[CQ-Contest] Packet Assistance for the "lost 90%"

Donald Field g3xtt at lineone.net
Mon Jan 27 12:02:14 EST 2003

It's like Groundhog Day watching all the same debates about Packet and SO2R
being rolled out on an annual basis.

But I did want to raise one matter re. Assisted that I think gets forgotten
by the "serious" contesters who inhabit this reflector. Dale KG5U said that
an important element is participation, and it is for this reason that an
Assisted category was introduced to the IOTA Contest (as an example) a
couple of years back.

Some on here have suggested that it is only the top ops who want an Assisted
category. I take a diametrically opposite view. Most top contesters are
purists, and want to demonstrate the skills they have perfected over the
years (including SO2R!), They don't want outside assistance.

However, top ops require lots of stations to work. Many casual ops see the
major contests (CQWW, IOTA, etc.) as a way of catching some new "counters"
(band countries, IOTAs), knowing that there will be expeditions out for the
occasion. To avoid missing these counters they want to use Packet. It doesn'
t matter whether the rest of us think they should or shouldn't. That's what
they will do. So the question is, do we want their logs or not? Yes, they
could always enter them in the past, as a Check Log or as Multi-Op. But an
Assisted category actually gives them somewhere to be listed, while they are
busy chasing their counters and participating casually. This is the thinking
that led to the category in the IOTA Contest, and may well have been behind
its introduction in other events. In practice, I have to say it hasn't been
that well supported, and maybe we will drop it in due course. But I just
wanted to mention it, as I think much of the debate on here has forgotten
the "lost 90%", those ops who see contest rather differently to those of us
on here, but whose participation is crucial.

I guess contests are more like marathons than F1 racing (sorry, Indi car for
the North Americans, hi). Everyone can take part in the same event, but
there are the "serious" competitors who are drug-tested, monitored, reported
on TV, etc. Then there is everyone else ...

My two penn'orth.

g3xtt at lineone.net

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