 spot in terms of difficulty at Super Six. The Utes were tied for third for the most "D" skills at 11 total, but they did not have as many "E" skills (three total) or connection value. MyKayla Skinner, who was tied for the No. 1 season ranking on floor, contributed two out of the three "E" skills in the lineup with her huge double-twisting double tuck as her opening pass and a full-in for her last pass. MaKenna Merrell had the other "E" skill, performing a piked full-in. 

Merrell also added up a lot of connection bonus in her routine, connecting a switch ring to tour jete half, back 2 1/2 twist to punch front, and Rudi to straddle jump. Macey Roberts had the most connections in her routine with a front layout to Rudi, switch side to wolf jump full, and back 1 1/2 twist to front half twist.

See the full breakdown below:

"E" Skills - Total: 3 x 0.20 = 0.60
1. Piked full-in: Merrell
2. Double double: Skinner
3. Full-in: Skinner

"D" Skills - Total: 11 x 0.1 = 1.1
1. Double pike: Tiffani Lewis, Missy Reinstadtler, Baely Rowe, Roberts
2. Double tuck: Lewis, Reinstadtler
3. Back 2.5 twist: Merrell
4. Rudi: Merrell, Roberts
5. Tour jete 1/1: Rowe, Skinner

Connection Bonus - Total: 1.9
1.Lewis: Front layout (B) + Front full (C) = +0.20; Switch side (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10
2. Merrell: Switch ring (C) + Tour jete 1/2 (C) = +0.10, Back 2.5 twist (D) + Punch front (A) = +0.20, Rudi (D) + Straddle jump (B) = +0.10
3. Reinstadtler: Switch ring (C) + Tour jete 1/2 (C) = +0.10; Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20
4. Roberts: Front layout (B) + Rudi (D) = +0.20, Switch side (C) + Wolf 1/1 (C) = +0.10, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front 1/2 (B) = +0.20
5. Rowe: Back Double twist (C) + Layout stepout (A)= +0.10, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20
6. Skinner: Back 1.5 twist (C) + Double twist (C) = +0.10

TOTAL Bonus: 3.6


The fifth spot is a tie between UCLA and Alabama. UCLA has some of the most fun and enjoyable routines to watch in NCAA gymnastics with its unique choreography. The team ranked seventh nationally on floor this year, and freshman Madison Kocian ranked highest for the team, tied for 10th in the country. 

Although the team only competed one "E" skill in its lineup (Kocian's front double full), the Bruins are tied with LSU for the most "D" skills at 13. UCLA also added in a lot of connection bonus and is tied for third there out of the six teams. On "D" skills, senior and floor, anchor Hallie Mossett had the most, counting a double tuck, double pike, and switch full. The rest of the gymnasts in the lineup all competed two "D" skills. On connection bonus, Kocian and Kyla Ross had the most in their routines. Kocian connected a back 1 1/2 twist to Rudi to double stag jump and a switch side to Popa. Ross connected a whip through to double tuck, a switch side to Popa, and a back 1 1/2 twist to front layout.

Check out the full breakdown:

"E" Skills - Total: 1 x 0.20 = 0.20
1. Front double full: Kocian

"D" Skills - Total: 13 x 0.10 = 1.3
1. Double tuck: Mossett, Ross, Macy Toronjo, Angi Cipra, Katelyn Ohashi
2. Double pike: Cipra, Kocian, Mossett, Ohashi, Ross, Toronjo
3. Rudi: Kocian
4. Switch leap 1/1: Mossett

Connection Bonus - Total: 2.0
1. Cipra: Switch ring (C) + Tour jete 1/2 (C) = +0.10, Front full (C) + Front 1/2 (B) = +0.20
2. Kocian: Back 1.5 (C) + Rudi (D) = +0.20, Rudi (D) + Double stag (A) = +0.10, Switch side (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10
3. Mossett: Whip (A) + Double tuck (D) = +0.10, Switch leap 1/1 (D) + Popa (C) = +0.20
4. Ohashi: Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front 1/2 (B) = +0.20, Switch ring (C) + Switch half (C) = +0.10
5. Ross: Whip (A) + Double tuck (D) = +0.10, Switch side (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20
6. Toronjo: Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Split 1/1 (C) = +0.10, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20

TOTAL Bonus: 3.5

5T. Alabama

Along with UCLA, Alabama takes the fifth spot in our ranking. The Crimson Tide had a good amount of "E" tumbling in their routines -- four total -- and they tied for third with the Bruins for the most connection value. Alabama had the least amount of "D" skills in its routines out of the six teams, competing seven total. 

Both Wynter Childers and Kiana Winston competed an "E" skill as well as a "D" skill in their routines. Childers performed a full-in and a Rudi, while Winston performed a double layout and a double tuck. Ariana Guerra and Aja Sims competed two "D" skills -- a double tuck and double pike for both. On connection bonus, senior Amanda Jetter had the most. She connected a tour jete half to Popa, back 1 1/2 twist to front full, and back 1 1/2 twist to front layout.

Check out the full breakdown:

"E" Skills - Total: 4 x 0.20 = 0.80
1. Double arabian: Jetter, Katie Bailey
2. Full-in: Childers
3. Double layout: Winston

"D" Skills - Total: 7 x 0.10 = 0.70
1. Rudi: Bailey, Childers
2. Double tuck: Guerra, Sims, Winston
3. Double pike: Guerra, Sims

Connection Bonus - Total: 2.0
1. Bailey: Front layout (B) + Front full (C) = +0.20, Switch ring (C) + Tour jete 1/2 (C) = +0.10
2. Childers: Front tuck (A) +Back 1.5 twist (C) = +0.10, Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Split 1/1 (C) = +0.10, Rudi (D) + Double stag (A)) = +0.10
3. Guerra: Switch side (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20
4. Jetter: Tour jete 1/2 (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front full (C) = +0.20, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20
5. Sims: Switch side (C) + Popa (C) = +0.10, Back 1.5 twist (C) + Front layout (B) = +0.20
6. Winston: Front layout (B) + Front full (C) = +0.20, Switch ring (C) + Switch half (C) = +0.10

TOTAL Bonus: 3.5

Overall Ranking:
1. LSU (3.9)
2T. Florida (3.7)
2T. Oklahoma (3.7)
4. Utah (3.6)
5T. UCLA (3.5)
5T. Alabama (3.5)

"E" Skills Ranking:
1. LSU: 6
2. Oklahoma: 5
3T. Florida: 4
3T. Alabama: 4
5. Utah: 3
6. UCLA: 1

"D" Skills Ranking:
1T. LSU: 13
1T. UCLA: 13
3. Utah: 11
4. Florida: 10
5. Oklahoma: 9
6. Alabama: 7

Connection Value Ranking:
1. Oklahoma: 2.3
2T. UCLA: 2.0
2T. Alabama: 2.0
5T. Florida: 1.9
5T. Utah: 1.9
6. LSU: 1.7

Note: This article has been corrected from its original version.

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