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Saddle Up for the 2010 CW Rookie Roundup!


The ARRL’s newest on-the-air operating event -- the Rookie Roundup -- is designed to help newly licensed amateurs build their operating skills on HF. This is a contest specifically for those new to Amateur Radio, similar to the ARRL Novice Roundup that ran from 1952 until 1995. The Rookie Roundup combines a competitive event with some on-the-air training, bringing the fun and Elmering of the old Novice Roundup into the 21st century. Three Rookie Roundups -- One each for SSB, RTTY and CW -- are held each calendar year. The CW running of the Rookie Roundup will take place Sunday, December 19 from 1800 UTC through 2359 UTC.

The Rookie Roundup is six hours of fun on a Sunday afternoon that is designed to give new hams a chance to get their feet wet on HF and 6 meters. Who is a Rookie? Any amateur licensed for three years or less, regardless of license class. If you received your license in 2008, 2009 or 2010, you’re eligible to compete as a Rookie; Stations licensed before 2008 can submit checklogs only, but will be recognized in the final results. Old-timers are encouraged to get on the air and work the Rookies, just as in they did in the Novice Roundups. It is an immediate, hands-on way to teach good operating practices to those just getting started.

“When I was licensed in 1982, my Novice license only permitted me to operate CW,” said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. “The old Novice Roundup was one of the events that kept me interested in keeping on with CW and Amateur Radio. I worked a lot of old timers in the ‘NR’ who took the time to listen for the ‘newbie’ like myself. It was great fun and encouraging. Now the Rookie Roundup serves the same role. We’ve had two successful SSB Rookie Roundups. This will be the first CW Rookie Roundup, and I’m really excited about it. It’s a great way to give back to Amateur Radio and help promote CW operating to a new generation of amateurs.”

The Rookie Roundup is a great warm-up for ARRL Straight Key Night. If you’re a Rookie new to CW, get on the air and listen for stations calling “CQ RR” or call “CQ RR” yourself! Don’t send faster than you can copy -- people will slow down for you and you will work stations. If you’re an Old Timer or a member of a club that promotes CW operating, break out your straight key or paddle, QRS and remember what it was like when you made your first CW QSOs. Work some of the Rookies who will be in the same shoes you were in back in the day and demonstrate how much fun CW can be.

The Rookie Roundup is a single-operator event only. Stations are allowed a maximum of 100 W. Elmering is encouraged, and use of spotting networks is allowed, but please -- no self-spotting. Use the real-time contest logger at to log QSOs, or use the paper score summary sheet and log, available on the Rookie Roundup Web page. All scores must be reported using the Rookie Roundup Score Reporting Form. All scores must be reported by 2359 UTC on Wednesday, December 22. Certificates will be available in PDF form soon after the event.



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