[VHFcontesting] Where are the Radiosports fans? [was: Roving and Hamfests]

Ev Tupis w2ev at arrl.net
Thu Sep 2 07:10:25 EDT 2004

An open letter to those who supervise organizations (the executives, not the 
general staff) who sponsor Contests (and VHF Contests):

Contests vs. Radiosports

Why are there sports fans (people who love to watch and intensely follow sports 
to the point of buying merchandise and getting into heated arguments about 
"their" team, even though they are incapable of participating themselves), but 
no radiosports fans?  The answer to that question begins to uncover the 
underlying symptoms that individually mean little, but form an interesting 
picture if taken as a group.  Two (of m-a-n-y) of these symptoms include...

1. Mailing lists visiting and revisiting what is "allowed" vs. "disqualifiable" 
contesting behavior, ad nauseum.

    Succinctly (leaving out much detail): In the sports world, there are
    rule books, commissioners, standardized and well-known review methods
    and the reasons for disqualification are made public.  This then forms
    the basis of a level playing field which allows for uniform understanding
    of the rules AND a forum for change if some circumstance requires it.

2. The "decline" (or relative decline) in interest in Amateur Radio in general.

    Succinctly, we gotta get over this "public service is our only value"
    mentality.  The world around us is entertainment driven.  That is why
    Elvis Presley made more money than did *any* of the army brass that
    supervised him -- but when pressed into service, he was willing to do
    so, eagerly. (details omitted)

Consider this: An organization with a Radiosports Commissioner, who is 
responsible (and PAID commensurately) for m-a-r-k-e-t-i-n-g.  This person is the 
highest ranking individual member of the organization, after all, the viability 
of the organization relies on their making it an exciting place to be in the 
eyes of those that don't already think so (leveraging public perception into 
growth of the organization and its activities are this persons primary focus).

Somewhere along the line, someone in authority needs to step back and ask 
themselves the question, "Why does Major League __(fill in your favorite 
sport)___ command federal and state money to further it's interests yet Amateur 
Radio {I hate that moniker, by the way...it exhudes visions that don't market 
well in the 21st Century} is relegated to backup emergency communication status 
right after disasters...then "get out of the way" status when the feds arrive?".

The long-term future of Amateur Radio (and Radiosports) is embedded in the 
issues addressed in this note...provided they are addressed in a way that is NOT 
shackled by "the way things are today".  It is time to reinvent ourselves.

...back to the regularly schedlued chatter...

Ev Tupis, W2EV

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