[CQ-Contest] Comments on Proposed Changes to ARRL DX

Richard DiDonna NN3W richnn3w at verizon.net
Sun Jun 19 05:34:49 PDT 2011

Here are some excerpts from an email that has been forwarded around.  I've 
cut it down for brevity...

73 Rich NN3W


1.  Within the past 3 weeks the CAC voted 10 to 2 to recommend
some form of  distance based scoring system for the ARRL DX
Contest.  This is clearly a fundamental and radical proposition
that will significantly impact  contest results, both
domestically and internationally if approved.  The precise way
such a scoring methodology will be implemented is still under
investigation by the CAC.  Reportedly they plan to back test
various scoring algorithms to determine potential impact in
comparison to prior results before getting more specific.  Just
FYI, the Stew Perry 160 contest is the only major international
event that presently uses some form of distance based scoring.

An article written by NS3T and posted Monday at
http://www.radio-sport.net/arrldx_rules.htm has blown the cover
of the ARRL and CAC on their current ARRL DX Contest rule
deliberations.   I couldn't find any discussion at all on the
various contesting reflectors on the subject.  Not sure if there
is some censorship going on - hope not.

There are several scoring algorithm choices, but regardless of
which is selected, the impact of distance based scoring will
unavoidably result in a re-arranging of the order of finish for
the top twenty or thirty competitors in all Single Op entry
classes, with a new advantage going to stations on the edge of
the black hole and further west, and a disadvantage (compared to
current rules) to entrants in eastern Canada, New England and the
Mid-Atlantic (for stations closer to EU).  Its likely a change in
scoring formula will delight US participants to our west, but
actual results of the contest probably won't change that much,
with the exception of ME and Maritime Canada which would bare the
brunt of this change.  On the DX side, distance based scoring
virtually assures victory to those operating from Northern Africa
in high sunspot years.  It's unlikely a Carib station will be
able to overcome the distance/points per Q advantage with contact

Right now it appears the CAC will pass along to the PSC a
recommendation for some form of distance based scoring.  It will
be up to the HQ Awards Committee and then the  Program Services
Committee (PSC) members to agree or disagree.  More on how the
rule change approval process works a little later.

2.  The CAC is now considering the question of operating time
limits for single op entries.   A few options have been discussed
and apparently as of this week, a movement to eliminate the
existing 48 hour time limit for single op entrants has ended.
But still on the table is consideration and possible creation of
a new Single Op entry class based upon some shorter time frame.
The CAC has discussed a number of options (24, 36, 40 and 44
hours), and someone on the PSC or at ARRL HQ has suggested a 24
hour option.  But apparently a proposal for a 24 hour class has
thus far seen little support from CAC members.>

Fortunately the CAC chairman WC1M has seen the light and now
understands the 'IRON MAN' 48 hour version of ARRL DX must be
retained.  Creating a new 24 or 36 hour category probably would
not change things that much, and might increase participation by
those entrants who cannot or do not want to commit to a full 48
hour effort.  What has not happened so far (as far as I can
determine) is CAC discussion about viable ways to increase DX

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