Interesting thread here!
In my experience the criticisms of Shodokan Aikido and it's Randori Shiai/Competition break down into two camps: one that says there is no such thing allowed and another that says that it is not real enough. It's good to see some middle ground here.
In regards to the point system, it is important that it is understood that points are awarded to good waza, good offensive strikes (if we're talking Tanto Randori, which, well we are now) and points are taken away for not getting out of the way properly or playing within the agreed upon rules. There are degrees of success in the waza and are awarded points accordingly. What this means is that the randori is not an all out sloppy brawl, but that each movement in the course of the match is judged and the total of those desicions is an indication of how well you availed yourself of the principles of Aikido. I say indication because while the judgement of the ref is final it may be different than your impression or that of your opponents. It is also not any sort of ultimate decision about your Aikido, just evidence of strengths and weaknesses that day.
I guess what I am saying is that points do more than make it something other than a death match. They re-enforce the rules of the engagement and the lesson of AIkido in very specific ways.
Concerning the age issue, the current (and I should say long standing) US Men's Tanto Randori Champion is over 50. That being said age is often an issue with some folks. But youth, strength and agility won't win it for you without great Aikido skills.
Hope this helps,
[Edited by Karl Kuhn on March 14, 2001 at 03:29pm]