[VHFcontesting] VHF+ Contesting Rule Changes

Ward Silver hwardsil at gmail.com
Fri Jan 2 13:24:38 EST 2015

I am not sure I would want to see the actual diagram...something about 
sausage being made :-)

The current rules have grown incrementally over the years with the 
technology changing far faster than the verbiage.  This is hardly unique 
to the ARRL but the drawn out, multi-threaded process for rule changes 
pretty much guarantees the rules will be well behind the needs of the 
community.  It's not a good idea to have the rules changing at every 
shift in the wind either.  A re-balancing of the process is sorely 
needed and has been for a long time.

Definitions are quite important and there are few except those sprinkled 
about here and there.  Perhaps with the Centennial behind us, that would 
be a good project - to collect, reorganize, and re-state the rules of 
the world's largest radiosport program in a more understandable format.  
There's no reason for three overlapping sets of rules for any contest - 
it's an artifact of the paper era during which the League's processes 
were designed.

 > it seems to me that implementing these rules now will cause confusion 
with what the Ad-Hoc committee is doing, recommending, or has done.

Perhaps, but as I observed in the first post, anything the ad-hoc 
committee comes up with is at least a year away from implementation, 
probably longer.  With a more engaged Contest Branch Manager and no 
competing year-long special events, there will be a higher 
signal-to-noise ratio for the process, I'm sure.

73, Ward N0AX

On 1/2/2015 11:37 AM, James Duffey wrote:
> Thanks Ward for the clarification. To me, at least, this points out what a convoluted path ARRL contest rules changes and implementation take from inception to implementation. It is no wonder people get a bit confused during the process, particularly if it is drawn out as how this one has been. We have all seen the High School Civics posters on “How a Bill becomes Law”. It would be nice to see something similar for how a rule becomes changed or implemented in an ARRL contest.
> I still have a big concern about the new rules as there is no definition of assistance in the new rules. I suspect that the restriction in the ARRL General rules:
> 	• 3.14. In contests where spotting nets are permissible, spotting your own station or requesting another station to spot you is not permitted.
> is the only assistance guideline that applies. So all forms of assistance appear to apply except for self spotting.  It is clear that the ARRL General Rules for ARRL Contests Above 50 MHz has not been updated to reflect assistance in the January contest. That will cause some confusion.
> Without any guidance, I suspect that most participants will assume that the most liberal application of assistance applies. If left to one’s own judgement there will be a lot of differing implementations, which will leave people competing in the same class with different rules.
> As you say, the timing of the rules changes could have been better. Not only is the lead time short, it seems to me that implementing these rules now will cause confusion with what the Ad-Hoc committee is doing, recommending, or has done. - Duffey KK6MC

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