[CQ-Contest] Leveling the playing field

Wayne Mills n7ng at bresnan.net
Fri Jun 24 08:33:04 PDT 2011

For many of us, the format of a contest is far more important than the
levelness of the playing field. Granted that numerically, most contesters
are on the east coast (of course, the definition of east coast depends on
how far west you are). If you want to win or be competitive in most
so-called DX contests, you must do a DXpedition to an area that favors your
effort. If you can't run 94% of your Qs in Europe, where you can forget
about rotating most of your antennas away from Europe, the ARRL DX contest
is fun because of the value of the multipliers out here. The rarity of the
western multipliers makes it worth participating. After 55 years, I would
have absolutely no interest in ARRL DX in a distance format. For me, copying
the TBDC is second-rate, unworthy of ARRL. TBDC is great, but copying it is
bush league. 


So-called DX contest? What's that? Something unique would be a real DX
contest. Most current so-called DX contests are running contests. There's
nothing wrong with running - some of my best friends do it. But for them, it
often doesn't matter whether they are working VU4s or WB4s, and generally
they don't care. Run run run. There are plenty of running contests. Go for


Rather, let's - again -- have a real DX contest where the skill involved is
DXing; finding rare stations, breaking pileups. Today, that would be unique.
Although the ARRL DX started in 1927 as a combination relay and DX contest
(with pre-set exchanges, by the way), its format was DXing. It was two weeks
long (three weekends, I believe). Mults would count more. Running contest?


ARRL has DXCC. It has the ARRL DX contest. ARRL should use its prestige to
be an innovator, not a follower.




Wayne, N7NG
Jackson Hole




-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Ed Richardson
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 7:35 PM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Leveling the playing field


My initial reaction to this debate was, "lets do what we can to level

the field". However after reading some of the excellent points on here,

I am beginning to agree that a level field is a dream and wouldn't be

practical. Us folks from the middle of the continent will not win a DX

contest. Just too many skip zones to the major DX population centers.


However like others have said, setting realistic goals and challenging

oneself and other locals, should keep you motivated. Personally I always

try to better my last years score, or strive for some target number of



The fact that I will never win or likely ever place in the top 10

doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see some changes.


Distance scoring, makes sense to me. I see no harm in changing this. A

east coast station may have the rate to Europe but others Midwest and

west coast stations will be reward with more points even at a lower



Another change to consider would be to turn the contest into more of a

sprint format. Meaning limit the number of QSO's on a single frequency.

Try and prevent the frequency monopolization of a few big guns that

scream bloody murder when propagation shifts and you are in their skip

zone. They come up on your frequency claiming your are qrming them and

they have been on frequency for 44 hours and to please qsy. A 48 hour

sprint would be a true iron man contest and would eliminate the clusters

and skimmers from playing a part. This would be more of a test of

operator skill!


Just my $0.02006 cents worth (The Canadian dollar being worth more than

the US$ afterall)







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