RSGB Commonwealth Contest

RSGB Commonwealth Contest Rules

The Commonwealth Contest promotes contacts between stations in the Commonwealth and Mandated Territories. A more relaxed contest environment gives the opportunity to work some choice DX.

Note changes for 2012:

Entrants must now conform with Band Plans (see Rule 1).

In the Team Competition, the team size is now five, and notification must be made of team members' callsigns (see Rule 6).

1. Basic Information

Date: 10 - 11 March 2012
Time: 1000 -1000UTC

Bands: 3.5, 7, 14, 21, 28MHz. Activity is normally concentrated in the lower 30kHz of each band. However, entrants must observe band-plans and contest-preferred segments, so no operation must take place below 3510kHz or above 14060kHz.

Mode: CW

Exchange: RST plus serial number. HQ stations will additionally send HQ, which must be logged

2. Eligible entrants

Land-based stations operated by licensed radio amateurs within the Commonwealth or British Mandated Territories (as defined by the RSGB call-area list) are eligible to enter. UK entrants must be members of the RSGB. Sections (a) and (b) are for single-operator stations who may not receive any assistance whatsoever during the contest, including the use of spotting nets, packet cluster or other assistance in finding new contacts or bonuses. Additionally, with the specific exception of the HQ station GB5CC, UK stations may not use any special callsign. Remote operation is permitted, but in addition to the requirements of the General Rules, the operator must be within the same Commonwealth Call Area as the other elements of the station.

3. Sections

(a) Open

24 hour operation - full legal limit on power - no antenna restrictions.


12 hour operation - full legal limit on power - no antenna restrictions.

(b) Restricted

24 hour operation - output power limited to 100 watts - antenna restricted to single element.


12 hour operation - output power limited to 100 watts - antenna restricted to single element.

For stations in the 12-hour categories, off periods must be clearly defined in the Soapbox field of the Cabrillo file and a minimum of 60 minutes in length. However, time before the first contact, and after the final contact, may be of any length. Stations opting to operate for a maximum of 12 hours will be annotated in the results listings.

The term “single element” defines each antenna (eg. dipole, vertical, long-wire, etc), and does not preclude the use of different single-element antennas during the contest. However, the concurrent use of one single-element antenna for transmitting and another (eg beverage) for receiving is not permitted.

(c) Multi-Operator / Assisted

24 hour operation - single transmitted signal - full legal limit on power - no antenna restrictions - packet cluster use permitted.

4. Scoring

Contacts may be made with any station using a Commonwealth Call Area prefix, except those within the entrant's own call area. Note that for this contest, the entire UK counts as one call area, and therefore UK stations may not work each other. Each contact scores 5 points with a bonus of 20 points for each of the first three contacts with each Commonwealth Call Area on each band. Commonwealth Call Areas

5. Headquarters stations

A number of Commonwealth Society HQ stations will be active during the contest and will send HQ after their serial number, to identify themselves. Only one HQ station is permitted per Commonwealth Call Area. Each HQ station counts as an additional call area, and entrants may contact any HQ station (including one in their own call area) for points and bonuses, the annotation HQ being made in the log where appropriate.

6. Team Competition

(a) Each team will consist of up to five stations. In addition to Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and Rest of the World teams, any Commonwealth country or geographical region may enter one or more teams. An individual station may only represent one team, and may compete in the Open or Restricted section. Each station's log must be submitted in the normal way.

(b) Each team will have a captain who must submit a list of callsigns of team members to no later than seven days before the start of the contest. Substitutions may be accepted up to the start of the contest.

(c) Stations in the Rest of the World team(s) may only be drawn from countries not submitting their own team.

7. Team Scoring

(a) The team score is the sum of individual adjudicated scores, with all stations located in the southern hemisphere or on the equator having their final score multiplied by a “latitude factor”.

(b) The “latitude factor” will be re-calculated each year based on published scores: for each hemisphere, the highest-scoring team total for each of the last three years will be used to give an overall total and the factor will be calculated as the ratio of the northern to the southern grand totals rounded down to the nearest two decimal places.

(c) Each team member is competing as a single-operator within the overall contest, and no passing of information between team members during the event is permitted, except that team members may work each other for points and/or bonuses where the contest rules allow.

8. Logs

Each entry must indicate the section entered, and should contain the full postal address of the entrant. Electronic logs must be submitted in Cabrillo format to

Paper logs must be submitted in chronological QSO order and show time; band; callsign worked; RST+serial sent; received exchange; points. For full details see the general rules at The address for paper logs is - RSGB G3UFY, 77 Bensham Manor Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey, CR7 7AF, UK. Entrants are reminded that logs sent to any other address may not reach the adjudicator.

An example of a Commonwealth Contest log in Cabrillo format can be found at -

Further information regarding the Cabrillo format can be found at -

9. Closing date for logs

Logs must be received no later than one calendar month after the end of the contest.

10. Awards

(a) Open: The Senior Rose Bowl to the overall leader. The Col Thomas Rose Bowl to the highest-placed UK station.

(b) Restricted: The Junior Rose Bowl to the section leader. The John Dunnington Trophy to the highest-placed UK station who has not won the trophy in the preceding two years.

(c) The Ross Carey Rose Bowl to the highest-placed UK station in the 12-hour category, regardless of section. The VP8GQ Trophy to the highest-placed non-UK station (who has not won the trophy in the preceding two years) in the 12-hour category, regardless of section.

(d) A Commonwealth Medal will be awarded to the entrant who in the opinion of the HF Contests Committee has most improved their score or contributed to the contest over the years.

(e) A special “Commonwealth Traveller” certificate will be awarded to the highest-scoring entrant in the Open or Restricted sections who operates from a Commonwealth Call Area not represented in the published results of the previous year’s contest. At the discretion of the HF Contests Committee, additional “Commonwealth Traveller” certificates may be awarded to entrants from especially inaccessible Call Areas.

(f) A certificate will be awarded to the highest-scoring station using QRP (5 watts or less). Such stations must identify themselves by CATEGORY: QRP in the Cabrillo header.


Single-operator entrants may like to try the logging software for this contest from EI5DI. See

A vast amount of background information, statistics and photographs related to the Commonwealth Contest may be found on G3PJT’s website.

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