[VHFcontesting] Re: VHFcontesting rules - hmmmm!

Dave N6NZ n6nz at n6nz.net
Thu Sep 5 14:50:30 EDT 2002

Sheeseh, rover rule controversy again.  I'll try to repress both the yawn 
and the rising voice and keep my comments "between the rails".

Back when the rule change went through, I was an active rover.  I was an 
active participant in the special e-mail reflector that was set up to 
discuss the rover scoring issue.  The consensus of the reflector, it should 
be noted, was ignored in the end.

Gene's summary below is pretty much right on.  But I can't resist getting 
on a soap box for a few minutes. So here are a few comments, from somebody 
who won the Pacific division 3 years in a row in June, under the original 
multiplicative rules, the replacement stupid rules, and the newer slightly 
less dumb rules.  Best I ever did over all is 13th (this from the west coast).

First, a couple of generalizations.  Most certainly exceptions exist.

1. Note that in the East Coast, "captive rovers" are quite common.  Big 
clubs put them together and send them out.  As far as I know, they will 
work anybody else, too, but tend not to simply because they point back to 
home base first.  In some cases, they use simple equipment with weird 
offsets up the the uWave bands, so it isn't really simple for others to 
work them.  For the record, I don't get upset about captive rovers.

2. In the West, the predominant species is the "Western Independent Rover" 
-- we are lone wolves that go out and have fun and work all -- we are not 
affiliated with big club stations.

Now some opinions.

1. Grid circling and grid dancing suck.  They are frowned upon by "real" 
rovers.  It was felt in the time when the rules were rewritten that peer 
pressure would stop it.  I argued such.  I was wrong.  Grid dancing needs 
to be outlawed.  I've seen hard working rovers lose to grid dancers and it 
turns my stomach.  No station other than the rover benefits from grid 
dancing.  They don't work many other stations in the contest. Actual 
wording of a rule that outlaws grid dancing is hard to come by -- but 
nonetheless is should be outlawed.  The simplest and most fool proof is to 
not count rover-to-rover QSO's.  Draconian, but effective.

2. Contest rules should be written to maximize the net fun of all 
participants.  Weirdo rules that encourage people to only work a few other 
folks and not be looking for the vast majority of participants do not serve 
this goal.  Applying this maxim to rover rules, they should encourage 
activation of hard-to-get band-grids, and working everybody.

3. The best scoring scheme I have seen suggested is that all stations, 
rovers and non-rovers, should be able to count as a multiplier all grids 
worked, per band, and *also* to count as a multiplier a band-grid that they 
*activate*  (as measure by at least one QSO on that band). That is, if you 
don't work somebody in grid X on 902, but you work somebody on 902 while 
YOU are in grid X, you can claim grid X multiplier.   This sets up the best 
incentives for rovers to activate rare band-grids.  The current rules 
reward cruising population centers -- big whoopdeedoo.

4. Rule nit: Club aggregate scoring in the club competition (January, 
mainly) adds a wrinkle in that it isn't simply "rovers against rovers so 
who cares how you score it".  The old-original multiplicative scoring had 
the effect of giving rovers arbitrarily huge absolute scores.  No problem 
when just ranking rovers, but it makes the club competition wacko because 
now you win by fielding rovers which will dominate your clubs point 
total.  Not what anybody intended.  So, anyway this pitfall needs to be 
avoided, and the proposal in #3 accomplishes that because a rover score 
will not be outsized compared with any other station the club puts on.

Anyway, that is my take on the whole rover rule history thing.  I was 
disappointed at the time that the CAC voting was contstructed in such a way 
that the outcome was essentially forced.  Some very good scoring proposals 
were not on the ballot, including the one outlined in #3 above (not mine, 
buy the way, as I recall Zack Lau invented it but I may be wrong).  Politics.

73, Dave N6NZ CM87xi (home) CM97xm (the "ranch").
See you all in the CQP!  www.cqp.org

At 10:05 PM 9/4/02 -0400, Eugene Zimmerman wrote:
>Donn has it right.  The changes in the rover rules have nothing to do with
>the desires of the rovers but everything to do with the politics of club
>scores.  If you all remember, there was a much more onerous rule in place
>for a short time promulgated by the ARRL Awards Committee which has the
>final say on contest rules, that was put in place with no input from either
>the community or the CAC, as I remember it.  That resulted in a big and
>justified uproar from the rovers. The current rule is a compromise crafted
>by the CAC with constituent input but with the direction from the Awards
>committee that going back to the old original rules was NOT an option.
>73  Gene  W3ZZ
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Donn Baker" <wa2voi at minnmicro.com>
>To: "John Geiger" <johngeig at yahoo.com>; "paul goble" <goblefam at swbell.net>;
><vhf at w6yx.stanford.edu>; <vhfcontesting at contesting.com>
>Cc: <vhf at w6yx.stanford.edu>
>Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2002 5:09 PM
>Subject: [VHFcontesting] Re: VHFcontesting rules - hmmmm!
> > At 09:17 03-09-02 -0700, John Geiger wrote:
> > >Can anyone inform me as to why the rule change?
> >
> > In the early/mid 90's, a couple of Rovers in NE did a perfectly legal
> > in the January Contest:  they "grid circled."  That is, A was in grid 1,
> > while B was in 1, 2, 3, and then 4.  A moved to grid 2, and B circled 1,
> > 3, 4.  A moved to grid 3; B went 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Finally, A went to grid
> > 4, and B did it all again.
> >
> > They racked up HUGE scores (> 1.5 million each, if I remember correctly).
> >
> > Let me emphasise that it was (and still is) a perfectly legal way to
> >
> > What appears to have happend, however, is that one or more "contest
> > got all bent out of shape because the Rovers had higer scores than they
> > did.  NOTE that ROVERS do NOT compete with SINGLE OPS or MULTI-OPS: only
> > other Rovers.  The Rovers also contributed to a Club score, so that Club
> > won over other, much larger clubs.
> >
> > Bottom line is that the Contest Committe appears to have been bullied into
> > making rules changes.  I cannot speak for all Rovers, of course, but I was
> > adamently opposed to the rules changes, as was (at least) the majority of
> > Rovers.  I do not recall a SINGLE ROVER who said, "This needs to be
> > stopped. Please change the rules."
> >
> > Opinion, obviously, but the basics are a matter of record.
> >
> > Flame away.
> >
> > 73 Donn
> > WA2VOI ex-/R
> >
> >
> >
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