The SSB edition of the ARRL Rookie Roundup returns on Sunday, April 19 at 1800 UTC and continues through 2359 UTC. For the purposes of this operating event, a “Rookie” is any radio amateur licensed within the current calendar year or in the previous 2 calendar years. You can also be a Rookie if you haven’t made any contacts on the contest mode (SSB, CW, or RTTY) before the Rookie Roundup contest.
The goal of Rookie Roundup is to encourage recently licensed operators in North America — including territories and possessions — to operate on the HF bands and experience competitive amateur radio operating. Experienced operators are encouraged to participate and help new operators. In the past, this assistance has come on the air and in person. This year, however, ARRL is strongly discouraging the in-person component of the event to comply with social distancing guidelines (excepting household members). A Non-Rookie can help mentor a Rookie via phone, Skype, or desktop-sharing software such as TeamViewer or NoMachine, however.
Eleven-year-old Elixander Valladares Jr., N4EVJ, was on the air for the 2019 Rookie Roundup, and he’ll participate this weekend, too. “The Rookie Roundup is so much fun,” Elixander said. “I never expected to score so easily while just trying to make new friends in my first contest, ever!”
Opportunities abound for newer hams to participate. Single-operator participants are more than welcome to join in the fun, either as Rookies, if they qualify, or as Non-Rookie veteran operators making contacts with Rookies. Team entries may be submitted containing up to five different single-operator entries. Team registration is available via the Rookie Roundup webpage and will close 15 minutes before the event begins.
Rookies can work anyone in the contest, while Non-Rookies are only allowed to work Rookies. New operators will benefit from working veteran operators and could be their first HF contact. Non-Rookies are encouraged to participate and report their contact totals using the online score reporting form on the Rookie Roundup web page.
All score summaries (no logs are required or accepted) must be submitted within 72 hours of the end of the event. For complete rules, visit the Rookie Roundup webpage.