[CQ-Contest] Handicapping

Randy Johnson randyj at loan-wolf.com
Thu Apr 7 13:49:32 EDT 2005

I think that there are ways of "handicapping" contests that haven't been explored.  

In professional golf, there is no handicapping, BUT there is the regular "PGA tour" AND the Seniors Tour AND another for pros who have gone to the school but haven't made the top 125.  In each group, people compete with others of, presumably, similar skills.

I also do competitive shotgun sports, like sporting clays. The overall winner and runner-up get their "top gun" prizes, but all the others are ranked from top to bottom in what is known as a Lewis Class system.  The #3 guy is winner of the AA class, then about 20% down the list someone is winner of the A class, then B, and so forth. THis means that everyone entered has an oppotunity to "win" something.  The last guy in the A class beat the first guy in the B class, and gets zip but that's the way it works!

In the WPX contest, CQ has a rookie class for those who have been licensed for few than 3 years. I think that is a good idea but unfortunately, that class only attracts only a dozen or so participants. If promoted better it would seem to be a way of attracting new hams to contesting, something we all would like to see.   Note to that there is also a "wire antenna/tri-bander" class in that contest, another way of levelling the playing field.

As a LP wire antenna guy from W6, I"m never going to win anything, I just try to do better than the last time. But I do agree that if we could do something to "spice things up" for many participants, it would improve the game. I'm not sure how we can best expand this concept which is obviously open for sandbagging if we let people choose their class. It is ONE WAY to offer more opportunities of "interest" for the thousands of hams who are in the lower 90% of participants. 

In summary, there seems to be a ground-swell of support for the concept of handicapping and I'm running this one up the flagpole.

Randy W6SJ

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