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Goodbye Post-Contest Log Massage; CQ Announces Five Day Log Submission Deadline

In a major change, CQ Magazine has announced that effective with the CQ WW RTTY Contest in September, all logs must be submitted within five days after the end of the contest, drastically shortening the time that contesters will have to electronically submit their contest entries.

The announcement came on the CQ-Contest reflector from CQ WW Contest Chair Bob Cox K3EST.

“With the technology available today and the presence of the internet practically everywhere, it has been decided to reduce the log submission time for all CQ contests to five (5) days,” Cox wrote.

“Reviewing the submissions from last year’s CQ WW DX contests, ~ 70% of all electronic logs were received within 7 days after the contest,” Cox said, acknowledging that the five day limit might cause some heartburn for certain contesters.

“We realize that in some cases circumstances may not allow a timely submission. Requests for an extension must be received before the log submission deadline by sending an e-mail to questions at cqww.com.”

“The first CQ contest affected by this new log deadline will be the CQ WW RTTY contest taking place in September,” Cox added.

The decision accelerates what had been a general move to shorten the time for log submission by major contests; in 2010, CQ WW shortened the log submission deadline to basically three weeks, while the ARRL moved its submissions in major contests to 15 days.

The Fight Against “Log Massage”

It was less than a year ago that Cox led a public call by the CQ WW DX Contest against “log massage,” which is basically defined as using outside aid *after* a contest has ended to alter your log and improve your score.

“CQ WW CC considers the use of post contest data sources as unsportsmanlike,” was the message from the CQ WW Contest Committee in 2011.

It wasn’t immediately clear if that appeal for “fair play” had been judged to be effective or not, but the move to institute a five day log submission deadline would certainly restrict efforts by contesters to make changes in their logs after a contest has ended.

Your contest result is a measure of your contesting skill,” argued CQ WW Contest Committee member Doug Zwiebel KR2Q in a 2011 webinar on contest ethics.

Some have argued for immediate submission of logs as a way to avoid any post-contest log change issues – the 2010 WRTC used that in Russia, for example – but some opponents argue getting internet access for some isn’t always easy.

Still, with this decision, the largest contests of the year are now edging towards more immediate log submission, which raises an obvious question.

“Does this also mean that the results will be available and published much quicker?” asked Rich N2WQ.

That has happened with the ARRL DX Contests; it wasn’t immediately clear if CQ Magazine was heading that was as well.

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