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Derby Made Easy!

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Chapter 3. Rules

Why are rules necessary? Since one of our goals is character development and learning to follow the rules, we need a complete set of rules governing all aspects of the race. Many times I have seen a pack that has a written set of rules that is ONLY the piece of paper that comes in the box with the car kit. This is like the NFL holding a super bowl with the only rules being about the size and shape of the ball! It would sure make for an interesting game just like that piece of paper as the only rules makes for an interesting Pinewood Derby.

Here are some of the basic considerations that need to be covered by a set of rules:

A. Who is eligible to race
B. Car size, weight, dimensions
C. Inspection and what to do if a car doesn’t pass inspection
D. How to determine a winner
E. Track failure, car failure, judges error
F. How winners will be recognized
G. Design contest categories and criteria

There are many sets of rules which are publicly available on the internet and you may want to ask at your roundtable if other packs have a set of rules they’ve had success using. I have also included some sample pinewood derby rules in the appendix. The rules committee should begin early and draft a set of rules that will help achieve the goals as listed. The key to the success of the rules is to distribute them to everyone before they build the cars. Be sure to have extra sets on hand for the judges and for race day.

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