KU8E did a very interesting slice by geo. I was doing a similar look but
wanted to compare it to the Sweepstakes Contest..an apparently unbroken
contest that is already so fun that no changes need be considered.
ARRL DX Log Submissions and comparisons by sub-group to 2001.
2010 - 3151 logs (an okay SFI) (up over 40%). 1484 from DX (up over 50%).
1691 from W/VE (up almost 30%). 153 from New England (flat).
2001 - 2236 logs (a sunspot maximum) 964 from DX. 1322 from W/VE. 155
from New England.
2010 percentage comparisons to 2001 (1st year in ARRL on line contest
Conclusions? DX have no issue with this contest (they are the fastest
growing group). W/VE are growing respectably and the growth is ALL coming
from outside New England.
ARRL Sweepstakes Log Submissions
2010 - 1783 logs submitted (up 11%). 110 from New England (up 11%). 1673
from outside New England (up 11%).
2001 - 1604 logs submitted. 98 from New England. 1506 from outside New
Conclusions? ARRL sweepstakes generates virtually the same amount of W/VE
activity in 2010 as ARRL DX contest.
However in 2001 sweepstakes was more popular with W/VE hams than ARRL DX.
Across all fronts, the ARRL DX contest is growing faster and outpacing the
Sweepstakes contest. Except, interestingly in New England, where the
opposite should be happening given the very favorable scoring structure
The contest that is deemed "fairer" for a chance to win for the general (non
New England) W/VE ham population is not growing nearly as fast. The contest
with "more family friendly and reasonable operating hours" is not growing
nearly as fast. Why?
In my opinion its because the general log submission growth is not driven by
the analytical contest reflector arguments or the opinionated - highly
competitive group (of which I consider myself a member) of what maybe 100 -
200 contesters in W/VE. Its driven by "how fun the contest is to work
people". And ARRL DX is fun for W/VE because they can work DX and not
compete with EU or JA for the contact (unlike CQ WW where that can be a very
frustrating issue for the little guy). Or maybe they can run a little where
they cannot in CQ WW. So they have fun.
>From the DX side, while you could argue its less fun because W/VE is not
always open, the facts speak a much different story. Why? Maybe its rate
opportunity. Maybe its that they like the WAS aspect. Not sure. Someone
should find out if EVEN MORE growth could occur with tweaks from their end.
But because it needs fixing? Hardly.
Sounds to me like all this effort and passion for "a better contest" should
be put into just that..start a new "different" contest..(prefer April or mid
September to early October personally) and hope that someday with a lot of
hard work it could rival the success of the ARRL DX contest both in non-New
England W/VE and DX.
"Fixing it" or "making it fairer" are arguments just not supported by facts
folks. The number one laggard contest that is so grossly unfair to New
England (how about typically not one New Englander in the top 20 let alone
top 10 or winning) is Sweepstakes. If the CAC is hell bent on "fixing a
contest", let it start with SS.
That's my opinion anyway.
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