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Points system.

Sorry Rick that qualification doesn’t cut the mustard nowadays. Just wait until you’ve activated a load of GM summits. Mind you as an old Uni friend used to say, a Scotsman has nothing on a Bristolian. He never was first up the bar. :beer: :joy:

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What, are you saying that Yorkshire folk are less mean than they used to be ? Standards are slipping but as it happens I am a traditionalist :rofl: :rofl:

Bristolians are slow to get the round in because the beer is so damn expensive there !



You have expressed an opinion and others have explained what the points system is and how it is applied to different parts of the world. I am sure we could all think of ways to improve it but the system has been going for almost 20 years and those of us that are new need to recognise that it has stood the test of time very well. I am a long way from mountain goat but am happy with how the points are allocated.




O dear that statment is so so wrong in so many ways my friend.

No matter how many times this is explained, there will still be some participants not knowing how this thing works. I think it’s good to explain things from time to time.

For instance, I heard a couple of days ago a SOTA chaser saying that he has hundreds of chases but he hasn’t uploaded them yet to the database because he doesn’t know how to do the sign-in, etc… This is something that is so easy and intuitive to anyone used to do things on the internet and it’s something that has been explained well in detail several times, but… go back to my first paragraph.



As someone who has been involved in SOTA for almost all of that time, I can confirm that the statement is accurate.

The system HAS been going almost 20 years and it HAS stood the test of time very well. No doubt about those two statements of fact.


I seriously challenge you to explain, that if i am disgruntled, WHICH I AM NOT about a particular part of SOTA then i should find something else, or because i am NEW i need to recognise that something that is going for 20 years is not to be discussed on a forum. My friend that is a sad state of affairs, and belongs to long gone days. I thought most people had moved on, and were open to dicussion about anything and everything. Apparently not.

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No one has said it cannot be discussed. Apparently it gets discussed every year. But it seems that the consensus is that the system works.


You have asked a question that is a perfectly natural one for a newcomer to SOTA to ask. You have had explanations of the status quo by experienced participants and members of the SOTA Management Team.

I’ll be in GI activating myself next week by the way. Mainly QRV on 40m CW and FT8 I expect, but possibly a little 2m FM too.

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Ninety posts so far in this discussion, so it looks like discussion is allowed - which in any case it is, because I as Moderator says so! :wink: What will not be permitted in this or any other reflector discussion is a descent into bad-temperedness or rudeness. Its only a discussion if both sides are being listened to.

Note that several members of the MT are following this discussion, so the participants are not bombinating in a vacuum. The truth is that discussions about the points system is a perennial occurrance - click on the magnifying glass top right, type in “points system discussion” and when the page comes up click on “more” - and you get one heck of a lot more! It has to be accepted that after a couple of decades and with 9346 registered activators and 10,084 registered chasers SOTA has acquired a certain inertia, and any major change would demand a pretty dam’ good reason.

Now my final word as Moderator. Keep it polite and urbane or I shall put on my moderators helmet - the one with a big spike on top - and lock the discussion down.



give a shout if you fancy venturing south of the border, be nice to meet up


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Would be great Declan, but it’s a relatively short family trip. As such, any activations are likely to be early morning efforts in the GI/AH region.

Jimmy @M0HGY and I intend some SOTA trips to EI in the next few years.


A lovely turn of phrase, is that being listened to from both sides or is it that i must listen to the more experianced longer members who told ME find something else to do, and that i must recognise as a new member that something going 20 years cannot be dicussed. I asked a question i was not rude to anybody at all, and i find the fact that this body that is so big 9346 activators, 10,084 chasers, and has been going 20 years has had this issue raised every few years and you still get upset. I would hate to be the one who would raise the question reguarding accountabilty, due process, elections when a question of points causes such a reaction. I worry about organisations that cannot look at themselves and say can we do anything that will attract young people or more people into this hobby, that the stock answer is we are hear 20 years and if you don’t like it or you are disgruntled do something else. But anyway if you wish to put on the the big spikey hat that’s fine by me, you i am sure are duly elected to do so.

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I’ve been away from the computer, so a delayed response. First and foremost, I am not upset. It seems natural to me that somebody new to SOTA would have questions and ideas, and it is up to the MT and the old hands to offer explanations, if we can’t teach, who can? Bear in mind that the MT would be very unlikely to jump onto new ideas with whoops of joy, the buck stops with us, if unforseen consequences of a newly adopted idea causes harm to SOTA then it is our fault. We have to go over suggestions with a microscope! As for the spikey hat, I wear it so rarely that it has a thick layer of dust on it, by and large the Acceptable Use Policy (at the bottom of Sotawatch 3) comes naturally to our participants, this after all is SOTA, not the Zed or the Island of Misfit Hams, we’re nice people! Its just my job to lightly apply the brakes if people show signs of bad temper.

Again I was not rude to anybody, I did not use the language to anybody that was given to me, have you applied the same slap on the wrist to them as me. I have challenged what I consider to be rudeness towards me without any help from from any moderator. If someone is not allowed to challenge those sorts of childish comments then I am afraid your organisation of 20 years really needs to take a very hard look at it’s self.

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I am happy to take a look at any comment that was rude. Could you please highlight which ones specifically were rude to you and I will discuss with the relevant people? You can send me a list privately by clicking on my callsign and clicking the Message button.

We are happy to discuss points system changes - as mentioned this pops up about once a year - but difficulty is one of those things that has been discussed quite a lot and without anyone coming up with a satisfactory solution that can be derived and work across the world.

I suggest you take a few summits, particularly popular ones, and try to work out how difficulty is calculated under your scheme, and share that with us. Perhaps look at G/GI/GM/GW/EI based on your quick evaluations above (Maybe Skiddaw, Ben Nevis, Snowdon and a few others). In my previous post, I put two considerations the MT usually take, so please take those into consideration - particularly about how (and who) would do the work for the remaining summits outside of GI if your scheme was to be adopted.

Another thing you might want to explore is working with the Association Manager of GI to create a specific award for Northern Ireland. This has the advantage of not needing the MT to bless it, and sits separate to the existing SOTA awards.


No bother Tom, give a shout about any EI trips (that goes for everybody else as well), very happy to provide any local beta.


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Consider also the scale of the problem. By use of a relatively simple landform metric (the topographic prominence) it has been possible to compile a list of nearly 160,000 valid summits. This is largely sourced from computer analysis of elevation data, but even so manual checking is required, which makes the process slower.

The points scheme has to be kept quite simple or it couldn’t be applied to the huge number of summits on the list. Consider also that most summits have never been activated. We therefore do not have the option of community sourced commentary on “difficulty” for most summits. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are even some summits on the list (Andes or Alaska?) that have never been climbed by anyone!

It is not inconceivable that some other landform metric could be used for a future points system, but it would have to be tractable to automatic analysis and sourced from better data than we have now. The simplicity of the elevation banding is very attractive. It is easy for participants to see how the scoring works. The complication rests with the management to set the banding in the first place. I think it is likely to remain this way.

Were I being paid to activate summits, with my boss telling me where and when, I’d probably be a bit indignant if my pay didn’t relate more directly to actual effort. But as SOTA is a game with freedom to chose which summits to activate it is part of the game to ponder the relative merits of the hills, as I’m sure you do already, and go for those you see as most “rewarding”, however you like to judge that. I don’t think any points system, even a much more complex one, would accurately correlate to effort, short of submitting a measurement of how much you sweated! But one could probably game even that. :wink:


As you have sent these statments to me i have a right to question your motive for them. 1.What did i say that evoked this responce.
2. Why has the inferance been made that i may have to be delt with by wearing a dusty pointy helmet.