Ping Pong Parachute

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Ping Pong Parachute is a Division B and Division C event for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 seasons. It was held as a trial event in Division C at the 2017 National Tournament, when it was previously known as Indoor Bottle Rocket. It was also held as a trial event in New Jersey in 2017 and 2018.


NOTE: The following information is from the trial event rules, which may not be the same as the 2021 rules.

The event supervisors/tournament organizers are to announce the ceiling height at least 1 month before the tournament. Rules are similar to Bottle Rocket, but a ping pong ball is used instead. The general objective of the event is to have the longest flight time without the rocket hitting the ceiling. Teams may design up to two rockets and must bring ping pong balls and eye protection. The event supervisor prepares the launcher.


The rocket must be made using a 20-oz or less plastic carbonated beverage bottle. Only tape is allowed to attach fins, and no metal nor commercial rocket parts can be used.

Dimensions were as followed:

  • The nozzle opening must have an internal diameter of approximately 2.2 cm (a 1/2-inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe must fit tightly inside the nozzle opening)
  • A standard neck height must be under 1.6 cm
  • Fins are to be placed 5cm or higher than the bottle's opening

These dimensions are those of a standard carbonated beverage bottle. Most bottles made by major manufacturers should be legal.

Here is a guide for making a very good parachute.

Practice Logs

Teams must submit a practice log of recorded data for each rocket used. Logs must include 3 required parameters and 2 additional of the competitors' choice. Required parameters are:

  • Pressure, in psi
  • Measured or estimated max height, in feet
  • Time aloft, in seconds

Participants may choose two other relevant parameters, but they must be included in the log.

Teams must also submit a graph of each rocket design, showing the relationship between height (feet) to pressure (psi)


Teams are to arrive to launch their rocket with safety goggles. If they do not have goggles, they may obtain them if time allows. The event supervisor or judge then inspects the rocket and then places it onto the launcher. If the competitors wish, they will be allowed to connect their own manual tire pump to the pressure vessel.

Competitors are given only 8 minutes to conduct 3 launches. Competitors will put the ping pong ball and recovery system into their launch positions. After doing so, they may not manipulate the rocket and prepare for their second launch. Rockets are launched at a psi of the competitors' choice but cannot exceed 50 psi. Pressures should be justified by log data.

Timing begins when the rocket separates from the launcher and stops when the ping-pong ball touches the ground, is slowed by an obstruction, or hits the ceiling. Rockets aloft in the air will have time recorded in hundredths of a second.


Scoring is based on the flight time of the ping pong ball. If the Parachute does not separate from the rocket, it is placed in Tier 2. Any team that hits the ceiling will be placed into Tier 3. Teams that do not meet construction standards or do not bring safety goggles will not be permitted to launch. The team with the highest sum of their 2 longest flights will win.

External Links

Draft Rules

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