The ARRL VHF Contest Revitalization (VCR) Committee has drafted rules for a proposed new UHF and Up Contest and now is seeking input from the contesting community. The invitation follows the Committee’s review of “considerable input from the amateur community.”
“In proposing the new rules, the Committee sought to respond to some of the most frequently received comments and to provide a ‘test bed’ for changes that might be considered for other non-HF contests in the future,” ARRL Central Division Vice Director and VCR Chair Kermit Carlson, W9XA, explained. “At this time, everything is a proposal — open for comment and definitely in flux.”
Carlson said several common themes stood out among the comments and suggestions the Committee has already received. These included:
- Use distance-based scoring rather than a geographic multiplier system
- The August timing is too close to other VHF+ contests and/or it’s too hot for roving
- More incentive is needed to invest time and effort in making higher-band contacts
- Existing rover rules are too complicated and too restrictive
- Current VHF+ contests have too many entry categories
- Scoring potential varies widely from one geographic region to another
The draft contest proposal uses distance scoring, with point multipliers for contacts made on higher bands. To encourage roving, it simplifies rover rules to include those who do not travel great distances, and mobile stations. It includes just three entry categories and features regional, rather than national, competition. It adds team competition for small groups of operators who may not be part of a contest club.
The event would be held in the spring, between the January and June VHF contests.
Nothing is final yet — not even the name of the contest, Carlson stressed. The Committee would like to hear from veteran and prospective VHF+ contest participants before it moves ahead with any additional changes.
Submit comments by e-mail by June 15.
The Committee also encourages more local outreach — articles, announcements, seminars, and mentoring — to draw new participants into this and all radiosporting activities. Expanding the pool of potential contacts will make these contests more enjoyable for everyone, and Carlson said he hopes that commenters will share their outreach ideas with the Committee too.
The Committee thanks “the many respondents for their thoughtful input to date, and it requests continued input,” Carlson said, adding that the Committee is looking toward announcing the new event in early 2017.