This story was provided by Doug Grant, K1DG.
In the first CQWW (1948), there were two categories: single-operator, and “more-than-one-operator”. By 1959 it was observed that some of the “more-than-one-operator” stations also had more than one transmitter. In order to separate the two, the categories of multi-multi and multi-single were created.
This worked OK for a long time. The 1971 rules (p. 61, October 1971 CQ) defined the multi-operator categories as follows:
“a. Single Transmitter (only one transmitter and one band permitted during the same time period).
b. Multi Transmitter (no limit to transmitters but only one signal per band permitted)”
The problem was that the “same time period” was not defined. In the 1971 CQWW SSB contest, WB2SQN (now K2SS) exploited that unclear definition and put together an interlocked “octopus” station capable of running on several bands at once and their score was nearly double all the other multi-singles. This was within the rules, but not well received.
The MS rule was changed for the 1972 contest. The new rule (Oct. 1972 CQ, p. 63), actually printed in red with a bar next to it saying “NOTE CHANGE”, read as follows:
“a. Single Transmitter (only one transmitter and one band permitted during the same time period (defined as 10 minutes). Exception: Stations may be worked on different bands during the same time period only if they are new multipliers.”
Yes, they forgot to close the first set of parentheses. But this is the first instance of a 10-minute rule.
The CQWW MS keeps more guys busy. In the modern era, the top handful of stations use interlocked in-band S&P stations on the run band, and mult stations on several bands awaiting their 10-minute shift. It is a very popular category, even if most stations aren’t able to compete with the mega-MS stations. It is a way for several friends to get together and share one station. Everyone can
find something to do. It is fun.
Historical note: When WB2SQN “blew away” the record, his partner in crime was K2KUR (aka N2AA). At the time, both of them were members of the CQWWCC (which was vastly smaller back then). The shack was located in Dave’s bedroom. They could only operate on 2 bands at a time.