The Relative Ranking Rule has replaced the old “score-as-you-go” system in all divisions at all NASKA tournaments. Since all competitors run their forms before anyone is scored, this system eliminates the possible disadvantage early-running competitors were subject to, and the scoring advantage last-running seeds may have enjoyed. In addition, it prevents judges from getting “boxed-in” by giving scores too high early on, and eliminates “scoring creep” where judges who starts with very low scores gradually raises his/her scores as the divisions progresses.
For the Relative Ranking Rule to operate properly, all judges must use the scoring worksheets provided in the ring boxes. As each competitor runs their form, they are given a place number relative to the competitor who has already run. For example, each judge gives the first competitor up a “1” next to his/her name on the worksheet. The next competitor gets a “2” if their form isn’t as good; or if their form is better, they get a “1” and the first competitor get his “1”changed to a “2”. The third competitor then gets a number that grades his form relative to the first two, and so on down the division. When all competitors have run, each judge’s Worksheet will have all the competitor’s names listed in the order they ran, but with numbers next to their names that reflects their place relative to one another.
The Center Judge will then allow up to two minutes for the judges to assign decimal scores to each competitor based on their relative ranking. Each judge decides how high to score his number “1” competitor – usually a 9.99 or 9.98 in the black belt divisions – and assigns that score to the top competitor. The number “2” competitor will be scored one-hundredth lower at 9.98 or 9.97 (or even lower if the judge feels there was a great gap between the number “1” and number “2” competitors). Number “3” will get a score at least one-hundredth lower than number “2, and number “4” will get a score at least one-hundredth lower than number “3”. This is done until all the competitors are ranked relatively to each other. None of the top four competitors ever receives the same score, and the top four scores a judge gives are only given once. A judge may give the same score to competitors he/she has ranked as “5” or lower, though it is discouraged unless there are many competitors in the division and giving incrementally lower scores would take the lower-ranked competitors to scores that were undeservedly low. (Judges may prefer to use slash marks rather than numbers to rank each competitor: I, II, III, IIII and so on. By using this method you do not have to mark out or erase as often, you only add slashes.)
Once all judges are ready, the Center Judge will have each competitor step forward as his or her scores are announced, using the Maximum Deviation Rule procedure listed above.