[CQ-Contest] QST contesting issue idea

Warren C. Stankiewicz nf1j at earthlink.net
Fri Jun 15 19:54:34 EDT 2007

Hank, K8DD writes, "It's all down to the 'bean counters'."

Which is true, but begs the questions, Who is counting the beans, and what 
beans are they counting?

The ARRL has survey after survey, going back at least a decade, that 
indicates contesting is of interest and/or  pursuit of less than 11% of all 

This indicates two possibilities:
    Not enough contesters are ARRL Members
    Not enough ARRL members are contesters

Or, of course, a combination of the two.

What, then, is to be done? The answer seems clear in concept, yet far more 
difficult in execution.

What is needed, clearly, is more compelling content. Stories that make 
people sit up and take notice. Tales that share the excitement, the joy, the 
thrills of victory and the agony of defeat (sorry) that is ham radio 

Impossible, you say? Hogwash. I've seen it. I've seen QST publish it. 
Although I don't work for ARRL now, I'm fairly sure that if such content of 
that quality came along, the chances are fairly good it'd show up in print.

We (the ham contesting community) were beyond fortunate in the 60's to have 
people like Jack Troster who could write interesting and humorous articles 
that grew interest and participation in contests. Contet writeups themselves 
can frequently dissolve into mere retellings of who won what (I know, I used 
to have to write them. A *lot*).

What we need now are some contesting heroes, and some stories of the same. 
If we wish contesting to continue, it is our duty to further the cause of 
our own self interest. To merely expect the ARRL to support us because we, 
the chosen few, the band of brothers and sisters, wish it to be so is pure 

With malice towards none,

Warren, NF1J/6 

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