PINEWOOD DERBY RULES
For All Races:
- The Pinewood Derby
is open to all Pack 405 Cub Scouts.
- The primary goals
of our Pinewood Derby are:
o GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP
o Enjoying the
experience of partners and boys working together
as a team
o Gaining valuable
skills in using tools and materials safely
o Practicing and
celebrating a child's creativity
o Learning pride in
o Understanding how to
follow rules fairly
o HAVING FUN!
- Cars should be built by
the Cub Scouts with some
- Cub Scouts learn best
by "doing", so it's important that the scout be
actively involved in all phases of the design and
- Any technical
assistance should be fully explained to the Cub
Scout so that he can use that knowledge on future
- The role of the
adult partner (Akela) should be as a guide and
teacher. When using tools, a "hands over
hands" approach to the teaching is best - the
scout should hold the tool and your hands hold his
to guide him as he learns its use.
- Please remember to
also teach and use all appropriate safety
procedures, including proper use of safety
- All Cub Scouts are encouraged
to participate, regardless of any
handicap. If the scout has limitations that
may affect his participation he may appoint a
deputy child of his same or approximate age to
assist if necessary. However, every scout should
be encouraged to enjoy participation up to his
- Only the Cub Scout
may enter his car. This means that the Scout must
be physically present to enter his car into
- Racecars must be constructed
from the parts contained in the Official Grand
Prix Pinewood Derby Kit that was
issued to you at our Pack meeting or which may be
purchased at the BSA Council Office.
Materials from the kit may be supplemented but not
- The car must have been built
during the current year (the school year in which
the Derby is held). Cars that have competed in a
previous year are not permitted.
race this year. Cars must comply with all
Pack 405 construction rules as set forth in
these "Ground Rules" and the "Race Car
- Each scout may enter
only one car in each race. Several cars may be
constructed but only one may be registered and
raced by the scout in each race.
- Each car must pass inspection
by the official Inspection Committee before it
may compete. If at registration a
car does not pass inspection, the scout will be
informed of the reason for failure and will be
given time within the weigh-in period to make any
necessary adjustments. Designated Pack Mechanics
will be on hand to assist scouts that require
- If the car cannot be brought
into compliance with the “Pack 405 Official
Pinewood Race” rules then it may not be raced,
however it still may
be entered in the Design Competition.
- Safety violation
thresholds we be assessed on a case-by-case basis
by the Inspection Committee.
- Appeals of
Inspection Committee decisions may be raised to
the Race Marshall. All
rulings by the Race Marshal are final.
- Once the car has
passed inspection and received its number sticker,
the Race Officials will place the scout's car on
the Race Table. Scouts will not have access to
lubricate or otherwise improve or adjust their car
until all racing is complete.
- After passing final
inspection the cars will not be re-inspected
unless the car is damaged in handling or during a
- All people other
than officials running the race must stay behind
the barriers at all times.
- Each heat will be
announced one at a time.
- The Race Starter will
make sure the cars are on the track properly and
then start each race heat.
- The car whose nose
is over the finish line first is the winner. The
official Pack 405 automatic electronic scorer will
determine the first-, second-, third-, and
- When the results of
each heat are recorded the drivers will return to
their seats and the Starter will place the winning
cars back onto the Race Table in preparation for
the next heat. When all heats are over the cars
will be returned to the scouts.
- If a car jumps the
track the race will be run again. If the same car
jumps the track a second time and does not
interfere with its neighboring car, the race will
count. If the car interferes with its neighboring
car, at the discretion of the Race Marshal the car
will be eliminated from that heat and given a "Did
Not Finish" (DNF) time, and the race will be run
- If a car becomes
damaged and can be repaired in a reasonable amount
of time (a few minutes), the race will be run
again. If not, the damaged car will be eliminated
from that heat and given a DNF time.
- At car registration
a single ballot will be issued to each participant
to allow him to cast votes for each category in
the Design Competition.
- The ballot will be
marked with the same number as the participant's
- The cars may be
viewed at the beginning of the event or at any
time during the competition. Participants
will then mark their choice for winner of each
category by indicating the number of the chosen
car next to the category on the ballot.
- Participants may
not vote for their own car. Any
categories with a vote matching the participant's
own car number will be ignored, however all other
categories that do not match will be counted in
the final tally.
- The ballots may be
deposited in the ballot box at the registration
table at any time during the event, however all
ballots must be deposited when the "Last
Call For Ballots" is announced.
- The votes will then
be tallied by the Race Committee and the results
announced at the Awards Ceremony at the end of all
Race Car Specifications:
- The most important rewards in
our Pinewood Derby competition are partner/boy
participation, sharing in good sportsmanship,
understanding how to follow rules fairly and
having good competitive fun with friends!
- Official Trophies
will be awarded to the first, second, third and
fourth-place finishers in the Pack 405 Pinewood
- Prizes will also be
awarded to the winner of each "Design" category.
- The main body
of the car must be comprised primarily of the
wood block from the Official Grand Prix
Pinewood Derby Kit. The block may be cut down,
hollowed out and/or supplemented with other
materials as long as such modifications do not
take the car out of compliance with the
specifications detailed below.
Length, Width and Clearance
Weight and Appearance
- The maximum overall width
(including wheels and axles) must not exceed 2
3/4 (2.750) inches.
- The minimum width between the
wheels must be 1 3/4 (1.750) inches so the car will clear the center
guide strip on the track.
- The minimum clearance between
the bottom of the car and the track surface
must be 3/8 (0.375) inches so the
car will clear the center guide strip on the
- The maximum overall length
must not exceed 7 inches.
- The wheelbase (distance
between the front and rear axles) may not be
changed from the kit body's distance of 4 1/4
- Overall height of the car must
not exceed 5 ¼ (5.250) inches so the car will
clear the electronic finish line at the bottom
of the track. This is measured from the
ground up with the car (wheels attached)
sitting on a flat level surface.
- Weight must not exceed 5
ounces. The reading of the official
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
the material is securely built into the body or
firmly affixed to it. No liquids or loose
materials of any kind are permitted in or on the
- Details such as
steering wheel, driver, spoiler, decals, wings,
painting and interior details are permissible as
long as these details do not exceed the maximum
length, width, height or weight specifications.
- Cars with wet paint
will not be accepted.
- The racecar must be
fully gravity powered and 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 that may catch on the starting pin.)
- The car body may have no
moving parts, internal or external,
with the exception of the 4 rolling wheels as
supplied in the Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby
- Axles and wheels must be only
as provided in the Official Grand Prix
Pinewood Derby Kit.
- The car must be
freewheeling, with no starting device or other
type of propulsion.
- The car must not
ride on any type of springs.
- Axles may not be altered in
any way except for polishing and
the axle dimensions may not be changed
substantially. It must be obvious to the judges
that the official wheels and the nails from the
kit are being used.
- Wheel bearings,
washers, bushings, sleeves and hubcaps are
- Wheels may be
lightly sanded to smooth out molding imperfections
on the tread area. This
light sanding is the only wheel
modification allowed. Beveling, narrowing,
tapering, thin sanding, wafering or lathe
turning of the wheels is strictly prohibited.
Wheel treatment (hub and tread smoothing and
polishing) may not result in substantial removal
of mass or in any reduction in the tread width
(track contact) from the original kit
- Wheel tread surface must be
cylindrical and flat. Shaping the
tread surface into a crown is not permitted.
- The words "Official
in U.S.A." and/or any other lettering on the
wheels must remain intact and clearly visible to
- The original "tread marks" on
the edge of the wheel's face must be intact,
i.e. apparent to the inspector.
- Axles must be mounted in the slots
provided in the wood block from the Official Grand
Prix Pinewood Derby Kit.
- Wheels must be mounted
such that they are perpendicular to the ground
when the car is sitting on a flat level surface
and ride on the flat wheel tread.
Purposeful tilting or angling of the wheels such
that the car rides on the wheel edges is not
- Only dry lubricants such as
graphite or powdered Teflon "white lube" will
be allowed for lubricating the
wheels and axles. No liquid lubrication is
- Lubrication will
not be allowed after the car has been weighed in
or during the race.