Re: Encouraging Casual Participation in Contests

Gary Hinson

Quite a few contests have ‘100W to wires or a tribander’ sections already, as well as QRP, QRO, single/multi-op, single/multi-TX etc.


Quite a few contests have distance-related scoring, particularly on VHF and up.


Quite a few contests have bonuses and multipliers, and QSY-after-each-QSO rules, to encourage searching for other contestants rather than just sitting on a single frequency working all-comers.


Some contests have ERP limits, and sometimes quite specific rules about antenna height, length, number of elements etc.


Some contests offer awards for rookies, and some only reward winning stations once within a certain number of events.  A few take the opposite line: if your call appears N times in succession on the trophy, then it’s yours to keep.


Most contests today allow DXcluster assistance, albeit some with separate sections for unassisted. 


Increasingly, contest rules either allow or ban various forms of remote operating.


Most contests offer numerous awards for different positions, categories and criteria (e.g. ‘the most accurate log’ is a challenge, even for the world’s top contesters!).


And so forth.


Clearly there is no shortage of approaches.  They all address different objectives.


So what is, or rather are, your objectives?  ‘Encouraging casual participation in contests’ as per the subject line is vague.  I might ask what is ‘casual’?  What is ‘participation’?  What are ‘contests’?  Also, WHY select that specific objective (and not various others)?  What is the reason or rationale?  What is the vision or desired outcome of doing this, aside from the obvious?  😊



Gary  ZL2iFB


From: ARRL-Contesting@... <ARRL-Contesting@...> On Behalf Of Gilbert Baron
Sent: 11 January 2021 06:45
To: ARRL-Contesting@...
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Contesting] Encouraging Casual Participation in Contests


Interesting about 100 W but you will still have enormously tough going because of the big antennas. One possibility as an ERP limit. Problem is it would be hard to calculate and enforce.


Outlook Laptop Gil W0MN

Hierro candente, batir de repente

44.08226N 92.51265W EN34rb


From: ARRL-Contesting@... <ARRL-Contesting@...> On Behalf Of Dave KD2SGM
Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2021 09:29
To: ARRL-Contesting@...
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Contesting] Encouraging Casual Participation in Contests



As a new ham I could not agree more. I appreciate all the comments from everyone but your comprehensive list seems to capture quite a bit. I’m hopeful that our new CEO, David Minister NA2AA, and avid contester, who has stated one of his priorities is to bring the ARRL up to speed and change the direction to fit the amateur community of today may take up some of these suggestions.

On a separate note and not to fix the problem without fully defining the question, perhaps we can have more contests that limit power to 100 watts to help foster involvement? Tough competing sometimes with just 100 watts and a wire. 

BTW I submit all contacts to LOTW, contest or not.


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