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Derby Made Easy!

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Chapter 7. It’s Race Day!

Perhaps the most important concept here is, arrive early! Write a schedule for your volunteers to arrive staggered in the hours before the race begins. I like to be ready to go a half-hour before you open the doors and let the racers pour in.

Room setup
Setting up the track is the primary feature here. Be sure to allow enough time for testing, taping, and repairing anything that goes wrong. I like to stretch flags around the track to prevent cubs from jumping over the track and to control crowd movements during exciting heats. I also use a very long check in table (I'll use as many as four 2' by 8' tables end to end) parallel to the track so that all the audience is on one side of the track. Position your other activities and snack area as necessary to fit the room layout.

Another feature that I like to use is a display of the trophies right at the front entrance. This can be very spectacular and really gets the cubs excited.

Check In
The first step in the Race is checking in the cars. The method I like best is the passage of each cub and car down the inspection and weigh in line. Set up several stations and have each cub go from station to station. If a car fails inspection, provide a work area (the “pit”) for the cars to be repaired and have the cubs go through the line again.

When the car has reached and passed the final station, take the car from the cub scout and assign it the racing number. I like to put a sticker on the bottom of the car and a sticker with the same number on the Cub! This way the cub will be able to look at the sticker and know what number his car is. The same number is also added to the double elimination racing form. I like to not only add the racing number but also the scouts name to the double elimination form. This helps the judges at the end to call the winners by name and number. I confirm the boy's name and number at the first calling of the car but only use the number from that point on.

Once the car has its number, store the car conveniently near the track with the numbers up. Use a blanket or soft surface to protect the car.

Beginning the Races - The Master of Ceremonies
The role of the Master of Ceremonies is very important to the event. If you can recruit an MC from outside the group, even better! When all the cars have been checked in, the master of ceremonies should open the race with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Promise. I like to have the entire group stand and recite the “Racers Pledge.” Ours goes, “My car is wood, the wheels are vinyl, we’re here for fun, and the Judge’s decision is final!” The MC always gets a big laugh at the last line and it also makes the point.

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