[CQ-Contest] Inverse Distance Based Scoring Proposal

Ron Notarius W3WN wn3vaw at verizon.net
Sat Jun 25 06:48:45 PDT 2011

IMHO, the problem is that no matter what you do, there never will be
anything close to a truly "level playing field."  There are too many factors
involved; not just distance, but population density, entity sizes,
propagation factors, station capabilities... and so on and so forth.

"Fix" one thing, and what you actually are doing, IMHO, is merely shifting
one level of "unfairness" from one group to another.  

So before we start making wholesale changes, an observation and a

Observation:  Maybe we, or at least some of us, are getting a little too
obsessed with being "world best."  IMHO, the DX contests are most fun when
you're competing against your peers in your region... be it your ARRL
section, your state, your Division, your entity (for the smaller DXCC
entities), or even if it's just amongst the dozen contesters in your local

Suggestion:  Will distance-based scoring make a difference and alter the
landscape?  There's one way to find out.  It shouldn't be too hard to match
up calls worked with their Maidenhead grid squares (if not exactly then
close enough).  Why not ask some of the top operators to "donate" their
logs, then have a computer program run through and re-calculate their scores
using the grids as multipliers, and see what you come up with?  

It's one thing to guess that it will make a difference.  This way, you can
actually show what the results would have been, all else being equal, if you
had scored that way.

73, ron w3wn

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Rick Dougherty NQ4I
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011 7:39 AM
To: w2lc at twcny.rr.com
Cc: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Inverse Distance Based Scoring Proposal

Hi Scott.....I am surprised that you would say it is not broken
(ARRL)...you need to come down to Georgia and operate from a station
there and you will find that you cannot come close to you score from
the NE US....plain and simple.....I have had a large number of private
emails from hams all around the world about his topic...almost every
one agrees with my stand...it may be that we can never truly level the
playing field, but if we don't do something to make it somewhat fairer
then we have missed a great opportunity....thee is NOT any sense of
arguing that the NE does not have an advantage...it is there in plain
sight and in black and blue ink...its been there for too long...its
now time to act on making some change...and I know how we all rebel
against change, but for the good of the hobby it is time to
change....I am sending a little more verbage to you this morning and
making my email my daily post on the subject....we are not talking
about SS, and I don't participate in SS and therefore don't have first
hand knowlege of SS....and contrary to KU8E's post we are not talking
about changing the VHF?UHF tests either...we are simply talking about
the ARRL DX.....I have seen the K1XM study and I think Paul did a
really remarkable job in chosing his parameters to show the impact of
distance based scoring and its impact on the M-M entries in 2011 ARRL
CW....to me it shows one thing right off the bat...and if anyone needs
a copy email me...it shows that stations outside the current
NE-NYC-DCA-PIT-ABY-BDL-BOS corridoor do have a chance to make the top
5...infact in some instances the top 3....so with hard work, good
antenna,good operators, it is possible for a station outside that area
to do well....it means we don't have to compare ourselves with each
other i.e. W4 vs W4 or W5 vs W5...

I am enclosing part of an email I received a few days ago...the author
has allowed me to pass this along and I think he has something to say
as well...

"I don't have as much of a dog in this fight as some, as I never have
been able to get too fired up about playing hard against a stacked
deck. Something about it just rubs me the wrong way... so, I typically
get in there and pass out a few Q's and have some fun.  I can tell
you, though, the story probably would've been different if there'd
been more of an effort at fairness over the last 40 years.  If I'd
played hard against the tide for all those years, I'd be damn jaded
with it by now.

I'm particularly amazed at the contention that it would be too
difficult a technical task to level the table.  My gosh, if HALF
the number crunching was put into this, as has been put into catching
'packet cheats', the situation would be a LOT better than it is now.

I've never seen so many specious arguments against something that
so obviously needs to be addressed.  A lot of it may have to do with
the natural opposition to 'change'.  Most of us are probably guilty
of that in some area or other, I guess.

So WHAT if we can't make the situation perfect.  MAKE IT BETTER!
Once it gets cut down to size, maybe it won't look so formidable
after all!"

It is amazing in his own words that he says he has avoided the ARRL
contests because it is not fair.....if it had been his level of
participation would have been greater....this is what this is all
about...greater participation and farirer.

My missive for the day.


On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 12:58 PM,  <w2lc at twcny.rr.com> wrote:
> Inverse distance based scoring
> If the ARRL DX contest changes, lets also change Sweepstakes as well, but
to the opposite, inverse distance based scoring.
> Since W5, W6, W7, W4, W0, W9 all have the advantage of working W1, W2, W3
on 20, 15 and 10 meters (the same stations I am forced to work on 80
meters), inverse distance based scoring would "level the playing field" for
those of us propagationally challenged to the major population centers on
the higher bands.
> As we all know it is much more difficult to work close-in stations on 20,
15 and 10 than it is on 80m, and there are more stations to work on on 20,
15 and 10 meters than 80m. Less noise too.
> Therefore, since stations further away from the north east population
centers have the advantage, inverse distance based scoring makes sense for
> ARRL DX is not broken and does not need fixing (same for SS), but it looks
like there are those who want to break it.
> Distance based scoring and grid squares are what I don't like about the
Stew Perry, the appeal is being a 160m contest and a shorter duration.
> Bottom line for me is, change ARRL DX to distance based scoring and I will
no longer operate the contest.
> Those who think that distance based scoring will attract more participants
are only kidding themselves. Putting the contest results back into QST might
help though.
> FYI the top ten box write-ups in QST are NOT the contest results (my
opinion), the line scores are (also my opinion). I don't even look at the
QST contest write-ups anymore, well ok once in awhile.
> --
> 73 Scott W2LC
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