This page describes the racing format for the Pinewood Derby.
As the cars for a heat are announced, each Scout is responsible for "staging" his car in the Starting Gate.
Those Scouts then move to the Finish Line to watch the heat. A Finish Line judge will be present to ensure all cars are handled
by their respective owners ONLY.
A Sterns Chaotic Method1, will be used to identify the fastest cars. Computer software
will determine the races for each car, based on a chaotic algorithm, which is optimized for the race. This information is
displayed for all to see via an overhead projector and associated screen.
Scouts will be assigned points for each heat in which they compete: 4 points for 1st place, 3 points for 2nd
place, 2 points for 3rd place and 1 point for 4th place. At the end of the competition, the points are added up. High score
wins, next highest score finishes second, and so on. If there is a tie for any of the top positions, total elapsed time for
the competition will be the tiebreaker.
If during any race a car jumps off the track, and there is no interference with another car, the heat will
be reran. If the same car jumps the track a second time the heat is over and a time of 9.999 seconds will be assessed to their
If during any race a car jumps out of its lane and interferes with another car the heat will be reran. If
the same car jumps its lane a second time, and leaves the track a time of 9.999 seconds will be assessed to their total time.
If that car interferes with another car during this process the heat will be run again without the offending car on the track
and a time of 9.999 seconds will be assessed to their total time.
If during any race a car fails to make it through the Finish line a total time of 9.999 seconds will be assessed
to their total time.
Please review the official Pinewood Derby rules for further explanation and/or clarifications. The official
rules will supercede anything stated here.
The decision of the 3 Pinewood Derby Judges is FINAL.
1There are a number of different methods for running Pinewood Derbies. These include elimination ladders (single
and double elimination), ladderless elimination, lane rotation, elapsed time, round-robin and chaotic rotation methods (e.g.
the "Stearns" method).