[CQ-Contest] Discrimination Against single-Op Assisted

Pete Smith N4ZR n4zr at contesting.com
Mon Jul 16 04:35:51 PDT 2012

I recently sent the following e-mail to K5UZ, current chairman of the 
ARRL Board committee responsible for contesting.  If you agree, please 
let him, and your Board representative, know how you feel.

"Dear Mr. Norris,

Recently, my attention was called to the rules of the IARU HF 
Championship, which state,

    4.1.3. Use of spotting nets, packet, or multi-channel decoders (such
    as CW Skimmer) is not permitted. Single-operator stations that use
    spotting nets, packet or multi-channel decoders _will be
    reclassified to the Multi-operator, Single Transmitter category.
    (emphasis added)_

There are similar pejorative provisions in the rules of the ARRL 160 
Meter and ARRL 10 Meter Contests.  The tone, in fact, suggests that use 
of packet is cheating and should be penalized.

I suspect that these rules are simple anachronisms, dating to the early 
days of packet spotting, but they need to be changed, particularly as we 
want to encourage participation in our contests by newly-licensed, 
computer-literate amateurs.  The writers of the rules for the Rookie 
Roundup appear to have recognized the desirability of this approach, in 
fact allowing packet for all single operators.

I would not go that far, but it seems to me that it would be simple for 
the rules of these three ARRL/IARU contests to be changed to parallel 
the rules of the ARRL DX Contest.  The Contest Advisory Committee has 
already done extensive analysis in developing that language, so simply 
extending it to 3 more contests should not impose a significant workload 
on that group.

I hope the PSC will consider either acting on its own at the upcoming 
Board meeting, so that the ARRL Contest staff can prepare the new 
language in time for it to be promulgated before the next running of 
these contests.  Alternatively, and less desirably, you could task the 
CAC to study the idea and prepare recommendations for the January 2013 
Board meeting.  I realize that changing the IARU rules would require 
IARU concurrence, but cannot imagine that this will be a problem.

Thank you for considering this proposal.


Peter G. Smith N4ZR
ARRL member since 1954"

73, Pete N4ZR
The World Contest Station Database, at www.conteststations.com
The Reverse Beacon Network at http://reversebeacon.net, blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com,
spots at telnet.reversebeacon.net, port 7000 and
arcluster.reversebeacon.net, port 7000

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