National Contest Journal sponsors two popular contests: the North American QSO Party (NAQP) and the North American Sprint. Each contest occurs in three flavors, CW, SSB and RTTY and each mode occurs twice per year. This makes for a grand total of twelve (12) NCJ contest opportunities each year.
The North American QSO Parties are favorites of beginners and seasoned operators alike. The NAQPs are low-power only (no amplifiers allowed) which makes for a lot more breathing room on the bands. Small stations can generate very effective “runs” in the NAQP contests. Multipliers count once per-band, which makes for an exciting format, as multipliers can be “moved” from band to band. The NAQPs allow stations from all parts of North America to be in the running for the top spots. The 12 hour format allows participants to do some great contesting, yet still have time for other activities during the weekend. Participants can enter in the single op or multi-op categories and also have the opportunity to combine up to five separate single op scores into a team score.
The North American Sprints (usually just called “Sprints”) are short, intense competitions which challenge the best operators, while allowing others to sharpen their skills. Lasting only four hours and using only the 80, 40 and 20-meter bands, these contests demand that participants be on their toes at all times. The Sprints’ unique QSY requirements eliminate the usual approach in many contests of dominant stations sitting on one frequency and running others. These are contests of constant motion. Although there is only one entry category (single op), participants can combine up to five separate single op scores into a team score.
Whether you’re gunning for a plaque or certificate, trying to beat your previous personal record, or just enjoying some time on the radio saying hi to friends, the NCJ contests offer a lot of enjoyment on the bands. To learn more details about a particular NCJ contest, click on the menu choices under “NCJ CONTESTS” in the main menu at the top of this page.