[CQ-Contest] Circles

Joe Subich, W4TV w4tv at subich.com
Thu May 31 17:07:50 EDT 2007

> 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.  

The circle, and specifically a 175 mile radius circle, came about 
in the mid 1970's as a way to disallow a new "Mad River Radio Club" 
in Ohio/Indiana/Michigan/Western Pennsylvania.  175 miles was small 
enough to prevent contesters in Detroit/Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, 
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Erie, Columbus and Indianapolis from joining 
forces but it reached from Northern New Jersey to Southern Maine 
and protected the entrenched interests.  

A circle, and particularly a 175 mile radius, has always been 
arbitrary.  It does nothing more than protect the big clubs in 
the New York/Boston, Philadelphia/Baltimore/Washington, 
San Diego/Los Angeles and San Francisco/Oakland/Sacramento 
corridors at the expense of clubs in the Midwest, Texas, 
Florida, etc.  A 175 mile radius does not contain the entire 
state of Virginia, of Georgia, of North Carolina, of Tennessee 
of Kentucky, etc.   

The 175 mile circle was a bad idea 30 years ago - particularly 
for the "Unlimited" clubs - and it has done nothing but get 
worse with time. 


   ... Joe, W4TV 

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