2018 Narragansett Council Pinewood Derby Rules
The Narragansett Council Pinewood Derby Committee has elected to exercise its
prerogative of adding to the National BSA Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Rules. These
additional rules have been deemed appropriate to minimize any special design
The objective of the Pinewood Derby is to allow a Cub Scout advised and assisted by an
adult to design and build a new wood car each year from the Official BSA Pinewood
Derby Kit. The Pinewood Derby is not intended to be a contest of expensive and
exotically built cars using special fabricated components of metal, plastic, or wood.
These cars are subject to disqualification.
The purchase of speed axles, light weight wheels, and any axle and wheel modifications
beyond minor sanding and polishing are prohibited. Cars, wheels, or axles may not be
worked by commercial third party facilities for tuning or performance enhancements.
(Wheels modified and lightened by removing material from inside of the wheel are easily
recognized during inspection.) Cars with illegal wheels and axles will be disqualified
during check in and technical inspection.
A Pinewood Derby car purchased fully completed and ready to race is prohibited.
The Regional and Council Pinewood Derby is by advanced registration only.
2018 Rules Additions:
A. No built in power source. No batteries. No solar cells.
B. No lights of any type. No material that that will reflex light.
C. No extra wheels as an accessory. See rule 15.
1. The car overall width must not exceed 2 3/4 inches and overall length must not
exceed 7 inches.
2. The width between wheels is 1 3/4 inches and the bottom clearance between the car
and the lane guide strip on the track must be 3/8 inches. Any added weights on the
car bottom must be recessed into the car body to meet the bottom clearance of 3/8
inches. It is recommended that screws are used to secure the weight to the car.
3. The car must be able to pass under the various types of finish lines used in racing
and therefore the car height must not exceed 3 inches.
4. The car weight shall not exceed 5 ounces. No loose materials of any kind are
permitted in the car. The car may be hallowed out and built up to the maximum
weight by the addition of wood or metal provided it is securely built into the body.
5. Wheel bearing, washers, any type of wheel weight, and bushings are prohibited.
6. The car shall not ride on any type of springs.
7. Details such as steering wheel, driver, decals, painting, and interior detail are
permissible as long as they are within the length, width, and weight specifications.
8. The car must be freewheeling with no starting devices.
9. The wheelbase (distance from the center of the front wheel/axle to the center of the
rear wheel/axle on the same side of the car) shall not exceed 4 1/2 inches.
10. Axle shafts must be from the Official BSA Pinewood Derby Kit may only have the
burrs and ridges smoothed and polished. No slotted axles are allowed. The axle
head must not be modified by bending or size reduction.
11. Wheels must be from the BSA Pinewood Derby Kit or a purchased BSA accessory
and be labeled BSA Pinewood Derby. The wheels can have the bore of the hub
(hole in center) cleaned of any obstructions and the wheel tread surface may be
smoothed. The outer and inner wheel edge may also be smoothed. The wheel tread
area must not be reduced, only smoothed. The wheel may NOT be reshaped on the
inside surface or the outside surface. All BSA wheel markings must be completely
12. Rule 11 does not allow you to physically modify the inside or the outside of the
wheel. The wheel width and height may not be reduced. Rule 11 only allows the
smoothing of any manufacturing imperfections.
13. The forward most edge of the car must be ¾” (.75 inch) wide in order to rest against
the rear of the starting gate pin (in center of its lane). If the front of the car is pointed
and doesn’t meet this measurement, the car will race with the rear end becoming the
front. If the rear end is also less ¾” of an inch, the car will not race.
14. The forward most edge of the car must be the one piece wood block from the
Official BSA Pinewood Derby Kit and must not be altered to raise the car’s contact
point to the starting gate. No modifications (No cheater bars or front end spoilers)
which allow a faster start are permitted. The car’s front edge must be completely
behind the starting gate. The car must have at least one front wheel touching the
track surface when resting against the starting gate. No fast start designs allowed.
15. The Pinewood Derby is a competition for cars having no more or no less than 4
wheels. It is not required that all four wheels make contact with the track surface.
16. Older style Official BSA Pinewood Derby cars built from multiple wood block kits as
issued prior to 1977 will not be allowed to race.
17. Only dry powder lubricants are permitted and all types of liquid lubricants including
all greases and oils are prohibited.
18. The car must be able to rest in the starting gate, travel down the track, and finish the
race in its assigned lane or the car will be disqualified.
19. Each car must pass inspection by the Pinewood Derby Race Officials before it will
be allowed to race. The Pinewood Derby Officials have full authority to request
removal of any coverings to allow a complete car and wheel inspection. The scale
used on race day is the only official scale. If a car does not pass inspection, the
owner will be informed of the reason for failure, and will be given time within the
official check in time period to make any adjustments. If the car is not able to meet
specifications, it will be disqualified. The race start time will not be delayed.
20. All interpretations and judgments related to the rules are the sole prerogative of the
Narragansett Council Pinewood Derby Committee and shall be final.
The top racers from each pack will move on to the Regional Race, the Cub Master will
register the Scouts. The Cub Master is responsible to fully inspect all cars before they
are registered for the Regional Race. Registration must be completed online in advance
of the race.
Category Trophies will be awarded at the Regional Pinewood Derby Race as follows:
Best Paint Job, Most Aerodynamic, Most Scout Spirit, Most Realistic, Most
Accessorized, Most Humorous, Most Patriotic, Most Original, The Car Most Likely Built
by a Cub Scout, and Judge’s Choice.
1. All lubrication or other service must be completed prior to presenting the car for
technical inspection because all cars will immediately be impounded for the duration
of its eligibility to race.
2. If a registered owner is unable to attend the Regional Pinewood Derby or is not
physically able to race his car, he may designate another Cub Scout to act in his
place. This person will be called a handler.
3. Car owners or handlers must present their car for check in and technical inspection
during the announced time on race day or risk being shut out.
4. Cars must be capable of accepting and retaining its assigned car numbered decal.
5. Car owner or handler must retain his issued Pit Pass numbered decal, in readable
condition, on the upper right front of the Cub Scout Uniform Shirt.
6. Car owners and handlers must stay alert for the call of their number during the race.
7. Any car owner or handler touching a car other than his own will be automatically
8. If the Pinewood Derby Track is on the floor, any car owner or handler bumping or
stepping on or across the Pinewood track as well as anyone causing such action will
be subject to disqualification.
9. Any adults or Scouts displaying poor behavior or poor sportsmanship are subject to
ejection from the racing premises.
10. It is required that all Packs provide a copy of these rules to all the parents with the
BSA Pinewood Derby Kit.
Revision date 11/27/2017