Comparing scores (handicaps?)

Fri May 21 12:25:57 EDT 1993

    The handicap idea has been tossed around the halls of Stouffers at
Dayton, in NCJ and at contest club meetings for many years.  It's a great
idea in principle.  The problem is in coming up with quantitative
factors for the handicap.  For example, is my single tower with 
monobanders on a New England hilltop better or worse than a 3-tower
setup in Western New York with 2 big tribanders and a 2el full size
forty?  Most contesters already do this type of analysis in their head 
when comparing scores.  I have my own benchmarks in S/O DX contesting 
which I can judge my score against, knowing the operators and their
stations.  When KM1H puts up yet another stack and sets up his station
for KQ2M to just plop down and operate, I throw up my hands even
higher and roll up my eyes.  When I beat N2NT operating at NF2L (a 
bigger station than mine but geographically similar), I feel good 
and know I'm doing well.  When N6BV beats me for the first time with
stacked tribanders in New Hampshire when I operate from KS1L (a low-height
multi-tower station with a tribander and a couple of small monobanders
but no stacks), I have to decide whether it was me or the station,
or is it Dean's in-depth computer modeling and studying of propagation
over the past year that gave him the edge.   The point is, how do you 
quantify these?  Obviously it can't be done perfectly, but I think it's
worth trying.  I'd like to see some ideas to toss around.  Contests should 
have absolute scores and handicap scores -- pick which way you want to
compete.  If you don't like handicaps, go for the absolute.  If you still
don't like the handicaps, change them or work around them.
                                      -- Rich K1CC
                                         rja at

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