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Re: [CQ-Contest] Real Time Scoreboards

To: "'Bob Cox'" <bcox@sentientmedical.com>,<cq-contest@contesting.com>, <live@cqww.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Real Time Scoreboards
From: "David Robbins K1TTT" <k1ttt@arrl.net>
Reply-to: k1ttt@arrl.net
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006 21:15:01 -0000
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
As has been discussed in the past on this subject, both on the cq-contest
reflector and other lists.  If you are spending time trying to watch a
scoreboard to figure out what band is open to where, you are losing.  With
scores uploaded maybe every 5 minutes, and a page that refreshes maybe every
5 minutes, the amount of data you will see is minimal.  You can tell more
about what bands are open by a 10 second spin of the dial across the bottom
of the band to see who is cqing than you can by watching the scores build

We watched this closely in some of the tests over the last year, and while
you could tell who was making contacts on what band, there is no way to tell
where they are making contacts (which you could tell if you actually
listened to them) or if those contacts were multipliers or even counted for
points (i.e. on 10m you couldn't tell if all the qso's being logged were
zero pointers or dx).  And you can't even tell if the band is runnable, or
if someone is just dialing around doing s&p... something a single op can
figure out pretty quick by just tuning across a band.  A single op can get
more information about band openings from pre-contest or real time
propagation predictions, that are legal, than you can tell from watching
scores.  And like I said, if you are watching the scoreboard instead of
making qso's, you are losing.

The intent of course in a real time scoreboard is not for tactical use
during a contest, nor of course can it help make strategic decisions... it
is mostly useful for first, fun, second, as an attention getter for
non-contesters, and finally as a motivator for anyone who would rather see
where the competition is in real time than 6 months after the contest is
over.  The final point is the one big thing that has always been missing in
contesting, the ability to see where the competition is.  Most other sports
you can either see the competition directly and know how they are doing, or
in sports like golf you have a real time scoreboard that keeps you up to
date on what the competition is up to.  What is it good for there?  Are not
golfers single ops??  The use there is the same as in radio contesting, it
lets the competition know what they are up against, and either motivates
them, or if they are weak it may demoralize them...  But in any case it
doesn't convey enough information to tell the competition that the green is
soft on the 10th hole.  Nor does a real time contest scoreboard give you
enough information to make good operating decisions.

Another thing is, there are other sources of scores.  I have my score and
breakdown updated after every qso on my web site... would you make posting
that illegal??  What about my webcams??? If you watch those you can tell
which bands are manned, and maybe weather the operator is interested and
running or bored and kicked back... would those be illegal??  Or would just
'using' them be illegal?   There are other stations where you can listen in
on their receivers, how about that??   Again, any competitor who is taking
the time to study any of those sources during a contest, is losing.

To reiterate, we have been doing this in various contests for the last year
or so now.. so far I have not found any actionable tactical information in
many hours I have spent watching it (while other operators were busily
making qso's of course).  The only good use I have found is that I can yell
at the operators and tell them "kb1h is up to 300 qso's per hour!  Why are
we only at 200???"  of course I don't tell them that at the next 5 minute
update kb1h was down to 150 and we were at 300.  If I were a single op I
probably wouldn't watch it, but others may find it an interesting
motivational tool... but for tactical decision making?? Not a chance in my
experience with it.  Its more likely to be a distraction for operators than
to help their score if they aren't careful.

David Robbins K1TTT
e-mail: mailto:k1ttt@arrl.net
web: http://www.k1ttt.net
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://dxc.k1ttt.net

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:cq-contest-
> bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of Bob Cox
> Sent: Friday, October 20, 2006 18:08
> To: cq-contest@contesting.com
> Subject: [CQ-Contest] Real Time Scoreboards
> Dear Fellow Contester,
> The CQ WW Contest Committee is discussing whether use of real-time
> contest scoreboards is likely to convey information about band
> openings and profitable tactics to an extent that participants using
> the scoreboards should be categorized as assisted. The 2006 CQ WW contest
> rules have already been published and they will govern the 2006 contests.
> We welcome your comments on this, and suggest the possibility of also
> sending the comments to the CQ-Contest reflector so that others can
> see them and possibly follow up.
> Comments can be sent to live@cqww.com
> 73
> Bob, K3EST
> CQ WW Director
> For the CQ WW Committee
> _______________________________________________
> CQ-Contest mailing list
> CQ-Contest@contesting.com
> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest

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