EuCW Activity Snakes And Ladders

v.2 Edition: April 2015 to December 2015

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

Monthly Results: Text 2015: 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 Maps 2015: 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 03 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.
PDF version of the original rules


The goal of this activity is to try to collect as many points, by working as many Maidenhead locator squares as possible, helped or hindered by ladder and snake squares respectively. A ladder square means a bonus is awarded for a rarely worked locator square, an often-worked snake square means a penalty is given. Conditions are that QSOs must take at least five minutes, and stations must be European stations. Please QRS when needed, this activity should be equally accessible for all. Note that this is an activity and not a contest. There are 9 operating periods of a full month each, from April 1st till December 31, 2015.

Stations to work

Stations to be contacted are all stations in Europe as defined for this activity (see list in the appendix), except stations working Maritime Mobile (/ MM) in international waters.

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 S&L, said sections are split into a "lower" and an "upper" portion, the latter being formed by the upper 10 kHz of the dedicated CW section as follows: 160m: 1.828 - 1.838 MHz 80m: 3.570 - 3.580 MHz 40m: 7.030 - 7.040 MHz 30m: 10.130 - 10.140 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 For locator squares worked in an "upper" portion, double points shall be a warded, so as to stimulate the population of these regions. QRP calling frequencies must be avoided by non-QRP operators. Further note that 144.100 MHz is the "Random Meteor Scatter" frequency, and should be avoided. Contacts made must be CW and point-to-point. Contacts made through repeaters and satellites, as well as netted QSOs, are excluded.

Ladder, normal and snake squares

All logs received in a monthly period of activity, will be merged by the activity manager into a monthly "master log". Locator squares only appearing once in this master log, shall be ladder squares. Locator squares appearing more than 5 times in the master log, shall be candidate snake squares. For every 10 candidate snake squares, one snake square shall be selected from the candidate snake squares using a seeded random function. Locator squares that are neither ladder square, nor snake square, shall be normal squares.


A participant's score is determined by checking the locator squares worked by the participant against the ladder, normal and snake squares. This task is performed by the activity manager (using software). For each unique ladder square worked, 4 points shall be awarded. For each unique normal square worked, 2 points shall be awarded. For each unique snake square worked, a penalty of 4 points shall be given. A participant cannot have more snakes than ladders (a negative score is therefore impossible).

In the upper portions of the CW band-section, points awarded for ladder and normal squares shall be doubled. The penalty given for a snake square shall, however, not be doubled. Over the mark of 100 points, additional points and penalties shall only be counted half. If a normal square is worked in both lower and higher portion of a dedicated CW band-section, only the contact in the higher portion shall be accounted for.

Log requirements

Electronic logs may be submitted for each operating period. Logs in ".adi" format must be received by the Activity Manager by email (SL(at) before the eighth day of the month that follows the period of operation being recorded. Late filed logs may be refused. Each log must contain as header:

When submitting the log, the following should be indicated:
  1. period of activity
  2. call sign(s) used on air
  3. the operator's name and email

All entries in the .adi log must include:

It is recommended that essential information is exchanged over the air. Information not exchanged must be completed otherwise, the burden for this remains with the participant. Invalid QSO entries will be ignored for processing, of which the participant shall be informed. Logs must be sent in electronic form; only logs in compliance with the ADIF specification will be accepted. Logs submitted in Excel, clear-text or any other format including home-brew file formats with file names ending on ".adi" will be refused. In order to allow automatic processing, compliance with the ADIF specification is a necessity. Any amateur radio log-book program is capable of producing such ADIF compliance log files. Logs shall be processed electronically within a maximum of a week, and the results for a period of activity shall be ultimately published on the 14th of the month following the period of activity. In case this deadline cannot be met, all participants will be informed.


A certificate will be awarded to every entrant who submits six or more valid logs to the activity and an endorsement will be added to the certificate for those who submit a valid log for every one of the nine operating periods. Call-signs of participants who have earned 1st award, 2nd award and 3rd award, will be published after the end of the activity, but before February 1st, 2016, as part of a list of all participants and their points earned.


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

Appendix 1: Definition of Europe.

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 
Z3   (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 edition v.1: April 2014 to March 2015

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