Selection Criteria

1. Qualifying Events

Everyone interested in qualifying for WRTC 2026 must do so by operating in a variety of contests between October 2023 and March 2025.

Each qualifying event has a maximum point value that is used for the qualifying score calculation. Published scores will be used to calculate qualification points.

The following table lists the eligible contests for WRTC 2026, their maximum point values, and from which years each contests’ results will be considered:

Contest Value 2023 2024 2025 # of Events
CQ WW DX CW 1000 X X 2
CQ WW DX SSB 1000 X X 2
CQ WW WPX CW 950 X 1
IARU HF Championship 1000 X 1
ARRL Int. DX CW 800 X X 2
ARRL Int. DX SSB 800 X X 2
WAE DX CW 900 X 1
WAE DX SSB 900 X 1
All Asian DX CW 800 X 1
All Asian DX SSB 800 X 1

1. There are 15 qualifying events.

2. Applicants may submit scores from up to 8 qualifying events toward their qualifying score.

2. Category Weighting Factor

Weighting factors are applied to compensate for differences in competitiveness and activity level in the various entry categories.

Entry Category Weight
SO HP (Single Operator High Power) – includes All Band or Single Band, Unassisted, Single Mode or Mixed 1.0
SOA HP (Single Operator Assisted High Power) – includes All Band or Single Band, Assisted, Single Mode or Mixed 0.95
SO LP (Single Operator Low Power) includes All Band or Single Band, Unassisted, Single Mode or Mixed 0.95
SOA LP (Single Operator Assisted Low Power) – includes All Band or Single Band, Assisted, Single Mode or Mixed 0.9
MS HP (Multi-Operator Single Transmitter) High Power 0.9
MS LP (Multi-Operator Single Transmitter) Low Power 0.85
M2 (Multi-Operator Two Transmitter) 0.8
M2 LP (Multi-Operator Two Transmitter) (IARU HF Championship only) 1.0
MM (Multi-Operator Multi-Transmitter) 0.7

1. Single Band scores are compared against All Band scores for the same power level.

2. Single Mode scores are compared against Mixed Mode scores for the same power level.

3. Scores made from IARU HQ stations in the IARU HF Championship are not eligible.

4. QRP scores are included with LP scores, and weighted as LP entries.

5. For contests which do not distinguish between SO Assisted and Unassisted entries, all entries from a combined “Single Operator” category will be weighted for WRTC points scoring against the appropriate SO HP / SO LP Unassisted categories with a weighting of 1.0 for HP, and 0.95 for LP.

6. SO LP, SOA LP, and MS LP entries made from countries where the maximum output power is 100 watts will continue to be compared against other LP scores in those categories but will use the respective SO HP, SOA HP and MS HP weightings. This makes it possible for entrants in these countries to achieve maximum WRTC points in qualifying events. Please indicate to the WRTC 2026 Organising Committee ([email protected]) if you have entries meeting these criteria.

3. Qualification Areas and Teams

There are 42 qualifying teams across 30 Qualification Areas

Continent Teams from Continent Qualification Area Countries in Qualification Area Teams from Area
Europe 18 EU #1 ES, JW, JX, LA, LY, OH, OH0, OJ0, OY, SM, TF, YL * 2
EU #2 3A, C3, EI, F, LX, ON, PA 2
EU #3 DL, OE, OK, OZ, HB9, HB0 4
EU #4 CT, CU, EA, EA6, ZB 1
EU #5 9H, I, IS0, T7, TK 1
EU #6 4O, 9A, E7, ER, LZ, S5, SV, SV5, SV9, YO, YU, Z3, Z6, ZA 3
EU #7 EU, UA1-6, UA2 2
EU #8 G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW 1
EU #9 HA, OM, SP, UR 2
North America 14 NA #1 W1, W2, W3 (ME, VT, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, DE, MD, PA, DC), 4U1UN * 3
NA #2 W4 North (KY, VA, TN, NC) 1
NA #3 W4 South (AL, GA, SC, FL) 1
NA #4 W5 (TX, NM, OK, AR, LA, MS) 1
NA #5 W6 (CA) 1
NA #6 W7 (WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, UT, AZ, NV) * 1
NA #7 W8 (MI, OH, WV) 1
NA #8 W9 (WI, IL, IN) 1
NA #9 W0 (ND, SD, MN, NE, IA, CO, KS, MO) 1
NA #10 VE1, VE2, VE3, VE9, VO, VY2, VY0 1
NA #11 VE4, VE5, VE6, VE7, VE8, VY1, KL7 * 1
NA #12 CQ Zones 6, 7, 8, VP9 1
Asia 5 AS #1 CQ Zone 17, 18, 23 (except BY), UA9 in Zone 16 1
AS #2 CQ Zone 20 (AS portion), 21 1
AS #3 CQ Zones 22, 24, 26, BY/23,9M2, 9V 1
AS #4 CQ Zone 19, 25 (HL-JA) 2
Africa 1 AF #1 Africa North/West or South/East * 1
South America 2 SA #1 CQ Zone 11 (PY-ZP) 1
SA #2 South America except CQ Zone 11: CQ Zones 9-10 or 12-13 * 1
Oceania 2 OC #1 CQ Zones 27, 28, 31 (minus 9M2, 9V) 1
OC #2 CQ Zones 29, 30, 32 1

* In order to reduce geographical and propagation differences in sparsely populated
areas, the following Selection Areas are further divided for score comparison:

Qualification Area Score Comparison Area
AF #1 AF North/West – CQ Zones 33-34-35
AF South/East – CQ Zones 36-37-38-39
SA #2 SA North – CQ Zones 9-10
SA South – CQ Zones 12-13
EU #1 North – JW, JX, LA, OH, OH0, OJ0, OY, SM,
and TF
South – ES, LY and YL
NA #1 W1 – ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI
W2 – NY, NJ (+ 4U1UN)
W3 – PA, DE, MD, DC
NA #6 North – WA, OR, ID, MT, and WY
South – NV, UT and AZ
NA #11 (for ARRL DX only) VE4, VE5, VE6, VE7, VE8, VY1

Continental regions are determined according to CQ Worked All Zone rules.

Each DXCC country (entity) is limited to the selection of a single qualifying Team Leader (TL) with the following exceptions:

W – as specified for each Qualification Area (QA)

VE – one TL per QA

UA – two TL from UA1-6 / UA2, one TL from UA9/UA0 *

DL – two TL *

JA – two TL *

* if an applicant qualifies for TL from the Qualification Area

For brevity, some DXCC countries are left out of the lists above. It is obvious which area most belong to (ex: HV=EU #5; FP=NA #10). Antarctic stations use their CQ Zone to determine their Selection Area.

4. Qualifying Event Score Calculation

The Event Score for an applicant will be calculated based on the following formula:

Event Score = (Contest value) x (Category weighting factor) x (Applicant Score / Maximum Score)

Maximum Score is the largest published score in the applicant’s category from the Qualification Area in which the applicant’s score was made.

If the Maximum Score is lower than the highest published score in any category with a lower weight from the same Qualification Area, use the higher score as the Maximum Score using the following category order table.

Only use categories in the contest being scored:

Category Order Category
1 MM
2 M2
3 MS
5 SO HP (AB or SB)
6 SO Single Mode HP
7 M2 LP (IARU HF only)
10 SO LP (AB or SB)
11 SO Single Mode LP

Example 1:

G4ABC (EU #8), operating from Italy (EU #5) calculates an Event Score based on a Maximum Score from EU #5 instead of EU #8.

If the Maximum Score is lower than the highest published score in any category with a lower weight from the same Qualification Area, use the higher score as the Maximum Score using the following category shown above.

Example 2:

G4ABC has a published score of 3,000,000 in CQ WPX CW (Value = 950) as a M2 entry (Category Weighting Factor = 0.8) from EU #8. The maximum score in M2 in EU #8 is 4,000,000. Up to 6 operators at G4ABC may submit the following result from this contest:

950 x 0.8 x (3,000,000 / 4,000,000) = 570.0

Example 3:

If there was a MS (lower Category Weighting Factor than M2) in EU #8 that had a published score of 5,000,000, then the calculation is:

950 x 0.8 x (3,000,000 / 5,000,000) = 456.0

5. Qualification Score Calculation

An applicant’s qualification score is the sum of up to 8 Event Scores.

The maximum possible qualification score is 7,800.

1. 3 Event Scores may be from Multi Operator (MS/M2/MM) entries.

2. A maximum of 3 Event Scores may be from outside an applicant’s home Qualification Area.

3. A maximum of 4 operators may submit scores for a single contest from a MS, 6 from a M2, and 8 from a MM.

4. If an operator’s call sign appears for more than one entry in a single Qualifying Event (e.g., from operating at more than one station), none of the operator’s scores may be submitted from that contest.

5. In the unlikely case of a tie score for the final qualifying spot in a Qualification Area, the applicants will be asked to submit additional scores beyond those submitted until the tie is broken

6. Contest scores from Official WRTC Special Callsign stations (Single Op. or Multi Op.) and Organizing Committee Members (listed on the WRTC 2026 website) stations (Single Op.), listed in any Qualifying Event, will not count for WRTC qualifying points (in any Qualification Area), and will not represent a “Maximum Score” for that Qualification Area in any of Qualifying Event. Organizing Committee Members may participate in any Multi Operator category but can’t be one of the score submitters (rule 5.3).

6. Team Leader (TL) Qualification

A Team Leader will be selected based on the following:

1. The applicant must submit an application for WRTC 2026. There are no automatic qualifiers (except the Defending Champions). The process of choosing TL and Team Mate (TM) for Sponsored Teams and Wild Card Teams is TBD.

2. Applicants are strongly urged to follow all rules in all qualifying contests, including the observance of power limits, use of spotting assistance, use of remote receivers, use of automated decoders such as CW Skimmer, etc. Personal integrity is an integral element of a WRTC participant. For all operations outside the Qualification Area of residence, the applicant must be prepared to show that she or he is properly licensed, has permission to be in the country, and has permission to operate. This applies whether the operator is on site or using a remotely controlled station.

3. Any operator whose call sign is published as being disqualified from any WRTC 2026 qualifying event forfeits the right to apply. If the entry is in a multi-operator category, all listed operators forfeit the right to apply.

Disqualification in a qualifying contest is a disqualification from WRTC participation unless there are exceptional reasons for granting a waiver of the DQ and that the reasoning for the waiver must be public.

4. If an applicant qualifies as a TL and then declines the invitation to attend WRTC 2026, the applicant with the next highest Qualification Score from that Qualification Area is then invited. If that applicant has already accepted a TM position, they can still choose to accept the TL invitation. A new TM would be selected for the vacant TM position by the respective TL.

5. Determination of Home Qualification Area (QA):

a. An applicant’s home QA is the address on a passport or other national identity document at the time of application. If the applicant has a passport from more than one country, the home QA is the location in which the most time was spent during the year preceding the application deadline.

b. An applicant must be prepared to provide proof of valid residence in the claimed home Qualification Area at the time of submitting an application in 2025. Proof of residence may include passport, resident alien status document, landed immigrant status document, work permit, tax bills, and the like, and should be sufficient to demonstrate legitimate residence and presence in the QA.

c. For an applicant to claim a home QA that is different than a passport address, a minimum of 5 Qualifying Event Scores must be submitted from that QA. The applicant must be prepared to show authorization to be present in and operate from that QA and that permission has been granted to use the station from which the score is submitted.

d. If scores are submitted from more than one country in the QA outside the applicant’s QA of residence, the applicant’s country for applying TL limits will be the country from which the largest number of scores were submitted.

e. The applicant will declare the claimed home QA when the WRTC application is submitted.

6. The WRTC 2026 Organizing Committee has sole authority in deciding whether an applicant has provided sufficient proof to demonstrate residence in the claimed Qualification Area for each contest and for the applicant’s home Qualification Area at the time of application. The Committee reserves the right to re-classify an applicant’s home Qualification Area. Any applicant providing fraudulent documents relating to residency will be declared ineligible to participate in WRTC 2026 in any capacity, and will be reported to the WRTC Sanctioning Committee for possible disqualification from future WRTCs.

7. The application form and entry deadline (estimated to be September 2025), will be announced at a later date.

8. In each Qualification Area, TLs will be selected in order of Qualification Score up to the number of allotted TLs specified in the Qualification Areas and Team Leaders rules.

7. Team Mate (TM) Qualification

A TM is selected by a TL and must be approved by the WRTC 2026 Organizing Committee.

1. Each TL may select a TM from anywhere in the world.

2. The TM’s Qualifying Score must be at least 3000 points. This rule does not apply to Sponsored Teams.

3. The same disqualification rules apply to candidates for TM as for TL candidates.

4. If the TM did not submit an application to be selected as TL, an application may be submitted after being selected by a TL.

8. Special Teams

In addition to the geographically selected teams, the following teams will be named by the WRTC 2026 Organizing Committee.

Team Name Quantity Description
Defending Champions 1 WRTC 2022 Champions
Youth Team 4 Under age 26 at WRTC 2026
Sponsored Team At least 2 TBD (To Be Determined)
Wild Card Teams At least 1 TBD. Teams nominated by WRTC 2026 OC

1. Youth Team Leader positions will be awarded to any applicant born after 11th July 2000 with the highest Qualification Score worldwide who does not otherwise qualify for a Team Leader position. Qualification Scores are calculated in the same manner as for all other applicants. The Youth Team Leaders must select another youth operator as his or her Team Mate from anywhere in the world.

2. Wild Card teams are reserved for the WRTC2026 Organizing Committee to acknowledge exceptional efforts within the pool of applicants that did not otherwise qualify. The award of a Wild Card invitation will occur very soon after TL and TM positions are confirmed, expected to be autumn / fall 2025.

3. The WRTC 2026 OC will begin accepting applications for Sponsored Teams from 1st August 2024. Further details on this process will be provided ahead of that time and published on the WRTC 2026 website.

9. Questions

Questions regarding the selection criteria or qualifying process may be submitted to [email protected]

A Questions and Answers page will be available on the WRTC 2026 website to provide rules clarification as necessary.

The WRTC 2026 Organizing Committee reserves the right to modify the qualification process to correct errors or provide clarification.

All changes to the Qualification Rules will be announced on the WRTC 2026 website.

10. Changes / Version control

V1.02 28th July 2023 – Initial complete version.
V1.03 2nd August 2023 – Amendment of Weighting rule 2.6 (Countries where HP entries are not possible.)
V1.04 5th August 2023 – Updates following SC feedback.
V1.05 21st August 2023 – Single Band / Mode scoring clarification. Multi-operator scoring amendment. Replacement TL clarification. Home QA entry requirements clarification.
V1.06 22nd August 2023 – Minor corrections.