Re: Encouraging Casual Participation in Contests

Gary Hinson

In those two emails alone, I spot nine or ten explicit or implied contest objectives:


  1. “Equality”, whatever that means (I haven’t read Kurt Vonnegut’s book Ken: does he mean equalization is an edict, a paradox, a joke or what?)
  2. Encourage barefoot (or more specifically 100W) ops to enter
  3. Encourage barefoot-to-wires ops to enter
  4. Encourage up-skilling in being able to work DX
  5. Ditto,  with barefoot to wires
  6. Get the big guns to give the little pistols and peashooters more of a chance
  7. Having fun (whatever that means, again)
  8. Level playing field implying fairness and equal opportunities for all participants (see #1)
  9. Get more casual participants
  10. Ditto, but also persuade them to enter
  11. Whet entrants’ appetites to enter other contests too


I think we’ve mentioned various contests, categories or overlays that address all of those already. 


Are you perhaps hinting at a further objective to cater for all those (and more) in one event?  That would be a Challenge [pun intended!].


So far on this thread, we’ve seen several inputs along the line of “I only have a basic setup, so I can’t compete against the big guns.  It’s SO unfair!  I’d like a category or contest specifically for those of us with basic setups which I define as [barefoot, wires, whatever] …” implying “… so that I can win for once!”  While I understand that perspective, it tends towards the ‘politically correct’ philosophy that there should be no winners, no losers, only participants or players … which, to me, misses the key point of contesting.  The competitive aspect – WIN OR LOSE – is the source of a lot of fun.  It’s not ALL about winning, although that is the obvious target.  Someone touched on it in the sense of entering contests “to do better than I ever have before” – the idea that we are competing with ourselves as much as those big guns.



Gary  ZL2iFB


From: ARRL-Contesting@... <ARRL-Contesting@...> On Behalf Of Ken K6MR
Sent: 11 January 2021 11:58
To: ARRL-Contesting@...
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Contesting] Encouraging Casual Participation in Contests


Seems this topic comes up every year.  If this is what you really want, then let’s just adopt a system similar to that described in “Harrison Bergeron” by Vonnegut.  Everyone is equal. Full Stop.


Ken K6MR


From: Dave KD2SGM
Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2021 14:32
To: ARRL-Contesting@...
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Contesting] Encouraging Casual Participation in Contests


Lots of great back and forth re: 100 watts and a wire. We may have gotten a bit off topic but my point in raising the question about more 100 watt contests was to encourage those of us running barefoot with a wire to participate. I know from experience that it can be frustrating to be in a pile up and not being heard for a very long time. I stick with it though. I don’t score well but I have fun. Perhaps if we leveled the playing field a bit we may get more casual contest participants. Who knows, it may whet their appetite to try other contests. 


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