[CQ-Contest] Circles

David Gilbert xdavid at cis-broadband.com
Thu May 31 11:28:07 EDT 2007

This whole discussion on defining the "circle" for purposes of club 
competition seems to me to be going in circles.  I fully support Pete's 
proposal to standardize the size and method of establishing the limits 
across the various contests.    But hexagons, skinny rectangles, 1xn 
grid squares, land mass area .... all of those sound pretty 
counterintuitive to me.

I suspect the intent of an area limit in the first place is to avoid 
having the entire world morph into a few large clubs, but there must be 
a reason why a maximum RADIUS of participation for contest club scores 
has been chosen by the major contests to accomplish that.  It couldn't 
have been to limit the number of contributing stations because the 
definition is always the same no matter the local population density, 
nobody wants to limit participation, and setting a station limit would 
have been a whole lot simpler way to do it anyway.  It couldn't have 
been to align with political or geographical or ethnic or whatever 
considerations because there are none that the contest sponsors care 
about, and again there would be more direct ways to define them if there 
were.  All of the contests specify a circle .... why?

The only thing left per my limited knowledge and declining reasoning 
capacity is propagation.  I'm guessing that the purpose of the circle is 
to prevent clubs from gaining an advantage by recruiting and including 
scores from significantly disparate areas.  There is no way that the 
contest sponsors can level the playing field for propagation, of course, 
but they can prevent a large club from snagging scores from all over to 
statistically improve their chances of capitalizing on it.  With a 
circle, at least every club is facing mostly the same odds of being 
favored by propagation or not, and over time those things tend to 
average out to some extent.

I suppose one could get into an argument whether propagation varies 
differently over 300 KM of latitude than 300KM of longitude at different 
points on the globe, but aside from that anything other than a circle 
appears to be self-defeating.

Just my observations ...

Dave  AB7E

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