Since the first NAR Annual Meet (NARAM) was held in 1959, tens of thousands of NAR members have participated in NAR sanctioned competition. On July 1, 2017, a new Model Rocket Sporting Code, the NAR’s competition rule book, was rolled out. The Sporting Code defines the competition process to compete in NAR Competition and qualify to compete for the National Championship. This process has 2 distinct parts, the National Rocket Competition (NRC) and the National Meet (NARAM). NRC replaces the sanctioned contests (local, section, open, regional) of the prior Sporting Code.
Each contest year, the NAR Contest Board selects 6 contest events from a subset of the events in the USMRSC that contestants may fly and compete against each other. At the end of the contest year, the top ten qualifiers in each age division compete for the National Championship at NARAM. Those who do not make the top ten can also compete at NARAM for contest event places and the NARAM Meet Championship.
The National Rocket Competition—NRC
An NRC launch is a local launch hosted by an NAR Section or any NAR member 18 years or older. An NRC launch can take many forms. It can be run as part of a Section’s regular sport launch, it can be setup as a contest like regional or open meets from the past, or it can be as simple as just 2 NAR members getting together to fly the NRC events. Simple and easy.
Any NAR member 18 years or older may submit a request to host an NRC launch. This is done by submitting the launch on the NAR website here. After it is approved, it will appear on the NRC part of Launch Windows. At any given NRC launch, a contestant may compete in any (or all) of the 6 NRC events. Once the NRC launch is completed, the Contest Director enters the results in a program called Contest Manager (Java based, runs on PCs and Macs) that is sent to the Regional Contest Board Chair. The CD also enters the data on the NAR Competition Results Entry webpage. The results then appear on the National Scoreboard where contestants see where they stand against all NAR competitors.
Contestants can fly as many NRC events as they want and fly any event at each NRC to improve their score. No paperwork is required to be mailed or scanned and sent to Contest Board. Everything is handle electronically through the NAR website at the links shown above. However, contest entry forms and flight cards can be downloaded from the NAR website at the links below.
Also, the Contest Board is always here to help. Reach out to your Regional Contest Chair or the National Contest Chair. Their contact info can be found on the NAR Organizational Contacts page. They can answer any questions you may have and get you started competing in the NRC or hosting an NRC launch.
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.