HST has a long history and dating back to the very beginning of invention of Morse code. In the early days, HST was not part of any competition but simply reflected the need to transmit or receive messages in Morse code quicker and more accurately.
The first serious use of Morse code as a competitive activity dated from the mid-20th century, mainly as competition among army personnel from Eastern Europe. At that time, the competition was better known as a QRQ (QRQ – abbreviation from Q‑code=send faster) contest. As part of the International Amateur Radio Union, HST first appeared in 1983 with the first European Championship held in Moscow, Russia. Two more European championships followed, one in 1989 in Hannover, Germany and another in 1991 in Neerpelt, Belgium. Officially, the first World Championship took place in 1995 in Siofok, Hungary.
Until 2003, HST world championships were organized every odd year. Starting from 2004, HST world championships continued every odd year, while IARU Region 1 HST championships were officially introduced every even year.
Starting from 2017,with agreement of all three IARU regions, WORLD championship is taking place every year. Since 1995, 16 IARU World HST championships and 5 IARU Region 1 HST championships have taken place.