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[CQ-Contest] Handicapping

To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Handicapping
From: "Randy Johnson" <randyj@loan-wolf.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 10:49:32 -0700
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
I think that there are ways of "handicapping" contests that haven't been 

In professional golf, there is no handicapping, BUT there is the regular "PGA 
tour" AND the Seniors Tour AND another for pros who have gone to the school but 
haven't made the top 125.  In each group, people compete with others of, 
presumably, similar skills.

I also do competitive shotgun sports, like sporting clays. The overall winner 
and runner-up get their "top gun" prizes, but all the others are ranked from 
top to bottom in what is known as a Lewis Class system.  The #3 guy is winner 
of the AA class, then about 20% down the list someone is winner of the A class, 
then B, and so forth. THis means that everyone entered has an oppotunity to 
"win" something.  The last guy in the A class beat the first guy in the B 
class, and gets zip but that's the way it works!

In the WPX contest, CQ has a rookie class for those who have been licensed for 
few than 3 years. I think that is a good idea but unfortunately, that class 
only attracts only a dozen or so participants. If promoted better it would seem 
to be a way of attracting new hams to contesting, something we all would like 
to see.   Note to that there is also a "wire antenna/tri-bander" class in that 
contest, another way of levelling the playing field.

As a LP wire antenna guy from W6, I"m never going to win anything, I just try 
to do better than the last time. But I do agree that if we could do something 
to "spice things up" for many participants, it would improve the game. I'm not 
sure how we can best expand this concept which is obviously open for 
sandbagging if we let people choose their class. It is ONE WAY to offer more 
opportunities of "interest" for the thousands of hams who are in the lower 90% 
of participants. 

In summary, there seems to be a ground-swell of support for the concept of 
handicapping and I'm running this one up the flagpole.

Randy W6SJ
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