Finish Flag Pinewood Derby Rules & Procedures


BSA No. 33832, Copyright © 1996

Finish Flag

Cub Scout How to Book

These are "Sample Rules and Procedures" from the good 'ol "Cub Scout Leader How-To Book" (BSA No. 33832.) They are very simple, but can provide a good starting point for your Committee to define a more comprehensive version.


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All cars must pass the following inspection to qualify for the race:

  1. Width shall not exceed 2-1/4 inches.

  2. Length shall not exceed 7 inches.

  3. Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces.

  4. Axles, wheels, and body shall be from the materials provided in the kit.

  5. Wheel bearings, washers, and bushings are prohibited.

  6. No lubricating oil may be used. Axles may be lubricated with powdered graphite or silicone.

  7. The car shall not ride on any kind of spring.

  8. The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices

  9. No loose materials of any kind are allowed in the car.

Checker Flag Bar


  1. Each boy brings his car to the inspection table to have it inspected and numbered.

  2. After inspection, the boy goes to the registration table where his name and car are entered on the heat schedule.

  3. After registration and inspection, cars are brought to the starter's table by dens.

  4. As each heat is announced, drivers place their own cars at starting gate. Starter releases the gate.

  5. Judges at the finish line will determine results of the race. The car whose nose is first over the finish line is the winner. Judges will pick first, second, and third places.

  6. Winner of heat takes his car to the awards platform. After receiving his ribbon, he goes to the spectator area to await his next heat.

  7. Losers of each heat take their cars to the starter for the second running, which will determine the second-place car for the heat.

  8. If a car leaves the track, runs out of its lane, interferes with another car, or loses an axle or other part, let it run in the next heat if it can be repaired quickly. In the first heat of a den race, if a car jumps the track, it is judged as finishing last.

  9. After first, second, and third place winners have been selected in each preliminary heat, run as many quarter-final and semifinal heats as necessary to determine contestants for the final heat.

  10. Den winners are determined first. The first threeplaces from each den will advance to the championship heats. The remaining drivers participate in consolation heats.

Checker Flag Bar


  • Have a pre-race inspection of cars about a week before the derby to catch all possible problems before race time. This minimizes disqualifications and disappointments.

  • Have a meeting prior to the derby to orient officials with their jobs.

  • Use some type of board to post the derby's progress, such as with tags on hooks.

  • Some packs use an instant-developing camera to photograph the finish. This simplifies picking the winners in a close race, and the photo can be given to the winner.

  • Consider using judges from outside the pack to prevent parent problems when a boy doesn't win.

  • Have some activity planned for about 15 minutes after completion of registration, to allow time to organize den heats.

  • Have some activity planned between den finals and pack heats to allow time for organizing the next heats.

  • Have enough ribbons and awards so that every Cub Scout can take home an award.

Copyright ©, 1996, Boy Scouts of America, All Rights Reserved




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