Official Derby Rules


The race is open to all Cub Scouts registered in our Pack and their families in the following categories:

  • Scout Races - One race per Den and one Overall Race (cars must meet all specifications/requirements)

  • Sibling Race - 5th grade and younger (cars must meet all specifications/requirements)

  • Adult Race - Den Leaders, Parents/Grandparents and Siblings 6th grade and above (cars must meet all specifications/requirements)

  • Open Race (a.k.a. - illegal category) for all cars not meeting specifications/requirements or otherwise disqualified from above races (Scouts, siblings, and adults can all participate in this race)

Each participant may enter only one car in an applicable category for competition.


A. Length, Width and Clearance

    1. Maximum overall width, including wheels and axles, shall not exceed 2¾”.

    2. So car will clear the center guide strip on the track, minimum width between wheels shall be 1¾”.

    3. So car will clear the center guide strip, minimum distance between bottom of car, including any protrusions, and track shall be 3/8”

    4. Maximum overall length, including all accessories, may not exceed 7”.

    5. Maximum overall height may not exceed 5".

    6. You are not required to use the “stock” axle slots. The wheelbase (distance between front and rear axles) may be changed so long as the car complies with all other dimension requirements.

    7. The nose of the car must be parallel with the front axle and at least 1/2" wide at the center (i.e., no pointed noses) to enable proper starting and timing.

B. Materials, Weight and Appearance

    1. Use only BSA Official Pinewood Derby Kit only. Use of the BSA Official “Pre-Cut Pinewood Derby Wedge Kit” is permissible as well. No kits or premade cars from any other source are permitted.

    2. Weight shall not exceed 5.00 ounces (measured to the hundredths place). The reading of the Official Race Scale will be considered final.

    3. The car may be built up to the maximum weight by the addition of weights or other material provided this material securely is built into the body or firmly affixed to it. No loose materials or liquids of any kind are permitted in or on the car. Mercury shall not be used. It is a health hazard.

    4. Details such as steering wheels, driver, spoiler, decals, painting, interiors and exterior details are permissible as long as the car satisfies length, width, clearance and weight specifications.

    5. Cars with wet paint or glue will not be accepted.

C. Wheels and Axles

    1. Only official wheels and axles from the BSA Official Pinewood Derby kit or purchased from the BSA Scout Shop are permitted. Colored wheels are allowed as long as they are official BSA wheels. BSA stamps must be visible on wheels. Use of wheels and axles that have been modified by third parties is not permitted.

    2. Cars must have 4 wheels, all of which are perpendicular with the track and with a minimum of 3 wheels touching the track at all times.

    3. Wheels must be free-spinning. Bearings, spacers or bushings are prohibited. The car shall not ride on any types of springs. No assisted starting or other propulsion is permitted.

D. The only permissible alterations to the wheel tread surface and width are as follows:

    1. The outer tread surface of the wheel may be shaved to a flat surface that is parallel to the axle.

    2. Light sanding and/or polishing of any portion of the wheel to remove burs is permitted so long as it does not reduce the diameter below allowable levels. No material may be removed from the underside of the running surface.

    3. The wheel diameter may not be less than 1.17“ or greater than 1.20”.

    4. Wheel width may be altered only from the side facing the car. The overall wheel width may not be less than .360". NOTE: because there is a “bulge” in the wheel, the overall wheel width is slightly larger than the width of the tread surface. The .360” measurement is for the wheel at its widest point, exclusive of the hub.

    5. Underside of axle head may be ground or filed to remove burs. Axle shaft diameter must be uniform may not be less than .085". Simple polishing of the axles should not reduce the diameter below allowable level. No machined or lathe turned axels are permitted.

    6. No wheel covers (i.e. hubcaps) are permitted.

E. Lubrication

    1. No liquid lubricants are allowed. The only permissible lubricants are powdered graphite or Teflon.


A. Only newly constructed cars may be raced. Cars from previous years may not race for prizes or trophies or be eligible for design awards.

B. Each car must pass inspection by the Race Committee before it can compete. The Race Committee has the right to disqualify those cars which do not meet these rules. Car owners will be informed of the violations and may, at the discretion of the Race Committee, be given an opportunity to modify the car to meet these rules. If the car cannot be modified to meet the rules, at the discretion of the Race Committee, the car may be allowed to run for time only, but in such case no prizes or recognition will be awarded. Scouts may be given the option to race in the Modified Division if the car cannot conform to official rules.

C. Once a car has been inspected it may not be altered in any fashion. Any car taken for repair must be re-inspected prior to allowing it to continue to race. No lubricant may be applied after final inspection.

D. Any participant or their parent 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.

E. Any protest of a car’s compliance with the rules must be filed with the race chair prior to competition.

F. These rules are to be used in conjunction with the “Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit” instructions, found inside the pinewood derby kit. In the event of a conflict, these Pack Rules shall govern.


A. The track has four lanes. Each car will run four times, once in each lane. Trophies will be awarded based on the cumulative total of each car’s fastest three times – in other words, the slowest single time of the four runs for each car will be excluded.

B. If a car runs out of its lane, loses a wheel or interferes with another car, the race will be re-run. If that same car has similar problems during the re-run, that car’s time for that run is disqualified. The remaining cars will then be re-run without troubled car. At the discretion of the Race Committee, the troubled car may have minor repairs performed during the race. Any car unable to post times for three of its four runs shall not be eligible for prizes.

C. Good sportsmanship is a core value of Scouting. Participants that do not adhere to this principle may be asked to leave.

D. Only race officials and may enter the track area. This rule will be strictly enforced. Please help to keep all Scouts and siblings in the race viewing area behind the flags at all times.


A. The most important values in Pinewood Derby competition are Scout/Parent participation, good sportsmanship and learning how to follow rules. Everyone is responsible for recognizing and encouraging these qualities in addition to traditional racing awards.

B. Every participating Scout will receive a Pinewood Derby patch.

C. Trophies will be awarded in the following race categories based on official times:

    • Scout Den Races (per each Den) - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place

    • Scout Overall Race - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place

    • Sibling Race - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place

    • Parent Race - Only 1st place will be awarded a trophy

    • Open Race - Only 1st place will be awarded a trophy

D. Additional awards will be given in the following categories, as determined by the race officials:

    • Spirit of Pinewood Derby - for the Scout that "Did Their Best"

    • Most Original Derby Car - for the most unique design

    • Most Artistic Derby Car - for the best paint job