[CQ-Contest] Club/Group competition 275 km radius in CQ Contest (petition for change).

Jack Haverty k3fiv at arrl.net
Thu Apr 7 21:29:19 PDT 2011

My QTH is in a very rural location in California (CM88eu), but it
happens to be within the circle for the NCCC.  A few miles away, I'd be
an outsider also.  

I think the root of the problem is not in the size of an arbitrary
circle, but it's in the way that club competition is currently

I've only been contesting for about 2 years, and the rules I've seen
typically compare club scores by adding up all the points in all the
logs submitted by members of that club.   So, a club which can recruit
more members, and which can then get them to sit for more hours in the
chair, tends to be the winner.  Operator skills, station capability,
etc., are likely comparable between clubs, so they're less important in
affecting the club score than simple numbers of hours spent in the

Of course, clubs whose "circle" covers a densely populated area are
probably going to win - no matter how big the circle is.  They simply
have more people available, more logs, more hours.

Perhaps it would be worth considering redefining how club competitions
are scored.  

Clubs might be defined by their members in any way they like -
geography, camaraderie, favorite contest, radio interests, when first
licensed, the radio net they meet on regularly - whatever they choose.
Maybe a contest imposes some fairly loose constraints, e.g., being all
in the same country.  

Clubs would field one or more teams, with each team's composition
well-defined by the rules for a particular contest.  For example, in
some contest a team might be defined as 5 operators - who could be
either at a multi or at their home stations.  Perhaps a team might be
required to have at least 1 LP and 1 QRP member, and at least one

Because teams are of limited size, almost any group calling itself a
club could field a team.  Some clubs might be able to field a lot of
teams.  Team scores are computed by adding up the scores of the team
members.  So all teams compete on a pretty equal basis.  Teams even can
compete against each other within a club.

Perhaps a contest has several different team categories - BigGuns
(multis, big antennas, etc) with teams of 10 members and LittlePistols
(all LP and tribander/wires) with teams of 5.

Clubs compete by seeing which club can field the best team(s), or the
most teams who end up in the top ten, or whatever.  

To make club team competition more interesting, a contest might also
allow teams to do things that solitary stations can't.  For example,
permit tools like packet/skimmer, and VHF/Internet intra-team
coordination, to be used, but only among the team members.  Encourage
the experienced ops on the team to train the new ones.

I'd personally think it far more interesting to see which clubs can
field the best teams instead of which can field the most bodies for the
most hours.   Clubs in densely populated areas still have an advantage
with more potential team members available, but it's not overwhelming.
A 10-member club in a rural area might be able to field only 2 teams,
but if they're excellent operators those teams might end up #1 and #2 in
the results.

/Jack de K3FIV

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