NA Sprint Rules changes -- why?

Robert A. Wilson n6tv at vnet.IBM.COM
Tue Jul 6 12:19:52 EDT 1993

I just received the July/August issue of the NCJ.  The write-up for the
February Sprint mentions three rule changes that will be in effect for
the September Sprint:

1) Simultaneous transmission on more than one band is no longer
2) Automatic reception methods (I assume this means CW
   copying programs), may not be used.
3) You cannot standby on a frequency and work the station who answers
   the CQ of the station you just gave the frequency to, unless you make
   another QSO first (at least 1 kHZ away).

I have no problem with 3), as it simply clarifies the rule
against "round-robin" QSOs which has always existed.

However, I do not understand why 1) and 2) are being put into place
without any prior discussion in this or any other public forum of
which I am aware.

When Rusty, W6OAT, originally designed the rules for the NA Sprint,
the guiding principle was "no limits on the operator."  If someone can
operate three rigs simultaneously, let them!  The Sprint was the only
contest that permitted simultaneous, multi-band transmission, and this
lead to advancements in operator technique and dual radio control.
KR0Y supposedly has mastered this, and that is why he does so well in
the Sprints.  Just because Jeff does well, do we have to change the

Furthermore, I like to see contests that ENCOURAGE the development and
refinement of automatic CW copying software as it has some potential to
increase CW activity.  Long ago N6TR demonstrated a program with
automatic CW receiving *and* simple QSO-making capability, and I thought
that was pretty neat.  Why are we now banning such devices in
the Sprint?  Development of a program that could make 200 CW QSOs in the
Sprint all by itself would be a significant technical achievement.  We
could even have a "Computer-OP" category in addition to single op, assuming
the programs get "too good."

Why discourage technical innovation, station improvements, and
highly-skilled operators and programmers by writing a new rule
that might find its way into other contests?  Why change the
rules without any open discussion by the participants?

The Sprint ain't broke.  Please don't "fix" it.

Bob, N6TV

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