[SECC] Complaint on WAG and Swiss Contests

Scott Straw scottstraw at mindspring.com
Wed Oct 20 06:40:30 PDT 2010

-----Original Message (heavily edited)-----
From: David  Thompson
...They allow CW and mixed categories but not a single band or SSB Only...I just do not understand the reasoning behind no SSB only...The trend to marginalize SSB Contesting has been around for a long time... 
73 Dave K4JRB

As a plaque winner in '08 for SSB ONLY ROVER in the Ga QSO Party, I agree whole heartedly with your sentiments.  Not that winning a plaque was my sole reason for being SSB Only, I had no idea that the category existed at the time, but the "new blood" for the contesting sub-group of the Ham Radio hobby is going to come from mic holders, not paddle swipers.

I think of it as a tiered system - mic holders at level one, Digital Voice Message senders at level two, keyboard CW at level three, and paddle swipers at level four.  There may be more levels, and blurred lines between the levels, but you get the idea.  I personally am somewhere between level one and three, having never used DVMs, and lacking the ERP to be a serious SSB station.  Having observed world-class mult-op CW only contesters, I can see the lure to faster exchanges and higher QSO totals, but you gotta start somewhere, and good SSB ops can get respectable totals as well.

It is my contention that general activity or geographically focused contests only hurt themselves by discouraging competitors through limitations on accepted modes. I think once you've made your point, if the organizers lack the wisdom to see it's validity, let it go.  (insert analogy about pearls and swine, arguing with fools, or mud wrestling with pigs here)

My suggestion would be to take a large black magic marker and draw a line through those small-minded contests that lack a SSB only category and focus on participation in the general interest events sponsored by the more advanced thinkers.

I'll be listen for your voice on the airwaves,

Scott, KB4KBS

Scott Straw, CTS-D, CTS-I
Atlanta, Georgia USA

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