Running a Contest
If you’ve been thinking about holding a rocket contest, but might be a bit afraid of the work involved, or not sure about what’s involved, read the guidebook in the files section below. Unless you’re trying to host the national meet (NARAM), running an NAR contest is actually pretty simple and can be a lot of fun. It can also help develop new skills within your local club.
How much work it takes to run a contest depends on the type of contest you plan to run. If your event is simply a “sanctioned launch” where individuals can fly any of that contest year’s 6 “National Rocketry Competition” events, then it is pretty easy. You simply ensure that any such flights are observed by an NAR member 18 years of age or older and the scores are reported by the Contest Director at the end of the launch. If you are holding a launch where competitors are competing event-by-event in other events taken from the U.S. Model Rocket Sporting Code for local awards (there is no longer any collection or reporting of “contest points”), then a bit more organization and management is required.
The most common reason cited for why people don’t participate in rocket contests is because there aren’t any when/where they can conveniently fly. The reasons most clubs cite for why they don’t hold any contests are that it’s too hard or they don’t know how. This guide is designed to help, to make the initial step(s) easy.
All it takes to hold a rocket contest is two flyers and someone willing to run it, and the person running it can even be one of the two flyers. This guide isn’t going to make you an expert in competition rocketry and the more intricate rules, but should demystify it enough and give you the basic information you need to run a meet. By starting small and simple, working your way up, you’ll soon discover that competition rocketry can be fun and challenging, and running contests can be an important contribution towards helping grow interest in the hobby. It’s all part of the paying forward aspect of what the NAR does.
Most contests these days use the “Contest Manager” software developed by Dr. Chris Kidwell of NARHAMS section as the method for recording results, computing points, and doing altitude data reduction; then they submit the file from this software to the NAR Contest Board as their meet results. You can download Contest Manager from the NARHAMS website at this link.
- You want to run a meet? Great. Pick a day, coordinate with your club or launch site, etc. then:
- At least 3 weeks before your meet, register your launch through the NAR website. There is no fee.
- In addition to a copy of the Sporting Code and the allowed motor list, you’ll want to bring the following:
- Some Contest Entry Forms (CB-1-70) one per contestant. Bring extras! And remember to have contestants sign them!
- A bunch of Contest flight Cards, one per event per contestant. Bring extras! There are two sides, one for altitude events and one for duration events.
- Fly the meet! Lots of good advice in the Contest Director’s Guide.
- Use Contest Manager to record all contestants and flights and email the results file to the regional chair of the NAR Contest Board.
- If you are flying altitude events and plan to do this with altimeters on the rockets rather than external optical tracking, then use the “Altimeter Check In and Return Guide” posted below for doing the required pre- and post-flight checks of the altimeters
|Contest Director Guide (Sep 09)||May 28, 2014, 5:23 am||310 KB|
|Contest Entry Form||May 28, 2014, 5:23 am||77 KB|
|Contest Flight Cards||May 28, 2014, 5:23 am||15 KB|
|Altimeter Check-in_Return Guide (Aug 15)||Other||October 4, 2015, 2:43 pm||5 MB|