[CQ-Contest] Contesting is a Game

Randy Thompson K5ZD k5zd at charter.net
Fri Sep 13 01:36:42 EDT 2013

I would not advocate any form of civil disobedience or attempt to retaliate.
The best thing everyone can do is to follow the rules.  When you see someone
breaking the rules, say something.  First, communicate directly to them in
private. If that does not work, talk about it with others locally and see if
you can apply peer pressure. As a last resort, or if the cheating is
impacting the results, send a note to the contest sponsor.


The contest administrators do not have magical powers.  The only way to know
there may be a problem is if someone reports it.  Not every report will
result in immediate action, but over time these tips can show where more
attention is needed.


Randy, K5ZD



From: Tod Olson [mailto:tod at k0to.us] 
Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2013 1:13 PM
To: k5zd at charter.net; 'CQ-Contest MailList'
Subject: Re: Contesting is a Game


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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