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BSA Pinewood Derby Rules

General Rules and Design

  1. The car must be made from the Official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit (Kit no. 17006)
  2. Each car entered in the race must be made during the current year.
  3. The car should be substantially built by the Cub Scout. Parental supervision and guidance in the construction of the car is encouraged, but the parent SHOULD NOT BUILD THE CAR FOR THE CUB SCOUT. (see below)
  4. The maximum width of the car, including wheels, may not exceed 2-3/4 inches.
  5. The maximum length of the car may not exceed 7 inches.
  6. Minimum width between wheels is 1-3/4 inches.
  7. The minimum ground clearance from the bottom of the wheels to the bottom of the lowest part of the car other than the wheels must be at least 3/8 of an inch, including weights and accessories.
  8. The total weight of the car may not exceed 5 ounces (141.7 grams). Be careful about using scales at the store or Post Office, as they are notoriously inaccurate.
  9. The wheel base (distance between front and rear axles) may be changed.
  10. Only axles, wheels, and body wood provided in the kit shall be used.  Official BSA axles and wheels purchased through official BSA sources are allowed.  Axles or wheels purchased through non-BSA sources are not allowed.
  11. Wheels must be kept in their original shape – no shaving or rounding.
  12. Wheel bearings, washers, and brushings are prohibited.
  13. The car shall not ride on any kind of springs or other suspension.
  14. Any detail added must be within length, width, and weight limits.
  15. No loose materials of any kind are allowed in the car or added to the wheels.
  16. No Wheel Covers (ie.hubcaps) are permitted.
  17. The car must be freewheeling, with no starting devices.
  18. Cars with wet paint or wet glue will not be accepted.
  19. Only dry powdered lubricants, such as graphite or Teflon, may be used.
  20. Entire car must be BEHIND the starting gate while lining up to race.

Inspection Process

  1. Each car must be registered and pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it will be allowed to compete.
  2. The inspectors have the right to disqualify those cars that do not meet the specifications listed above.  Car owners will be informed of any violations and be given an opportunity to modify the car to meet the listed specifications.  If the car cannot be modified to meet the specifications, at the discretion of the Race Committee, the car may be allowed to run for time only.  No prizes or recognition will be awarded.
  3. Once the cars are registered and pass inspection, they will be placed on a table in the pit area and may not be touched by the owner or any other participant.  No modification will be allowed after this point.
  4. Each car will  be allowed a limited number of test runs on the track:  One initial test run, and a maximum of two follow-up runs if the first is not successful.  A run is considered “successful” when the car makes it from the start of the track to the end without getting stuck or jumping track.
  5. Repairs between test runs will be allowed.


  1. Un-Sportsman like conduct by any participant or member of the audience will be grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or race area.
  2. Any participant, (including the parent of the participant) has the right of 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 Chairperson will be final.
  3. Protest of car compliance with rules must be filed with the Race Chairperson prior to the competition.


  1. Each heat will be announced.  The drivers must listen for their heat to be announced and report immediately to the starting line. The heat will be announced no more than 3 times.  If the driver does not report to the starting line immediately after the third announcement, that driver forfeits the race to the opposing driver(s).
  2. Drivers will report to the starting line and place their cars on the track.  All other drivers and spectators must remain behind the barriers.
  3. The starter will make sure the cars are on the track properly and then will start the race.  If the car is not on the track properly, the starter will advise or assist the driver to properly adjust the car on the track.
  4. If the car leaves the track, runs out of its lane, interferes with another car, loses an axle, etc., the heat will be rerun.  If the same car gets in trouble on the second run, the contestant will be disqualified for the round and automatically loses the race.
  5. If the car requires repair work, it may be repaired, but if not ready for its next race, it will forfeit that race.
  6. After each race, the driver will report to the finish line, retrieve their car, return it to the table in the pit area, then leave the pit area.
  7. The competition will be a timed race. The car with the fastest time will win the heat.  Every car will have the opportunity to race on all active lanes.
  8. Each participant will be given a Pinewood Derby participation award.
  9. Winners will be announced shortly after each rank’s heat.
  10. Trophies will be awarded at the conclusion of all heats.
  11. A Pack run-off race will be held after all ranks’ heats are finished.  The Pack run-off race will consist of the first, second, third place winners from each ranks’ heats are finished.  A trophy will be presented to the winner of the Pack competition.
  12. The score determined by the computer is final.

Automatic Disqualifiers:

Racing a car from Hobby Lobby or Michaels: Hobby store kits have different wheels and axles and are easily noticed at check-in.  Stick to the kit you were given.

Car weighs too much: Time to correct heavy cars will be given, remember our scale is the official race scale – Just make sure you can easily take weight off.

Car does not meet dimensions: All cars will be placed in a box for inspection.  The box is built to quickly measure the dimensions in the rules.  If your car does not pass the inspection by race time, we will let you race, but you will not be considered for trophies.

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