Developing the Rules: Pack, District, and Council
The traditional rules for the design of the pinewood derby car are included with each official pinewood derby car. Actually they have not changed substantially since Cubmaster Murphy began the derby in 1953. However, as you must know, there are rules, and then there are the rules.
First, there is no national pinewood derby governing body that determines exactly what rules govern the building of any car. Nor are there any rules that determine the official method of running a pinewood derby race (more about this later). Actually this is probably a good idea as each pack is free to make up its own rules to handle local circumstances. For example, not all Cub Scouts are of equal ability and a pinewood derby staged by an other-abled pack probably should be more flexibly governed than one staged by another pack.
Second, if the intent of a Cub Scout pack is to winners from the pack to compete in districtwide or councilwide derbies, the cars constructed must be eligible for those higher-level derbies without modification. Of course, not all packs may choose to compete at a district derby and not all districts or councils may even stage derbies. And there are no regional or national derbies that Scouts can further advance to either. But if there is a higher-level derby at which your unit wishes to compete, it is very important that your local pack’s rules, with respect to the car’s construction, are exactly the same as the rules for your district and/or council derbies.
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
CHIEF SEATTLE COUNCIL
OFFICIAL PINEWOOD DERBY RULES
The purpose of the Pinewood Derby is to provide an opportunity to have fun, teach good sportsmanship, follow rules, learn woodworking techniques, and do a creative project with a parent or other adult mentor. It is not intended to build the fastest race car on the planet. Please keep this in mind when determining how much assistance the parent will provide to the Scout, and when interpreting the rules.
RACE CAR SPECIFICATIONS
All instructions and rules included in the kit must be followed. Any interpretation of the rules that gives a mechanical advantage is dis ed.
Only cars made from Cub Scout Derby Kit #17006, BSA's "Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit" will be accepted for this Derby. Non-BSA substitutions are NOT acceptable, even if purchased at the Scout Store. You may use alternate official BSA-stamped wheels and axles from the Scout Store. You may add non-BSA weights, fenders and decorations if they conform to the rules.
You may smooth the bumps and webbing of the axles and re-polish the axles. You may not cut grooves into the axle. Bearings, bushings, washers, springs, and friction-reducing hardware may not be used between the wheel and body. Axles must attach to the wooden part of the car (not to metal).
You may smooth minor manufacturing imperfections of the wheels. You may not taper, groove or significantly thin the wheel tread. You may not physically modify the inside or outside of the wheel. You may not reduce the width of the wheel.
The derby car must be a new car constructed for this year’s Pack derby. If the car qualifies for the District Derby, it must be the same car (unaltered, aside from damage repair) raced in this year's Pack derby.
The maximum/minimum width, length, weight, and bottom clearance dimensions given in the kit instructions will apply for this derby. Maximum height is 5 inches from bottom of wheels. (Note: check with your pack to determine if your pack’s finish gate forces a shorter requirement).
You may drill holes for axles instead of using slots provided on the wood in the Derby kit, but the distance between axles (wheel base) must remain the same (4 3/8 inches).
No part of the car body, wheels or attachments may protrude beyond the center front of the car, where it touches the starting peg.
All add-ons to the basic car body must be securely fastened to the body so that they do not come off during the race heats.
No loose parts are allowed on or inside the car (such as rolling BB's or loose coins).
The car must be freewheeling, with no starting devices.
Only dry lubricants are allowed, such as graphite.
CHECK-IN / IMPOUND
Scale and gauges used at check-in will determine if the entrant's car meets the minimum/maximum physical dimensions, regardless of specifications given using other scales or gauges. The maximum weight is 5.0000 ounces (141.7476 grams) at time of check-in on the official scale, no exceptions. Scales should be calibrated by a qualified person and method.
Car may be shaken gently at check-in or pre-race to remove excess graphite so that minimal amounts come off on the track during race.
Adjustments and lubrication before check-in will be allowed. Once the car has been checked in, no further lubrication or adjustments of any kind will be allowed.
Once the car has been inspected and accepted for the Derby only the Car Handlers (as designated by the Race Chairperson) will move the car.
It is the responsibility of the Scout and the Scout’s adult partner to verify that the Car Handlers place the car on the track with the “front” facing toward the finish line. The Car Handlers will do their best to verify which end is the front.
RACE INTERFERENCE, REPAIRS, TIES AND UNCERTAINTIES
If, during any heat, someone or something interferes with one or more cars, or something attached to the car comes off and interferes with the running of the heat, the heat will be re-run with all cars. If an item falling off a car has not interfered with the running of the heat, the heat will stand. Interference is defined as an item falling from one car going into another lane or lanes, and interfering with the movements of any other car.
If the item that fell off is not original to the car kit, it will not be put back on the car, nor can additional weight be added to compensate. If the item is original to the car kit, repair time is allowed for a maximum of 5 minutes. No lubrication or weight increase is allowed during this time. Repairs may only be done by the Scout and his adult partner. Repaired cars are subject to re-inspection.
Delays for repairs will only be allowed twice for the same car. If delays for repairs are required for a third time, the car instead will be immediately disqualified from further competition.
The scoring device at the finish line of the track will determine the place for each car in each heat. If the scoring device registers an error in one of the lanes, the heat will be re-run with all cars.
There will be no heat re-runs for ties. A position tie at the end of any complete rank race will be settled by running only the cars tied for that position until one winner is determined for that position.
If a situation arises during the Derby that is not covered by these rules, the Derby Team will consult with other adults present at the event and determine an action that is best for the Scout.
Be courteous and fair at all times and do your best. Unless a flagrant rule violation is determined, it is generally best not to take away an award that has already been presented. Obtain more trophies or certificates if needed.
All Scouts participating in the Derby should attend the race in their full Scout uniform.
The derby will be held in a public place, and we will be representing the Cub Scout program of the Boy Scouts of America. Each Scout will have done his best at his rank in the Pack, and will now have the opportunity to measure his best against the best from other Packs at his rank.
The District Derby is divided into five races, one for each Cub Scout rank (Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos-1, and Webelos-2). Therefore, a maximum of 5 Cub Scouts can represent your Pack in the District Derby. It is organized by rank, not den, regardless of the number of dens in your Pack for any given rank.
Your rank at the District Derby is the rank you held when you raced your car in your Pack Derby, which is not necessarily your rank on the day of the District Derby. A Cub Scout may have already advanced to the next rank by the time of the District Derby, but he would still race at his previous rank.
The Scout who constructed the car must be present to race his car. Substitutes (such as another family member, other scout, or friend) due to illness, attending another activity, etc., are allowed, but must be cleared through the District Pinewood Derby Chairperson, prior to the derby race day if at all possible.
If someone’s car is not present for the race, the races will continue as scheduled. No last-minute substitutions are allowed.
All race participants will receive a Certificate and a District Activities Segment for the Pinewood Derby. Trophies for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for each race will be awarded at the end of that rank's race. At the District Derby, there are no inter-rank races, so you're free to leave after your rank's race.
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