Wednesday, November 4, 2009

RKS translation at Harvard

The Harvard tournament this year had a very explicit and very simple translation from the 30-point scale to the 100-point (or Ross K. Smith) scale. Using the results packet, we can see how the judging pool interpreted the RKS scale:

If we apply the Harvard translation to historical tournaments, the switch to RKS this year was accompanied by more point inflation than usual. The older data (drawn from shows that a median speaker used to earn between 27.8 and 28.0 points (78 to 80 points, under RKS). This year, he or she earned 28.25 points (82.5, under RKS). A 28.0 (80, under RKS) used to mean 55th to 65th percentile. This year, it meant about 35th percentile.

It will be interesting to see how many judges circled the indicator on the front of their ballots indicating that they were conforming to the suggested scale translation.

It should also be noted that Harvard's points this year were substantially lower than Kentucky's points this year:

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