[CQ-Contest] WRTC Selection Criteria

Kelly Taylor ve4xt at mts.net
Thu Dec 22 10:54:31 EST 2005

Hi Ward,

It does sound as though WRTC is trying to be fair.

But, and I admit I don't have the answer to this one, if the whole idea of
WRTC is to equalize stations to every extent possible (same antennas, same
tower heights, same geographic location) so that it is as much as possible
determined purely by operator skill, then perhaps the selection criteria
should as well.

How you do that is admittedly difficult. How you provide funding to send
operators to WRTC is a tough nut to crack, too.

Perhaps if the selection process was regionalized, so that each region, in
picking that region's candidates, normalizes results to their own region. So
someone who is never going to win a DX contest can still earn points despite
not being overall Top 10. (If anyone ever places Top 10 in a DX contest from
VE4, it will only be because everything east of the Manitoba-Ontario border
has fallen into the Atlantic...)

With all due respect to the folks behind WP3R, I'm just as impressed or more
by No.2 and No.3 finishes by K5TR or others.

Perhaps once a region's own records become meaningful (some regional records
are set more by default than by anything (you could, I think, set a VE4
record in ARRL 160 by working something like 500 Qs.), breaking that
region's records could count for WRTC candidacy points.

It's worth exploring, if only because interest in following WRTC is just as
important as interest in participating in WRTC. I think there will always be
the latter, the former depends on transparency in keeping it from being just
a plaything of the rich or lucky.

73, kelly

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ward Silver" <hwardsil at centurytel.net>
To: "CQ-Contest Reflector" <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:12 PM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] WRTC Selection Criteria

> > I agree in pronciple with what you are saying, but...If I may quibble
> > you a little bit:
> No :-)
> >> Contesting (the overall sport) is, in fact, wide open to all competitor
> >> 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
> > 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
> 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
> 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
> > apply? How do you define competitive?  Top Ten box results?  If we rely
> > 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
> 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
> > of
> >> reasons, not all of them strictly related to ham radio or whatever
> >> 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
> numbers over a long enough period of time to get noticed as being
> 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
> 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
> other contests.  If we had a divisional writeup in every ARRL Contest and
> least a by-zone writeup (preferably more granular) in CQ and IARU and WPX,
> 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
> 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
> 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
> > 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
> 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
> teams at WRTC - what if each region was responsible for raising the funds
> send its own team and the US contesters committed to eight regions at
> single WRTC?  I can tell you that it would sure help the WRTC organizers
> 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
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