[Top] [All Lists]

Rating Systems

Subject: Rating Systems
From: 0004146960@mcimail.com (Adam S. Kerner)
Date: Fri Jun 4 21:40:00 1993
                                                                        June 3, 
This article was originally developed as a result of spirited discussions on 
the bus ride back from the World Radiosport Team Championship convention in 
Portland in 1990.  In light of recent discussions regarding the rating of 
stations and contestants, an
d the future of contesting in general, I thought it appropriate to give it a 
"ride on the reflector".  
Much discussion has been given to a variety of possible rating systems for 
contest stations/operators, as a way to get the proverbial Li'l pistola into 
the sport.  It is generally agreed that the best incentive to become involved 
and stay involved in a sp
ort is through positive reinforcement.  In any competition this comes down 
to....WINNING!!  So, the problem becomes one of giving the newcomer, or guy 
running barefoot with a TA-33 at 40' a way to do well without compromising the 
validity of the achieveme
nt, both technical and operating skill-wise, of the old timer with "legal 
limit" to stacked monobanders at 150'.
Numerous station handicapping systems have been suggested.  The problem with 
most of the handicap systems is that they tend to penalize the guy with the 
resources, ambition, and dedication to max out his station.  Why bother, if it 
just gives you a lousy 
rating.  This doesn't seem like a fair trade off for encouraging the newcomer.  
I feel like a system similar to that used in bicycle racing meets the most 
objectives while creating the fewest problems.  The system has been 
successfully administered for ye
ars by the US Cycling Federation on a national basis, for races run on a local 
forum.  The analogy seems similar to radio contests run by sponsoring 
magazines, clubs, etc.  Briefly, the system goes like this:
1.  Establish four categories of radiosport contestant.  At first everyone is a 
Category 4.
2.  After taking first, second or third within his category, (Cat 4 when just 
starting the system for everyone), in his ARRL section, in three major 
contests, one moves up to Cat 3.
3.  He does the same, that is first, second or third (x3 contests) to advance 
again to Cat 2, and again to Cat 1.  Cat 1 will eventually become the domain of 
the big guns, or any others who have proven the ability to keep moving up the 
A master database will be kept of all those who are "licensed" to compete, that 
is, licensed hams who have joined the organization through nominal dues 
payment.  It will keep record of which members have placed where in their 
category.  It is unreasonable
 to expect  individual contest sponsors to award recognition certificates or 
plaques to Category winners.  These awards will come from the organization 
maintaining the database, and will be available only to members.  It can be 
assumed that virtually all 
of those who want to take part in the contest game will join the program.  
Although at first all will be Cat 4's, after 3 or 4 contests we will no doubt 
see the first graduates advancing to Cat 3.  This will continue to sort out 
over the first year or two
 until people are competing against those with similar experience or station 
I feel that this system is a good one for several reasons.  First, it gives an 
incentive for everyone to participate in contests.  You can't move up without 
participating.  This will be good for the sport in general, as it encourages 
new contesters into t
he fold, making the contests more fun for all.  Second, it provides additional 
awards within categories of competitors, while still allowing entry level 
competitors to see how they stack up against the Cat 1's and 2's.  Third, it 
places no handicap on tho
se who strive for station excellence and technical advancement.  This effort is 
rewarded as they advance up in category.
On the negative side, it does still place a limit on how far the guy with 
limited resources can advance.  Let's face it, the guy with the G5RV @ 30' will 
have trouble moving much farther than Cat 3.  But hopefully the chance to 
compete within a category w
ill keep the sport interesting and feed the competive spirit in all of us.
This idea has been kicked around up here in 7-land, and seems to be picking up 
support.  Many details haven't been figured out, ie guest op winners, 
multi-ops, DX-peditions, etc.  
I'd be interested in any feedback on this idea, both positive and negative, 
including suggestions to flesh it out.
Ciao, Adam
(AKERNER on MCI mail)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>