[CQ-Contest] Re: QST Line Scores

Bud Hippisley, K2KIR k2kir at telenet.net
Thu Jul 25 13:38:00 EDT 2002

At 10:39 PM 2002-07-24 , VE4XT wrote:

>Line scores have limited appeal -- primarily to us and us alone. 

I don't agree -- when I was a new ham, I used to read the line scores for my section to see if I knew any of the contesters who participated -- even though I hadn't yet decided that I wanted to be a contester.

>  Anything that will make it MORE LIKELY that a non-contester will read the
>results writeup is a good thing, no?

Not automatically, and especially not if it's a zero-sum game and something else has to suffer in return.  There's a whole string of unproven presumptions inherent in trading line scores for more verbiage -- including the one that implies today's new generation will *read* about anything rather than just *doing*.

But my principal objection to this whole thing is from the "historical records" point of view.  If I want to recall what my friends and I did in the 1933 Sweepstakes I can go to my collection of QSTs and know for certain that I will find it.   There is no such guarantee attached to whatever the League is proposing to replace the QST coverage with -- as those of us who have suffered through a similar but much earlier decision to remove coverage of the ARRL National Traffic System from QST have learned the hard way.   The promised alternatives -- listing of NTS "line scores" (statistics) in a separate specialty field organization newsletter and equivalent editorial space in QST for articles about NTS and traffic handling have not survived in any meaningful way.  

Coincidentally, I recently read a similar wail from long-time columnists in a popular computer magazine to the effect that their archived columns on the publisher's web site had been deleted -- perhaps accidentally but, in any event, deleted nevertheless.  Their philosophical ruminations about the limitations of web-based archiving can be found on pages 156-157 of the April 2002 issue of "Computer Shopper" magazine.

Surely the day will come when alternative publishing methods will be as permanent, as ubiquitous, and as easy to read in bed or on the subway as hard-copy magazines have been.  But "we (society and technology) ain't there yet", and especially not the ARRL, which has convinced me by its recent history that its "commitments" aren't always as permanent as its hard-copy publications.

Bud, K2KIR   

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