Back to TCC Competition Primers


TCC NAR Competition Primer: USMRSC Rule 60, Spot Landing Competition (PSL, SSL, OSL)


After you review this Primer, please support the TCC Competition Primer Project by completing this short survey. Thanks.


This primer presents, in one place, all the information you need to succeed in NAR model competition in this event.

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, and 60.


What is the Goal?

There are three different event classes in Spot Landing Competition. Each of the three events has the same goal to land your single-staged entry so that the tip of the nose is closest to a spot on the ground that the Contest Director will identify. USMRSC 60.1

The three events are:

* Parachute Spot Landing (PSL) Your entry must deploy a parachute, with dimensions no less than 15 centimeters square or 15 centimeters in diameter for recovery purposes.  (USMRSC 60.7.1

* Streamer Spot Landing (SSL) Your entry must deploy a streamer with dimensions not less than 25 millimeters by 300 millimeters for recovery purposes. USMRSC 60.7.2

* Open Spot Landing (OSL) Your entry may deploy any type of recovery device, as long as it conforms to the provisions of Rule3.5. USMRSC 60.7.3


Are There Any Special Considerations?

* Your entry must be single-staged. USMRSC 60.1

* Your entry must NOT be remotely controlled or guided. USMRSC 60.2

* You must use the recovery device authorized for the event class. USMRSC 60.7.1, 60.7.2, 60.7

* The model may not separate into two or more parts that are not attached to each other. USMRSC 60.4

* Recovery wadding does not count as a part of the model. USMRSC 1.1

* Not practice flights are allowed. USMRSC 60.5

* Your entry must land within 50 meters of the spot identified by the Contest Director. USMRSC 60.6

* You cannot tilt your launcher more than 30 degrees from vertical. NARMRSC Rule 6


Do I Have to Return the Entry to Place?

Yes, if you cannot return your entry, it will only be awarded Flight Points. USMRSC 13.1, 60.8


How Many Flights Can I Make?

You will be allowed to make only ONE official flight. USMRSC 60.5


How is the Competition Scored?

Spot Landing Competition shall be scored as follows: the distance between the tip of the nose cone (or motor nozzle if the model has no nose cone) of the model and the target spot shall be measured by the officials. If the tip of the nose cone lands more than 50 meters from the spot, the model shall not place, but shall receive flight points; otherwise, the model shall be given a score equal to its distance in meters. The contestant achieving the smallest score shall be the winner. USMRSC 60.6


What Will Disqualify My Entry?

Your entry will be disqualified if it does not completely and fully deploy its recovery system prior to landing. USMRSC 60.3

Your entry will be disqualified if it separates into to or more parts. USMRSC 60.4


How About Some Suggestions for New Competitors?

You can use any model rocket and any NAR Competition Approved motor. This is a fun event. You will probably be competitive using any rocket/motor/recovery combination with which you are reasonably familiar. Practice with the authorized recovery system and various motors to learn how your model will behave.


For Open Sport Landing, consider using a rocket that uses some form of drag recovery (Art Applewhite). This type of recovery system will not cause your entry to drift as much as other types.


What Next and What Else?

To be really competitive, you must know how our parachute, streamer or other recovery system will cause your entry to drift in various conditions.


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:


Good info on building and packing competition parachutes:


Detecting Thermals


US Spacemodeling (International Competition Tips):


US Spacemodeling Home Page (International Competition):


Online Plans or


You can get some useful info from the International Model Rocketry Competition site:



Back to TCC Competition Primers