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Re: [CQ-Contest] The Elephant In The Bedroom

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] The Elephant In The Bedroom
From: Pete Smith <n4zr@contesting.com>
Reply-to: n4zr@contesting.com
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2011 06:13:59 -0400
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
I like the idea of a beta test.  With the trend toward open logs, is 
there any reason why a test couldn't be done "alongside" next year's 
ARRL DX Contest.  Run the logs through both sets of algorithms, and 
compare the results?

73, Pete N4ZR

The World Contest Station Database, updated daily at www.conteststations.com
The Reverse Beacon Network at http://reversebeacon.net, blog at 
spots at telnet.reversebeacon.net, port 7000

On 7/7/2011 11:59 PM, Jeff Blaine wrote:
> In radio, there are a lot of time-respected traditions.  These contests and 
> their rules - for better or worse - are a tradition as
> well.
> It seems to this micro-pistol, that the better solution would be to have a 
> sort of a beta-test of whatever the new best and
> brightest ideas are and run that as another entry in the contest calendar.  
> If it draws participation, then the idea is
> "market-place endorsed" - you could say.
> > From these trial tests, a lot could be learned about the effects of these 
> > changes.  That would fill in a lot of current speculation
> with actual facts from an actual event.
> The down-side of this would be grumbling about whatever weekend the contest 
> was slated for.  But I think that's a standing challenge
> in any event.
> Adding onto the diversity of the contest events seems a better idea in my 
> thinking than changing the core of "the bigs."  Especially
> when the implication of the rule changes is so unclear.  An additional 
> contest event, followed by some "market testing" - seems a
> better way to figure out if this new format (whatever it ends up being) has 
> the legs to run amoung the bigs or not.
> 73, Jeff ACØC
> www.ac0c.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rick Dougherty NQ4I
> Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 7:43 PM
> To: Ron Notarius W3WN
> Cc: CQ-Contest
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] The Elephant In The Bedroom
> Hi Ron...I have zero interest in WRTC, in other words I do not aspire
> to attend and participate...I do however compete in the ARRL
> tests...this has reared its head at least 2 or 3 times before...will
> it get anywhere? No idea.
> de NQ4I
> On Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 8:13 PM, Ron Notarius W3WN<wn3vaw@verizon.net>  wrote:
>> There certainly been quite a few interesting discussions the last few days
>> regarding the possibility of adjusting the scoring for future ARRL DX
>> contests.
>> What I find interesting is that one key factor seems to not have been
>> mentioned; the proverbial elephant in the bedroom that everyone conveniently
>> ignores and doesn't talk about.  Perhaps it's time we do.
>> But before I get into that, let me be clear that I am not necessarily
>> opposed to the ideas in question.  I wouldn't want to make a final decision
>> without more information, but the basic idea of updating the scoring to make
>> it a little more geographically balanced appeals to me... if it can be done.
>> There are quite a few details to work out, I'd like to see the supporting
>> data, and then there's the issue of how (if) the contest exchange changes&
>> how this gets relayed to non-contesters who only wish to help by providing a
>> simple contact.  But those are details, they'll be worked out in due course.
>> So:  The question that keeps running through my mind, that proverbial
>> elephant, is simply this:  Why now?
>> After all, this scoring imbalance isn't exactly news.  It's been discussed
>> in one form or another for years... decades.  So why the push NOW to change
>> things?
>> Could it simply be a side-effect of the competition for slots in the WRTC?
>> I think it is.  Since, these days, the major contests are all being
>> considered as preliminaries or qualifiers for WRTC competitors, clearly
>> individual placements or standings in the contests -- and how scoring
>> affects them -- has become very important to those who wish to be considered
>> or selected.
>> Now, if this is correct, if THIS is the proverbial elephant, then there may
>> be a relatively simpler solution than causing a major upheaval in one of the
>> top contests of the year.
>> Consider the analogy of a marathon that is also a qualifying race for the
>> Olympics.  There is usually an "elite" group of runners who are seriously
>> contending for their country's Olympic teams, a small group, and then there
>> are the local and regional runners, or those just out to prove that they can
>> finish the marathon regardless of their timing or scores.  The "elite"
>> runners usually have additional rules or requirements, related to the
>> Olympic trials, that everyone else can forgo as unnecessary.  While not a
>> perfect analogy, I think we may be looking at the same situation here.
>> Thus, the simple solution.  For those who wish to be considered for the WRTC
>> (or, in the future, similar) teams, after submitting their logs to the ARRL
>> or other contest sponsors, submit the same log to a special WRTC scoring
>> system or logging robot... the "contest within a contest" concept.  The WRTC
>> system, like the ARRL (etc) system, will score the logs, but using the
>> appropriate adjustments for distance -- or whatever the ultimate criteria
>> will be.
>> For that matter, if they're only interested in WRTC standings, they don't
>> have to submit their log elsewhere (or only as a check log), just to that
>> system.  Whatever works.
>> No adjustments to the ARRL scoring are required, at least not in terms of
>> how it affects WRTC standings.  That's not to say that adjustments may not
>> come, or are overdue... just that we don't have to do it NOW for WRTC
>> standings.
>> How do we figure out the distance adjustments?  Good question, and that's a
>> detail that will come in due course.
>> But think about it.  No major software overhauls or rewrites, no trying to
>> remember new exchanges, no trying to tell someone "I know you're in New
>> Jersey, but what's your grid square?" or "I know you're running 400 Watts in
>> Jersey, but what's your grid square?"  Keep it simple.
>> And those who wish to slug it out for a WRTC spot don't muck things up for
>> the rest.
>> Yes, there's a good chance that you can have someone win their Division and
>> be a relative runner-up in the WRTC standings, or vice versa.  But that's
>> what we're talking about anyway.
>> Thoughts?
>> 73, ron w3wn
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