The contest committee received some vigorous feedback in response to our decision to limit the participation of stations from Russia and Belarus in the 2022 OCDX Contest. Most of the feedback was from amateurs in the VK contesting community who opposed the decision on the basis that amateur radio and the OCDX Contest should be apolitical. We received some feedback from both VK contesters and amateurs in Ukraine that supported the decision. We also received one objection from a Russian amateur.
In light of this feedback, along with the recent decision by CQ Magazine to relax its restrictions on the participation of Russian and Belarusian stations in the CQ WW DX contests, the committee decided it was appropriate to undertake a review of our earlier decision.
This review, like the original decision, was difficult due to the highly polarised range of views amongst the wider contesting community and differences of opinion within our committee. It was clear to us that whatever decision was made it would not be possible to find a solution that satisfies all stakeholders – some would be supportive while others would be disappointed.
The earlier decision included consulting and taking account of feedback from both the WIA Board and NZART Council as foundation sponsors of the contest. We reached out to them again as part of this review process. We also considered conducting a survey of 2021 participants to inform the review but decided there was insufficient time remaining to do a thorough survey.
After carefully considering all the options, and in accordance with the latest feedback from both the WIA and NZART, the committee has decided to remove any limitations on the participation of Russian and Belarusian stations in the 2022 OCDX Contest. The 2022 contest rules have been updated accordingly.