[CQ-Contest] CQ WW Rules preview

Jack Haverty. k3fiv at arrl.net
Thu Jun 26 16:11:01 EDT 2014

Hi Hans,

Well, there's where we differ...

Your model is that each side of a contest QSO is responsible for completely
and accurately receiving and copying what the other station transmits, or
should have transmitted.

My model is that each station is responsible for completely and accurately
performing an exchange of information - hence the "exchange" aspect of a
contest.  Each station is responsible not only for receiving but also for
transmitting the respective parts of that exchange.

IMHO, in your model, neither side of a QSO has any responsibility for
transmitting any information in a way that guarantees its complete and
accurate reception.    The receiver is solely responsible for getting the
information however he can.   So it's natural for people to just use the
spotting network if that's a more reliable source than what they can hear
via radio.

If so, there's lots of techniques that a station might use to improve its
score, e.g.
- never send its callsign unless there's nothing better to do, like when
there's no callers
- send only what it is required, and as fast as possible.  Crank the keyer
up to 60+ wpm.   Speak as fast as possible and never use phonetics.
- ignore any requests from the other station to send its call, make a
repeat transmission, QRS for a less-skilled op or for propagation issues,
or do anything else that will take some time. Just go on to the next caller.

I've experienced all of those behaviors.

So, that's where we differ - I think that both sides of a QSO are jointly
responsible for performing an exchange of information, with each side
successfully getting their pieces of information into the other's log.   We
need skills to transmit completely and accurately as well as receive.

If the concept of a penalty is unpalatable, it's still possible to use the
scoring mechanism to reward completion of exchanges.   E.G., You only get
credit for a Q if you copied the other guy's transmission completely and
accurately, AND he similarly copied yours.   Only then is the exchange

/Jack de K3FIV

On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 11:49 AM, Radio K0HB <kzerohb at gmail.com> wrote:

> Let me preface this posting with two points which I feel are utterly
> fundamental to RadioSport contesting.
> Point 1)  Contesting should reward my "Radioman" skills.
> Counterpoint 1)  Less skilled operation should result in less reward.
> Point 2)  Punishment should be awarded for violation of rules.  Penalties
> are punishment.
> Counterpoint 2)  Punishment ("penalties") should NOT be awarded for lack
> of skill.
> Having said that.......
> I am responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the information that
> I copy from the "other" station.  If I copy it correctly, I am rewarded
> with a "good contact".  If I don't get it correct, then I am awarded ZERO
> credit for that exchange.  If I am "NIL", I get no credit.  See "Point 1".
> The "other" station is responsible for the accuracy of the information
> that he copies from me.  If he copies it poorly, or depends on some outside
> crutch, he should is NOT rewarded.  He isn't punished by further penalty,
> he simply does not get credit.  See "Point 2".
> It is time that contests quit using punishment as some sort of social
> engineering tool to raise our skill level.
> Reserve punishment for "lawbreakers", not "less skilled".
> For the reasons above, I am opposed to the penalty-ridden proposal (below)
> from K3FIV.
> 73, de Hans, K0HB
> -----Original Message----- From: Jack Haverty.
> Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 5:16 PM
> To: k5zd at charter.net
> Cc: questions at cqww.com ; Contest Reflector
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] CQ WW Rules preview
> The primary reason for resistance to the ID rule seems to be that more
> frequent IDing would take time and therefore reduce your score.   Perhaps
> it's worth thinking about how the rules might be structured so that more
> frequent IDing would improve scores rather than reducing them, and thereby
> encourage frequent IDs?
> For example, right now a QSO which is a NIL results in a loss of that QSO
> and one other.   But since most participants don't send in a log, many such
> NILs are not detected and don't hurt the score at all.   It's a pinprick
> penalty for your failure to communicate.
> Consider the other extreme - where a single NIL would result in a
> disqualification.   Getting a NIL would be a fatal penalty.
> Somewhere between these extremes, an appropriate penalty for NILs would
> encourage people to make especially sure that both you and the other guy
> copied callsigns correctly.   Sending your callsign more frequently would
> reduce your "NIL rate" and thereby improve your score.   Your contest
> strategy would have to trade off the time spent in sending your call versus
> the likelihood that the other guy didn't receive it accurately, by whatever
> means.
> As a strawman -- perhaps a NIL should result in the loss of 2*(1/Nth) of
> your overall score, where N is the number of Qs you logged.   Also, perhaps
> that "NIL rate" should be computed to reflect the fact that many logs are
> not submitted.
> So if, for example, you log 100 Qs with one NIL, and only 50 of those other
> stations submitted a log, your NIL rate would be 1/50 rather than 1/100.
> This essentially assumes that if you got 1 NIL out of the 50 logged, you
> probably also got 1 NIL out of the other 50 as well.   If you logged 100 Qs
> worth 1 point each, and got 1 NIL out of 50 logs received, your score would
> be 100*(1/50)*2 or 96.
> If that's not enough of a penalty to make IDing important, just change the
> numbers.   Let people optimize their behavior as they see fit to achieve
> the best score, and let the score reflect their demonstrated ability to
> communicate accurately and efficiently.
> IMHO, radio contesting is about communications, and the metrics we use to
> measure proficiency should reflect communications skills.   Communications
> is about exchanging information, not just typing (or clicking on)
> callsigns.   Getting the two-way information exchanged is the
> responsibility of both ends of the QSO.   Scores should measure the
> proficiency in doing that.
> With all of the prefills, spotting networks, databases, and other such
> tools in common use, there's very little left that we actually communicate
> in the exchange of a typical contest.   The callsign is one of the last
> pieces of information that we actually exchange.  It's the proof that we
> actually communicated, even if it's not always communicated by radio.
> If I know my score is going to be hit hard if I fail to communicate my
> information to the other guy accurately, I'll likely try harder to make
> sure he got it.
> Isn't that what communications is all about...?
> 73,
> /Jack Haverty K3FIV K3FIV Kay Three Eff Eye Vee   QSL?
> On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 9:03 AM, Randy Thompson K5ZD <k5zd at charter.net>
> wrote:
>  A public preview period for the CQ WW DX Contest rules for 2014 is
>> currently
>> underway until July 1.  You can see the proposed rule changes at
>> http://cqww.com/blog/?p=337
>> While we enjoy and monitor the discussion here on the reflector, the best
>> way to contribute feedback or questions is via the email address provided
>> on
>> the blog.
>> 73
>> Randy Thompson, K5ZD
>> Director - CQ WW DX Contest
>> web:  <http://www.cqww.com/> www.cqww.com
>> Facebook:  <http://www.facebook.com/cqwwdx> www.facebook.com/cqwwdx
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