de Ward, N0AX
Up here in the Left Coast Contest Club (and probably in lots of other clubs)
we have a fair amount of "challenges" in various contests between operators
that are not Big Guns. Maybe a meager prize (a broom for best combined score
in SS in the various categories, a loud Hawaiian shirt for QRP in WPX CW, etc.)
is offered, or just notoriety. The point being that the Top Ten boxes are
going to go to the very best operators, and there are a LOT of very good ops.
People who could be competitive with a wet-string and a Globe Scout...you
know what I mean?
Speaking from one who spent a fair number of years stuck in MO with a 4-band
vertical and a 50W rig, I think the little guys will enter if:
- they have fun when they do (lots of activity, new state or country, etc.)
- cheating in their category is not rampant
- they have a buddy to compete with
- maybe there's a small prize for certain accomplishments (such as pins...)
- the Big Guns are not rude to them, thus negating item 1
That's why our challenges are popular; as a contest-within-a-contest you don't
have to race your '82 Gremlin with bald tires and a bad clutch against Don
Prudhome's Top Fuel machine with more horses than the US Cavalry. It's all
a matter of perspective.
I would LOVE to see some of the top operators try QRP or 100w categories. Go
for it! Should we restrict SS to 100watts? Naah...let's spend all this cre-
ative energy getting more participation and making the sport more open and
enjoyable to all. Should we have 100watt contests? Sure! Vive la difference!
See you next weekend in sprINT! By the way, I'm collecting volunteers to
develop an operator rating system...drop me a note at "firstname.lastname@example.org"