[CQ-Contest] Club/Group competition

Randy Thompson K5ZD k5zd at charter.net
Sat Apr 9 13:32:03 PDT 2011

I have been enjoying the discussion regarding the club competition rules.
Thank you to Martin LU5DX for starting this and conducting a petition.
There is some additional survey data fromt the annual WPX participant survey
in a blog posting at http://www.cqwpx.com/blog/?p=70 (toward the end).
Distance is a an arbitrary method of defining a club that was created many
years ago.  It has generally worked well among US clubs in large cities
where population density is high, but not for everyone. The ARRL later
created levels of categories based on number of entries and distance to
account for smaller local clubs in other areas.
A club used to be thought of as a group of locals who got together for
regular meetings. The Internet is changing that. Now club members can stay
in close communication without ever attending a club meeting. My local club,
the YCCC, rarely has more than 50 people at a meeting in a club with over
300 members.
Other parts of the world, such as Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Russia, etc.
are generating new interest in ham radio and club competition with members
located across broad regional geographies. Club scores based on distance are
not practical for them.
For a contest sponsor, the primary goal of the club competition is to
encourage more activity. For the clubs, it is a target for motivating their
members to operate more and improve their scores. For both goals to be
achived, it is important to be as inclusive as possible.
A competition is not meaningful if there are not some boundaries or limits
(i.e., rules). If we replace distance, what should be the definition of a
club for the purposes of contest club competition? How can the new
definition be checked/scored by the contest administrator?
That is the real question.  If we can find the answer, then I know of a
contest that would be willing to give it a try.
Randy, K5ZD

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