scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Pinewood Derby
Tue Feb 29 2000 - 20:54:47 CST
Since there isn't a national p/w derby runoff, I doubt that there are any
national "rules" (other than the half dozen words printed on the little
piece of paper that comes packed in with the kit). The main rule is for
the boys to have fun.
Personally, I don't think that it matters much just what your pack's rules
are as long as (1) everyone knows what they are before they start building
their cars and (2) they are fairly and evenly applied...
...assuming that your District (and/or Council) holds a runoff race, then
you should probably make sure that your pack's rules are at least as
restrictive as those which will be enforced by your district at the runoff.
It would be a real shame to have your pack's top 3 finishers all
disqualified before the first heat of the district runoff.
This topic was discussed at length here a year ago. As I remember, the
general consensus at the time was that only the parts from the kit can be
used (e.g., "axles", wheels); the pre-grooved wheel base should be used;
the wheels should not be modified (shaped) other than smoothing off any
burrs; nothing should stick out the front of the car (e.g., "headlights")
since this can mess with various timing devices; and (obviously) the
clearance & width dimensions must be followed and the car may not exceed
5.0 ounces in weight. Many units/districts also prohibit liquid lubricants
(e.g., oil) to keep their track clean -- note than graphite powder works
After some bad vibes last year, this year our pack instituted a new rule:
after check-in, NOBODY other than the race officials (a couple of the
uniformed leaders plus a couple of Boy Scouts) touches any of the cars.
This applies in particular to the parents! The parents seem to take this
race far more seriously than the boys. (Perhaps because the parents did
most/all of the work on the cars?)
John A. Pershing Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ACM Pack 36 / ASM Troop 36, Westchester-Putnam (NY) Council