Welcome to plan em build em run em score em and make em a super addition to your cub scout program
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Welcome to: Plan ’em, Build ’em, Run ’em, Score ’em, and Make ‘em a super addition to your Cub Scout Program!. 1. When during the year should such a competition be held? Outdoors? Weather/temperature considerations. e.g. Avoid "wet" events during cold weather!. Things to think about.

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Welcome to:Plan ’em, Build ’em, Run ’em, Score ’em, and Make ‘em a super addition to your Cub Scout Program!

1. When during the year should such a competition be held?

Outdoors? Weather/temperature considerations.

e.g. Avoid "wet" events during cold weather!

Things to think about

2. How much lead time is needed between announcement and event?

Might depend on ...

how complicated is the building activity?

what materials are allowed?

rules to be met?

Things to think about

3. What equipment is needed?

What are sources?

Make: cost, storage

Borrow: ask for sources at Cub Roundtable, check "Resources" section of district website

Things to think about

4. How should the competition be conducted?

Things to think about

5. What rules are required?

"Inherit" rules from a related district event?

Should you require Official kits?

Or allow Alternative sources?


Things to think about

6. Rules ... KISMIF. Clear, concise, precise.

And publicize early!!!

Things to think about

Suggested Resources

  • The How To Book (Chapter 6)

  • The prior chairman!

  • Pack parents

  • Google and YouTube

Planning a Race Day

  • Start Planning - (up to 3 to 4 months or more before race).

  • Designate a Derby Chairperson (maybe this is you)

  • Set/adopt racing rules and car specifications

  • Set place and date of race (and maybe an alternate)

  • Arrange for track and check-in equipment

  • Select you race staff - judges, registration personnel, score keeper, staging coordinators etc.

  • Make a checklist of items to have on hand at race-day

  • Design or select the race chart

  • The best, most timely, fairest with number of Lanes and racers


  • Set up chairs for the audience

  • Have an area for the boys

  • Use cones, orange tape, or checkered streamers to mark off areas

  • Make sure you have enough tables.

The Equipment

  • Track and electronic lane judge - Buy, borrow, rent, or build it yourself?

  • Check-in and technical check equipment

  • Length, Width and Height box

  • Clearance checker

  • Scales - balance scales, electronics scales or postal scales

  • Clipboards, charts etc.

  • PA system

Derby Workshop/Pre-race Check - (One or Two Weeks Before Race)

  • Coordinate the time, place and workshop host


  • The fastest and runners-up

  • Static Awards

    • Original Design

    • Fuel Economy

    • Audience Choice

The Pinewood Derby Committee

  • Chairman

  • Master of Ceremonies

  • Rules Team

  • Sponsors Team

  • Construction Clinics Team

  • Pit Crew Team

  • Track Setup and Repair Team

  • Registration Team

  • Starters

  • Decorations Team

  • Finishers

  • Refreshments Team

  • Crowd Control / Cub Escorts

  • Results Chart Team

  • Awards Team

  • Cleanup Team

Set/adopt racing rules and car specifications

  • This is very important

  • 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.

Set place and date of race (and maybe an alternate)

  • Most Pinewood Derbies are held at the beginning of the new Year, i.e. Jan, Feb, March.

  • Usually held at the Unit’s Chartered Organization.

  • Find a big enough area to stage the race, Gym, auditorium, try not to plan it outside because of crosswinds.

Types of Tracks

  • Track

    • Wooden

    • Aluminum

    • Plastic

    • Cardboard

Wood V/S Aluminum

  • Wood - Easier to repair if damaged - Less expensive than aluminum (can go with a shorter track) - Quieter as cars are running down - There is additional cost to seal the wood to protect it from moisture damage - Can delaminate or warp if not properly stored - Setup space is less of an issue since track can be shorter than aluminum Aluminum -Faster racing surface for the cars - More durable than wood -No finishing required - Higher cost since need a longer length to keep cars from crashing to a stop at the end - Dinged or dented sections may not be repairable and would have to be replaced - Noisy as cars are running down - Setup space is more of an issue


  • Best Track

  • Cost -$450-$2000

  • Lightweight

Wooden Track

  • Cheaper than Aluminum track

  • Will have to build it

  • Supplies cost $250-$500

Plastic Track

  • Super Track

  • $630-$1300

  • 4-6 Lanes

Cardboard Track by Pinecar

Pinecar Track- Cost - $100




-impossible to keep aligned

-joints fit badly and cars with perfect clearance would rub

Pre-Race Check In

  • Make sure the Check in Crew are very knowledgeable of the rules

  • They should be trained to recognize illegal Cars

    • Kit Cars from a Hobby Shop

    • Cars from E-bay

    • Illegal Wheels, and Axels


  • Racer and car Check-in

  • Register all racers and their cars

  • Attach a number and name to the car

  • Have the car checked by the "Pit Crew/Judges"

  • The car judging

  • Weight test station

  • Wheels checking

  • Size Testing

  • Clearance and misc. testing

  • Impound/store the car - in a box or a table with towels to prevent rolling

Pre-Race check In (Con’t)

  • Make sure you have stickers to distinguish between dens

  • Each car should be given a number

  • Stickers and numbers should not be assigned until after the car has been measured and weighed in

  • If a car has to go to the Pit-stop for adjustment it must be re-weighed and measured

Supplies need for pre-race Check- in

  • Postal Scale

  • Ruler or Check in Box

  • Stickers to assign Dens and numbers

  • Sheet with name of boy, car number, den, etc..

  • Optional Laptop to enter the boys into Spreadsheet

Supplies Needed for Race Day

  • Car Scale

Supplies Needed (Con’t)

  • Car Inspection Gauge

  • Den Stickers

Pit Stop Supplies

  • Supplies Needed

    • Sand Paper 100 +

    • Cordless Hand Drill

    • Files

    • Graphite

    • Weight, Lead, Fishing Sinkers, coins

    • Super Glue, Hot Glue Gun

    • Extra Digital Scale

    • Drill bits, Screwdrivers

    • Extra Graphite

The Race

  • Staging and pre-staging the racers

  • Lane selection method - rotation, random draw or single lane

  • Car handling

  • In-race Lubrication/Modifications and other no-no's

  • Recognize the eliminated racers

Award Ceremony

  • Awards depend on the size of the tracks

  • If you have a large Pack, have trophies for 1st-3rd place for each den, then have trophies for overall Pack winners.

  • Have trophies for, Audience Selection, Judges selection, Best fuel economy, etc…


  • Make sure when preparing Pack Budget, to Budget enough for the Derby.

  • Trophies, Food, other materials

  • Every boy should get something, i.e. ribbons, medals

Space Derby

Raingutter Regatta

Cubmobile Derby (gravity powered)

Fishing Derby

Kite Derby

Some Other Types of Derbies

Space Derby

Pack 36

St. Marks UMC

Northport, AL


Raingutter Regatta



Fishing Derby


Kite Derby


Cubmobiles (push-mobiles)

Balloon-powered cars

Rubber-band powered cars

Pop-bottle rockets (competing for height, distance, flight time, or accuracy)

You can make up your own

Pop-bottle Rocket Derby

BYOR ... Compete for height, distance, flight time, or accuracy

Your #1 Resource!

Chapter 6 includes an outline for planning a Derby!

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