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2020 Field Day Rule Changes

from the ARRL: Stay Safe and Stay On the Air

With 2020 ARRL Field Day – one of the biggest events on the Amateur Radio calendar – just about 12 weeks away, ARRL officials are monitoring this situation with the coronavirus very closely and paying close attention to all of the information and guidance being offered by the CDC’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html). 

At its core, Field Day is a local event and an opportunity for local amateur radio clubs to showcase the skills, science and technologies that make radio communication such a wonderful hobby and a valuable public service. Since the impact of the coronavirus outbreak has been very different in different parts of the country, we recommend that all amateur radio clubs participating in Field Day be in regular contact with their local or state public health officials for their advice and guidance on hosting Field Day activities. This also offers an opportunity for amateur radio clubs to bolster or re-establish their relationships with local and state public health and emergency management officials. 

Because of the unique circumstances presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club and/or group to try something new.  Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year – use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with our current circumstances.

Local club officials are the most appropriate people to be making decisions about their specific Field Day programs. We are all concerned about protecting the health and safety of those participating in or attending Field Day activities, and so we trust local club officials to take the appropriate steps to monitor local conditions and make decisions in the best interest of their communities.

ARRL officials strongly believe that following the guidelines of local, state and national health care professionals will help ensure everyone’s safety in the coming weeks and months.

TEMPORARY RULE CHANGES

1) For Field Day 2020 only, Class D stations may work all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points.

     
Field Day rule 4.6 defines Class D stations as “Home stations,” including stations operating from permanent or licensed station locations using commercial power. Class D stations ordinarily may only count contacts made with Class A, B, C, E, and F Field Day stations, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows Class D stations to count contacts with other Class D stations for QSO credit.

     2) In addition, for 2020 only, an aggregate club score will be published, which will be the sum of all individual entries indicating a specific club (similar to the aggregate score totals used in ARRL affiliated club competitions).

     Ordinarily, club names are only published in the results for Class A and Class F entries, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows participants from any Classto optionally include a single club name with their submitted results following Field Day.

     For example, if Podunk Hollow Radio Club members Becky, W1BXY, and Hiram, W1AW, both participate in 2020 Field Day — Hiram from his Class D home station, and Becky from her Class C mobile station — both can include the radio club’s name when reporting their individual results. The published results listing will include individual scores for Hiram and Becky, plus a combined score for all entries identified as Podunk Hollow Radio Club.

The temporary rule waivers were adopted by the PSC on May 27, 2020.

ARRL Field Day is one of the biggest events on the amateur radio calendar, with over 36,000 participants in 2019, including entries from 3,113 radio clubs and emergency operations centers. In most years, Field Day is also the largest annual demonstration of ham radio, because many radio clubs organize their participation in public places such as parks and schools.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many radio clubs have made decisions to cancel their group participation in ARRL Field Day this year due to public health recommendations and/or requirements, or to significantly modify their participation for safe social distancing practices. The temporary rule waivers allow greater flexibility in recognizing the value of individual and club participation regardless of entry class.

ARRL is contacting logging program developers about the temporary rule waivers so developers can release updated versions of their software prior to Field Day weekend. Participants are reminded that the preferred method of submitting entries after Field Day is via the web applet. The ARRL Field Day rules include instructions for submitting entries after the event. Entries must be submitted or postmarked by Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

The ARRL Field Day web page includes a series of articles with ideas and advice for adapting participation this year.