Once I had all the ballots formatted to run through the ratings calculation, it wasn't much work to pull out speaker point data for the year. I thought I'd share it. Even with tournaments turning more to versions of z-scores, it seems like it would be useful to be aware of speaker point trends.
I had to take out zeros because of the way that my dataset counts points in elim rounds as zeroes. While I was at it, I figured that I would limit the range even further to the set of points that are more typical. While there are certainly some instances in which judges give points less than 27, it's overall quite rare and is probably not indicative of overall trends.
As a point of comparison, I though it might also be useful to see the point distributions of exclusively elimination round participants.
Here's the distribution of elimination round participants only at major national tournaments. I defined a "major" as any tournament that has upwards of about 75 teams.
I admit I got a little graphics happy. Here's a plot that directly compares the three:
And finally, a boxplot. Though boxplots are kind of clunky, I think that this graphic is actually kind of useful for concretely seeing the difference between the two sets of point distributions. To read the boxplot:
After looking at the data, I would emphasize a couple of thoughts to consider regarding the assignment of speaker points:
1. 28.5 is the median for all points. About 9% of speeches are better than a 29, and about 12% are worse than a 28.
2. 28.7 is the median for elim participants. About 10% are better than 29.2, and about 11% are worse than 28.3
3. 28.8 is the median for elim participants at a major national tournament. About 10% are better than a 29.3, and about 9% are worse than a 28.4
3. If you assign somebody points below around a 28, you're basically saying that they have no place in elimination rounds. In all reality, the cutoff for this is probably higher, especially at a large national tournament.