Thanks for polling the contesting community before taking a decision
on whether to classify the use of real-time scoreboards as "outside
assistance" for single ops.
Having used the real time scoreboard in some contests this year, I
can report that:
1. It was fun! I enjoyed the heightened sense of competition, trying
to catch up to the station just ahead of me in the standings and to stay
ahead of the person just behind me.
2. In a contest where I was making a part-time effort, the real time
scoreboard encouraged me to participate longer in the contest.
3. As an experienced contester, the availability of band-by-band
snapshots had no material impact on my score or strategy.
Allowing single operator stations to have more fun in contests seems
beneficial to our beloved sport. And encouraging part-time participants
to operate more of the contest also seems beneficial.
An experienced, top-tier SOAB contester will already know on which
bands she should be operating to maximize his score. The real-time
scoreboard will not give her significant new data that she would not be
able to determine (more efficiently) on her own.
For an operator new to the sport, real time scoreboards seem to offer
more encouragement, minute-by-minute, to continue competing against
other operators at about his skill level.
Overall it seems to me the benefits of a laissez-faire policy seem to
outweigh any disadvantages for the SO-unassisted category.
Furthermore, why rush to kill or reclassify a new-born idea at this
early stage, when little actual experience has been gained? As
real-time scoreboards develop over the next few years, the Committee can
re-evaluate their impact (if any) on the SO-unassisted category.
-- Eric K3NA
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