Re: Encouraging Casual Participation in Contests

Gary Hinson

Hello again.


From what I can piece together from the website and recent committee minutes, I think the ARRL governance/management structure looks something like this:




I’m unclear about whether the ad hoc committees report to anyone!  I guess they were approved by the Board but may each have been established under one of the standing or advisory committees.  Or not.


I’m also unclear about the purposes and remits of the committees, aside from their names … which aren’t exactly obvious to me.


There doesn’t appear to be a DXCC or awards committee as such: is that the DX Advisory Committee, I wonder?  And why are they and the contest advisory committees both ‘adrvisory’: do they have no powers of their own?   What about the ad hoc committeess: do they advise, do or what?


All in all, there are a lot of uncertainties here unless I have simply missed a load more information, which is entirely possible!  I am a long way from HQ after all.



Gary  ZL2iFBG



From: ARRL-Contesting@... <ARRL-Contesting@...> On Behalf Of Ria, N2RJ
Sent: 30 January 2021 14:03
To: ARRL-Contesting@...
Subject: Re: [ARRL-Contesting] Encouraging Casual Participation in Contests



Like I said, engage. Don’t take pot shots. It’s counterproductive. I see that all the time in various places on social media. It wasn’t aimed at you specifically.


And yes I do engage but when people just throw bombs rather than engage in dialogue I may just stop. It’s not helping. There’s a guy in 4 or 5 land who constantly does this on Twitter. I’m at the point where I just ignore him.


I can’t speak for Jim. He was very thoughtful in the boardroom. I could pick up the phone and call him and talk about stuff. But email, forget it. A lot of the board will talk on the phone with you.


I agree we need to explain in plain English the structure of governance.


But in a nutshell -


The board has a vote on everything. The board can collectively overrule anything. Period. It’s a power that isn’t supposed to be used frivolously, mind you. But it may be necessary in extreme circumstances.


The president runs the meetings and has a tie breaking vote. The president also has the power to appoint committees. He also has a vote on the executive committee.


The executive committee runs the show between full board meetings and is comprised of five elected directors, ceo and the president. 


The CEO serves at the pleasure of the board but has a lot of leeway. Like I said, we are supposed to let him or her run the organization without micromanagement but in extreme cases we can override things if necessary. But let’s not go there. It’s not supposed to get there. We are supposed to hire a good CEO and trust him or her to run the org. 


The standing committees meet and generate motions for the board to consider. Some things don’t need full board vote such as contest rules. PSC considers member facing programs - contesting, DXing, awards, emcomm. There may be a move to separate the emcomm function. 


Administration and finance deals with the business side of the league including IT. This includes things like budgets, expenditures, and technology. A&F will generate motions for the full board but in the bylaws can also approve certain things.


The other committees are tasked with specific items like RFI, EMC etc. 


But as I’ve said, the full board can override absolutely anything. It’s a power that is supposed to be used sparingly. 


Hope this helps.








On Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 7:40 PM Skip <k6dgw@...> wrote:

If you're replying to my post, that's kind of a stock diversion, Ria.  Why don't you just answer the original question ... "what is the ARRL organizational structure and how does it work?"  He didn't ask about committee membership, he asked how it all worked.

I never, ever, saw a post or email from K6JAT, he didn't answer emails and letters in envelopes with a stamp on them, and the Pacific Division web site did not appear to have been touched in a long time.

The Pac Div web site now was last updated on 12/20/2020 to reflect Kristen's move to Director after Jim's sudden death, and now contains some Division news.  The original question is still valid: How is ARRL organized, who reports to whom, where are decisions made, etc.  Why did you oppose the proposal to eliminate the CAC and DXAC?  Both seem to be almost routinely ignored by the PSC, why is the proposal a bad idea?  You're probably the most believable Director right now, and it's sort of a fundamental component of transparency.

You are the Director we hear from regularly [Thank You!] with Mickey maybe running second.  Help everyone out here, it really doesn't matter if you're on the right coast and I'm on the left.


Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Sparks NV DM09dn
Washoe County


On 1/29/2021 3:56 PM, Ria, N2RJ wrote:

Committee membership is here:



I believe there needs to be some meaningful reform. Attacking the board by throwing pot shots in public forums is not how to do it. A better way is to talk to your director and engage in dialogue. I have very productive conversations with members and non members about the Board’s governance. I also opposed this proposal before the meeting and presented alternatives with input from the community which was sent to me. This is one of the reasons it was withdrawn. 


There will be serious consideration of ideas how to make things better. So engage productively and constructively. That’s how to do it.








On Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 6:18 PM Skip <k6dgw@...> wrote:

There are words about the standing Board committees [strangely, I could not find the Programs and Services Committee] on the ARRL web site, but all it tells you is who is on them.  It couldn't find a structure and the mechanics of how it works which is your question.

So far as I can tell, the DXAC and CAC fall under the PSC which appears to often ignore their input.  ARRL is very much a top-down organization, and the BoD also seems to ignore what the PSC recommends on occasions.  Most everything really ends up at the Board despite the alleged delegation of a few things.  I believe it's one of the major reasons ARRL moves so slowly.

Ed Hare, who runs the lab, might know how it all actually works, he's been in Newington for quite awhile.  I don't know if he's a member of this group, but he is a member of the My ARRL Voice group on FB, he posts there periodically.


Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Sparks NV DM09dn
Washoe County

On 1/29/2021 11:07 AM, Dave AA6YQ wrote:

+ AA6YQ comment sbelow
DXAC?  CAC?  PSC????   
Is there a plain English guide to what these all are, preferably with a diagram showing the hierarchy and maybe the scope/purpose/composition of each one?
I’m not asking anyone to expand those specific acronyms for me: I can easily Google them myself, thanks.   I’m looking for an overview of the ARRL’s governance arrangements as a whole, please, if there is such a thing.
+ Throw some spaghetti against the wall, and you'll have a reasonably accurate picture, though the spaghetti will be more effective at governance.
                Dave, AA6YQ



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