Basics of the Rules
by Jeff Vincent, NAR 27910
Recognizing the benefits of competition, both to the individual and the hobby as a whole, the NAR sanctions launches as competitions. The competitions are divided into age divisions (0-14, 15-22, and 23+, as well as a team division) to better match the skills of the competitors. NAR clubs (“sections”) or any individual NAR member age 18 and older can host a competition launch that any NAR member can compete in. Competition launches can as one option be structured with any number of any events from the Sporting Code and local awards. These may be duration events (trying to achieve the maximum flight time), altitude events (trying to achieve the maximum altitude), or craftsmanship events (building models which are judged on craftsmanship, scale accuracy, and flight performance). Competition events are further classified by various tasks they require, such as Parachute Duration and Eggloft Altitude, and most events are flown in specific motor classes — 1/2A Streamer Duration, B Boost/Glider Duration, etc. As another option, at any launch that is sanctioned as a competition, contestants can record performances in any of the 6 specific “National Rocketry Competition” events that have been selected as the national events of that year by the NAR Contest Board. Their flight scores are then submitted to and posted on a nation-wide public “score board” and the top 10 percent of those participating can come to the national meet (called NARAM) to compete to be named as National Event Specialist Award winners. Every summer the NAR holds NARAM, the NAR Annual Meet, somewhere in the country. At NARAM, contestants fly against people from around the country. At the end of the week-long competition, performances in the events at NARAM are tallied and the National Champions are recognized.
Jennifer Ash-Poole’s “Guide to Competition for the Casual Competitor”, in the files section below, gives a good “taste” of the rules for individual events. However, it doesn’t cover some of the general rules that control competition flying. These general rules are covered in the U.S. Model Rocket Sporting Code. This summary is intended to explain just enough of the rules for a new flyer to get started flying his or her first meets. It is not comprehensive and, as always, you should refer to the Sporting Code for the full and official rules. I’ve included cites to specific rules, so you can look up the pertinent text.
- Safety Code – All models and flight operations must comply with the NAR Model Rocket Safety Code (Rule 2.2).
- Contest Approved Motors – All motors used in competition must be Contest Approved (4.3). See the NAR Certified Motor List
- Range Safety Officer – The Range Safety Officer (RSO) is in control of all flight operations on the launch field (5.1).
- Safety and Motor Check –
- Every model to be flown must pass through a safety check by the RSO (or Safety Check Officer) (5.3).
- The safety check will include recording the motor designation on your flight card (9.5.1).
- NAR Membership – You must be a NAR member to participate in competition. (8.1).
- Age Divisions – Competition is divided into four divisions – A (age 7-14), B (age 15-22), C (age 23+), and Team (8.3).
- Ejected Motors – A model is not allowed to eject its motor(s) without a recovery device (9.2).
- NAR Number – You are required to have your name or NAR number on your model (9.4).
- Minimum Entries – There must be at least two people or teams entered in each event in contests being run for local awards. If necessary, divisions will be combined to achieve this (9.6). There is no minimum number of entries if flights are being flown by individuals for national ranking only.
- Model Construction – You are required to build your own model. Premanufactured models are not eligible for competition (9.9).
- Number of Flights – You are allowed to make two flights in an event unless otherwise specified by the rules of that event. (10.2).
- Disqualifications –
- A flight may be disqualified (DQ’ed) by the RSO if it violates the competition rules or is judged unsafe (11.3).
- A DQ results in a score of zero for that flight (11.4).
- Altitude Event Tracking –
- Altitude scoring is the best single flight.
- Models are optically tracked by two or more trackers with two-axis theodolites (20.3). Alternatively, and in all National Rocketry Competition (NRC) events flown by individuals, the event may be held with all altitudes determined based on altimeters carried by the rockets instead.
- Models are usually tracked to ejection, so tracking powder is recommended (20.3.2).
- The tracking data from theodelites reduces to an altitude value and an error check value (20.3.6).
- In optical tracking if the model is not tracked (“track lost”) or the error check value is too high (“track not closed”) and the flight is otherwise qualified, and in altimeter tracking if the altimeter reads no data post-flight, the flight is unofficial and the flyer may fly again (20.3.6).
- Duration Event Timing –
- Duration scoring is the sum of two flights unless otherwise specified by the rules of that event. (10.2).
- Models are timed by one or more timers with stopwatches. (30.1).
- Models are timed from first motion until they land or go out of sight. (30.4).
- Duration models may not separate into multiple pieces unless otherwise specified by the rules of that event, i.e. Boost Glider. (30.5).
- Unless otherwise specified by the RSO in the case of a concern over a flight’s qualification status (e.g. a separation or motor ejection is suspected)flight are not required to be returned to the officials (30.9) except at NARAM, where one flight must be returned.
- Multi-Round events consist of three flights made with two models. The models are timed up to the maximum time for the event. No returns are required. Ties are broken by additional flyoff rounds (30.11).
- Craftsmanship Event Judging –
- Entries are judged by a team of one or more judges (50.1).
- Entries are judged in flight condition, but without motor or recovery system (50.6).
- Models which are caught before landing or which cannot be returned to the judges are judged as if having sustained maximum damage in flight (50.8).
- U.S. Records –
- A list of records is maintained for all divisions for most events.
- The model must be returned to claim a U.S. record (14.3).
- Your record may be filed by the Contest Director or by the flier with the Contest Director’s signature. (14.5).
|Competition for Casual Competitor||May 28, 2014, 5:19 am||155 KB|