----- Original Message -----
From: "Kelly Taylor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> If SO-A was such an advantage, the SO-A guys would consistently beat the
> unassisted. That doesn't happen. In contest after contest, the
> undistracted ops always outperform the SO-distracted ops. Which goes back
> to an adage in contesting: rate wins contests. You can't get rate if
> you're always chasing spots and the fewer Qs you have to multiply, the
> less each multiplier is worth.
I would maintain that it is self-evident that, when
an individual gets real-time spotting help from other
individuals, there is potential for him/her to work
more multipliers, or high-point QSOs, than would
otherwise be the case.
When a contest's winning strategy is rate, the value
of such help is diminished and, as VE4XT describes,
may even be counter-productive.
G4BUO mentioned two contests where rate is not always
the answer, WAE and 9A. It's easy to add to the list,
for example IOTA, Commonwealth - in fact, any contest
with a high QSO to multiplier ratio. North American
contesters will know of others, and may not realise
it includes ARRL DX for DX entrants - where a single
multiplier has the potential to increase band scores
by two percent or more.
As G4BUO says, and how often must it be repeated, "the
critical point that separates it [spotting assistance]
from all the other 'technology' is that the help is
coming from other individuals in real time, during the
contest." That's why SO and SO-Assisted should remain,
or be, separate categories.
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