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

kd4d at comcast.net kd4d at comcast.net
Tue May 29 09:35:10 EDT 2007

Hi Pete:

This is a GREAT idea.  As an officer of PVRC, I am involved in issues about
our club territory.  Having to clearly communicate with our membership
about WHICH contests they CAN and CANNOT contribute club scores
to, based on the sponsors' rules and our circle center, is an
administrative struggle.

Optimizing different circles for different contests WOULD lead to increased
club scores.  I've seen that referred to as the "dancing circle" concept,
but it is EVEN HARDER to administer.

Pete's suggestion would allow contesting clubs to focus their recruiting
and station building efforts with a known and consistent set of ground rules.
I think it would lead to an increase in interest in club competition.

Club competition is GOOD for contesting because it leads to increased
participation.  For example, look at all the logs submitted for Sweepstakes
last year from NCCC, YCCC, PVRC, etc..  If it weren't for the club
competition, many of these stations would not be on.


Mark, KD4D

 -------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Pete Smith <pete.n4zr at gmail.com>
> 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 ARRL 
> 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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