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Pinewood Derby Rules for Nationals

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I was wondering if there were any set Pinewood Derby rules that I can get a copy of. I know the rules and specs are in the box. Last race we had child place their car on the track and the parent would come up and make sure it was on straight we said no one can touch the car but the child. Some were very pushy. How should this be done? I would like to see the National rules and maybe go by what thay say? Just a thought.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.


Some of these parents are out of control with this race. clearly the child did not do any work on some cars. Very sad.

We will be meeting with in the next week to set the rules straight.


Thank you!

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Hi mjengels,


Yeah, Pinewood Derby can get kind of hairy when the parents get involved too much, unfortunately. I was involved in them for about 5 years before my sons both moved to Boy Scouts, but I can tell you what I know/think....


I don't know that there are "National" rules. We always got our annual set of rules from our District, but it's possible that they're actually getting them from the National Office. Since they're usually aren't any races beyond the District level, it could be that what's provided are "guidelines", but once again, not sure. As far as I know, there are no rules dictating how you manage the actual race, beyond the specifications for the cars.


In our races, once a car is checked in, we don't let anyone touch them except for the race judges. There are some packs that have the boys put the cars on the track, but we found that to be too much hassle. By having the judges handle the cars, the boys can concentrate on watching the races, and there's less time being spent "herding cats". We mark off the spectator area, and the Scouts and parents have to stay within that, and stay away from the track and the cars. Part of it is safety because our track is computerized, so you have a lot of cables lying around, but, honestly, part of it is just to keep people away from the judges so that they can run the races and not get caught up in any debates.


Parents are encouraged to participate with their son's in supporting their efforts. Parents will usually do any work requiring power tools. Everything else should be the work of the Scout. Clearly, this doesn't always happen, but unless you're willing to accuse a parent of building the car, there's not a lot you can do. I've heard of some packs doing that, but I don't know how you'd prove such a thing.


As a race organizer, my 1st rule was always to try and run a fair race. My 2nd rule was to ignore the adults as much as possible. If there was a problem, I'd pull together the Scouts from that race and talk with them about what would be the fair thing to do (while pointedly ignoring the adults). They usually came up with a fair solution.


I found that at the local pack race, the parents were mostly pretty cool, because they all knew each other. At the district level, I got so disgusted with the behavior of some parents that after a couple of years, I just stopped participating. I've had dads come up to me and tell me the race computer was wrong and that they had instant replay from their camcorders to prove it. (they were wrong). I've had parents cross the lines marking the spectator area to complain about something or another.


Mostly, Pinewood Derby is just a lot of fun. A very small number of parents can ruin the enjoyment for the race officials, tho, and that's a shame because of the amount of effort that's needed to have a successful race.

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Our rules are the same as the district rules which we come up with at roundtable. At our Pack and district once the cars are checked in no one touches them except the race officials. I have never had a problem yet with that. The boys take too long, argue over lane assignments, and then the parents want to "help" and it creates long delays between races. We have an older teen sibling and an adult maning the track and other adults in the pit and at the finish line. No boys, no pushy parents behind the Caution tape and cones.


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