Statistically speaking, 3 is a very small sample size. Sure you'll get a bell shaped curve, but you'll also get some people who get screwed by the system. With 60 battle points and 30 comp and sportsmanship points what happens in the games is almost secondary to the popularity contest.
Anyway - my story is I scored second in the tourney on battle points, got bumped down to 10th on comp and sportsmanship, and that I don't much like player graded comp now I know how it works. I'd be happy to discuss whether or not I'm a good sportsman over a friendly game of 40k - until then I'd hope you'll give me benefit of the doubt.
Oh, I have no doubt you are a fine player Pete, and probably a nice guy. I will certainly give you the benefit of the doubt because that shit happens all the time to competitive players, even if they are perfectly sportsmanlike.
NOVA style events do an even split amongst Sports, Paint and Battle record for Renaissance Man (Best Overall). I know Mike was talking about going to a 40/40/20 (Battle, Paint, Sports) split but I'm not sure if he made that change.
In any case, if that's the kind of prize you are gunning for (like I am) then sportsmanship will always be a component. If you think it's bad to have a ranked system, you should try the straight scoring system that is more traditional where someone can give you a 1 for sports "just because." There really is no comparison. Remember that having someone say you were their least favorite opponent is still like getting 3.33 out of 10 for Sports, as opposed to getting a 1 out of 10. Statistical significance is not really the issue if the scores are not random, we are not looking for sufficient sample sizes. I don't think there are really a lot of people getting screwed by that kind of system. Most people get average scores (6's or 7's) and a very few go outside of that range. It's really the people that get scores of 3 or 9 that raise eyebrows (either in a good or a bad way).
Am I saying it's perfect? Of course not, I don't know of a sports system that is perfect. I have heard of one other system that I liked where you get basically a thumbs up or thumbs down from your opponent and if you get more than one thumbs down you start losing points. Again, the idea is that in order to really hurt your standing it takes multiple people giving you the finger (in this case, a thumb).
But what you are really showing here is the failure of comp. I absolutely abhor comp and player graded comp is the worst of the worst. I mean, the very idea is just asinine. You got hit by a double whammy of sports and comp where the same people can hit you twice for comp and sports. That sucks man.
My ultimate point is that the kinds of gamers who go to comped events are, in my humble opinion, MORE likely to be the kinds of poor sportsmen that would ding your comp and sports scores because you beat them. That's just the reality, and the reason why I won't go to comp'd events if I can help it. I don't think I would mesh well with the player base at such events.