The WPX is a major contest with participants from all over the world.  I was looking for a way to learn more about the participants and their interests in the contest. With Internet technology, it is very inexpensive to design and manage a survey. The responses greatly exceeded all expectations!

On August 8, 2009, the survey was sent to 9,483 email addresses exported from all submitted logs in WPX SSB and CW for 2008 and 2009.  Only 597 were rejected as being bad email addresses. There were 4,811 people who clicked on the link in the invitation email and visited the survey site. Of these, 3,415 completed the survey — an amazing 36% response rate! Even more so when you consider that most of the WPX Contest participants are from non-English speaking countries!

After the response rate slowed from the invited emails, the survey was opened up to all contesters. This generated additional responses, but did not signficantly change the results of any question.

While the numeric results were very valuable, it was the comments that made the survey worthwhile. WPX participants are passionate about the contest and how it should be managed. Of course, for every comment advocating change, there was someone else saying not to change.

The first question was designed to allow participants to declare their competitive level in the contest.

Q1. Which phrase best describes your operating in the CQ WPX Contest?
Answer Count Percent
A serious competitor trying to win 1,013 24.39%
Part time operator trying for the highest possible score 1,484 35.72%
Chasing contacts for WPX or other awards 556 13.38%
Having fun and giving points to others 938 22.58%
Other 163 3.92%
Total 4,154 100%

WPX participants are competitive!  Both at the top levels and with themselves. It is also gratifying to see so many who are enjoying the fun and helping to give out points. It will be interesting to see how the responses differ depending on the self-assigned competitive level.

Examples of the comments:

  • Part time operator trying to break a record for my call area.
  • Using as much time as possible to compete but aware of my family responsibilities
  • A semi-serious competitor trying to rank high within my contest club
  • Serious competitor chasing WPX & DXCC countries
  • Improving skills and besting last year’s score
  • Doing as well as possible considering age and equipment/antennas. Mainly to add score to a contest group.
  • Part time operator attempting to reach a predetermined goal for number of prefixes worked.
  • I enjoy working DX and I would like to make myself a better operator in contests so I have to practice and I would like to have a lot of fun.
  • Serious “little pistol” practicing my contesting skills
  • In this big contest, where to this little signals all OM give a lot of attention, it is a good chance for QRP work.
  • Part time operator seeking for new QSL cards taking this very active occasion.


 Q25. How many years have you been operating in contests?

There were 3,736 respondents who answered this question.  The average experience was 18.6 years. Contesting needs to promote the challenge and fun we enjoy to younger operators!

Answer Count Max Average
A serious competitor trying to win 893 88 21.0
Part time operator trying for the highest possible score 1381 72 17.9
Chasing contacts for WPX or other awards 482 63 16.2
Having fun and giving points to others 832 58 18.3
Other 148 55 19.1
Total 3,736 88 18.6


Next time we will start looking at the results of the rule change questions.