official rules

PACK 1305




Note: You will not be able to race a “block” car. A “block” car is a car that is taken out of the box and put together without any work being done to it. In fairness to the scouts that have taken the time to make a car, there must be some effort put into the car or it will not race.

Guidelines - he Pinewood Derby is a parent-son project. Please feel free to give guidance and minimal assistance to your Scout as he builds his Pinewood Derby car. This is a chance for your son to be part of a team (he and you), and to enjoy the spirit of friendly competition with his peers. It is also for your Cub Scout to enjoy the satisfaction of building his own car from the kit provided.

A special note to all parents and scouts: Together, please read the following article on sportsmanship. While everyone will be trying to win, it's always a good idea to start out by remembering the Cub Scout Motto, "Do Your Best," and some of the basic ideas behind good sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship - Two things the Pinewood Derby requires each participant to learn are 1) the craft skills necessary to build a car, and 2) the rules that must be followed. Even more important, though, is how we act and behave while participating in the Pinewood Derby or any other group activity. This is called sportsmanship.

The first thing to remember about sportsmanship is that everyone's skills are a little different. You may be good at something like singing or drawing, but not as good at something else like basketball or computers. Parents have different skill levels, too. This doesn't mean that you are a good person one time and not good another time. You can always be a good person, whether or not you have good car-building skills. Remember, you and your friends are individuals first and racers second. This idea is often called having respect for others.

The second thing to remember is to follow the rules. Without rules, there would be no Pinewood Derby. You will never know if you are really good at doing something unless you follow the rules. This is often called being honest.

The third thing to remember about good sportsmanship is that there are winners and losers in every competition. You accept this when you choose to compete. There may be times when you win and feel happy, and times when you lose and feel unhappy. Being a winner is easy, and losing is sometimes hard. If you win, you must not brag or gloat. If you lose, you must not feel jealous or bitter. To be a good sportsman, you must be able to say "I did my best" and be satisfied with the results. You must also be able to appreciate and feel happy for someone else when they run a good race or build a neat car.

Good Luck And Have Fun !!!!


1.0 Length, Width, Height, and Clearance

1.1 All cars must originate from an Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit.

1.2 The maximum overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches.

1.3 The minimum width between the wheels shall be 1-3/4 inches so the car will clear the center guide strip on the track.

1.4 The maximum overall width (including wheels and axles) shall not exceed 2-3/4 inches.

1.5 The maximum height of any part of the car may not exceed 6 inches from the track surface

1.6 The minimum clearance between the bottom of the car and the track surface shall be 3/8 inch so that the car will clear the center guide strip on the track.

1.7 The wheelbase (distance between the front and rear axles) may not be changed from the kit’s pre-drilled distance of 4-1/4 inches.

1.8 There must be a flat surface across the front of the car so that it can rest against the starting pin on the starting gate. Cars cannot be shaped so that they come to a point at the front (when looking down on the car when they rest on a flat surface) because they will not be able to rest against the starting pin that protrudes up through the bottom of the track.

2.0 Weight and Appearance

2.1 Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces. The reading of the official scale at check-in 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 car.

2.2 If you decide to put weights on the bottom of the car, make sure that they are recessed into the bottom of the car so that you have the proper clearance over the center guide strip on the track. See Rule 1.3 above.

2.3 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 or weight specifications.

2.4 Cars with wet paint will not be accepted.

3.0 Wheels and Axles

3.1 Axles and wheels shall be only as provided in the Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit.

3.2 Wheels may be lightly sanded to smooth out molding imperfections on the tread area. This light sanding is the only modification allowed. Beveling, tapering, thin sanding, wafering or lathe tuning of the wheels is prohibited.

3.3 Axles may not be altered in any way except for polishing.

3.4 Wheel bearings, washers, bushings, and hub caps are prohibited.

3.5 The car shall not ride on any type of springs and all four wheels must touch the track. At check-in, the car will be placed on a flat table surface and rolled back and forth to make sure that all four wheels roll when the car is moved. Please make adjustments to your car ahead of time to make sure all four wheels touch at the same time.

3.6 The car must be free wheeling, with no starting device or other type of propulsion.

4.0 Lubrication

4.1 Only dry graphite will be allowed for lubricating the wheels. White Teflon or any other kind of oil, gel, or liquid lubrication is prohibited.

4.2 There will be a lubrication table set up during registration. In the interest of fairness, wheels may be lubricated only prior to being registered and checked-in.

5.0 Inspection, Registration and Check In

5.1 Cars will either be inspected, registered and checked-in at a pre-registration event or on race day. The dates and times for inspections and registrations will be announced. You are responsible for knowing the Check In Deadline. Please create a personal name for your car prior to check-in.

5.2 At Check In, a Race Official from the Pack 1305 Pinewood Derby Committee will weigh, measure and inspect your car. As noted above, all four wheels must roll at the same time when the car is moved back and forth on a flat table.

5.3 If a car does not pass inspection (too long, too heavy, altered wheel base, etc), it will be returned to the owner for proper adjustments. Registered cars that are returned to the owner for revisions must be re-submitted and pass inspection prior to the Check In Deadline. If the car cannot be fixed to pass inspection prior to the Check In Deadline, the car may be eligible for an Open Division Non Awarded race, if such a race is scheduled.

5.4 Once a car is registered and checked-in, there will be no further lubrication, adjustments, or alterations made to the car, even after it has raced. However, in the event that a car crashes and is damaged during a race, you will be able to make repairs to the car so that it can continue in the race, assuming the repairs can be made in a reasonable amount of time (a few minutes). In such case, only repairs of the damage can be made -- no other modifications will be permitted. If a car is unable to be repaired within a reasonable amount of time, it must forfeit the current heat it is in.

5.5 Once the cars have been checked-in, they will be placed in a secure area and will not be handled by any other person other than a Race Official designated by Pack 1305. Prior to the check-in and registration, please do not handle another racer’s car.

5.6 After Check In, cars will remain in the possession of the race Committee until after all races have officially closed. You may not request or claim your car until that time. Arrangements will be made for a later Pick Up date for those unable to claim their cars when the races close.

5.7 After passing initial inspection, no car shall be re-inspected unless repaired after damage in handling or in a race.

6.0 Ground Rules and Competition

6.1 There will be three types of races: (1) Den races, (2) a Pack race, and (3) an Open Division race. Den Races and Pack races may be scheduled on different dates. The Pack race will be an opportunity for all Cub Scouts, regardless of Den, to race against each other. If a Cub Scout is not able to race during the Den race, he may be able to enter his car(s) into an Open Division Non Awarded race if such a race is scheduled. You must have submitted your car for Check In by the Deadline (and subsequently have participated in the Den Races) to be eligible for the Pack Race. Pack Races may be subject to other qualifiers determined on an event basis.

6.2 The Den race and Pack race is open to all Cub Scouts ranks (from Tiger to Arrow of Light) registered in Pack 1305. Additionally, an Open Division race will be available to friends and family of Pack 1305 that would like to participate. The Open Division and any other participants are subject to the Pack 1305 Official Pinewood Derby Rules unless otherwise specified. For District Races, Den races are for Scouts registered to a unit in South Florida Council. Siblings or Adults who wish to race may enter in one of two divisions: Open Youth category for those ages 0-18 and Outlaw Adult. The Outlaw Adult Category has a separate set of rules which can be reviewed below.

6.3 Each scout may enter only one car in the competition. Several cars may be constructed but only one may be officially registered and raced for awards. Additional cars may be entered in Open Division Non Awarded races.

6.4 All cars entered must have been built during the current school year in which the Derby is held. Cars that have competed in a previous Derby are not permitted.

6.5 The cars are raced against each other down an inclined track. The track has an electronic starting gate and finish line with timers that automatically determine which place the cars finish.

6.6 If Scoring is used, the scoring is done electronically with a specially designed software system that assigns points to the cars depending upon whether they finished first (1 point), second (2 points) or third (three points). The software also determines which cars will run against each other in each division race and will generate a schedule of “heats” to be run for each division race. The software keeps track of the points earned for each racer throughout the heats in the division and determines which cars will advance to the next round of racing for the division based upon points earned. Cars with the lowest number of points will advance to a subsequent “round” of racing. For example, if after the first round of racing, there were three cars out of 34 that all had 3 points each, all three cars would advance to the second round, where again, all three cars would run against each other in three more heats to determine the first, second and third place finishers. Generally, only two or three rounds of racing (each with multiple heats being run in each) will be needed to determine the winners for each division race.

6.7 During division races, each car will race on each track lane one time. The number of heats run will depend on the number of cars entered into the specific division race.

6.8 If a car jumps the track, the heat will be run again. If the same car jumps the track a second time, that car will automatically be placed last in that heat, and the other cars will be allowed to re-run the heat to determine the other places.

6.9 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/or interferes with another car, the heat will be run again without the interfering car. The interfering car will automatically place last in that heat.

6.10 If a car becomes damaged and can be repaired in a reasonable amount of time (a few minutes), the heat will be run again. If not, the damaged car will automatically place last in that heat.

6.11 If there is a discrepancy with a finish or if the electronic finish line malfunctions, it is the Race Officials’ discretion to either call the order of winners or re-run the heat. Participants and observers are prohibited from trying to influence Race Officials or using unsportsmanlike conduct regardless of the outcome. See Rule 7.4.

6.12 Only Race Officials designated by Pack 1305 may enter the track area, which will be marked. Please help control this area as the track and related electronics are very sensitive and expensive. This rule will be strictly enforced.

7.0 Rewards and Recognition

7.1. The most important values in Pinewood Derby competition are parent/son participation, good sportsmanship and learning how to follow rules. The Awards Committee is responsible for recognizing and encouraging these qualities in addition to traditional racing awards.

7.2 Every participating Scout will receive a Pinewood Derby participation award.

7.3 Trophies will be awarded to the first, second and third place finishers in each Den race. Trophies will also be awarded for the Overall first, second and third place finishers for Pack 1305 and Open Division(s), if scheduled.

7.4 Discourteous or un-sportsman-like conduct by any participant or spectator will be grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or the race area.

7.5 Any participant (including parents of participants) may appeal to the Pack 1305 Pinewood Derby Committee for an interpretation of these rules. By a majority vote, the Committee will be the final judge of these rules. In case of a tie vote, the decision of the Committee Chairperson shall be final.

*** Open Youth Division

ALL RULES as above apply. This is for non-registered siblings and/or scouts in other divisions of Scouting outside of Cub Scouts.

Good Luck Racers!