[CQ-Contest] The Skimmer Rule Challenge

Joe Subich, W4TV w4tv at subich.com
Thu Jun 12 10:17:29 EDT 2008

>  Which is why I think we need to strategically move past the assisted/
> unassisted argument. 
> Assitance is an artifact of history it was an attempt to cope with
> packet networks while not changing rules too much and losing
> comparability of past records. To persist with using the word 
> as a major rules segmentation device is no longer usefull or sensible.

The word "assisted" has always been shorthand for "single operator 
plus cluster" and those who persist on focusing on "assistance" 
rather than the "involvement of another person or persons" miss 
the point.    

> That is why I suggested that we have a single op open section - 
> One op/one signal/one location but as many inputs and as much 
> technology as that one person can deal with. 

There is a significant difference between technology located in 
a single operator station, using antennas/receivers located in the
"magic circle" and other individuals/recovers/antennas located all 
over the world.  

> Then define another section (Classic?) based on a list of permitted
> technologies to restrict it to "a boy and his radio" or whatever we
> choose as an appropriate classification.

I fail to see the difference whether the technology automatically 
calls CQ or automatically prints a list of "stations heard."  Both 
relieve the operator of a portion of the burden of operating the 
station but neither relieves the operator from the need to make the 
"strategic" decisions (e.g., should I be running or S&P, should I 
be on 20 or 10, is it appropriate to take some off time, or should 
I look for a new run frequency?).  

Technology has never been used to differentiate between stations. 
Operators have adopted new technologies of all kinds based on a 
variety of personal criteria but sponsors have not created new 
classes for every new technology to avoid "losing comparability 
of past records."  In fact, there is no way one can compare the 
scores of "single operator" entries in the 21st century with those 
of single operator entries in the 1960's or 1970's - technology is 
so massively different that there is no comparison.   

> If we keep this assisted designation it will cause even more 
> problems with technologies on the horizon. We need a single 
> op open!

The "assisted" designation is poorly expressed, but there is no 
need to change the basic structure.  If we understand that 
"assisted" should have been expressed (as it was originally) as 
"Single Operator plus cluster" and is nothing more than a way 
to provide a place for "SO+" entries without making them compete 
with the "tag teams" in the multi-single class.  

I think everyone understands that the "involvement of other 
individuals" in the single operator class is a fundamental 
change that warrants a "SO+" class .  However, it appears that 
individual contesters are not thinking through the ramifications 
of using technology as the basis for entry classes.  


   ... Joe, W4TV 

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