Both K5GO and W0UA are right on the mark. Although I have begun to do
assisted, many (perhaps the majority) of serious contesters do not. The
concept of combining both into one category makes no sense to me.
We want to encourage more participation, not discourage it. By passing
such a rule, it would discourage many of the purists (no packet) from
operating as is evidenced by the posts on this reflector. It would also cut
some categories. Any time you cut the categories you deprive guys from
winning a certificate. That piece of paper on the wall is what drives many
guys. Third place in W4-40 meters low power may not mean much to the big
guns, but it means a lot to a little gun who can put that paper on his wall.
I stopped operating the WAE when they eliminated the HF bracket and also
combined all entries into one class whether or not they were assisted or
not. Shame, since I was a serious participant and won several of the "license
plates" in the 90s.
Let's not combine the classes, please! make sure you let the boys at CQ
know about this in their survey.
In a message dated 3/17/2013 3:07:40 P.M. Coordinated Universal Time,
KILLING THE GOLDEN GOOSE
I don't do these forum-things as a rule, but my friend K5GO tipped me
there was a serious (?) suggestion about "combining" the SOAB and SO (A)
categories. Apparently there was a survey sent around, but I surely
aware of it. (As an aside, I have to wonder how many more like me, who've
been in nearly every major CQ HF Contest over the last several years,
similarly unaware this was happening? How many of those who received the
survey might be "casual" entrants as opposed to serious SOAB-types?)
thanks for the heads-up, Stan, and I think I've seen enough of the
discussion to pitch a few marbles into the ring...
First, "combining" is a nice word that doesn't really mean what it says in
this discussion. What's being put forward is eliminating the SOAB
category, in favor of the "Assisted" category. I've seen it said here
percent of the single-op entries are "Assisted." I take from this, then,
that 66 percent reside in the nominal SOAB category. That sounds like a
pretty healthy majority to me--surely not an anachronism ripe for the
heap! I submit that SOAB remains the greatest challenge in the contest
requiring the highest levels of skill, dedication and endurance--which is
why it attracts so many of those folks for whom those qualities are
This catgeory comprises a big share of the best operators on this
planet--who should likewise be highly-valued by the contest sponsors!
So, am I
getting this right--that the majority category...the category with so
outstanding competitors--the one presenting the highest challenge--this
one we would even consider eliminating? The tail should wag the dog, you
say? That can't be right--I must be missing something here?
I saw mention made that we need to get with the "new normal" in
I'm guessing that this implies Internet assistance. Hasn't that already
been fully accepted? As it stands, The "Assisted" category even runs to
single-band entrants. 33 percent may not be a majority but it is a
group and I think they've been nicely accommodated--there are clearly lots
folks who enjoy and prefer this mode--and all the categories have been
provided to support them. I'm not into "Assisted" myself, but if it
peoples' boats and gets them on the air, that's all good. So, where's
problem in all this that requires kicking nominal SOAB to the curb?
Again, I must be missing something here?
I notice that the subject of cheating comes up in this chat, and with it
come a couple of troubling implications:
(1) That cheating (of the Internet variety) is taking place among SOAB
(2) That this purported cheating cannot always be detected and
by the sponsors
Certainly, SOAB is the most "cheatable" category--I'm sure it does happen.
That acknowledged, you can call me naive, but I don't think Internet
cheating is either significant or widespread in the SOAB category.
just say for a moment that it was: Would the proper response be to
surrender to the cheaters and eliminate the mainstream category because
"cheatable?" I enter SOAB contests believing that the overwhelming and
pervasive ethic is for operating--as I do--on honorable terms. Further, I
the sponsors and administrators to protect the integrity of their events
the very best of their abilities and resources. I think we have to
some factors as articles-of-faith--and we seem to have a majority of
entrants willing to do just that. Eliminating our category-of-choice
rather shabby reward for our trust and devotion over not just years, but
I noticed one post here which posited that, in effect, this is all just
about fun, leisure, relaxation. Playing 18 holes in the sun on a May
afternoon is fun. Fly-fishing in a mountain stream is leisurely. That
you're striving to beat your best golf score or competing in stroke-play
against the club champ. Or, perhaps you're tracking fish caught, in a
friendly game with your buddies. If there's competition involved (even
yourself), that always seems to add a little urgency to the proceedings.
SOAB competition--arguably the toughest, the most individualistic test of
all--is about as "urgent" as it gets among it's skilled, dedicated and
perennial devotees. Kill that off while it's still in its prime and
amputating a healthy limb. Why would anyone want to do that? I must be
missing something here...
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