Spirit Week to feature new point system

    The fast-approaching 2013 Palo Alto High School Spirit Week will see a new scoring system and set of rules this year in an effort by the Associated Student Body to make the week more fair and inclusive, according to an ASB representative.

    According to junior Maya Ben-Efraim, Associated Student Body Spirit Week co-commissioner, the most important changes have been made due to the observation that several Spirit Week events were not fully representative of each class.

    “One major rule that we are going to be enforcing this year is that any person may only participate in one rally activity throughout the week,” Ben-Efraim said. “Each class has about 500 members but in previous years the entire class would be represented by only 10-20 students the entire week.”

    Another large change to Spirit Week is the addition of a brunch rally on Wednesday, Oct. 23, which will feature a competition called “Carrying Capacity.” The object of the game is for each grade combination to get the most class members into its area within two minutes.

    “Carrying Capacity is a game that literally requires maximum participation because the winner is whoever has the most people in their area,” Ben-Efraim said.

    As for the new scoring system, cheers and sportsmanship will carry more weight than in past years.

    “At the end of the day, Spirit Week is all about showing spirit through cheers and positive sportsmanship,” Ben-Efraim said. “This year, the point system reflects more accurately how much effort goes into each aspect of Spirit Week.”

    Cheers will be scored differently to reflect this effort. This year, each class will receive a different number of points for how well it did, with 200 going to first place only, whereas last year, each grade could take away 200 points for cheers on the same day.

    “Cheers are worth more than previous years and individual competitions are worth slightly less, with closer point intervals between first, second, third and fourth,” Ben-Efraim said.

    Similarly, in the scoring of activities and competitions at the rallies, there will only be a 30-point difference in number of points awarded between first and second place, second and third, and third and fourth, rather than last year’s 50 points.

    “We believed that the gap between first place and fourth place was too big and did not accurately depict how close the competitions were throughout the week,” Ben-Efraim said. “For example, lunch rally competitions like tug of war awarded first place 400 points and last place 100 points, which put them at 25 percent of the points compared to the lead and completely unable to catch up.”

    Other changes to the point system include the following: The winning float will earn its class 1000 points, instead of 900. Best dressed daily will account for 30 points less — from 200 to 170 points. Each day’s lunch activity will award 300 points to the winner, as opposed to 400 points like last year.

    These changes to Spirit Week will be in action throughout the week, which begins tomorrow with theme day.