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Re: [CQ-Contest] Leveling the playing field

To: CQ Contest <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Leveling the playing field
From: John W <xnewyorka@hotmail.com>
Reply-to: xnewyorka@hotmail.com
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 19:05:24 -0700
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
To restate the obvious, by the laws of physics, the playing field is not level. 
It is far too complex to ever be rendered level by any artificial means (i.e. 
scoring adjustments.)
Any attempt to do so will undoubtedly result in somebody somewhere claiming 
reverse discrimination.
For those of you with a mathematical aptitude, the problem is that there are 
too many independent variables.
Expanding a little on a comment made by someone else with whom I agree: If 
winning really is that important to you, and you feel that your geography is 
preventing you from winning, then you should either:
a) move;
b) build a remote station;
c) be a guest op; 
d) go on a DXpedition
e) enter a less hotly contested category
f) change your definition of winning - for example, you can decide that if you 
had the highest score in your category within 200 miles of your QTH, then you 
won. I see nothing wrong with that definition.
But a word of warning - even if you choose to do one of the above, the playing 
field still won't be level. That is the nature of the game we are in - there is 
an element of skill, an element of good station engineering, an element of 
geography, and an element of luck. Many factors contribute to what we might 
categorize as luck, including ionospheric conditions, local storms, power 
outages, computer malfunctions, who spotted you vs. spotting your competitor, 
how wide a signal does a neighboring run station have, etc.
If you really want to compete with a level playing field, or at least as level 
as it can get as a practical matter, then you need to get all the ops with whom 
you want to compete to submit their high scores on RUFZ or Morse Runner or 
other similar programs.  *Just make sure everybody has the same level of 
background noise in the room (or, better yet, everybody is in the same room), 
and everybody uses the same pair of headphones, and uses the same settings in 
the program, or else the playing field still won't be level.
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