One thing I find interesting about this "Lets level the playing field"
discussion is that every serious contester works hard to make sure its
NOT a level playing field. We try to gain the upper hand through
better/higher/more antennas, beams and anything else we can buy or
build that will "give us the edge we need" over the competition. Same
thing in the shack - newer/better/quieter radios, magic boxes that we
think will help that little bit - all in an effort to win.
Sure - geography plays a part. So does the operator skill, the
ionosphere and a hundred other variables - some under our control,
others not. Add it all up, and even despite our best efforts -
sometimes we don't or can't win a certain competition. Life's just
not fair sometimes. What to do? Well, we can give up, but that's too
easy! A quitter can never win.
All of these things you mentioned are the exact variables that should make a
difference between who is in the top ten, top three, or who is the winner.
Operating a contest is fun, but so is experimenting with a new antenna, or
saving for a new radio, or learning a new contest skill. These are the
differences that should make a difference. Take those away and we'll all be
playing a video game, which would get real boring real quick. Diving down into
this rabbit hole is a Red Herring.
This isn't only about winning the top spot. Its about EVERYBODY having a
CHANCE to compete in a DX contest in EVERY category. More competition will
spur more motivation to build bigger stations and will increase contest
Bottom line - compete on your own terms. If winning is so darned
important, and geography is standing in your way, then I guess you
need to move.
The message to current and future participants in the ARRL DX contest
be that if you want to win you need to move to the East Coast.
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