[CQ-Contest] Level Playing Field - my 2 cents

Stan Stockton k5go at cox.net
Sat Jun 25 17:05:27 PDT 2011


The problem with this thread is the title.  So many are correct in  
that there will never be a level playing field.  I don't think anyone  
wants to do well versus someone else because of a handicap.  If  
distance based QSO points are employed, it would have to be objective  
with acknowledgement that it is more difficult in a DX (distance)  
contest to make longer distance contacts than shorter distance ones.

Following is my personal view not necessarily shared by others best  
described in the following email I sent to W2LC following his post  
related to inverse distance scoring for SS.


I have read your post several times trying to read it with an open mind.

Rest assured there is no discussion about changing the contest to be
like Stew Perry Contest with distance based scoring and no multipliers.

There is no discussion regarding giving overall advantage to any area
over the East Coast.

Regarding the thought that it isn't broken, there are some who believe
that in the ARRL contest it may be broken when the winner and the top
finishers on the DX side will almost always be in the Carribean and
the winners and top finishers are almost always in the NE.

Obviously the CQ WW is a total mess when you compare Zone 8 and Zone
9, for example. Theoretically your station can be ten feet or 100
miles away from another and you get 50% more  points for the same
contact in USA.

If you look at the top ten for last nine years published on ARRL
website for the Phone DX Contest you will see there are two stations
and a total of 3 instances out of 90 top ten finishes where the
stations were west of the Mississippi River.  Although I have not
looked at the map to see where the other 87 top ten finishers were
exactly located, it is safe to say the vast majority are located
within 250 (meant to say 300) miles of you,

Speaking of a 300 mile radius (keep an open mind) and think about how
you would feel about it IF in a DX (distance) contest, Mexico broke up
into 50 different countries, there were 3,000 of them on the air in
S&P mode, and after many years of results it bacame clear that you
needed to be in South Texas to have much of a chance of doing well.
Let's say it was so bad that a good operator from KC1XX could not make
the top ten but on very rare occasion and the winner would never be a
W1, W2, W3, or W4.

Regarding Sweepstakes, VY2ZM wins, W6 wins, W5 wins, W0 wins, W7 wins,
KP2 or KP4 wins.

I could get rich betting the top five US in the DX contest each year
will be located within about  250 miles of some point in W1, winning
most of those bets.  You would lose the bet almost every time if you
chose any location you wanted and made the same bet for SS with a 1000
mile radius - 16 times the area.

Something is not quite right when a part time effort in a DX contest
can make top ten and knock out a full time effort by as good an  
operator from a better station.

Sent from Stan's IPhone

On Jun 25, 2011, at 10:14 AM, kr2q at optimum.net wrote:

> There will never be a level playing field in the real world of ham  
> radio
> contesting.  If you want a level playing field, we need some sort of
> video game/software where nothing is random.
> While I agree that “distance” for points does seem to make sense  
> (look at one of
> 160 contests [cq?] where a VE3 and work a hundred W2's in NY, just a  
> couple miles
> away and get bazillions of point while I [NJ] can work W6's and get  
> a fraction
> of the points for doing "a lot more"), that does not really make a  
> level playing
> field.
> What about antennas?  What about physical location (valley, flat, or  
> mountain top)
> or the ground conductivity (mtn tops are high but usually of poor  
> conductivity,
> such as GRANITE)?  What about Team Vertical on the SALT WATER?
> Way too many variables.
> Not too many years ago (well, maybe more than I think), I recall  
> going 15m High
> Power (yes, really...I did HP).  I got beat (barely) by some famous  
> contesting
> judge.  Of course, the station where he was guest-oping was several  
> orders of
> magnitude bigger than mine....but was located in the SE USA.
> So who really won?  Was the giant station "making up" for the  
> distance?
> Did that giant station actually over-compensate for distance?
> Who cares?  I had a LOT of fun and never expected to do that well.   
> I felt honored
> to come in a close 2nd to the judge, no matter what station he was  
> operating at.
> What I'd like to see is the ability to "play with" the variables on  
> line so any
> entrant can wiggle the scores any way they like.  More points for  
> distance, some
> type of penalty for soil conductivity, maybe even hours of  
> operations and operator
> age adjustments.  How about number of towers, elements?  And for  
> real fun, how
> about a POWER adjustment: 100w, 200w, 1000, 1500w, 3kw, 5kw, 20kw.
> Maybe even something for "Multiple op masquerading as single op."   
> Why not?
> If all logs would be public, then some of the programmer types among  
> us could set
> up the variables for us to play with and maybe we could find some  
> combination
> that would "tell us something" or make us feel better (if score is  
> your motivation).
> But sometimes, you end up with, "Well, I just can't tell."  For  
> example....
> Maybe it was a year or two ago where some contest committee was  
> having a closed
> discussion about Uniques.  Should uniques be given credit if they  
> cannot be shown
> to be Busted or Bad...or should we simply deduct ALL uniques w/o  
> penalty.  That
> sounds fair too.
> Well, this was really easy for one guy I know REALLY REALLY well to  
> analyze.  In the
> end, the order of finish for ALL LOGS in SOAB did not change (except  
> for two logs)
> whether uniques were left in or taken out.  The two logs were way,  
> way down in the
> noise, so "who cares."
> So now that the analysis was done, what did that tell us?  Well, if  
> we wanted to
> say that "Our contest has the cleanest log checking there is," we  
> could simply
> change the rules and NOT COUNT any uniques.  Worked for WRTC, right?
> Of course, we all know that such action would be BOUND to result in  
> some
> guy proving that "his" unique was actually a real QSO.  I can just  
> see the
> headlines line.  OK...you get your points back and, by the way, you  
> still finish
> in the same sequence of rank.
> OTOH, if it "doesn't matter" (except for two "in the noise" logs out  
> of 1000's),
> then what is the motivation to remove the uniques?  No harm, no foul?
> The point is, you can play with the results any way you like...all  
> you need is
> access to the logs and details about the logs and have the right  
> tools, and time.
> In conclusion, IMHO there can never be a level playing field except  
> as cited in the
> first paragraph.
> It's nice to be back after 6 months of being QRT (or QRX).
> de Doug KR2Q
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