Rules versus Inspection

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knotthed
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Rules versus Inspection

Post by knotthed » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:08 pm

Background: Our pack follows our Council rules.

Council published rules in newspaper in December. For all practical purposes those were identical to last years.


Council published same rules in internet version of newspaper in December. For all practical purposes those were identical to last years.


If you go to Council Website under the pinewood derby and look at the rules - they have one major difference "No Oil will be allowed".


How does Council fix the communication error for individual packs who have races in January?

How does one inspect that no oil was used? Does anyone have a good method?
Having everyone apply graphite at the race is not an acceptable method - they do not allow graphiting at the race, due to cleanup concerns.

An inquiry to Council on the situation, did not provide a solution on how to inspect for it.

In my honest opinion it is useless to have a rule that you cannot inspect.
:wall:

What are your thoughts?
Last edited by knotthed on Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by Scrollsawer » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:40 pm

We have a 'graphite-only' rule. I'm okay with it. They should relax the requirement for a 'relaxed rules' division, to facilitate the rules posting inconsistency. That way, there's a race division available for those affected by the gaffe.

My two cents.

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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by Darin McGrew » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:27 pm

Our local rules don't restrict lubricants, and we provide Krytox 100 at our workshops. If we change anything about that rule, then it will be to explicitly state that excess lubricant is not allowed, in much the same way that we disallow loose decorations or wet paint.

When our regional derby's rules have been more restrictive than our local rules, we have not tightened our rules to match the regional derby's rules. However, we have called out the differences between the two sets of rules, so those interested in the regional derby can build a car that complies with both sets of rules.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by birddog » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:42 pm

Our rules don't allow oil either. Not sure why, but I may look at trying to get that changed for next year as I think the oil, properly done, can be much less "messy" than graphite.

That said, I instruct our inspectors on how to inspect (our inspectors are just parents who know very little about pinewood derby and are doing their best to help out). I try to make the inspection process easy by using tools: inspection boxes that check for length, height and width restrictions, wheel gauges that check wheel dimensions and scales for weight and rulers for maximum wheel bases. For oil, I'd just tell them that if they see a car dripping with oil that it should be declined. The owner can then clean it up or not. There is no way to know that a "properly oiled" car is using oil. If folks want to cheat like that, I see no way to stop them. As with many things in life, you may not get caught, but you have to live with yourself if you are going to purposely cheat.

We don't allow anything other than standard BSA axles either, but there is no way I'm going to tear down a car to check for it. Just not worth the time or effort or potential trouble it could cause.

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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by FatSebastian » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:50 pm

knotthed wrote:they have one major difference "No Oil will be allowed". How does Council fix the communication error for individual packs who have races in January?
The prior rules limit lubrication to being "dry non-permanent spray-on, brushed-on, or dusted lubrication compound." Thus, the additional stipulation of "no oil" seems more like a clarifying detail rather than a "major difference" causing a communication error.
knotthed wrote:How does one inspect that no oil was used? Does anyone have a good method? [...] An inquiry to Council on the situation, did not provide a solution on how to inspect for it.
This topic asked a similar question without clear resolution. Using a wicking tissue is the closest operational approach I've heard of.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by Speedster » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:15 pm

What does he mean, "Just like real cars all 4 wheels are on the ground". That guy never saw a Drag Race. A Pinewood Derby car is not the Family Sedan. I was able to get rid of that miserable rule this year explaining to the Boss how people were breaking their cars right before the race trying to get that 4th wheel down. I also explained to him in detail how a skilled builder used it to his advantage and how a child with little help suffered. He bought it.
I really don't have any comments on the rules but I'll tell you one thing, I'm going to quit complaining about our rules being Strict. They're gravy compared to your rules.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by knotthed » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:56 pm

Speedster.

"Just like any real race car, all four wheels should meet the track surface."

Not "Shall" but "Should" - this is inspected by passing a gift card under any wheel that may not be moving. If it fails to move from the gift card (about .029"), then it is unacceptable.

This is another area where the rule is perhaps mis-leading compared to the inspection process.

I suggested last year that a standard inspection process be developed to help the individual packs within the council. There are over 1000 kids at the council race. The inspection lines were terrible last year - we were an hour behind schedule. Not sure what happened there - but prior years there were pretty close on checkin times.

I feel like a standardized inspection process will help equalize the playing field. It will not reward cheating(knowingly or unknowingly) and hopefully eliminate the resentment that people feel towards someone who you might think used unethical tactics or cheated.

Take for instance this rule:
" No modification of wheels will be allowed, except that burrs or excess plastic from the factory molding
process (if any) may be removed or sanded. Wheels must be original width thickness and height and the tread surface must remain flat so
that the whole tire surface can simultaneously meet the track surface. Tapering or coning of the outside surface of the wheel hub is allowed.
Wheels may not be shaved."

Wheels can be worked on, but to what extent?

I would much rather have a standard inspection process that utilizes the go-nogo gauge available from maxv than to have a parent try and decide what is ok or not ok. The gauge would give them a set limit to how much they could remove material from the outside of the wheel. Let's say for the purpose of the rule above - the inside of the wheel should remain untouched other than allowing the coning of the hub.

We know wheel weights have a big impact on time. Establish a standard inspection process that will keep all wheels as equal as possible and take away any ambiguity or interpretation.

I really like the comment of "no excessive lubrication" That is something that is reasonably inspectable.

I think it would be great to develop a ruleset coupled with the inspection plan for that ruleset - now you have something that people can work with.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by TXDerbyDad » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:04 pm

birddog wrote:Our rules don't allow oil either. Not sure why, but I may look at trying to get that changed for next year as I think the oil, properly done, can be much less "messy" than graphite.
We have found that the predominant thinking is: if a little oil is good, then a lot of oil is better. Unfortunately, a lot of oil makes a mess. That's why we don't allow oil.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by Speedster » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:51 pm

knotthed, not Sprint cars on a short track. They run a junk tire on the left front because it's rarely on the ground and it shouldn't be.
We did not have "four on the ground rule for 27 years". That's the truth. This will be my 29th year with the Commodore Perry District. I was exiled 3 years ago for my big mouth and sarcasm. I'm trying to stop that. We got a new District Executive this year because they fired the guy I got in trouble with so I got back on the District team. The 4 on the ground rule appeared 2 years ago and I said to myself, "What the?" Anyhow, I've got lots of legitimate reasons it should not be in anyone's rules. Here's why it appeared in our rules. The new leader of the race said, "My mother ran a Pack and she always had that rule". I'm serious. I'm not kidding around. His Mother was not in the Commodore Perry District but that's why he put the rule in our rules. This is a man in his 40's. I thought he was going to pull the "real cars do it". If he pulled that I was going to pull, "Then why do we have to have our wheels straight up and down? Real cars have camber and toe on their front wheels". He didn't say anything about real cars and we DELETED the 4 on the ground rule so I shut up.

When members of a District team and the District Executive hear tear jerking stories of little boys cars being broken and the struggle to get that 4th wheel down they really don't have much of a reason to keep that rule. It's a miserable rule and I think it can be removed if enough effort by enough people pursue it.

You came up with another reason to not have that rule. Speed up the inspection process.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by knotthed » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:50 pm

FatSebastian wrote:
knotthed wrote:they have one major difference "No Oil will be allowed". How does Council fix the communication error for individual packs who have races in January?
The prior rules limit lubrication to being "dry non-permanent spray-on, brushed-on, or dusted lubrication compound." Thus, the additional stipulation of "no oil" seems more like a clarifying detail rather than a "major difference" causing a communication error.


FS,

I struggled with English in high school a little(hated those dang book reports), so correct me if I am wrong. "Dry" only modifies "non-permanent spray on"

The rules describe three things:

Only a
1) Dry non-permanent spray on
2) Brushed-on
or
3) Dusted lubrication compound
is allowed.

If the sentence were worded something like this......then I could see your clarification point.

Only a dry non-permanent lubrication compound is allowed; spray-on, brushed-on, or dusted.

They seem to be mixing lubrication types with application methods - two very different things. (I did better in my college technical writing class)

They are concerned with the mess graphite creates, see note below from rules.

"Prior to boxing and sealing, each car shall be checked over and reinspected for conformity to the Council Derby Rules. This is the time for minor repairs and re-lubrication. (Please restrain from dumping lots of extra graphite in the storage boxes.) Pack and seal each car in a box - 1 car per box. Because of the excessive use of graphite in past years and the mess it makes on the tracks and floor, the Council Pinewood Derby Committee has specified that no graphiting or other lubrication will be allowed during the Pinewood Derby at Pecatonica High School. All lubrication must be done before boxing the cars."

I can tell you from one first hand experience, that oil is far less messy than graphite!



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by knotthed » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:10 pm

Speedster,

Your story does not surprise me.

My cubmaster asked the question about the rules difference at the last round table a week or so ago and he basically got the deer in the headlights look. No one knew there was any kind of conflict with the rules.

Some of our local packs have even had their race already. Not sure informing 12 counties over 2 states worth of packs is practical at this point.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by Speedster » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:55 am

Perhaps the oil is not about mess but cost. Krytox is $15.95 plus $6.50 shipping. Also, folks would have to have someone like a DT'er to guide them. This is a one time a year thing for most people and since many have a quart of 10W30 in their garage that's what they would probably use. Hob-E-Lube is fairly cheap, can be gotten locally, and folks still tell me they have some graphite at home someplace. I couldn't get $3.00 out of one guy for a lead rod at our last workshop. He told me he had plenty of 3/8" bolts at home. I drilled holes for him. The folks seem to have the most fun with the scales and weighing their cars in grams. They see I have 3 of them and wonder why. Will they buy a scale? Probably not. Be Honest now. How hard is it for your scout to win the Pack and District Races?



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by FatSebastian » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:47 am

knotthed wrote:"Dry" only modifies "non-permanent spray on"
Maybe, although I interpreted it requiring the lubricant to have certain characteristics:
  • > dry
    > non-permanent (can be removed by the builder)
    > spray-on, brushed-on, or dusted-on (can be applied by the builder, e.g., not baked-on, chemically bonded, or other super-special application method)
I suppose the rule started off as "dry compound" long ago and people started inserting other descriptors after "dry" and before "compound" to prohibit commercial means of establishing a dry (graphite) lube (I'm thinking particularly of axles with a semi-permanent coating.)
knotthed wrote:They seem to be mixing lubrication types with application methods - two very different things.
Well, the application methods (spray-on, brushed-on, or dusted-on) were listed in sequence, not interspersed with lube types. And arguably, could "non-permanent" be part of an application description, as well as "dry"? :idk:
knotthed wrote:The rules describe three things:
Well, a "dusted lubrication compound" is presumably dry already, so that interpretation would imply:
  • > a dry spray-on lube
    > a wet or dry brushed-on lube
    > a dry dust-on lube
This could make sense, but "dry non-permanent spray-on, brushed-on, or dusted lubrication compound" is a very obtuse way of permitting oil if that was ever intended. Ultimately, "dry" is an adjective which describes a noun (compound) and that interpretation especially seems to make the most sense in light of the addendum of "no oil".
knotthed wrote:I can tell you from one first hand experience, that oil is far less messy than graphite!
Good or bad, "dry" gets emphasized in Scout races as one of the Rules in the Box. I was suggesting that the addendum of "no oil" seemed like a minor clarification, rather than a "major difference", the way I read those rules. The "deer-in-the-headlights look" might suggest that others at roundtable read the rules the same way, i.e., no perception of conflict. Regardless, I agree that the rule could be better worded.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by knotthed » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:27 pm

FS,

Your beating the "Dry" drum made me wonder what exactly is the definition of dry..........

Merriam-Webster has the following to say.......
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dry" target="_blank

1dry adjective \ˈdrī\ : having no or very little water or liquid
: no longer wet

: having no rain or little rain
dri·er also dry·er \ˈdrī(-ə)r\ dri·est also dry·est \ˈdrī-əst\
CloseStyle: MLA APA ChicagoFull Definition of DRY
1a : free or relatively free from a liquid and especially water b : not being in or under water c : lacking precipitation or humidity


By golly, what do you know.... properly applied race oil is technically Dry per Merriam-Webster's definition.


Speedster, we do well. But at Council last year when we got smoked by the other cars and I am hearing from other people that oil is being used and they don't have a way to inspect for it and they have issued conflicting rulesets - the whole scenario is a mess!

After last year's council race we raced in some other races Mid-America being one of them. It became very clear that oil if done correctly is far superior to graphite.

I would just like to see a fair playing field that does not allow unethical people to have an advantage.

That is why I feel there needs to be a standard inspection process that goes along with the rulesets.



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Re: Rules versus Inspection

Post by FatSebastian » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:16 pm

knotthed wrote:Your beating the "Dry" drum made me wonder...
Not drum-beating (and no vested interest in any particular parsing of your Council rules); you just seemed specifically interested in how the adjective "dry" possibly related to the phrase "non-permanent spray-on, brushed-on, or dusted lubrication compound"...
knotthed wrote:Merriam-Webster has the following to say... race oil is technically Dry...
:yahoo: So oil is the new dry lube! Others have also wondered whether a thin film technically qualifies as "dry", with mixed responses. If anyone is able to settle that issue by putting a dictionary in front of the inspector during check-in, please report back! :/



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