February 17, 2024 | 10:00 - 2:00 pm
St Paul's Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall
305 W Third St.
The pinewood derby is one of the most popular and successful family activities in Cub Scouting. Pinewood derby cars are small wooden models that Cub Scouts make with help from their families. Then they race the cars in competition.
The cars are powered by gravity and run down a track. Every Cub Scout can design and build their own "grand prix" car to enter in the race. Win or lose, Scouts will take pride in having done their best. Scouts learn craft skills, the rules of fair play, and good sportsmanship—things they will remember for life.
The district race is open to all registered Cub Scouts who were the 1st and 2nd place winners at their pack pinewood derby. An open division and outlaw division races are open to all adults and other non-Scouts, and Scouts in troops, crews, and ships.
The registration fee is $12 per car. Registration can be done by unit leaders, den leaders or individuals and is completed online with credit card or electronic check. There is no onsite registration. Council refund policy.
- Car check-in will take place from 10:00 - 11:00 am.
- Races will begin promptly at 11:00 am.
- A pit table will be available for any last-minute adjustments or corrections to cars.
- A concession stand with food and drink will be available.
What to Bring
- Field uniform (Scout uniform) or activity uniform (Scout t-shirt) for registered Scouts
- Pinewood derby car
- Copy of a current BSA Annual Health and Medical Record (Part A & B for all Scouting events) for every participant
- Optional: water, snacks, camera, toolbox (e.g., graphite, extra weights of vary weight like coins, glue or duct tape, drill in case your car is too heavy)
Race Rules and Regulations
I. Ground Rules
- The race is open to all registered Cub Scouts who were the 1st and 2nd place winners at their pack pinewood derby. The race categories are Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and 4th grade Webelos Scouts and 5th grade Webelos Scouts.
- An open division and outlaw division races are open to all adults and other non-Scouts, and Scouts in troops, crews, and ships. Cub Scouts cannot race in the open and outlaw divisions.
- Participants of open and outlaw divisions may enter a car in each division.
- All cars in each category must have been constructed during the current Scout year by the Scout with adult supervision or by the adult/non-Scout entering the car.
- The 1st place winners of each category (with the exception of the open and outlaw divisions) will compete against each other for an overall district grand champion.
- If a car (or part of a car) leaves its lane and interferes with another car, no speed times are stored for any car, and the heat will be re-run. If the same car causes interference again, the heat will run again without the offending car. The offending car will receive an automatic no time for that heat. A heat is considered to be one trip down the track.
- If the car left its lane, didn’t interfere with another car and manages to cross the finish line in its intended lane, the heat is valid for all cars. If the car left its lane, didn’t interfere with another car but doesn’t cross the finish line in its own lane, the places for the other cars are stored and the offending car receives an automatic 10-second time for that heat.
- If a car suffers mechanical problems during a heat but crosses the finish line in its own lane, the places received for that lane are valid as long as it didn’t cause interference with another car. If the car doesn’t cross the finish line, an automatic no time is given.
- The owner of a car suffering mechanical problems will be given five minutes to repair the car. Repaired cars will be reinspected per section II by the race committee.
- Proper positioning of the cars will be limited to the correct direction of the car and reasonable alignment of the car to track.
- Each car will race at least once in each of the four lanes. All races will be conducted using an elapsed time method. The times for each car will be summed together for each of the four heats that each car will race. Winners in each category, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places will be determined by the lowest combined time of four heats. Each car races in each lane by a chart method. The only recording done is of the absolute timed speed of each car each race.
- All 1st place winners from the Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and 4th grade Webelos Scouts and 5th grade Webelos Scouts categories will then compete for district grand champion. The same elapsed time method will be used and each car will race at least once in each of the four lanes.
- All cars in each category will also be judged for the best of show.
- All the rules governing the dimensions and construction of cars for the Cub Scout categories are also applicable to the open division for adults and other non-Scouts, and Scouts in troops, crews, and ships.
- Outlaw division for adults, non-Scouts, and Scouts in troops, crews, and ships have no rules except for the following:
- Must meet the same overall dimensions as the Cub Scout rules.
- Must be under 15 ounces (so as to not damage the track).
- No metal wheels (so as to not damage the track).
- No damage to the track, facility or other cars.
- No potential harm to patrons.
- No fire hazards.
II. Construction Requirements
a. Length, Width, Height and Clearance
- Maximum overall width (including wheels and axles) shall not exceed 2 ¾”.
- Minimum width between wheels shall be 1 ¾” so the car will clear center guide strip.
- Minimum distance between the bottom of the car and track shall be 3/8” so the car will clear the center guide strip. This distance also applies to any protrusion from the bottom of the car such as weights.
- Maximum length shall not exceed 7”, this includes accessories.
- The wheelbase (distance between the front and rear axles) may be changed.
- Maximum overall height shall not exceed 3”, this includes accessories.
b. Weight and Appearance
- Weight shall not exceed 5.0 ounces. The reading of the official race scale will be considered final. The car may be hollowed out and built up to the maximum weight by the addition of other materials provided they are securely built into the body or firmly affixed to it. No loose materials of any kind are permitted in or on the car.
- Only BSA official pinewood derby supplies may be used.
- Mercury shall not be used. It is a health hazard.
- Details such as steering wheel, driver, spoiler, decals, painting, interior, and exterior detail are permissible as long as the car satisfies length, width, height, clearance, and weight specifications.
- Cars with wet paint or wet glue will not be accepted.
- A car number will be attached to each car using a small adhesive-backed label by the official race team. The location for this number will be on the upper rear portion of the car so that the official pinewood derby starter can easily identify the correct car and its proper direction of travel.
c. Wheels and Axles
- The only wheels and axles allowed are authorized BSA wheels and axles. The colored wheels available from BSA are allowed.
- Wheel bearings, spacers, washers, or bushings are prohibited.
- The car shall not ride on any type of springs.
- The car must be free-wheeling with no starting device or other propulsion.
- Only the tread surface and width may be altered. The tread surface of the wheel may be altered only to a flat surface that is parallel to the axle. The wheels may not be drilled, beveled, or rounded. The tread width may be altered only from the side facing the body of the car.
- The tread width may not be less than .275”. The wheel diameter may not be less than 1.175” or greater than 1.200”. Lightly sanding and/or polishing the tread of the wheel to remove burs is allowed as long as it does not reduce the diameter below the allowable level. (Note: this rule does not apply to the open division.)
- Materials may not be removed or added to the wheels except as stated above.
- The underside of the axle head may be ground or filed to remove burs. Axle shaft diameter at the point of contact between the axle and the inner wheel bore may not be less than .085”. Simple polishing of the axle will not reduce the diameter below the allowable level.
- No wheel covers (hubcaps) are permitted.
- All four wheels must touch the track. (Note: this rule does not apply to the outlaw division.)
- Only dry powdered lubricants, such as graphite, may be used. Regular oils and silicone sprays may soften the plastic wheels.
- Excessive lubrication is prohibited as it may damage track equipment and/or floors.
III. Inspection and Disputes
- Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection team before it can compete. The inspection team has the right to disqualify those cars which do not meet these rules. Car owners will be informed of the violations and given an opportunity to modify the car to meet these rules. If the car cannot be modified to meet the rules prior to race time, it will not be allowed to race.
- Any participant or their parent has the right to appeal to the race committee for an interpretation of these rules. The race committee, by majority vote, will be the final judge of these rules. In case of a tie vote, the decision of the race committee chair will be final.
- Ungentlemanly or unsportsmanlike conduct by any participant or member of the audience will be grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or race area. Any protest of a car’s compliance with the rules must be filed with the race chairperson prior to competition. Any protest of a car’s classification can be filed at any time.
Notice! Please be advised that promotional videotaping/photography may be in progress at any time at an event. Your entrance constitutes your agreement that the district has the right to reproduce your likeness in videography/photography for promotion (e.g., publications, internet, newspaper).
The BSA's Commitment to Safety is ongoing and we want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees cannot be compromised. The Boy Scouts of America puts the utmost importance on the safe and healthy environments for its youth membership. The Sam Houston Area Council takes great strides to ensure the safety of its youth as well as the adult volunteer leadership that interacts with them.
BSA Guide to Safe Scouting policies must be followed. All participants must follow Youth Protection Guidelines at all Scouting events. Highlights include:
- Two-deep leadership on all outings required.
- One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited.
- The buddy system should be used at all times.
- Discipline must be constructive.
Health and safety must be integrated into everything we do, to the point that no injuries are acceptable beyond those that are readily treatable by Scout-rendered first aid. As an aid in the continuing effort to protect participants in Scout activities, the BSA National Health and Safety Committee and the Council Services Division of the BSA National Council has developed the SAFE Checklist of BSA safety procedures for physical activity. These points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities.
Youth Protection Guidelines Guide to Safe Scouting SAFE Checklist Enterprise Risk Management
For questions, contact the pinewood derby chair or district activities chair.