Having judged with the "old" system (start at 9 and go down) and the "new" system ( start at 6) I have to say that I liked the old system better. It was easy to look/taste a piece of meat and say to yourself ,"the meat looks burnt, thats a point off." It is much harder to label something as "average" and then decide how much above or below average it is. I also think this system makes you want to compare the entrys more, and that is a big no no.
I do understand the need for a system that has less ties in the final scores, and this might be the best way to do it.
From what I have heard around the judges tent after competitions, this new system still gives a fairly accurate final score among all entrys.
With any system there is bound to be some fluctuation in scores from one judge to another. My understanding is that if one judge is continualy scoring low on ALL entrys at more than one contest, he or she may be asked not to judge, or asked to explain thier judging method.
case in point: I had one judge at my table that didn't like coconut. When the entrys for the deserts (not an official KCBS catagory) came in, one persons entry was custard served in coconut shells. This guy said he marked lower scores just beacuse he didn't like coconut!
Some people are like Slinkys, they are good for nothing but can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
Down to one lonely ol' Bandera.