The ARRL HF operating guidelines provide a very clear definition of the term “self spotting.”
“Self-spotting is the practice of announcing your own call and run frequency on the spotting
network. ARRL contest rules specifically prohibit both self-spotting and requesting spotting by
other stations. It’s a form of CQing that does not take place on the amateur bands, just a step
away from making phone calls to solicit contacts.”
The CQ WW rules specifically prohibit self spotting:
IX. GENERAL RULES FOR ALL ENTRANTS:
4. Self-spotting or asking to be spotted is not permitted.
Each year the rules enforcement working group of the CQ WW Contest Committee will identify areas where the rules are not being followed. This year we have detected a very high number of stations that appear to be engaged in self-spotting. In many cases, there is an attempt to hide this behind phantom callsigns or made to appear like the spots were from a local friend. This kind of activity is not permitted under the rules.
While no decisions have yet been made, there are likely to be disqualifications and warnings issued to some entrants of CQ WW Phone 2015.
We want everyone to be aware of the rule against self-spotting in advance of the upcoming CQ WW CW event. Please follow the rules so the contest is fair for everyone and you do not put your entry at the risk of disqualification.