Like many hobbies, Amateur Radio has a competitive side. The term Sport Radio is often used to describe the use of radio in a competitive context.
It is useful to break down the various aspects into three main categories:
- Direct competition with other amateur radio operators, either in the same country or worldwide.
- Awards Schemes
- An aspect of the hobby encouraging individuals to push themselves towards their own goals.
- Individually set goals with no pre-defined structure.
And now for some of the better known aspects of Sport Radio.
The RSGB Contest Committee organise contests across most of the amateur radio bands and are generally on a weekly or monthly schedule throughout the year. The competitions focus on making as many contacts as possible with stations with different Maidenhead locators.
UKEICC – UK/EI DX Contests
The UKEICC was formed to encourage UK and Irish participation in domestic and international HF contests. It provides useful information if you want to get started in contesting, lots of advice on improving contesting techniques and runs a number of contests itself throughout the year.
Practical Wireless QRP Contests
The magazine Practical Wireless holds two annual competitions designed to challenge amateur radio operators to contact others in the UK using QRP or low power mode. The two competitions make use of up to 5 watts on the 2m/144Mhz band and 10 watts on the 4m/70Mhz band. The competitions focus on making as many contacts as possible with stations with different Maidenhead locators.
Worked All Britain
The Worked All Britain Awards Scheme has been running since 1969 and encourages amateur radio operators to make contact with other operators in the United Kingdom. There are Perpetual Awards based on making contact with operators across Britain or an individual territory and Timed Awards where operating is restricted to a year or part of a year.
Islands on the Air
Islands On The Air is an award program for radio amateurs interested in making contacts with stations located on islands worldwide. The program was launched in 1964.
Summits on the Air
Summits on the Air or SOTA for short is a world wide award programme challenging amateur radio enthusiasts to make contact via portable radio from the top of hill and mountain summits. The award program extends to other amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners (known as chasers) who make contact with activators.
Wainwrights on the Air
Wainwrights on the Air (WOTA for short) is an awards programme for amateur radio enthusiasts who enjoy being out on the fells of the English Lake District, as well as those who just like collecting contacts with unusual locations, and has been designed to make participation possible for everyone.
HuMPs Excluding Marilyns Award
The HuMPs Excluding Marilyns Award Scheme, or HUMPS for short is similar in concept to SOTA but takes into account hills between 100m and 150m in prominence.
World Wide Flora and Fauna
World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio, or WWFF is encouraging to leave your shack and go outside portable operating in protected nature parks all over the world.
More than 20.000 nature parks world wide are already registered in the WWFF Directory. Hunters and Activators can apply for colorful awards, globally and national.
Personal challenges can take any form you can dream up! Here are some examples:
Work the World – make contact with at least one amateur radio operator in each country in the World.
Work the World via a Digital Mode – use low power digital modes to make contact with stations in each country in the world.
Satellites – make contact with other amateur radio operators via satellites.
EME – Make contact with another amateur radio operator via EME or Earth Moon Earth, also known as moon bounce.