Second only to the CQ-WE participants themselves, Location Codes are the most important elements in the contest. They represent the "multiplier" (which is a big part of the scoring) and also a good part of the "fun" of the contest, as in "looking for that hard to find location".
In recent years the Location Codes represented a compilation of what had been in existence from before divestiture, plus codes added since. New codes were added in an attempt to serve the emerging post-divestiture companies and organizations. When the contest began in the sixties, it was much simpler to organize. In those days of the "Bell System" there were finite locations that were defined by a "Bell System Practice" (BSP), which provided the basis for the CQ-WE Location Codes.
Today, the CQ-WE Contest is designed to be fun while celebrating the heritage of the once formidable Bell System, and the many new companies that have emerged from it. Location Codes must be kept up to date so the Contest can attract new entrants, while maintaining its relevance with retirees, even as buildings close and companies divest and tri-vest.
In keeping with the Spirit of the contest, following are the guidelines for location codes.
- Location Codes shall consist of two alpha characters.
- Each code must be based on a geographic area or facility, NOT an organization.
- Each code must have a description of the building(s) or geographic area that it represents including resident organization names if appropriate. These descriptions will help new entrants find the appropriate Location Code and Coordinator.
- The name associated with a code can change at the request of the Location Coordinator in order to more accurately represent the company/organization in that location. (Former names will be included in the description of the Location Code in order not to lose any ties with retirees.)
Requirements For A New Code
- Proposed new Location Codes must meet the basic requirements for locations given above.
- Petitions for a new Location Code must be made by an employee or retiree who is volunteering to serve as the Location Coordinator for the newly proposed location.
- Petitions must be received by the National Coordinator by September 1st to be included in that year's contest.
Location Codes that cover a large geographical area and have over twenty participants may petition to be split into several smaller geographical areas.
If a building or group of buildings associated with a Location Code close(s), then the participants of that Location who remain active employees must join another Location or form a new Location based on these guidelines. Retirees may continue to use the former code.
Retirees may use the Location Code from the last Location they worked as an active employee or any other currently valid Location they worked at during their career with the "Bell System".
Multiple Organizations At The Same Location
If there is more than one "organization/company" at the same location, each may have their own Location Code as long as each meets the basic requirements for a Location Code.
Locations not reporting for two consecutive years will be subject to removal from the valid list for future CQ-WE contests.
All Location Codes are subject to the approval of the National Coordinator.