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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