Thursday, September 3, 2020

Demystifying S2S Point System

Brian, KN6KJO, recently asked me how summit-to-summit points work for Summits On The Air.  I actually wasn’t sure so I did some work.  I’ve known how chasing works but S2S was a mystery.  

I've never really looked into it to understand in detail but I did some analysis by looking at my chaser and S2S logs.  A good day to look at for me is Aug-1-2020 because I had a LOT of S2S and chased multiple people on the same summit on the same UTC day. So I cross checked the data between the chased log and S2S log on SOTAdata and looked at how they were adding up the S2S points, which is the oddball log / point system.  I enjoy making summit to summit contacts and it’s fun to track where I’m at in the pack of guys doing this in my association, California.  Most important rule, rule #1... HAVE FUN!

On the  SOTAdata web site I went into my summit-to-summit (S2S) log by going to the menu “View results / my results / My S2S Log”

(BTW, you can look at my S2S log by going into View results / Summit to Summit Roll of Honour, then click on my call sign, N1CLC, to see my logs).


Chasing Points:

     You get points for the summit you are chasing

     Can only chase the summit once for points per UTC day, so yes, you can chase the same summit multiple times per day, but you only get points for the first chase during that UTC day.  Chase it again anyway to help the other activators out however

     If multiple operators are on the summit, you can only get chase points for the first person you chase that UTC day on that summit.  Chase the other operator(s) anyway so that she adds to their list of contacts.

     Cool fact, if you chase a summit successfully at 2359 UTC, wait a minute and call them again.  You just got points for both contacts because it crosses a UTC day.  Pretty cool for the chaser.  So if you are on a summit at just before 5PM on the west coast, expect to get some repeat chasers. 

Summit To Summit (S2S)

     Think of S2S first as chasing, so both operators get chaser points.  All of the chasing rules above apply.

     The first S2S that you make, sotada adds your summit points with the chased summit points but only if you have NOT activated that summit this year.  If you have activated your summit this year, then you just get the other summit points if you haven’t chased that summit on that UTC day.  So you get points added to your chaser stat and S2S stat.  Example:  I'm on a new summit, and trying for my first summit-to-summit of the day.  My summit is 5 points, the chased summit is 10 points.  If I make a successful contact, I just got 15 S2S points.  

In another example I hike a hill by my house to do some S2S all the time, I get the S2S points and chaser points but since I’ve already activated it this year, I don’t get the activator points added to the S2S, just the chased summit points.

     If you are on a summit,  your second S2S only gives you the chased summit's points if you haven't chased someone else on that summit yet. 
S2S at this point is like chasing from home and the rule that you only get chase points only once per peak chased per UTC day.  The points go to your chase stats and your S2S stats.

     If you have already chased a summit, but there are others on it, chase them anyway so they get the S2S points, even though you won’t get any.

     If you chase S2S, then go to another summit and chase the other summit again, I think the only points you might get are your summit points if it's the first S2S from the new summit.  This is a real corner case and the one person that found that he got the point both summits thinks it was due to a bug.  Just stick with the assumption that chaser rules apply and let me know if you find different.

SOTA Complete Stat

One other fun thing you can go after is chasing a summit you have activated or will activate in the future.  If you activate and chase the same summit, you earn a "SOTA Complete".  One point per complete.  It's fun to try to best your SOTA palls at the number of completes (who the hell else would care).  

This is a fun hobbies and I enjoy setting goals, making my way to the summit and working stations from all over.



  1. This. Is. Incredible. I'm going to print and keep a copy of this for reference since it's FAR TOO COMPLEX for me to remember all the nuances.

    My favorite nugget of information is the bit about saddling two S2S contacts over the UTC "Midnight" to grab points for both.

    Thanks, Chris N1CLC - You've done it again.

    Brian KN6KJO

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  3. SOTA is almost like getting paid for having FUN! ...wGOAT