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Re: [CQ-Contest] Why was 4U1WB Disqualified in the CQ WPX Contest?

To: Terry Zivney <objectiveuser@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Why was 4U1WB Disqualified in the CQ WPX Contest?
From: Kelly Taylor <ve4xt@mymts.net>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2017 15:47:35 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>

Thanks for the explanation, but I remain to be convinced.

If you recognized that 4U1 stations were not disqualified previously, then you 
realized a precedent had been set. Discarding precedent now only because 
4U1WB’s high score caught your attention makes it seem very arbitrary.

If you have the authority to rewrite the rules now, you had the authority then 
to interpret them based upon precedent. Stations such as 4U1WB deserve to start 
a contest in the belief the rules will be applied according to precedent, that 
if its status as a UN station wasn’t a problem when scores were low it 
shouldn’t be a problem when scores are higher.

The key takeaway, I think, is that diplomatic territory does not belong to the 
country in which it is located, irrespective of an amateur radio contest’s 
written rules. So 4U1WB could not have been licensed by the FCC if it wanted to 
be. It is that complication, I think, that should have merited careful 
consideration prior to issuing a DQ.

Moreover, your recognition that the rules were ignorant of that complication 
suggests a DQ is not in order, even if clarifying the rules is.

73, kelly, ve4xt 

> On Oct 27, 2017, at 2:02 PM, Terry Zivney <n4tz@arrl.net> wrote:
> Why was 4U1WB Disqualified in the CQ WPX Contest?
> As Masa, AJ3M, noted in his posting about the 
> disqualification of 4U1WB in the 2017 CQ WPX SSB
> contest, I informed him that:
> "4U1WB violated rule V.C.2: 
> 2. Special event, commemorative, and other unique prefix stations are 
> encouraged to participate. Prefixes must be assigned by the licensing 
> authority of the country of operation.
> 4U1 is not assigned by the FCC, the licensing authority of the USA, which is 
> what the log of 4U1WB showed as the country of operation."
> *********
> The WPX contest rule cited clearly states that the callsign must be assigned
> by the licensing authority. The FCC did not assign the callsign, and
> has no authority to issue 4U1WB callsigns. Thus, the station did not
> operate in compliance with the existing contest rules.
> Since 4U1 prefixes can be in multiple countries, rule V.C.1 would also apply.
> The DXCC list includes 4U1UN and 4U1ITU as separate entities. So, the 4U1
> prefix does not denote the country of operation. This rule states:
> "A station operating from a DXCC entity different from that indicated
> by its call sign is required to sign portable." Because the 4U1WB callsign
> does not reflect the DXCC entity of USA, it is required to sign portable.
> I did not write these rules, but was charged with interpreting and enforcing 
> them.
> *********
> Why was 4U1WB disqualified in 2017 but not in prior years?
> I cannot answer why 4U1WB was not disqualified previously. However, I
> can state that my practice, as I believe is true of most contest directors,
> is to focus most of my attention on the larger scores. 4U1WB's score
> was less than 1 percent of the highest score in his category, so it
> was not eyeballed earlier.
> I was proofreading the line scores and top scores boxes for the CQ WPX SSB
> contest shortly before CQ's submission deadline.  These scores change every
> day as new logs are received. I try to let this process continue as long as
> possible to ensure the most accurate log checking. While doing the 
> proofreading,
> I noticed 4U1WB/3 listed in a top scores box. This seemed odd, so I looked
> further. Was this 4U3 or 4U1/W3? What did he send? Reference to his log 
> showed he sent 4U1WB and was located in MDC so it was obviously in the USA. 
> This resulted in my checking the rules about portable callsigns and the
> rest is history.
> *********
> I will change the WPX rule V.C.2 for 2018 to reflect a new and improved 
> wording, "Prefixes must be issued or permitted by the licensing
> authority of the country of operation."
> This revised rule will fit the case of 4U1WB, who has a letter from the 
> US Department of State saying that the licensing authority (FCC) has no
> problem with this operation. 
> I don't believe it was wrong for me to enforce the published rules. The
> fact that all published rules have not been (and maybe even are not) always
> enforced does not mean that they can safely be ignored.
> As an example, the  CQWW contest has always had a rule that the exchange
> includes the zone, yet for many years the directors of the CQWW
> did not penalize operators for incorrectly reporting the exchange.
> Indeed, one of the former directors published an article in CQ Contest
> magazine saying that the exchange would not be checked! Yet, in recent years
> the exchange has been checked and operators penalized for incorrectly
> recording the exchange.  No advance notice was given of this change in
> practice.  It was always in the rules and now the rules are enforced.
> **********
> Resolution of problem
> 1) Rule V.C.2 will be clarified for the 2018 WPX contest as noted above
> 2) In the spirit of good sportsmanship, the 4U1WB 2017 logs will be removed 
> from disqualified status and his corrected scores entered in our online 
> databases.
> 3) An errata will be posted on the CQWPX.com website
> I am so sorry that this experience caused Masa grief. I respect
> both Masa and his contest club. I meant no disrespect to either Masa
> or his contest club over this situation.
> 73
> Terry N4TZ, CQ WPX Contest Director
> This message was posted at 1701 UTC, October 27, 2017
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