[CQ-Contest] How contests gain and preserve popularity?

Mats Strandberg sm6lrr at gmail.com
Thu Mar 17 00:12:58 PDT 2011

A lot of discussion has taken place lately with reference to the new rules
of the Russian DX Contest.

Needless to say RDXC has become a very popular contest in many parts of the

RDXC has become popular because the organizers have managed to:

1. Create an interesting format for the contest
2. Professionally and swiftly perform the log-checking and publishing of
3. Send out diplomas and plaques quickly (possibly with the exception of
year 2010).
4. Promote the contest well via reflectors and an excellent homepage:

All is fine so far.

The question however is:

How does a contest preserve an already achieved popularity?

It seems to me that RDXC organizers have partly closed their eyes and not
communicated well enough with different types of participants. The people
who organize the contest belong to the elite of contesters in the world.
They win WRTC, they place themselves in leading positions in major
international contests. They are truly competitive people, but they have
according to my opinion, started to loose some of the important contact with
the ordinary "customers" - the casual participants of the contest!

In their strive to make the contest the most fair contest in the world, they
have developed a bit of "tunnel-vision" syndrome , that mainly focuses on
the topscorers. They somewhat seem to have forgotten that the foundation of
a successful contest is the huge amount of ordinary participants that create
the pileups for the big guns. If RDXC with their decisions make it more and
more difficult, the vast majority of common operators might sooner or later
come to the conclusion that "this contest is not for me anymore".

Another mistake that RDXC organizers have made according to my opinion, is
to close themselves inside a cocoon. They receive questions via the
reflectors or emails (and even in person), but they refuse to communicte
with the "customers". If people have doubts of how to interpret the rules,
then it is not enough to just write FAQ answers on the homepage.

I asked the question whether Remote Transceiving Operation was accepted or
not. The reason is that I do not find that very clear when both reading the
Russian and the English rules. No answer has been given so far!

RDXC has the ambition to be one of the leading international contests.
According to my opinion, the English version of the rules as published today
is not sufficiently clear. I am not a native Russian and English speaker,
but still I see that the translation from the Russian original has a lot
more to wish. Besides of this, if a contest claims to be an international
one (with all respect to Russians having their own mother tongue Russian),
my opinion is that English language should be the official language for
rules. The English version is the base for translations into all other
languages, and if the original English is not 100% clear, how can they
expect the numerous translations to be ideal?

Communication is a keyword for successful development of a contest. If the
organizers become introvert, then discussions like the one we have arsies -
and other people start interpreting the rules and reply instead of the

If RDXC will remain an increasingly popular contest, my advise is that the
English translation of the rules must be highly improved, with the purpose
of avoiding misinterpretation.

Also that RDXC officials are not unly using CQ-Contest forum for advertising
of the contest, but also actively participate in the debate. If they earlier
had participated instead of silence, much of this discussion would have been

73 de R3/SM6LRR, Mats

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