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Re: [CQ-Contest] Contesting Extinction

To: Randy Thompson <k5zd@charter.net>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Contesting Extinction
From: DL8MBS <prickler.schneider@t-online.de>
Date: Sun, 08 Oct 2006 16:34:27 +0200
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Randy Thompson wrote:

>The 20,000+ people who run in the Boston Marathon each year don't expect to
>beat the Kenyans, but they do know what personal goal they are chasing.
But they do it in a public competition. If it were only for personal 
goals they could take any 42km and run against the clock. But they want 
to be competetive in a broader sense - they want the comparison with 
others. If it were only for the fun of making contacts the majority of 
contesters don´t need to send in a log. Running can satisfy the interest 
in comparison much better than contesting because it has much less 
variables between the participants besides fitness. Everyone runs the 
same distance with nearly identical hardware (and no better shoe would 
make any of us faster than Kenyans over 42 km...).

With the many category-unfriendly variables in contesting (hardware, 
operating time, location) only the "Formula-One"-Group with quite 
similar stacks and (near) fulltime operating has kind of a real 
comparison. Based on invested operation time I estimate this group at 
about 10 percent of the logsending participants. The results of the rest 
disappear in a complete mixed-bag in the score list. What kind of 
competetive comparison is there for the/us "cannon-fodder"? How should I 
value my outcome not knowing what kind of antenna the ones ahead of me 
used and whether they operated six hours more than me or six hours less?

When there is frequent discomfort from the/us "not so competetive" - 
wouldn´t it help the contesting community not to denounce it as whining 
but see it as a competetive potential? There seem to be so many 
operators out there as described by KG2V possibly to be motivated for 
more than "handing out a few contacts just helping the club" (with the 
differences between clubs often being multiples of complete individual 
scores the personal incentive to squeeze out another few more qsos is 
not too big). Regional sections add mostly awards (seemingly much 
appreciated) but not so much additional comparison. Ressorting only to 
sprints and QSO-parties doesn´t help the activity in the big contests. 
Better manned Multi-Op-Stations don´t increase the total qso number of a 
contest as much as would a big number of additional single ops.

Allowing this group a better comparison with others having similar 
hardware and operation time could be motivating for a more competetive 
and concentrated operating - increasing the overall number of qsos in a 
contest. And this will increase the figures on the rate-meters of the 
Formula-One, too. Adding crucial information to (internet based) score 
lists could be one of the many steps to make contesting more attractive 
without taking away anything from anyone.
Thanks for reading and best 73, Chris


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