Or you could go by first digit in the vertical row. I'm a B - my highest point target is any K because that's the other side of the world.
I would think 2 digits is very doable, but it could be one if necessary.
Looking at the map, a contact with a K is 9 points (9 squares over). The west coast is C and worth 1 from Hawaii (B).
I really like this idea. But I'd do both vertical and horizontal scoring. I'm in DN, so a contact with DM (one grid directly South) would 1 point. As is a contact with CN (one grid direct West). But a contact with EM (1 grid South and 1 grid East) would be 2 points.
If you just do horizontal, a QSO from Maine to Southern Chile or from Norway to South Africa would be 0 points. Under my proposal, they'd be 11 points. QSOs to the grid on the opposite side of the world (assuming there is land there) would be 18 points. Interestingly, this doesn't really advantage any one point - the antipodes of most populated places are pretty desolate. Perhaps only Europe - Australia would have a slight points advantage over other places.
For those that think this would take the fun or challenge out of things, below is a list of current DXCC entities and other islands that would remain the only (or couple) entities/islands within a particular grid field:
Alejandro_Selkirk island (part of Juan Fernandez) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Selkirk_Island
Peter 1 Island
Midway and Ni'ihau (uninhabited part of Hawaii)
Fanning Island and Kirimati Islands
Kingman Reef, Howland/Baker Islands, and Palmyra Atoll
Aukland & Campbell
Minami Torishima, Ogasawara, and Iwo Jima
Cocos (Keeling) Island
Maldives & Diego Garcia
Amsterdam & St Paul Is
Prince Edward & Marion Is
Tristan da Cunha & Gough Is
So Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands
St Peter & St Paul Rocks
In short, this would still encourage DXpeditions to really neat, remote places. It also allows some new 'entities' (needed, remote grid fields), particularly near the Arctic and Antarctic.
Some potential issues with a pure grid fields award:
- Antarctica. There are around 45 grids with land there. Maybe just make the 3 Southern most horizontal grids all count as 1.
- The Arctic. Maybe make the Northern most 18 grids circling the N. Pole count as 1.