# Height points criteria

I wanted to know who awarded points for the summits of the SOTA program ?
On what criteria this points were based ?
Some really seem disproportionate !

For example this week ordered by height you can see:

• HB/GR-129> 3056m - 10 points
• SP/SZ-001> 1126m - 8 points
• G/LD-004> 931m - 10 points
• F/AM-608> 915m - 1 point
• HA/EM-006> 805m - 8 points
• G/SP-004> 559m - 2 points

Excuse me but I don’t see any logic !

If anyone can help me to understand.

Eric F5JKK/QRP

There is only internal logic, Eric! The scale of points in six bands is fitted to each Association by the AM in consultation with the Management Team at the time that the Association is set up. It is so difficult to devise a universal scoring system that can be applied uniformly throughout all Associations that we decided that we wouldn’t do it. For instance many temperate high mountain ranges sit on a pediment so that although their summits might be at, say, 4000 metres, the cultivated valleys might be at 2000 metres, whilst in northern Europe with a subarctic or arctic climate quite low mountains may be difficult and the valleys uninhabited. If, say, we devised a logarithmic scoring system so that we could cover everything from the hills of the Netherlands to the high Himalaya without the points at the high end becoming unwieldy, we would then have to include climate modifiers.

Some time ago a mathematical scoring system for the high Alps was proposed, but it was so complex with various modifiers that it didn’t make any progress.

What it comes down to is that it is very, very difficult to compare Associations, so it is better not to try.

I wouldn’t worry about it, Eric, the system might not be very logical but it seems to work!

73

"…the system might not be very logical but it seems to work! "

Haw… “Is working” is not a true argument for me. And what is more, it is not the merrit of the score system but that of the programmer! I am sure that the application would work even with score values randomly assigned to references as well!

Maybe the proposals submitted up to today were not good enough. Maybe the scale should be extended from the present 10 points to X or Y. Maybe logarithmical or exponential scale should be introduced. Maybe, modifier factors should be introduced. Maybe other environmental, climatical, topographical, etc. factors should also be considered.

There’s one thing I definitely know: The fact “is working” shall not be interpreted as “this is the possible best solution and it is no use of thinking about potential ways of altering it, making it more attractive and fair; thus nothing is to be done”!

73: Jóska, HA5CW

Hi Eric,

My answer is in the french reflector

73 Alain F6ENO

Joska, it seems to me that any major change after several years of operation would attract more criticism than praise. There would be winners and losers, and the losers would not be happy! Then there is the problem of whether you scrap all the old scores and start again, or just continue with the replacement system. If the new system leads to a slower scoring rate for most participants then there will be complaints about the difficulty of catching up with the older high scoring participants. This is probably a case where the KISS principle should be applied.

By all means see if you can come up with a better system that will please everybody, post it on the reflector and see if people like it!

73

I seem to remember a proposal for a rational SOTA scoring system being published a while back - involving a rather complex formula. However I can’t seem to find it on the reflector. Perhaps the perpetrator could own up?

Rick

By all means see if you can come up with a better system that will please
everybody

Why not just let everyone award themselves as many points as they feel they deserve? For a start, even though I’ve lost nearly 10kg since June, I’m still vastly overweight. Couple that with a heavy bag and my medical condition and I feel I deserve a “lard” bonus as I carry extra weight up and down every summit. I reckon a multiplier of 1.19 x summit score is about right.

I’m sure we could come up with bonus multiplies for fatties, handicaps for skinny, fit people, age multipliers, distance multipliers and self-importance multipliers.

Andy
MM0FMF

I seem to remember a proposal for a rational SOTA scoring system being
published a while back - involving a rather complex formula. However I
can’t seem to find it on the reflector. Perhaps the perpetrator could
own up?

I think you have in mind the formula proposed by Dzianis DD1LD:

points=(ASL-RF)/100+(2ASL/1000-1)+CB+WB

where ASL is obvious, RF is a reference point for access, a village or valley, (2ASL/1000-1) takes into account the complexity of high alpine regions, CB is a small bonus for difficult or remote summits, and WB is the winter bonus. If we apply this to, say, GW/NW-070 Great Orme, from sea level we have (207-0)/100+(414/1000-1)+0+0=2.48, or a winter ascent of Skiddaw G/LD-004 from Keswick with winter bonus will score about 13.17, but alpine ascents will attract much higher scores. The disadvantage is that a summit may attract different scores for ascents from different valleys, making the summit listing far more complex. This was discussed by the extended management team including all AMs but attracted little support at the time.

73

I think you have in mind the formula proposed by Dzianis DD1LD:

points=(ASL-RF)/100+(2ASL/1000-1)+CB+WB

This is alright far as it goes but what about those of us who live in the Essex flat lands for example, there should be some added factor to compensate for the vast distances we have to travel before we can find anything worth climbing.(I appriciate that living in Essex has its advantages - can’t thing of any at the moment but all the same). If there was a factor covering distance from QTH to region this would help (It would also recognise peoples effort in visiting other counties/regions.)

The next problem would be chasers - would they get the regular points or the enhanced points of the activator?

Regards

Peter G1FOA

It’s obvious that the perfect scoring system don’t exist.
Than, lets use the scoring system of mother nature and that is (and only is) the pure linear scoring based on ASL, equal for all associations.
This system would not be perfect, but we can blame the mother nature for it (not us).

Any truly fair scoring system would only measure height from the nearest access point so GW/NW-001 Snowdon would be dropped, because you can get the train, along with every Alpine summit with a ski lift. We would also lose any summits where there was a transmitter access road, even if it was not available for the public to use it.

Any truly fair system would grade each summit on a level of difficulty as well, so some remote one point summits in Scotland would become 10 pointers and some 3,000 foot summits would become 1 pointer because of where the road goes over the mountain.

The problem is that everyone thinking up a scheme looses sight of what this program is about; personal challenges and encouraging activity on the radio, it is not a race however much some people try to turn it in to one. Anyone would think that the points were money, they don’t mean anything, it is just a way of keeping track.

If the any of the systems suggested were implemented the first call would be that it is not fair to some other group. There have been complaints because those with access to the higher summits are simply shooting to the top of the table as everything they do is a ten. It is just not worth worrying about.

If you want to know how well you are doing then compare your score to your fellow countrymen/women and not the over all table. That way it is about as fair as it gets. The over all table makes little sense as it compares people who have been doing this for five years with those who started last week.

To be truly fair what we should do is set up a team of say five who will visit each summit and grade it on difficulty. That should take them until about 2025 to check all the UK summits,(which country next?) Then we will factor in the distance travelled by the activator to get to the summit and the weather on that day, the age of the activator and how much they paid for their boots.

To make chasing fair we need a system that takes in to account the ease of the contact. Two metres FM up to 30 miles 1 point, 23cm SSB 100 miles 200 points, 40m CW 500 miles 1 point, 40m SSB 100 miles 6 points ;0)

Steve GW7AAV

Of course Vlado you are right ! This is a fair criteria.
Some months ago, my proposal was Pts = ASL/100 for all countries.
And it suits the KISS principle…

There are other rules which could be changed:
Rule 3.72:
’…Activator can only claim points for operation from a particular Summit once in any calendar year.'
I know that this rule is to encourage activation of new summits, but when one climbs for 3 or 4 hours to reach a summit and get finaly 0 points is a nonsense. The rule could be modified by allowing 4 or 5 climbs a year.

There are other topics for discussion, but it is useless to waste our time; I already know the answers.

73 Alain F6ENO

A black cat went past us, and then another that looked just like it.

G8ADD: „There would be winners and losers, and the losers would not be happy!”
Sure! But you, Englishmen have a saying: „You cannot please everyone!” The question is, whether a change results in more winners than losers or in the contrary?

G8ADD: „Then there is the problem of whether you scrap all the old scores and start again, or just continue with the replacement system.”
Not at all! MT has the QSO database. Supposing that you have the new scoring policy, it can be rescored (worse case) in a night by means of a simple program as long as a rabbit’s tail. Of course, this will spoil the present „Roll of Honour” tables. What of it? See the argument in the previous paragraph.
N.b.: Maybe, I’d descend from the present 54th chaser place to 154th or 254th but I see no problem! I am ready to accept it, supposing that the new system results in a higher number of happy than sad fellows!

G8ADD: „The disadvantage is that a summit may attract different scores for ascents from different valleys, making the summit listing far more complex.”
No problem! Let’s assume lazyness and award the minimal value. Even this solution too could be more fair that the present one.

Z35M: „Lets use the scoring system of mother nature and that is (and only is) the pure linear scoring based on ASL, equal for all associations.”
Supposing that there were any SOTA association in Nepal, in this case all A5 operations would yield at least 50 points even if the activator climbs merely 100 m altitude.

Maybe DD1LD’s formula is not perfect, but far more fair compared to the present one that has a single advantage: simplicity.
I see a deficiency in the formula: the complexity factor. Without the intention of hurting, incriminating anybody I can not put an equal mark between Z35M Vlado’s activating a Macedonian 2500m altitude summit and that in HB9, DL, OE, I or F.
Why? The latter countries are far more rich compared to Macedonia. They have invested billions into infrastructural development expecting the return of that from increased tourism. They have much better asphalt paved roads, cable and aerial railways, ski-lifts, etc. easing the activator in overcoming the majority of the way on top of a summit… (N.b.: I saw a SOTA related homepage listing “easy summits” in the UK which can be accessed by car… Luckily the site owner noted that it is not really correct to drive to the summit and activate it…)
I am sure, Vlado covers the majority of his way along untrodden mountain paths and paths beaten by hikers, rock-goats and izards.
Do you think, the 2 achievement can be made equal?

73: Jóska, HA5CW

There are two obstacles to change.

Firstly, agreeing what change is needed. Anybody who thinks about the SOTA program is likely to think “I would not have done it like that” but as we can already see in this thread, many ideas would result, leading to endless debate.

Secondly, what do we do with the old SOTA if we make a major change to the scoring system? Let the old results stand? Convert them into the new system? Then what would be said by the participants who had exceeded 1000 points and now find suddenly that they only have 500 points? And how much processing power will it take to rescore literally millions of QSOs?

The present system may not be perfect, but it is good enough to engage the enthusiasm of many hundreds of participants, in a rapidly expanding number of countries. And that brings to mind yet another problem, the MT is committed to bringing online new Associations, and that takes a lot, and I do mean a LOT of time - recently, for instance, Tom was working until 0200 UTC to get new Associations into the database in time for their starting up deadline, and this after a full days work. If the MT diverted its attention to a major revamp of SOTA then a number of Associations would have to wait until the changes are completed and the inevitable bugs ironed out.

Change carries a cost, is it worth paying?

73

For what it’s worth IMHO, the old adage - "If it’s not broken - don’t try to fix it ! " applies here

The system works as it is,so don’t change it !

SOTA gives a lot of pleasure to many people and it is not meant to be a competition, but a “fun-thing” combining the delights of both hill walking/climbing and amateur radio to achieve personal goals.

SOTA has grown into virtually a Worldwide scheme and that is great for activity levels on the bands, but let us not forget the original aims and not make it more complicated and less fun.

I will now get off my soapbox and put it away

73 Graham G3OHC

What we cannot and must not do, is rescore the existing table. This would change past achievements and make no sense at all. Also, even if only implemented from the present time, it would disrupt and spoil the pursuit of a personal goal for many participants.

So the current system should continue, with the same criteria for attaining awards.

In fact we have two current scoring systems: Points in the six scoring bands, and the uniques - one point per summit on an “all-time” basis. Similarly, this should not be disrupted, because it is popular and people are plotting their own progress in this table.

Any new system, in my opinion, would have to be a third scoring system running alongside the other two, for reasons above. If a proposal gathered sufficient concensus amongst asociations and participants, then there may be an option to run it for a trial period (say 12 months) so that its merits could be assessed.

I have a couple of ideas, one where the six scoring bands are distributed logarithmically and are the same for all mountains and hills the world over, and another where points = ASL height of summit, and can be awarded for every activation - so repeat activations within a calendar year are rewarded.

I personally dislike the complicated formula systems, as key features of the programme need to be easily and widely understood in order for it to be a success. Additional information such as route, difficulty, starting point etc would be problematic as who would do the work to add this complicated information to the ARMs, Database, website etc?

So my suggestion to anyone wishing to have a new scoring system is to put a formal proposal together, publish it on here and allow SOTAwatch users to debate the advantages and disadvantages. If a clear proposal with a clear concensus comes forward from that process, the MT would have no option but to consider running it in parallel for at least a trial consultation period.

Previous discussions amongst the Association Managers have failed to deliver an agreed proposal, so the challenge to create one with popular support is a difficult one. But if it can be done, we will be listening.

73, Tom M1EYP

<The present system may not be perfect, but it is good enough to engage the enthusiasm of many hundreds of participants, in a rapidly expanding number of countries

Have you thought also to the disappearance of many activators in some countries ?; Where are the Germans who were so many some years ago ? where is Dzianis (DD1LD) who made a so great work for the DL association ? ditto for the Swiss; Now, there are only 4 regular activators in France! why others have they abandoned the SOTA ?

<Tom was working until 0200 UTC to get new Associations into the database in time for their starting up deadline, and this after a full days work

Everybody knows this is a very important job to be involved in an association.

73 Alain F6NEO … oh sorry F6ENO
( “déjà vu” / Matrix)

The SOTA Database shows the number of activators in the associations you mention, for each year, as follows

DL:
2004 - 11
2005 - 6
2006 - 14
2007 - 13
2008 - 11
2009 - 11
2010 - 14

HB:
2005 - 9
2006 - 21
2007 - 30
2008 - 31
2009 - 34
2010 - 38

F:
2007 - 32
2008 - 41
2009 - 49
2010 - 34