Pinewood Derby Rules

Below are the official pinewood derby rules we use for our BSA Cub Scout Pack pinewood derby race.

For our Cub Scout Pack races, we inspect each car at weigh-in approximately one week prior to race day (check the calendar for the date).  On weigh-in day, we weigh each car with the "official scale" and any car that exceeds 5.0 oz will be turned back so the scout can modify the car to reduce the weight. We then do a quick visual inspection of each car against the following inspection points:

Car Dimension Rules

  • The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches.
  • The overall width of the car shall not exceed 2 ¾ inches.
  • The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels.
  • The car must have 3/8” clearance underneath the body so it does not rub on the track.


Derby Car Weight Rules

  • The car shall not exceed 5.0 ounces.
  • The official race scale that is used at car check-in shall be considered final.

Car Modifications Not Allowed

  • The official pine wood block must be used. The block may be shaped in any way that is desired.
  • Official BSA wheels must be used. The wheels may not be cut, drilled, beveled or rounded. You may remove the seams and imperfections from the wheels.  However, the end result should be that the wheels sit flat on the track, and not at an angle.
  • The axles may be polished and lubricated, but not altered or moved.  Use the slots provided.

Other Pinewood Derby Race Rules

  • The must be made by the Scout within the current year.  Prior year cars will not be accepted.
  • Once a car passes inspection and is entered into the race, only race committee members can touch it.
    • The only exception is when scouts may come to the pit to transition their car to the adult placing the cars on the track.
    • No modifications (except repairs) will be allowed after turn-in.
  • If the car loses a wheel, or is otherwise damaged, the racer shall have 5 minutes to make repairs.
  • Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it will be allowed to compete.
  • The Inspection Committee has the responsibility to disqualify those cars that do not meet these rules.

If you have a question about rules, be sure to ask the person running your race because they have the final say about what is and isn't legal for that race.

I hope this helps answer some questions about pinewood derby rules.

Follow the rules and may your derby car win!

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