Since the first NAR Annual Meet (NARAM) was held in 1959, tens of thousands of modelers have participated in NAR sanctioned competition. On July 1, 2017, a new Model Rocket Sporting Code, the NAR’s competition rule book, was put into use. The NAR Contest Board sanctions competition at three levels:
The National Rocket Competition—NRC
A key element of the new Sporting Code is the format for NAR competition called the National Rocket Competition (NRC). The NRC is explained here- NRC Rules. The NRC is an affordable, accessible, and interactive way for NAR members to get involved in the excitement of NAR competition.
The heart of NRC is the ability for as few as two NAR members (one member being 18 years of age or older) to register online and fly one or all of six (6) NRC events as often as they want. Each contest year the NRC events change. The list is posted to the NAR website prior to the beginning of the NRC contest year, June 30. Individual competitors and teams (of two or more), post their results to the National Scoreboard where they can see in real time how they are performing against all the other competitors in their competition division from across the country!
The NAR Annual Meet—NARAM
The NRC is all about day to day, week to week, and month to month competition. But the NRC also serves as a way to crown champions. The NRC Rules not only explain how competitors qualify to compete for national titles; NARAM Meet Champions and National Champions, but how competitors can be recognized as an Event Specialist- an entirely new class of national award.
NARAM is where individuals and teams that have qualified under the NRC come together with other NAR competitors, in a massive competitive showdown. Events at NARAM feature, at a minimum, the six NRC events that everyone has been flying the previous 12 months. The NARAM Contest Director typically adds another two to three events that no one has flown to truly test each and every competitor/team.
What sets an NRC NARAM apart from its previous version, is that all competitors start NARAM with zero points! Everyone begins competing on an equal footing. No points are carried forward to NARAM. The road to a national title lies in how each qualified competitor/team can fly with consistency AND meet or exceed their Scoreboard qualifying results.
While the national title qualified competitors and teams are duking it out, other NARAM attendees are competing for NARAM Meet Champion and individual event awards.
There is one more group of competitors in the mix at NARAM- the Event Specialists. They are competitors who chose to focus on one or more specific NRC events. At NARAM, their goal is to win an Event Specialist Award which recognizes them as being the best in the country in one or more of the NRC events- for the entire year.
NARAM typically lasts for five days and wraps up with a banquet where National Champions, NARAM Meet Champions, Event winners, and Event Specialists are recognized and awarded.
Needless to say, NARAM is a very dynamic, diverse, and defining event that is held in a different area of the country each year.
The NAR Record Trial
Aside from the NRC, there is one other way to leave your mark on NAR competition flying- the Record Trial. Record Trials are open to any NAR member. Any of the NAR competition events listed in the Model Rocket Sporting Code may be flown at a Records Trial.
To hold a Record Trial, a member registers a Record Trial online just like they would an NRC launch. As the event name implies, competitors get together for the sole purpose of attempting to set new U.S. Model Rocket Performance Records.