Appendix D: Notice of Rulemaking Procedures
Model rocket competition in the United States is governed by the U.S. Model Rocket Sporting Code. The rules in the Sporting Code may be revised each year using the Rule Change Proposal (RCP) process. The NAR Contest Board oversees the RCP. The procedures published here explain how the RCP process works and how you can have a voice in the revision process. If you have questions about the RCP process, contact the NAR Rules Change Proposal Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
To submit a Rule Change Proposal use the form located here: RCP Submission Form.
The purpose of the Rule Change Proposal process is to assist the NAR Contest Board in accepting, managing, and implementing Sporting Code rule revisions using an open process that encourages member participation and feedback. It is the responsibility of the NAR Contest Board to provide U.S. Model Rocket Sporting Code standards and policies that will promote and develop competition model rocketry through member participation.
D.2- General Considerations
D.2.1 – There is no fee associated with submitting a rule change proposal.
D.2.2 – Care should be taken to avoid RCP’s that may generate rules that conflict or overlap with existing rules in the Sporting Code.
D.2.3 – Accepted Regular type RCP’s (see D.3.1.1) will be published in accordance with the RCP Cycle (see D.4) and a 60 day member comment period.
D.2.4 – The author of a proposal may request the RCP Chair withdraw his/her proposal at any time prior to the final ballot being published.
There are two types of Rule Change Proposals: REGULAR and EMERGENCY
REGULAR PROPOSALS – May be filed by any NAR member. If adopted, the new rule(s) go into effect with the next edition of the Sporting Code (updated annually). If accepted by a vote of the membership, Regular proposals take one year to pass through the RCP process and go into effect.
EMERGENCY PROPOSALS – May be filed by any NAR member. Because of the greater length of time normally required to get a rule change proposal through the Cycle (see D4), there are alternate paths for faster revision if a situation dictates. Upon approval, Emergency proposals may be put into effect very quickly.
D.3.1- Type Definitions
D.3.1.1- REGULAR Rule Change Proposals
A Regular proposal is one which adds, modifies, or removes a rule from the Sporting Code and does not fit the definition of an Emergency RCP as determined by the RCP Committee.
The RCP Chair will review a Regular RCP to see that the intent is clearly stated and that the language and format is suitable for inclusion in the Sporting Code. A Regular RCP must not result in a change to the Sporting Code that creates a conflict with the Model Rocket Safety Code. If a Regular RCP affects more than one rule or event, then the author must clearly address in their submission, each of the changes to the Sporting Code required to implement the proposed rule change.
If a Regular proposal is not suitable for inclusion in the Sporting Code, the RCP Committee will return the proposal to the author by email along with an explanation of its deficiencies so that it may be corrected and resubmitted. An RCP which is accepted by the RCP Committee will be reviewed in a timely manner.
D.3.1.2- Emergency Rule Change Proposal Definition– An Emergency proposal must address:
– The need to expand on and/or clarify an existing rule
-A question of integrity and fairness
-A time-sensitive issue
-The potential for member injury, loss of life, or property damage.
The intent of an Emergency proposal is to add, modify, or remove an existing rule in order to maintain the integrity, fairness, and safety of competition by quickly modifying the Sporting Code.
An Emergency proposal may add, modify, or remove an existing rule in the Sporting Code at any time during the Cycle
An Emergency proposal must not result in a change to the Sporting Code that creates a conflict with the Model Rocket Safety Code.
The RCP Chair will review an Emergency proposal to see that the intent is clearly stated and that the language and format are suitable for inclusion in the Sporting Code.
If an Emergency RCP affects more than one rule or event, then the author must clearly address in their submission each of the changes to the Sporting Code required to implement the proposed rule change.
A group consisting of the RCP Chair, the Contest Board Chair and the NAR President reviews emergency proposals submitted to the RCP Chair. Emergency proposals may be approved by a 2/3 vote of this group. The Contest Board Chair designates the date on which an Emergency RCP type shall be made effective by publishing on the NAR website.
With the approval of the author, an Emergency proposal, which does not receive majority approval, will be held by the RCP Chair for consideration as a Regular RCP in the normal one-year Cycle.
The RCP process operates on a one-year cycle which begins the day after NARAM ends. The following timeline describes the RCP Cycle and all pertinent action dates:
D.4.1 – September 1 – Deadline for RCPs to be received by RCP Chair.
D.4.2 – September 2 – October 31 – Period for RCP Chair to email acknowledgement of proposals received and accepted and proposals received and returned to authors with suggested corrections. Proposals returned for correction must be resubmitted by November 1 in order to be included in the current Cycle.
D.4.3 – November 1 – December 14 – The period the RCP Chair has to prepare the Regular RCP’s for NAR website publication.
D.4.4 – December 15 – February 14 – Member comment period. The comment period closes at midnight, February 14, on the RCP Forum.
D.4.5 – February 15 – March 31 – The period RCP authors have to amend their proposals based on member comments or leave as originally submitted. Amended proposals must be resubmitted by midnight, March 31.
D.4.6 – April 1 – May 13 – The period that the RCP Chair has to construct the ballot.
D.4.7 – May 14 – RCP ballots are published on the NAR RCP Forum to allow voting by the membership.
D.4.8 – May 15 – June 15 – The period for Member voting. Deadline to submit your ballot to the RCP Forum is midnight, June 15.
D.4.9 – June 16 – July 14 – The period that the RCP Chair has to tabulate and prepare the results for publication.
D.4.10 – July 15 – Voting results published on the RCP Forum, Contest Rocketry Forum, and in the NAR Homepage News Section.
D.4.11 – First day after NARAM ends – Approved RCP’s go into effect for the new NRC/contest year.
D.5- Preparation and Submission
Any NAR member may submit an RCP by completing the Rule Change Proposal Form at nar.org.
Upon receipt of a completed Rule Change Proposal form, the RCP Chair will check to see that the submitted proposal meets the following requirements:
D.5.1 – All required fields have been filled out
D.5.2 – The proposal is clearly written
If the submitted proposal does not meet the aforementioned requirements, the RCP Chair will return it to the author for correction within 10 days of receipt. If the submitted proposal does meet the aforementioned requirements, the RCP Chair will email the author acknowledgment of receipt within 10 days of the proposal’s acceptance and will forward the proposal to the RCP Committee for review.
When writing a Rule Change Proposal, the author should keep in mind the following considerations:
Manufacturing – Will current models or equipment become obsolete or made no longer competitive?
Protests – Will the rule change proposal add or remove a source of protests?
Model Processing Time – Will the rule change proposal tend to increase or decrease the time required to process models at a competition?
Designs – Will the rule change proposal give the builder more or less freedom of design?
Contests – Will the rule change proposal increase or decrease the time and effort required to conduct acompetition?Current models – Will a competitor be able to compete effectively with current models, or will a competitor have to
build new ones? (See Manufacturing)
Effect on Competition – Will the rule change proposal encourage or discourage competition participation? Effect on Skill Level – Will the rule change proposal encourage a modeler to develop new skills and construction techniques?
Conflict or Overlap – Will the rule change proposal conflict or overlap with other Sporting Code rules?
D.6- Review Committee
The committee shall consist of the RCP Chair and four members of the NAR in good standing. The committee shall be selected by the RCP Chair and approved by the NAR Contest Board Chair. The Contest Board Chair may remove and replace any one or more members of the Review Committee at a time of his/her choosing.
A Rule Change Proposal accepted by the RCP Chair is forwarded to the RCP Review Committee. It is the purpose of the Review Committee to review each accepted RCP to ensure the “RCP Type” designation assigned by the author (on their submission form) is appropriate per the definition of each proposal type.
Acceptance- A simple majority vote of the RCP Committee members is required to accept an RCP for inclusion in the Sporting Code based on its logic and intent.
Rejection- A simple majority vote of the RCP Committee members is required to reject an RCP and return the proposal to the author by email along with an explanation of its deficiency so it may be corrected and resubmitted if the author so chooses.
D.7- Voting and Vote Tabulation for Regular Rule Revisions
The RCP Chair will send an electronic ballot to the membership.The ballot shall contain a listing of all proposals. The ballot shall present each proposal’s content as of midnight March 31- the last day proposals in the Cycle may be resubmitted with changes. Ballots will not include proposal comments from the December 15 – February 14 comment period (D.4.4).
The ballot shall state the deadline for voting per the Cycle (D.4.8).
Every NAR member is entitled to one vote. Only votes cast using the official electronic ballot will be tabulated. Ballots may be submitted only by NAR members in good standing. Electronic ballots will not be accepted after the deadline stated in the Cycle (D.4.8). The RCP Chair will tabulate the votes cast by the membership. Each proposal that receives 51% or greater “Yes” votes will be deemed to have been approved and will be included in the next published version of the Sporting Code.
D.8- Updating the Sporting Code
D.8.1- The Sporting Code will be amended to reflect all accepted REGULAR proposals effective the beginning of the new contest (NRC) year.
D.8.2- The Sporting Code will be amended to reflect all accepted EMERGENCY rules on the date the Contest Board Chair has designated they are to take effect.
D.9- Changes to the Rule Change Proposal Process
Changes to to Appendix “D” of the USMRSC require a vote of the NAR Board of Trustees.