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Contest Club Competition - Club Eligibility Changes

 

(Updated!) See the new Contest Club FAQs (Vers 1.6 - 15-Dec-2016)

(New!) See the 27 October 2016 Email to Contest Clubs

      Or see earlier news items:

          -  19 September 2016 Announcement

          -  15 October 2016 Email to Contest Clubs

 

Or go directly to the Contest Club Eligible Member's List Upload Page

 

In order to make sure the club results are accurate and fair to all, the ARRL Contest Branch is renewing its effort to help clubs comply with the rules. (See section 8 of the General Rules for All Contests at www.arrl.org/general-rules-for-all-arrl-contests.)  

Here are the three changes: 

Online uploading of club "Eligibility Lists",
Use of six-character grid locators as locations, and
Deadline for submitting eligibility is now the contest start time

Online Uploading of Contest Club "Eligibility Lists" (updated)

Clubs will now have the ability to upload a club Eligibility Lists via an online web page, just like a contest log.  Note that the Eligibility List is different than a club roster.  A club roster typically includes all club members, no matter where they live or operate.  The "Eligibility List" includes only those members who satisfy ARRL General Contest Rule 8.3.3 that they must reside and operate within the club territory, either a section or a circle.  If your roster includes ineligible members, please remove them before uploading.  (See the FAQ above for more information.)

Using this web page, a club secretary can upload the information and it will be time-stamped and stored. (The data format for the Eligibility List is provided below.) It will no longer be necessary to mail, email, or fax the club Eligibility List to the Contest Branch.  You can go directly to the Contest Club Member Eligibility List Upload Page

All that’s required is for the club secretary or other authorized member to upload a file containing the current club Eligibility List, including the club's section or the center of the club's eligibility circle.  The web service will also provide a window for copy-and-paste from a text list containing the necessary information if that is more convenient.   This process has worked exceptionally well for submitting contest logs and has been accepted by the contest community as convenient and trouble-free.

Use of Six-Character Grid Locators

Locations will all be entered and displayed as six-character grid locators, such as FN21aw or DM02ks.  It will no longer be necessary to determine latitude and longitude for members or a club circle center.  The center of the locators will be used for calculating the member's distance from the club center using a standard algorithm that will also be public.  A member may reside and operate anywhere in a six-digit locator that satisfies the distance rule.  If the grid locator for a member is not known, "Distance Unavailable" (or words to that effect) will be displayed on the list.  There are many online services that provide a six-character grid locator from an address or latitude and longitude.  The maximum circle distances are NOT changing.

Eligibility Deadline

With the online service available, the deadline for submitting an Eligibility List is also changing.  Previously, clubs had 30 days following the contest to submit their Eligibility List.  Putting contests on the same footing as all other competitions and to eliminate any temptation to pick only high scores or to engage in “category shopping," the eligibility deadline is being changed to the start of the contest, effective with the November CW Sweepstakes - 2100 UTC on 5 Nov 2016 - and will apply to all nine of the ARRL contests with a Club Competition (see General Rule 8.1).

The Eligibility List and club circle center can be changed and uploaded at any time, including repeated uploads, until the contest starts.  If an individual member is added or deleted, just change the list and resubmit it in its entirety.  The last Eligibility List and circle center to be submitted before the contest's start time will be used for that contest.  A club can change its circle for each contest, if desired.  All Eligibility List versions will be saved, just like contest logs. This is similar to the team registration process for NCJ-sponsored contests that has been in use for some time.

After an Eligibility List is submitted, it will be available for inspection online so that everyone can see which stations are claimed as eligible for a club. (Individual contesters can submit their score in support of any club they are eligible to support, of course.)

Discussion

The Eligibility List service will NOT be used to enforce the club rules, only to allow other contesters to view the lists and to make it easy for the clubs to follow the rules.  Challenges can be made through the Contest Branch as they are now.  The minimum log totals for each club category will remain the same.

If your club will have difficulty using the online service or meeting the deadline, contact the ARRL Contest Branch Manager, Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, at contests@arrl.org

The current Contest Club List can be viewed at http://www.arrl.org/contest-club-list


Club "Eligibility List" Format:

(In a CSV file, entries are organized by row.  In a TSV text file, entries are organized by lines.)

Row 1: official name of club (must match the name of an ARRL Affiliated Club)
Row 2: 6-character grid locator of club center (i.e. DM02ks) or the ARRL Section (for Medium or Unlimited category clubs that use their ARRL Section as their designated club territory)
Rows 3-n: club eligible-member list entries

For rows 3-n:
Column 1: club member's call sign
Column 2: 6-character grid locator of the eligible-member's location (optional - will be flagged as unknown in the list if no data is supplied)
Columns 3-n: [optional fields for clubs to use in any way they'd like - will be ignored on upload]