The Management Team has been made aware that some activators may have been operating outwith the rules and spirit of the SOTA programme. This is something that is extremely difficult to verify but, if true, is strongly disapproved of by the Management Team. It can be argued that in a scheme like SOTA, which is based on trust, these activators are cheating only themselves; however this is not the case. Any activation which has been made outwith the rules has also misled Chasers into believing that the contact is a valid contribution towards any future claim for awards; this is clearly not so and so a false activation will also penalise the Chaser who made the contact in good faith.
In order to make the position of the Management Team clear we will re-state the rules which govern a valid activation:
- A valid activation is one which was conducted from the summit of a qualifying hill or within the Association’s agreed activation zone of that summit
- Activation from within, or in the vicinity of, a motor vehicle is specifically prohibited.
- The final ascent to the summit may not be assisted by any form of motorised transport
- A valid activation must be conducted in compliance with the conditions of the activator’s licence
Comment or evidence of alleged infringement of the Rules should be reported directly to the Management Team, not posted or discussed on the Reflector. Any such posts will be summarily removed and considered to be a breach of the reflector posting rules.
Should unequivocal evidence of any form of cheating, or failure to operate within the rules of SOTA, be presented to the Management Team the MT will consider the evidence presented and declare whether or not the activation is valid. Sanctions may be applied if there is evidence of deliberate breaking of the rules or operation outwith the spirit of the programme. Any sanctions may include the removal of the activation from the participant’s record or, in extreme circumstances or proven evidence of multiple infringements, removal of all the activator’s records from the database and exclusion of the participant from the programme. Separate consideration will be made on the impact of the invalid activation on participating Chasers’ records.
The Management Team recognise that the majority of participants operate fully within the rules and the spirit of SOTA but mistakes may happen bringing the validity of an activation into question. Genuine errors are not a concern provided that, if an error is identified, the activator or chaser makes a conscious effort to rectify the mistake.
Barry Horning GM4TOE
on behalf of SOTA Management Team