ARRL

General Rules for All ARRL Contests

  1. Precedence of Rules:

    1. 1.1.Rules for individual contests or events, including Field Day, take precedence over all General Rules.
    2. 1.2.General Rules for HF and VHF contests take precedence over General Rules for all contests.
       
  2. Conditions of Entry:
    1. 2.1.Entrants agree to be bound by the provisions and intent of ARRL contest rules.
    2. 2.2.Entrants agree to be bound by the regulations of their national licensing authority.
    3. 2.3.Entrants agree to be bound by the decisions of the ARRL Awards Committee.
    4. 2.4. All entries become the property of the ARRL.
       
  3. General Rules:

    1. 3.1.All operators must observe the limitations of their operator licenses and station licenses at all times.
    2. 3.2.All callsigns and exchange information must be sent, received, acknowledged and logged correctly by each station for a complete QSO.
    3. 3.3.An operator may not use more than one call sign from any given location during the contest period.
    4. 3.4.The same station may be worked only once per band for contest credit.
    5. 3.5.A transmitter used to contact one or more stations may not be subsequently used under any other call during the contest period, except for family stations where more than one call has been issued, and then only if the second call sign is used by a different operator. (The intent of this rule is to accommodate family members who must share a rig and to prohibit manufactured or artificial contacts.)
    6. 3.6. For the purposes of ARRL contests, maritime mobile is defined as shipboard operation on the high seas, outside of the territorial waters of the country (defined for these purposes only as 12 miles).
    7. 3.7. All transmitters and receivers must be located within a 500-meter diameter circle, excluding antennas.
      1. 3.7.1. This prohibits the use of remote receiving installations.
      2. 3.7.2. Exceptions:
        1. 3.7.2.1. Stations remotely controlled by radio link may use necessary equipment at the control point. This does not include using the control point as another receiving location.
        2. 3.7.2.2. Multioperator and Single Operator Assisted stations may use spotting nets.
    8. 3.8. Cross-band contacts are not permitted.
    9. 3.9. Contacts made through repeaters, digipeaters, or gateways are not permitted.
      1. 3.9.1. This applies to all forms of active relays or repeaters.
      2. 3.9.2. Satellite contacts, where allowed, are not subject to this rule.
    10. 3.10. The use of non-Amateur Radio means of communication (for example, Internet or telephone) to solicit a contact (or contacts) during the contest period is not permitted.
    11. 3.11. Entrants who qualify for unsponsored plaques may purchase them from the ARRL Contest Branch.
    12. 3.12. General contest queries should be directed to the Contest Branch Manager via e-mail at contests@arrl.org or by telephone at 860-594-0232.
    13. 3.13. All logs (electronic or paper) submitted to the ARRL for any contest must be in chronological order, in a single log (file). Separate band-by-band files or logs are subject to being classified as checklogs and ineligible for competition.
    14. 3.14. In contests where spotting nets are permissible, spotting your own station or requesting another station to spot you is not permitted.
    15. 3.15. Unless otherwise specified, in any ARRL Contest where off time is required, the minimum block of off time must be at least 30 minutes.
       
  4. ARRL Standard File Format for Electronic Submission of Entries:

    1. 4.1. The official ARRL File Format for electronic submissions is the Cabrillo format.
      1. 4.1.1. The Cabrillo log file must include both an accurately completed header (containing the summary information) and complete QSO log data for each contact.
    2. 4.2. All electronic files must be standard ASCII text.
      1. 4.2.1. Output files from word processors (such as Word documents), database programs (such as Excel spreadsheets) or logging program .bin files that are not ASCII text files are not acceptable for submissions.
    3. 4.3. Cabrillo format specifications are available:
      1. 4.3.1. On the ARRL Contest homepage at: http://www.arrl.org/contests.
      2. 4.3.2. On the Internet at http://www.kkn.net/~trey/cabrillo/.
      3. 4.3.3. By sending an SASE with two units of postage and $1 to: Cabrillo File Specs, Contest Branch, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.
    4. 4.4. Electronic log files may be submitted either via the Internet as an e-mail or on diskette.
      1. 4.4.1. Files sent via e-mail must be sent as attachments, not as the text of the e-mail and sent to the appropriate e-mail address from the following list:
        1. 4.4.1.1.
          10GHZ@arrl.org
          10Meter@arrl.org
          160Meter@arrl.org
          AugustUHF@arrl.org
          DXCW@arrl.org
          DXPhone@arrl.org
          EMEContest@arrl.org
          FieldDay@arrl.org
          IARUHF@iaru.org
          JanuaryVHF@arrl.org
          JuneVHF@arrl.org
          RTTYRU@arrl.org
          SeptemberVHF@arrl.org
          SSCW@arrl.org
          SSPhone@arrl.org
          StraightKey@arrl.org
      2. 4.4.2. E-mail log submissions should include ONLY the participant's call sign in the SUBJECT: line. Do not include contest name, category, etc in the SUBJECT line of the email.
      3. 4.4.3. Electronic files must be named with the callsign used during the contest and the file extension .log or .txt.
      4. 4.4.4. Do not send zip files.
    5. 4.5.Electronic logs are assumed to be signed when submitted.
    6. 4.6.Any log that is computer generated must be submitted as an electronic file in Cabrillo file format. Failure to submit the required electronic file can result in the entry being designated a checklog, and thereby ineligible for competition.

      A paper printout of an electronic log file is not an acceptable substitute.

    7. 4.7.Only one entry may be included in each submission (e-mail or diskette). CW and Phone weekends of the November Sweepstakes and International DX Contest are considered separate contests and must be submitted separately.
    8. 4.8.All diskettes submitted become property of the ARRL and are not returnable.
    9. 4.9.Multioperator Two Transmitter category entries must indicate which transmitter makes each QSO in the Cabrillo log file.
    10. 4.10.The log checking software will calculate off times in those contests that include them. Do not list them in the main body of the Cabrillo log file itself or in the Soapbox comments.
    11. 4.11.Any electronic file that does not include complete entry information (category, power, callsigns, section, operator's list, etc) will have the missing data recorded at a default value or may be designated as a checklog.
      1. 4.11.1. Multioperator submissions must include the complete list of operators in the Cabrillo OPERATORS: field.
      2. 4.11.2. If a club call is used, the Cabrillo OPERATORS: field must include the call of operator/s participating.
    12. 4.12. Diskettes sent via postal service should be mailed to: ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 with the contest name clearly marked on the envelope/mailer. It is recommended that the sender obtain a receipt showing the date the entry was mailed in case a problem arises.
       
  5. Paper Logs:

    1. 5.1. Entrants must use official Contest Forms or acceptable facsimile.
    2. 5.2. The most current forms should be used, as scoring rules, ARRL sections, etc, do change periodically. Paper submissions that have incomplete or missing information may be classified as a checklog.
    3. 5.3. Handwritten logs files, showing required QSO information, are accepted for all ARRL contests.
    4. 5.4. Handwritten logs that have been transcribed into a word processor, database, or logging program after the contest are considered electronic logs. The electronic log file in Cabrillo file format for these logs must be submitted.
    5. 5.5. Paper entries with 500 or more QSOs must include band by band dupe sheets.
      1. 5.5.1. A dupe sheet is an alphanumerically sorted list of all contacts made during the contest, sorted by band and mode as appropriate. A list of duplicate contacts does not meet this requirement.
    6. 5.6. Paper entries should be submitted to: ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 with the contest name clearly marked on the envelope. It is recommended that the sender obtain a receipt showing the date the entry was mailed in case a problem arises.
    7. 5.7. Only one contest entry may be included in each envelope mailed to ARRL.
       
  6. Reporting:

    1. 6.1. Entries must be sent to the ARRL within 30 days after the end of the contest. For electronic submissions, this is determined by the date the e-mail is sent. For regular mail, this is determined from the postmark.
    2. 6.2. Logs not submitted or postmarked by the contest deadline may be classified as checklogs.
    3. 6.3. Entries received at the ARRL more than 30 days after the contest submission deadline may not be included in QST listings.
    4. 6.4. All entries -- whether electronic or paper - must include complete summary information or may be re-classified as checklogs.
       
  7. Disqualification and Penalties:

    1. 7.1. If the claimed score of a participant is reduced by 2% or more, the entry may be disqualified. Score reduction does not include correction of arithmetic errors.
    2. 7.2. Score reduction may be made for taking credit for unconfirmed QSOs or multipliers, duplicate contacts or other scoring discrepancies.
    3. 7.2.1. Duplicate QSOs in electronic log file are considered zero point QSOs and are not penalized.
    4. 7.3. If a paper entry with more than two-percent duplicate contacts left in the log is detected, it will be automatically disqualified.
    5. 7.4. If an entry in which more than 2% "rubber clocking" is detected, (altering the actual time to increase the operating time so that it is greater than the allowable limit) it will be automatically disqualified.
    6. 7.5. Participants that are disqualified will be barred from submitting an entry in the next annual running of that specific contest; for example, disqualification from the 2000 Phone SS prohibits submission of an entry for the 2001 Phone SS, but 2001 CW SS participation is allowable.
    7. 7.6. Call signs of all disqualified participants will be listed in the QST contest report.
    8. 7.7. Any participant on the borderline of disqualification, but not actually disqualified. may receive a warning letter.
    9. 7.8. In a paper log, for each duplicate contact that is claimed for credit, each miscopied call sign or each busted exchange that is removed from the log by HQ, three additional contacts will be deleted as a penalty. In electronic logs, for each miscopied call sign or a QSO not appearing in the log of the claimed station, the QSO in question will be removed from the log and one additional contact will be deleted as a penalty; the penalty will not be considered part of the 2% disqualification criteria. A QSO with busted exchange data will be removed from the log with no additional penalty. Duplicate QSOs will be removed from the log without penalty. 
    10. 7.9. In all cases, the decisions of the ARRL Awards Committee are final.
       
  8. Club Competition:

    1. 8.1. There are nine ARRL-sponsored contests that are designated as Affiliated Club Competitions (ACC) for ARRL and RAC affiliated clubs:
      1. 8.1.1. January VHF Contest
      2. 8.1.2. RTTY Roundup (January)
      3. 8.1.3.(February and March) International DX Contest
      4. 8.1.4. June VHF Contest
      5. 8.1.5. August UHF Contest
      6. 8.1.6. September VHF Contest
      7. 8.1.7. November Sweepstakes
      8. 8.1.8. (December) 160-Meter Contest
      9. 8.1.9. (December) 10-Meter Contest
      10.  
    2. 8.2. Only clubs actively affiliated with the ARRL or RAC may participate in the ACC.
      1. 8.2.1. Within the US and its territories, a club must:
        1. 8.2.1.1. Be affiliated with the ARRL, and
        2. 8.2.1.2. Have filed an annual report with the Field Services Department of ARRL HQ within the last two years.
      2. 8.2.2. Clubs outside of the ARRL operating territory may participate as follows:
        1. 8.2.2.1. In Canada, clubs that are fully affiliated with the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) are eligible to submit scores for an Affiliated Club Competition event.
        2. 8.2.2.2. Clubs outside ARRL operating territory or Canada must be ARRL affiliates as determined by the "Rules and Regulations Concerning Affiliated Societies " section of the ARRL Articles of Association, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations.
    3. 8.3. For a club to be listed, the following conditions must be met:
      1. 8.3.1. A minimum of three entries from qualified club members must be submitted.
      2. 8.3.2. The entry must clearly indicate the club name in the Cabrillo file header.
      3. 8.3.3. To be eligible to submit a score in the Affiliated Club Competition, operators must be members in good standing of the club designated, and reside and operate in the club territory as provided in 8.4.1, 8.4.2, and 8.4.3. The Club Secretary or designated Club Scorekeeper for an affiliated club must submit a list of all club members eligible to compete for the club (not a club roster) and which level (unlimited, medium, local) they wish to enter for each competition within 30 days after the contest.
        1. 8.3.3.1. In lieu of mailing a list within 30 days after the end of each contest, the club may designate its Secretary or Scorekeeper to submit their club's eligibility roster electronically to a secure web site (if available). The designated club official may update the electronic eligibility list by the start of each ACC contest as new members join the club or established members no longer meet the eligibility requirements. The designated club official must contact the ARRL Contest Branch Manager in order to obtain access to the secure website.
        2. 8.3.3.2. Failure by the club to submit a valid list of member's eligible to submit scores for the club either electronically or by mail may result in the club being declared ineligible for the Club Competition event in question.
      4. 8.3.4. A member's score must be shown in the contest results to be counted for a club. Only that score shown in the results (or in subsequent corrections) will count for the club competition.
    4. 8.4. There are three categories of club competition:

      1. 8.4.1. Unlimited
        1. 8.4.1.1. Club submits 51 or more entries.
        2. 8.4.1.2. One station can submit two entries one on CW and one on Phone in the November Sweepstakes and the DX Contest.
        3. 8.4.1.3. The club territory is either defined by:
        4. 8.4.1.3.1. A 175-mile (282-kilometer) circle from a designated center; or
        5. 8.4.1.3.2. One ARRL section.
        6. 8.4.1.4. All stations must be located and all operators must reside within the designated club territory.
        7. 8.4.1.5. All members must be "members in good standing" according to the rules and requirements of the club.
        8. 8.4.1.6. Eligible members that operate stations outside the club territory may not compete in the club competition, except as provided in rule 8.6.
           
      2. 8.4.2. Medium
        1. 8.4.2.1. Club submits 50 or fewer entries and does not qualify under the local club criteria.
        2. 8.4.2.2. One station can submit two entries--one on CW and one on Phone in the November Sweepstakes and the DX Contest.
        3. 8.4.2.3. The club territory is either defined by:
          1. 8.4.2.3.1. A 175-mile (282-kilometer) circle from a designated center; or;
          1. 8.4.2.3.2. An ARRL-section.
        4. 8.4.2.4. All stations must be located and all operators must reside within the designated club territory.
        5. 8.4.2.5. All members must be "members in good standing" according to the rules and requirements of the club.
        6. 8.4.2.6. Eligible members that operate stations outside the club territory may not compete in the club competition, except as provided in rule 8.6.
           
      3. 8.4.3. Local
        1. 8.4.3.1. Club submits 10 or fewer entries.
        2. 8.4.3.2. One station can submit two entries - one on CW and one on Phone in the November Sweepstakes and the DX Contest.
        3. 8.4.3.3. All members must reside and operate within 35 miles of the club's designated center.
        4. 8.4.3.4. All members must be "members in good standing" according to the rules and requirements of the club.
    5. 8.5. At Single Guest-Operator and Multioperator stations:
      1. 8.5.1. To claim a Guest Operator score for a club, the guest operator at a single-operator station must meet the membership and residence requirement for the club classification (Unlimited, Medium or Local see rule 8.4) and the station must be located within the defined club territory. The owner of the station does not need to be a member of the club claiming the score.
      2. 8.5.2. At least 50% of the operators at a multi-operator station must be eligible members of the club and the station must be located within the defined club territory. The owner of the station does not need to be a member of the club claiming the score.

        A club member who resides outside of the club territory counts as a non-member when determining the number of eligible members at a multi-operator station.

      3. 8.5.3. Multioperator entries may (optional) utilize non-member operators licensed one year or less without including such operators in the 50% calculation. (The intent here is to encourage clubs to recruit contesters from newer amateurs without adversely affecting the club aggregate score.)
      4. 8.5.4. All other applicable contest rules must be satisfied.
    6. 8.6. For the ARRL International DX Contest only, DXpedition (operating outside the United States and Canada) scores for either single operator or multioperator stations may be counted for Medium or Unlimited Clubs even though the operation is outside the club's area, provided all other requirements are met.
    7. 8.7. For multioperator stations, the score may count for only one club and at least 50% of the operators must be members of the club receiving the score and meet all other criteria.
    8. 8.8. A club's entry classification may be changed if, in the opinion of the ARRL Awards Committee, the club has manipulated its number of entries to allow the club to enter a lower classification. (For example, if a club with 100 members submits only the 10 highest scores, even if more than 10 of its members compete.)
    9. 8.9. It is not within the intent of these rules that a club should vote out a member or that a member resign and then be voted back into the club later so the member in good standing rule can be met.
    10. 8.10. The highest scoring active affiliated club entry in each category (unlimited, medium, local) will be awarded a gavel.