Lack of Interest In Contest Flying

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

astronwolf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
298
Reaction score
38
I was under the same impression... don’t the current rules basically mean any club launch can be an NRC launch as long as there are two people flying the contest rules?
Yes, that's correct. A lot of the old "contest administrative overhead" has been removed.

What’s the big deal? Once we had someone timing a glider on a 1/2 A and then moments later someone launching a monster J motor off the rail. Every member of the club is into different things, isn’t that what makes the Hobby interesting for a wide variety of people?
I'm not sure what the big deal is either. It's some of the hate in this thread I don't understand. And worrying about ego, self-esteem, helping a drowning man, etc.... sheesh. It's just a hobby. I've been an avid contest flier, and I've been whupped way more times than I've ever emerged victorious. Never have I walked off the field with my head down wondering what I was going to tell the wife about my day. Those weren't days of shame. Those were good times! And in every single case where my rocket performance was sub-par, I was able to figure out why and have the opportunity to improve my flying. For me, it's the most fun I can get out of flying model rockets.
 

Tyler P

Nom-nom-nom...
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
719
Reaction score
310
I do understand the attraction to contest flying. Building your rockets with a purpose and a goal in mind makes for better builds, in my opinion.

But I also understand the fun of just flying.

In RC I've done both. I enjoyed both.
 

High Desert Rocketry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
659
Reaction score
312
Volunteer to be Contest Director, that is a position that is harder to fill than any other in a club IMO.
Want to do a contest, start it and see what happens. Last year I started the FAR-1030 competition.

https://friendsofamateurrocketry.or...19/01/FAR-1030-5R-Competition-June-1-2019.pdf

I was 'Contest Director' and every other position for the event launching rockets to 10,000' and 30,000'. We only had 4 teams. This year we had 12 teams from coast to coast and I ran my butt off; still running the competition on my own...organizer, registering, inspections, RSOing, judging, and everything else.

I mentor many school rocket teams (TARC, NASA SL, IREC, etc) and have found that most people in rocketry want to build and launch their own rocket...PERIOD. Nothing wrong with that, I did that for many years and then got into helping kids (of all ages) do rocketry. So far the satisfaction I have received has outweighed all the time and expense of helping our next generation of rocket people.

And I am looking for volunteers to help next year
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,451
Reaction score
1,312
I'm not sure what the big deal is either. It's some of the hate in this thread I don't understand. And worrying about ego, self-esteem, helping a drowning man, etc.... sheesh. It's just a hobby. I've been an avid contest flier, and I've been whupped way more times than I've ever emerged victorious. Never have I walked off the field with my head down wondering what I was going to tell the wife about my day. Those weren't days of shame. Those were good times! And in every single case where my rocket performance was sub-par, I was able to figure out why and have the opportunity to improve my flying. For me, it's the most fun I can get out of flying model rockets.
We live in a "pansified" PC world, where there shouldn't be any "winners" or "losers", and "everyone gets a trophy" . . . BS !

Competition is about doing one's best to be victorious and to learn the means and skills to improve, from defeat. There is a hierarchical "ranking" and "status" in competition, but those should be motivators, not "discourager's".

Dave F.
 

Antares JS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2020
Messages
895
Reaction score
948
Location
Eastern Shore, VA
Like the one pianist who lost a major competition and was so devastated that they said they would never play again after working so hard for so many years and giving the performance of their life, only to be judged as an inferior player, changing their life forever.
All this tells me is that this pianist was playing piano because he wanted to win a competition, not because he loved playing piano. Both he and piano are probably better off now that he has moved on.

There was a particular tabletop game I attempted to play competitively before moving to a place without many players, but I just couldn't beat the guys who devoted literally ALL their free time to the game. However, I kept showing up at tournaments because it meant I would get to play the game all day, and I had a lot of fun doing it despite never getting a W-L better than 2-2.

Disclaimer: I have no interest in doing competitive rocketry; my satisfaction comes solely from accomplishing the goals I set for myself.

Edit: Did not realize this was a necro until I had posted it... oh well.
 

shockie

High Plains Drifter
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
562
Reaction score
202
Location
My Old Kentucky Home
There was an unofficial cult of acknowledged BTC ( Big Time Competitors)who basically have
left NAR competition for the more prestigious FAI competition.

I would just scrape ALL NAR competition and make it ALL FAI.
Have a few Regional FAI Cup competitions around the country and a National FAI championship.

On the other hand since the NAR is now flush with cash, how about enticing people to compete by offering either cash prizes or small college stipend to younger modelers. I'd rather get $50 in cash for winning than a trophy 🏆.

Since we're in the generation of everybody gets a ribbon or trophy simply for participation devoid of merit or effort, no wonder nobody wants to compete anymore. After all, it's probably systemic racist and white privilege.
 

GuyNoir

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,410
Reaction score
96
Location
Woodstock, IL
Since we're in the generation of everybody gets a ribbon or trophy simply for participation devoid of merit or effort, no wonder nobody wants to compete anymore.
There's a competition revival here in the Midwest. The Fox Valley Rocketeers and WOOSH have a very good, but friendly rivalry going on right now.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,451
Reaction score
1,312
Put some "CASH" on it ( a buy-in with "Winner Takes All" ) . . . Talk a little "smack" and get them off their butts !

Dave F.
 

ep29030

Mark N.
TRF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
135
Reaction score
32
Location
Lebanon,IN
Rocketry is what you make of it. I've seen plenty of families having a good time together doing "whoosh pop". If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong. On the other side, I wouldn't call scratch built carbon airframes moving Mach 2+, going for 100K foot goals as "whoosh pop". We all do rocketry for different reasons. Some people enjoy construction and finish over flying, too. We should make room and welcome all of them.
 

ep29030

Mark N.
TRF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Messages
135
Reaction score
32
Location
Lebanon,IN
It should tell you something about the differing needs of competition when the national events have two separate ranges: one for competition, and one for sport.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,451
Reaction score
1,312
It should tell you something about the differing needs of competition when the national events have two separate ranges: one for competition, and one for sport.
The two fields are necessary, due to the Sport Range also incorporating MPR and HPR rockets, the Safe Distance Requirements required would be prohibitive on the Contest Range, where 1/8A - D motors, typically, are being flown ( rarely high-performance E - G models ) . . .

Also, each Competitor stands in close proximity to his / her own pad with a numbered "paddle" ( corresponding to the pad number ). The paddle is raised to request the LCO to launch. This allows Competitors to "pick their own air" to fly in, particularly in Duration events.

On the Contest Range, the LCO does not merely "cycle the racks", one model right after the other, as on the Sport Range.

Dave F.
 

dpower

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,359
Reaction score
141
With NRC competition, no separate ranges are needed, and can be run in conjunction with sport flying. WOOSH does this at many of its launches. Our large launches have HPR, LPR, and often NRC flying on the same day with one range. The key ingredient is a motivated club member willing to organize the NRC portion, and encourage flyers to participate.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,451
Reaction score
1,312
With NRC competition, no separate ranges are needed, and can be run in conjunction with sport flying. WOOSH does this at many of its launches. Our large launches have HPR, LPR, and often NRC flying on the same day with one range. The key ingredient is a motivated club member willing to organize the NRC portion, and encourage flyers to participate.
See how that setup works out if you are flying a Competition BG / RG event, where RC is being flown by several modelers at the same time. Since their models will be up over the Flight Area for an extended time, other launches may have to be suspended, until their flights have been completed. Note that "C" Impulse level flights can easily easily exceed 20 minutes, with a skilled RC pilot.

Note Chad Ring's 1st place winning D / RG duration's below ( NARAM -50 ) . . . Chad Ring and his model are in the first image.

Dave F.

IMG_0345.JPG




IMG_0418.JPG




IMG_0434.JPG




D-RG RESULTS C-DIV.JPG
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
7,186
Reaction score
1,617
Maybe people don't compete because there's never any competitions near them?
 

afadeev

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
1,619
Reaction score
831
Again, if you want to fly competition with a club that doesn't have it, volunteer to organize and run it.
Indeed.

Anything beyond that is...
beat_dead_horse2.jpg
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
7,186
Reaction score
1,617
So to be clear: the way to get started as a newbie in this scenario is to organize the contest, drum up some competitors, and also compete. Just saying, that's a pretty high hurdle to clear straight out of the gate.
 

KennB

I-95 Envoy
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
2,452
Reaction score
251
Location
Amesbury, MA
So to be clear: the way to get started as a newbie in this scenario is to organize the contest, drum up some competitors, and also compete. Just saying, that's a pretty high hurdle to clear straight out of the gate.
You're right, it would be a big ask of a new flyer.

However, this thread was started by an old hand bemoaning the fact that the clubs near where he was then living didn't have organized competitions he could just step into. This is sometimes known as "The Little Red Hen Effect".
 

Alan15578

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
435
Reaction score
115
So to be clear: the way to get started as a newbie in this scenario is to organize the contest, drum up some competitors, and also compete. Just saying, that's a pretty high hurdle to clear straight out of the gate.
You could just compete against yourself. Create your own rules and events, and fly alone, recording results. Every month or so re fly the contest and try to improve you old scores. If your highest score occurs at your last launch of the season, buy yourself a trophy.
 

TimothyG

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
470
Reaction score
200
Location
Northern Utah
The most fun I have in a competition is against myself. I want each project to be safer, faster, higher, and lately more efficient. I'm absolutely wound up in trying to make my rockets so efficient that breaking altitude records is a secondary concern on the logistics of the paperwork.
 

Dudeman247.

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
59
Reaction score
48
Location
Oregon
You could just compete against yourself. Create your own rules and events, and fly alone, recording results. Every month or so re fly the contest and try to improve you old scores. If your highest score occurs at your last launch of the season, buy yourself a trophy.
Story of my life man. Except the flying alone part; I never fly alone. 😆
 

prfesser

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 7, 2017
Messages
1,834
Reaction score
1,910
Location
Murray, KY
I can't speak for anyone else but I'm not interested in rocketry competition---or any other competition---except one: competing with myself. I saw too much competition among others in high school, soured me on the idea.

Best -- Terry
 

tab28682

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
1,701
Reaction score
240
See how that setup works out if you are flying a Competition BG / RG event, where RC is being flown by several modelers at the same time. Since their models will be up over the Flight Area for an extended time, other launches may have to be suspended, until their flights have been completed. Note that "C" Impulse level flights can easily easily exceed 20 minutes, with a skilled RC pilot.

Note Chad Ring's 1st place winning D / RG duration's below ( NARAM -50 ) . . . Chad Ring and his model are in the first image.

Dave F.

View attachment 454114



View attachment 454115



View attachment 454116



View attachment 454117
You are creating an edge case argument, a scenario that is vanishingly unlikely to occur at a given launch.
 

High Desert Rocketry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
659
Reaction score
312
Maybe people don't compete because there's never any competitions near them?
That is definitely one reason as most people fly at their local field.

But there are those that travel long distances for competitions...ESRA IREC's SAC is an example. Teams from around the world come to compete...until this virus thing hit and last year and this year's launch has been canceled.

We do two 'competitions' and one 'challenge' at the FAR facility. One of the competitions is for $50,000-100,000 but requires bi-propellant liquid motors (the FAR-Mars Prize). The other is the FAR-1030 competition and even in this year of school closures, we have teams from Hawaii to the East Coast coming to compete. Our DPF 'challenge' is competing against yourself in that your team is rewarded a dollar for every foot of altitude their rocket reaches.

Competitions can be as simple or as complex (NASA USLI) as you want to make them. They are not for everyone but for some people, it motivates them to build.
 

High Desert Rocketry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
659
Reaction score
312
In these times of COVID, I'm simply happy to get a bird in the air......
This has been an unusual year for me. Since the Covid lockdowns I have been busier than ever launching rockets. The last few months have been doing 3 and 4 weekends a month. Perhaps because others are closed down we are picking up the people elsewhere since we never closed down launching.
 
Top