[CQ-Contest] Time Limit Categories - Let's Just Do It!

Rick Tavan N6XI rtavan at gmail.com
Sat Feb 24 11:38:16 EST 2007

Randy K5ZD recently proposed 12 and 24 hour SOAB categories, but I fear his
suggestion falls short of the objective of creating a new kind of
competition. 48 hours is hard because taking breaks costs points. SOAB48 is
really a 48 hour sprint (not Sprint). His proposed 12 or 24 hour categories
are still sprints, only shorter. What people keep clamoring for is the
ability to be competitive and still take some breaks for biological,
professional or social needs. They also enjoy the strategic angles of
planning breaks. It seems to me that any new category below SOAB48 should
allow for breaks.

When I read score reports, the first thing I do is compare my score with the
scores of others who put in similar numbers of hours. If everyone who beat
me plus many who scored lower put in more hours than I did, then I am very
satisfied. I "won" my personal battle to improve my operating skills. It is
easy to do this in my own geographic region, more difficult to compare
nationally or internationally. I would like to see subset score listings of
all entrants at or below 12, 24 or 36 hours but this is beyond the
flexibility of even the excellent ARRL online score reporting facility. It
would be even better to have Top Ten boxes for a few levels of operating

The biggest obstacle to establishing new categories is sponsor resistance to
change, often in the guise of page limits. But an external party could
introduce contests-within-contests (see recent N0AX discussion of this
subject) that separately report and rank SOAB entrants based on their total
operating time. One could do this without sponsor effort or even cooperation
if necessary. If the US Radiosport Federation (USRF) were to publish such
separate boxes and listings in its online magazine and if people started
favoring its fuller reporting and opportunities for recognition, then
perhaps the sponsors would do something themselves. By the way, N6OP
proposed something like this back in the early 80's, the "Sane Contest
OPerating Experience" or SCOPE competition.


/Rick N6XI

On 2/24/07, Randy Thompson <k5zd at charter.net> wrote:
> My suggestion:
> - Create 12 hour and 24 hour races
> - The 12 or 24 hours consist of a continuous period beginning with your
> first QSO (i.e., the clock starts with your first QSO)
> - There are no off times
> - You can operate the contest as much as you want.  Your score is
> calculated
> by the log checker based on the first 12 and 24 hour marks
> - No preregistration or special marking of your log.  ALL LOGS are
> included
> in the scoring/results
> Advantages:
> - Easy to administer
> - Everyone can play
> - A guy trying for a 12/24 hour win still has to compete with the full
> time
> competitors
> - Entrants may chose to stop operating when they reach their time limit,
> but
> they are not required to do so
> Disadvantages
> - Extra log checker burden
> - Extra page or two of results
> - Requires change of thinking (apparently difficult for many of us!)
> This would also make a simple contest within a contest to run if the main
> contest sponsor was not interested.
> Look forward to discussion on a "new" idea.
> Randy, K5ZD

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