I have an issue for our district race which is to be held on April 21st, 2007. The rules we use are largely based on rules issues by Cory Young of Pack 146. Last year, we allowed drilled holes if the slots were badly misaligned. Some folks complained last year, so I was forced to state the the slots MUST be used. The rules were put out in December - before derby season. Now one pack sent me an email that said their pack allows holes to be drilled for misaligned slots.
He is asking if the drilled holes are illegal. Based on the rules for this year, the answer would be "Yes, drilled holes are illegal". The exact rules state original kit wheel base must be maintained and slots must be used. But in the case of misaligned slots, we stated to go back to the default rules that come with the kit. The kit says using a straight edge, re-do the slots to get them square.
I think the intent requiring the slots is for inspection of the axles. Do I allow drilled holes or make the one pack fix any cars that have drilled holes? If I don't enforce it, I think I will have more than one pack up in arms.
Were the drilled holes done as to straighten out the existing slots or did they allow the wheelbase to be lengthened or altered from each end of the block? Did they allow for the slots to be filled and re-drilled? Another question that might appear would be would you allow the relocation of wood to move the existing slots to the rear.
The Probody tool is useful in that the tool can make it easier to install the axles within the existing slot locations. Maybe this other Pack utilized a tool like this and allowed their Pack to re-align the slots.
If you allow them to drill holes, then it is not fair to every other scout who encountered a bad slot, but had to find a way to use it instead of just drilling a hole.
The only concern is what to classify drilling a hole into the already existing slot as. As stated prior, some do this to make it easier to insert the axles and make alignment easier. You are using the slot, but drilling a hole. We consider this legal as the axles reside inside the slot. The hole just makes it easier to get the axle in.
Whatever you decide, get that information out as soon as you have it.
If you have the rules posted on a website somewhere, consider a question section where you put the answers to questions you have received.
- Pinewood Daddy
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If the slot is no good just buy a new kit! Then they would get a chance to get some better wheels, if they need them. We drill the slots to make it easier to insert the axles also. It makes alignment much easier and eliminates busting out the slots. We use a improved version of the Pro Body tool at my workshops.
The rules we use are based on the rules posted by Pack 146 and Cory Young. I found these several years back and adopted them for our pack. In Cory's rules, it does, or did allow holes to be drilled if the alignment was off. I also allowed this too. Personally, I found that drilling holes allowed for better alignment. Last year, several other cubmasters who volunteered for the day and were helping with inspections and the like, did not like the drilled hole options, rather they defaulted to using the slots. So this year, I was strong armed into changing the rules to state that the slots must be used. There is an option that allows the slots to be fixed using the method desribed with the BSA kits rules...and that says to use 2 hack saw blades with a straight edge to re-address the holes. I personally have no issues with using one of the jigs mentioned, provided the axle appears to be in the slots or is visible from the bottom of the car. The one cubmaster who was a stickler for the non use of drilled holes said if you can't see the axles nails, then there is no way to know if they are using solid axles like the pine car kits, but explained that we would know since attachment of the wheels would require a hub cap of some sort to keep the wheels on.
So this year...slots must be used.
In terms of this one pack, the guy emailed and said they allow drilled holes for misaligned slots. So they must also say slots are to be used except for misaligned slots. But he said the axles would not be visible, so the axle hole must be higher up in the car. Our rules state that the slots must be used and wheel base must be maintained and give dimensions. The rules are fairly lengthy and if any of you have seen the rules Cory put together, you would know that they cover almost every loop hole.
My thought is to tell this pack, drilled holes are allowed to straigten the slots, BUT...the axles must be visible, so the slots have to be filled then drilled and maybe the filling can be cut to view the axles. I think visible access to the axles is what is behind using the slots.
- Darin McGrew
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But we also don't restrict the axle location, as long as the car still fits the track.
I also favor having more flexibility in the wheelbase. This allows moire creativity in the design and lets Scouts explore what makes for faster designs. I tend to like more flexible rules.
Where Packs can level the playing field is in the workshops. Make sure all tools are available for all entrants and make it easy for all Scout/Parent teams to build their cars.
San Clemente, CA 92673
When our rules were created, some of the BSA kits had pretty bad slots -- I measured plenty that were more than 1/8" off from square. The nearest Scout store is in Bethesda, MD, which is a 30-45 minute drive from Chantilly on everybody's favorite road, the Capitol Beltway. Sure we always bought some extra kits, but not enough for everyone to play "musical car bodies" with. And we did have our workshops so that everyone had access to a drill press. In our little world, it was a good rule.PineNut wrote:In Cory's rules, it does, or did allow holes to be drilled if the alignment was off.
Of course, that was 10 years ago, and the people who wrote that rule (some of whom pre-dated me) are no longer involved. It may be that the reasoning behind the rule is long lost already -- which means it's very possible it could get changed without full understanding of why it was there in the first place.
The same things happens every year to our summer swim team. The swim team "committee" completely rolls over its membership every two years. The incoming committee -- who are often sure that they know what's best -- will change a rule or two without knowing the disaster it caused when a previous committee made the same mistake six years ago. There is sometimes not enough respect for the "wisdom of the past".
PineNut, you're wise to be questioning why the rules are there in the first place.
I guess another lesson here is that tightening up the rules (e.g. going from slots-optional to slots-only) is risky at higher levels, like District or Council.
- Go Bubba Go
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There is much wisdom in your comments Cory.Cory wrote:...The same things happens every year to our summer swim team. The swim team "committee" completely rolls over its membership every two years. The incoming committee -- who are often sure that they know what's best -- will change a rule or two without knowing the disaster it caused when a previous committee made the same mistake six years ago. There is sometimes not enough respect for the "wisdom of the past".
Rule changes are often made to "solve" an existing problem without due diligence being given to considering what new (and potentially more severe) problem(s) might arise as a result of the proposed "improvement".
One of my favorite authors (Goldratt) has done significant work on what he calls his "Thinking Processes", where one attempts through logical consideration to derive the necessary (things do happen for a reason) results of proposed changes. In some cases, however, we don't need to think deeply but only to ask around (this board is great for this) to realize that others have tried our latest brilliant (we think) suggested "improvement" only to obtain results we hadn't expected (but should have if we thought more deeply) that are much worse than our current "problem".
It reminds me of the mechanic who tightens up that "annoying steam leak/drip" on an old piece of equipment without considering that the system is no longer capable of sustaining full pressure, and when the leak is sealed pressure will build and a catastrophic component failure results.
There are many analogies in Science, Business, Government, etc. etc.
Sometimes in our quest for "perfection" we forget to consider the axioms "Better the Devil you know", "The Road to He## is paved with good intentions", "The Grass is always Greener", ...
Many years ago Churchill was being chided about the "ills" of his beloved Western-style democracy and the need for immediate change to another model (sound familiar?). His response was (not exact quote) "You are correct, Democracy is the worst form of government, except for every other method that has ever been tried".
Sometimes the best course of action is to remain where one is.