Monday, January 7, 2013

Pack 770 Pinewood Derby Rules

Although there is no "official", complete, technical set of rules regarding pinewood derby, there are a few basic rules that all packs abide by. Generally, our pack aims to keep the pinewood experience true to the classic derby - when in doubt, alterations should not be made. You can use the instructions with the kit for a guide. Here are the rules that we use for our pack's races:

Car Dimensions
Max Car Weight  5.00 Ounces
Max Car Length  7.0 Inches
Max Car Width  2 3/4 Inches
Min Clearance between wheels  1 3/4 Inches
Under Body Clearance  3/8 Inches
Shapes, designs, and decorations of virtually any kind
Different Colored Wheels (must be official Pinewood Derby Wheels)
OK to remove seams or imperfections from wheels, without substantial alteration
Non-moving, fixed weights (must be secure)
Polished, "de-burred", nail-style, official Axles
Graphite or Teflon Dry Lubricant
Different Wood (Must use the pine block from the kit)
Wheel Alteration (boring, beveling, rounding)
Liquid Lubricant (WD40, etc)
Bearings, Washers, Springs
After-market wheels, axles, or axle-rods. May use smooth axles, but no nickle-plated, notched, or coned axles, for example.  Must use stock nail axles or similar.
Moving Parts (loose/moving weights)
Generally, cars should run on 4 wheels (intentional 3-wheeling is prohibited).

The official race scale is considered final.

Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it may compete. If, at registration, a car does not pass 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 the adjustment.

After final approval, scouts may NOT touch cars between races, except to walk the car from "pit row" to the track and back after the race.  No graphite, or other fiddling during the race, unless a car becomes damaged.

During the Race

Our race will be structured as a double-elimination tournament.  The initial race order will be assigned randomly.  Once a car loses a race, he enters the "loser's bracket".  Once a 2nd race has been lost, that car will be eliminated from the tournament.

An adult will be designated as "Trackmaster", will conduct each individual race, and will have final authority over any disputes.

Each individual race will consist of 3 heats, so that each car can race on each track. The "best 2 out of 3" shall be the winner of that race.  Should the cars split the first two heats, a coin flip will determine which scout gets to choose his track for the final heat.  The youngest scout shall call heads or tails.

If a car leaves the track, that heat can be re-run once.  If the same car leaves the track again, it looses the race.  If Car A leaves the track and interferes with Car B, Car A looses the race.  The Trackmaster may declare a heat to be re-run if he determines there is a flaw with the track itself.

Semi-finals and Finals

Once the final 4 have been decided, the final contestants will have a short break to graphite and tweak their cars for the finals.

Final Race: Each car must lose twice to be eliminated.  Therefore, if the winner of the "loser's bracket" wins the final race, then the contestants must race again.