[CQ-Contest] Barking Up the Wrong ARRL DX Tree

Jim Idelson k1ir at designet.com
Wed Apr 6 15:04:04 EDT 2005

Before my original post, I thought about this issue in terms of the golf analogy. Weather and course variables do have substantial impact on the year-to-year results of tournaments played on the same course every year. A balmy day at Pebble Beach is quite different from a rainy, windy one. The course plays completely differently, and the average scores can be 10-20 stokes apart! That's a big deal to scratch or better golfers.

Interesting conversation on this topic. I'd love to see somebody take existing results data over a solar cycle, and apply some sort of formulae to produce seasonal rankings usable at both the Premier and Standard levels of our sport.


Jim K1IR

> Jim makes good points. However, handicaping on the basis of past scores leaves out the relative propagation advantage/disadvantage due to variations in both solar flux and the geomagnetic field. There are occasions when a really fine effort can result in a really dismal score and three years later can be exceeded by an order of magnitude with a truly mediocre effort. We just need to look at each contest on a case by case basis, try to determine how well an individual operator exploited his relative advantage/disadvantage, and point out the really well planned, well run operations.


Jim Idelson <k1ir at designet.com> wrote:

>W6WRT said:
>"Finding a way is easy - create a handicap, just like in golf. Average out 
>scores of different areas over many contests over many years and come up with a 
>multiplication factor."
>I think golf is a good analogy to consider, but handicapping isn't the whole 
>The purpose of handicapping in golf is to allow players of widely varying skill 
>levels to enjoy a contrived form of competiton in casual play. Better players 
>'give strokes' to their less skilled competition. It also allows 
>player-leveling in various forms of team play. If you ever play any golf of 
>this type, you know that the awards ceremony usually recognizes both 'low 
>gross' and 'low net' scorers. Which award would you prefer to win?
>This model does not exist in any form of truly competitive golf. A player wins >or loses a tournament based on gross score. He/she also rises and falls in the >seasonal rankings based on the same numbers. In golf, there are definitely 
>'unfair' advantages that accrue to certain players. A player who enters a 
>tournament played on his 'home course' has a tremendous advantage for that 
>weekend. But, the professional playing field is leveled through mechanisms like 
>the PGA Tour, a series of scheduled events of which certified players must take 
>part in a large number in order to maintain their ranking. There is some 
>flexibility, though, and players will strategically choose which events to miss 
>based on the likely impact on their ranking.
>Another factor that goes into player handicapping is called 'course rating'. A >difficult course gets a higher rating than an easier course. When you submit a >score to be included in your handicap, you must also specify the course par and 
>slope, which contribute to the course rating. A good performance on a tough par 
>72 course will have more impact on handicap than the same performance on an 
>easy one.
>So, perhaps this IS an interesting model for contesting. Using both 
>methodologies in our sport could be a very effective way to increase 
>competition, identify our global stars, and recognize those who perform well 
>for their level of skill. Formalized handicapping on a contest-by-contest 
>basis, using past scores in that contest might be an interesting way to 
>increase competition - particularly at the 'mid levels' of skill and 
>experience. Recognizing high gross scores also makes sense. And what about a 
>seasonal 'Contesting Tour', in which competitors must commit to several 
>'majors'? Can we create non-handicapped and handicapped seasonal rankings in 
>this way?
>How about identifiying contest 'par' and 'rating' for some of our major events? 
>Should these numbers have regional values? Can we interest any of the really 
>smart numbers-guys among us [Ken, Kelly, Pat] to take a look at this?
>Jim Idelson K1IR
>email k1ir at designet.com
>web http://www.designet.com/k1ir
>CQ-Contest mailing list
>CQ-Contest at contesting.com


Jim Idelson K1IR
email    k1ir at designet.com
web    http://www.designet.com/k1ir

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