[CQ-Contest] Going Around in Circles: Improving Club Competition

Rick Dougherty NQ4I nq4i at contesting.com
Mon May 28 11:33:58 EDT 2007

Hi Pete...sounds good to me...keep the pressure on..de Rick nq4i

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Pete Smith" <pete.n4zr at gmail.com>
To: <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2007 8:42 AM
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Going Around in Circles: Improving Club Competition

>I was going to submit this for publication in NCJ, but local response has
> been good enough and the topic is timely enough so that I decided not to
> wait.  Moreover, this reflector is read around the world, which is not
> generally the case with NCJ, and this is a case where international
> cooperation is essential.  All comments and criticisms are welcome, of 
> course.
> 73, Pete N4ZR
> Any readers of this message are probably aware of the Potomac Valley Radio
> Club's unprecedented voluntarily forfeiting of the 2006 Sweepstakes club
> competition.  PVRC decided to do this because of unwitting mistakes in the
> club's management of its competitive "circle," the area within which club
> members must live and often operate in order for their scores to count for
> the club.
> In the course of reaching this outcome, a number of us in PVRC worked hard
> on understanding and applying available tools for mapping locations and
> establishing exactly where the club's circle should be drawn.  What
> follows, however, does not represent the club's position, nor those of the
> other individuals who worked on this.  It is simply one contester's
> proposal for solving a number of problems in club competition that have
> arisen over the years.
> First, the current situation.  Of the 22 major contests that have club
> competitions, 4 (all sponsored by CQ) use a 275-km (170.88-mile) radius
> circle.  10, including all ARRL contests with club competition, use a
> 175-mile circle.  4 (the Russian DX Contest and the 3 WAE contests) use a
> 500-km (310.7-mile) DIAMETER circle.  Two, sponsored by CQ, specify only
> that club competitors must reside in a "local geographic area", while two
> more CQ contests have no geographic restriction on club competition at 
> all.
> This situation is a real administrative nightmare for large contest clubs
> that are attempting strict compliance with the rules.  Simply drawing
> different-radius circles around the same center point doesn't work 
> terribly
> well, because no club's members are distributed symmetrically within the
> club area.  Further complicating things, the Russian DX Contest requires
> that the club circle be centered on a headquarters club station, which 
> most
> of the major US clubs, at least, do not have. Many, many members are
> in-area for one contest, out for the next, and so on.
> What I am suggesting is that the major contest sponsors agree on a common
> definition of the club circle, to promote club participation in their
> contests.  Simply:
> A 300-km (186.4-mile) radius club area (circle) would be used for all
> contests with club competition (and for unlimited club competition, in 
> parlance);
> If the property where a club member resides is entirely within the club
> circle, or if the circle passes through that property, then that member
> would be considered to reside within the club area; and
> If a station is located on such a property, it would be considered to be
> within the club area.  Each club would declare (and have the option to
> change) its circle center no more often than once per calendar year, to
> accommodate population trends and other factors.
> By establishing a uniform circle definition, we will enable clubs to tell
> their members and prospective members definitively whether their scores 
> can
> count toward club competition.  Because the 300-km. radius is slightly
> larger than any of the current standards, nobody currently in-area will be
> penalized by the change.  The circle most dramatically affected would see
> its radius grow by 50 Km.
> Comments?  Which major contest club will be first to petition the sponsors
> for the change?
> 73, Pete N4ZR
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