Ah, summer-time, and things do warm up! A coupla reflections on the
recent rating system discussion.
I think that the idea of recognition is important. For two reasons:
First, as Jim said, what's the point of a piece of paper taped to the
wall, if nobody sees it?? (I remember a sign in the head at an office I
used to work in: "Working here is liking wetting your pants in a blue
suit.....It gives you a warm feeling inside but no one notices"). Perhaps
the NCJ would be a possibility. Perhaps a newsletter format to dues
payers (rated players). The second reason is that strategically it's
important to know who the other competitors are in your category. This
would be listed in the newsletter, and would obviously change with each
contest as people shuffled around in the ratings.
I really hadn't given much thought to people moving down in the ratings.
Is this important? If you've been a winner in your category before,
should you be able to "sandbag" a few contests to get a "killer rating"?
Or if business/family/etc. keep you off the air for a season, should you
enter at a lower rating than you've already been proven at when you get
back on the air?
Perhaps ARRL sections and countries is not the right breakdown. States?
Call areas for US/VE/JA? I don't have a good feel for the grid fields
suggestion. Does this seem like the right breakdown? The nice thing about
using the more commonly established fields is that the results can be
picked up from the existing contest results, simplifying contestant
It does seem that some means of pre-qualification to a higher level than
cat. 4 should be considered. It would be easy to submit past results at
time registration in order to be placed. Mebbe by percentile in the
contests used for scoring? This could be used during the start-up period.
After the thing gets rolling, all would enter at cat. 4. If you're good,
you'll move up.
As far as contests go, I kinda like Eric's suggestion. WW, WPX, ARRLDX
plus "continental" tests. State QSO parties, great fun, but too small a
region for a qualifier.
As N0AX said, this is not to level the playing field. The idea is not to
have K1AR or W7XR say "another tower, nah, why bother, it'll just penalize
my rating and make it that much tougher to win". The idea is to get all
to compete in the same contests, while creating a sort of secondary,
global contest which spans contest to contest and year to year.
As far as the attitutide of just being happy with personal goal
realization, I can't think of any truly competitive sport where the idea
of winning does not enter the equation of "what's the point?" By
definition, competitions have winners and losers. If we just wanted to
reach personal goals, DXCC would do it. Sure, personal goals are
important. But so is recognition for reaching those goals, and in
competition, this is WINNING. This system might give each of us a chance
to compete against other contesters of proven similar capability, while
still playing on the same field as those with both more and less