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TCC Competition Primer:  USMRSC Rule 56, Concept Scale Competition (CSC)


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This primer presents, in one place, all the information you need to succeed in NAR model rocket Concept Scale (CSC) competition.

TCC has provided a link to the official rules whenever we discuss a rule.


All Entries

Your entry must:

* Comply with the NAR Model Rocket Safety Code: USMRSC 2.2

* Be a model rocket as described by the United States Model Rocket Sporting Code. USMRSC 3.1-3.9

* Use NAR Contest Approved motors: USMRSC 4.1, 4.4

* NOT eject its motor casing(s) without a recovery system. USMRSC 9.2

* Have your NAR number or your name on the outside, large and clear enough that the contest officials can easily read it. Teams must use the Team number or name. USMRSC 9.4

* Have been constructed by yourself or by one or more members of your Team. You may not enter Ready-To-Fly rockets (no construction required) in NAR sanctioned competition. USMRSC 9.9


Know the rules

Your having a grasp of the bigger picture can increase your enjoyment of NAR competition. You can read the Pink Book Lite to see only the rules for competitors, not for Contest Directors or other contest officials. Read the full USMRSC (Pink Book) to see all the rules.

* Pink Book Lite:

* Full USMRSC:


General Competition Tips:

TCC NAR Competition 101

TCC NAR Competition Strategy and Tactics

Contest Etiquette by Kevin Paul Wickart, NAR 59720, cr 1998, the author

Beginning Competition -- The RSVP Principle by Kevin Paul Wickart, NAR 59720, cr 1998, the author

Guide to NAR Contest Rocketry Information for Beginners by Jeff Vincent, NAR 27910, Northeast Regional Contest Chair


Which are the Main USMRSC Rules for This Event?

* The main rules are 9, 16 and 56.


Does TCC Have Supporting Documents?

TCC CSC Judging Form and instructions with Sport Scale documentation by Peter Alway, John Pursley, and CSC (when the event was FFSC) comments by Jack Hagerty


What is the Goal?

* CSC is a variation of Sport Scale. USMRSC 53,

* You want produce a flying replica of either a fictional or a seriously proposed, but un-built rocket vehicle. USMRSC 56.1


Does it Qualify for CSC?

* The model you choose to replicate must meet two main criteria. USMRSC 56.1

1. Be a rocket vehicle that is fictional or seriously propose by an established aerospace professional, institution or company.

2. The prototype for you model must NEVER have flown as you model it.


Are There Any Special Considerations?

* The following are specifically excluded by USMRSC 56.2, 56.3 and 56.4:

-Vehicles from unpublished fiction and amateur films.

-Science fiction or futuristic designs published by model rocketry manufacturers, publications, or organizations specifically for flying model construction.

-Science fiction themed rocket kits that do not appear in actual works of science fiction or rockets in generic science fiction illustrations.

-Generic illustrations of a class of proposed vehicle rather than a specific program.

-Real prototypes that appeared in science fiction, unless so modified that they could not be flown in Sport Scale.

-Amateur rockets and missiles, except when the prototype is of obvious historical significance.

-Entries that qualify for Plastic Model Conversion Competition under Rule 55.

* Substantiation data is different from that required by Sport Scale. USMRSC 56.4

* No one can catch the model. If anybody catches the model as it descends instead of letting it hit the ground, the judges will award maximum damage points as a penalty. USMRSC 16.7


Do I Have to Return My Entry?

* You must return your entry to the judges so they can award damage points. USMRSC 16.8, 55.6.2, TCC CSC Judging Form Pack

* The Contest Director can require that you return your entry. USMRSC 9.10


How Many Flights Can I Make?

* You can make two flights, but the judges will use only the best flight for scoring. USMRSC 10.1, TCC CSC Judging Form Pack


How is the Competition Scored?

As in Sport Scale, there are two sections for scoring:  USMRSC 56.5, TCC CSC Judging Form Pack

* In static scoring, the judges award points for craftsmanship and appearance, taking into consideration the difficulty of converting the model to fly.

* In flight scoring, the judges award points for conducting a ‘mission’, for achieving a safe and stable flight, and deduct points for damage (damage points) the model receives on landing. If you cannot return your model to the judges after its flight, the judge will award maximum damage points which will be subtracted from your final score.


What Will Disqualify My Entry?

* Your entry will be disqualified if it fails to make a safe and stable flight. USMRSC 56.6


How About Some Suggestions for New Competitors?

* Build a commercial kit that was based on a seriously proposed or fictional rocket. The Estes X Prize rockets can still be found in hobby stores. However, Space Ship One does not qualify for CSC because it has flown.  Estes still lists the X Prize rockets the Space Transport Corporation Rubicon and the Cosmos Mariner. The other X Prize rockets are often available from other online vendors.


What Else & What Next?

NASA Vehicle Proposals


Good info on building and packing competition parachutes:


TCC NAR Competition Bibliography


Yahoo group for discussing model rocket competition:


Use computer simulations to determine altitude and sink rate for various rocket/motor/parachute combinations.

* Free altitude simulations: 


wRASP 32 -

* Free sink rate simulation:


US Spacemodeling (International Competition Tips):


US Spacemodeling Home Page (International Competition):


The Competition Consortium CSC Judging Form:


George Gassaway’s Competition Tips – Take No Prisoners!


rmr Frequently Asked Questions – Part 9: Competition and Records:



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