The ARRL Triple Play Award: A Worldwide Event!
The ARRL Triple Play Award (TPA) -- introduced January 1, 2009 -- is available to all amateurs worldwide who confirm QSOs with each of the 50 states on voice, CW and digital modes via Logbook of the World (LoTW). Not even six months since its inception, the Triple Play Award has been awarded to 269 hams around the world.
The first recipient was Dave Strout, W2YC, of Williamstown, New Jersey. Strout achieved this milestone on January 15. The very next day, Jeff Wheeler, W7JW, of Plymouth, Michigan, received TPA #2.
But the TPA is not limited to US hams. On February 11, Scotland's Cris Henderson, GM4FAM, was the first ham outside the US to receive the TPA award, #158. Jose Vicente Pinto, YV6BTF, of Venezuela, received TPA #163 as the first South American amateur to receive the award. Hams in many countries, such as Brazil, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Poland, Colombia and Mexico, have claimed the Triple Play Award.
"An expected side effect of the Triple Play Award was the increased issuance of basic Worked All States (WAS) awards for Phone, CW, Digital and Basic modes," said ARRL Awards Manager Bill Moore, NC1L. "Comments on the Triple Play Award have been very positive, reflecting a renewed interest in the challenge -- and of course, the fun! -- that ARRL awards continue to provide. The Triple Play Award is the first of what we hope to be many more LoTW-only awards in the future."
The Triple Play Award is a one-time award -- once you have made the required 150 confirmed contacts via LoTW, you're done. "Even so," ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said, "there are many possible variations on the theme. You can try to be the first (or at least the first on your block) or you can set your own pace. Think it's too easy? Limit yourself to QRP while operating your favorite mode (or all three). Maybe you prefer to be the quarry; it will quickly emerge which states are the most difficult to find, offering opportunities to earn the gratitude of your mates by activating the ones you can get to with your portable or mobile rig."
If you haven't yet begun trying for the Triple Play Award, why not start? There are still quite a few State QSO Parties this year, and the DX contest season starts in a few months. According to Sumner, contesters are among the most loyal devotees of LoTW. Once you begin, you might find that the pursuit can be terribly addictive.
The Rules In-Depth
The rules for the Triple Play Award state that two-way communication must be established on the amateur bands with each state on each mode (the District of Columbia may be counted for Maryland). There is no minimum signal report required. Contacts must be made from the same location, or from locations no two of which are more than 50 miles apart. Club station applicants must include their club name and call sign of the club station or trustee on their application. The Triple Play Award will be issued on sequentially numbered certificates, starting with #1, as determined by the time stamp of the electronic application as submitted via LoTW. There are no endorsements for this award.
Contacts made through repeater devices or any other power relay method may not be used for WAS confirmation (a separate WAS award is available for satellite contacts). All stations contacted must be land stations; contacts with ships, anchored or otherwise, and aircraft, cannot be counted. The only exception to this rule is permanently docked exhibition ships (such as the Queen Mary) and other historic ships will be considered land based.
Triple Play Award applicants who reside in the US must be ARRL members to be eligible to receive the award. DX stations do not need to be ARRL members. All bands -- with the exception of 60 meters -- may be used in pursuit of the Triple Play Award.