WRTC 2006 Answers for Rules and Selection Criteria

This statement was posted to the WRTC 2006 email reflector on 20 December 2005 to provide a final answer after much public discussion.


20 December 2005

In order to clarify the rules and selection criteria developed by the WRTC 2006 Committee, we are circulating this report to all the friends who have an interest in WRTC 2006.

Philosophy of WRTC 2006

The WRTC 2006 Steering Committee approved the primary aspects of the philosophy of our WRTC 2006 in December 2004.

  • To optimize the use of accumulated knowledge from the previous WRTCs.
  • To encourage more global participation from all Continents in WRTC 2006.
  • To distribute the chances of competitor selection world-wide.
  • To use “published results” as the exclusive factor for selection
  • To provide a totally open process for selection
  • To establish weighting factors for applications by categories of scores.
  • To divide populated areas into regions to increase representation and reduce geographical disadvantages
  • To assure participation of the younger generation in the competition.
  • To upgrade the WRTC stations in order to compensate for distance. Brazil is too far from the main ham populations – a beam will be used for 40 meters and equivalent amplifiers on all band.
  • To address some of the concerns of the contest community about the WRTC competition, adapting the rules to those requests
  • Creation of a new category Multi-National Multi-Single (M/N M/S)
  • The use of the WRTC 2006 event as an instrument to promote ham radio activity in Brazil.
  • To combine the event with cultural Brazilian shows.
  • To promote tourism and entertainment for families of the participants and other hams not involved with the competition.
  • To accommodate the visitors in a 5-Star hotel for a very convenient price.
  • To take advantage of the out-of-season schedule.

Development of the organizing plan is intended to follow these guidelines.

We know that much more could be included, but we also know the difficulties and our limitations. In order to follow those guidelines we had many meetings with the people directly involved with the previous WRTCs. We launched the initial rules in beginning of 2005, opening a window of time for the contest community to make suggestions to improve the plan. At the same time friends involved with the previous WRTCs offered their support to clarify the text. The decision to provide weighting factors for different categories, division of the highest ham populations into regions, and a totally open process created extra complexity in the rules.

So let’s proceed to the major questions:

1) What principle defined the selected contests?

We decided to use the two major international contests CQWW and WPX.

We added WAEDC recognizing the popularity and excellent administration by DARC. ARRL DX was included for the same reason (one from Europe another one from USA). In addition to those four contests we included IARU (the main competition under which the WRTC is conducted) and the Sweepstakes and NA Sprint in response to suggestions from USA contest community. We understand that some others could be included, but this is a first step.

We knew that the maximum number of rating points per contest of 500 (CQWW, WPX), 450 (IARU, SPRINT and SS), 400 (ARRL and WAEDC) would cause a lot of discussion, but the WRTC 2006 committee must select the factors we judge most adequate. At the same time we should develop a way to evaluate the effects of these factors for future competitions.

2) Why the limit of the eight highest scores from the 33+ possible contests?

Even for the most active contesters it is difficult to make a large number of competitive entries over a three-year period. It is not easy to combine, job, family and hobby responsibilities. The flexibility to choose eight scores from the 33+ minimizes the impact of other rules and selection criteria. i.e., points per contest, weighting factors, limitation on MO scores, region definitions, etc.

3) Why a totally open process?

A selection process doesn’t need to be open to be HONEST. We are completely confident that the previous WRTCs developed different honest ways to select the best contesters in the world for the event. Being in all WRTCs and sharing thoughts with all participants we felt that the contest community would prefer to have an open process. We understand that an open process also results in some unwanted consequences.

  • More complex selection process.
  • More questions to be answered.
  • A higher level of criticism.
  • Listing applicants with their scores might discourage some people from applying, resulting in a lower number of applicants.
  • More work to be done by the committee.

4) Why limit the number of MO scores?

One of the main concerns about MO scores was that an operator could receive more points than would be merited by his or her contribution to the team score. Also we felt that no limit on MO scores would be a penalty for SO. We therefore limited the number of MO scores to 50% of the total scores.

For applicants to the M/N M/S category we will not limit the number of MO scores.

5) How were weighting factors determined?

Our consensus was:

  • SOAB demands the highest level of ability from the operator.
  • The MO category is important to maintaining a high level of contest activity and should not be discounted too deeply.
  • The weighting factor for MO should decrease according to the usual number of operators. So we decided on 0,8 MS, 0,75 M/2 and 0,6 MM.
  • SOSB received a weighting factor of 0,8 due to reduced demand on the operator.
  • LP scores received a further weighting factor of 0,9 and were included recognizing the high level of competition for the leaders in this category.
  • The reduction factor cannot be completely fair to everyone but at least will be equal for every applicant.
  • For Assisted we have 0,9 factor but all Assisted in the same basket independently if they are SOSB, SOAB, or LP

We perfectly understand that every one of us could have a different way to evaluate that but the WRTC 2006 has the responsibility to provide and define a clear and open process to be used equally for all applicants.

6) Why the stepped reduction of points based on finishing place?

It would be much simpler to simply prorate the final points against the first-place score. The problem is that DXpeditions or rare countries produce disproportionately high scores. Compare scores in the following examples:

  • D4, CT3, CN, 3V to with ZS or any other resident African score
  • HC8, 9Y, PJ, P40 to LU or PY
  • KH2 or VK9 to VK or ZL
  • A6, 9K, or 5B to JA

So we came up with a process to gradually reduce the number of points according to the place of finish in order to remove these distortions.

7) Why the division of areas into WRTC 2006 Regions?

There are some high ham populations in large continents or countries with an enormous difference in propagation. The most common examples are USA, Europe and Asia. It is true that this difference in propagation is present on a worldwide basis, but it is impossible to adapt the rules for all situations. We recognize that this is also happening in S. America, Africa and Oceania, but the contest activity has a much lower density there.

This is the general method of allocating representation used by the Olympic games, Soccer, Basketball, and other international sports.

8) Why the score comparison by region?

In order to recognize the importance of Dx-peditions and at the same time minimize the impact of them compared to scores from residents we decided to use the following philosophy:

  • Rating points are calculated based on the top category score in the region from which the score was achieved. I.e. – a DXpedition to Zone 8 is compared against other Zone 8 scores, not scores from the expeditioner’s home region.
  • Rating points are summed for each applicant, regardless of the region from which rating points were acquired.
  • The applicant specifies the region in which his or her total rating points are to be evaluated against other applicants.

In our judgment this system is not perfect but is reasonable.

9) Why upgrade the standard Team setup?

Brazil is quite far from the high-density contest populations.

Aiming to minimize such a disadvantage we decided to add a 2-element mono-band antenna for 40 meters and to try to have an equivalent linear for every team. We must also to take into consideration that July 2006 is at the lowest point of the present solar cycle.

We know that this simple change will have some consequences:

  • Additional equipment to be sponsored by the WRTC 2006
  • Higher failure risk
  • Higher and stronger towers needed to support the additional antenna
  • Possible increase in interference between bands.
  • Higher level of QRM

10) Why have more flexible interaction between operator A and B?

We would like to allow a totally flexible M/S operation for the teams. In our perception this should be the most adequate system for the future WRTCs. Unfortunately it is a too large a step in a short period of time. For example, it would require two towers to avoid too much interference between bands. Bearing in mind that this is going to be the way of the future, we decided to go one step further in permitting a higher degree of participation by the 2nd operator in the setup. Thus the 2nd operator can do everything except to key radio B. Radio B should be used only for reception or eventually to replace the radio A in case of failure.

Since the referee will hear only the audio for radio A, we don’t want station B to have a voice or CW keyer. This does not mean that the 2nd operator is not allowed to support the 1st operator by using the CW or voice keyer from station A. The table attached in the rules should be sufficiently clear to permit the competitors to develop a hardware and software strategy.

The challenge for the competitors is not only operating but also to find the best way to extract the maximum return from the software and hardware used in the competition. That is the game!

11) WRTC 2006 Rules:

The rules for WRTC 2006 follow those for WRTC 2002, but there is a strong desire to have exactly the same rules as the IARU contest. It has been suggested that due to the fact that we are permitting the use of three different software packages (WriteLog, CT, and TR) the creation of Cabrillo format files is more reliable by using the IARU rules to avoid problems. We are studying this suggestion and in due time we will release a final version of the rules.

12) Why the Young Teams (YT)?

One of the major concerns of the Ham Radio community is how to maintain and increase the motivation of the young generation to participate in our hobby. This aspect is being discussed in all our meetings and is still a big challenge for all of us. The “competition” in all sports and hobbies is one of choosing the weapons to keep the attention of the young generation. As we all know ham radio is competing against the Internet, sports, other hobbies, unfortunately drugs, etc. The idea to offer a real chance to the youngster to compete in the WRTC 2006 came simultaneously from several friends, but I should say that our friend W6OAT (Rusty) made very strong arguments during our meeting in Dubai (A61AJ) to do everything possible to have some YT in the next WRTC 2006. So, we opened three positions to be occupied by YT. They will apply for this specific category and their scores will be compared only to other applicants in this category but during the WRTC 2006 they will compete on equal terms with the “old guys”.

13) Why the M/N M/S category?

A considerable number of visitors in the WRTC would like to have the chance to participate in the event as visitors, but simultaneously do something that they really love – Contesting. At the same time we would like to stimulate the Brazilians hams to develop and to upgrade their stations.

The WRTC 2006 is a unique opportunity for us Brazilians to share and learn techniques from the best contesters in the world. The M/N M/S is a category specially created to increase the integration of contesters from different parts of the world, but that share the same spirit.

14) Why the Sponsored Teams?

The budget for WRTC events is quite high and difficult to cover within our own resources and possibilities. We created a Fundraising Committee and several ideas were proposed. Most of those ideas we are implementing with very good results. We do have some private companies helping and supporting the event, so why not search for hams that could eventually bring some sponsors, as well? So the idea is to have contesters looking for companies or persons who could be interested in sponsoring a team for the WRTC 2006. Immediately after the selection of the standard teams we will open an Internet auction for the Sponsored Team category.

Note: Our decision for a totally open process, orient us to study all suggestions and to answer all questions. Our commitment is to have nobody without a response.

So don’t worry about contacting us in case of any doubts. It is our obligation to try to clear up all matters related with our WRTC 2006.

We perfectly understand that in the end, it is also our duty, to make the final decision, knowing that we are not able to please everyone.

Be sure we are doing our best, perhaps some times not sufficiently to attend all expectations.



Atilano de Oms

Av. Luis Alberto 1262 – Araraquara – SP CEP 14802-620