To: Frank Butler, W4RH ARRL S/E Division Director
Evelyn Gauzens, W4WYR ARRL S/E Division Vice Director
cc: ARRL Contest Dept/Billy Lunt, CQ-Contest E-mail Reflector
Last year when I got the results for the previous year's (1996) ARRL 10
meter contest I was dismayed to see my top ten log was not listed in the
results, the Florida Contest Group had barely edged by to win the ARRL
Affiliated Club Competition. Had my score been there our club's score our
score would have been about ten percent higher - we did not slip one in -
WE HAD ONE. We luckily slid into victory by three tenths of a
percent....had we lost due to my log's not being there I would have been
At that time I composed a letter to Dave Sumner, K1ZZ stating the above
This was Dave's response:
I'm sorry to learn, from your letter of August 8, about your Ten-Meter
Contest entry problem. I have forwarded it to Chuck Hutchinson with the
request that he look into the matter.
Congratulations on your club's excellent effort.
Dave Sumner, K1ZZ
Executive Vice President"
I NEVER HEARD FROM CHUCK HUTCHINSON.
The low power winner of that contest effort was another Florida Contest
Group member, N4RN - but he wasn't shown as the operator - and in the
breakdown boxes his score is shown as second due to a High Power score by
another entrant being put in the lead spot at the top of the box. The ARRL
attempted to fix this for N4RN by giving him a certificate, it stated he
had won the category for the 1997 contest....a contest which had not even
Seeing as nothing came of this from Chuck Hutchinson, I wrote it off to
some bad luck, our club had won and that was of primary importance.
Several years ago my CW score was listed in the phone results...those who
know me got a real chuckle out of that! But then, last year my '97 Phone
Sweepstakes multi-op score was listed in the ARRL DX Competition
results...and I started suspecting there was nobody really looking at the
logs being sent in to the ARRL...I refused to become paranoid and think I
was being singled out. The logs seemed to be given to data entry clerks
whose work was unsupervised. If a Sweepstakes log can be entered into a DX
Competition data base, and it doesn't jump out and bite somebody -
well....seeing as the layout of the score is totally different......hell,
nobody is proofing the work. Taking the time to say here is the score
After this big foul up needless to say I made several long distance calls
after submitting my logs to the ARRL this past year...."are you sure that
you have the log, okay?" THIS APPARENTLY DOESN'T MATTER FROM WHAT I AM
SEEING ON THE REFLECTORS HOWEVER, SEVERAL HAMS HAVE HAD THEIR ENTRIES QSL'd
- BUT THEY AIN'T ION THE RESULTS!
I have been out of town for several days and when I got in last night the
messages started showing up IN MY e-mail in box from the cq-contest e-mail
reflector - several prominent hams' scores were missing from this past
years 10 meter contest write-up...I had a bad gut feeling in my stomach,
little did I know how bad.
While the Florida Contest Club managed to beat us this last December in the
1997 running of the Ten Meter Contest (congratulations - thanks for kicking
us in the butt!) I had taken solace as club President in knowing that heah
we had fewer entries and of those we had won five different categories of
entry. So the big boxes would be littered with our calls, our efforts would
When my phone rang this afternoon and it was our club VP who had gotten QST
in his mailbox today, my spirits sank.
Two of our winning efforts were not shown....both of which had been QSL'd
by the League as received logs! Missing were the winning low power cw
score of Ron, WD4AHZ and the winning low power mixed mode score of Dan,
I got home this evening and I see that more and more messages are showing
up on CQ-Contest e-mail reflector - all of them along the same vein -
including an e-mail from an Argentine station wanting to find out how his
groups multi-operator effort had faired.....that call is nowhere to be
found in the write-up, I am glad I do NOT have to be the one writing him.
My copy of QST arrived today and I verified the scores from WD4AHZ and K1TO
were not there...and then I started to simmer.
Then I noticed the crazy regional score listing box with the same coding
(Alpha) used for both the type of mode entry and the power used.....it took
me a minute to find my own winning score in the regional boxes!
And where is the soapbox......has this been eliminated from ARRL contest
write-ups? Don't tell me - nobody really reads those things anyway, right?
If people who think this wanna know I will dig out my invoice file for
antenna and related ham gear purchases for the past couple of years....I
ONLY operate contests, and I KNOW there are SIZABLE purchases from
advertisers in QST and NCJ! I do this to ensure I will see my score near
the top of a box, I couple my energy in front of the rig and my financial
efforts to one and only one form of hobby, amateur radio contesting.
This puny write-up makes no mention of the quality of the competition
whatsoever: was it tight - did the second place guy get creamed by the
first place guy? I wonder if I even might not have won the high power CW
category - odds appear good another score may have been left out of the
What I am reading this evening is a cursory write-up - why? Is my interest
silly, as well as that of thousands of hams around the world who contest?
The Florida Contest Group contains a LOT of life members in the ARRL, and I
can tell you there are a LOT of ANGRY ARRL members this evening. Most
active contesters are strong ARRL supporters, this kind of rubbish called a
write-up says to me you plain don't give a damn about contesting.
You have forgotten who will be the ones manning the traffic stations come
the next emergency - hint, it ain't the tech plus shack on a belt guys who
do not know how to solder a PL259 onto a piece of RG213!
WHY has contesting evolved and why has contesting been supported by the
ARRL? Is the Sweepstakes exchange not a form of test by fire at copying
message preambles? And what about international goodwill - is that
enhanced by the Leagues leaving out entries from a foreign country?
On behalf of the members of the Florida Contest Group, I feel the ARRL owes
one hell of a lot more than an apology to WD4AHZ and K1TO, no footnote
score correction down the road will cut it this time...and it is not just
to them but to ALL the other contesters who have been worked hard at this
passion we call contesting - only to have their logs lost en mass.
Twice our club has won the 10 Meter Contest's Affiliated Club Competition,
NEVER have we received a gavel or a certificate....the ARRL just doesn't
care about contesting anymore is what some of my fellow club members say.
I doubt many of the League's QST and NCJ advertisers who cater to the
contest community appreciate this sort of thing - especially when they make
money by us contesters buying their products so we can be more competitive.
This letter is addressed to our ARRL Director and Vice Director, I hope
they fully realize the importance of what has just happened here and will
effect some sort of changes which ENHANCE contesting, not trivialize it.
Jim White, K4OJ
President: Florida Contest Group - visit our website at:
The Florida Contest Group sponsors the Florida QSO Party, check out the FQP
CQ-Contest on WWW: http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests: cq-contest-REQUEST@contesting.com