1

Let's start with an example. Boxing is often scored after the 10-point-must-system.

The most widely used scoring system since the mid-twentieth century is the "10-point must system", so named because a judge "must" award ten points to at least one fighter each round (before deductions for fouls). Most rounds are scored 10-9, with 10 points for the fighter who won the round, and 9 points for the fighter the judge believes lost the round. If a round is judged to be even, it is scored 10-10. For each knockdown in a round, the judge deducts an additional point from the fighter knocked down, resulting in a 10-8 score if there is one knockdown or a 10-7 score if there are two knockdowns. If the referee instructs the judges to deduct a point for a foul, this deduction is applied after the preliminary computation. So, if a fighter wins a round, but is penalized for a foul, the score changes from 10-9 to 9-9. If that same fighter scored a knockdown in the round, the score would change from 10-8 in his favor to 9-8.,

As long as I don't miss something it would be exactly the same with just smaller numbers. You would get the same results with for example 3, 2, 1, 0. Boxer A wins two rounds with 10, looses a round with 9 and one with 8. Boxer B looses two times with 8 and wins two times with 10 accordingly. It doesn't really matter if Boxer A wins with 37 (10 + 10 + 9 + 8) or 9 (3 + 3 + 2 + 1) since Boxer B has either 36 (8 + 8 + 10 + 10) or 8 (1 + 1 + 3 + 3).

The most widely used scoring system since the mid-twentieth century is the "3-point must system", so named because a judge "must" award three points to at least one fighter each round (before deductions for fouls). Most rounds are scored 3-2, with 3 points for the fighter who won the round, and 2 points for the fighter the judge believes lost the round. If a round is judged to be even, it is scored 3-3. (...)

This is just an example. I know at least archery* which has a similar "problem". Why do we have such systems? I mean it just increases the numbers but adds no value to the scoreboards.


*) In 3D archery a scoring system like this exists:

  1. Arrow bulls-eye 20, target 16
  2. Arrow bulls-eye 14, target 10
  3. Arrow bulls-eye 8, target 4

A scoring like

  1. Arrow bulls-eye 10, target 8
  2. Arrow bulls-eye 7, target 5
  3. Arrow bulls-eye 4, target 2

Would create exactly the same result.

2

Generally the idea of picking a top score is to start with a "perfect" and knock points off for infractions etc., than to add points for "better" scores - as that could lead to boundless scores.

As to why in your example the numbers are 16, 10, 4 rather than 8, 5 and 2 - the most likely is to provide space for forfeits, which, at 1 point each have less effect on the score than if points were awarded at half the value.

Penalties have more of an effect under UK Archery scoring, which is 10 for the inner ring, down to 1 for the 10th, or outer ring.

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