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A water rocket is a type of model rocket using water as its reaction mass. The pressure vessel (the engine of the rocket) is constructed from thin plastic or other non metallic materials (usually a used plastic soft drink bottle) weighing 1,500 grams or less. The water is forced out by compressed air. It is an example of Newton's third law of motion.

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Rules Interpretations

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air.command
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Rules Interpretations

Postby air.command » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:46 am

Just had a couple of questions on the competition rules.

Is it that if you don't satisfy any one of these rules the record does not hold? Or are only some of the rules enforceable and others are only recommendations?

If so then which ones?

Example 1: Need an onboard camera. Easy to verify and not ambiguous.

Example 2: Section IV point 4. "Nozzle, and internal couplings can be made from lightweight metal." If it turns out a person used copper for their coupling will they be disqualified? Steel? Brass?

Example 3: Section III point 6. "All spectators and crew must be located behind the launcher during pressurization and launching.". What if there is a cameraman filming it from down range? will the rocketeer be disqualified?

Example 4: Section III point 1. "All WRA2 Water Rocket Safety Rules must be followed." These seem to refer to flying rockets and such only some of the rules could apply to cars.

These are only a few examples. At least 1/4 of the rules seem like recommendations that are open to interpretation, or there is no clear description how these are verified by the judges.

The main point is that the Rocketeer should have the least amount of doubt before their attempt about whether their attempt will be legitimate, or if they will fail on some technicality. It would be great to see which rules are hard and fast and which ones are not. Or at least a description for each rule how it will be verified by the judges.

- George


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Re: Thampson WR-car record

Postby WRA2 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:08 am

air.command wrote:Just had a couple of questions on the competition rules.

Is it that if you don't satisfy any one of these rules the record does not hold? Or are only some of the rules enforceable and others are only recommendations?

If so then which ones?

Example 1: Need an onboard camera. Easy to verify and not ambiguous.

Example 2: Section IV point 4. "Nozzle, and internal couplings can be made from lightweight metal." If it turns out a person used copper for their coupling will they be disqualified? Steel? Brass?

Example 3: Section III point 6. "All spectators and crew must be located behind the launcher during pressurization and launching.". What if there is a cameraman filming it from down range? will the rocketeer be disqualified?

Example 4: Section III point 1. "All WRA2 Water Rocket Safety Rules must be followed." These seem to refer to flying rockets and such only some of the rules could apply to cars.

These are only a few examples. At least 1/4 of the rules seem like recommendations that are open to interpretation, or there is no clear description how these are verified by the judges.

The main point is that the Rocketeer should have the least amount of doubt before their attempt about whether their attempt will be legitimate, or if they will fail on some technicality. It would be great to see which rules are hard and fast and which ones are not. Or at least a description for each rule how it will be verified by the judges.

- George


Hi George.

The rules are rules and not suggestions. If the rules were "à la carte" as you suggest then competitors could pick and choose which ones they wanted to follow and bypass others as "suggestions" as you said. What would happen is that a competitor using say a "stomp rocket" would follow all the rules BUT the rule against stomp rockets and call it "close enough". This would lead to total anarchy. The rules are set so that records can be set by competitors operating under the same rules.

The interpretation are a different issue. This is probably would have been an appropriate topic a month ago when you were participating in the discussions about creating this class and while the drafts were previewed. We could have solved this sooner. You are always welcome to offer suggestions on clearing up any "gray areas" in the rules which you take as suggestions. Your input is always welcome.

On the safety rules issue you are correct that they were for rockets that fly. Now we could handle this a couple of ways. We could create a new "safety rules" page for water rocket dragsters (we can use the current one as a model and customize it for the cars) or we could move the "flight specific" rules to the individual class pages and create a set of "general safety rules" to use on the safety rules page. We could also break the safety rules into categories for flying rockets, non flying rockets, and for things common to both. Currently there are only a few rules which would be excluded from the common category.

We also have a forum where competitors can ask for interpretations on specific rules:

http://www.wra2.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=15

A competitor can ask "I want to use a steel nozzle on my water rocket dragster, Is that legal?" (to use your example).

The question would then be answered before the competitor wasted time or expense on a design that does not comply.

Because of the great distances involved it is impractical to have the administration witness each attempt so we do have to rely on the honesty of the teams. A team that was caught cheating would lose respect in the water rocket community. Will we be able to tell that the competitor was standing 45 feet from the launcher instead of the required 50, probably not but if it was seen that they were using a 6 foot hose they would be disqualified.

For the "judging" we have a submission forum where members can review attempts and vote on them. The administration still has the final say (to avoid the possibility of teams having their friends "stuff the box").

Your input is appreciated. :WRA2:


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Re: Thampson WR-car record

Postby air.command » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:50 am

I wasn't suggesting the rules should not be followed exactly as stated, I was just asking for clarification because some of the rules could be misinterpreted. A person may not know what to ask before their attempt until after submission when someone else points out that they view the rules differently.

My point was not about someone cheating but rather inadvertent violation of the rules because of different interpretations by the rocketeer. Doing an attempt takes a lot of work, and a rocketeer failing to perhaps relocate all the spectators to the other end of the track for the second run would fail simply because they believed that they were at a safe distance, but the rules stated that everyone needs to be behind the start line. Or that they believe that ground video of the attempt from their mobile phone from 50 feet behind the start line is sufficient to satisfy the rule while someone else looking at the video will not be able to discern the car or track markings at 1000feet down the track.


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Re: Thampson WR-car record

Postby WRA2 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:53 pm

air.command wrote:I wasn't suggesting the rules should not be followed exactly as stated, I was just asking for clarification because some of the rules could be misinterpreted. A person may not know what to ask before their attempt until after submission when someone else points out that they view the rules differently.

My point was not about someone cheating but rather inadvertent violation of the rules because of different interpretations by the rocketeer. Doing an attempt takes a lot of work, and a rocketeer failing to perhaps relocate all the spectators to the other end of the track for the second run would fail simply because they believed that they were at a safe distance, but the rules stated that everyone needs to be behind the start line. Or that they believe that ground video of the attempt from their mobile phone from 50 feet behind the start line is sufficient to satisfy the rule while someone else looking at the video will not be able to discern the car or track markings at 1000feet down the track.


Hello George,

You make valid points.

First the easy one, The issue with the ground video. We could probably amend the requirements for a ground video to require a minimum resolution and frame rate to eliminate mobile phone cameras. It was always assumed that a camcorder would be used for taking ground videos since the weight of the thing would not be an issue. With the recent proliferation of mobile phone cameras the temptation to use one is now greater.

Now about about the example you state where a record attempt is ruined when a bystander unwittingly strolls into the "hot zone". What would you (or anyone else reading this) suggest for this situation. The main reason we included all the "safety rules" as part of the record requirements is that human nature is to take the easiest path. If the safety rules were not part of the record requirement, the competitors would simply ignore most of them. This is especially true if extra cost of effort is involved to comply. We would not want someone getting hurt (or a bystander for that matter) competing in our competitions.

We do have the record submission forums where the record attempts are reviewed by the other members. This is where situations like the one you describe would normally be dealt with.The intent of the team would be judged and weather or not the "bystander" was put in any danger. Naturally if the "bystander" had to jump out of the way of the rocket car it would be considered a violation but if one was seen in a video as strolling too near behind the launcher and the team made efforts to keep everyone out of the launch area it would be handled differently. We don't want to make the submission process so complicated that no one is willing to participate either so point systems where "major" or "minor" infractions would be assigned values and a competitor would be allowed a certain number of "throwaway" points. I think that would be too complex and discourage participation. We would need to come up with point values for every possible situation which would mean more interpretations and more of the same issues you describe.

One other thought. I am thinking of moving this discussion to the WRA2 rules Q & A forum

http://www.wra2.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=15

(which everyone can read and post in) as not everyone is interested in Water Rocket cars and may not be reading this. We may get more input that way.

We are always looking for ways to increase participation in the competitions so your input is appreciated. We want the WRA2 competitions to be fun for everyone.


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Re: Thampson WR-car record

Postby U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:36 pm

air.command wrote:I wasn't suggesting the rules should not be followed exactly as stated, I was just asking for clarification because some of the rules could be misinterpreted. A person may not know what to ask before their attempt until after submission when someone else points out that they view the rules differently.

My point was not about someone cheating but rather inadvertent violation of the rules because of different interpretations by the rocketeer. Doing an attempt takes a lot of work, and a rocketeer failing to perhaps relocate all the spectators to the other end of the track for the second run would fail simply because they believed that they were at a safe distance, but the rules stated that everyone needs to be behind the start line. Or that they believe that ground video of the attempt from their mobile phone from 50 feet behind the start line is sufficient to satisfy the rule while someone else looking at the video will not be able to discern the car or track markings at 1000feet down the track.


Hey George,

Does this mean we will be seeing some Water Rocket cars from your team sometime soon? It would be fascinating to see what innovations you can come up with.


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Re: Rules Interpretations

Postby Skymeat » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:16 pm

Sorry to bring up an old topic.

Was there a decision or differentiation ever established between lightweight metals and other metals?





Skymeat



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