2017 ENC Soap Box Derby

May 6, 2017 - All Day

Come out for a day of racing.  Take home the Trailman’s Cup.20160106_184425


For Navigators and Adventurers.


Check In begins at 10 am.  Race begins at 11 am.


Lunch and refreshments will be available at the concession stand.


A Troop or Patrol will work together to build one car, NOT a car for every trailman.

Patrols must register in advance.  Registration is $10/patrol car.

Click Here to Register


Design RulesRace Rules

The Trail Life ENC Soap Box Derby is open to all Navigators and Adventurers. Cars should be built by the Trailmen with some adult guidance. Any technical assistance should be fully explained to the Trailman so that he can use that knowledge on future projects.

A Troop or Patrol will work together to build one car, NOT a car for every trailman.  Patrol size should be 4 boys, but 3 or 5 is ok.

These rules are designed to give freedom of design to the trailman. The following rules are to ensure that the cars can safely travel on the race track. Trailmen are encouraged to research what modifications within these rules will make their car faster.


  • Maximum Width – 36″
  • Minimum Width – 24″
  • Maximum Length – 72″
  • Minimum Length – 48″
  • Maximum Weight – 250 lbs (Car and driver combined)
  • Minimum width between wheels (side to side) – 12″
  • Minimum Wheelbase (front to back) – 36″
  • Minimum bottom clearance underneath the body – 2.5″
  • Maximum Height of driver’s seat (ground to drivers seat) – 12”

View From My Bedroom Window Essay DESIGN RULES

1. Soapbox cars are powered by gravity only – NO ENGINES OR MOTORS

2. The driver must sit in the car, facing forward and control the car using only hands and feet.

3. VERY IMPORTANT. The car must fit the driver. Drivers must be able to get in and out of the car easily and operate steering and braking in the normal seated position without stretching or straining.  Only one person allowed in the car at one time.

4. The center of gravity, with the driver in place, should be as low as possible without violating the minimum road clearance (2.5”) specification (including brake)

5. Cars must have four wheels generally located in the corners of the car.  They don’t all have to touch the ground simultaneously but the car must be stable with or without a driver.

6. Measures must be taken to prevent wheels from departing the cart when in use. Use cotter pins or other positive means to keep the wheels in place.

7. Wheels may any size diameter or thickness and be made of any materials, and may also be pre-manufactured (suggested).

8. Fasteners used in the steering and brake systems must be prevented from loosening when in use by the use of lock nuts, cotter pins, wire tying or other means

9. The car must include a solid floor and sides in the cockpit as well as a covered nose.  In general the drivers lower torso, legs and feet should be within the body shell. The drivers should not be able to contact the road surface or the wheels when seated in the normal operating position in the car.

10. Minimize front and rear overhang to prevent getting hung up on the starting ramps.

11. All basic structure parts must be securely fastened to each other using bolts, screws or other suitable hardware. Any materials may be used in construction of the frame and body of the car but materials should be strong enough as to stay together and safe during transport and the race.

12. All cars must have a steering mechanism.  The track will include some small turns but only minor steering is needed.  Minimize the possibility for oversteering.

13. The cars must have a breaking system capable of slowing the car to a smooth, short (<100′) and safe straight line stop without damaging the road surface. If using drag clutches, the part touching the road must be made of wood or rubber.

14. Cable links used in steering and brake systems must be secured and not slip under stress.

15. Adjusting hardware such as turnbuckles must be lock-wired in the final adjusting position.

16. The car must include a seat belt or safety harness sufficient to prevent the driver from being ejected or impacting the front of the car with his head.

17. There shall be no exposed sharp edges or points. Exposed edges that may be contacted by the driver shall be smooth. Protective cushioning material may also be fitted.

18. No liquids or loose parts or materials may be in or on the car.


* Additional Important Guidelines *
You may solicit sponsors to help offset the cost of materials for your car.  With permission you may place sponsors name and/or logo on your car.  Sponsors are NOT permitted to use the Trail Life USA insignia or name as advertisement or endorsement of their business.  Sponsors must be appropriate for Trail Life USA values.

Build a stiff non-flexing basic structure.

Try to keep cars light, but tough and strong.

It is recommended to incorporate hand-holds for ease of handling.

It is vitally important that the car can be driven repeatedly without steering and brakes adjustment.

Test the steering and brake mechanisms for strength, repeatable and smooth operation.

Test the whole cart on a sloping surface. Make certain, through testing, that the intended drivers can safely operate the car. PLEASE, DO NOT SHOW UP AT THE DERBY WITH AN UNTESTED SOAPBOX CAR OR DRIVER.


Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it may compete. If, at registration, a car does not pass inspection, the patrol will be informed of the reason for failure, and will be given time within the official weigh-in time period to make the adjustment. After final approval, cars will not be re-inspected unless the car is damaged in handling or in a race.


These rules will be strictly enforced on the race day to ensure fair competition and safety of all participants and their cars. Any violation of these rules will result in disqualification.

  1. One car per patrol of 3-5 boys (4 recommended).
  2. All racers Hunter S Thompson Essays must wear a helmet (at least a bicycle helmet or better).
  3. All racers must have a signed waiver before racing.
  4. No test runs on the day of the race.
  5. Once a car has checked in and passed inspection, it may only be touched by the trailman and only when called for his turn to race.
  6. Cars not actively racing will remain untouched in the pit lanes.
  7. After inspection, no modification may be made to the car (including adding lubricant) except by rule of the race official in the event of a crash or malfunction. It must then pass inspection before returning to the race.
  8. Do not touch any car that is not your patrol’s, for any reason.
  9. The Race Official’s word is final and not up for debate.
  10. All will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with Trail Life USA and Christian values at all times.
  11. If Trailman has a question about rules not mentioned, inquire to the area committee. Just because it is not specifically addressed, does not make it allowable.
  12. Fun must be had.       Cheering required. Spirit rewarded.

The exact structure of the tournament bracket and number of heats will be determined the day of the race depending on the number of cars entered. Once checked in, all patrols will be randomly seeded and placed into the bracket.  Each heat will feature 2 cars from 2 patrols racing against each other.  The heat may consist of multiple races.  Patrol members must rotate driving so that everyone has an opportunity.  Winning patrols will move on to the next round of the bracket until one patrol remains as the Grand Champion.



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