The 1998 Sweepstakes Results Controversy
"Mistakes Were Made"
When I read the write-up for Collegiate Championship as part of the
November Sweepstakes results published in the July, 1999 issue of
QST, I was
shocked to see several problems. Unfortunately, these were not just simple
typos or transcription errors, or even something like the "two-zeros" problem
that plagued the CW results published just the month before. These were much
worse. These were arbitrary changes in the rules and scoring of the School
Radio Clubs category! We all participated under one set of rules, and then
the ARRL Contest Branch
decided to report our efforts under a completely different set of rules!
To summarize the most serious grievances:
- Complete disregard for the breakdown of the School Radio Clubs
The 1998 rules subdivided the School Radio Clubs Category into: a) Colleges
and Universities, and b) Technical Schools categories. In reporting the
contest results, Colleges, Universities, and Technical Schools were all
lumped together into a single summary table. The
Muskingum Area Technical College
WD8DQA should have been recognized for winning their Sweepstakes
entry class, but they were not.
- Reporting a "combined score."
In the 1998 rules, there were no rules for any kind of combined
or total score for any entry class. School Radio Clubs entries
were reported in a summary table that listed a "total score" created
by simply adding the school's CW and Phone scores together. There was
not even an indication of which modes each school operated. This is
no different than giving the title to the entrant who claims to have had
the most fun, which was also not a clause in the contest rules.
- Reporting entrants that were clearly not eligible for the
The 1998 rules made it clear that only schools of higher education
were eligible to participate: colleges, universities, and technical
schools. And yet, the 1998 results include the scores of two entrants
claiming to represent high schools. This is like letting
a Single Operator High Power station enter the Low Power category -
if a station is obviously ineligible for a category, it should not be
permitted to enter it.
If contesters cannot trust the contest sponsor to even obey its own rules,
why should the contest sponsor expect the participants to obey them?
Shouldn't we be able to count upon the League not to make arbitrary changes
to contest rules after they have been published in QST? Does this not
affect our ability to trust the sponsors of the November Sweepstakes to
accurately report the results?
I encourage everyone to contact the ARRL contest manager Dan N1ND at
firstname.lastname@example.org and express your feelings
on this topic.
Send comments to:
Ken Harker WM5R
Last updated: 6 November 2011