[CQ-Contest] Scoring Systems

Bruce Sawyer zf2nt at candw.ky
Wed Feb 5 12:21:59 EST 2003

Per K4OJ:
Before you jump to try something new, think about what went into getting
where we are now - the ARRL made a catastrophic mistake when it tried to
change the rules for the ARRL DX Competition - they immediately switched
back to the olde format by the next running - learn from their mistake!

I have heard references to this before, but it all happened "before my time"
so I don't know anything about this little experiment.  From what I
gathered, the ARRL decided to go with a "anybody can work anybody" format,
but everybody decided that was awful and so they dropped it after only one

I'd really like to know more about this, if someone could take the time to
explain.  And the reason I ask is that this year I've had more of a chance
to play in contests where previously K3ZO was the only NA entrant.  For
instance, I tried hard in the OK/OM DX contest, where the only point credit
came from working OK/OM stations.  That was a bust.  No way can I compete
with the Europeans in that one.  I was completely stomped by OD5/OK1MU.  (I
did SO10m, since I knew I didn't stand a prayer against RK4FF as SOAB.)
Then in the Bulgarian DX Contest, which is of the "everybody works
everybody" format, I turned out to be the worldwide SOAB winner, even
beating RK4FF.  (Their scoring system gives 3 points for different continent
but 1 point for same continent, so I knew I had it all over the Europeans in
a game like that.)  I also did the HA DX contest, which was "everybody works
everybody", but the mult system worked against me there and I couldn't
really compete.  It was still a fun contest, though, and I would do it
again.  I think I've done a few other little contests this winter, but those
are the ones that stick out in my mind.  The gist of my experience has been
that if it's of the "everybody works everybody" format then it can be fun
and I've got a chance.  If I have to work only people in the one little
country, then my conclusion is to forget it.  So why should it be any
different in ARRL DX?   Logic tells me that turning ARRL DX into "everybody
works everybody" would be a tremendous improvement by attracting lots more
worldwide participation, yet I keep hearing references such as K4OJ's about
this having been a failed experiment.  According to N1ND, ARRL 10m is now
the most successful ARRL contest of all.  Why wouldn't a nearly identical
scoring system help ARRL DX?  It seems to me the small station US/VE guys
would still get lots of action, since they are the multipliers.  But, as I
mentioned, apparently this has been tried before and everybody decided it
was a bust.  What happened?

Bruce, ZF2NT

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