ACS: Understanding our point system

Activators, chasers, sponsors, and their interdependence
Last modified: 
28 July, 2023 - 11:26

In our system you may have noticed that we have three point categories, for activators, chasers, and sponsors, respectively, and rolls of honour for each of those categories. In order to understand how each of those three categories works, and their interdependence, it is may be useful to introduce the concept of an ACS triad. But what does that mean and how can that help us understand our points system?

An ACS triad is a group of three distinct individuals: an activator, a chaser, and a sponsor. Every point generated in our system requires the intervention of those three distinct but interdependent players. This means that all the three roles are equally decisive in our system, and all of them depend on one another: activators depend on chasers and sponsors to earn points; chasers depend on activators and sponsors; and sponsors depend on activators and chasers. Believe it or not, an ACS triad is behind every point in our system, and this has always been the case for Beaches On The Air.

From the very start, checks were put in place to ensure that points would only be generated when these three separate roles met, in one form or another. Initially, activators needed a reference (at the time it was a beach reference sponsored by an administrator directly) and qso's with chasers. The evolution of our programme brought about the decentralisation of our reference sponsorship system, the move from beach references to activation references, and the move from administrators doing all the sponsorship work to the addition of a team of sponsors that anyone could join. All this has made our programme extremely agile and participatory, but an essential feature has been unchanged. The co-operation of the three roles in an ACS triad has always been required.

The concept of an ACS triad makes it easier to understand the interdependence between player roles that underpins our programme and assures its quality. This interdependence is not only our main mechanism of quality assurance, but also strengthens the partnership between activators, who play radio from the beach, chasers, who contact them from home or elsewhere, and sponsors, who make the whole system possible.

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