How to keep eBay cars out of your race

General race coordinator discussions.
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whodathunkit
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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by whodathunkit » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:41 pm

rpcarpe wrote: Teaching the honor system and scouts wanting to design their own car are two of the keys to our recent successes.
The look on their faces when they design it and it comes off the saw... it's magic.
You bet it is magic. when it comes of the saw.. knowing in some way
you've helped a child with his design from the kit block.
but it is also magic to a child that has limited parent help,
because lack of tool's to cut or shape the car
that there are the pre-cut car kits.

so why would you want to turn these kid's or pre-cut BSA kits away in you're
pack race?


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by rpcarpe » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:48 am

Whoda,
We only have about a dozen racers in the Pack. ALL of them get repeated invitations to use tools, get advice etc... So I don't anticipate any of these families showing up with a pre-cut body let alone an e-bay car.

For larger Packs with fewer resources purchasing pre-cuts might be acceptable. However, IMHO most 8-10 yr olds would rather design and shape their own car as much as possible.


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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by mebetree » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:05 pm

This year the father of the kid who placed fourth place after hearing rumors did a little searching the next day and found a web-site selling a car that looked identical to the winners car. It's a distinctive shape which required a few router cuts, has the identical weight placement (using melted metal, lead?, in square pockets), is sold in the same color, ran the times guaranteed by the website (the guys test track is the same kind of track and the same length we use), the wheels look to have been lathed as claimed on the web-site and just visually matches in every way we have thought to check.

http://www.shopvelox.com/veloxshop/shop ... oductid=86

That being said, the winning father could have simply seen the car on-line and copied the design. I know I have lifted ideas from vehicles I've seen here and elsewhere. Who knows? However, this is third straight year that accusations have been made against the winning car so we will be changing the rules before next year to avoid parental complaints as much as possible.

What we are considering doing is flipping the BSA blocks and predrilling axle holes using a non-standard extended wheelbase (a different length every year) and stamping the car underneath between the front axle holes. If someone ends up mailing the block out to the builder who then makes a one-off vehicle for the scout using our block there isn't really anything I can do to stop that. If a block is damaged and the scout needs to start over we would provide another predrilled and stamped block in it's place.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by rpcarpe » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:56 am

mebetree wrote:This year the father of the kid who placed fourth place after hearing rumors did a little searching the next day and found a web-site selling a car that looked identical to the winners car....
I understand the disappointment and frustration. To appropriately make any suggestions, could we see a copy of your rules for this year?


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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by mebetree » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:05 am

- A new car must be built by the scout (with help from an adult) each year for the event.
- The car must be built using the parts in the official BSA kit provided by the pack.
- The only items allowed to be used that are not in the official BSA kit are weights, alternative color BSA wheels, axle guards and decorative items.
- The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches.
- The overall width of the car shall not exceed 2 3/4 inches.
- The car must have 1 3/4" clearance between left and right wheels.
- The car must have 3/8" clearance underneath the body.
- New axle holes or slots may be drilled or cut to straighten or re-position the wheels but all four wheels must still be used (2 per side, no wheel guides or trikes).
- The wheels may not be cut, drilled, beveled or rounded. You may (only) remove the seams and imperfections from the wheel.
- The car weight shall not exceed 5.0 ounces (you want to be as close to 5 ounces as possible).
- The official race scale that is used at car check-in shall be considered final.
- No moving parts, sharp items or liquids may be used.
- Only dry graphite lubricant can be used.
- The car numbers must be on top of the vehicle and easily seen.
- The vehicle must be constructed within the “spirit of the rules”.

Spirit of the rules

The boys are encouraged to use their imagination when shaping and decorating their car. They are also encouraged to experiment and research how they can make their cars as fast as possible. However, any performance gains must be made through optimizing the parts that came with the official BSA kit, not by purchasing performance parts that can be found at Hobby Stores and on the Internet. The expected level of tweaking involves creating an aerodynamic body, optimizing weight distribution, cleaning up the imperfections in the wheels along with smoothing, polishing and lubricating the axles. If you are using something that didn’t come with the kit to improve performance besides weights you will fail to pass inspection.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by rpcarpe » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:53 am

Okay, looks like one (or three) got past the inspectors.

That's a decent set of rules, and you did specify that they must build it this year. Our rules specify '... BSA Grand Prix Pinewood Derby wheels and axles that have been altered and re-sold by third parties are prohibited.'
So that they clearly understand they don't get to 'buy' their car and hence the trophy.

Here are our two key rules that discourages an eBay car:
'In addition to the individual competition, each den competes as a team. The den with the best overall result wins the Team Trophy.
and
'The winning racer, not the parent, in each category must give a short speech on their best speed secrets upon presentation of their award. The committee decides the number of winners who must talk. Be prepared.'

So the individual trophies are tiny little things, the Team Trophy is the big traveling trophy that gets passed from Den to Den. If someone has a 'speed secret' they need to share it so that they help the Den get the Biggest trophy of the night. Most will NOT fess up and help the entire Den buy Velox cars.

Having the Cub come up and describe what he did (or making sure the parents know the Cub will have to explain) helps keep the both parties involved in an actual build. Not a purchase.

We also offer many hours of workshop time for the build teams.

This Velox site, already implies that they will help you cheat. 'I have rated this car as slightly advance build. It will require a real good story on how you made it.' That seems a bit on the scummy side.

For these alleged 'buyers'??? I can think of two options.

1 - Let the Cubmaster and PWD chair have a nice frank discussion with the parent. Have him bring the car, compare it to the website photo and description. If you still believe them guilty, ask for the trophy back. Do not punish the Cub for what the parents probably did, they might have even done without the Cub knowing.

2- Implement the two rules above. Ask the alleged buyer to host workshops. Let them share speed secrets with the rest of the Pack.

What are your thoughts on the whole situation?


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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by mebetree » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:32 am

The problem is the parent in question is our cubmaster. The consensus among the other leaders I have mentioned this to is to let it go because short of a receipt from Velox, there is no hard proof. The cubmaster is running B&G in two weeks and after that his son bridges to Boy Scouts so everyone else just wants them to quietly leave and we'll come up with better methods next year to prevent this from happening again.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by rpcarpe » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:57 am

Hold Everything!
The suspected 'cheater' is the Cubmaster?
That's sad. Good riddance if that's truly the case.
I'd stil ask him to host workshops because of his long winning record.

If you'd like the entire 10 rules we use, to help prevent this, send me a PM or e-mail.


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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by mebetree » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:30 am

Let me clarify, there have been accusations of cheating three years straight but the first two years involved a different scout. This is the first year the cubmasters son had a fast car and was accused of cheating. My own kids were accused of buying their cars this year too because they were so fast. I understand that no matter how obvious the car is or is not a home-built, someone will be upset that they lost and be quick to accuse the winners of cheating. If the other father hadn't found the matching Velox car on-line, the accusations this year would have just been considered sour grapes by the losers and ignored by me and everyone else.

This year I ran the Derby itself but wasn't the final say on rules, inspection, etc. Next year I have full control over the entire process so I want to impliment rules that will both prevent e-bay cars being entered as well as cutting down on the accusations of cheating against myself and others who do put in a lot of time and effort to make fast cars.

I'm hoping pre-drilling axle holes at non-standard lengths and stamping the blocks does the trick. I'm also hoping that by pre-drilling the axle holes that everyones car next year makes it to the finish line. There are a few scouts/parents that simply can't get the wheels and axles straight every year and they refuse to accept help. But then their kid is embarrassed on race night because the car stops 5 feet from the finish. We started leaving out a section of track the last two years to make it more likely that everyone finishes.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by drathbun » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:41 am

mebetree wrote:There are a few scouts/parents that simply can't get the wheels and axles straight every year and they refuse to accept help. But then their kid is embarrassed on race night because the car stops 5 feet from the finish. We started leaving out a section of track the last two years to make it more likely that everyone finishes.
We try to fix that during the inspection process. We check ground clearance and spin the wheels. If it's obvious there are issues (paint on the wheels, axles inserted too tight) then we have a great pit crew that does repairs on the spot. We add graphite if the car is "naked" (no lubrication at all) as well. There are some cars that end up being slower than others, but that's life. But everybody has a car that crosses the finish line.

I'm the cubmaster for our pack this year (two years running now). I have run derby workshops for the last four years. My boys make their own cars, and they get to do as much work as they want to do. When they lose interest, work on their cars stops. I use the time to work on my own cars instead. :) My cars have been faster than their cars every year, which is my subtle way of trying to show the pack that the boys did the work on their cars, not me. But then again, our designs are always unique enough that there's no way anyone would claim we bought the cars.

It's a real shame that accusations have been made; to me it says that the spirit of the derby is lost on the parents, both the ones doing the accusing as well as those who may have been cheating.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by rpcarpe » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:47 am

Aside from one infamous District incident, there have been zero allegations in races where I've worked. Or I'm oblivious.

I strongly recommend the 'Share the Speed' type rules. Writing more rules and doing more work will not help the Cubs.
Hold the workshops as part of Den meeting if you have to. The non-standard wheel base and blocking stamping only says there is no trust in the Pack.

Put the flat section back in, and help the kids Do Their Best.

Good luck, it sounds like you have an uphill race.


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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by mebetree » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:56 am

drathbun wrote:
mebetree wrote:There are a few scouts/parents that simply can't get the wheels and axles straight every year and they refuse to accept help. But then their kid is embarrassed on race night because the car stops 5 feet from the finish. We started leaving out a section of track the last two years to make it more likely that everyone finishes.
We try to fix that during the inspection process. We check ground clearance and spin the wheels. If it's obvious there are issues (paint on the wheels, axles inserted too tight) then we have a great pit crew that does repairs on the spot. We add graphite if the car is "naked" (no lubrication at all) as well. There are some cars that end up being slower than others, but that's life. But everybody has a car that crosses the finish line.

I'm the cubmaster for our pack this year (two years running now). I have run derby workshops for the last four years. My boys make their own cars, and they get to do as much work as they want to do. When they lose interest, work on their cars stops. I use the time to work on my own cars instead. :) My cars have been faster than their cars every year, which is my subtle way of trying to show the pack that the boys did the work on their cars, not me. But then again, our designs are always unique enough that there's no way anyone would claim we bought the cars.

It's a real shame that accusations have been made; to me it says that the spirit of the derby is lost on the parents, both the ones doing the accusing as well as those who may have been cheating.
I bring a pound of weights to inspection every year and usually walk home with nothing. We make sure that all the cars are at least 4.5oz if they show up light. But there is only so much you can do to fix the wheels and axles as you are trying to check-in 50+ cars in an hour. We do our best. Two years ago about 7 cars couldn't make the distance. This year only two cars couldn't make the distance.

My daughter insists on building a car every year for fun. This year we polished the axles and wheels the same way we did my sons but didn't add any weight to her car so it was only 3oz. We timed the car and it would have finished about 30th out of 50 cars. We are using that to demostrate how important it is to get the wheels and axles right.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by TXDerbyDad » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:54 pm

mebetree wrote:This year the father of the kid who placed fourth place after hearing rumors did a little searching the next day and found a web-site selling a car that looked identical to the winners car. It's a distinctive shape which required a few router cuts, has the identical weight placement (using melted metal, lead?, in square pockets), is sold in the same color, ran the times guaranteed by the website (the guys test track is the same kind of track and the same length we use), the wheels look to have been lathed as claimed on the web-site and just visually matches in every way we have thought to check.

http://www.shopvelox.com/veloxshop/shop ... oductid=86

That being said, the winning father could have simply seen the car on-line and copied the design. I know I have lifted ideas from vehicles I've seen here and elsewhere. Who knows? However, this is third straight year that accusations have been made against the winning car so we will be changing the rules before next year to avoid parental complaints as much as possible.

What we are considering doing is flipping the BSA blocks and predrilling axle holes using a non-standard extended wheelbase (a different length every year) and stamping the car underneath between the front axle holes. If someone ends up mailing the block out to the builder who then makes a one-off vehicle for the scout using our block there isn't really anything I can do to stop that. If a block is damaged and the scout needs to start over we would provide another predrilled and stamped block in it's place.
ShopVelox aka [no advertising for this vendor] use already published plans for their car bodies, so it's not uncommon for them to resemble other cars. Their basic car model is the "Physics Experiment" car from the Physics of Pinewood Derby guy, but they've also used patterns from the Fox Publishing Pinewood Derby books by Troy Thorn and the other author who is escaping me right now. The telling thing is that the Shopvelox guys put a serial number on the car that follows. Here are pictures of one of their recent auctions using the Physics Experiment body style.

Image

Image



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by xanthrum » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:27 pm

I do not understand why people struggle with rules so much why not create some rules that allow builders to engineer cars that would beat any ebay car that is sold... rules that are enforceable, rules that truly make it fair, like the rules we have at Mid America Pinewood Derby - http://www.midamericaderby.com/rules


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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by DerbyAddicted » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:39 pm

xanthrum wrote:I do not understand why people struggle with rules so much why not create some rules that allow builders to engineer cars that would beat any ebay car that is sold... rules that are enforceable, rules that truly make it fair, like the rules we have at Mid America Pinewood Derby - http://www.midamericaderby.com/rules
I wish this was FB, so I could "like" your statement. But in this instance, it's not a rules issue. Because, whatever the rules are, a parent can buy a "professional" car that will maximize/exploit whatever rule set is in place.



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