As a "little pistol" I know that there is no way that I would ever be in the
top 10 of any major DX contest - I don't have the physical room for an
antenna farm the size of a VOA facility, I don't have an amp, and being in
Northern Lower Michigan I don't have a good location. That being said, I
would be against any method of "handicapping" or score modification based on
location or station capabilities. I mainly try to compete against myself to
better my own score and to improve my skills as well as have fun. That
being said, there are still some areas that I think should be changed in
regards to entry classes, rules and scoring. Note that these suggestions
are for DX contests and not SS or other domestic 'tests.
a) Entry classes should be consistant by power and method of operation.
Three power classes (High / Low / QRP) and three categories - SOU / SOA/
Multiop. That would create 9 total entry classes. Use these for all
contests. If the contest sponsors want to add other categories, fine - but
all 'tests should have the above 9 classes in addition to other additional
b) Scoring - Currently multis are DXCC entities and this should remain.
However, the QSO "point" should be changed from a constant - i.e. 1 point -
to a variable based on the distance between both stations - CQ WW already
does this to a certain extent. This could be easily done by incorporating
the 4 character Maidenhead grid locator as part of the exchange. I would
suggest replacing the "5-9-(9)" with the grid locator. We ALL know that
not everyone is 5-9 and no one gives a "real" report in a contest. The
logging / contesting program could easily determine the distance between the
two stations and assign the appropriate QSO point score to that Q. An
example - EN84 to IO76 is 5367 km, and using an example formula of .5 points
per 1000 km, the above Q would be worth 3 points (2.67 rounded up). This is
of course just an example. The farther the Q, the more QSO points are
received. This could be expanded to have different factors depending on the
band, i.e. 160m Q's may have a factor of 1 point, 80m Q's .8 points, etc.
The above example QSO would be worth 5 points on 160m, 4 points on 80m and 3
points on the other bands.
c) Contester "Ranking" - This is an interesting idea - but the protocols
would need to be specifically and carefully defined as to how the ranking
would be determined. It would need to be "fair" and would need to take
into account many factors. Would everyone start out at the same level, or
would "legacy contests" be taken into account? Should a person get as much
"credit" for being on a multiop team that places first as the person that
placed first in a single op entry? Which contests would be "accepted" as
"official" for scoring purposes? Would the ranking emphasize results or
consistancy (or both) - i.e. how would someone that is consistantly below
the "top ten" in score, but is in EVERY 'test handing out Q's be ranked
against the person that is in one 'test, but finishes in the top three? It
is an interesting idea, but it would take a lot of thought to develop it to
be a REAL measure of the ability of the operator. You don't want to have a
system that would only recognize the "big guns" but also the thousands of
ops that send in a log and provide all of those Q's that give the "big guns"
Dennis - WB0WAO
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