moral/ethics dilemma

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davet
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moral/ethics dilemma

Post by davet »

My church asked me to put on a pinewood derby event at our church. My son had good success in scouts so I was happy to do it. I've never put on an event before but we've had 2 of our 3 workshops now and the race is in 2 weeks. I pre-cut many wedges for the kids to choose if they didn't want to cut a car on the saw. The cars were all designed to have rear weight bias, 3-wheel design and steer between 2"-4" over 48". We have a class where the cars can only be built at church using the supplies offered. The other class is an Open class where NSC rules are used....NO POWDERED LUBES, though, in either class.

Here is my dilemma: Am I allowed to build a fast car? I've built a 3" tall, cab-over semi truck with tandem axles. It started as purely an exhibition build for the kids to look at but as you know, the bug took over, and it ended up with a ladder frame and hollowed-out balsa cab and sleeper. I'm trying decide now if I should put all my weight at the rear axle or purposefully make it slow to make sure a kid can win the OPEN Class. There will be a couple adults running in the OPEN class but none with a winning derby history. It's just so hard to make my own car slow.

I know the answer. I guess I'm just needing someone to say, "It's alright. Let it go. Think of the kids."
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Darin McGrew
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by Darin McGrew »

Have you considered separate open classes for youth and for adults?
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davet
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

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No. We had no idea how many racers we would get and I didn't want to end up with more trophies than racers. We have around 28 Builder Class cars built at church, all ages. We have around 8 Open Class carsthat can be built at either church or at home using NSC rules, all ages.
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Darin McGrew
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by Darin McGrew »

For our All Comers class, we've had either separate design awards for adults and for youth, or design awards only for youth and none for adults. But we have only one set of speed awards, and any adults and youth in the All Comers class compete against each other.
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davet
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by davet »

I like that Darin. We have 3 speed trophies for each class. I've decided not to be the guy that operates the workshops and organizes the race and then have the fastest car.
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by Speedster »

I think everyone would like to see your truck race.
Simply disqualify yourself at the very beginning. You might choose to announce you just want to see how your truck will do. If it happens to be very fast you might get some very interested people asking how the truck was built. I think folks will enjoy seeing a truck go down the track.
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davet
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

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Speedster wrote: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:37 am I think everyone would like to see your truck race.
Simply disqualify yourself at the very beginning. You might choose to announce you just want to see how your truck will do. If it happens to be very fast you might get some very interested people asking how the truck was built. I think folks will enjoy seeing a truck go down the track.
You might be onto somethere Speedster. I was only building it initially to help make sure we had enough cars to make it fun and I got carried away. I could just say I'm not in not in the running for a trophy. Do you think people will give me dirty looks like I'm showing off? I remember in scouts there was the same fast kid every year that everyone gunned for. It was really motivating for several of the dads and probably all of the kids. I do see a positive to having a really fast car. If it looks slow but is fast, others will do some investigating and hopefully get more interested in the process and thus, grow our event.

I tried to post a pic but Photobucket is telling me to pay $399.99/yr to be able to post like I used to for free.
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davet
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by davet »

It's not Whoda quality but the kids will think it's cool.
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by bracketracer »

That looks awesome!

For the open class at our pack race I do as Speedster has suggested. Build it as fast as you want and declare yourself ineligible for an award. Easy to do with GPRM and you still get to race!
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Vitamin K
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by Vitamin K »

davet wrote: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:31 am It's not Whoda quality but the kids will think it's cool.
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Whoo! Is that Optimus Prime?

Concur with Speedster and BR. Run it, but take yourself out of the winners' circle.
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davet
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by davet »

It does look like OP now that you mention it. I may have identified two really fast cars that will be there. That takes a little heat off me. I still hate to run it and deny a new racer a chance to be #1 during their heat. I'm just assuming it will be faster than anything else because of the people signed up, 95% didn't know what a pinewood derby car even was.
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whodathunkit
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moral/ethics dilemma

Post by whodathunkit »

Take your self out of the running and run it just for fun and the sake of the work you put into it to see what it will do!
Trust me when I say it might surprise you and a lot of others as well.


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What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by FatSebastian »

davet wrote: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:48 amI could just say I'm not in the running for a trophy. Do you think people will give me dirty looks like I'm showing off?
Sorry, I am only six years late to this conversation. But being presented with similar situations now as a race organizer...

At the end of our official racing, the first-place winners of each category / division can compete in a special heat against the Trackmaster's entry, if they so choose. These are the only heats in which the organizer(s) compete, and are considered an exhibition. With this arrangement, the organizer(s) still get to build and race an entry - against the very best competition, no less - without some of the awkwardness (e.g., "dirty looks") of a perceived moral / ethical dilemma.

(And, he has a slight advantage in that his entry will not have the wear & tear of his competitors, but again, it is only an exhibition...)
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by whodathunkit »

FS, you once told me you like the way I think.. the shoe is one the other foot now .. On what you have typed above. ;)
What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?
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Re: moral/ethics dilemma

Post by FatSebastian »

whodathunkit wrote: Sun Jan 07, 2024 8:57 am...On what you have typed above.
The Trackmaster's Challenge is a variant of "Challenge the Cubmaster" as suggested on DT many years ago (before the OP davet joined DT).
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