The Rules

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Believe it or not, The Boy Scouts of America actually have no official rules for the Pinewood Derby. A small set of sample rules can be found inside each kit but these rules are very minimal and each event organizer is encouraged to come up with their own rules.

You are free to adopt whatever rules you would like to use for your event but we strongly suggest that you do have rules and that you make them known to all racers well before the event.  We also suggest that it would be a good idea to be sure that those rules are compatible with any district level events that your cubs might want to enter.  The Sammamish Trails District holds a district-wide race every spring.  In 2008 it was held on May 3rd at the GMC dealership in Kirkland.

While you are free to adopt any rules you choose, we do insist that your rules at least comply with our minimal set of rules for using our track.


Suggested Race Rules

This is a relatively complete set of rules designed to ensure that races are fair and that cars are qualified to race in district-wide events.  By using these rules, your cubs should be eligible to compete with their cars at the district level.

  1. Cars must have been built within the last year.
  2. Cars must be built using materials found in the official Cub Scout Derby Kit which may be cut, shaped, assembled and augmented with other materials as outlined below.

Body Specifications

  1. Maximum Weight: 5 ounces
  2. Maximum Length: 7"
  3. Maximum Width: 2 3/4"
  4. Minimum Track Clearance: 3/8"
  5. Minimum Wheel Clearance: 1 3/4" between the wheels
  6. No portion of the car is to extend past the starting peg.
  7. Any weight added to the car should be securely attached by glue or screws.  Weight may not be attached using tape!
  8. Additional details such as steering wheels, decals, driver, etc. are permitted so long as they are firmly secured to the car and the maximum dimensions are not exceeded.
  9. The car must be freewheeling with no starting devices or other internal power mechanism.
  10. Paint must be dry and the body must be free of all sticky substances.

Wheels and Axles

  1. Only the wheels and axles supplied with the latest official Cub Scout Derby Kit are allowed.  (Don't use the wheels and axles from Hobby Town!  They're terrible anyway.)
  2. Wheels and axles may be polished to remove burrs and imperfections but their shape may not be significantly altered.  Wheel surface must remain flat.  You may not narrow the wheels, reduce the diameter or round them to reduce surface friction.  Axles may be polished but not tapered or grooved.
  3. Wheel bushings, bearings, washers and other similar devices designed to reduce friction are not allowed.
  4. The car must not ride on any type of springs.
  5. Only dry lubricant may be used and it may only be applied to areas where the wheels come in contact with the car and axles.
  6. Axle wheel covers (such as tape hubcaps) are prohibited.

Race Day

  1. All cars must pass inspection and be checked in by a race official prior to racing. 
  2. Once a car has been accepted it is surrendered to the race officials for the duration of the race.
  3. Cars that have been handled by a non-official for any reason must pass inspection again before they will be allowed to compete.
  4. If a car leaves the track, interferes with another car, loses a wheel, or suffers some other similar mishap, the heat will be re-run.  If the same car has problems on the second run, the car will be disqualified.
  5. Racers and spectators are expected to act with courtesy and good sportsmanship at all times.
  6. All rules interpretations and judgments by race officials are final. 

For your information, the rules that were used at the 2007 Sammamish Trails District Race can be found here: http://www.nwscouters.org/cubscouts/strails/cspwdrules.pdf


The Bare Minimum Rules for using the Krayola Express Track

These rules represent a minimal set of rules designed to keep the track and racers safe from harm.  Any car that wishes to race on the Krayola Express Track must at least conform to these rules.

  1. Maximum Weight: 7.5 ounces (2.5 ounces heavier than the normal 5)
  2. Maximum Width: 2 3/4"
  3. Minimal Track Clearance: 3/8" under the car
  4. Minimum Wheel Clearance: 1 3/4" between wheels
  5. The car must fit comfortably at the starting gate and must be able to pass beneath the finish line (5 1/2" clearance).
  6. No loose materials of any kind are permitted on the car.  Weight must be securely attached.  Taping weight to the car is strongly discouraged but may be allowed at the official's discretion.
  7. The car must be freewheeling with no starting devices or other internal power mechanism.
  8. No cars with wet paint or sticky surfaces will be allowed.
  9. Only dry lubricant is allowed.

The Ubercar II by Steve Blanding