One thing I want to make more clear by way of illustration. If we assume that the standard error is 2.00 (probably larger in actuality):

2 Kevin VAN DER PERREN BEL 197.33 +/- 2.00

3 Michael WEISS USA 195.98 3 4 +/- 2.00

4 Brian JOUBERT FRA 195.58 +/- 2.00

Then under CoP, any given set of judges will probably have scored Kevin anywhere from 195.33 to 199.33 about 95% of the time.

Any set of judges will have scored Michael anywhere between 193.98 and 197.98.

Any set of judges will have scored Brian anywhere between 193.58 and 197.58.

Because of the large overlap in the distributions of the scores, we can conclude that statisticallynone of the placements or scores from 4th to 2nd are significantly different from each other. In other words, the judges put these skaters somewhere in the top 5, but the actual specific placements of these skaters were all due to random chance and error. This is not a good way to judge a competition. The problem with the CoP is that while small margins of victory will decide a competition, those small differences in total points are meaningless because they're entirely due to random chance and error. This cannot be said about the ordinal system, which does not place skaters on a continuous (non-discrete) point scale.

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