PISSburgh PISS Soap Box Racing





While we would like to be able to have just a few basic rules like...All cars must have 4 wheels and brakes and all drivers must wear a helmet, we do need to have just a few more.

So make sure you read ALL the rules and also the "How it Works" page of the site before you start building, or show up for an event!

Car Construction Rules

 Car construction rules are important for safety reasons and ease of play. Although P.I.S.S. has a few mandatory rules (listed below), we leave the ins and outs of car construction up to you, as finding out what works best is part of the fun. There are no exact weight restrictions, however, keep in mind that cars must be transportable to and from the race locations. Car  Construction Rules:

1. All cars must have 4 or more wheels.

Your car must have 4 or more wheels that actually are used in the stability of the car. Things like bicycles that have training wheels or faux wheels are not allowed. Skate boards, luge boards and their wheels are not allowed as well.  Trikes simply don’t work well; they have been run with poor results. Trikes are unstable, prone to washing out, flipping and do not fare well in collisions and friendly bumping that occurs in every race, thus no trikes. This exclusion can and should apply to most lean-steering cars. Lean steering cars simply cannot react quickly enough and are thus prone to accidents.  You can put it to a vote and if the drivers are cool with it then you can let it fly.

2. Cars cannot have a motor or drive train of any kind.

No gas motors, no electrical, no solar powered, no shifting counterweights, pedals, etc. Nothing. Get it? Gravity is the only source of power and speed attainment that is allowed. Do not get any clever ideas.

3. All cars must have a braking system of some kind.

You MUST have the ability to stop your car at the finish line at least. Braking systems are up to you, simple scrub brakes to 4 wheel disc brakes have been employed, budget and ingenuity will determine what works best for you. Brakes are extremely important!  Remember, we run on public roads that are open to traffic.  You need to be able to stop in a hurry should some clown in a Volvo back out of his driveway with out looking. Braking systems must be on a minimum of two wheels. Single wheel brakes are NOT acceptable. Types of acceptable braking systems: You must have at least one of these on your car. Scrub (a plate or pad applied directly to the wheel), Drum (a drum with a set of shoes that grab the drum), Disc (a caliper and rotor set up much like a car), Band (similar to a drum brake, utilizing a band around a braking surface), Bicycle (drum, disc, V, U, Y, center pull, caliper, coaster).Types of unacceptable braking systems: You will not be allowed to run with these systems.Drag (utilizing the ground as the braking surface), Feet (no Barney Rubble, stay home), Anchor (a heavy object cast from the car to create drag)

4. Vehicle weaponry of any kind is forbidden.

No spikes, no Ben-Hur chariot style spinners, nothing that shoots or drops stuff, no oil slicks, flour tossers, Paintball guns, ketchup shooters etc. Nothing. You may have bumpers on your car, nerf bars around the wheels etc. It’s just you, your car and the road, that is all that is allowed and all that you will need. Vehicle weaponry is enticing but the ensuing arms race would escalate until someone lost an eye or got a punctured lung etc. It’s better not to delve in these areas.

5. Size

Size does matter!  Cars can be excluded because they are grossly too big, heavy, have spikes or other weapons, or are obviously unsafe.  We have a 4 x 8 foot rule!  We don't want your car if it's wider the 4 feet, or longer then 8 feet.
Having a car bigger then that really makes it difficult for everyone on the hill to get through traffic.  It's not only difficult for those behind you, but it's also going to be difficult for you to find the room to make a safe pass if your car is too big.

6. No deliberate weighting of one’s car is allowed.

You can no longer add weight to your car; it must be run at its natural weight. No ballast. This means, no lead weights, no weight-lifter weights, jugs of water, no sandbags etc. In addition you cannot load your frame rails with lead shot, sand, water, sleeve more metal inside them, or anything else just to make your car heavier. Nor can you weld three frame rails together when we all know one will do. Do not build your car with excessively thick tubing or solid stock. Nor can you have an electric horn, lights or sound system, they take batteries, batteries have lead in them, they are weight. Don’t try and be clever with this one. A car with low rolling resistance and a good areo package will carry the day; you do not need a 500 lb behemoth to get to the cones first. Do not try and cheat, if you get caught cheating we will destroy your car. This is a safety issue. If you watch the races, you’ll see in crashes little objects flying this way and that, those objects are often times weights that have been ejected from the car. A ten-pound weight going 40+ mph can pack a wallop. Also, heaver cars will not be able to manage turns well nor will they be able to stop. Do you want 400, 500, or 600 lbs of car and driver plowing into you if they can’t stop? No you don’t.  If its so heavy that it would destroy anything it hit, we don’t want it running with us.  Too much weight is a safety issue.

7. You must have a loop on the front and rear of your car so we can tow it.

You will need a loop front and rear so you can attach a tow strap to your car and someone can attach a tow strap to you. This is a logistical concern. We have 30-40 trucks and vans going up the hill, it’s a mess. You can tow 6 cars and 6 drivers up the hill with one truck that will make the set up time between races much shorter. More races, closer together means less interaction with the locals and thus less chance for things to go wrong. You’ll need to have a tow strap in your car that is secured so it won’t fly out or unfurl during the race. Every car must have this.

8. Tech Inspector

The Tech inspector’s job is to make sure that everyone’s car is safe, they check for sharp objects, braking systems, and other unsafe things.  If the tech inspector wants to look at your car, you need to pull it out and show him/her. If the tech inspector deems your car unsafe, you can’t race. Refuse to let the tech inspector check your car, you don’t race. Other things that you should not have: Sharp edges, giant Rat-Fink style break levers, wings, fins, or other protrusions that could potentially gash or impale other drivers in a wreck. Look at your car and think, “Would I be ok if that thing hit me?” If no, then you need to make changes. A driver should be able to load their car unassisted into a truck or van, if you can’t it’s too heavy. A car should not be so big that it requires a special vehicle to cart it around in, no car chassis etc. Cars should not be excluded just because they are markedly faster, tougher, or cooler than your car. Nor should a car be excluded just because you don’t like the driver, we’re big kids: child-like, not childish. When in doubt, a group vote determines the eligibility of a given car.

9. No bull.

The no bull rule is left to be vague for the guy that is looking for a loophole in the rules to gain an unfair advantage. Just because every possibility was not covered does not mean you should go on and do it. We reserve the right to DQ your car for any reason. We will be fair, Veteran drivers keep in mind your long tenure does not confer any special treatment, everyone is subject to the rules, please follow them. 

Race Rules
The guidelines may need to be changed to suit each event, but our methods are the official
P.I.S.S. way to race.  Should we need to have "Supplemental Rules" or any type of specific rules or rule changes for a given event, this will be covered at the driver's meeting for that event.

Official P.I.S.S. Championship Race Series Rules:

1. Officer of the Day (OD)

Each event will have an Officer of the Day, the OD.  The OD is THE top authority figure for that race event!  What they say goes.  There is no arguing with their decisions.  They are the chief steward of the event and are responsible for ALL aspects of the event from meet spot, to race name, to trophies, and protests.

2. There shall be no entrance fee to race.
Racing is free and no individual driver will be charged an entrance fee to race at a P.I.S.S. soapbox race. You may pool and or collect money to pay for promotional materials (i.e., flyers, posters, videos, etc.) but no one will pay to simply enter a car and race. 

3. Car set up at starting line

Cars should be lined up at the given starting line evenly in a row that will accommodate the most cars. If you have a high number of cars that one row will not suffice, you’ll have to make two rows. Car placement will be done by an arbitrary dealing of numbered spaces. A pack of ordinary playing cards, numbered, will work well for this application. Shuffle the cards together equal to the number of cars and pass them out. If you can fit say eight cars across then numbers 1-8 will line up in the first row, then numbers 9-16 in the second, 17-24 in the third etc. Try to keep only two rows, more give the people in front too much of an advantage. Cars can be a few inches apart at the start and still have a clean take off. If you are doing a later race, cars can line up however they wish, best to let the guys in the back get up front, it’s only fair, give everyone a chance to get out there. Cars must be lined up straight and the driver must keep their car in place by holding down their brake. You cannot have an outside holder as a holder can easily become a pusher, and pushing is forbidden. You should not have your feet out at the start, as you may get hurt.

4. You cannot have a pusher, nor can you do a “wheelchair start”.

There are no push starts in ANY of the
P.I.S.S. races. No one may assist your car by pushing, nor are you allowed to roll your wheels wheel chair style to gain speed. Gravity and gravity alone is your only source or speed. Each racer must apply their own brake at the starting line and release it upon the completion of the 3-2-1 count down. 

5. All cars shall race at the same time.
In a Championship Points Race, there are no time trials, no elimination heats etc. If you broke things up into heats and the police came and broke it up you’d have half the drivers not being able to race, no fun. Everyone races all at once, all together. Racing a stopwatch is boring, too much time is taken up in elimination heats. All the action should happen at once. Did I mention it was more fun this way? Well it is.  While this applies to the Championship Points Races, we may from time to time have Time Trials and other events that go by different rules.

6. Starting the race and releasing the brake.

Once your cars are in line the call to race will be given. Before the call, give a “Ready on the right, ready on the left” call to make sure everyone is ready and focused. Everyone should have their brake applied and ready to race. The countdown is done by a selected driver or starter to call a 3 count. The count is 3,2,1 letting go of your brake upon the utterance of “1”. Not 3,2,1 then go, you go upon the utterance 1.

7. Rubbing is Racing.

During the course of the race the adage “rubbing is racing” does apply. It is legal to hit other cars. You engage in this rough trade at your own level. Higher speed courses will spread the group out quickly, but keep your contact with other cars to a minimum unless you want bad accidents, just a suggestion. Lower speed courses contact is less likely to create bad accidents, not saying it has not happened though, be warned. Realize that the bar for aggressive driving will rise as your drivers gain more confidence; by the end of our first season the races were more akin to a running demolition derby than a race. If a car is passing you, it is the best policy to let them pass. Deliberately cutting off faster cars can cause wrecks and tempers will flare, best not to do it. If someone is faster than you just let them pass, they earned it. If you’re coming up on a car, shout “On the left/right!” so they know you’re coming.
When running on open public roads, try to stay to the right of the center line as much as possible.  There may be on coming traffic to contend with.  If you have to go out over the center line to pass, make sure you can do it clean before committing to it.  Likewise, if you are being passed by someone who is left of the center line, try to move right so they can get back in.  We don’t want to have any head ons with an SUV.  That could ruin everyone’s day. 

8. The first heat is the trophy heat.

The first race of the morning is the trophy heat. It is this first race that determines the 1st place winner, 2nd  place,  3rd  place, etc. All proceeding heats are “for fun” heats and trophies are not exchanged. After the first race of the given session, line up and placement for proceeding races are less important as the trophy has been won, so go have some fun and mix things up a bit.

9. Outside interference by bystanders is strictly forbidden.
We have enough to worry about with out some idiot throwing water balloons at you. A water balloon can really mess someone up at 50 miles per hour, so don’t do it.  Anyone caught doing this will be dealt with by the group.  This is when the MOB mentality will take over.  So if you are tempted to throw things or otherwise cause a nuisance as a spectator, you may want to reconsider before 30 angry miscreants pound you into sand.

10. Winner is first car to pass the traffic cones or other designated Finish Line
The first car to cross the finish line shall be declared the winner.  Usually the finish line is denoted by Traffic Cones.   But other times it may be something like a cross walk or entrance to a bridge.  This WILL BE addressed at the driver's meeting preceeding the race, so pay attention at the meeting!  When you pass the cones, or other denoted finish line, begin braking and pull to the right. Drivers doing their best “Dukes of Hazzard” impression by executing brodies in the raceway will cause needless wrecks. Brake, look to the right, move to the right, get yourself out of the way as other drivers finish the course. We have had many more wrecks after the finish than before, thus this rule should be followed to the letter.
Remember when you have stopped, other cars are still coming in, so make sure you give them as much room as possible.

11. Awarding of trophies.
Has two traveling trophies, the 1st place trophy and skunk trophy. As you may have guessed, the 1st place trophy is awarded to the first car to cross the finish line. The skunk trophy on the other hand is given to the last car to successfully cross the finish line. The winner of each trophy will present the trophy to the new winners at the next race. Feel free to make any modifications to the trophy while it is in your possession. After winning a trophy, you can paint it, weld stuff to it, hack part of it off, gold plate it, etc. Have fun and just make sure to show up to the next race so you can present the trophy to next winner.

12. Awarding of Race Completed stickers

Drivers that get their car past the finish line in the trophy race get a race-completed sticker. Stickers go to the car, not the driver, one sticker per car per session. If you crash, and you have to drag your car to the end, you don't get a sticker. You have to finish and complete the race to get a race completed sticker!  

13.Championship Points

Championship Points will be awarded by finishing position.  We now have a two fold points system for races with 10 or less starters and for races with 10 or more starters.  If we have 10 or less starters, the winner of the race will receive 10 points, 2nd 9 points, 3rd 8 points and so on down to one point for finishing 10th. But if we have 10 or more starters, the points will be awarded on an inverse scale.  For example, if we have 15 starters, the winner will receive 15 points, 2nd 14 points, 3rd 13 points, until the last finisher receives 1 point.

14. No bull.
Again, the no bull rule is left to be vague for the guy that is looking for a loophole in the rules to gain an unfair advantage. Just because every possibility was not covered does not mean you should go on and do it. Just stop being a pussy and race.

Safety Gear


Drivers must wear a full-skull helmet!  NO If's, and's, or but's.  HELMETS ARE REQUIRED TO RACE WITH US!

You cannot race without a helmet. 


And it must be securely fastened on your head!  During a wreck is not the time you want your helmet rolling away from you!


It's your head, so the quality of your helmet is up to you.  But it must be a DOT helmet!  No foot ball helmets or baseball bating helmets. 

Got a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet.


Eye Protection.  This is also important.  Get hit in the eye at 30mph with a stone or a bug and things can go bad real quick.  At speed, it becomes very difficult to see without eye protection.  You will have enough other things to worry about then being able to see, so protect yourself and your eyes.  A helmet visor, goggles, or glasses are required.


More protection can’t hurt; it has been the difference between severe injury and walking away from a wreck. we highly suggest the use of gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, and any other protection you deem necessary.


Any part of the car you’re driving that can come in contact with your body in a collision should be padded or you should wear some padding. Leather Jackets, welding jackets, riding leathers, sports pads, chin guards, all used to useful effect. Only a fool would race without a helmet, there are dumber ways to die but not much. Protect yourself; you’ll be better for it as you can race again.


Not that we enforce this, but being fit does help keep your bones in place when you go skittering across the pavement. Most stunt riders, and extreme sports practitioners spend some time in the gym, fitness can’t hurt. Big fat slobs are of course welcome, you can even smoke while you race, we really don’t care, just don't flick your butts at other competitors.



If the cops come, we would like ONLY the "Officer of the Day" for our event to deal with them.  (The Officer of the Day -OD, is the P.I.S.S. person in charge of that days event)  Having only the OD deal with the cops makes things a lot easier!  First it shows the cops we have structure in what we do, and second, it keeps our members from volunteering information or saying things we may not want said.  Anytime the cops show up, we would like EVERY available video camera running and recording the conversation between the law man and our members!  This is for OUR protection!  And if the cops request that we stop videoing, we should stand firm and suggest that he start videoing.  This is for the protection of everyone involved. It’s best to be nice and reason with them. We have been firm in our right to run the streets as we’re all consenting and are we really breaking any laws? Most cops don’t know the law for crap and Soapbox is not something that comes into play on the regular so they are generally unprepared to deal with it.We stand by the fact that we have just as much right as a bicycle, amish buggy, skate board or other non-motorized vehicle.  In every instance to date where law enforcment has shown up, we have asked them to tell us what laws we are breaking.  So far they have not been able to tell us ONE thing we are doing that is Illegal!  They don't like it, but they don't know what we are doing wrong.