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[CQ-Contest] Another view on club competition

Subject: [CQ-Contest] Another view on club competition
From: kharker@cs.utexas.edu (Kenneth E. Harker)
Date: Mon Jan 6 15:48:51 2003
On Mon, Jan 06, 2003 at 02:36:29PM -0500, K1HT wrote:

> Ken mentions "arbitrary distance and attendance rules for club
> competition."  Fortunately the ARRL has recently made changes in both of
> these areas (see November 2002 QST).  Though any choice of diameter would
> be in some sense arbitrary, a circle is a reasonable shape for a club's
> territory; and now a club can choose instead to define its territory as a
> single ARRL section.  Attendance is no longer required; in order to be
> eligible a person need only be "a member in good standing," as defined by
> the individual club.

Yes, both of these changes in the ARRL Club Competition rules came about
after the article was written, but before it was printed.
> Ken writes, "Club members who live just outside the arbitrary club radius
> can also be under tremendous pressure to not enter the contest at all."
> Not at all.  To the contrary, such members cannot be under any pressure at
> all, because their scores cannot count toward the club score.  When a club
> submits its list of eligible members, it certifies that each of them
> resides inside the club's territory.

Suppose that the YCCC decided, for the ARRL International DX Contest, that
it would like to win the local club category of the Club Competition.
It submits a list of eligible members that happens to have only ten members
on it, all of whom live within some 35 mile radius of one another.  Would
this fly?  I don't think so.  That sounds a lot like "the club has 
manipulated its number of entries to fall into a lower classification."

In practice, the ARRL Contest Branch has used the membership of the club, 
not just the list of "eligible" members, to determine the category in which 
each club participates in the Club Competition.  If a Local club has a member 
or two living outside of the club radius or ARRL section, but they do not 
contest (because, perhaps, this is a general interest ham radio club) that 
club might not have any trouble being considered "Local."  But once some of 
those distant club members begin actively contesting, or helping out at a 
multi-op, even if the club isn't claiming them as "eligible," at some point 
the ARRL Contest Branch can decide that the only reason they aren't being
declared "eligible" is that the club is manipulating its entries to fall into 
a lower classification.  This exact thing has happened in recent years.  
I think this poses an awful dilemma for a club member in that position.

For Unlimited clubs, having to designate that someone lives too far away
and their score can't count for the club is no big deal - it really 
can't change the club's status in the competition.  

Kenneth E. Harker      "Vox Clamantis in Deserto"      kharker@cs.utexas.edu
University of Texas at Austin                   Amateur Radio Callsign: WM5R
Department of the Computer Sciences          Central Texas DX & Contest Club
Taylor Hall TAY 2.124                         Maintainer of Linux on Laptops
Austin, TX 78712-1188 USA            http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/kharker/

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