HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day (Cheerleading): What is Cheerleading in HAM Radio?

Everybody loves a cheerleader, right?  Not if you’re in the heat of a highly competitive Amateur Radio contest!

Cheerleading describes the practice of a station or group of stations actively supporting the operation of a specific competitor. This could be by, say, spotting the competitor’s CQs on spotting networks, coordinating to find and call the station (as a group) to attempt to enhance their score, or passing along multiplier information, etc. Such practices are unethical and and may be cause for disqualification, depending on the contest rules. Cheerleading has occurred in WRTC (World Radiosport Team Championship) events and constitutes a serious threat to the integrity of those competitions. At the 2018 WRTC in Germany, this appeared in the competition rules:

WRTC stations should not encourage “cheerleading,” i.e. QSOs in which supporters make QSOs with only a favoured team or exclusively spot that team on the DX-cluster. Cheerleading should be actively discouraged by the competitors and abuses through the use of cheerleading may result in QSOs being removed from logs as deemed necessary to assure a fair competition.

Bottom line: Read the rules carefully for the contest you are participating in. Some contests allow “assisted modes,” a term will explore in a future post.

While DX Engineering never encourages breaking the rules, we do encourage Amateur operators at all levels to get on the air to participate in contests like the WRTC, in which the competitors depend on activity from Hams around the world. Here are a few transceiver/amplifier/microphone packages we’ve put together to get your station ready for the next big event.

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