Research & Development rules

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63.1 Scope

Research and Development Competition is open to any NAR member who is performing research (to include historical research), or engineering new developments, in which model rocketry plays a primary part. The purpose of this competition is to stimulate new concepts, approaches, and ideas in:

  • Advancing the state-of-the-art of model rocketry; or
  • Using model rocketry as a research tool; or
  • Preserving the history of model rocketry.

Projects previously entered in a meet with a contest factor greater than or equal to the current meet may not be accepted as an entry unless the contestant has demonstrated that significant new work has been done.

63.2 Weighting Factor

This event may be conducted at Conventions as well as at Competition Meets. A Convention director desiring to hold Research and Development Competition shall apply for a contest sanction as described in Rule 6.8. The Convention shall be sanctioned as a Local Meet, with a Contest Factor of 1 and a Weighting Factor equal to the maximum Weighting Factors available at a Local Meet as described in Rule 6.6.

63.3 Proxy

This competition may not be conducted by proxy, unless the Contest Director rules that special circumstances, such as illness, warrant special consideration.

63.4 Judging

Each entry in this competition shall be judged by at least three Judges, who shall be selected by the Contest Director. Although NAR membership is not a prerequisite for judging, all Judges must demonstrate a working knowledge of the rules of the competition, and be technically competent to judge the quality of the entries.

63.5 Entries

Each entry must be accompanied by three copies of a written report, stating in detail

  • The objectives of the work
  • The approach taken
  • List of any related R & D Reports previously entered by the author, if any, with brief summaries
  • References to previous work done on the subject, found in research preparatory to this report
  • The equipment used
  • The facilities used
  • The money spent on the project (budget)
  • The data collected
  • The results obtained
  • The conclusions drawn
  • Further work that would clarify or extend the results obtained

Note that every report must have these elements in some form to be considered a qualified entry. If the report concerns a book, data compilation, product design, etc., the above elements regarding its development are required

63.5.5 Submission

The written portion of R&D entries must be submitted as a .pdf file to the NAR website ( no later than two weeks prior to the opening of the contest.

63.6 Summary

Each entry shall include, in addition to the detailed report, a separate 250-300 word written summary of the report. The summaries from all the entries shall be sent to the NAR Contest Board by the Contest Director with the meet results. The NAR reserves the right to publish the summary in order to disseminate information on current R&D activities. This in no way is intended to interfere with the contestant’s right to publish his/her report or summary.

63.6.5 Right To Publish

By entering his/her R & D report, the author attests that it is his/her own work, and conveys to the NAR the non-exclusive right to publish the summary and/or the report in Sport Rocketry Magazine and/or in other NAR publications. The author remains free to publish or to allow publication of the summary or report anywhere else he/she may choose. If the report describes the development of or otherwise relates to a commercial product or publication, that product or publication remains the sole property of the author, and NAR may not reproduce or distribute it without permission.

63.7 Oral Presentation

The contestant should be prepared, if called upon by the Judges, to make an oral presentation on his/her project. The oral presentation shall not exceed fifteen minutes. The presentation should cover briefly the material of the written report. During this presentation the contestant shall not be interrupted. No oral comments shall be made by anyone until the presentation is complete and the contestant asks for questions. At this time, the Judges and members of the audience may question the contestant concerning his/her project for a time not to exceed ten minutes.

63.8 Required Presentation

An oral presentation shall be required from those contestants being considered for the top places.

63.9 Demonstration

If required, the contestant must demonstrate his/her project in operation. Success or failure of the demonstration shall not affect the contestant’s score, provided that the contestant gives a reasonable oral explanation of the deviation from expected performance.

63.10 Safety

If any entry does not fully comply with the safety standards set forth in this NAR Sporting Code, the contestant must present to the RSO evidence that the entry is really safe in operation. The RSO is the only official who may judge the safety qualities of a project.

63.11 Budget and Facilities

Contestant must state in his/her written report or oral presentation how much money was spent on the project, and what facilities were available to him/her to carry out experimental work.

63.12 Scoring

Research and Development competition shall be scored as follows: the top four places will be awarded sequentially descending from first place (1-2-3-4) on the basis of the quality of the projects submitted, and their new contributions to the hobby or its applications. All places must be awarded; entered and qualified entries must occupy first (through second, third, fourth, etc. until entries have been exhausted) place without skipping places. In the event of a tie, both entries will be awarded their place as if the other did not exist, i.e., 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd awarded for the top four places in case of a tie for second. Entries that, in the opinion of the judges, were entered solely to qualify in the event and which offer little or no quality value may be disqualified at the discretion of the judges, and if disqualified shall not be awarded flight points for the event.

Weighting Factor 36