[CQ-Contest] WRTC Selection Criteria

Ward Silver hwardsil at centurytel.net
Wed Dec 21 21:12:50 EST 2005

> I agree in pronciple with what you are saying, but...If I may quibble with
> you a little bit:

No :-)

>> Contesting (the overall sport) is, in fact, wide open to all competitors.
>> That's how you demonstrate your competitive abilities.
> Is DX contesting "wide open" to those who don't have Europe on their
> doorstep?  Are domestic contests "wide open" to those who don't have 1 hop
> skip into 2/8/9 land on 10 meters?  How do we recognize the competitive
> abilities of people off the beaten path?

The only generally acceptable solution offered to date is to regionalize the 
competition.  The number of regions is directly proportional to the number 
of teams that the host committee can support.  Three regions in the US is 
not bad.  Six would be better and eight nearly ideal.  Various equalization 
and comparative systems have been offered at various times, but they just 
don't seem to get traction for whatever reason.

>> Contesting is more than just operating.  It requires commitment and
>> dedication of resources - physical, financial, and emotional - to be
>> competitive in these things on a regular basis.
> How would you determine who has made that commitment?  Only the rich needs
> apply? How do you define competitive?  Top Ten box results?  If we rely on
> raw scores then the picture is very skewed.

I think a lot of the Top Ten guys do commit a great deal of energy and 
resources to contesting.  It's by no means a guarantee of success.  What 
else do we have besides the scores?  Where does the extra data come from? 
Who analyzes it and with what metrics? Who validates the data, the metrics, 
and the process?  All this takes work and it takes time.

>>The basic premise is,
>> "Given this set of rules and regulations, who has enough desire,
> fortitude,
>> and commitment to cut the mustard?"  People fail to succeed for all sorts
> of
>> reasons, not all of them strictly related to ham radio or whatever sport
>> we're talking about here.
> Again, define "failure" or "cut the mustard".  How can we say a given 
> score
> or a given operation was a failure?

Indeed.  In this case, fail means "fail to get enough qualifying points." 
In general, I just mean figuring how, within the rules of the game and 
whatever resources and planning you can bring to bear, putting up big enough 
numbers over a long enough period of time to get noticed as being effective 
in the most competitive categories of the contest.  Traditionally, this 
slights multi-op guys and stations operating in disadvantaged areas for 
specific contests - which is not always the same area, although having 
operated from the Midwest it certainly feels like it.

One way around this perennial disadvantage and consequent low visibility is 
better regional analysis of the final results - something I'm working hard 
to present in the ARRL DX Phone writeup as are other authors in some of the 
other contests.  If we had a divisional writeup in every ARRL Contest and at 
least a by-zone writeup (preferably more granular) in CQ and IARU and WPX, I 
guarantee you that recognition would be higher farther down in the scores. 
My suggestion is to have your contest club "nominate" a separate, 
knowledgeable person from your region/division/zone to analyze the results 
in every contest and publish the analysis either in the sponsor's writeup or 
on your own Web site.  Face it - contest sponsors are tapped out for 
resources.  If we want better this or that, then the contesters need to step 
up and get the job done on their own.

> I think somewhere along the line we have to decide whether the WRTC idea 
> can
> survive if it continues to be supported and attended by a limited pool of
> participants, or if it has to embrace contesters from all areas.  The
> current WRTC is already lacking in support and  interest. It would be a
> shame to see the idea fade away.
> 73 Steve K0SR

I wouldn't say there's a lack of interest - quite the opposite! WRTC has 
tried several different systems of selection.  First, it was by-invitation 
and there was some grumbling.  Then, it was nomination plus invitation and 
there was more grumbling.  Now there's an open system that everybody can 
shoot at and there's even more grumbling.  Not to say that there aren't 
valid objections and things that could be improved...just that who is going 
to do it and convince everybody it's the right way?

How about regional qualifier events between the main WRTC's?  How about a 
comparative rating system that is finer-grained than scores?  How about more 
teams at WRTC - what if each region was responsible for raising the funds to 
send its own team and the US contesters committed to eight regions at every 
single WRTC?  I can tell you that it would sure help the WRTC organizers if 
the regions themselves funded their teams like the Olympic countries do.

My personal estimate is that it will take five or six more WRTCs before a 
stable, universally accepted system is in place.  I just hope I live long 
enough to see it.

73, Ward N0AX 

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list