[CQ-Contest] ow to change rules in a Contest - MAR

Ken Low kenke3x at gmail.com
Mon Jan 26 15:18:35 EST 2015

W3DQ wrote:

"KE3X ... took the lead plate when it came to the new SSB Sprint."

To clarify for the benefit of CQ-Contest readership, there are two separate issues being discussed in this thread:   MAR sub-sections and DC.   They are quite different.   Stations in MAR are grouped together but at least their geographies are included in the rules.  I am not qualified to comment on that.   

DC is a different case - our geography is not recognized at all by the rules.   DC stations are considered to be something else - the State of Maryland.   About that, I do have a strong opinion.

Yesterday I wrote a letter to the SSB Sprint Committee making the following points:

1.   I thanked them for attempting to revive the event, which I have enjoyed in the past

2.   They now have a blank slate, and can rewrite the rules anyway they choose.   They have already begun to do this, by adding KH6 as a multiplier.

3.  Adding KH6 as a 'North American Multiplier' (although it's not in NA) while not recognizing DC as its own multiplier (although it is in NA but geographically distinct from Maryland) is inconsistent and makes no sense

4.   The argument that 'there are not enough stations in DC' does not hold water (if it ever did).   There are at least 10 active DC calls now, the data is all on 3830.   

On this last point, in 2014 ARRL 10-Meter we had 5 stations on.   It's well known we make an extra effort to activate our stations for those events where DC is a separate multiplier.   If we can't do it personally, we have a Guest Op do it.

OK let's rephrase this another way, so you'll understand where us DC folks are coming from on this ...

Imagine a new contest came along and the rules said to everyone in Texas:  "Now Texas counts as Oklahoma."   Or "Now California counts as Nevada."   Imagine further this is not for any logical reason - just because the contest sponsor said so.

How do you think the contesters in Texas or California would react to that?   The contest sponsor effectively just told them they did not exist.   Don't you think those guys would feel a mite disrespected and would challenge it?

We are not making a political statement here - we are making a geographic statement.   We do not live in the state of Maryland.   For us, the current situation is a Lose-Lose.   In our exchange, if we send 'MD' we are lying about where we live, and violating the event rules.   If we send 'DC' (as the rules dictate) the other station will get a logging error since 'DC' will not be accepted by their software.

From personal experience, I can tell you this leads to A) a NIL (if the other station can't figure out how to log it at all) or B) an on-air argument about where I live, or what my exchange should have been).   Either way, it lowers my score and reduces my fun factor.

This is further compounded since the QSY rule requires one station to immediately vacate the frequency.   I would rather be racking up new QSO's, not explaining to people how to log the one I just finished!

Again - I am happy to see the SSB Sprint being revived.   This is an easy problem to fix - add DC as a multiplier.


Ken KE3X
Washington DC

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