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Re: [CQ-Contest] Contest Equalization and Maximization

To: "Robert L. Shohet" <kq2m@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Contest Equalization and Maximization
From: Matt Murphy <matt@nq6n.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 15:19:58 -0700
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>

I totally agree with you about how much fun WPX is.  I'd say it's probably
my favorite contest too.  However I am not trying to suggest that ARRL copy
WPX. The ideas I mentioned would (in my opinion) go significantly beyond WPX
-- creating more paths to victory for more participants.

If more points does indeed equal more fun, then I'd expect the MPMF contest
to result in much greater participation from smaller stations, since it
takes far less of a station to successfully S&P than it does to hold a run
frequency.  One of the design goals of my little set of suggested rules was
that they'd allow participants with more humble stations to enjoy the
adrenaline of running. In fact, if the bonus point for working an S&P QSO
were enough of an incentive, we might even see an inversion of the status
quo where big stations run and small stations S&P -- maybe small stations
would run and big stations would use their pan adapters and multiple radio
setups to snag all the possible points.

Of course, ideally we'd see quite a mix of strategies and station
configurations, and if the rules were successful, overall participation
would increase.

I've also noticed after participating in some of the NS Sprints that QSY
rules add a phenomenal need for operator focus... You're right that runs do
eventually get boring, though for the casual participant who hasn't had the
chance to run before, it's a huge adrenaline rush, maybe even enough to
create the beginnings of a contesting addiction.

Matt NQ6N

On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 1:47 PM, Robert L. Shohet <kq2m@earthlink.net> wrote:

> Hi Matt,
> We already have this contest, it is the WPX contest, and has been
> my favorite contest since the mid-1970's.
> For North America:
> Point differences depending on freq. band used for the qso
> Point differences depending for US vs NA vs outside of NA
> Time limits for SO - 36 hours
> Multiplier concentration in US, Europe and Asia
> I have loved this contest because of the wildly variable strategy
> and have NEVER operated the same way twice.  Point maximization
> wins this contest not just qso maxization.  Low bands count more
> vs high bands, etc., and you never know much low-band prop. you are
> going to get with all the daylight since it is NOT a winter contest.
> If you guess "wrong" on the off-times, you are screwed, not to mention
> the fact that propagation is so variable and often unpredictable,
> especially in WPXCW.
> Luck is a factor along with constantly changing strategy and constant
> decisionmaking, plus needing to work everyone.  I work harder in WPX
> than in many other contests.
> As an example, here is a typical decision I am looking at at 2221z on
> Saturday
> in WPXSSB:
> 1) Do I go to 40 to work EU for 6 pointers and close in US (mults) (1
> point)?
> 2) Do I stay on 20 to catch a marginal JA/Asian (3 points) opening for
> prefixes and midwest US (1 point)?
> 3) Do I try 15 for a quick run of US (prefixes) (1 point), SA/CA and maybe
> a few JA's/Pacific (3 points)?
> The permutations are endless and VERY taxing to consider, because it is
> hard to know
> which was the "best" decision for that minute since you can't replay it
> again!  I estimate
> the potential points per minute (points/q x new mults) and consider the
> liklihood of
> finding a clear freq. (almost nil).  There is TENSION in EVERY MINUTE of
> the contest
> when you operate this way, and that is just with using ONE radio.  :-)  I
> don't even
> have time to think about who might be operating in my category, nor frankly
> do I
> even care.
> Yes, the BIG stations can sit there and just run guys, but that is not what
> I do - it
> would bore me to death!
> My competition is with myself and maximizing the points in EVERY MINUTE
> of the contest.  There is no tougher competition than making every minute
> a "sub-contest" and then starting over in the following minute, and the
> best
> part is that it doesn't matter who else is operating or where they are
> operating from.  I am only concerned with how I did in the PREVIOUS minute
> (2221z),
> how I am doing in THIS minute (2222z) and what should I be doing in the
> NEXT minute (2223z).
> I like the ARRLDX very much also, but IMO we do not need
> an ARRLWPX contest.  Vive la difference!
> 73
> Bob KQ2M
> kq2m@kq2m.com
> www.rlsfinancialgroup.com
> Matt, NQ6N wrote:
> What if we created a contest with rules that made the operator of a big gun
> station have to think carefully about whether continuing with a 250q/hour
> run was really the best strategic option?  What if more points could be
> gained by maximizing other aspects of station performance or operator
> skill?
>  In my opinion, it would be incredible if we could create a contest with a
> set of rules that allowed for winning strategies other than simple
> rate-maximization.  This might have the side-effect of revealing that
> different station arrangements, geographies, and operator skills had
> unexpected strengths.  If this could be done in a way that preserved the
> most FUN aspects of contesting, then the contest would likely draw
> significant participation quickly become a favorite.
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