Guide to December 2022 Ham Radio Contests

Yes, it’s a cliché to say, “Wow, that year really flew by,” but it does seem like it was only yesterday we were hanging up our unmarked ham radio calendars and opening brand-new logbooks in anticipation of the QSOs ahead.

Before we turn the page on what has been another fruitful contesting year, there’s still a few more opportunities to bid farewell to 2022 with a flourish, including some top band action, a QRP challenge, 10-meter fun, a year-end YOTA event, and the chance for novice Morse code operators to hone their CW skills in the slow lane.

  • ARRL 160 Meter, CW, December 2, 2200Z to December 4, 1600Z. For amateurs worldwide to exchange information with W/VE amateurs on 160 meters.

Looking to upgrade your 160M acumen in the coming year? Find vertical, dipole, trap dipole, and whip 160M antennas, receive filters, phased array quarter wave tuned cables, preamps, add-on kits, tuners, ferrite bead kits, dual vertical array systems, reference books, and more at

  • K1USN Slow Speed Test, December 5, 0000Z to 0100Z. Held every Monday, this CW contest is “for those who prefer a more leisurely CW pace or are new CW operators or contesters,” according to the K1USN SST website. If you copy under 25 words per minute and are looking for a welcoming place on the air to improve your CW speed, this might be just the ticket. The contest is the brainchild of members of the K1USN Radio Club, who are also members of the CW Operators Club.

Need keys, paddles, bugs, electronic keyers, code practice oscillator kits, pocket size Morse code tutors, and absolutely everything CW? You’ll find it at

  • International Naval Contest: December 10, 1600Z to December 11, 1559Z. Sponsored this year by the Italian Naval “Old Rhytmers” Club, this annual CW/SSB event takes place the second weekend of December and involves naval clubs from Romania, Finland, Portugal, Austria, and other countries.
  • ARRL 10 Meter, CW, SSB, December 10, 0000Z to December 11, 2359Z. For amateurs worldwide to exchange QSO information with as many stations as possible on 10 meters. You’ll find plenty of ways to boost your 10M performance in 2023 at, including this COMTEK 20VA 20-10M Antenna.
  • QRP ARCI Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint, December 11, 2000Z to 2300Z. This CW-only contest encourages hams to put their handcrafted equipment to the test, with bonus points awarded for use of homebrewed receivers, transmitters, and receivers, as well as operations from a portable location.
  • ARRL Rookie Roundup, CW, December 18, 1800Z to 2359Z. Rookies exchange information with as many other stations as possible on the 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands.

Interested in the Rookie Roundup or other contests for newbies? Read this OnAllBands article from blogger Sean Kutzko, KX9X, on contesting tips for Technicians.

  • DARC X-Mas Contest, December 26, 0830Z to 1059Z. This popular two-and-a-half hour SSB/CW sprint sponsored by DARC (Deutscher Amateur Radio Club) is the final competition which counts toward the German annual club championship. DARC invites all amateurs to join in the fun, noting that you’ll likely hear “Frohes Fest” (Merry Christmas) or “FF” in CW tacked onto more than a few QSOs.
  • YOTA Contest, December 30, 1200Z to 2359Z. This is the third round of the 2022 Youngsters on the Air Contest (previous rounds were held in May and July). Organized by the IARU R1 Youth Working Group in association with MRASZ (Hungarian Amateur Radio Society), the event is designed to increase youth activity on the air, strengthen the reputation of the YOTA program, and demonstrate support for young hams around the world.

Leave a Reply