AOCC Club Ladder Competition


by Dave Gilbert AB7E



A. Purpose:


1. To provide a mechanism for friendly competition between club members on an ongoing basis.


2. To provide an opportunity for individuals to track and improve their radiosport proficiency.


3. To facilitate recognition for the AOCC by encouraging higher scores


4. To have fun.



B. Eligibility


The AOCC Competition Ladder is open to any current club member regardless of experience level, station capability, or geographical location.



C. Ladder Categories










Low Power




Single Band 160m


Single Band 80m


Single Band 40m


Single Band 20m


Single Band 15m


Single Band 10m


VHF/UHF (combined)








Category Notes:


1. The power classifications will be per the particular contest. In other words, if Contest A defines Low Power as 100 watts or less and Contest B defines Low Power as 150 watts or less, both will count toward the Low Power ladder category.


2. Scores will generally apply to multiple categories. For example, CW scores will also count toward the Overall ladder (in fact, EVERYTHING counts toward the Overall category). QRP scores will also count toward the Low Power ladder, etc. Categories will apply per the particular contest so, for example, if a contest doesn’t distinguish between SSB and CW (like some of the state QSO Parties), neither will the ladder.


3. If you operate both CW and SSB in contests like ARRL 10m, IARU DX, or the various QSO parties, your score will go toward only the Overall category since there isn't any practical way to split out the modes. If you operate only CW or SSB, your scores will be credited toward that respective mode (and, of course, the Overall ladder).


4. One “station” category exists for folks with severely limited installations ... indoor dipoles, very short verticals, wire antennas very low to the ground, ability to operate on only one or two bands, etc. This is called the Restricted category and the criteria are necessarily rather arbitrary, but full-size verticals and/or dipoles approaching 1/2 wavelength in the air generally don't qualify.


D. Scoring Mechanism


The scoring system is similar to that used to determine qualifiers for the 2010 and 2014 WRTC events. Every contest applicable to the AOCC Competition Ladder has been assigned a point value by the AOCC Board of Directors based upon the contest's historical participation level, perceived prestige, and general visibility within the contesting community. See the list below for details. 


Claimed scores for each contest will be used for better timeliness since nobody wants to wait 10 or 12 months to see the effect of their effort show up in the ladder rankings. Besides, this is a hobby … nobody gains by making false claims and spot checking is easy to do anyway. 


To have your score contribute to your ladder ranking you need to officially submit a log for that contest to the contest sponsor … nobody gets credit for sitting on the sidelines. Your entry needs to show the “Arizona Outlaws Contest Club” as your club affiliation, with the following considerations:


If you operate outside the “club circle” for that particular contest your scores aren’t eligible for the club score and you can assign your points to another eligible club while still having them count toward your AOCC Ladder ranking.


If you participate in a DXpedition or other multi-op effort where you don’t have the voting right to assign your share to the AOCC, your normal prorated share of that operation’s score will still count toward your AOCC Ladder ranking.


If you are the station owner of a multi-op contest entry, or are otherwise in a position to determine which clubs receive the scores of a multi-op contest entry, your ladder points will be based upon the score that is actually assigned to the AOCC.



The ladder points for any particular contest will be prorated to each participant based upon the top club member score. For example, if K7ABC scores 2,000,000 points in CQWW DX CW (a contest worth 1,000 ladder points) and W7XYZ scores 1,200,000 points, K7ABC will get credit for 1,000 ladder points and W7XYZ will get credit for 600 ladder points. It doesn't matter which operating category any club member participates in ... everyone gets compared to the top score. If someone else operated that same contest and scored 150,000 points operating 80m low power, they’re only going to receive 75 ladder points toward the Single Band 80m and Low Power categories. It is being done this way for several reasons:


It simply isn't possible to manage multiple reference points that cover all possibilities. In the example of the hypothetical SOSB80 LP entry above, should the score be prorated against the top 80m score? The top Low Power score? Some combination of the two? The possibilities are almost endless.


Given the wide variety of ladder categories being tracked and the probable participation level for some of the mid-tier and lower-tier contests, it is quite possible that almost everyone would simply get maximum ladder points for that contest.


Even if (in the example above) the 80m low power score is prorated against somebody who achieved a huge score running all band high power, anyone else operating either Single Band 80m or Low Power would be as well. At least for that particular contest, everyone is on equal footing for any particular ladder category (subject, of course, to the limitation that we're not going to track two combined levels of category ... i.e. the combination of 80m and low power).


It is often not possible to put in a full time effort in any particular contest, and not all of us have high power multi-band stations, but it is worth keeping in mind your potential contribution to the club score when deciding on an entry category. The ladder point system reflects that consideration ... it simply encourages a greater contribution to the club score.




To be eligible for Ladder points, you must report your contest scores (one posting per contest) to the AOCC reflector in a readable text format and within a reasonable length of time after the contest. This is to facilitate and reduce the effort needed to collect, summarize, and archive the scores. Please include your callsign and the name of the contest in the title of the post.


E. Multi-Op Entries


The AOCC Competition Ladder is intended to be a ranking for individuals, yet many club members from time to time are likely to participate in multi-op efforts, and in fact that sort of thing is encouraged so that members with limited stations have the opportunity to operate from better-equipped stations if they so desire. A lot of time was spent trying to figure out an equitable way to allocate those multi-op scores to the individual operators, but no fixed formula could be identified that made sense. A search to find a statistical comparison between the top ten single-op and multi-op scores from several past major DX contests yielded nothing even remotely approximating a consistent ratio. WRTC 2014 is giving 100% credit to individual operators for M/S scores, so everyone who participates in a multi-op effort will receive full individual credit toward the AOCC Competition Ladder for whatever portion of the multi-op score is assigned to the AOCC club score. 


For multi-station entries, however, an adjustment factor will be used to prorate the M/M score to the ladder for participating individuals. It seems clear that additional transmitters represent a distinct advantage but at a logarithmically decreasing rate, so M/M scores will be multiplied by 1/(square root of the number of simultaneously operated transmitters). For two transmitters, the adjustment factor is 0.71 (1 divided by the square root of 2). For three transmitters, the adjustment factor is 0.58 (1 divided by the square root of 3). This factor is admittedly arbitrary, but it is what will be used until something better is available.


If the scores from a multi-op operation cannot be assigned to the AOCC for reasons beyond the control of the AOCC members involved, or the particular contest does not have a club score provision, each member will be given ladder credit for their combined prorated share of the total multi-op score.


F. Eligible Contests


The AOCC Board of Directors has identified 48 contests that will be eligible for ladder points each year independent of how many AOCC club members participate. In addition, any contest with five or more score submissions from AOCC members will count 100 points toward the ladder for that year. 


The AOCC Competition Ladder will have a rolling 12 month cycle. When the results for the current year's version of any particular contest are available, the results from the prior year's version of that same contest will drop out of the ladder calculation.


AOCC Ladder Contests

(as of 2018 changes)


For current score compilers' call signs & assigned points by month and contest,

click on the icon below for full list in .pdf (view) format.

Any contest not on this list, having 5 or more entries, becomes a 150 point Ladder contest for the year. N1JM will report the scores for those contests.