[CQ-Contest] Zero-point QSO's in CQWW

K3BU at aol.com K3BU at aol.com
Mon Nov 16 22:32:53 EST 1998

In a message dated 11/16/98 12:44:30 AM Eastern Standard Time,
Richard.Norton at dsto.defence.gov.au writes:

>  In my unofficial opinion, the contest has a number of inequities in it
>  are much more deserving of attention than same-country contacts. I don't
>  think zero-point QSO's need fixing.

If we know the log checking procedure/system (and we know UBN etc.), then one
should log zero pointers, even if it feels like not doing it (they are zero -
good for nothing). Otherwise we might harm other helping souls.

The other "inequities" is the scoring system. 
CQ WW contest is considered the unofficial world championship or at least the
world's most popular contest. Its scoring system with 0-1-2-3 points and
multipliers is not the closest thing to ideal scoring system that would put
most of the contesters on close to equal footing. With present scoring system,
if one wants to break some records, or place in top boxes, all other things
being equal, one has to go to the place that gives him (her, for you PC types)
the maximum point advantage, which translates to be in the least populated
continent, next to heavy populated continent(s). For those from Rio Linda,
this translates to be in north of Africa or South America, being in rare
country helps to get "bystanders" and extra points. For US or European
stations it is very hard to break into the top listings. Those are the rules,
results, and there will never be ideal and fair rules for everybody. We get
variations in propagation and ham population density/participation and those
factors have major influence on advantages and scores. 
    Zero points for own country clearly handicaps the countries with large ham
population. They are deprived from working their compadres. Some say by giving
points to own country the contest will turn into sweepstakes. Baloney, and so
what? The real result is that when things get slow, we can work some "0
pointers" for points and keep the activity and participation up. Is anyone in
his right mind going to  work 1 pointers over 3 pointers? I think 1999 WPX
contest (1 point for domestic QSOs) will see the boost in participation
especially from US stations, everyone will benefit. So I vote for no more 0
pointers in any contest ever!! 
    The next question for esteemed contest community is the "fair" scoring
system generally. On one hand we have established contest (CQ WW) with
tradition, popularity and participation (and "unfair" scoring system). On the
other hand we would like to have a contest where all participants would
(almost) have fair and equal chance of competing and getting some meaningful
comparison of their operating and station building skills. So (1.) do we try
to turn the CQ WW contest into "more fair" contest by "modernizing" the rules,
or (2.) do we try to come up with new contest that would address those
problems? I was trying to do the second alternative by formatting the rules
for IRSA World Championship Contests that we ran around ten years ago. It had
positive response but fizzled out with sponsoring Radiosporting magazine.
     It would be interesting to hear the opinions of OF contest tigers. I
could put up the old IRSA rules as a starting point, we can rehash them,
improve them, pick a date, reflector and give it a try. 
	I love CQ WW contest, it is my #1, most important and prestigious one, and
hats off to all those who help to make it happen, including CQ Magazine. But I
also would like to see the contest where we can compete on more equal footing,
from our own HOME stations and achieve results that would give us some
comparison. The whole point of my diatribe here is that we do not have a such
contest, and it would be nice to have that. We have bunch of contests that
allow comparison within certain categories. So who is the best contester now?
The one that can take advantage of the present rules and travel to the
geographically/pointsy advantageous location. Isn't the object of contesting
to make most contacts/points with widest area of the world? See who can work
most, fastest, farthest, etc. We will never have ideal rules or scoring
system, but we could try to get close to it.
      So, up to the reflector master to allow discussions here or just flames
to me and I will summarize them for posting.

Yuri Blanarovich
K3BU, VE1BY, VE3BMV, P40A, ex OK3BU etc. 
OF - celebrating 40 years of ham radio and contesting

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