CQ has announced updates to its rules for the CQ World Wide SSB and CW contests, effective this fall, and said complete rules will be published soon. The changes clarify the definition of multioperator, single transmitter (MS); spell out club definitions and residency requirements; restrict ITU Region 1 stations transmitting frequencies on 40 and 160 meters; address audio recording requirements, and impose greater penalties for so-called “rubber clocking.”
1. Multi-Single Definition
The word “transmitter” has been revised to “station/signal,” with reference made to the FAQ section. CQ said this change “further clarifies the definition of MS, as already provided in the FAQs.
2. Club Definitions
US Clubs: Participation is limited to club members residing within a 250-mile radius of the club area’s center.
DX Clubs: Participation is limited to club members residing either within the DXCC entity where the club is located or within a 400-kilometer radius of the club area’s center.
The word “reside” shall be defined as: To dwell permanently or continuously or to occupy a place as a person’s fixed, permanent, and principal home for legal purposes.
3. General Rules for All Entrants
Stations in ITU Region 1 may not transmit above 7,200 kHz on 40 meters during the phone contest weekend, and they may not transmit below 1,810 kHz during contest weekends.
4. Audio Recordings
The updated rule expands the scope from “top 3” to “top 5” and expands the time frame for such requests from 90 days to 120 days. The Classic overlay is now specifically included in the “top 5” definition. The updated rules specify that recordings must be continuous, and that “recordings of individual QSOs” alone in not acceptable.
The rules also elaborate and expand upon the category options to which a log can be reclassified, if no recording is provided, and add a new category, Administrative Check Log.
CQ said the top 3 was expanded to top 5 because, “in some cases, a top 3 entrant could be ‘knocked out’ after review. This reasoning also was behind the change to 120 days to request a recording. CQ also said that specifically including the Classic overlay under the recording requirement “closes a perceived gap in the rules as they were written.”
CQ said the Contest Committee will not request a recording simply because an entrant is in the top 5. “The committee will request a recording when something suspicious or curious in the log is identified by the committee,” CQ said, adding that operators not stretching or breaking the rules are unlikely to be asked to provide a recording.
5. Log Checking
The penalty for a call sign copying error (busted/bad call or NIL) has been returned from 2:1 to 3:1. The penalty for altering a contact time for multiple operator, two transmitter (M2) and multioperator, single transmitter (MS) entries has been bumped up from removing the contact to 10× for QSO points and multipliers.
CQ said the Contest Committee leadership felt that the 3:1 penalty provided more incentive to copy call signs correctly. MS and M2 entrants have strict time requirements, and it is possible to alter the time of an individual contact is logged, so that the contact no longer results in a band-change violation. “In the past, some entrants would have a ‘small number’ of such events, also known as ‘rubber-clocking,’” CQ said. CQ said the 10× penalty for rubber clocking provides “a strong incentive” for entrants not to falsify logs.
“The idea is to make the penalty for altering logged times so intolerable that entrants will not be tempted to try,” CQ said. Excessive rubber-clocking could result in disqualification of the entry and for all operators at that station. CQ noted that band-change violations that do not involve altering actual contact times would not be affected by the new 10× rule.
The SSB weekend is October 29-30. The CW weekend is November 26-27.