The Soap Box Derby is designed as a parent-child program. A parent or guardian must help his or her child with the construction of the car. Adults must not build the car for the child, but share in this experience by being there and giving help only if and when needed.

This program is meant to be an enjoyable learning experience for both parent and child and provides them with the opportunity to develop mutual respect and trust and to demonstrate the importance of individual pride and sportsmanship.

Cars that win the Flushing Meadows local will officially represent Flushing Meadows Soap Box Derby in the nationals. All cars are inspected prior to race day, and winning cars are subject to post-race inspection.

Cars will run double-elimination. After each heat, cars will change lanes. The winner is the driver with the least time after adding the results of the two heats.