VOTA Briefing and Q&A

VOTA (Volunteers On the Air) Points Challenge

The VOTA Points Challenge is the accumulation of points from qualifying QSOs made throughout 2023. Anyone may apply for the Points Awards by simply making contacts with ARRL Volunteers and W1AW Portable stations during 2023 - all scoring will be done through Logbook of the World (LoTW).

In order to compete in the VOTA Points Challenge, logs must be uploaded to LoTW. Logs do not need to be changed from the normal ADIF (general logging) files. The system will automatically look for points-qualifying QSOs from submitted logs and apply them to each participant's VOTA QSO Points table. QSOs do not have to be matched in LoTW for points to be achieved - this is an honor-based event. We cannot accept any paper forms.


The VOTA QSO Points Challenge is scored by totalling the values of all of the eligible QSOs completed with Volunteers and W1AW Portable stations. Eligible QSOs may be made with the same station on each band and up to 3 modes (i.e., N6VI may be worked for points on 20 Meters CW, 20 Meters SSB, and 20 Meters digital, and then repeated on the many remaining bands (see bands table)). Essentially each different station may be worked on each of the 3 mode groups on each band (with the exception of 902 MHz and higher, and the satellites, where the limit is one contact). See the VOTA QSO Points Table for the complete list of QSO values. Logs submitted through the Logbook of the World will be scored automatically and will be entered into the VOTA Points Challenge with online scores posted the event dashboard.

Note: Repeater contacts are not valid for credit.

Certificates with placements overall, as well as by band and by mode will be available for download online (similar to the 2018 International Grid Chase).

NOTE in January, 2024, we will recalculate all of the scores to come up with final scores. Recalculating will allow points to be earned for QSOs made with stations that weren't yet in the database when the logs went into LoTW.

NOTE: All logs for QSOs made in 2023 are to be submitted through LoTW by January 15, 2024


Q: Do I have to use LoTW to get the awards?
   A: No, but for best results your LoTW uploads may offer added points if Domestic and DX Members do not upload their logs for points. You are encouraged to participate in LoTW, and to upload your logs.

Q: Should I use a special CQ call to signify that I want VOTA QSOs?
   A: On phone "CQ VOTA” or "CQ Volunteers on the Air" is appropriate. On CW or digital modes "CQ VOTA" is the easiest option. Really though, it is probably best to just call CQ and work all callers anyway and just operate as normal. Because all ARRL members are worth at least one point there will always be points to add.

Q: Do I have to receive someone's ARRL Position or abbreviation in order to get point credit?
   A: No. By using LoTW the point value will be determined automatically.

Q: Who do I write if I think my call's point value is incorrect?
   A: Write VOTA@arrl.org

Q: I hold multiple appointments -- do all the point values add-up?
   A: No. Each call is worth a single point value -- and that value will be of the highest valued position.

Q: If I am a guest op at a station using a call other than mine, does the other station receive my call's point value, or the point value of the call I am using?
   A: The call sign in the log (the call sent over the air) is the one that gets valued for points, so the call you are using is the one that gains the points.

Q: Can I work DX stations?
   A: Absolutely. Many people who live outside the USA are members of ARRL (more than 10,000). Many DX stations will be actively chasing ARRL members and W1AW portables as well as participating in the Points Challenge.

Q: How do I know when all the W1AW operations from all the states and territories will occur? I want to make sure I work each W1AW operation.
   A: There is a schedule by week showing all W1AW portable operations – go to www.arrl.org/VOTA and find all reference documents there. Remember, W1AW portable operations are worth 5 points for each QSO and you can work them on all bands and modes -- you are not limited to one QSO. Additionally, you may work each state's 2nd operation again on all the band modes for Challenge points.

Q: I have a call or calls from other DXCC entities -- may those calls be registered for points in the VOTA Points Challenge?
   A: Yes, please write VOTA@arrl.org and list the other call(s) that you will use in 2023 -- the call(s) must be issued to you. If you will not use the call in 2023, please do not write.

Q: May I work an operation on the same band and mode more than once for points?
   A: No. Band/mode dupes for the same station operating during the same week will not count for points and are discouraged. You may work W1AW/2 in the 1st week NJ operation on 20 RTTY, and 20 PSK31 however, but only one will be worth points for the digital point QSO.

Q: May I work the 2nd weekly operation for a state or territory for points?
   A: Yes, absolutely. You may work the 2nd weekly operation for each place on all the different band/modes for QSO Points Challenge points and for W1AW WAS. The reasons to do this include the likelihood that you are working different counties and grid squares from the first week's operations, and the ops running from W1AW portable want to work everyone too.

Do you have questions not answered above? Contact Us

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