[CQ-Contest] my FRIEND is spotting me

Leigh S. Jones kr6x at kr6x.com
Fri Dec 5 21:38:41 EST 2003

My first posting on this subject was pretty gentle.
I'm going to take the opposite approach tonight.

Sometimes the most simple and obvious things are
overlooked.  The problem is that friends who spot
friends make their friends look like cheaters.  You
shouldn't do that to friends.

The trouble is that it's hard to tell the difference
between a friend cheating for a friend and an
operator cheating for himself.  Better to use the
following test to determine the value of the spot:
I'd like to call this the first rule of spotting during
a contest. but for one little problem:

1) Spot stations during a contest when your true
intent is to aid the scores of those who receive
the spot over the spotting network -- never spot
a station when your true intent is to aid the
score of the station being spotted.

Clearly this is an easy principle to understand,
and if it were being practiced by the contesting
community then we'd all be happier.  The trouble
is that it's not the kind of rule that can be enforced.
It invites rule breaking.  We actually need a rule
that can be enforced, so this one is quite
inappropriate.  Nevertheless, it is a thought
provoking idea to discuss.

If you don't believe that this is true, consider the
following test:

Pick  your closest friend in contesting.  Follow
him around the bands and spot him every 5 or
ten minutes through the contest.  Read the
K1TTT report after the contest.

Is that too extreme for you?  You see, the K1TTT
report is full of instances where it's impossible to
distinguish between rampant self-spotting and
rampant cheating for friends by proxy.  But where
do you draw the line between normal and
unacceptable?  Is there some clear guideline out
there that everyone can agree with?  Just how
much cheating for friends should be allowable?
Lee and Bob tried to come to grips with this
in their postings.  It's just that it's hard to come
to grips with this if half of us are out there spotting
our friends with impunity.

Perhaps it should be the spotting networks who
promote this way of thinking rather than the
contest sponsors.  They could even provide
some enforcement, such as filters that prevent
spots of their own local or regional club
membership from being published.  Maybe this
could be a pre-requisite to packet cluster

Ah, but this might run into objections from the
club membership.  It actually irks me, though,
that these objections would be likely.  I can
imagine the discussions at club meetings, and
especially at meetings of clubs that regularly
encourage members to spot members.  Stuff
being said like "I thought we started this packet
net to help our club scores -- why would we
stop the practice?"

Well, clearly my way of thinking on this is too
extreme for many in the contesting community.
By this time probably greater than 75% don't
understand what I'm on about.  Still, the issue
is so volatile (read here "a popular subject" that
most of those who get lots of spots from friends,
or who spot their friends frequently, have already
been chased "up 5" with the rest of the guys who
are honestly bored with the subject.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob Naumann - N5NJ" <n5nj at gte.net>
To: "Lee Hiers" <aa4ga at contesting.com>; <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2003 9:01 AM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] my FRIEND is spotting me

> AA4GA Said:
> > OK, so what if I go to the Caribbean, don't ask anyone to spot me,
> have any "understanding", but some well-
> > meaning fellow club members take it upon themselves to spot me
every five
> minutes.
> No problem.  If what you say is really true.
> > I have absolutely no knowledge of what's going on, yet you say I'm
> violating rules?
> Nope.  As long as that it is true that there has been no advance
> Let's say for example, a club meeting is held, and club DXpeditions
> discussed in general.  The club agrees that if anyone from the club
goes on
> a DXpedition, that club members should look for them, and spot them
> frequently.
> Now, one of the club members, on his own - plans a DXpedition.  He
> tell any of the other club members about it.
> He starts operating the contest as DXWPX/HISCALLSIGN, and the club
> packetcluster is suddenly filled with messages saying that one of
> members is on a Dxpedition.
> Based on the earlier meeting I referenced, and the club's desire to
> their member on the DXpedition, they all spring into action and look
> their club member, and spot him frequently throughout the contest.
> Is this really a random thing?
> I think not.
> Perhaps, it is a subtle thing, but I do see such even loosely
organized or
> planned spotting as cheating.
> *Truly random* spotting of friends or acquaintances is not a
problem.  The
> issue is, should you avoid the issue altogether and just not spot
friends to
> avoid any appearance of impropriety?  Some are suggesting that you
> 73,
> Bob N5NJ
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
>     The world's top contesters battle it out in Finland!
> THE OFFICIAL FILM of WRTC 2002 now on professional DVD and VHS!
>        http://home1.pacific.net.sg/~jamesb/
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> CQ-Contest mailing list
> CQ-Contest at contesting.com
> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list