[CQ-Contest] Circles and the Mad River Radio Club
Jimk8mr at aol.com
Jimk8mr at aol.com
Thu May 31 19:32:45 EDT 2007
In a message dated 5/31/2007 5:41:43 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
w4tv at subich.com writes:
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.
In the spring of 1970, at the urging of folks from California (specifically,
I believe, Southern California), the ARRL Board of Directors voted to expand
the club competition circle from 50 to 175 miles. The Atlantic Division
Director asked to be recorded as voting no. The change was announced in the
July, 1970 issue of QST, with the Operating News column including examples such
as a New York City club covering from Baltimore to Boston.
This change inspired Dick Bennett, K8EHU (now K8MZ) to move circles around
his midwestern map, noticing that such a circle could include Detroit,
Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. With such
inspiration, he gathered a group at the Dayton Hamvention in April, 1971, to consider
forming such a club. They did. Searching for a name for the group (the
Indiana-Michigan-Ohio-Kentucky-Pennsylvania-Ontario Contest Club?) the existence of
the Mad River near the center of this area was noted, and so the Mad River
Radio Club it was.
And off they set to be fruitful, multiply, and operate the 1971 Sweepstakes.
The results of the 1971 SS in the May 1972 issue of QST listed MRRC as the
winning club entry, with 174 entries for 9,960,874 points, and an asterisk
with the footnote noting that the validity of the entry was in question over
whether certain entries were from outside the 175 mile radius and whether a club
needed to have in person meetings. A QST "Stray" the following month
announced that the MRRC had been DQ'd.
A much smaller 1972 SS MRRC entry was ignored. In 1974 specific club rules
were adopted including the four in person meeting rule. By 1976 MRRC had
reorganized, with in person meetings, and submitted a SS club entry that was
accepted by ARRL.
So the 175 mile rule is what inspired the MRRC, not something that was
adopted to prevent the MRRC.
73 - Jim Stahl K8MR
MRRC "Big Fish" 2007-2008
Extra credit quiz:
1. Who was the high scoring MRRC entry on each mode in the 1972 SS, and
what connection does it have with today's ARRL?
2. Where does the 1971 SS gavel that MRRC did not win reside today?
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