2018 ARRL International Grid Chase Help

Table Heading Definitions | Rules

Table Heading Definitions

Term Definition
All Results
Overall Rank Position in the Grid Chase for the year, based on sum of monthly Grid Scores
Total Unique Grids Unique grid count for the year, regardless of band/mode - true unique running total
Total Grid Score Grid Score for the year, sum of monthly Grid Scores. Grid Score is the sum of unique grids for each band/mode combination in a month.
Total QSL's Raw count of confirmed QSL's uploaded
Month Filter
Month Rank Position in the Grid Chase for the month, based on sum of monthly Grid Scores
Month Grid Score Grid Score for the month. Grid Score is the sum of unique grids for each band/mode combination in a month.
Month Unique Grids Unique grid count for the month, regardless of band/mode - true unique running total
Month QSL Count Running monthly total of confirmed QSL's uploaded
Band/Mode Filter
Month Band/Mode Rank Position in the Grid Chase for the month, based on sum of monthly Grid Scores
Month Band/Mode Grid Score Sum of unique grids for each band/mode combination in a month

Back to Top

Grid Chase Rules

In the spirit of the Fred Fish Memorial Award, VUCC, DXCC, WAS and WAC, we bring you a world-wide event in which all Radio Amateurs can participate where the goal is to contact (each Month during 2018) as many maidenhead 4-digit grid squares as possible on all amateur bands.

Building on our successful 2016 National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) event (providing a year-long focus of fun activating or contacting US National Parks), and considering ARRL's existing grid-square based award events (including our Fred Fish and VUCC Award programs where the objective is to contact stations in as many 4-digit maidenhead grid squares as possible), we introduce for 2018 the ARRL International Grid Chase to bring international grid-chasing on all amateur bands (HF, and VHF and above) to an all new level.

In a fashion similar to NPOTA, using Logbook of the World (LoTW - see http://www.arrl.org/logbook-of-the-world) as the QSOs data source, the 2018 ARRL International Grid Chase activities will be scored MONTHLY on the ARRL web site at http://www.arrl.org/aigc2018. Each month we will start fresh, recognizing participation through various tables and data selection options on the web page. Monthly pages will be added to track each calendar month's activities. Once the year is completed, an annual summary will be released.

The cutoff for uploading logs to LoTW is 2359 UTC on the 10th of the next month. For example, January logs are cutoff as of February 10th.


  1. Objective and Scoring: On a Monthly basis, on amateur frequencies from HF to Microwaves, to contact amateur stations in as many different 2 degrees by 1 degree maidenhead 4-digit grid squares as possible. On a monthly basis, participants earn 1 point for each new grid square worked for each band-mode combination (see 3 and 4 below). After the 12 month event has concluded, monthly totals will tallied for a year-end score.
  2. Dates/Event Period: The event runs from 0000 UTC January 1, 2018 through 2359 UTC December 31, 2018. At the beginning of each month during 2018, the monthly scores will be reset to zero to begin the new month of competition.
  3. Bands: All FCC-authorized frequencies (excluding the 60 meter band). Permitted bands: 2200m(*), 630m(*), 160m, 80m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m, 6m, 2m, 1,25m, 70cm, 33cm, 23cm, and all higher FCC-authorized microwave bands. (* There are special requirements to use the 2200m and 630m bands - see the ARRL Announcement - and interested parties may find this web site {as provided by John Langridge, KB5NJD} helpful in getting started GO HERE)
  4. Modes: Three mode categories will be recognized - CW, Phone and Digital (all voice modes count as Phone, all digital modes count as Digital). In the spirit of the International Grid Chase event, on LF/MF/HF bands below 30 MHz, participants must make mode contacts in the subband appropriate for the mode being used (eg, participants must use the CW subband to make CW contacts in this event {these are the subbands generally found at the bottom of our amateur band allocations}).
  5. Methods of contact: All methods of contact are permitted (excluding QSOs made through repeaters, digipeaters, Echolink, IRLP, or non-satellite cross-band QSOs which do not count in this event). Satellite and EME QSOs are permitted.
  6. Station types: Fixed, Portable, Mobile/Rover and Maritime Mobile (MM) stations may participate (MM stations are not eligible for DXCC, WAS or WAC credit however).
    1. Stations who claim to operate from more than one grid locator simultaneously (i.e., from the boundary between two grid locators or from the intersection of four grid locators) must be physically present in all locators to give multiple locator credit with a single contact. These stations should be prepared to validate their claim. For a mobile station, this means parking the vehicle exactly on the line or corner. For a portable station, this means that the total area occupied by the station's physical setup, including operating position(s), power source(s), and antenna(s), must occupy some portion of each of the two/four grid squares simultaneously. Operators of boundary/corner stations should be prepared to provide evidence of meeting the simultaneous occupation test if called upon to do so. Two photographs -- one showing the placement of the GPS receiver in the station setup, and a close-up legibly showing the GPS reading -- are typically needed as evidence of compliance. Video footage showing an overview of the operating site and then, uncut and in real time, zooming in on the GPS display coordinates is even better.
    2. Grid boundary lines and grid corners must be established using a GPS receiver whose map datum is set to WGS84, the global default for current GPS receivers. The GPS receiver should be set to use WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) if so equipped, since this improves the error figure to as little as 5 feet. In no case may the GPS receiver show an error figure in excess of 20 feet. Any modern GPS receiver equipped with WAAS will easily meet this requirement, as will most older units without WAAS.
  7. Exchange: Call Sign and Maidenhead 4-digit grid-square locator (see www.arrl.org/grid-squares). Exchange of signal report is optional. When operating during a contest, the contest exchange takes precedence over the grid square exchange. QSOs made with a club or special event (eg, 1x1) call count only for the club, not for the operator. As with other similar award's criteria, if a station is located on the intersection of 2, 3 or 4 grid squares, the over-the-air exchange need only include just one grid square (confirmation for the adjoining grid squares will be made by the station operating from the intersecting grids through the station location in TQSL https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help_devel_en/stnloc/?lang=en).

    TQSL Station Locations will allow multiple adjacent grids (formatted as "grid,grid," etc). MM stations would have DXCC Entity set to "none". For information on LoTW TQSL, see http://www.arrl.org/quick-start-tqsl.

    Be sure your TQSL Station Location has your Grid Square! To provide complete LoTW confirmations for the Grid Chase, participants must ensure that their LoTW TQSL Station Location(s) have their 4- or 6-digit Grid Square(s) populated when uploading their logs. If participants operate from multiple locations (eg, multiple Grid Squares), participants must have created separate (and uniquely named) TQSL Station Locations for each Grid Square they operate from (be sure to always chose the applicable Station Location relevant to the location of the QSOs that you are uploading).

    All QSOs within your DXCC entity qualify.

    See also section 9 below for Awards with specific requirements.
  8. Event participation - contact submissions: All submissions are made through LoTW. See https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw/default
  9. Awards: As all contacts are being uploaded to LoTW, in addition to the overall monthly and annual recognitions of the ARRL International Grid Chase, participants may use their contacts toward other ARRL awards (see the list of ARRL awards at http://www.arrl.org/awards). These include ARRL's grid-based awards of VHF-UHF Century Club (VUCC) and the Fred Fish Memorial Award (for contact with all 488 US 4-digit grid squares on 6 meters), as well as Worked All States (WAS) and WAS Triple Play, DX Century Club (DXCC), and Worked All Continents (WAC).
  10. Recognitions: Achievement in collecting grid squares in the ARRL International Grid Chase will be recognized by categories of Band, Mode, and Continent (other leaders types will be developed as warranted) through our interactive web page monthly and at year end summary. Online certificates of achievement will be developed for Monthly and Annual recognition.

  11. Resources: A variety of resources offer grid-square maps and mapping tools.

Back to Top