[VHFcontesting] The heart of the matter...

James Ewen jewen at shaw.ca
Thu Feb 26 20:33:42 EST 2004

As a newbie in VHF contesting, and contesting in general, I think I have
finally figured out what the big deal is...

The rover problems are not really a concern to the rover community
specifically, but the heart of the matter is the club scoring issue. It is
simply the fact that the rules allow rovers to accumulate large scores, and
by association the club they belong to, as stated below:

> As far as contributing to club scores:  As long as typical rover scores
> are at roughly the same level as typical fixed-station scores, I see no
> reason to not include them in a club score.  However if rover scores are
> disproportionately larger than fixed-station scores, then the club
> competition degenerates to one of creating as many rovers as possible,

So this really is the foundation to the concerns with the rules as applied
to a rover. I can see now where people are concerned. If a rover can score
much higher than a home station, then it makes sense that everyone in the
club should go roving to accumulate the best aggregate score for their club.

> Given a solid definition of grid circling, the rules committee can chose
> do two things based on the log results:
> 1.  Disqualify those that exceed the threshold.
> 2.  Create an unlimited rover category where anything goes that does not
> contribute to club scores nor compete with "regular" rovers.

Why go to the trouble of defining the activity and writing a rule to
eliminate it?

Using a grid change rule that is similar to the band change rules in some HF
contests for multi-single operators, you make grid circling unappealing.

> I wouldn't want to place a limit on the time a Rover has to wait before
> leaving a grid.  That would be to restrictive on normal Roving.

Let the rovers run through the grids as fast as possible...

> For example, if you place a 15 minute rule before activating the next grid
> when I get to a 4 grid corner it's going to take a full hour for me to
> that corner.  That's too restrictive on 'run and gun' type Rovers.
> However, a key to grid circling is for each Rover to BACKTRACK through
> of the grids to make sure that each of the Rovers has worked the others in
> and FROM every grid.  This means that each Rover has to make multiple
> through the grids.
> So, if instead of a minimum time in grid rule, we go with a minimum time
> before RE-ENTERING a grid, we have stopped circling without being overly
> restrictive to normal Rovers.  For example, placing a 1 hour time limit
> before you can re-enter a grid would allow a 'run and gun' Rover to work a
> grid corner without slowing him down.  However, a pack of circling Rovers
> would only get the 4 mults and 4 QSO's per band, instead of the current
> Unless they want to take the 4 hours it would take to go back through each
> grid.  Which would efficiently slow them down as well.

Which is what I have been advocating all along. If the rover can not get
through the multiple combinations in an efficient manner, they will not
attempt to circle. Groups can still go out and hit the corners... it's just
going to take them a long time to get all combinations and permutations
between themselves. If they do sit and wait it out, there's a perfect
opportunity to work other stations.

There will still be people complaining about wanting to play hopscotch back
and forth across a grid line, but there has to be give and take. I'm sure
the multi-single operators would love to be able to skip around the bands at
will, but the rules for their entry category say they have to stay on that
band for 10 minutes. I'm certain that a simple 10-15 minute re-entry rule
would slow down the grid circling.

Don't try and eliminate it, simply make it difficult to achieve a high score
using the technique.

> The problem I see, is that having 3 very well equipped stations
> who are primarily working only themselves robs the "real" contest of many
> opportunities to make the contest more fun.  They are off in their own
> exploiting their interpretation of the rules and the current scoring
> to generate some numbers on a piece of paper (or web page).  They are not
> contributing to the overall activity in the contest.

They are contibuting to the contest, but in a very limited way. However, add
them into a club score, and now you're going to get people upset...

> The question is, do we want to discourage this type of activity?

And if so, what simple yet definitive way can it be done?

> The same logic follows for captive rovers.

I think this one is going to be the sticker... it is very difficult to
define the category with out identifying people that have not attempted to
act as a captive rover.


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