Volume 40 Number 4
|||Official WRTC 2014 Web Site|
|||NCJ WRTC-2010 Blogs|
|||WRTC 2010 Final Scores, Nov/Dec 2010 NCJ (83k pdf)|
|||WRTC 2010 - One Team's Story, Nov/Dec 2010 NCJ (268k pdf)|
|||World Radiosport Team Championship 2010 - Russia, Nov/Dec 2010 NCJ (405k pdf)|
|||Official WRTC 2010 Web Site|
|||NCJ WRTC-2006 Blogs|
|||WRTC-2006 Competitor Profiles, Jul/Aug 2006 NCJ (280k pdf)|
|||WRTC 2006 Stations, Jul/Aug 2006 NCJ (35k pdf)|
|||WRTC-2006 Tidbits, Jul/Aug 2006 NCJ (28k pdf)|
|||A History of WRTC, Jul/Aug 2006 NCJ (82k pdf)|
|||Official WRTC 2006 Web Site|
|||WRTC 2002 Report|
|||North American Teams and Order of Finish|
|||NCJ Coverage of WRTC 2000: Web Diaries of Participants|
|||WRTC-2000: A Test of Teamwork in "The Green Piece of Europe", Oct 2000 QST (210k pdf)|
|||WRTC Memories, Sep/Oct 2000 NCJ (37k pdf)|
|||WRTC2000 - The S582A Story, Sep/Oct 2000 NCJ (422k pdf)|
|||WRTC Champs K1TO, N5TJ Do It Again In Slovenia, Sep 2000 QST (32k pdf)|
|||North American Teams and Order of Finish|
|||WRTC2000 - The US Guys, May/Jun 2000 NCJ (16k pdf)|
|||Official WRTC 2000 Web Site (SCC)|
|||KRØY-K1TO Team Tops WRTC-96, Sep 1996 QST (97k pdf)|
|||The Truth About Contesters, Nov 1996 QST (87k pdf)|
|||Observations From WRTC '96, Nov/Dec 1996 NCJ (42k pdf)|
|||WRTC + K1TO + KRØY = W6X, Nov/Dec 1996 NCJ (130k pdf)|
|||Official WRTC 1996 Web Site (NCCC)|
|||The World Radiosport Team Championship, May/Jun 1990 NCJ (131k pdf)|
|||The World Radiosport Team Championship Wrap-Up, Sep/Oct 1990 NCJ (273k pdf)|
|||The World Radiosport Team Championship, Oct 1990 QST (362k pdf)|
|Eric, K3NA WRTC-2006 Blog|
the referee's suitcase
Posted: Jul 4, 2006 04:10 PDT
Today is the US' Independence Day holiday, and the time to depart for Brazil has arrived.
As a referee and "color commentator" at WRTC, my suitcase should weigh less than those of the competitors. No need to schlepp down radios, keys, or microphones. My tools include:
-- laptop computer with audio patch cords, batteries, second disk, data from past WRTCs, and lots of software tools. This is my second WRTC as referee; I was a competitior with Bob N6TV in 2000.
I'll risk the headphones in the suitcase. But I'll hump a very heavy backpack through the airports and onto the jets with the laptop and associated paraphenalia.
Later this week each referee will be pseudo-randomly assigned to observe a specific team during that team's station construction and contest operation. The assignment is not quite random: a referee never comes from the same country(s) as the team members.
Like any supervised competitor, the referee must be intimately familiar with the rules. Before our assignments, we'll be participating in training sessions. At these sessions the chief judges will review the rules in detail, with special emphasis on intent, nuances, and that tricky border between what's probably OK vs. Not OK. Key WRTC rules govern the construction of the station (position of antennas, permitted equipment) and the use of the station during the contest. At past WRTCs a couple of "innovative interpretations" of the rules usually arise during the Q&A sessions, sparking lively debate. It's all part of the fun.
The referees will also receive a sealed envelope with the randomly assigned call for the team. The ref opens envelope just 10 minutes before the start of the contest.
Each referee will be receive a cellular phone. While the phone may be used to report serious difficulties, we expect it's principal job will be one of the most fun aspects of the competition: hourly score updates to a centralized computer/web system. Everyone EXCEPT the competitors will have a chance to see how each time is performing during the contest. The team members remain in the dark during the competition as to their relative position.
During the actual contest, each referee will be listening to the radios and observing the operators' behavior. This means NO SLEEPING for the 24-hour contest period. (Do you think Brazil has good coffee available?) We will be watching for violations of the radio regulations and of the WRTC rules. In my experience WRTC competitors maintain a very high standard of rule compliance.
At the last WRTC a couple of us also created our own log of the contest. I used WriteLog in 2002, typing in calls to check for dupes and logging each contact as it was made. My log was independent from the competitors and not shared with them, and could serve as a second opinion if the judges felt a potentially busted call needed more research. At this WRTC all the referees will be encourage to create these "shadow logs".
You might think that sitting through an entire 24-hour contest as a passive observer is an exercise in boredom and frustration... with one's fingers itching to get on the air! All of the referees are very experienced contesters and many have been competitors at past WRTCs. Don't we want to be operating rather than sitting around watching someone else play the game?
Sure, it's fun to operate. But observing in detail the behavior of two skilled contesters is surprisingly engaging. In my experience, shadow-logging the contest keeps my head "in the game" as I watch my assigned team. But I also find myself comparing the tactical and strategic operating choices that I would make at each point in the contest with those being made by my assigned team. After each WRTC the referees spend many hours comparing the behaviors of the teams, and every referee leaves the WRTC with some new ideas and insights about tactics and strategies that work and that don't work. In short, regardless of one's own experience in contesting, there's always something new to learn from others.
A subset of referees (including me) volunteered to serve as "recording referees". Their laptops are loaded with identical audio recording software, and an audio archive of the entire contest will accumlate on the laptop's disk.
Within 10 minutes after the contest ends, the team will deliver to me a floppy disk with its log. The disk, my shadow log and my audio archive all go to the judging committee. Once these files have been delivered to the judges, the referee's job has been largely completed.
For most referees, the job ends at this point. But during the 30 hours after the contest I have one more task to complete: color commentator. I will go through the logs of all the competitors and interviewing selected competitors and referees. At the Awards Dinner I'll be giving a little talk about how the race between the teams developed during the contest, and highlight some of the strategies used by the winning teams. Subscribers to the National Contest Journal will see an expanded version of that analysis in the next NCJ issue.
It's all great fun. I can hardly wait! But now, time to close up the suitcase, lift the backpack (ugh!), and call the taxi. I'm looking forward to watching the Independence Day fireworks all along the east coast of the USA as my plane flies from Washington to Sao Paulo.
-- Eric K3NA
p.s.: Feel free to email me any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) or add your comments/questions to the blog. (Writers always crave feedback!) And get on the air for the IARU contest!
Other blog entries by Eric, K3NA:
Jul 7, 2006 12:27 - suddenly, the hotel is empty
Jul 6, 2006 15:08 - organization & anticipation
Jul 5, 2006 15:04 - difficult to blog!
Jul 4, 2006 15:53 - waiting in transit: home town history
Jul 4, 2006 04:10
Jun 29, 2006 13:23 - paperwork
Jun 28, 2006 07:06 - 7 days befor departure
Comments on this blog entry:
NF4A Posted Jul 4, 2006 13:42
My wife and I are sitting in the Crown Room in the Atlanta airport with my referee's suitcase. We are waiting on our flight to Sao Paulo. K4BAI and KU8E should be showing up any time now as they are on the same flight with us.
See you tomorrow!
Charlie NF4A Referee
Revised July 5, 2010
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