[CQ-Contest] DX Contest Handicap Proposal

W4ZW w4zw at comcast.net
Thu Jun 30 22:59:16 PDT 2011

Now this seems like a sane suggestion.  As a golfer, I have always liked the capability to play with anyone on a competitive basis with golf's handicap system.

Using past scores for handicapping would also require that the score be further diced into the score based on the time spent in the contest.  Two flights, as in golf, but split into two groups; the shorter time group with tribander and wires, and the marathon unlimited group.  Then, as Tom has suggested, post finishers according to geographical area.  (I know from experience that propagation from Colorado pales against propagation from Florida.)

No new exchange, etc, just a processing of the scores by ARRL.  And then we have both gross score winners as we do now, and then the flights by "net" scores.  And as in golf, we play by gentlemen's rules with the new contester  starting out with a "starter" handicap just like in golf.  And the guy putting up stacks, amps, etc, from the past year taking a "bye" and entering only the gross flight until he can establish some semblance of a performance handicap. 

Someone compared our ham contesting to sailing and NASCAR.  As a former competitive sailor in mainly one-design regattas, I can tell you there is no comparison there.  And in the handicapped regattas, as W8JI points out, engineering and planning only enlarges the scoring margin by those who choose to really go after winning since the handicapping system is based on sailboat class and not the preparation and engineering of the winners. Handicapping should be based on operator/station performance, and not 

I like the golf analogy best.

My 2 cents.

Jon Hamlet, RA/W4ZW
Temporarily in Moscow


Proposal Coming

But being open minded let me think out loud �

I suppose �� that since golf has a handicap system based on previous scores, how about adopting that into contesting?  Your contest handicap can be based on your best 5 previous scores in the contest, and then your score adjustment is based on normalizing that against the average score of the last 5 winners.

[] . . . .
The contest results can then print both the �gross scores� and �net scores�, gross score being the actual unadjusted score, and the net score being the score adjusted by the handicap.  You could have winners for both gross and net categories just like golf!

No distance based scoring needed and it takes into account propagation differences too!

73 Scott W2LC

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