[CQ-Contest] Convergence and the future of Radiosport

kd4d at comcast.net kd4d at comcast.net
Sun May 15 20:40:28 EDT 2016

Good day:

I think that the issue of cheating in single operator categories by using "Assistance" should not a driver for determining the future of competitive radiosport.  I think the current proposals to eliminate Single Operator categories has too narrow a focus on eliminating only one of many difficult to detect methods of cheating (i.e. "Assistance").

Technology and connectivity is creating a new world of competition and fun in Amateur Radio and Radiosport.  We are only seeing the beginning and the trend is NOT going to stop.

I think the question becomes "Is there still a place in Radiosport for the old-fashioned idea of two people communicating using radio waves" - or is that now obsolete?

I suggest the following three issues as an alternative for discussion.  

1)  Should operator skill be a fundamental part of competition in radiosport?  If so, what are the elements of operator skill that should be considered?
----I believe the contrast between the rules for WRTC and the rules for the "Unlimited" category in most of the major contests clearly illustrates many of the factors involved in this issue.

2)  Is communication via radio waves a fundamental part of competition in radiosport?  If so, what is the role of radio waves?
-----Consider that at least one contest allows remote receivers under limited circumstances (CQ 160 Meter Contest) and the "convergence" of amateur radio.  The internet is moving part of the traditional "QSO" process from radio waves to the internet.  For example, some VHF/UHF contests are allowing use of internet chat rooms and self-spotting to arrange QSOs.

3)  Is communication between people a fundamental part of competition in radiosport?
-----The only contest that I am aware of that restricts robot operators from competition is the Single Operator Category in the CQ World-Wide Contest.  Are there any others?  Should there be any limitations on this technology?

I think these are the fundamental issues facing us and that they underlie the ceaseless proposals to eliminate Single Operator categories in Radiosport.  Fortunately, I think the Single Operator categories can exist quite well among the Unlimited and Multi-Operator categories and the increasing convergence between radio waves and the internet - if the contest sponsors continue to maintain Single Operator categories.


Mark, KD4D

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