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Tales of Cheating

Discussion in 'General Pinewood Derby Discussion' started by DuckOfAllTrades, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. DuckOfAllTrades

    DuckOfAllTrades Council Champion

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    As my daughter and I work on her car in preparation for districts, it got me thinking. I'm sure, without a doubt, at Pack level, Scouts advanced to districts by breaking the rules. And without a doubt, there will be a few cars breaking the rules at districts. I shouldn't say the Scouts are breaking the rules! More like the parents. I'm positive it happens. Right?

    Now I'm not condoning this, and don't plan to cheat and haven't to get to districts! Bend the rules? Maybe, but not out right cheat.

    But does anyone have any tales of cheating at Scout Pinewood Derby races? Any instances they were caught? If they were, what happened?

    Scouts honor stands true for the Scout, but not always the parent. Not making a generalization of accusing them! Just sure with this many Scouts, it's bound to happen.
     
  2. Castoro Racing

    Castoro Racing District Champion

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    It was obvious to me that at our district races alot of the fast racers had illegal wheels. I doubt they were only fast because they had illegal wheels, these were probably the dads that either knew enough on how to prep or purchased enough already prepped parts to be fast. We ran legal wheels and were happy with the results in the end. I wish the inspectors knew how to enforce their rules, but they were out of touch.
     
  3. Castoro Racing

    Castoro Racing District Champion

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    Also I agree that it's the parents doing the cheating. If my son got a hold of my credit card I bet his first purchase would not be lighted wheels, washers, etc.

    At the end in my pack/district not sure much will be done with rulebreakers, so we will do our best to be faster.
     
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  4. DuckOfAllTrades

    DuckOfAllTrades Council Champion

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    Yes, it's an unfortunate fact. Some parents have the means to buy their kids a fast car! But they miss out on the joy and challenge and learning and time together of working with their kids to make it faster. The good news is if you do the research and put the time in, you stand a chance of hanging with them or beating them!

    I wouldn't accuse anyone in our Pack race of cheating! Hopefully that doesn't happen. But it is a bit odd there were only 8 cars in the whole pack posting significantly lower times. There is no scale, it's not just a little less, but a large gap between the 8 and the 92 others. Then again, I have 2 of the 8, and we got there by learning everything we can here, making friends, and putting in the work. So hopefully the other 6 did the same.
     
  5. CM02WS6

    CM02WS6 Pinewood Ninja Pro Racer

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    I'll offer another perspective. My pack is similar, a handful of cars out of 100 were fast (ours being some of them). I think that many families just don't care to even de-burr the axles. I've published speed tips for our pack clearly describing this and how to do it, and I just don't think people care enough to even read it, let alone do it.

    My next step to attempt to spread the knowledge is during our March pack meeting. We're doing a STEM theme and one of the stations is me showing the impact of COG and axle prep on how otherwise identical cars race down an actual track (my personal 2 lane track). I'm also going to have a USB microscope projecting on my computer so I can show them the burrs up close.
     
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  6. FDM

    FDM District Champion

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    Knowing how and putting the time in to build a car can give you a huge advantage over the rest. Esp if you start drilling holes vs using the slots. I helped some parents with their kids cars and the ones who drilled holes were faster. Then if you sand/polish your axles that also wins you a lot. Our pack is not that hardcore and most parents/scouts don't put that much time in to increase speed. I think that even if a parent decided to use an illegal wheel they might still not win because they didn't build the car very well. We have won our pack 4 times, sometimes with a big margin, and no doubt some parents would think we have cheated, but in truth we always stick to the rules. We get close to the limits of the rules but never cross them. My main concern is at the district level, we are not allowed to remove weight from inside the wheel, and we have someone knowledgeable checking the wheels, however I wonder if he would pick up on the cheetah or similar lighter wheels, esp with the volume of cars he needs to check. I see the difference but will he look for it? However I refuse to cheat just because someone else might cheat.
     
  7. Mojo Racing

    Mojo Racing National Contender Pro Racer

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    "If you finish first, you have to be cheating!"

    Every single one of the scouts I coach hears that when they race... Tell you what... come to the house... sit yourself down in the chair, do what I show you to do, and you will finish at the top too... Without cheating !

    Just because they are first, does NOT mean they cheat... It could also mean that they worked hard on their cars.

    And it would REALLY piss off the dads who do cheat when their son got whipped by a boy who did the time and work on his own car.
     
  8. DuckOfAllTrades

    DuckOfAllTrades Council Champion

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    I agree! No one wins when you cheat, not worth it and teaches your kids a poor lesson.

    That’s awesome you have won 4 years in a row! I’ve worried about the same thing this year, people thinking we cheated. 2 finishes in the top 4 does seem unlikely and can look fishy! But I can honestly say it wasn’t from cheating or other such means. We put hours into research and building until we found out what worked for us! I plan on having a repeat next year. With such strict rules, proper prep can be your only advantage, so that’s what we focused on.

    We have a great pack full of upstanding people, so I don’t think anyone cheated! And our pack is great at providing the help needed for all the basics to get a fast car. Everyone is presented with information and demonstrations on debuting axles, COG, etc.

    I just think some scouts/parents put in more time. Some do the basics. Some do nothing at all. Interestingly, here is a breakdown of times.

    49 foot Besttrack.

    3.67-3.71 range - 8 cars
    3.73-3.75 range - 50 cars
    3.76 plus range - 42 cars

    It’s just interesting to me how there is that big gap between the fastest 8 and the other cars. There were a few that hit times in between, but average that’s the gap! My guess is the top 8 went above and beyond with research and prep. Cars in the middle did what was presented to them...debur, weight, etc... at the pack PWD work day. The final group assembled there cars.

    Keep in mind, these are rough estimates.
     
  9. DerbyDad4Hire

    DerbyDad4Hire Administrator Staff Member 25+ Pro Race Wins! National Champion

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    The most cheating comes from the leaders with kids competing. Hands down.
     
  10. DuckOfAllTrades

    DuckOfAllTrades Council Champion

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    Interesting comment! The winner of our Pack has been a leader's son every year I've been a member.
     
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  11. Wolfram Racing

    Wolfram Racing Pinewood Ninja

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    If they catch something at inspection, they are usually given the chance to correct it first. Once you get through inspection, it's highly unusual to have anything happen other than the complaints. That's the whole purpose of tech inspection...now how thorough the inspectors are is a different story. They can only catch what they know to look for or are even capable of finding. Are they going to reject a car made from a purchased laser cut basswood body in a race where the rules state they must use the block provided in the kit. Nope. Rules have to be verifiable to be enforced...and badly written rules are where the cheating originates.
     
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  12. DuckOfAllTrades

    DuckOfAllTrades Council Champion

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    That's great they are given a chance to fix it! I would like to assume they made the violation without knowing it. Some violations seem more likely to knowingly be broken though. Using Oil for example. If your rules state only graphite and you use oil, most likely you knew about it and did so anyways. Then again, it is available in the scout store and a parent that didn't know better might accidentally use it.

    In any case, I'd like to think that everyone is given a chance to fix it and without insinuating they were trying to cheat. It upset me this year at check in when I felt the inspector was accusing me of cheating for a wheel that wasn't flat! I'm thinking DUDE, my daughter put the wheel in! She is 6. That's why it's not flat! He accused me of Rail Riding, which is apparently illegal though it's not in the rules! I bit my tongue and just politely said "I'm not trying to get one over on you." It did rub me the wrong way how he was getting short and stopping just south of accusing me of cheating.
     
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  13. Dldoug

    Dldoug Pinewood Ninja

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    I am the Deputy pack leader for my pack. I was not in a leadership role last year but at that time I did notice mainly at districts that the fastest kids were those of parents in leadership positions. Is that because they cheated or more involved with their Scouts success. I really can’t tell for sure.
    Here is a story from our most recent pack race. We had a pretty fast car through the event and it was definitely a top 3 car but when everyone noticed that car they looked for the scout and he was not even there. Then this was brought to our attention and we had to disqualify that car because the very first line of our rules says scout must be present. This dad was furious ran up grabbed his car and made his other son grab his as well. To me this could have been an honest mistake or possibly the dad had more involvement in this car then the scout.
    Moral of the story is stuff happens and all you can do is your best for kids. Win or lose make sure the kids are learning and most importantly having fun.
     
  14. DerbyDoctor

    DerbyDoctor Hammering Axles

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    As a leader and organizer of our Pack's derby I can say that the leaders usually have the most experience and usually do know the ins and out of the rules and how to build the best car within the rules.... and cheat if they wanted, I suppose.
    However, it seems like there's usually just a handful of kids and parents that are interested in real competition. For example, we hosted a building and speed workshop this year and promoted it out to all the scouts and their families and we had maybe 10 kids out of 50 show up. I worked with the 6 scouts and their parents that were interested in making fast cars. Those 6 cars easily walked away from most of the other cars using legal speed techniques. 5 went home with trophies, the other 1 didn't listen to what I told them about weights. I suppose my point there is that a lot of families just don't seem to care about it when it comes to putting in the time to make a fast car but then have something to say when their kids car gets beaten badly on race day. The way I look at this is every parent has different things they excel at to assist their kid, some are better at construction, building, physics, math, athletics, etc. and many times this falls into one of those categories. As far as actual cheating goes, unless you have someone vocal about it and also well versed in outlaw parts and techniques, most will unfortunately get through. For example, are you really going to make a kid pull his axles on race day? Probably not. I've read your previous posts and know your kid really wants to win and I commend you for being a great parent and teaching your kid the skills and patience it takes to make a fast car, but if you're up against a cheater, you can only get so far without compromising your own morals. What I can say here is that if your kid sees you cheat and knows that they cheated, I promise they will never forget that. Just think about that if the other kids car posts an unreal time. It's just not worth it in my book.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  15. AceMontana

    AceMontana District Champion Pro Racer

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    You took the words right out of my mouth...with that being said we didnt protest or complain...or even point fingers...i highly doubt my scout knew the difference....his .0002 loss was just enough motivation to keep him (and myself) interested and learning...weve built over 25 cars (and a test track) since districts last year....and all but one beats its predecessor by a small fraction....im stiked to get the latest car on the test track once its finished....hoping the black ice system makes a difference....weve always left the wheel bores untouched so it should help
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  16. Wolfram Racing

    Wolfram Racing Pinewood Ninja

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    When you're teaching your son about electroplating nickel onto BSA axles so you're not violating the rules, you know you have a problem....or so I'm told.
     
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  17. HurriCrane Racing

    HurriCrane Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer 25+ Pro Race Wins! National Champion

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    There is enough cheating going on in Cub Scout derbies to make a NASCAR crew chief blush!
     
  18. Castoro Racing

    Castoro Racing District Champion

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    It will definitely help! Just make sure to watch John's video.
     
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  19. DuckOfAllTrades

    DuckOfAllTrades Council Champion

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    Funny thing is he cares NOTHING about winning, except the Pinewood Derby. He’s not competitive in anything else at all. For reasons unknown, he just wants to win on race day. I think part of it is because he puts so much work into it and cares about th me results because of it. But no, he’s not one of those kids that has to be the best at everything and hope my writing didn’t come off as painting him in that manner, just this one thing he wants to be good at.

    And couldn’t agree more. NOT worth it, better to be a good example to our little ones.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  20. Bubblegum

    Bubblegum Pinewood Ninja

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    The other side of the coin is when a car design has broken a rule (by design or poor interpretation), the inspectors caught it, and they decide to allow the car to continue racing is when I have a problem.
     

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