Official Class Pinewood Derby Rules and Guidelines

Below are the official rules, specifications, and guidelines to be followed by scouts racing “Official Class” cars at Pack 536 Pinewood Derby events.  Adults and siblings may race cars in the “Outlaw Class“.

Revised December 19, 2013

General Rules

  1. Cars must be built new for this season and cannot have been raced in previous years.  Previous years’ cars may be raced in the “Outlaw Class”.
  2. Cars must be substantially scout-constructed and -finished.  The scout’s Akela(s) should provide assistance to a minimal extent and in order to provide maximum safety for the scout.
  3. Cars should be made with the official BSA Pinewood Derby kit.  Pre-cut car kits found at the scout office or craft stores may be used.
  4. Cars must comply with the following specifications:
    • Weight: Cars must weigh no more than 5.0 ounces as measured on the official scale at the event.
    • Width: The maximum width of the car, including wheels and axles, must not exceed 2-3/4 inches.
    • Length: The length of the car must not exceed 7 inches.
    • Height: The maximum height of the car must not exceed 3-1/2 inches.
    • Bottom Clearance: The distance between the bottom of the wheels and the bottom of the lowest point of the car other than the wheels must be at least 3/8 inch.
    • Width Between Wheels: The distance between the innermost edges of the left and right wheels must be at least 1-3/4 inches.
    • Wheelbase: There is no restriction on the distance between the front and rear axles.
  5. The car design may be enhanced by the addition of other stable materials such as plastic or metal. Any additions must be firmly attached and meet car size requirements.
  6. No part of the car may protrude beyond the starting peg or gate.
  7. The following items are prohibited:
    • Springs
    • Elastic or otherwise flexible suspension
    • Starting devices or propellants (A starting device is something that alters the rotation or spin of the wheel.)
    • Electronic or lighting devices that interfere with the race electronics
    • Liquids, wet paint, oil, sticky substance, or powders of any kind (other than dry axle lubricant)
    • Glass or excessively fragile parts
    • Wheel bearings, washers, and/or bushings
    • Loose objects on car
    • Magnets
  8. No part of the car, other than wheels, may be capable of contacting any part of the track, other than the starting peg or gate.

They are adapted from those found at the South Plains Council’s Forms & Resources page.

Wheels & Axles

  1. Cars should be made with the wheels and axles that come with the official BSA Pinewood Derby kit or Wheel Replacement kit.  Wheels and axles must conform to the following specifications:
    • Wheel diameter must not exceed 32mm.
    • Tread width must be no less than 6.5mm.
    • Wheels must be constructed of plastic, rubber, or polyurethane.
    • Wheel treads may not be rounded, tapered, grooved, V-cut or H-cut.
    • The entire tread of each wheel must be parallel to the axle bore.
  2. The wheels must be attached directly to the axles and spin freely. There must be at least four wheels on the car. It is not required that all four wheels make contact with the track surface.
  3. Axles may be deburred and polished.
  4. Solid rod-type axles are not permitted.
  5. Axles must be mounted into the wood sections of the car. Drilled holes or slots can be used.
  6. Only dry graphite powder may be used for lubrication.

Officiating & Racing

  1. Cars race in “Check-In” condition.  Once a car has been officially checked-in and qualified to race, it may not be handled other than in transporting it to and from the staging area between race heats.  If a car requires repair or modification after check-in, the car must be re-qualified before being allowed to race again.
  2. Only the Cub Scout who is the owner of a car to be raced may place the car on the track.
  3. A Cub Scout may only race his own car.
  4. A car may be reclassified or disqualified if race officials determine that the car fails to meet class-specific requirements and specifications.
  5. The decisions of the Judge(s) and/or Race Official(s) are final.