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Plaques or pins?

Subject: Plaques or pins?
From: jlgiasi@hcx5.UMMED.EDU (John L. Luigi Giasi)
Date: Wed Feb 24 17:11:14 1993
I agree about the pins and mugs increasing participation.. and i think
that is where we need to reward people.. not for the sub-set contest wins!
('Hey I won the low-power wire-only single-band first 24 hours of the DX test!')

That has the same critical flaw that the present plaque system has, it
only rewards 'winners'. Now I am not saying to remove the present plaque system
I just don't want to see it's value reduced (This coming from someone who
personally has never won a plaque as a single-op, or under his own call, or an
HF one ever). When a plaque is added, how many people are really fighting for
that plaque.. not a wide award like USA all band or world all band, but let us
say single-band low power (if one existed for all contests) in a given contest
how many people have a shot 10, 20, 50! Divide the country into 4 regions now
(each with a plaque, say 20M band) NE, South, 8-9-part-of0 land, and the west..
more people may try for the plaque, but realistically I think only people who
think about contests in the first place shoot for plaques.

I have visited shacks of callsigns that a contester would not reconize, but
one of the first things they show me (even when 5B WAS and 5B DXCC and USA-CA
is on the wall).. is the 91 sweep mug, or at a hamfest , right
next to the namebadge is the 89,90 & 91 set of participation pins (both modes!)

These are guaranteed awards..... not some burn-the-midnight-
oil and turn up empty ...... (not that they aren't bad.. I learned a lot from
my 2nd place 20M WPX SSB in the 1992 test.. didn't get mentioned.. well
hey KK9A clobbered me... but for my first  REAL TRY (tm) I wouldn't trade it
for the world.. well, except for a win :-)

Increasing the catagories  at some levels is good (eg. low-power, QRP, special
plaques under 18, novice-tech... etc etc.), but we can accomplish more to
increase participation with mid-level pins nd/or prizes (winner financed)....

Hey, if there was a 100 band countries pin or a 300 qso pin in the DX test
and I was buzy that weekend and coudn't participate.. I sure would try to
find a few hours to jump in!

The participation award is the type of thing that allows contests to have a
'competing again myself' aspect to them, attracting hams who, knowing they
can't take so-and-so in their division, regione, section, county, town,
or neighborhood. (What do we do for the casual ham that lives in Windham NH,
or in the Noth-Texas shootout corridor?, have '200 block of main street odd
side windham' and the 'gunless shootout survivor' plaques??)

We want to attract people with a DIFFERENT GOAL for the contest, so when
someone complains 'contest this or contest that' Not only do the K1AR,
GW4BLE, KR0Y, WN4KKN, W9RE (ok ok suffice to say that I thought of everyone
that should be on the list and picked five out of a hat to be fair...but
i just had an evil thought and had to add one) and the KV4FZs of the world
stand up and  defend contesting. but a whole chorus of, not 'contesters', but
contest participants, who can say 'I have fun' or 'I grabbed my last state for
WAS' or 'I have WAS in every contest for the last x years.. and heres the
pins to prove it...'

And just a thought, whats to stop anyone from writing a letter to the league
and putting up $40-$50 whatever for a special plaque under the catagory
"Best 12 hour participant" stating  showing up in other logs outside the
12 hour period submitted will disqualify you??? (therby preventing the 48 hours
participants who just grab the best 12hours to submit...)

73 de Luigi AA1AA

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