[CQ-Contest] it's time to appreciate the difficulty of entering the assisted category

kr2q at optimum.net kr2q at optimum.net
Thu Jul 22 16:47:52 PDT 2010

The following is an expression of my opinion and should not, in any way, be construed to be
the position of any contest committee with which I may be associated (although it could be).

There are lots of categories of entry for a reason; people enjoy different things.

While many denigrate the use of DX Spotting in contesting, the fact is that it is really
difficult to successfully marry the use of DX Spotting with running so as to yield a winning score.

Guys who simply "work the spots" are not really contesting, they are doing something more
akin to DXing.  I'm talking about the serious contesters out there who enter the assisted
category with the intention of winning (place or show) in that category.  

The trick is to balance running with picking up mults.  Too much time spent on mults (in those
horrid packet-pile-ups) will ruin your score.  Skip too many mults found via cluster, and you
won't maximize your score either.

Those who use Skimmer have it even more difficult.  They are flooded with information.  How
do they sort it all out and find the correct ratio of "what to do?"

Lots of folks feel that SO2R should be its own category because it is so good at improving
one's score.  But there isn't a single person who has tried SO2R who thinks it is easy to just
jump in and win, place, or show.  Almost every article I have read always mentions the 
initial slump in scores as you try SO2R.  SO2R is HARD to do.  Melding information from a 
spotting network in with running (finding the perfect blend) is also hard to do.

I say it's time that we recognize the hard work that these "assisted" guys expend in an 
attempt to not only be competitive, but to end up the "box score" realm.

Personally, I have never used DX Spotting while single op; it's not my taste.  But I can easily
appreciate the efforts of those who do partake.

de Doug KR2Q

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