Ten Steps to a Successful Pinewood Derby


STEP 6: Pinewood Derby Rules

Make sure that official BSA Council Specific Derby rules are given out to ALL families in the Pack to ensure fairness to ALL participants. Copies can be purchased at the Scout Service Center. Call Ahead.

The cars should be checked for compliance with the official rules at registration. It should be understood that a car could be disqualified by the officials at any time. The cars should be checked for:

  • Components used in building the car
  • Weight, width, length, and underside clearance dimensions

Check car weight with an accurate scale or balance. Official maximum weight is 5 ounces (141.75 grams). Some District Derby's tolerate a small variation to account for different scales at different Packs, but the objective is to have all cars at or below the official maximum weight. Have a drill available at the Derby to remove some weight from cars that are over the limit.

Width and length of the cars can most easily be checked with a small wooden box with inside dimensions of 7 inches long by 2.75 inches wide. A box (or boxes) constructed from 0.25 inch plywood and hot glue works nicely.

Checking the underside clearance of the cars is equally simple, using a strip of 3/8 inch plywood on a small plywood board. If the car rolls freely, it should not have any trouble on the track.


Back to Step 5
Ahead to Step 7
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