Yes and no. There are many valid reasons for wanting to keep the scoring process - particularly of test events - as a black box. If, for example, tests were passed back or raw scores were released, competitors would no doubt find numerous mistakes in answer keys, point totals, and rubrics. Some of the ensuing criticisms would be entirely valid. Others would likely be nit-picky, unreasonable, or plain wishful thinking.Skink wrote:Yeah. And, this is a feature, not a bug. There's a beast of a slippery slope the moment they open up any subjectively scored events to prying eyes.SciNerd42 wrote:The problem (that has no solution), is that teams can tell if a mistake was made with building events (you knew you had a higher time, score, but were ranked lower) but with academic events, you have no evidence, and you just have to assume everyone was scored right.
However, I did have an experience at a National Tournament where I placed far worse (think 30+ places lower) in a test event than was reasonably possible. There is, of course, no "compelling evidence" to support this claim; it truly does rely on what the arbitration policy specifically excludes: "thinking that your team 'did better'." The difference in my performance from both that year's Ohio State Tournament, and the previous National Tournament, was far too wide to be entirely explained by a bad day or careless errors on my part. Most likely, a page of my exam was lost during scoring, or a math error was made when totaling points. As an ES, I know these mistakes happen more often than anyone would like.
Unfortunately, the current system offers no redress, or even closure/understanding, for competitors in this situation. I am not necessarily sure there is a better option available. When, as an ES or Tournament Director, you are handling thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of data points, many will doubtless be in error. However, it does concern me that the opacity of the scoring for test events leaves little incentive for quality grading or careful totaling. I'm sure the overwhelming majority of supervisors are diligent and careful, and I am sure all have good intentions. But the skeptic in me is always wary of a system whose accountability relies on one principle: trust us.