May we express our thanks to Dzianis DD1LD and Alain F6ENO for the discussion they conducted on the Extended Management Group (EMG) reflector concerning a change to the scoring system for higher summits, such as the Alps, and a proposal to allow a summit to be activated for points more than once per year. The MT took no part in these discussions but we followed them closely. We felt that, due to our participation in previous discussions on the scoring system, we should avoid contributing in the hope that new or original ideas would emerge.
Since most Association Managers took no part in the discussion, the MT concludes that there is no general appetite, at present, for a change to the scoring system.
The present system, which uses a scoring band for any association on a scale of 1 to 10, and reflects the difficulty of mountains WITHIN THAT ASSOCIATION, is an adequate and easily understood means of scoring for each association. The scoring system does not make any comparative judgement between associations, and it is not intended to, as SOTA is non-competitive in that respect. The original scheme, initially operated within the UK, recognizes that, for example, the hills of England and the hills of Scotland are not comparable and this resulted in different height scoring bands between those two associations.
The MT therefore has decided that we should retain the easily understood and effective system that has served well since the beginning of SOTA.
However, two things do come out of the discussion;
First, there may be a demand for some additional recognition for the efforts of activators (especially those doing multiple activations of a summit in a single year) in different associations. Therefore, the MT proposes trialling a new database query for activators recognising total summit height climbed (including multiple climbs in one year) which may initially address some of the concerns expressed and, if there is demand, introduce it (retrospectively) into the awards system.
Secondly, the present scheme could be applied more fairly within participating countries; we see this at present with the differentiation between lowland and alpine Germany. The UK is lucky in this respect with different prefixes for its constituent countries and the newly emergent USA associations are joining as different call areas. The MT will now consider how larger association countries, without a readily distinguishable split like these, could be sub divided to provide a wider range of scoring options.
The MT extends their thanks to all who took part in the discussion either on the EMG reflector or as private communications by email to us.
on behalf of SOTA Management Team