ARRL Field Day – The Big Picture

Question: What is the most popular amateur radio event in the US and Canada?

Answer: ARRL Field Day During the fourth full weekend in June, the eyes of the amateur radio community turn towards the annual Field Day operating event.

From its beginning back in the 1930’s as an event to test the field preparedness and emergency communications abilities of the burgeoning amateur radio community, Field Day has evolved into the largest on-the-air operation during the year.

In 2022, entries were submitted by almost 5,000 clubs, groups and individuals from across the US and Canada. These logs showed participation by nearly 30,000 individuals and almost over 1.2 million contacts were reported during the brief 24-hours of the event. Field Day is officially an ‘operating event,’ not a contest.

The purpose remains today as it did in the beginning: to demonstrate the communications ability of the amateur radio community in simulated emergency situations. Groups across the continent use Field Day as a literal “show and tell” exhibition.

At sites from the tundra of Alaska to the sandy beaches of Puerto Rico, amateur radio brings together its resources to show officials in government and various agencies what “amateur radio can do.”

Many clubs use ARRL Field Day as the focus of their annual calendar. Many hams that are not other wise interested in contesting or DXing find themselves meeting various challenges to help their club run a successful Field Day operation.

It is the thrill of the “non-contest contest” that brings out the best in thousands of amateurs who under most circumstances choose not to otherwise participate in the various sponsored contests throughout the year.