[eDebate] 87 Average?

Beth Skinner beth.skinner
Thu Oct 15 13:36:28 CDT 2009


I don't have a position on what the translation scale should be but I do
have a request for tournament directors.  Please describe your tournament's
expectations in regard to a 100 point scale (if you use one) in as many
places as practical (edebate, invitations, registration, emails to
participants, etc.).  Here's the reasons.

1. It will take a long time for some new community norm to stabilize.
Students debating at your tournament shouldn't unduly suffer the transition
costs while judges experiment with the new system.

2. Results will be fairer if all the judges at a particular tournament have
some common understandings.  I suppose that some folks might fear tab room
intrusion into judge freedom but a) the people who feel most ardently about
this will violate the understanding anyway and b) too bad.

3. Having to read judging philosophies to figure out changes that may or may
not occur after every tournament bites.  It definitely privileges schools
with the resources to have someone on a full time news feed of what dozens
and dozens of judges are feeling.  At least facebook status updates all get
collected onto one page.

4. It might help research to have different policies/translation scales made
explicit on a tournament-by-tournament basis.  At the end of the year we
could look back and say whether X or Y approach produced less ties, more
consistency, etc.

Beth

On Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 9:31 AM, Stefan Bauschard <
stefan.bauschard at gmail.com> wrote:

> Not "my scale" (yet), but you could use:
>
> 30=100
> 29.9=99
> 29-8=98
>
> With most judges not usually giving below a 27 on the 30 scale, this
> creates a scale of 70-100.
>
> I think it effectively deals with one of the rationales for moving to 100
> -- creating differentials without moving to 29.8, 29.9, etc.
>
> It doesn't deal so well with the second rational for moving to 100 (as
> opposed to some other change) -- people understand a 100 point grading
> system.  A 27 isn't really a bad score for a debate speach, but a 70,
> especially for most debaters, is a pretty bad grade.  A 60 (which would be
> awarded if you gave someone a 26) is basically an F.  While a 26 certainly
> signals that you have to do a lot of work to get better, a 60
> potentially communicates that you failed at debate.
>
> I think that conceptualizing the point scale as a grade is making this
> someonewhat difficult, especially for instructors who ordinarily give at
> least an 80 unless work is "really bad."
>
>
>
>
> On Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 6:45 PM, JP Lacy <lacyjp at wfu.edu> wrote:
>
>>  JP Lacy wrote:
>> > [Quick summary -- Judges should figure out the "community scale" & use
>> > it unless a tournament publishes other guidelines.]
>> >
>> >
>> > I'm not a numbers person at all. I'm also struggling like everyone
>> > else with the 100 point scale. My point assignment at GSU & Kentucky
>> > was basically lousy.
>> >
>> > My old scale:
>> >
>> > You cheated: 0
>> > Rude: 26
>> > Below average = 27.5
>> > Average = 28
>> > Clearing = 28.5
>> > Getting a top 10 speaker award = 29
>> > Getting a very high speaker award = 29.5
>> >
>> > I know, this scale is not optimal. Its inflated compared to most
>> > judges, but I don't like being a spoiler.
>> >
>> > Just for fun, I translated my old scale into a 100 point scale. I used
>> > division to do it.
>> >
>> > Translation of my old scale using math:
>> >
>> > Below average = 92
>> > Average = 93
>> > Clearing = 95
>> > Getting a top 10 speaker award = 97
>> > Getting a very high speaker award = 98
>> >
>> > Ugh!! That scale is just as bad as the old broken 5 point scale
>> > (27.5-29.5)
>> >
>> > We all know the old scale isn't very good: The important distinctions
>> > (The ones between teams clearing & not, and the ones between the top
>> > speakers) are basically statistical "noise."
>> >
>> > So, the 100 point scale is better.
>> >
>> > I'm a fan of following the judging pool when it comes to points. I
>> > don't think its fair to do otherwise. That does not mean "if you got
>> > good points before, you get them from me." That does mean if your
>> > debating in the round I judge you is "top ten" quality, you get "top
>> > ten" points.
>> >
>> > I eyeballed the Kentucky results & came up with the following scale,
>> > which seems to reflect where the community is going:
>> >
>> > Below average = 83 (Depends.) Debaters are above average students.
>> > Below average competitors don't need a point value to learn how much
>> > worse than mediocre they were, unless they were rude or cheated.
>> > Average = 85
>> > Clearing (barely)= 87
>> > Clearing high in your not undefeated bracket = 90
>> > Getting a top twenty speaker award = 92
>> > Getting a top ten speaker award = 93
>> > Getting a top five speaker award = 94
>> > Top Speaker = 96
>> >
>> > I won't say "this is the proper scale." I won't say it fixes all the
>> > problems with the old 30 point scale. I will say that after 2
>> > tournaments, it is the one in use. Out of fairness, I'll stick to it &
>> > adjust it according to how others use it if tournaments don't publish
>> > guidelines.
>> >
>> > I'm completely in favor of tournaments setting ground rules for the
>> > use of the scale: It makes results more meaningful.
>> >
>> > If a tournament publishes guidelines, I'll follow them. Bucking the
>> > instructions at a tournament just messes up the results.
>> >
>> > -- JP
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Brian DeLong wrote:
>> >> Clearly the results from Kentucky show a large discrepancy between
>> >> pockets of judges in how they are interpreting the 100 point scale.
>> >> Some people are on this 87=average boat, while others place average
>> >> at  around 78-80ish.  I'm no numbers game, nor an expert on the
>> >> history of  point distribution etc. but I do think more discussion on
>> >> this scale  should occur.
>> >>
>> >> Reaching consensus is clearly impossible.  People are still going to
>> >> fight the good fight against point inflation.
>> >>
>> >> I would suggest that  tournament providers include in their invites
>> >> an  interpretation of the scale to help bridge this present gap.  You
>> >> will  have judges that fight this interpretation and that's fine, but
>> >> for  the rest of us who just want to make sure points are allocated
>> >> fairly  to the debaters it would be a great help to at least find a
>> >> point of  unity somewhere.  Without some point of consistent
>> >> measurement to work  off of we're going to continue to see some
>> >> fairly decent judges being  reduced on the pref sheets.  A
>> >> counterargument to this is that maybe  these anti-point inflation
>> >> crusaders  aren't that great of judges to  begin with in the first
>> >> place.  Fair enough.  But for those of us who  wish to stay in the
>> >> realm of preferable judge, whether we are good or  not, some baseline
>> >> is needed.
>> >>
>> >> Maybe it would be wise for us to vote on scales of measurement to
>> >> set  a norm for this community.  We have the ability to set up an
>> >> informal  or formal voting system.  This method would at least take
>> >> the  responsibility off a tournament host from arbitrarily choosing
>> >> a  baseline scale.
>> >>
>> >> With that said, I am on board with voting for a point system that
>> >> looks like this:
>> >>
>> >> 30-29.6 = 100-96
>> >> 29.5-29.0=95-90
>> >> 28.9-28.5=85-89
>> >> 28.4-28=79-84
>> >> 27.9-27=78-72
>> >> 26.9-26.0=71-60
>> >>
>> >> Thoughts?
>> >>
>> >> To respond to number's games observations, As Ross Smith once
>> >> claimed,  the most recent scientific data indicates that we naturally
>> >> cluster  numbers to help us simplify complex information.  5 and 10
>> >> clustering  is only inevitable.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> _______________________________________________
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>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>>
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>
>
>
> --
> Stefan Bauschard
>
> President & Co-Founder, PlanetDebate.com
> Debate Coach, Harvard Debate
> Director of Debate, Lakeland Schools
> Director of Development & Operations, NFL National Tournament 2011
>
>
> (c) 781-775-0433
> (fx) 617-588-0283
>
>
>
>
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