[CQ-Contest] Contest Thoughts From A Little Pistol

Dennis Ponsness wb0wao at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 8 02:57:25 EDT 2005

As a "little pistol" I know that there is no way that I would ever be in the 
top 10 of any major DX contest - I don't have the physical room for an 
antenna farm the size of a VOA facility, I don't have an amp, and being in 
Northern Lower Michigan I don't have a good location.  That being said,  I 
would be against any method of "handicapping" or score modification based on 
location or station capabilities.  I mainly try to compete against myself to 
better my own score and to improve my skills as well as have fun.   That 
being said, there are still some areas that I think should be changed in 
regards to entry classes, rules and scoring.  Note that these suggestions 
are for DX contests and not SS or other domestic 'tests.

a) Entry classes should be consistant by power and method of operation.  
Three power classes (High / Low / QRP) and three categories - SOU / SOA/ 
Multiop.  That would create 9 total entry classes.  Use these for all 
contests.  If the contest sponsors want to add other categories, fine - but 
all 'tests should have the above 9 classes in addition to other additional 
entry classes.

b) Scoring - Currently multis are DXCC entities and this should remain.  
However, the QSO "point" should be changed from a constant - i.e. 1 point - 
to a variable based on the distance between both stations - CQ WW already 
does this to a certain extent.  This could be easily done by incorporating 
the 4 character Maidenhead grid locator as part of the exchange.  I would 
suggest replacing the "5-9-(9)"  with the grid locator.  We ALL know that 
not everyone is 5-9 and no one gives a "real" report in a contest.   The 
logging / contesting program could easily determine the distance between the 
two stations and assign the appropriate QSO point score to that Q.  An 
example - EN84 to IO76 is 5367 km, and using an example formula of .5 points 
per 1000 km, the above Q would be worth 3 points (2.67 rounded up).  This is 
of course just an example.  The farther the Q, the more QSO points are 
received.  This could be expanded to have different factors depending on the 
band, i.e. 160m Q's may have a factor of 1 point, 80m Q's .8 points, etc.  
The above example QSO would be worth 5 points on 160m, 4 points on 80m and 3 
points on the other bands.

c) Contester "Ranking" - This is an interesting idea - but the protocols 
would need to be specifically and carefully defined as to how the ranking 
would be determined.    It would need to be "fair" and would need to take 
into account many factors.  Would everyone start out at the same level, or 
would "legacy contests" be taken into account?   Should a person get as much 
"credit" for being on a multiop team that places first as the person that 
placed first in a single op entry?  Which contests would  be "accepted" as 
"official" for scoring purposes?   Would the ranking emphasize  results or 
consistancy (or both) - i.e. how would someone that is consistantly below 
the "top ten" in score, but is in EVERY 'test handing out Q's be ranked 
against the person that is in one 'test, but finishes in the top three?   It 
is an interesting idea, but it would take a lot of thought to develop it to 
be a REAL measure of the ability of the operator.   You don't want to have a 
system that would only recognize the "big guns" but also the thousands of 
ops that send in a log and provide all of those Q's that give the "big guns" 
those scores.


Dennis - WB0WAO

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