[CQ-Contest] Surveys, chairs and more Surveys

Stan Stockton wa5rtg at gmail.com
Sun Mar 17 01:18:53 EDT 2013

I realize only a very small percentage of contesters read the traffic on this reflector but it is one avenue to discuss  contest related issues whether it be comfortable chairs or the future of contesting. The Internet is great!

As those of you who read everything on this reflector know, a survey is being conducted to see what the response will be (from those who respond) regarding whether the single operator category should be eliminated completely in favor of one category (assisted) that is already in place for ones who want to use assistance to find the DX to work. 

I see another survey on the contesting.com website that asks whether there should be an open discussion as to whether to "merge" the two categories in light of the fact that it is difficult and expensive to catch the cheaters.  I am at a loss as to how to answer that question.  Certainly want it to be discussed if the alternative is to eliminate Single Operator category without discussion.  Don't want it discussed if wanting it to be discussed means I am in favor of the proposed change. 

1.   However hard to imagine, the thought of eliminating the standard single operator category in which 2/3 of entrants choose to enter is seriously being considered and seemingly everyone's opinion will be counted regardless of how much thought you give it.

There are two reasons I can think of why 2/3 would choose to not use "assistance":

     A.  They want to compete in a category where they have developed skills to find and copy the stations they work without having remote receivers all over the world do it for them, and they want to compete with others who want to do the same.  Seems like a valid reason for some to not choose assisted. It is fun to find and work DX.  Many have forgotten how fun that activity can be.

    B.  They do not have access to the Internet at their station.

I suspect most are in A above.

2.  Elimination of Single Operator category would result in cutting the awards and recognition for outstanding efforts by 50% unless replaced with yet another category over which adjudication would be difficult - similar to low power, high power, QRP, Tribanders and wires, etc.

3. There will be an impact on expeditions where serious operators can currently choose a category and compete for winning without having to secure reliable Internet service.  Since it would not possible to win without the RBN giving you a list of every station in the world calling CQ, those who are serious and either do not want to compete on that basis or who cannot secure Internet service will perhaps choose to not go on that expedition.  More expeditions -  I doubt.  Fewer expeditions - probably.

The only reason I have heard for this to even be discussed is that the contest sponsors spend a lot of time and expense trying to verify whether someone might be cheating.

If 2/3 choose to enter a category, knowing full well that in that category along with all other categories a possibility exists for someone to cheat and get away with it, is there good reason to even discuss eliminating that most popular category?

I would rather not see anyone's rights or freedoms be taken away if exercising those rights does not adversely impact others. 

Saying you still have the option to not use assistance is fine for those who want to play for a few hours of fun but not for those who are serious competitors. 

Most contesters worldwide who did not submit an entry under their call sign in the last contest with their email included are unaware this discussion is taking place.  Many avid contesters in the USA are unaware because they were part of a multi-operator group or don't subscribe to this reflector and read it carefully.  This is one matter where an opinion may actually count.

I think the real question is whether there is real and serious detriment to the "minority" who already have a category allowing them to use assistance because those in the vast majority who don't choose to use it are allowed to compete with others who feel the same way?

I urge everyone to take the various surveys regardless of your opinions but consider the question in the paragraph above before forming an opinion. When I looked earlier there were fewer than 20 responses to the survey on contesting.com.

Let's take this subject up in a few years if the percentages "naturally" reverse and the number of Single Operator entries are only 1/3 - same as current level of Single Operator Assisted.  Sound fair?

73...Stan, K5GO

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