[eDebate] Wake point scale

Malcolm Gordon malgorthewarrior
Wed Nov 28 13:14:42 CST 2007

I haven't seen any of the data aside from that posted after day one of Wake.  There were two pieces of information on the ballot, one I used and one I didn't.  The first was a chart that showed what the equivalent of traditional 1-30 scores would be on the new scale.  I believe that a 90 was a 28.  The other piece of information showed some numerical ranges along with a brief description of what quality of speech would warrant the points in the range.

I didn't use the graph that transposed 1-30 points onto the 1-100 scale.  First, I wanted to see how I ranked people 1-100 assuming the 30 point scale was no longer relevant.  To me, the chart merely took the old points and gave them new numbers.  In fact, I believe 90 was the most common speaker point assigned, and i'm willing to bet that 28 was the most common speaker point assigned on the 30 point scale.  Second, if the scale is 1-100 I used the sort of "grading" paradigm i posted about before the tournament.  Therefore, an average speech was mid-to-high seventies.  I think in the end this made my average speaks lower than everyone else's, though I did give out a fair amount of points in the mid-to-upper eighties and a few in the lower 90s.  I guess this is more in line with the second piece of information that was on the ballot.

Now, a lot of people i talked to said they didn't mind that the points were all huddled toward the top, with a 90 being the most common, because the scale still provided more variance at the top, which is what many wanted.  I thought one of the complaints with the old system was inflation.  If variance was the only issue, then a 1-100 doesn't seem necessary, since most points are going to start near 90 anyway, so we don't need all those extra numbers at the bottom.  In the end it seems we are really looking for a scale that gives everyone seemingly high numbers (90), while still allowing variance to distinguish between the best and not-so-best.  It does appear silly, maybe everyone is afraid of hurting feelings.  But if variance is our only goal why can't we use 1-30 and have people change their own scales?  Maybe actually give 26s and 26.5s?  Maybe top speaker has 6 28.5s, 1 28, 1 29 instead of 4 29s, 1 29.5, and 3 28.5s?

1-100 seemed to just be a way to make everyone feel special with high scores while allowing a lot of wiggle room.  Is it really that bad to just give some people low scores?  When I gave out several 77s, was that really an insult to the debaters?  Or was I just saying that I thought they have average speeches?


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