[CQ-Contest] Fwd: Re: The Elephant In The Bedroom

Steve London n2icarrl at gmail.com
Thu Jul 7 18:41:10 PDT 2011


Read the WRTC selection criteria for North American stations at

Pay particular attention to the North American team selection areas. North
America has been divided up into 13 geographic zones. The WRTC applicants are
only competing for slots against other applicants in the same geographic zone.
There is no incentive for the WRTC applicants to request a change to
distance-based scoring. It will have no effect on their standing against others
in their same geographic zone.

Your elephant has gone back to the zoo.

Steve, N2IC

On 07/07/2011 06:13 PM, Ron Notarius W3WN wrote:
> There certainly been quite a few interesting discussions the last few days
> regarding the possibility of adjusting the scoring for future ARRL DX
> contests.
> What I find interesting is that one key factor seems to not have been
> mentioned; the proverbial elephant in the bedroom that everyone conveniently
> ignores and doesn't talk about.  Perhaps it's time we do.
> But before I get into that, let me be clear that I am not necessarily
> opposed to the ideas in question.  I wouldn't want to make a final decision
> without more information, but the basic idea of updating the scoring to make
> it a little more geographically balanced appeals to me... if it can be done.
> There are quite a few details to work out, I'd like to see the supporting
> data, and then there's the issue of how (if) the contest exchange changes&
> how this gets relayed to non-contesters who only wish to help by providing a
> simple contact.  But those are details, they'll be worked out in due course.
> So:  The question that keeps running through my mind, that proverbial
> elephant, is simply this:  Why now?
> After all, this scoring imbalance isn't exactly news.  It's been discussed
> in one form or another for years... decades.  So why the push NOW to change
> things?
> Could it simply be a side-effect of the competition for slots in the WRTC?
> I think it is.  Since, these days, the major contests are all being
> considered as preliminaries or qualifiers for WRTC competitors, clearly
> individual placements or standings in the contests -- and how scoring
> affects them -- has become very important to those who wish to be considered
> or selected.
> Now, if this is correct, if THIS is the proverbial elephant, then there may
> be a relatively simpler solution than causing a major upheaval in one of the
> top contests of the year.
> Consider the analogy of a marathon that is also a qualifying race for the
> Olympics.  There is usually an "elite" group of runners who are seriously
> contending for their country's Olympic teams, a small group, and then there
> are the local and regional runners, or those just out to prove that they can
> finish the marathon regardless of their timing or scores.  The "elite"
> runners usually have additional rules or requirements, related to the
> Olympic trials, that everyone else can forgo as unnecessary.  While not a
> perfect analogy, I think we may be looking at the same situation here.
> Thus, the simple solution.  For those who wish to be considered for the WRTC
> (or, in the future, similar) teams, after submitting their logs to the ARRL
> or other contest sponsors, submit the same log to a special WRTC scoring
> system or logging robot... the "contest within a contest" concept.  The WRTC
> system, like the ARRL (etc) system, will score the logs, but using the
> appropriate adjustments for distance -- or whatever the ultimate criteria
> will be.
> For that matter, if they're only interested in WRTC standings, they don't
> have to submit their log elsewhere (or only as a check log), just to that
> system.  Whatever works.
> No adjustments to the ARRL scoring are required, at least not in terms of
> how it affects WRTC standings.  That's not to say that adjustments may not
> come, or are overdue... just that we don't have to do it NOW for WRTC
> standings.
> How do we figure out the distance adjustments?  Good question, and that's a
> detail that will come in due course.
> But think about it.  No major software overhauls or rewrites, no trying to
> remember new exchanges, no trying to tell someone "I know you're in New
> Jersey, but what's your grid square?" or "I know you're running 400 Watts in
> Jersey, but what's your grid square?"  Keep it simple.
> And those who wish to slug it out for a WRTC spot don't muck things up for
> the rest.
> Yes, there's a good chance that you can have someone win their Division and
> be a relative runner-up in the WRTC standings, or vice versa.  But that's
> what we're talking about anyway.
> Thoughts?
> 73, ron w3wn
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