ARRL Contest and Award Rule Changes #Contest #DX

Marty Meyers

The ARRL has made a few changes to their contest and Award rules to limit the use of automatic contacts as credit. There isn't a lot of info published on this yet but I'm sure this will lead to some spirited debate.


Following the direction of the ARRL Board of Directors, ARRL has incorporated changes to the rules for all ARRL-sponsored contests and DXCC, prohibiting automated contacts. These changes also apply to the Worked All States (including Triple Play and 5-Band WAS), VHF/UHF Century Club, and Fred Fish, W5FF, Memorial awards. The changes are effective immediately.

A resolution at the July ARRL Board of Directors meeting pointed to “growing concern over fully automated contacts being made and claimed” for contest and DXCC credit. The rules now require that each claimed contact include contemporaneous direct initiation by the operator on both sides of the contact. Initiation of a contact may be either local or remote. 

I believe some amateurs have created code to automate the use of modes such as FT8 and FT4 and this is likely what they are going after. I do believe that the use of these modes is still in play but that the user on each end will need to physically initiate the contact. I am not sure how this will be enforced. If you have additional information on these changes please post.



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