[CQ-Contest] NAQP - it IS a serious contest

David A. Pruett k8cc at comcast.net
Tue Jan 14 17:38:14 EST 2003

At 07:06 PM 1/13/03 -0500, Bud Hippisley, K2KIR wrote:
>Just think how much more fun it would be if it TRULY replaced the CD 
>Parties by using ARRL sections as multipliers....

Speaking as one of the principals in the "smoke filled" hospitality suite 
at the 1985 ARRL National Convention in Louisville, KY where the NAQP was 

It's true that the NAQP was invented to replace the CD parties that the 
ARRL had just dropped.  The CD parties only counted multipliers once 
overall, not by band so TRULY replacing the CD parties in this aspect would 
have been less fun IMHO.

One other thing to keep in mind that when the NAQP was founded, the NCJ's 
association with the ARRL was still three years away.  Instead, the "NAQP 
founding fathers" drew heavily on the successful NCJ NA Sprint for 
inspiration, which even then was roughly ten years old.  This is where the 
"NA" in NAQP came from, and the NAQP exchange is just like the Sprint's 
with the serial number left out.

But there were other conscious strategies at work as well:

- Mults-per-band was a conscious effort to allow little gun stations to get 
into the strategy of moving mults between bands, like the bigger stations 
do in DX contests.

- Since this was an NCJ sponsored contest (as opposed to an ARRL sponsored 
one) we saw no reason to use sections for mults.  States seemed more 
universal and would allow casual participants (who might not know their 
ARRL section) to be readily worked.

- Similarly, the use of the operator's name in the exchange (rather than an 
RST or serial number) was intended to foster QSOs with casual participants.

The first NAQP was in April 1986.  Sometime in the 90's, the decision was 
made to make it a 100W contest, which immediately bolstered activity.  Now, 
with good conditions and the increasing use of SO2R, the contest has become 
quite successful.  If I recall, in the the last open CD parties stations 
would make 1200-1400 QSOs in twenty hours on CW.  During this last NAQP, we 
were seeing it done in ten hours.  This is progress.



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