[CQ-Contest] ARRL DX or ARRL North Atlantic QP

Ktfrog007 at aol.com Ktfrog007 at aol.com
Sun Jun 26 10:04:13 PDT 2011

One thing that needs to be emphasized in the discussion about revamping the 
 ARRL DX contest is the DX in the name.  It implies that it is a DX 
contest,  but in reality it's a large regional QSO party for areas bordering the  
North Atlantic Ocean, including the USA/Canada East Coast, the Caribbean and  
adjacent South America, much of Europe, various North Atlantic islands and  
northwest Africa.  Others are free to join in, just as DX stations are in  
the NA QP.
It seems to me to be desirable to convert it back into a true DX contest  
and using four character grid squares is a reasonable and sensible way to do  
that.  This will also level out the playing field enough to make it more  
interesting and exciting. 
Distance based point scoring cannot totally level the playing  field.  
There are too many variables, human and technical, to ever do  that.  There will 
still be important geographic differences which  can never be equalized.  
This is not a proposal to handicap all contestants  and all locations.  It's 
not a Communist plot to give everyone a "C".
The grid square is more difficult to copy than the current ARRL  
state/province and power exchange, so rates will be slowed.  It is of  intermediate 
difficulty between the CQ zone (which is usually known in  advance, the USA 
excepted) and serial numbers. 
I like the proposal to calculate an alternate unofficial distance  based 
score in the next ARRL DX just to see how it turns out.  The rules  for the 
2012 could require logs to include the grid square for this  calculation.  I'd 
expect this to create a lot of excitement and increase  participation.
I personally would like the contest to  
   - be truly worldwide, everyone works everyone 
   - be 48 hours for iron men with an SO category for fewer  hours as well 
as sprints.
   - use distance based scoring.  
I think that in a short time this would become the major DX contest in the  
world.  My guess is the CQ WW sponsors would be pretty nervous about  this.
This would be the end of the present ARRL DX contest.  All the  records, 
statistics and honors will be a thing of the past.  We'd be  starting over 
from zero.  Everything starts from zero  sometime.  Often it's good to be in at 
the beginning.
It all depends on whether the ARRL is bold or timid.
Kermit,  AB1J

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