Clearlake Soap Box Derby Rule Book


The Derby is intended to be a fun and entertaining event for participants, spectators, and volunteers as well as showing off the talent and creativity of the participants. 

The registration fee will be $25 per team.  Registration is secured once the fee has been paid in full.  Once all slots are filled a waiting list will be created. Races will consist of 2-3 vehicles at a time. 

Competitive DIVISIONS

Speed Division– Vehicles will be timed. The top four teams in the Turbo Teens and Awesome Adults divisions with the fastest average time will move on to the head-to-head championship rounds. 

Speed Division Ages Groups

  • Little Turtles - Ages 7-12

  • Turbo Teens - Ages 13-17

  • Awesome Adults - Ages 18+

Art Division– Will not be timed. Art vehicles are meant to go slow and be entertaining for spectators and the judges.  Use your imagination!  Be unique and have fun with your design… just keep it “PG” for the kids in the crowd. 

Vehicle Requirements

  • All registered vehicles will be issued a car number prior to the race. This number must be affixed or painted on the vehicle at all times.

  • Speed vehicles may not weigh more than 500 pounds, including driver. Art vehicles may not exceed 700 pounds, including driver/passenger. 

  • The vehicle may be no wider than 5 feet, no longer than 12 feet, and no taller than 8 feet. 

  • Speed vehicles are limited to one driver. Art vehicles may have a driver and a passenger. 

  • “Head First” driver/passenger positions will not be allowed, due to higher risk of injury. 

  • All ballast, except driver and passengers must be adequately secured in place. 

  •  No automobile frames and axles will be permitted. 

  • No glass will be allowed in the construction of vehicles. 

  • Each vehicle must always have a minimum of three wheels in contact with the track. Skateboards, luge boards or similar and their wheels will not be permitted. 

  • Vehicle must be steerable, capable of avoiding other cars or obstacles.  

  • Each vehicle must have functional brakes. (No Fred Flintstone style brakes or anchors) Brakes must remain functional throughout the event to prevent disqualification.  

  • Each vehicle must be powered by gravity only! No additional means of propulsion are permitted including human pushing. 

  • Dry cell batteries can power lights or decorations. No car, motorcycle, or lawnmower batteries. 

  • It is recommended that each vehicle have an audible horn/bell. 

  • Each vehicle must be equipped with large eyebolts in the front and rear of the vehicle. These will be used to transport the vehicles back up the hill to the start of the race course. Vehicle must be constructed in a manner to allow multiple vehicles to be towed in a line (daisy chain) from these hooks, and for a truck to tow the vehicles back up the hill via rope and carabiner. 

  • Any vehicle damage that occurs during a race is required to be reported to a Derby Official. Teams will be allowed to make repairs. Vehicles must be repaired and ready for the next heat/race. 

Drivers and Participants

  • Teams will consist of one driver and at least one additional “pit crew member”.  

  • All participants must be at least 46 (forty - six) inches or 7 (seven) years of age or older by the time of the event. 

  • All drivers and team members must sign a liability form prior to racing. Drivers under 18 (eighteen) must have a waiver signed by a parent/guardian. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification. 

  • Each driver/passenger is required to wear a helmet that is secure to their head by a strap. At a minimum, helmets must meet bicycle helmet standards. Full-face helmets and elbow pads are highly recommended. Closed toed shoes are also required. Other protective gear is recommended. 

  • Cell phones, text messaging, and alcohol do not mix with driving, and will not be tolerated. All drivers must be present with their vehicle on inspection day and prequalify to drive on race day. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification. 

  • Team members are encouraged to dress in a manner that exudes team spirit and enthusiasm! Have fun building your car…and have fun entertaining the crowd! 

Participant Etiquette

  • Yield to the downhill driver. Bumping will not be permitted. 

  • Unsportsmanlike or unsafe racing, as determined by Derby officials, will result in immediate disqualification. 

  • Unsafe vehicles may be disqualified at the discretion of Race Officials.

  • Rules are subject to change at the discretion of the Race Committee.

If you have questions about the Rules, Contact the Soap Box Derby Race Committee


2019 Clearlake Soap Box Derby Sponsors