[CQ-Contest] Sweepstakes Participation

Joe Wade joe at execusoft.com
Fri Jul 11 10:37:22 EDT 1997

At 05:51 PM 7/10/97 -0400, Hal W1NN wrote:
>The thing that really stands out from going through the old results was
>the terrific participation in CW SS.  For the 1956 SS, 1435 logs were
>submitted (the other year I spot checked, 1961, had 1,525).  The
>comparable figure forty years later was 1265.  121 stations from Ohio
>submitted logs in 1961; in 1996 it was 57.  Based on a rough calculation
>from my 1958 callbook, there were about 160,000 licensed amateurs back
>then, so 0.9% of all amateurs submitted SS CW logs.  The comparable figure
>today is around 0.2%.  So CW SS participation today has fallen to
>one-quarter of its level of 40 years ago.  (The phone figures would show a
>different trend.)  Interesting food for thought in these numbers.  Any
>guesses as to the causes? 

While it is clear that the number of those submitting logs has gone down in
CW SS, I think that the level of participation has actually risen.  Weren't
the scores in the 97 CW test some of the highest ever.  Many exceeded the
1000 qso mark at the bottom of the current cycle. This is because more
stations were in the contest, at least on a casual basis, but many chose not
to send in their logs (and get their participation pin).

It seems that there are many who enjoy the contest but either do not want to
go all out or cannot make the time to go all out.  But they still enjoy
operating for a few hours, handing out contacts and getting into the fray.
I think that is a great sign because SS is one of those contests that you
just get hooked on.  Despite what I have read on this reflector, there is a
great deal of courteous, gentlemenly conduct during SS.  And in addition, a
great deal of patience by the "all-out" operators in working those that
aren't quite as adept at cw or contesting.  On phone, there is a great deal
of playing around with phonetics and very seldom a sense of urgency to make
contacts by stations that are just in the contest to make a few contacts.
It is to the credit of you "great" operators out there that you don't turn
such people off, but rather encourage them.

You can't compare percentages of participation in CW SS with the total
"licensed" ham population in the U.S. today.  Lets face it, a large segment
of the current ham population today has never taken, and does not want to
take a CW exam nor operate CW.  You would have to compare the participation
numbers to those with HF priveleges.

Speaking of "Legends", let's not forget those that are such great contest
operators today.  For me it is a marvel, and a thrill to listen to many of
the great ops who jump into this contest year after year.  There are at
least a hundred of you out there, many of whom are on this reflector.  Thank
you for leading the way.

73, Joe - W6YR     

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