The Contesting Code of Ethics

The Contesting Code of Ethics, annotated

1.  I will learn and obey the rules of any contest I enter, including the rules of my entry category.

Many people mistakenly assume that the rules are the same for every contest, and they never change. Some contests allow single operators to use the cluster, some don’t. Some have minimum off-time periods, some don’t. Some are limited to a certain power level, some are not.. If you want to play by the rules, you have to know the rules!

2.  I will obey the rules for amateur radio in my country.

This is especially true if you operate outside your home country. Make sure you know the band limits and power limits.

3.  I will not modify my log after the contest by using additional data sources to correct callsign/exchange errors.

When it’s over, it’s over. Some people believe logs should be submitted as-is at the end of the contest. Others want to proofread the log once to correct obvious typographical errors or things that were noted
during the contest. However, intensive “log-scrubbing” activities after the contest that are generally viewed as inappropriate include comparing the callsigns in the log to QRZ.COM and similar databases, asking other people for advice on a suspect callsign, emailing someone you have worked to confirm his callsign and/or exchange.

4.  I will accept the judging and scoring decisions of the contest sponsor as final.

It is extremely poor sportsmanship to challenge the decisions of the contest sponsor, especially in public. The log-checkers are volunteers who do their best to determine the correct order of finish. Mistakes DO happen in the process, and valid QSOs are sometimes removed or penalized. However, many more incorrect QSOs are left in logs because the software cannot prove them to be wrong.

5.  I will adhere to the DX Code of Conduct in my operating style (see

Listen, listen, listen; only call when you can hear the station; never trust the cluster (copy the call yourself!)
and many more tips that will actually help your accuracy.

6.  I will yield my frequency to any emergency communications activity.

Contesting is a game. Emergencies are real life. If you were in a disaster area, would you want someone calling “CQ Contest” on your frequency?

7.  I will operate my transmitter with sufficient signal quality to minimize interference to others.

It is extremely poor sportsmanship to operate a transmitter with key clicks, or overdrive an amplifier to create splatter in an effort to create a clear frequency. If everyone did it, there would be no room on the bands.