As James (Kilpatrick) said, great comments from both sides of the debate (NZAA Top 20). I wonder if this would be a less controversial issue if the points system were arranged differently?
As it stands, with the exception of the extremely heavily weighted international competition, you are better off doing average in three comps than really well in two. This misrepresents the quality of the climbers involved, and in fact makes the whole 'top twenty' a bit odd. Surely working out the top twenty is the whole point of the national competition?
A better way to generate a kind of ongoing 'climber score' that is more representative than just the results of one comp would be to use a system similar to the handicap system in golf. Each comp could be given a 'par' and then climbers could work out whether they were doing better or worse than average. For example, in the national comp the par would be simply the average points scored; in an (easier) regional comp, the par might be average score +10.
Let's say Climber X does really well in a par 100 comp, and gets 148. Then in a par 120 event he only gets 90. His average score would be +9.
This system would have several advantages. For one thing, over time everyone's average would tend to settle at an accurate gauge of their general standing in comps. For another, you would not be comparing people who have done three comps to people who have done two. Under the current system, there is such a heavy weighting to the international comp that anyone who took part is almost untouchable... until they do their third regional, at which point (even if they win it by miles) their points would drop massively.
On another note, in Victoria we make a big effort to attract as many interstate and international climbers as possible. Seeing what everyone else is doing is really important - that's how we learn. If any of you guys want to come across on the 23rd and 24th of this month and show us how it's done in NZ, you'd be very welcome. Check out www.vtio.org.au for more details.