[CQ-Contest] Contests and Judging

thompson at mindspring.com thompson at mindspring.com
Sat Jul 4 17:01:51 EDT 1998

Amateur radio contests have changed over the 42 years I have been a
contester and Contest Director.  The discussion on when a contest ends
and post contest corrections shows that we have many view points.  My views
are widely known and many of you know I don't agree with much of the recent
log checking dogma that are making contests less fun.  I have always felt if
you can't have fun (part of the fun is winning but only a part) then why

Uniques, total accuracy, and electronic  logs have come about due to the
computer.  I fear that we may be moving beyond  impersonal log checking.
All of these new concepts can undermine the long held concept that we work
on the honor system and that a log is honest until proven otherwise (and we
have the tools today to prove that fast).  Uniques should never be a reason
to delete a QSO.  The unique should be proven to be a bust before removing.
Total accuracy is a great concept, but should never be the ultimate goal.
Improving accuracy is always a goal, but we are dealing with people and like
unemployment or the other sideband can never be completely eliminated.   I
am also concerned over the push to only allow computer logs.  Please
consider that we on the contest reflector are the elite with our computers.
Often the ham in Kazakhstan or the Sudan does not have either a computer or
even the power to run one so he sends a hand log.  The same goes for the ham
in China or Japan who has a computer that outputs in their native language.
One day all logs will be electronic but lets don't try to force it before
its time.

Finally, with regard to checking logs, checkers need to be impersonal and a
judge with a small j!    After we finish the checking and review our
exceptions we have the right to judge some of the exceptions as impossibles.
Every year a few jokers creep into our logs and we need to keen enough to
catch most of them.  The sharp competitor will catch some of these too, but
not all.   A few years ago in the CQ WW SSB the same voice called me on 10
meters at least three times with three rare call signs.  The third time I
called the name of the call offered and the voice disappeared.   Several
years ago a station signing VY1CA worked over 100 stations on the east coast
at 2300Z on 160.  Only K3ZO called it a "smelly" one and sure enough it was
phony.  The judging comes in as we must determine what to remove and be
consistent in the application of any penalties.

Please leave the "fun" in contesting (OK lets let the WRTC be a fully JUDGED
affair).  Obey the rules and best of luck to all!

73, Dave K4JRB
CQ 160 Contests Director

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