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Pinewood Derby

The Scout Shop is Pinewood Derby Central, and has all of the tools and supplies you’ll need, plus other tips and useful information that will help you be successful.

Design Awards

There will be some design awards that cars can win. A panel of parent judges will select cars for the following categories:

  • Best of Show
  • Fastest Looking
  • Best Scout Spirit

(The judges may also add more categories at the time of judging. We want to see your creativity. Show us what you’ve got!)

Divisions

Cub

Cars race official Pinewood Derby cars that follow all of the rules.

LEGO

Cub, adults, or siblings race cars built from LEGOs with a 2oz weight limit.

Outlaw

Cubs, adults, or siblings race anything that will move down the track.

Participants are welcome to enter a car in each division. All participants will receive a certificate and ribbon. The top three finishers in each division will receive special recognition. Only the Cub division will get metals.

Rules

These rules are consistent with BSA and Longhorn Council Pinewood Derby rules. Following these rules will ensure that scouts can compete in both the Pack 379 and council events, if they choose to do so.

1. Cars should be made by Cub Scouts in the current year.

Cub scouts should build their cars themselves or with the assistance of others. Scouts should be involved in each step of construction.

Cars which have been built or raced in previous years cannot race this year.

This rule does not apply to the “outlaw division.” The outlaw division is the perfect place for adult-designed scientifically perfect super-cars.

2. Max width is 2-3/4 inches.

This includes all parts, including decorations.

Note, that cars should have a flat nose, so that they can rest behind the starting post. Cars with a pointed nose may find it difficult to sit behind the starting gate, and will be at a disadvantage when driving over the finish line sensor.

This rule does not apply to the outlaw division, with the following caveat: Your car must fit on the track and not interfere with other vehicles.

3. Max length is 7 inches.

This includes all parts, including decorations.

This rule does not apply to the outlaw division, with the following caveat: Your car must fit on the track and be capable of moving down the track without scraping the track bottom during the curve.

4. Max weight is 5 ounces.

This includes all parts, including decorations.

You can use any kinds of weights as long as they are firmly attached to the car. The Scout Shop sells several weight sets. These two are popular:

Cars will be weighed using the scale sold by BSA Scout Shops, but any digital scale or postage scale should yield reasonably accurate results. Come to check in prepared to tweak your car’s weight, if required. (The check-in scale is the final authority on car weight, no matter what your scale at home says.)

Please note that pinewood derby cars weighing less than 3 ounces may struggle to finish the race depending on track length. You should try to get as close to 5 ounces as possible. Placing the weight on the back of the car will give it more energy on the downhill portion of the track, and will make the car faster.

This rule does not apply to the outlaw division, with the following caveat: Our track is made of light plastic, and we do not have a sophisticated stopping mechanism at the end. If your car makes the track “move” due to weight or if the car cannot be stopped safely, it will not be allowed to race.

Rule modification for LEGO cars:

The LEGO division is limited to 2 ounces, as the LEGO body kits tend to have much better axels, and heavy LEGO cars are far more likely to “explode” on impact at the bottom of the track.

5. Axels, wheels, and body should come from an official BSA kit.

See the following:

BSA sells two pinewood derby bodies. One is a blank block of wood with two cuts in it for recommended axle placement. This body comes in the Official Pinewood Derby Car Kit, and includes axles and wheels as well, plus some stickers.

The other body is pre-cut into a wedge shape. This pre-cut block may be especially useful for families who don’t have powertools at home or who don’t have as much time to commit to the project. If you go with this option, you will also need to buy the axle and wheels pack to go with it.

When configuring your axles, please be aware that there is no center rail on our track. A car configured for “rail riding” may instead find itself rubbing against the side wall. It is recommended that cars be designed so that they will move down the track in a straight line.

This rule does not apply to the outlaw division.

Rule modification for LEGO cars:

LEGO cars must use either the PRO Brick Lego Derby Car Chassis or PRO Brick Wheel. These wheel kits are known to be high quality and capable of finishing the race, even at only 2oz. See our Amazon Idea List.

6. Wheel bearings, washers, brushing, springs, liquid lubricant, loose materials (such a lead shot), and “starting devices” are prohibited.

The recommended lubricant is graphite powder.

This rule does not apply to the outlaw divisions, with the following caveat: Liquid lubricant can be messy and wiping down the track slows down the race. If your car leaves a liquid residue behind on the track, it will be disqualified.

© 2021 Cub Scout Pack 379 - Boy Scouts of America | WordPress Admin
© 2021 Cub Scout Pack 379 - Boy Scouts of America
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