2020 Pinewood Derby Rules & Information

Cub Scout Pack 207

 2020 Pinewood Derby Rules and Information   

Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 10:00 AM

The Pinewood Derby (PWD) is one of the most exciting events Cub Scouts do all year! It gives Scouts the opportunity to work alongside their parent(s) or guardian(s) to create something they can be really proud of! Our first priority is to ensure that everyone has fun! The racing will be spirited in nature with lots of cheering by everyone. All Scouts and family members are encouraged to be good sports and good citizens. Though we award trophies to the top finishers, every Scout gets awarded with a keepsake stand to proudly display their car. Family members and friends can join in the fun and build and race their own cars in the open league.

Each racer should have a personal connection with their car. They should have pride in their car and do their best to build it and make a good showing on race day. It is not the intent to give Scouts a block of wood and say “work some magic” with potentially dangerous shop tools. Parents are encouraged to apply age-appropriate adult supervision and involvement in creating the car. A Webelo may be able to construct the entire car themself with just a parent observing while a Lion might just paint the car. Everyone’s family situation is unique and some parents/guardians might have a more difficult time than others. Please see the notes at the bottom of this document if this is the case for you.

Reminder: our track has greater clearance than some of the older style tracks; racers are not required to carve out the bottom of the car to make weights flush with the bottom. Racers may attach the standard BSA undercarriage weight, or any other flat weight ≤ 1/8” to meet the standard BSA requirement of ≥ 3/8” clearance. In addition, cars must be ≥ 4” in height to clear the finish gate.

  1. Time and Location
    1. Saturday, January 25, 2020 at Grace Works Church (formerly River Ridge Covenant Church) in Lacey
    2. Inspection and Registration begins at 10:00 AM and ends at 10:30 AM.
    3. Racing begins at 10:30 AM (once registration is complete)
  2. Derby Staff:
    1. Derby Master: Matt McQuilton, Cubmaster 360-789-8527
    2. Pit Boss: Mike Pyle, Assistant Cubmaster (pending confirmation)
    3. Track Chief: Paul Dennis, Assistant Cubmaster
    4. The Pit Boss and Track Chief, respectively, make all rulings associated with car eligibility/registration and the conduct of the racing. Any appeals can be brought to the Derby Master, who will make a final ruling in association with the Pit Boss, Track Chief, and Committee Chairman.
  3. All cars must pass inspection by the pit crew to qualify for the race. Eligibility requirements:
    1. There are two categories this year: stock and open.
      1. The Stock Category is for all Scouts and competes for den trophies and the pack grand championship. (This is the normal Pinewood Derby category).
      2. The Open Category (formerly known as the friends and family league) is for family members, friends, and Scouts. The rules are less restrictive, especially concerning wheels and axles. Family members and friends wishing to race may register one car per person. Scouts wishing to race in this category may also register one car, but must have a car registered in the Stock Category first.
    2. Stock Category cars must be made during the current school year (2019-2020); premade cars are not authorized. Older and premade cars can be raced in the Open Category.
    3. Dimensions (Stock and Open Categories):
      1. Maximum width: 2 ¾ inches (including wheels).
      2. Maximum length: 7 inches.
  • Maximum height: 4 inches.
  1. Maximum weight: 5 ounces.
  2. Minimum clearance: 3/8 inches.
  1. Wheels and axles:
    1. Stock Category:
      1. No “aftermarket” wheels or axles. Must use wheels and axles from the official pinewood derby kit or a BSA-approved seller.
      2. No wheel bearings, springs, washers, hub caps, or bushings.
      3. No cutting or molding wheels in any way except for smoothing or truing to remove burs. Knurled edge/bead must be present on wheel.
      4. Dry or powdered lubrication is authorized so long as car is not dripping, streaking, or otherwise emitting any form of lubricant. Powdered graphite or silicone is recommended. All lubricant must be applied prior to registration.
      5. Cars must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices or pushing allowed.
    2. Open Category. Stock Category rules apply with the following exceptions:
      1. Aftermarket wheels and axles are authorized. Wheels must be the same size as standard BSA wheels.
      2. Cutting or molding of wheels permitted so long as the resulting wheels are the same size and shape as standard BSA wheels.
    3. Body:
      1. Stock Category:
        1. The main body (base) of the car must be made of wood and meet all dimensional requirements. Parents are encouraged to use the standard body provided in the kit distributed by the pack or available for purchase at the Scout store. Use of other kits, pre-shaped bodies, or self-fabricated bodies is authorized, so long as the car adheres to all requirements, but is generally discouraged unless necessary.
        2. Cars may be any shape so long as they adhere to dimensional requirements.
        3. Racers are encouraged to paint and decorate their cars. There are no restrictions on materials, color schemes, or designs used to decorate cars provided the car does not drip or shed any paint or other decoration, all decorations are securely fashioned, and the decorations do not include offensive language or images.
        4. “Aftermarket” bodies may be added for appearance or to increase weight so long as the base of the car is wooden and the car adheres to all dimensional requirements.
        5. Racers may add drivers and other details to their cars provided they are securely fastened to the car. No loose material in or on the cars.
        6. Adding weight to any part of the car is authorized and encouraged so long as the car adheres to weight, dimensional, and clearance requirements and the weight is secured to the car.
      2. Open Category. Stock category rules apply, with the exception that the car body does not have to be made of wood.
    4. Conduct of Pinewood Derby:
      1. Pre-race:
        1. Time permitting, all racers are afforded one test run prior to completing registration. Test runs must be under the supervision of the Track Crew. If there is a time constraint, Stock Category cars receive priority for test runs over Open Category cars.
        2. Once complete with inspection and registration, all cars are assigned a number and remain in the Pit under the control of the Pit Crew. Racers may not make any modifications, including lubrication, to their car once the car is registered. Emergency repairs must be approved by the Pit Boss.
  • Racers retrieve their cars from the pit crew for racing upon instruction from the Derby Master and return cars to the pit crew when complete.
  1. Racers must complete registration on time. Exceptions may be approved by the Derby Master only if admitting a late registration will not affect the racing already in progress.
  2. Racers must be present to race. Exceptions may be approved by the Derby Master in advance or under extenuating circumstances, in which case another Scout must sponsor and run the car for the absent Scout.
  1. Leagues and Bracketing:
    1. Stock Category:
      1. Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelos I, and Webelos II (AOL) each race as dens. The Derby Master may combine dens that have less than five registered racers on race day.
      2. All Scouts race a minimum of four times (once per lane) within their den. Larger dens may require more races. The Track Chief operates the computer program and determines the racing brackets.
      3. The top three racers from each den are awarded a trophy and advance to the pack semi-finals. The digital finish line and software allows us to determine the top cars without necessarily having a den “finals” but there may be tiebreakers to determine placement in the top three in the den.
      4. The pack semi-finals consists of the top three racers from each den, with each heat containing a distribution of racers from various dens. The top four racers from the semi-finals advance to the finals.
      5. The pack finals is a single race consisting of the four fastest cars in the pack. The top three racers are awarded a trophy.
    2. Open Category races as a single, large bracket, with the top racers awarded trophies. They do not advance to the pack semi-finals. Open and Stock Category cars do not compete against each other, though there may be a final exhibition race, time permitting.
  2. Conduct of Racing:
    1. The track includes a digital start gate and finish line operated by the Track Chief.
    2. The Track Crew assists racers to emplace their cars on the start line and to remove their cars from the stopping skids.
  • If a car jumps the track, does not start, or there are other extenuating circumstances, the Track Crew will inspect the car and the Track Chief will determine whether to re-run the heat or send the car to the pit for repairs.
  1. Only the Track Crew may operate the track.
  2. The track will be roped off and no individual may cross it. Spectators may observe from any area that is not roped off, but are urged not to crowd the track so that others, especially the racers, may observe the race.
  1. Car Design.
    1. The best looking and/or most creative stock category cars receive trophies.
    2. The Derby Master selects a committee to judge the best looking cars.

Note for extra handy parents: In the interest of fairness, we need to ensure that every Scout has a fair chance at doing well. Therefore we impose restrictions on aftermarket parts, wheel modifications, etc in the Stock Category. We prefer your Scout starts with the same block of wood and materials as every other Scout and creates from there. Those who wish to go above and beyond are encouraged to register cars for their Scout(s) and family members in the Open Category (Scouts must have a car registered in the Stock Category to race in the Open Category). Please also consider offering help to others in your den if you can!

Note for parents who might need extra help: Not everyone has access to power tools and/or an inclination to work with wood, and that’s OK. You have a few options to help your Scout have a great experience. If you weren’t at the Christmas party and did not get a Pinewood Derby car, you can purchase one at the BSA store in Tumwater or Tacoma or from some local craft stores (look for one that is BSA approved). The shape of the car doesn’t have to be fancy, in fact, a single slanted cut so that the car is shaped like a right triangle is among the most classic, popular, and effective styles. You can achieve this cut with a hand saw, or simply draw a line on the block of wood and ask someone with power tools to do a quick cut for you. There are also pre-shaped bodies available at some craft stores for those who are short on time. Once the car is cut, everything else can be done with no special tools. The weight of the car is probably the most important aspect. You can use a kitchen scale to weigh the car; it has to be less than 5 oz but you want to get it as close to 5 oz as possible without going over. The easiest way to do this is to buy the weights from the BSA or craft store specifically made for this purpose. If you still have questions, or need some help, please ask your den leader, post on facebook, or give any of the pack leadership a call or e-mail. Brock McCall, the Tiger Den Leader, is offering to help anyone who doesn’t have access to tools, you can reach him at 360-999-0121.