[CQ-Contest] Contesting is a Game

Tod Olson tod at k0to.us
Thu Sep 12 09:13:13 EDT 2013

This is very well written and illustrates clearly why Randy, K5ZD, is a
leader in our sport of amateur radio contesting.

I can imagine only one way to 'retaliate' or protest. [ select the word of
your choice] .  One can generate an 'NIL' in another  operator's log. Done
cleverly, you can even come up with a strategy that will give you a
multiplier, should you need it, and still create a problem for the
'cheating' station.

However, doing such a thing deliberately does place you in the category of
someone who is not operating ethically in the contest. I suppose if a large
group of folks were to generate NIL's in one contest for one or a few
stations and then revert to completely ethical operating for all future
contests there might be an opportunity to make a point that would be visible
to serious operators world wide.

The casual operator probably would be oblivious to what had happened.
Whether this would cause offenders to cease and desist is problematical ---
I expect not. If you truly believe that "the rules do not apply to me" then
there will be little reason to change behavior.

This issue was present in amateur radio contesting before I edited the first
issue of the NCJ in 1972. I suspect that 40 years from now it there will
still be such scofflaws among our contesting brethren.

Tod, K0TO

On 9/12/13 6:05 AM, "Randy Thompson K5ZD" <k5zd at charter.net> wrote:

> Contesting is a game.  Games have rules. The rules create barriers or
> constraints that equalize the competition or create strategic choices. If we
> ignore the rules we don't like, the game is no longer meaningful.
> Those stations that run more than 1500W are cheating. Much the same way
> users of performance enhancing drugs in bicycle racing, Olympic sports,
> baseball, etc. are cheating.
> The temptation to cheat is strong.  "It doesn't hurt anyone." "It makes up
> for my poor location." "Everyone else is doing it." These are all
> justifications to make the cheater feel better. They do not make it right.
> The cheaters are hurting the contest. Their loud signals drive other
> contesters off the bands. Participants lose faith in the integrity of the
> game and decide not to play. New contesters see the cheaters make big scores
> and think that is the way to compete so the next generation learns to cheat.
> Power cheating happens all over the world. Temptation and lack of control is
> a human condition. In ham radio contesting it seems to happen much more in
> some places than others. These areas are so invested in cheating that they
> ask for the rules to be changed to make it OK.
> In the end, there are those that follow the rules.  We respect their
> integrity, their effort, and their achievements.  For the others, we see
> their scores, but we know they are dirty.  Maybe they are not disqualified
> (because there is not the oversight of professional sports), but we do not
> have to respect them.
> Fair play means following the rules.  All of them.
> Randy, K5ZD

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