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4 Comments on RCP 2021-006
We are now over half way through this current NRC season. The scoreboard currently shows NO A division qualified flights, 1 B division, 6 C division and 1 D division. 25% of those flights come from my household, 50% from our section. We have tried to support this change locally even if we did not all agree with it being instituted. Every single flight on the scoreboard is from someone who previously competed in the 2019-2021 season. There are currently only three people qualified in all events. If the emergency RCP were not forced through last year, that number would be nine and would include people qualified for national champion in all age divisions. The only new A-divisioner on the board is qualified in EVERY event EXCEPT this one! Last year's emergency RCP has so far netted absolutely no new competitors and no return of old competitors like it was supposed to. I think this years participation speaks for itself. As Wolf insinuated, where are the people who cried "we want scale NOW"? They certainly are not participating in the event they wanted added. The emergency RCP to add craftsmanship has failed. We should learn from that and let this one die as well.
"Were those few(?) rocketeers saying "we want scale NOW" really important enough to add a 7th event and temporarily bypass the normal voting process? ... it looks like the org is just trying to get the old boys club back together." contestRoc post 6/29/2021
Consider that starting a little over five years ago, we were getting comments like these from leaders in the competition community when trying to understand the NRC format and the apparent "abandonment" of the craftsmanship and other events.
"Given the mission before us, the committee couldn't find a way to make craftsmanship events a part of the SQS." contestRoc post 8/6/2016
"But sections can still hold contests and have craftsmanship events a part of them." contestRoc post 8/6/2016
"Unfortunately, I don't see how to incorporate Craftsmanship events into the SQS." contestRoc post 8/7/2016
"I donât see where those events are restricted. Iâve been to three contests since the new rules [became official] that included craftsmanship. The participation level was the same as it had been." contestRoc post 9/10/2019
And it turns out that the proponents of the NRC were correct. The events like craftsmanship were not abandoned. It turns out that we did not need to include craftsmanship, dual eggloft, and various other events in the NRC.Â It was true that you can fly them anytime we want in competition and they didn't need to be "official" NRC events.Â We have enjoyed incorporating these events in NRC and non-NRC contests ever since the new rules went into effect.Â Â
I respectfully disagree with Dan's assertion that craftsmanship events have been removed from NAR competition. Â They haven't.Â
The NRC was about making competition more accessible to younger and less experienced fliers by building a framework around a few easy events.Â I'll quote what Ed LaCroix wrote in a comment for another RCP - "The NRC and the events that constitute it are intended to allow younger members, particularly those from 7 -15, access to competition based on low-cost motors and simple airframes..."Â Â Adding craftsmanship events does not help achieve this goal.
We can already fly craftsmanship events in any competition that we organize, anytime we that we desire.Â Adding craftsmanship events to the NRC event list will just needlessly complicate the rules.Â The RCP is not needed.
I will not support this RCP.
I think the NRC should focus on the simple, easy-to-fly events that will get young people to participate. Egg lofting should hold some appeal to TARC contestants. But craftsmanship events - while fun - are not as simple and I think favor greatly the moreÂ experienced rocketeers. I don't dislike any NAR event, but to me, simplicity should be the main factor in deciding if the event should be part of the NRC. My opinion, FWIW.Â
Recently I decided to try to finish my NARTrek Silver, which involves building/flying a sport scale model and having it judged by another rocketeer. My section has essentially no competition experience, so it was quite a challenge trying to find a rocketeer who could serve as a decent judge. I appealed online for help, but was met with "Don't you have anyone local?". Finally I found someone in my area. But they challenge of finding a judge was almost enough to make me chuck the whole thing.
This RCP submission outlines a process for virtual judging, and I am agreement with Steve Foster's comments with regard to that. I do not feel virtual judging is adequate, especially given that I s**k at taking decent photos. I would much rather someone inspect the model, point out the flaws, and give me tips on what I can do better. I'm sure there are others like me.Â
In summary, I feel that that adding sport scale to the NRC violates my "perceived requirement" that a NRC event should be simple and does nothing to draw newcomers to the NRC. In fact, the very obvious differences between the models produced by veterans and novices may turn some people off.
I don't see the point in including any craftsmanship events in the NRC, you can always include those types of events at any launch/meet you wish to fly at any time during the year without them needing to be included in the NRC. Some of the best models take 300 hours or more; sometimes a lot more time to build.Â Not many of us have the time to build multiple models each year. You could not count on having to build and fly a top scale model in the NRC contest year and also be able to fly the same model at NARAM without any damage at all, even the small risk of a CATO would have you in a panic just weeks before NARAM. All the events at NARAM are still included in the National Championship point system, the only item that is different is awarding an event specialist award.
Also the virtual judging adds a lot of issues with trying to award point properly. With entries coming in a various times of the contest year it would be hard for an judge, even the same judge to award points fairly throughout the year. Also there is a big difference in using images to do most of the judging as compared to seeing the models with eyeballs in the same room with the same lighting etc. Although it was done virtually once it was not the prefered method by most of the judges that I have had communications with.
Part of changing to the NRC format was to make it less time consuming and easier for competitors to compete without having to build too many models, especially complex models. We seem to be getting far away from that concept.
I am voting No for this change.