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PostHeaderIcon Italian Islands Award - RULES [ENG]

Manager: Saverio Amore, IK2RLS

Rules HF (2017 January 1st)


A.R.I. Associazione Radioamatori Italiani, issues the Italian Island Award (I.I.A.) to licensed amateur radio operators and SWLs for contacts made with stations located on islands belonging to the Italian Republic. Cross-band and/or cross-mode QSOs are not acceptable.

Definition of an island and minimum requirements

For the purposes of I.I.A., islands, rocks, reefs, and in general any portion of ground, sand or rock above the sea level can be valid.
The island must be always completly surrounded by water even at low tide, and it must be circumnavigable at all times.
Islands can be connected to the mainland by man made bridges, footbridges, etc., provided that water is free to flow under them at all times.
Artificial islands, such as concrete/rock barriers, are not valid. Islands located in lakes and rivers are not valid; islands located at river mouths can be valid is at least the 50% of their surface is in the open sea.
Islands shall be shown and named on official Government Maps (such as the Carta d’Italia alla Scala di 1:25.000 by I.G.M, or the Geoportale Nazionale); if the island name is missing, it must be shown on detailed nautical maps, specialized press or equivalent, including reliable websites.
The distance of an island from the mainland must be at least 50 meters at all times.
An island must be always accessible in a safe way, without risk for the activators; for this reason for an approximate minimum size of 20 square meters is required for an island to be qualified for IIA.
Islands valid for the award are listed in the official IIA Directory. They are grouped on the base of homogeneous criteria (known archipelagoes or administrative, historical or geographical areas).
Each island is given a reference number made of one letter denoting the group + three digits.
The 2017 IIA Directory lists the current reference numbers along with those in use until 2012.
The latter were based on the Italian provinces, and are now obsolete; however, they can be used on QSL cards together with the new reference numbers (mandatory).


A minimum of 100 QSOs is required for a radio operation from a given island to be accepted. They can be made over separate operating sessions on different days, but in all cases before the activation of another island.
Planned activations shall be reported to the IIA Manager ( iia(at) ) before the operation starts; if that is not possible, a waiver must be requested. Activators are required to validate their operations with the IIA Manager and to provide details of their activity (name and reference number of the island, operators, bands and modes used, etc). A committee of Senior ARI members will judge in case of dispute about the validity of operations.
The IIA Directory released is to be considered complete with the current island status: updates are possible (also additional reference numbers or removal from the list), but applications shall be supported by adequate map and photographic evidence.
For each operation after 31 December 2012, activators must send to the IIA Manager proof of their operations and the log in ADIF format. The IIA reference number shall be entered in the Comment field with the following syntax:


where k is the length of the field, and Xnnn is the island reference number expressed in the new 2013 format (i.e. X for the letter denoting the island group and nnn for the three digits that identify the island within that group)
Validation material must include photographs and/or videos (JPG, MP4 or other standard formats for PC) providing evidence of physical presence on the island. Photographs showing the screen display from a GPS equipment - such as a Smartphone app – are strongly encouraged to proof the presence of the station on the correct island.
The validation material and the ADIF file shall be sent via email to the IIA Manager ( iia(at) ) within 15 days of the completion of an operation.
Activators can credit their operation to their own IIA score, but in this case they must log a QSO with themselves for the purpose of electronic calculations.
Residents on islands are required to perform a formal activation of their island but they are not required to send the ADIF log for their next operations; they must be prepared to send written confirmations of the QSOs (by traditional QSL cards or by email). Island hunters must record such qso in their ADIF log.
Following operations are considered Equivalent to Resident:

-repetitive operations for from the same IIA reference as a result , for example, for ownership of a house on the island, or recurrent holidays there;

-repetitive official operations by a Club team from the same IIA island;

-holiday style operations by non-Italian hams on Tier 1 or Tier 2 Islands;

-Contest activities during the following HF ones: ARI International, Contest delle Sezioni, IOTA, CQ WW DX, WPX, WAE;

-all operations from Tier 1 Islands (after Jan. 1st 2016).

For the first two types a first formal Activator activation is necessary, with ADIF log sent to Award Manager; for foreigners and Contest operation no formal communication/log are necessary. For all Resident and Equivalent, it must be explicitly possible for chasers to receive a paper qsl from the actiavators via bureau, so cost-free, in the respect of the ham spirit.
Material useful to describe the operation and the technical solutions used is welcome for publication on RadioRivista and the ARI website.

The Award

The Award is released by ARI to licensed amateur radio operators (and to SWLs on a “heard” basis) for confirmed contacts made with 50 islands in at least 10 different Groups for Italian participants; 30 islands in at least 6 different Groups for European participants; 15 islands in at least 3 groups for extra-European participants.
QSOs shall be made after 31 December 1969 on any HF band. No band or mode endorsement can be applied for.
The Honour Roll is a specific listing for participants scoring at least 100 islands in 15 different Groups.
The All Italian Islands Roll is a specific listing for participants scoring at least 300 islands from all the IIA Groups.
Partecipants listed in Honour Roll or All Italian Islands Roll are egligible for the IIA Plaque.
The annual listings will be published on RadioRivista and on the ARI website (, on the basis of the applications for new awards or for score updates received by the IIA Manager by 31 December of each year.

Application for the IIA certificate in electronic format.
To apply for the Italian Islands Award in electronic format (JPG) it is required to submit the log of the claimed QSOs in ADIF format. The IIA reference number must be entered in the Comment field with the following syntax.

For Current QSO (done in 2013 and after): <Comment:8>IIA-Xnnn

where 8 is the length of the field, and Xnnn is the island reference number expressed in the new 2013 format (i.e. X for the letter denoting the island group and nnn for the three digits that identify the island within that group).
Current QSOs are verified by the ADIF logs sent by the activators being these log mandatory for such operations. Paper QSL are mandatory to proof qso done with Residents and Equivalent; the manager will require scans of them.
Only QSO from Activation listed in the present Directory can be credited (see § Errore. L'origine riferimento non è stata trovata.). Other IIA Activations could have occurred for sure, but they are not validated (for various reasons) if not present in the list.

For Historical QSO (done before 2013): <Comment:9>IIA-XXnnn

where 9 is the length of the field, and XXnnn is the island reference number expressed in the old pre-2013 format (i.e. XX for the letter denoting the province to which the island belong and nnn for the three digits that identify the island within that province).
The Historical QSOs must be confirmed by QSL cards, but it is not necessary to submit them. JPG scans via email are sufficient for supporting random QSO verification by the IIA Manager. In both cases send your log to iia(at)
It is also mandatory to send the IIA Form available on the ARI website in DOC and PDF format. It is possible to print it, fill it with the data required and then scan it and send a JPG. Alternatively, it is possible to write the IIA Form text directly into an email to iia(at)
The goal of the form is the authorization to publish participant’s data on RadioRivista and the ARI website.
The same procedure should be followed when applying for additional QSOs to be credited to an existing score.
The IIA certificate in JPG format is issued free of charge, and its request is strongly encouraged versus the paper format.

Application for the paper IIA certificate.
Applications for the classic certificate on paper follow the same process of the previous paragraph with sending of ADIF file and IIA form.
Requests should be sent along with the requested fee to A.R.I., Via Scarlatti 30, 20124 Milano, specifying “IIA Award Manager” on the envelope, or, for a faster application handling, directly to IIA Award Manager IK2RLS at his home address: Saverio Amore, Via De Gasperi 18, 20060 Vignate MI, Italy.
The fee for paper certificates is EUR 15,00 or US$ 20.00 for reimbursement of printing and shipment costs.

Application for the IIA Plaques.
Applications for the “Honour Roll Trophy”or “All Italian Islands Roll Trophy” Plaques follow the same process of the previous paragraph with a score update sending of ADIF file and IIA form.
The QSO score previously described is required.
It is necessary to contact directly the IIA Award Manager IK2RLS at iia(at) or via surface mail at his home address: Saverio Amore, Via De Gasperi 18, 20060 Vignate MI, Italy. The manager will reply specifying the costs for the Plaque and its shipment.

Application for the IIA certificate without ADIF file.
Participants not managing their QSO with electronic logging programs can apply for the IIA certificate without usage of ADIF file, using the same process, address and fee of previous paragraphs, and adding a paper list of the claimed QSO together with the award fee and the IIA form duly filled.
The paper list must report at least the following data for each QSO: IIA reference, callsign of the IIA station, date, UTC, band, mode; QSO must be listed in alphabetical order of IIA reference.
The paper list must be duly verified by a representative of the local Radio Society of the requester’s country, or by two hams. Possession of QSL is mandatory for claiming QSO performed before Jan 1st, 2013; but sending QSL is not requested. The Award manager keep the rigths to ask for QSL verification.
In this case of ADIF file missing, the award score update is not possible.

Performance listings.
Two performance listings are maintained, due to different tracking of radio activations.
The Historical Listing is compiled on the basis of scores achieved with Awards issued before 1 January 2013, or on a later date but based on QSOs made before that date (QSL cards mandatory).
The Current Listing is compiled on the basis of scores achieved with QSOs made after 31 December 2012, and checked through activators’log files (QSL cards not mandatory), or QSL in case of Resident or Equivalent, or Tier 1.
For both listings it is possible to apply for updates once in a calendar year. For upgrades or new Awards with Historical QSOs it is mandatory to have paper QSL cards and provide them to the IIA Manager (JPG scans are accepted). If QSL cards are submitted, it is mandatory to provide sufficient funds for their return. Please contact the IIA Manager at iia(at) for details.
Application for score updates must be done separately for Historical and Current listings; the ADIF file must have the QSO records containing the IIA reference in Old format XXnnn for Historical QSOs, and in New format Xnnn for Current QSOs, respectively in each case, as described in previous paragraphs. One score update per Listing is allowed in a calendar year.
A participant who already achieved the IIA before 2013 by crediting Historical Qso won’t be released a new Award when crediting Current qso; just the new score will be granted.
All awards issued, either those based on historical QSOs and those based on current QSOs, have equal meaning of proof of performance.



New activations and doubtful islands.
It is important that activators understand that quality of documents (maps and photographs) provided for supporting a request for a new island reference number is essential.
So it is strongly recommended that applications for a new reference number are sent to the IIA Manager largely before the activation takes place.
The IIA Manager will reply in short time, and also a temporary approval can be granted, with request of more detailed documents.
Activators of a “new” island who fail to apply for it, can get the new reference number after the IIA Manager receives sufficient material, typically taken directly on field.

Island separation.
An island or rock needs to be at least 50 meters off the mainland sea shore. IIA has taken the same concept of IOTA Program about the criteria of satellite islands. Shortly, an island must lay at least 50 meters not only off the mainland, but also off other islands/rocks/reefs close to it.
So, in case of two islands located at least 50 meters off the coast, if the distance between them is at least 50 meters, they can be counted as separate IIA entities with different reference numbers; if distance is less than 50 meters, they count as a single IIA entity.
This principle made it possible to group together all the minor rocks that are de facto portions of the same mother island, apparently separated from it by water but without sufficient depth for a boat.
In the directory there are present several islands not respecting the 50 meters rule, because they were added to list before the rule was introduced; these islands can be removed by request of at least two hams, providing appropriate documents. Removal is immediate in case of extreme scenarios, such as disappeared islands (i.e.sand banks) or merged islands. Islands removed from the list can be credited for score if activated before the cancellation date.

Island information.
Information about islands, activation lists and decisions taken on activation validity will be published regularly on the IIA web pages at

Authorisation to access.
Some islands, such as military facilities or environmentally protected areas, have a clear restricted access policy; others, such as private islands, have a common law restricted access.
In all case island activations must be done within the law; where a landing permit is explicitly necessary, copy of it must be provided together with other activation material.
The IIA Manager will invalidate activations failing to provide such permits, even in the case that the need of permit becomes known after the activation is completed.
In order for the activation to be valid, all radio equipment must be physically on the island (radio gear, power generator, antenna, etc..); derogations can be considered in extraordinary cases with appropriate communication and request to the IIA Manager and authorization granted by him before the activation itself.
Private islands often have limited public areas for landing; private islands require a permit by the landlord to land and operate, but this permit can be verbal and provided on the fly.
The case of Islands with restricted access is different; for these references (such as Military facilities, or archeological sites or protected Wildlife Areas) a permit (usually written) is required from the Controlling Authority.
With the Directory 2014 each island in the list is provided of an element describing how it is easy to access.

Accessibility of an island.
With Directory 2014 an index of accessibility of the island is introduced; it si called “Tier” in English and “Livello” in Italian to publicy stand for the grade of complexity of its activation.
Five levels are introduced:

Tier 1: Island of large geographical size, possibly with ham resident population, so that it can be normally contacted with a sked with such residents. Or an island permanently linked to mainland by public causeways (street, rail), so it can be accessed by island activators at any time with own transportation (car, motorhome, bike, on foot, etc..).

Tier 2: Island connected to mainland by regular public ferry services, so activators can access it for activation without own boating.

Tier 3: Island not connected to mainland by regular public ferry services, so activators need own boat to access it for activation; also islands that can be accessed on foot from mainland or main parent island walking on low depth water sea.

Tier 4: Private island, for which a permit from landlord is necessary; permit can be verbal and provided on the fly; or island provided of a very limited public access area.

Tier 5: Island with regulated, restricted or forbidden access (such as Military acilities, or archeological sites or protected Wildlife Areas); a permit from the Controlling Authority, normally written, is required and must be provided to the Award Manager with the documents for validation of the activation.

This index can change of course in the future, depending of the island status. The Directory is updated with the most recent available data, and all partecipants to IIA program are welcome to contribute with news, rule updates and clarifications on each island.

It is strongly recommended to use a logging program with the capability of generating ADIF files.
The BBLogger program is recommended, and it can be downloaded from

The IIA reference number for the QSO must be entered into the Comment field of the ADIF file with the following format:

For Current QSO: <Comment:8>IIA-Xnnn

where 8 is the length of the field, and Xnnn is the island reference number expressed in the new 2013 format (i.e. X for the letter denoting the island group and nnn for the three digits that identify the island within that group).

For Historical QSO: <Comment:9>IIA-XXnnn

where 9 is the length of the field, and XXnnn is the island reference number expressed in the old pre-2013 format (i.e. XX for the letter denoting the belonging province of the island and nnn for the three digits that identify the island within that province).

Examples of correct ADIF records.

For a Current QSO: <COMMENT:8>IIA-S049 <OPERATOR:8>IT9EJW/p <CALL:4>E77O <BAND:3>40m <FREQ:6>7.0770 <MODE:3>SSB <TIME_ON:4>0800 <QSO_DATE:8>20130421 <EOR>

For an Historical QSO: <COMMENT:9>IIA-SC001 <OPERATOR:6>IT9EJW <CALL:4>E77O <BAND:3>40m <FREQ:6>7.0770 <MODE:3>SSB <TIME_ON:4>0800 <QSO_DATE:8>20120421 <EOR>

The ADIF records that are generated by log programs can be easily adapted with basic free programs such as Wordpad, Notepad or other free text editors.
The order of the fields in the record is not fixed, but it can free; the record is trailed by the <EOR> tag according to ADIF standard.

Performance Listings.
Considering the different way of tracking of IIA activations over the past years and the one that can be easily done now, with electronic media not available in the past, ARI has decided to implement two different score standings.
So both QSOs confirmed in the past by paper QSLs can be credited, and new QSOs with PC based activators’ logs, can be credited for score, but in different listings. Additionally an Activators listing is implemented.
Activators can claim a credit for the activated islands for the Current hunter listing; to achieve it, they must add a fake QSO with themselves in ther activator and hunter logs. Forgotten credit can be claimed also later, contacting the Award Manager.
For all kinds of credit please refer to the instructions in this document. In case a participant cannot handle electronic processes, please contact the IIA Manager through traditional mail for specific directions.