[CQ-Contest] Counting DC as a Multiplier

Kenneth E. Harker kenharker at kenharker.com
Thu May 24 13:29:18 EDT 2007

On Thu, May 24, 2007 at 09:01:39AM -0500, ku8e at bellsouth.net wrote:
>  Scott, W2LC wrote  "Why does NY have 4 sections ?"  And what about OH, MI and WCF ?
>  The truth is that these sections came to be for reasons that have nothing 
>  to do with ham radio contesting. The ARRL creates its sections based on 
>  the the ham population of a specific area. It would be impossible for an 
>  ARRL SCM to manage a whole state like NY or CA that have a large ham 
>  population. That's why these states have been broken up into several 
>  sections.
> In the future it is possible that even more sections might be created in 
> places where there is population growth. Here in GA , where I live, we 
> have growth, especially in the ATL area. Maybe someday we will have a 
> NGA and SGA section. It probably will not happen in some of the midwest 
> states that have a large ham population like OH, MI and IL because the 
> population is actually declining in those areas.

Population is only part of the decision making process.  Ultimately, the 
sections serve the needs of the ARRL Field Organization, specifically 
the Amateur Radio Emergency Service.  

Washington state is separated into two sections not because of sheer 
population (the entire state has a population similar to the Houston, TX 
metropolitan area) but because the Cascade Mountains provide a real 
logistical challenge to ARES operation.  ARES operations in the eastern 
half of the state might not be as well served with Section Managers,
Assistant Section Managers, and ARES managers located in the western 
side of the state, or vice versa.  Thus, we get WWA and EWA sections.

In contrast to Washington, South Texas (STX) section has a huge population, 
including the entire metropolitan areas of three of the 16 largest 
cities in the United States.  But from an ARES perspective, South Texas 
makes sense as is - the biggest potential disaster situation for the area
is from hurricanes, and the ARES organization can easily pull together
a lot of resources from within a large section.  If the ARES members in 
Houston are out of commission because everyone had to evacuate their 
families, ARES operators from Austin or San Antonio can step in, for 
example (as happened during Hurricane Rita).

Kenneth E. Harker WM5R
kenharker at kenharker.com

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