Pinewood Derby Rules

Qualification: All registered Pack 17 Tiger, Cub, and Webelos Scouts who are paid up on their dues may design, build and enter cars in the “Cub Scout Race” event.

Materials: All cars entered shall be constructed from the “Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit” as distributed. Additional kits may be purchased from the Boy Scout Service Center, Norwalk. (Kits may be purchased elsewhere if they are of the exact type manufactured by the BSA as specified above.)

Attendance: The Cub Scout MUST enter his own car. This means that the Cub Scout must be present at “Inspection and Registration” to enter his car into competition.

New Work: Construction of all entries must have begun after last year’s Pack 17 Pinewood Derby Races.

Single Entry per Person: Only one car may be registered by any person in the Pinewood Derby.

Inspection and Registration: Each car must pass a technical inspection and be registered before it may compete. Inspection and registration of cars occurs one half hour before the race.

Failure to Pass Inspection: The Inspection Committee shall disqualify cars that do not meet the rules. If a car does not pass inspection, the owner will be informed of the reason his car did not pass. Cars which fail the initial inspection may be worked on and brought back for another inspection.

Late Registration: If a Cub Scout fails to register his car by their race time, we will make every effort to add him to the races. Whether we can or not depends on how far the races have proceeded. We cannot guarantee that he will be able to be added. Once the first round of racing is completed, no cars can be added. There will be no exceptions. Any scout who is unable to race because of late registration may enter the non-scouts race.

Impound: No car may be altered in any way after it has been registered. After a car passes registration, it will be stored by the Pinewood Derby Race Committee until the races are complete.

Car Design Rules Interpretation: Interpretation of the car design rules is at the sole discretion of the Inspection Committee Judges present during the Registration and Inspection process.

Racing Rules Interpretation: All questions of racing rules interpretations and procedures must be made to the Pinewood Derby Chairman or Race Officials promptly. Decisions of Race Officials on questions of rules interpretations and procedure may be appealed to the Pinewood Derby Chairman. All decisions of the Pinewood Derby Chairman are final. Decisions of Race Officials on questions of fact (i.e. the result of a specific race) may not be appealed. Note: Unsportsmanlike conduct by any participant or spectator will be grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or the race area.

Race Car Design Standards

Material: Race cars shall be constructed for this event from the parts contained in the Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit (referred to below as the kit) as sold by the Scout Service Center, Norwalk CT. Materials from the kit may be supplemented but not replaced.

Weight: Race cars may weigh no more than five (5) ounces (total weight) as determined on the official scales during the pre-race check-in.

Wheels and Axles: The car shall roll on the wheels from the kit. All 4 wheels must be used. The wheels shall turn about the axle nails from the kit. The axle nails shall be firmly affixed to the wood of the car body, and MUST be placed in the original ‘axle grooves’ in the supplied wooden block. It must be obvious to the judges that the grooves, wheels, and the nails from the kit are being used.

Size: Race cars may be no longer than 7 inches, nor wider than 2-3/4 (2.75) inches, as determined by the official gages during the Registration and Inspection. Underside clearance of at least 3/8 (0.375) inches and inside wheel to wheel clearance of at least 1-3/4 (1.75) inches is recommended, so that the car will run on the race track. Adequate clearance is the responsibility of the race car builder.

Weights and Attachment: Weight may be added to the car and will be considered part of the car for purposes of all measurements. “Weight” is considered to be any material on the car that is not provided in the kit. All weight must be securely fastened to the car, e.g. by permanent glue, nails or screws, but not by “sticky substances”, e.g. tape, or tack spray. Weights shall be passive, i.e. non-moveable, non-magnetic, non-electric, non-sticky, etc.

Wheel Treatment: Wheel treatment (hub and tread smoothing and polishing) may not result in substantial removal of mass nor in reducing the wheel width from the original kit wheels. Some of the original “tread marks” on the wheel face must remain intact, i.e. apparent to the inspector. Wheels may not be machined to a beveled condition and the portion of the wheel surface that contacts the track must remain parallel to the axle.

Unacceptable Construction: The following may NOT be used in conjunction with the wheels or axles: hubcaps, washers, inserts, sleeves, bearings.

Gravity Powered: The race car may not be constructed or treated in such a way that the track’s starting mechanism imparts momentum to the car. (For instance, this provision disqualifies cars with sticky substances on the front of the car and protrusions which may catch on the starting pin.)

Lubricants: Only dry lubricants such as graphite or powdered teflon “white lube” will be allowed for lubricating the wheels. Lubricants may not foul the track. There will be a lubrication table set up at the race. In the interest of fairness, only one lubrication is allowed before the beginning of the first heat race and then once again before the beginning of the first race of the semi-finals and finals.

Cub Scout Workmanship: There are 2 categories of awards “Best Assisted” & “Best Unassisted”. To qualify for “Best Unassisted” Cub Scouts are expected to do the car construction and decorating themselves, with the exception of potentially dangerous work such as sawing or power sanding. Cars that are, in the opinion of the judges, clearly beyond the workmanship capabilities of the scout will be ineligible will qualify for “Best Unassisted” award.

Please let the scouts have the experience and sense of accomplishment from building their own cars. Parents who have a strong desire to craft a car are encouraged to build their own car to enter in the non-Scouts race.

Specific Rules

1. Length, Width, and Clearance:

A. Maximum overall width (including wheels and axles) shall not exceed 2-3/4″
B. Minimum Width between wheels shall be 1-3/4″so car will clear the center guide.
C. Minimum clearance between the bottom of the car and the track shall be 3/8″so car will clear the center guide strip.
D. The Wheelbase (distance between front and rear axles) cannot be changed.

2. Weight and Appearance:

A. Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces. The readings of the Official Race Scale will be considered final. The car may be hollowed out and built up to the maximum weight by the addition of wood or metal only, provided it is securely built into the body or firmly affixed to it. No loose materials of any kind are permitted in or on the car.
B. Mercury shall not be used for adding weights. It is a potential health hazard.
C. Details such as steering wheel, driver, spoiler, decals, painting and interior details are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width, and weight specifications.
D. Cars with wet paint will not be accepted.

3. Wheels and Axles:

A. Only the official Scout Grand Prix wheels and axles can be used. Axles may be polished. Wheels may be lightly sanded to remove the mold projection on the tread. This light sanding is the only wheel modification allowed. Beveling, tapering, thin sanding, wafering, or lathe turning of the wheels is prohibited.
B. Wheel bearings, washers, or bushings are prohibited.
C. The car shall not ride on any type of springs.
D. The car must be freewheeling with no starting device or other propulsion.
E. Axle slots provided must be used. NO wheelbase modifications.
F. No hubcaps allowed.

4. Lubrication:

A. Only dry powdered lubricants, such as graphite, may be used. Regular oils and silicone sprays may soften the plastic wheels, or drip onto and damage the track surface.
B. Cars my be lubricated before inspection. No further lubrication will be permitted.

5. Ground Rules:

A. The race is open to all Scouts registered in Pack 17.
B. Cars must have been made for this race. Cars made for a previous derby ARE NOT PERMITTED!!
C. All races will be single elimination conducted by den. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each den race will compete in the Town Championship.
D. If a car jumps off the track, the heat will be run again. If the same car jumps off the track a second time, it will automatically lose the heat.
E. If a car leaves its lane and interferes with another car, the heat will be run again. If the same car leaves its lane a second time and interferes with another car the heat will be run again without the interfering car. The interfering car will automatically lose the heat.
F. If a car suffers a mechanical problem, (loose axle, breaks a wheel, ect.) and a repair can be accomplished in a reasonable time, the heat will be run again. If not, the car will automatically lose the heat.
G. There will be three judges at the finish line. Two of the three judges must agree on the order of finish or the heat will be re-run.
H. Only race officials and boys racing will be permitted in the track area. This rule will be strictly enforced!!

6. Inspection and Disputes:

A. Each car must pass inspection by the Official Inspection Team before it may compete. The inspection team has the right to disqualify those cars that do not meet these rules. Car Owners will be informed of the violations and given opportunity to modify the car to meet these rules.
B. Any participant (including the parent of a participant) has the right to appeal to the Race Committee for an interpretation of these rules. The Race Committee, by majority vote, will be the final judge of these rules. In case of a tie vote, the decision of the Race Committee Chairperson will be final.
C. Ungentlemanly or unsportsmanlike conduct by any participant or member of the audience will be grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or the race area.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to talk to your Den Leader or the Cubmaster.