[CQ-Contest] Contest-Preferred Segments

K1AR at aol.com K1AR at aol.com
Fri Jul 31 09:24:17 PDT 2009

After reading all of the mail on this subject, here is my take:
1) There are a bunch of unenforceable, uncoordinated band plan  
recommendations in place.
2) No one is going to observe them in this year's WAE contest as has  
always been the case in the past.
3) DARC log checkers are going to do a "look away" as they always do  (and 
as they should). In fact, they don't even check specific frequencies,  just 
band entries.
4) The contest will go on as usual.
5) We will debate this same topic again after the CQ WW SSB (those darn SSB 
 guys on 7020) and a few other contests, too.
6) Nothing will change.
7) Refer to #1.
Tell me again why we're so worked up over this? 
How do you guys feel about skimmer? (Noooooooooooooo...)
73 John, K1AR
In a message dated 7/31/2009 12:12:11 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
joerg at dl8wpx.de writes:


Thank you very much for the WAEDC discussion so far. I'm  delighted that we
finally have unearthed something laying around unattended  for a while.
Looking thru my mails I see many opinions voiced without much  background

Therefore here some further facts and  thoughts:

1. The WAEDC rule 2, we are talking about, has been an  unchanged part of 
WAE DX contest for more than 10 years. Only news in  2009 is the inclusion 
40m CW and SSB. When our ruling body met in March  2009 we didn't intend to
change this rule, just to amend it based on a new  IARU R1 recommendation.

2. The topic has clearly some political aspect.  The IARU R1 HF Committee C4
frequently delivers recommendations to all the  Region 1 member societies.
They are incorporated in the IARU R1 HF Managers  Handbook and the related
Bandplan. The recommendation for contest-preferred  segments was first
adopted in Tel Aviv 1996, initially specifying segments  for 80/75m and 20m.
After expansion of the 40m band in Region 1, in Cavtat  2008 this
recommendation was modified to include some parts of the "new"  40m band 
The intention of these recommendations is to keep small  segments of the
bands contest-free for other interest groups and thus to  de-escalate some
anti-contest hatred.

3. There are ongoing  activities to harmonize the bandplans between the 
IARU regions. I  don't know when, but the IARU Region 2 has also adopted
these  contest-preferred segments on 80/75m and 20m some while ago. At  
that's what the current Region 2 Bandplan shows.

4. Defining  contest rules you have two general choices: Either you try
somehow to go  along with these general recommendations or you ignore them
completely. In  our case, DARC being WAEDC contest sponsor and also member
society of IARU  R1, we can't simply ignore them. Thus, you try to interpret
the  recommendations. Here it gets interesting, with "recommendation" being
such  a very common rubber term in international politics  and

5. How to start? OK, let's first have a look at  what the ruling body IARU
itself does, being the sponsor of a major HF  Radiosport Championship. Under
topic "Valid Contacts" we find (unchanged at  least since 2003): "6.3. Where
contest-preferred segments are incorporated  into regional band plans,
participants must observe them." Hmmm, did you  actually know that? That
covers not only IARU Region 1, but Region 2 too!  Now, my English isn't that
good, there might still be room for  interpretation in the term "observe" 
certainly not in "must".

6.  Now, I know that the amendment of the IARU R1 recommendation for 40m CW
was  originally submitted by the RSGB. Let's have a look at their own rules
of  the RSGB IOTA Contest then, also recognized as one of the  major
international contests. §3 quote: "3. BANDS AND MODES 3.5, 7, 14, 21  and
28MHz, CW and SSB. IARU band plans must be observed, with CW contacts  being
made only in the recognised CW ends of the bands (see RSGB Yearbook  and
similar sources, for recognised IARU band plans). Contest-preferred  
must be observed, no operation to take place on 3500-3510, 3560 -  3600, 
- 3700, 14060 - 14125 and 14300 - 14350kHz.". Aha, the RSGB  ignores their
own new 40m recommendation, but they still stick to the  strict
interpretation of the old recommendation. Thus, they might possibly  come up
with the 40m amendment in the next year.

Actually, as a  quick solution it's no challenge for us simply to revert 
to the old  WAEDC rule 2 in effect until 2008. OTOH, I also can't remember
that anybody  ever was DQ'd in one of these contests because of this ruling.
In WAEDC we  not even consider frequency information as valuable yet, our
internal STF  file format and the related tools only store and process band
information  (80, 40, 20,...). And I can't see any sponsor providing the
necessary funds  to start from scratch again, not even the IARU Region 1 ;-)

But this  doesn't solve the general problem. We active contesters have
ignored this  topic for many years and now it slowly begins to haunt us
seriously - and  not only in Europe and Africa. Ask your own IARU member
organization and  the related HF Managers about their opinion...

Best 73 de Joerg,  DL8WPX

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