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[CQ-Contest] Unintended Consequences

To: CQ Contest <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Unintended Consequences
From: Steve London <n2icarrl@gmail.com>
Reply-to: n2ic@arrl.net
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2011 13:42:59 -0600
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
For those of you who are game to change the rules and scoring of existing 
contests, I would like to remind you of the law of unintended consequences.

The recent IARU HF contest is a perfect example. Once upon a time, probably 
before many of you were contesting, the IARU contest did not have HQ stations. 
The only multiplier was the number of zones worked on each band. With this 
scoring system, it was quite possible the win the single-op, high-power 
categories from anywhere in the USA, and outside of Europe. Then the HQ mults 
were added. In essence, the HQ mults are nothing more than country mults on 
band. Virtually every European country activates a multi-multi HQ operation, 
not very many countries outside of Europe activate a multi-multi HQ station. 
This provides a great scoring benefit to stations in Europe, and stations in 
eastern USA. Those stations can work many HQ stations on propagationally 
challenged bands, such as 160, 80 and 10 meters. The result is just what you 
would expect - it is no longer possible to win the single-op, high-power 
categories outside of those favored areas.

A similar story can be told for the CQ WPX contest, when the number of hours 
single-op stations was changed from 30 to 36. I'll let someone else explain 
unintended consequence.

Steve, N2IC
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