Pinewood Derby Official Rules

The following are Pack 374’s official rules of the Pinewood Derby.

  1. Official Car Kit Only
    1. Use only the official BSA Pinewood Derby Kit wood, wheels, and nails (BSA Part #17006).
    2. The “Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit” includes the body, 4 axles, and 4 wheels.  All nine pieces MUST be used before the car can race.
  2. Specifications – Cars must comply with the following specifications:
    1. Width—Not to exceed 23/4”
    2. Length—Not to exceed 7”
    3. Weight—Cannot exceed 5.00 oz. (141.75 grams)
    4. Width between wheels—13/4”
    5. Bottom clearance between car and track—No less than 3/8”
    6. The minimum front nose width shall be at least 1/2” and parallel with the front axle to operate properly on the track.
    7. Cars must be no more than 31/2″ tall to fit under the finish gate.
  3. Construction
    1. General
      1. Each participating Cub Scout is to build a completely new car each year using the official pinewood derby car kit.
      2. No car or any portion of a car including wheels and axles, may have been used in any previous year’s derby.
      3. Upon the request from a judge or race official, the scout will need to provide proof of a car being newly built.
      4. Cars are to be built by the scout, with assistance from an adult only as necessary.
    2. Wheels & Axels
      1. Wheels and axels must be from the official pinewood derby car kit (BSA Part #17006) or from the new optional colored Cub Scout derby wheels & axle kit (BSA Parts # 17553,17554, 17555, 17556 and 17557). (Other wheels & kits, including “Razor” style wheels are available on the Internet that give an unfair advantage, and are prohibited)
      2. Wheel treads, axels, and hubs may be sanded or polished to remove burrs and manufacturing flaws.
      3. The tread width, wheel diameter, axel diameter, and hub diameter are not to be altered. Sanding a ridge or point on the tread or in the hub is not allowed.
      4. The following may not be used in conjunction with the wheels or axles: Washers, inserts, sleeves, bushings, springs, or bearings.
      5. Beveling, tapering, thin sanding, wafering, or lathe turning of the wheels is prohibited. (Lathing of wheels can make cars much faster).
      6. The decorative dots on the wheel treads may not be removed. The BSA logo on the inside of the tire must still remain visible in order to verify that it is from the official kit.
    3. Weights
      1. Any solid material may be used for weight (lead, tungsten, copper, steel, coins, etc.).
      2. Lead is permissible for weight provided that it is completely enclosed within the body of the car.
      3. Weights must be stationary and permanently attached to exterior or interior (by hollowing out) of car. Moving, sliding, or spring-loaded weights are not allowed.
      4. Liquid weights, mercury, and hazardous materials, are absolutely not allowed!
    4. Lubrication
      1. Only dry lubricant is permitted.
      2. Liquid/oil-based lubricant is strictly prohibited because it may leak out onto the track.
      3. Lubricant, if used, must be applied prior to registration of the car. No lubrication is permitted after registration or during the derby.
    5. Details
      1. Details such as steering wheel, driver, and decals are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width, and weight specifications.
    6. Propulsion
      1. The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices.
      2. Cars may be propelled by gravity only.
      3. Motors, engines, or other propulsion may not be used.
  4. Registration & Race Day
    1. Registration
      1. Only the scout may give his car to the race officials for weigh-in and registration.
      2. Each car must pass inspection upon registration. If a car fails inspection, the owner will be informed of the reason for failure, and will be given time within the official weigh-in time period to make adjustments.
      3. After final approval, cars will not be re-inspected unless the car is damaged in handling or in a race.
      4. Each car that is inspected and registered will be tagged with a number and placed behind a roped off area that is only accessible by the race officials.
    2. Race Day
      1. After registration, cars may only be handled by race officials. Car owner (or any other individual) will not be permitted access to car without approval of race officials.
      2. A scout must be present at his race in order to compete.
      3. In the event a car interferes with another car during a race, the race will be re-run. If it happens again, the car will be disqualified.
      4. The top 3 place winners from each class will advance to the Pack Finals.
      5. Racing procedures will be solely determined by race officials and will be consistent and fair for all racers at all levels. All decisions by the race officials are final and binding.
      6. Scouts and spectators are expected to demonstrate good sportsmanship.
    3. Disqualification — Per the judge(s) or race official(s), a car or scout will be disqualified and not allowed to race if any of the following occur:
      1. Any use of improper material as outlined above, including, but not limited to, lubricant, wheels, axles or body wood.
      2. Changing the car after registration, except for authorized repairs.
      3. Removing the registration sticker from the car.
      4. Handling any car without permission of the judge(s) or race officials(s).
      5. Not following the instruction of the judges(s) or race officials(s).
      6. Not following any other rule specified for the pinewood derby.