[CQ-Contest] Log checking questions..Did they cheat?

Jim Idelson k1ir at designet.com
Fri Dec 16 08:28:42 EST 2005

I don't agree with MAL on this, but I do understand his frustration. I'm with 
those of you who believe we should maintain separate categories for Assisted 
and Not. BUT, I hesitate to post a strong view on this because I don't have a 
solution for "category policing". Simply saying that competitors should do the 
right thing because it is the right thing isn't working. If we care about 
crowning honest winners [at all levels and in all categories], we need to be 
able to weed out those who violate the rules of a category.

K1TTTs packet reports are quite helpful in determining certain kinds of 
"active" abuse and rule violations. I hope the contest sponsors are using this 
kind of analysis to help reduce the appearance of competitors in the results 
who employ this kind of packet abuse. What can be done to monitor so called 
"passive" use of packet? A couple of thoughts:
    - The log of a violator who clicks on packet spots as they appear in the 
window or bandmap will correlate nicely with the patterns in the spot database 
captured during the contest.
    - Will the log of a station who uses packet to grab spots, but doesn't jump 
on them immediately or in the order they appear, have patterns that distinguish 
it from a truly packet-free log?

Is the use of statistical analysis enough to act on a suspect entry? If the 
contest sponsor announces that any SO-Un log that has an X or greater level of 
correlation with the spot database for the contest will be penalized, would 
this be fair? Would it work?  What would be appropriate penalties? Should the 
violator simply be reclassified as SOA? Disqualified? How about reclassified 
and reduced by 10% of total score?

In years gone by, when races for the top spots were close, the contenders' logs 
were scrutinized much more closely than those of the rest of the pack. This was 
driven by resource limits in the log checking process. Unfortunately, it is 
inherently unfair. A race for Section Winner Low Power should be adjudicated to 
the same standards as the race for Top World High Power. So, whatever 
processes, standards and tools are developed to help solve this problem should 
be used uniformly across all entries, large and small.


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

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