ARRL Contest Czar and all around tall guy, Sean Kudzu, announced changes to the list of multipliers for ARRL sponsored contests using ARRL/RAC sections for multipliers. The changes affect the November Sweepstakes and ARRL 160m contests.
The changes include combining the sections of North and South Dakota into the plain Dakota section. Surveys show that most Americans can’t identify the Dakotas on a map and aren’t even aware there are two separate states, including most of the residents of North and South Dakota.
Two new sections are being created. The Florida Keys will become their own section and will be known as the Conch Republic Section. While the full time ham population of the new Conch Republic section is relatively small, lots of portable activity from CO and HK ops transiting the region is expected.
The second new section to be created is Northern Virginia, or NoVa section. The region of Virginia consisting of the suburbs of Washington,DC have long held a separate cultural, political, and economic identity from the rest of the Old Dominion state. The rest of Virginia finally got tired of the NoVa belly aching and decided to cut them loose.
In a bit of irony, Washington, DC remains part of the MDC section with Maryland despite the vocal protestations of quite a few Washington amateurs demanding their own section. The only explanation for denying separate status for DC is that doing so is an opportunity to do to DC what its most prominent occupants do to the rest of the country.
There are also some changes slated for the Canadian sections which are part of RAC, ARRL’s sister organization north of the border. It involves splitting one big providence into a couple of smaller sections. The details are confusing and obscure, as even several of the affected VE’s response to the announcement was, “Eh?”
The announcement of changes to the ARRL contests brought forth the expected shrugging of shoulders from most of the contest community, but a few of the internet contestsenti erupted with the usual roar they exhibit to any change to a contest. The most hardcore claim that the November Sweepstakes rules are carved in stone and carried down from Mt. Athos by Saint Hiram himself and should never be changed.