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Changes to the RAC Field Organization

Changes to the RAC Field Organization Sections Effective January 1, 2023 –
New RAC bulletin logo November 2019

As previously reported, on May 25, 2022, the Board of Directors of Radio Amateurs of Canada approved changes to the RAC Field Organization which will take effect on January 1, 2023. 

The RAC Field Organization will be reorganized into the following Sections effective January 1, 2023:

•        Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)

•        Nova Scotia (NS)

•        Prince Edward Island (PE)

•        New Brunswick (NB) – the Maritime Section (MAR) will be abolished.

•        Quebec (QC)

•        Ontario East (ONE)

•        Golden Horseshoe (GH) – currently called Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

•        Ontario South (ONS)

•        Ontario North (ONN)

•        Manitoba (MB)

•        Saskatchewan (SK)

•        Alberta (AB)

•        British Columbia (BC)

•        Territories (TER) – Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut will be combined into one section.

There will be unintended consequences to contesters and, in particular, to Field Day and three of the American Radio Relay League’s Contests: the Sweepstakes CW, Sweepstakes SSB and the ARRL 160m contests. These changes do not affect any other ARRL contests or any other contests.

What it Means for Contesting….

In his column “The Sports Page: The Canadian Contest Scene” in the September-October 2022 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine, Tom Haavisto, VE3CX, discussed the impact of the changes to the RAC Field Organization on contesting.

Tom Haavisto, VE3CX –

“As previously reported, on May 25 the Board of Directors of Radio Amateurs of Canada approved changes to the “RAC Field Organization” which will take effect on January 1, 2023. There will be unintended consequences to contesters and, in particular, to Field Day and three of the American Radio Relay League’s Contests: the Sweepstakes CW, Sweepstakes SSB and the ARRL 160m contests. These changes do not affect any other ARRL contests or any other contests. The following column was prepared with input from several of the RAC volunteers who are working behind the scenes on your behalf.

The RAC Field Organization is divided into “Sections” that cover defined geographic areas, usually a province. Every issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine has a “Section News” column in which Section Reports  briefly describe the important role that volunteer Amateurs provide to their communities across Canada. There is absolutely no better way to visualize the commitment and dedication of these hard working volunteers than to read the reports and articles submitted to the Public Service / Auxiliary Communication Service column and the Section News
(see pages 43-52).

For reasons of tradition, those four ARRL events have always used the Sections of the Field Organizations in Canada and the United States in the exchange as well as for multipliers. Sweepstakes (SS) is the oldest of the four and began as a competition in passing formal messages back in the 1930s when handling “Radiograms” was a very large part of Amateur Radio.

As time went on, the Sweepstakes CW and Sweepstakes SSB became less like message handling events and more like the contests that we know and love today. This is where the quirky rules of Sweepstakes came from – they are based on this history of message handling.

In both Canada and the United States, changes in the Field Organizations were always made for their own internal reasons, independent of contests.

Over the years, the ARRL’s Contest Management Team have adjusted their contest rules to follow changes as they are made. The ARRL has already indicated that they will adjust the rules of Field Day, SS CW, SS SSB and the ARRL 160m contest to mirror the decisions of the RAC Board.” – continued at the link provided below:

Restructuring of the Field Organization – Radio Amateurs of Canada (rac.ca)

Written by
VA3DBJ

Canadian amateur radio operator since 2007. Operating on the VHF/UHF bands and local repeaters in the Durham Region area. Husband and the father of four.

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