[CQ-Contest] Paper certificates

Ron Notarius W3WN wn3vaw at verizon.net
Mon Aug 31 17:03:21 EDT 2015

I have mixed feelings on the issue of paper certificates.

On the one hand, I know all too well that costs for printing and postage
keep rising.  And that not everyone who earns a certificate may necessarily
want one, or have a place to put on.

That said, there is still something to be said for getting that envelope in
the mail.  Even if it means little to nothing to anyone else, for most
people (and especially the ones new to contesting, or new to winning a
category), it marks an achievement that often not easy to obtain.

Surely there can be some middle ground found?

Give anyone who wants the option to "opt out" of a certificate to do so.
Give anyone who wants to download a PDF of their certificate (or equivalent
digital format as appropriate) the opportunity to do so.

Neither of these options costs a dime in postage, and outside of the initial
setup or programming, little to no cost to maintain.

But... give someone who wants a certificate the opportunity to obtain one.
In some cases, this may mean a REASONABLE fee to cover postage and handling.

In other words... in some of the ARRL contests, winning a section in a
particular power/assistance category may be relatively easy (such as you're
the only entrant).  The first time, that certificate is meaningful; two or
three years in a row, maybe not so much.  But, winning a Division or even a
continent in your category, that's something else again.

Just something for consideration.

And... if a sponsor is willing to cover the costs for creating and shipping
certificates and plaques, all the better!

73, ron w3wn

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