EuCW Activity Snakes And Ladders

Edition 2016

de, it, ru, nl, cz, pl, fi, gr, fr, pt, ua, sv, es, hu, Others

Monthly Results: Text 2016: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 Maps 2016: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 Note: Snakes square are red on the monthly maps, ladder squares are yellow, normal fields are in gray tones. The more QSOs were done with a normal field, the darker is the gray.


The goal of this activity is to make QSOs in a friendly and relaxed manner. Points are given for each QSO and a bonus can be earned by working ladder and snake squares. Per calender year, there will be two runs of this activity, each with six operating periods of a month. The "winter/spring" run starts on January 1st and ends on June 30th. The "summer/autumn" run starts on July 1st and ends on December 31st.

Conditions and stations to work

QSOs must take at least five minutes, stations must be European stations (see the list in the appendix for the prefixes) and the mode must be CW. Each station may be contacted once per day, irrespective of the band. This is not a contest with short QSOs and a fixed format. Instead, this activity promotes friendly QSOs without any particular format where QSO partners have real conversations over at least 5 minutes. Contacts made must be point-to-point. Excluded are contacts made through repeaters and satellites, as well as QSO rounds with more than two participants.

Operating frequencies

Contacts shall be made in the dedicated CW sections of all amateur bands from 160m to 2m (60m and 4m excluded). For the purpose of SL2016, these sections are split into a "lower" and an "upper" portion, the latter being formed by the upper 10 kHz of the dedicated CW section (IARU band plan) as follows:

160m: 1.828-1.838 MHz, 80m: 3.560-3.570 MHz, 40m: 7.030-7.040 MHz, 30m: 10.120-10.130 MHz, 20m: 14.060-14.070 MHz, 17m: 18.085-18.095 MHz, 15m: 21.060-21.070 MHz, 12m: 24.905-24.915 MHz, 10m: 28.060-28.070 MHz, 6m: 50.090-50.100 MHz, 2m: 144.100-144.110 MHz.

Non-QRP operators should avoid calling "cq" on QRP frequencies.

Which squares can become Snake or Ladder?

All logs received in a monthly period of activity, will be merged into a monthly "master log". Locator squares only appearing once in this master log, shall be candidate ladders. From the candidate ladders, one ladder is selected at random for every five candidate ladders. Locator squares appearing more than five times in the master log, shall be candidate snakes. From the candidate snakes, one snake is selected at random for every ten candidate snakes.


For every claimed valid contact, points shall be awarded as follows:

Log requirements

Electronic logs may be submitted for each operating period. Logs in ".adi" format must be sent to the Activity Manager by email (SL(at) before the eighth day of the month that follows the operating period being recorded. Late filed logs may be refused. When submitting the log, the operating period, the call-sign used, the operator's name and email should be indicated. All entries in the ".adi" log file must include:

  1. date and both on and off times in UTC
  2. frequency in MHz
  3. call-sign of the station contacted
  4. signal report sent and received
  5. operator's name of the contacted station
  6. QTH and Maidenhead locator square (1° latitude by 2° longitude) as four or six character reference

It is recommended that essential information is exchanged over the air. Information not exchanged, like the locator, must be completed otherwise, the burden for this remains with the participant. Logs must be sent in electronic form. Only logs in compliance with the ADIF specification will be accepted so as to allow automatic processing. Other formats may be refused. Logs shall be processed electronically within a maximum of a week, and the results for a period of activity shall be published on the 14th of the following month.


A certificate will be awarded to every entrant who submits at least four logs for a run of this activity and an endorsement will be added to the certificate for those who submit a valid log for every one of the operating periods. Call-signs of participants who have earned 1st award, 2nd award and 3rd award, will be published after the end of each run, before the 1st of the following month, as part of a list of all participants and their points earned.


Decisions made by the Activity Manager will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Appendix 1:

European countries (based on ARRL DXCC List, January 2013, with numeric codes and ordered by main prefix). European countries include all sovereign states recognized by the United Nations in the continental European land mass and also includes every country that is a member state of the European Union.

1A   (246) Sovereign Military Order of Malta 
3A   (260) Monaco 
4O   (514) Montenegro 
4U   (117) ITU HQ 
5B   (215) Cyprus 
9A   (497) Croatia 
9H   (257) Malta 
C3   (203) Andorra 
CT   (272) Portugal 
CT3  (256) Madeira Island 
CU   (149) Azores 
DL   (230) Germany 
E7   (501) Bosnia-Herzegovina 
EA   (281) Spain 
EA6  (021) Balearic Islands 
EA8  (029) Canary Islands 
EA9  (032) Ceuta/Melilla 
EI   (245) Ireland 
ER   (179) Moldova 
ES   (052) Estonia 
EW   (027) Belarus 
F    (227) France 
G    (223) England 
GD   (114) Isle of Man 
GI   (265) Northern Ireland 
GJ   (122) Jersey 
GM   (279) Scotland 
GU   (106) Guernsey 
GW   (294) Wales 
HA   (239) Hungary 
HB0  (251) Liechtenstein 
HB   (287) Switzerland 
HV   (295) Vatican 
I    (248) Italy 
IS0  (225) Sardinia 
JW   (259) Svalbard 
JX   (118) Jan Mayen 
LA   (266) Norway 
LX   (254) Luxembourg 
LY   (146) Lithuania 
LZ   (212) Bulgaria 
OE   (206) Austria 
OH0  (005) Åland Islands 
OH   (224) Finland 
OJ0  (167) Market Reef 
OK   (503) Czech Republic 
OM   (504) Slovak Republic 
ON   (209) Belgium 
OY   (222) Faroe Islands 
OZ   (221) Denmark 
PA   (263) Netherlands 
R1FJ (061) Franz Josef Land 
S5   (499) Slovenia 
SM   (284) Sweden 
SP   (269) Poland 
SV   (236) Greece 
SV5  (045) Dodecanese 
SV9  (040) Crete 
SV-A (180) Mount Athos 
T7   (278) San Marino 
TA   (390) Turkey 
TF   (242) Iceland 
TK   (214) Corsica 
UA   (054) European Russia 
UA2  (126) Kaliningrad Oblast 
UA9  (015) Asiatic Russia 
UR   (288) Ukraine 
YL   (145) Latvia 
YO   (275) Romania 
YU   (296) Serbia 
Z2   (502) FYR Macedonia 
ZA   (007) Albania 
ZB2  (233) Gibraltar 
ZC4  (283) UK Bases on Cyprus 

Appendix 2: about "Snakes and Ladders" and its origin

Snakes and Ladders is a game that originated in India and arrived in the United Kingdom well over a hundred years ago. It is a classic board game, wherein the board is divided into 100 squares or fields. It has been popular in USA where it is known as Chutes and Ladders as well as Snakes and Ladders. Variants of the game are known in other countries, for example, in the southern German speaking countries: "Leiterspiel" (ladder game), and in northern Germany: "Pferderennen" (horse racing), and in the Netherlands: "Ganzenbord" or in Italy "gioco dell'oca" (goose board), etc.

The object of the game (and its variants) is to navigate one's game piece, according to dice tosses, from the start-field to the finish or end-field, helped or hindered by ladders and snakes respectively. Ladders progress a player towards the finish, snakes regress him towards the start.

The way from start- to end-field may be seen as a reflection of life. On each player's turn, the game-piece is moved forward based on the number of eyes scored by tossing one or two dices. When doing so, the player may end up on a field that brings him either good luck (ladder) or bad luck (snake). Good luck means that he receives a bonus, and that he may forward his game-piece over a number of fields higher than he scored with the dices. Bad luck means that he has to move his game-piece back towards the start a number of fields, or that he is stuck for some time to a certain field (for example, in the Dutch goose game, the goose may fall in a well, only to be liberated by another goose passing by; or the goose may end up behind bars, meaning a player has to skip a number of turns before he may proceed further).

In our version of the game the board is made up from the map of the continent of Europe, and the individual squares are the locator squares on the map. This means we have a game board that is roughly over 2000 fields large. Contrary to the board game (where a player needs an undetermined number of dice roles or turns in order to get from start- to end-field), there are no start- and end-fields defined. Instead may each player put down his game-piece on any field by claiming a radio contact, QSO, with that particular field. There is no limitation to the number of fields he may put his game piece on, or on how often he may put his game-piece on a certain field. In fact, the more, the better.

Each player gets exactly twelve turns, each turn being represented by a calendar month of activity. After the end of each month, it is recorded which fields were visited by each player, and how often.

The ladders are sorted from the fields visited by all players. It are those fields for which only one QSO is claimed by all players together. This means that only one player claimed a QSO with that field, and he will therefore "climb a ladder", i.e. receive a bonus.

The snakes are also sorted from the fields visited by all players. In addition, it is taken into account how often a field was visited by all players together. A snake can be a field for which more than five QSOs are claimed. Which of the fields with more than five QSOs become snake, is determined using a seeded random function, wherein the seed cannot be anticipated, yet delivers reproducible results (seed = N* #QSOs(all), wherein N is the period of activity for each month. For each ten fields with more than five QSOs, one field shall become snake. Fields that are neither ladder, nor snake, shall be referred to as normal squares.

Once ladder, normal and snake fields have been determined, a player's reward can be determined by simply comparing a player's fields to the lists of ladder, normal and snake fields. How often a player visited a field, is irrelevant and not taken into account.

Previous editions
v.2: April 2015 to December 2015 v.1: April 2014 to March 2015

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