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Soapbox Derby Racing Rules

  1. Avoid contact with other cars while moving/participating. Intentional bumping/rubbing is prohibited, a malicious contact will warrant disqualification.
  2. Teams are limited to five (5) members.
  3. Participants of adult division teams must be at least 18 years of age.
  4. There is a three (3) person maximum per derby car. The derby car “pusher” cannot race if pushing the car for the heat. Jumping into the car once it is set in motion is not allowed.
  5. Youth cars are limited to two youth occupants. There are two age divisions 8-12 and 13-17.
  6. One member from your team must remain in the pit stall until their car is inspected. The Pit Boss will come by each participating pit stall ONCE to notify participants of the next race. Teams will not be allowed to race if not in a race-ready position at the time of the heat.
  7. The winner will be determined by the fastest time of the day. 
  8. Each team will be allowed a 10-yard push at the start line by one designated pusher. If the designated pusher steps over the start line, the team will be disqualified from recording time for that heat.
  9. Gravity cars that stop rolling after the push will not receive a score.
  10. Disruptive activity will NOT be allowed in the 10-yard push zone. (i.e. music, horns, water cannons, contact with other cars)
  11. Water (no ice) and balloons are the only acceptable tools allowed after the 10-yard push zone. The 10-yard push zone pavement must remain dry to allow a fair start for everyone.
  12. NO - pyrotechnics, fire, fireworks, candy, ice, soapy water, oil, or anything that may cause a dangerous track, may be thrown from the car at any time.
  13. NO - James Bond stuff - including smoke, chalk, mirror, or vision-dimming hijinks. James Bond, Super-villains, and Super-spies will be disqualified.
  14. NO – Alcohol – drinking and driving do not mix.
  15. NO – Texting or operating a cell phone while driving.
  16. All cars have the option to participate in three (3) heats.
  17. Each team must clean up after themselves. This is a “green” event, recycle and re-use if possible.
  18. Helmets are a requirement and should be securely attached to each participant’s head. A full-face helmet is recommended but not required. Knee and elbow pads are also highly recommended.
  19. Each team member must sign a waiver, including pushers and volunteers. Participate at your own risk.

Soapbox Derby Car Rules

  1. While innovation is encouraged, the “face-first driving position" is not allowed. The front of the driver's helmet must be at least 24 inches behind the leading edge of the chassis

    1. Your face may not be the front bumper of your car.

    2. The drivers' and passengers' head/helmet position must be behind the steering controls. Steering controls must be in front of your head.

    3. Participants must be able to see at least 180 degrees around them.

    4. Participants must keep their arms and legs within the vehicle at all times.

    5. A violation of the rules will result in disqualification.

  2. Sheet metal edges must be folded over (hemmed) so sharp edges are not exposed.

  3. Cars must have at least two (2) wheels in contact with the track at all times.

  4. Derby cars must be gravity-powered. No kinetics, wind, propulsion, or other means of acceleration will be accepted.

  5. Cars must have functional brakes. (Fred Flintstone brakes are not acceptable) Remember… the course is downhill, not on a flat surface, we recommend testing your breaks safely in different situations.

  6. Cars may not exceed five (5) feet or 60 inches in width.

  7. Cars may not exceed 12 feet or 144 inches in length.

  8. Cars may not exceed eight (8) feet or 96 inches in height.

  9. SPEED CARs may not exceed 300 pounds in weight.

  10. ART CARs may not exceed 500 pounds in weight.

  11. The 8-12 kids’ division cars:

    1. It may not exceed 100 pounds in weight.

    2. It may not exceed eight (8) feet or 96 inches in length.

  12. The 13-17 kids’ division cars:

    1. It may not exceed 200 pounds in weight.

    2. It may not exceed twelve (12) feet or 144 inches in length.

  13. Push Pole length may not exceed 10 feet and 10 ½” (130.5 inches) overall length.

  14. Cars must have a large eyebolt attached securely to the front and rear of the car for transporting on race day. No more than three (3) cars may be tethered together for the tow back to the start line.

  15. Team/car numbers must be placed on the front and the right side of your car, and large enough to be seen by the official timers.

  16. Luges or skateboards do not qualify as a derby car. NO - skateboard wheels or caster wheels will be accepted. Any use of caster or skateboard/luge board wheels will result in disqualification.

  17. Cars will be inspected by our Pit Boss crew and held to a “workmanlike” standard. Participants must demonstrate that the brakes will stop the car. Cars that are determined to be unsafe or in violation o

  18. Kinetic Derby Day rules will be disqualified from racing without refund.

  19. The City of West Columbia reserves the right to disqualify participants, without refund, for any unsafe behavior.

***These restrictions are designed for your safety. If you have any exemption requests you can email We would be happy to review your request but reserve the right to accept or decline any exemptions based on safety. 

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