Changes to ARRL VHF/UHF Contest Rules Now in Place
The League's Programs and Services Committee has approved recommendations made by the ARRL's VHF-UHF Advisory Committee (VUAC) to change two rules in the ARRL's VHF/UHF contest program. These changes are in effect immediately, and include the 2009 June VHF QSO Party, scheduled for June 13-15.
The first change concerns the Limited Rover category. The ARRL Programs and Services Committee accepted the VUAC's proposal that Limited Rovers may now compete on only the four lowest frequency bands available for any given contest. For the January, June and September VHF Contests, this means 6 and 2 meters, as well as 222 and 432 MHz. For the August UHF Contest, this means 222, 432 and 902 MHz and 1.2 GHz. QSOs on other bands can be made by Limited Rovers, but they will not count toward the Limited Rover's score and will be considered a checklog. "We have already applied changes to the log-checking software that will adjust the Limited Rover's QSOs above the lowest four bands to zero-point QSOs," said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X.
The second change concerns the ARRL UHF Contest. For the first time, Kutzko said, the ARRL Awards Committee voted to add Club Competition to the UHF Contest, beginning in 2009. "This is something that the VHF/UHF community has been asking for this for quite some time," he explained. "The VUAC made their recommendations and the Awards Committee agreed. We hope to see VHF/UHF clubs across the country help increase participation and get involved with this fun contest."
According to Kutzko, these changes come on the heels of the redesign of the June VHF QSO Party Plaque Program. "In the past," he said, "plaques in the June VHF QSO Party have been awarded for first through tenth place in any category, regardless of location. As any VHFer will tell you, there are radical differences in propagation from one part of the country to another. We decided the plaque program needed to be based on Division, just like every other plaque program that the ARRL offers, not position in the standings."
Kutzko explained that the Programs and Services Committee agreed with this recommendation and voted in favor of it: "This change in structure recognizes the Division-level competition that takes place in the June VHF QSO Party, sometimes under conditions of little to no propagation."
June VHF QSO Party plaque sponsorships are available for all entry categories in all 15 ARRL Divisions, Canada, Mexico and DX. If you or your club is interested in sponsoring a plaque ($75, including shipping charges), contact ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, via e-mail and he will help you find a plaque that's right for you or your club to sponsor.