Register Account

Login Help

ARRL Contests — Changes for 2017-2018

As announced in September 2017 QST, p91

To see the QST page announcement, go here


Welcome to the 2017-2018 contest season!  The ARRL's contest season typically begins with September (Fall events) and runs through August (Summer events).

We’ve been busy improving the processes for submitting logs and reporting scores, plus there are a few rule clarifications and guidelines you should be aware of. 

Unless stated otherwise, all of the following go into effect with the September VHF Contest (September 9-11, 2017). 

These changes reflect current “best practices” in the contest community and help us improve the quality of the competition and reporting of results.  For example, getting the log data into log checking more quickly will allow us to post preliminary results online (like we do for Sweepstakes) for nearly all contests.


Ready?  CQ contesters!


Log Submissions

Log Submission in the "General Rules for All Contests" has been simplified and revised.  Individual contest rules will no longer include a log submission section (with any exceptions noted on the contest's overview section). Here are the most important points:

Online (electronic) log submission: Except for Field Day, or the EME and '10 GHz and Up' contests, going forward electronic logs will be submitted through the web app at  (Thanks to Bruce Horn, WA7BNM for creating and maintaining this page.) Email log-handling "robots" will only continue to operate until they can no longer properly handle the logs (we expect them to be phased out in the coming months, at which time they will be deactivated and submitters will be redirected to the web app).

Log submission deadlines: Effectively immediately, except for the "222 MHz and Up Distance Contest" (2 weeks), and the EME and 10 GHz and Up contests (30 days):

  • HF Contests - the log submission deadline for all ARRL (and IARU) HF contests is five (5) days (120 hours) from the end of the contest.  To accommodate participant connectivity issues or travel obligations, an extension can be obtained by contacting the ARRL Contest Branch (email: any time before the submission deadline.
  • VHF (and above) Contests - the log submission deadline for all ARRL VHF and above contests is ten (10) days from the end of the contest.  As VHF+ events have a high volume of Temporary, Portable and Rover (mobile) station participants, the 10-day deadline allows for their submissions to accommodate takedown of, and/or travel from portable/temporary station sites. To accommodate further possible time constraints, connectivity issues or travel obligations, an extension can be obtained by contacting the ARRL Contest Branch (email: any time before the submission deadline.

Logged frequency
: HF contest entries competing for awards as category leaders are encouraged to  specify frequency with a 1 kHz resolution.  This is standard practice for other top contests, and assists with log checking.

Public logs
: All logs submitted for log checking will be posted online for public inspection once the final results are released.

Paper logs
: These will continue to be accepted, but are only eligible for awards at the discretion of the Contest Branch Manager.

Log withdrawal: Logs may be withdrawn up to 10 days following the log submission deadline.


Club Competition

The new toolset for clubs to comply with the Club Competition rules (Section 8 of has been very well received over the past several months. Most clubs are already on-board. You can add, or update, your club's eligibility list at .

Clubs must submit up-to-date eligibility lists before the contest to be included in the results.  Only scores from members (in a valid eligibility list) will be counted toward the club score total.  Members must reside and operate in the specified club territory (club circle or section) to contribute scores to a club total. 

Calculation of club scores will now be based exclusively on this information. No waivers of eligibility rules will be granted. For more information and tools for submitting your club's eligibility list, see


Log Checking Penalties

Penalties for "zero-point" QSOs (such as US-to-US QSOs in ARRL DX) will not be assessed during log checking.  Please continue to log and submit all zero-point QSOs.

Do not remove duplicate QSOs from electronically-submitted logs.  No penalty is assessed, and submitting all duplicates helps insure proper credit in case either station has made an error during one of the QSOs.

Remote-Controlled-Station Entries

Acting as the control operator for a remote-controlled station in the U.S. or its possessions requires that the operator hold a U.S. FCC-issued license - and have sufficient privileges for all operation.  CEPT/IARP reciprocal operating authority does not include authority to remotely control a U.S. station.

If another operator acts as the on-site control operator of the remote station you are using, the entry must be submitted in a multioperator category (and may be subject to limitations of off-times and band changes).  The location for the contest-log entry will be the location of the remote station, regardless of where the operator is during the contest. For more information, see the online FAQ at

Operating Rules

Multiple In-Band CQing: Recognizing that amateur bands are generally full during contests, maintaining two or more frequencies to solicit contacts on the same band and mode is prohibited. (IARU HF and 10 Meter contests prohibit the practice regardless of mode.) This does not apply to stations transmitting on one frequency and receiving on multiple frequencies.

Call Sign and Sweepstakes Exchange: The call sign of the station sending the exchange must be sent as part of the exchange. (i.e. here is a reply from W9JJ who answered W1AW's CQ and copied W1AW's exchange:  “One hundred twenty three, alpha, W9JJ, seventy nine, Connecticut.”)  It is not necessary to send the call sign of the station receiving the exchange unless you feel there might be confusion as to which station you are responding.

U.S. Operators in Canada (or Candian operators in the U.S.): The U.S. / Canada reciprocal operating treaty requires that the call sign be sent with the country prefix at the end of the call sign. i.e. W9JJ/VE1, not VE1/W9JJ - or for Canadian operators in the U.S., the same is required, i.e. VE8XYZ/W7, not W7/VE8XYZ.

VHF Contest - Single-Operator, FM Only: QSO: lines must specify FM as the mode for all FM QSOs.

VHF - HF Digital mode contacts
: While there is no digital competition category in VHF contests at this time, for all contests the default digital mode reference used with Cabrillo logs is "RY".



Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn