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Pinewood Derby Rules

By February 24, 2023October 24th, 2023No Comments

Pinewood Derby – Pack 1 Official Rules

  1. PARTICIPATION: Open to all Pack 1 Cub Scouts (Yes, Lions through AOL). You must be present to race and to vote on and win awards. Scouting encourages good sportsmanship, so be sure to display your scout spirit at all times during, before, and after racing.  This applies to scouts, parents, siblings, and spectators. Non-sportsman like behavior (See Behavior Conduct Agreement) will not be tolerated and will result in removal of event.

  2. INSPECTION: Cars will be registered and inspected on Friday evening before the race.  You will receive details of the scheduled time via ScoutBook
  • Pinewood DerbyPlease bring a shoebox with some padding inside to store your car prior to the race. Cars that fail inspection will be returned for repairs and/or replacement of the car depending on how serious the problems are.
  • You can make weight adjustments to your car using our inspection scale on the night of registration. If you are unsure of the weight of your car, please come early to weigh and adjust your car.
  • Cars will not be finally registered until they pass inspection.
  • Cars must be registered and inspected at the Friday evening event. There will be no weigh-in on the day of the race. There will be no exceptions to this rule. If you cannot make the inspection date please Contact Us to plan other arrangements.
  • Decisions of the race officials during inspection are considered final.
  1. IMPOUND: Cars will be impounded after being inspected and weighed and final registration. After being impounded, repairs will be limited to replacement of axles/wheels that are broken/lost during the race. Bring your own parts & tools. Cars may not be modified after passing inspection. Cars may not be lubricated after the final inspections on Friday Night.
  2. CAR. The car must be newly built for the current Cub Scouting year. The Scout should substantially build the car, although parental supervision in the construction of the car is highly encouraged   Pack 1 prohibits the use of store bought cars and bodies. Parents: the Pinewood Derby is about the activity of building the car with your child, not shopping for it.
  3. BODY. The body of the car must be made from the block of wood provided in the official Cub Scout Derby Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit. The body may be shaped, hollowed out, or built up from the original block, as long as it meets all other specifications. Loose pieces that could possibly fall off during a race are not permitted. If the front of the car is designed to gain an unfair advantage at the start or interferes with a fair start, the car will be disqualified. There is no designated front or back to the supplied body, so either end may be the front.
  4. AXLES. The axles (nails) of the car must be official BSA Pinewood Derby® axles. Axles must be firmly attached to the car. The use of a flexible suspension system of any type is not allowed. Although you do not have to use the slots provided to attach your axles, the original wheel axles (nails) should be placed at the original slots spacing provided on the wood block in the official kits. In previous years, the pack allowed moving the axles forward or back.  This is no longer permitted so that all cars comply with district rules. Do not change the width of the axles, this may not allow the car to run on the track. The slots in the wood need to remain as wide as the original block of wood at that point. Some kits, which are not allowed, change the width at the axles and will not run on our track.
  5. WHEELS. The wheels of the car must be official BSA Pinewood Derby® wheels, which are 0.34 inches in width. Mold projection defects on wheel treads and the axle hole may be removed, but decorative elements on the wheels may not be removed. If excessive wheel modification is detected the car will be disqualified. The wheels must be attached to the car with official BSA Pinewood Derby® axles. No cars will be accepted in the pinewood derby where bearings, washers, or spacers are used as part of the wheel assembly. The car kit comes with black wheels. You are allowed to purchase and use wheels of a different color as long as they are official BSA Pinewood Derby® wheels.
  6. CLEARANCE. The car must have 3/8” clearance underneath the body so it does not rub on the track.  We have had a number of incidents in recent years where significant modifications have had to be performed on cars at check-in to comply with this restriction.  If the car does not have 3/8″ clearance, it will not run well on the track.
  7. LUBRICANTS. Only dry lubricants such as graphite powder may be used to lubricate wheels. The Pack will NOT provide graphite powder lubricants. Once the car is impounded, it may NOT be re-lubricated.
  8. WEIGHT. The total weight of the car may not exceed 5 ounces. Weights may be added to the car, however, this year there is a restriction. No loose material of any kind, such as lead shot, may be used. This means that this year, cars may not use movable weights (eg, steel shot embedded in a hole drilled in the car that moves as the car shifts position).   This restriction is put in place to ensure a fair competition for the scouts and to comply with district rules. Stationary weights are allowed to bring the car up to the maximum 5 ounce weight limit.  The weight indicated by the official race scale will be considered final.  Your scale may not be calibrated exactly the same as the official race scale, so be prepared to make adjustments when the car is checked in.
  9. WIDTH AND HEIGHT. The maximum width of the car, including wheels, may not exceed 2.75 inches so the car can straddle the lane wheel guide and roll freely, and not interfere with other cars on adjacent tracks. The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels. The maximum height of the car may not exceed 3 ½ inches.
  10. LENGTH. The maximum length of the car may not exceed 7 inches.
  11. MECHANICAL. The motion of the car may not be mechanically aided (motor, springs, rubber bands, etc. are prohibited).  Movable weights are also not allowed.
  12. NUMBERS. You must use the racing number that was assigned on the list emailed to you. This must be displayed on both sides of the car or on top of the car (plainly visible). Please also label the bottom of your car in permanent marker with your child’s name. Race officials will send a list of numbers out to all Scouts prior to the race. You will be assigned a number, if you do not have a number please contact your Den Leader
  13. RACE AWARDS: There will be separate awards for each level of Cub Scouts (Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelos and AOL). Awards will also be given for first, second, and third for the overall pack winners. Additional awards beyond third place may be provided for several of the dens depending upon the level of racers participating. Three levels of prizes will also be awarded for our open class category.
  14. SHOW AWARDS: All Scouts and participants in the open class will have an opportunity to vote on the best looking cars. Prizes will be awarded for “Most Creative”, “Most Colorful”, “Funniest”, “Fastest Looking”, “Most unlike a Car”, “Plain and Simple”, “Best Paint Job” and “Best Decorated”. And by popular request, this year we will add a “Most Scout-like” category!  Only race participants–both Scouts and siblings participating in the Open Class–will vote on the Show Awards. We encourage all Scouts and Open Class participants to “Do Your Best” to come up with a creative paint scheme or car design to win one of these awards.
  15. JUDGES. The Pinewood Derby judges (race officials) may disqualify any car that in their determination does not meet the spirit of the pinewood derby race, the Law of the Pack, or the Cub Scout Oath.
  16. RULINGS. All decisions made by race officials will be considered final.