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Unified Rules for Cub Scouts PWD

Discussion in 'General Pinewood Derby Discussion' started by Prozach2, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. Prozach2

    Prozach2 Workshop Leader

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    As a Cub Scout dad, I'd like to see unified rules in cub scout pinewood derbies. In the area that I live in (Mecklenburg, NC), it seems like every pack has their own set of rules. These rules may or may not be the same as the district or counsel rules. So, unless the kids want to build multiple cars and learn the speed tricks for different PWD cars, a lot of the kids are going to be either eliminated or at an extreme disadvantage.

    Instead, I'd like to see unified rules (like in just about every other form of competition) so kids could compete on an equal footing at the pack, district, council, state, national level, leagues, etc. I could write a letter and contact various people in charge. I'm sure I'd be successful in holding their attention for about .01 seconds.

    However, if a large nationwide group of cub scout dads, former cub scout dads, etc. work together on this, I'm confident that we could make this happen. I'm interested to see if others in the PWD community share my enthusiasm for this. I'm also interested to know if any of you have attempted this in the past. What issues did you run into?
     
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  2. T-Bone Racing

    T-Bone Racing District Champion

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    I’ve ran into wheel base issues, weight issues, car being to long issues, your fender is going to touch the track issues, and my favorite, your wheel isn’t spinning, and it has to spin issue.
     
  3. Prozach2

    Prozach2 Workshop Leader

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    I think the latest council rule that's been added in Mecklenburg states "Body shall be shaped from wood block provided in Official BSA Derby Car kit and must be 95% wood." They canceled the race due to COVID, but I sure was curious to see how that 95% rule was going to be enforced. The rules also provide that they could drill or cut into your body to check it. Have you ever seen or heard of a PWD car placing in a council race that was 5% or less tungsten or some other weight? I was really looking forward to watching some Karen demand that the race officials dissect the 150+ cars that beat her son.

    My issue really isn't the rules though. I don't care what the rules are. I just want them to be consistent like they are for every other competition. Imagine, for example, that a kid loved chess, but at his chess club, they decided that pawns would be able to move in any direction. Yeah, I guess it might even the playing field for the kids that suck at chess, but they also killed a lot of opportunities for the kids that actually love or would have loved chess.
     
  4. Mojo Racing

    Mojo Racing National Contender Pro Racer

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    The thing is... you will never get everybody to agree on set rules for something like the scouts... you have people who want fast, and you have people who think fast costs money, and is unfair.

    It is the graphite vs oil situation on a macro scale... It would be nice to see it, but the scouts don't want to get that involved to that level to create a set of rules.

    In council/district level, when the rules are announced for that race, it would be wise for the packs to adopt the rules set forth by the council/district.

    When I was on the Pinewood Committee for the council, I started making them meet in August, so we could have rules out to the packs before November. Many of the packs give out the car kits as a gift for the children before the Christmas Holiday, and I wanted the rules to be out before the families got into the builds.

    Then the packs I worked with, I made sure all of the families understood the rules for the year.
     
  5. Eric Scheid

    Eric Scheid Pack Champion

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    I ran my pack races for 2 years and adopted the MAPD rules. I find what they put together to be a terrific balance between detail, flexibility and fairness. Importantly they are very easy to inspect to and enforce. Further, I made no attempt to separate graphite and oil. I wanted to ban graphite because of the messes it makes but could tell that was prompting some resistance (perhaps from the oil crowd). Really I wanted to avoid race day controversy. I balanced this by also having a number of scout voted show car classes. This way the square wheeled dinosaur could go home with the same hardware as the well tuned racer.

    We had no arguments and I think lots of happy kids.

    I’ve been to a state level event put on by BSA where the rules are consistent year to year but the inspection is not. We were fortunate to be among the 25% or so one time traveling with the wheels of the day and able to exchange and still race.

    We now show up with heavy wheels on but put a sacrificial lamb through tech with MAPD wheels to see if it fails (which it has the last few years). At least we know that everyone else probably has heavy wheels too.


    mostly a rant but I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
  6. Prozach2

    Prozach2 Workshop Leader

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    I agree. I think the reality is, 99% of cub scout parents don't care about the pinewood derby. So, if the 1% that cares takes on the 99% that don't, I doubt the 1% will get anywhere. What I've seen is, if the 1% volunteers, gets involved, etc. they can probably make a difference, but only on a local level.

    My thought is, what if the 1% agreed to work together on a larger scale. Rather than starting at the bottom and trying to make a change at the pack or council level, what if the 1% took the NPWDRL Scout Class rules to the top and pushed for making that the unified set of rules. My suggestion would be, somebody could take the lead on this (preferably, someone with more clout in cub scouts and the PWD than me), and they put together an organized proposal. Then, rather than a dozen people from all over the country calling headquarters and all asking for something different, we get a few hundred people to contact them in support of that specific proposal. If this was done on a more national level, my guess is, the 99% that don't understand or care about the pinewood derby wouldn't get involved. With little to no opposition and a well thought out and organized proposal, I don't think it would be difficult to push this through.
     
  7. Jupiter 2.9

    Jupiter 2.9 Workshop Leader Pro Racer

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    :) always have 2 cars ready.
     
  8. Chris Stevenson

    Chris Stevenson Pinewood Ninja

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    100% agree. I wish PWD was more organized from the national level on down in scouts. In my area (Houston) we don't even have district or council races. There is nothing beyond the pack race for us. I've gone back and forth over this. On the one hand, I think the goal for BSA is to have the kids do this project, learn some things, spend time with their dads, have a good experience. All noble and worthwhile goals. I think taking the competitive aspect to another level, many within BSA must think that is getting beyond the main purposes of the BSA and I even tend to agree with that. For 99% of scouts, they would just race at the pack level and get everything BSA intends out of it. For the 1% that takes it more seriously and wants to get more out of it, I just wish there was something there for them.
     
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  9. IAE Racing

    IAE Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    Might be time for Mid America
     
  10. IAE Racing

    IAE Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    We hashed this over many times years ago. It seems like the same thought processes now and then.
     
  11. CVRacing

    CVRacing Pinewood Ninja

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    I have raced Awana Grand Prix for years and have experience the same issues described in this thread. Every church that has an Awana Grand Prix has their own set of rules. The same is true at the regional level, different region different rules. In Michigan we do have a set of State Race Rules however, it has not been adopted at the regional and local levels throughout the state.
     
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  12. DerbyDad4Hire

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

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    NC has some of the WORST rule sets. It was ridiculous.
     
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  13. Matt Barga

    Matt Barga Lurking

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    Prozach--I consider myself part of the reason this crazy rule got modified here in NC. As you might recall, they drilled my son's car in the 2019 race, only to hit solid tungsten behind the rear axle. They thought something was up since they spotted the bondo glazing putty under the paint, but after I removed paint in the weight cavity to prove the car was wood, they let the car race. There is no good reason an official should take a drill to a car, without letting the scout/parent know in advance. That got me fired up. Thankfully he didn't ruin the alignment in the process. The 95% rule makes no sense--is that by volume? By weight? There is absolutely no way to enforce. They would be far better off getting uber focused on the wheel & axle rules and specifically how they'd inspect them rather than chasing down the body rat hole. If someone was going to try to sneak something by, there is far more to gain in running oil / light wheels / aftermarket axles than a 3D printed body IMO. I agree NPWDRL or MAPWD rules should be adopted broadly. The bigger question is how tech inspection is run to enforce those rules as much as the rules themselves. As Mojo stated, it really doesnt matter the rules or the inspection, the guys who work hard to go fast will still be fast regardless. But it would certainly save a lot of re-work or building extra cars if the rules were all written and enforced the same.
     
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  14. Brian Stanley

    Brian Stanley Council Champion Pro Racer

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    I wish I was over where you were when this went down, Zach told me it was after the racing started. I would have gently reminded the officials that the rules state "After final approval and check-in, cars will not be re-inspected". Sounds like they did a reinspection to me.
     
  15. Prozach2

    Prozach2 Workshop Leader

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    LOL, yup, I remember that. The people that come up with these obscure rules pretend to be doing it for the kids. In reality, these obscure rules come from bitter parents trying to eliminate the cars that they can't beat fairly. By making the rule adequately vague, only the scouts with parents in the inner circle know how to interpret it. You used to be able to say "show me in the rules where it says that", but now they're saying they can use their discretion and their decision is final. They've basically got the authority to eliminate any car they want.
     
  16. Prozach2

    Prozach2 Workshop Leader

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    I just think we need the right person to spearhead this thing. Someone knowledgable in PWD. Someone involved in scouts. Someone with a marketing background that's capable of presenting these unified rules in a professional looking package! You don't know anyone like that do you Brian!!:D
     
  17. Jupiter 2.9

    Jupiter 2.9 Workshop Leader Pro Racer

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    N.C. - NASCAR - Rule sets.
    Sounds like a Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough moment.
    Always have 2 cars.
     
  18. Brian Stanley

    Brian Stanley Council Champion Pro Racer

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    I think someone who is versed in complex contracts and legal agreements would be perfect!
     
  19. Prozach2

    Prozach2 Workshop Leader

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    LOL, not me! I do wills and divorces. :D
     
  20. Brian Stanley

    Brian Stanley Council Champion Pro Racer

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    Or how about the father of the reigning Mecklenburg Council Champion?
     
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