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East Lake County Library's Annual Pumpkin Chunkin' Contest



Required Forms

Waiver  |   Photo Authorization Form  |   Team Member's Name Information


What is Pumpkin Chunkin'?

The East Lake County Library's Annual Pumpkin Chunkin' Contest is a STEM-focused catapult contest. Participants will launch 3 to 5 lb. pumpkins 100 feet in the air at a target, using catapults and trebuchets they build. Winners are determined by accuracy, not distance.

See for yourself!


Rules & Regulations

The 2022 East Lake County Pumpkin Chunkin’ Contest will be held between a maximum of 10 teams building catapults or trebuchets. This contest is to design and create a catapult that will project a 3 to 5 pound pumpkin closest to a target 100 feet away. This contest is about accuracy and not distance. The Field length is 200ft any shot past 200ft. will be disqualified.

A minimum of 1 adult per team is required.

If you have a sponsor, please let us know so we can add them to our list of sponsors.

  1. Catapult Specifications
    1. Size: This contest is for a small catapult or trebuchet to propel a 3 to 5 pound pumpkin to a target 100 feet away. The size of the construction should reflect that. The BASE of the Catapult/Trebuchet should be no longer than 6ft in depth x 6ft in width and the structure in loaded position should be no taller than 10ft. in height. The length of the arm is not restricted to any measurements. Your team is responsible for getting the catapult to the library and in firing position.
    2. Design: The Catapult/Trebuchet can be of any design as long as it is constructed of common materials such as wood, PVC pipe or Metal. For the moving parts such as springs, cords, rubber, elastics, dead weights, counter weights, (such as bags of sand) or other mechanical means of creating stored energy. For safety reasons the axel for the throwing arm should be made of metal.
    3. Power: The Catapult/Trebuchet must be powered only by gravity or human powered such as a hand crank or hand winch. The use of engines, motors, hydraulics, compressed air and such related materials is prohibited.
    4. Safety: All Catapult/Trebuchet must have a safety strap or pin of some sort strictly for safety in addition to the firing mechanism to hold throwing arm in case of misfiring when loading. Any team member handling ropes or cables should take necessary precautions for injury, such as gloves, hard hats and safety goggles. None will be provided. Team members should be behind roped barricade during launch. The Loading and firing procedures will goes as follows:
      1. Loading arm placed firing position
      2. Safety pin or harness attached or locked down
      3. Load the pumpkin
      4. Wait for okay to launch notice
      5. Team members behind barricade
      6. Unlatch safety harness/pin
      7. Announce Ready to Fire
      8. Launch pumpkin
    5. Firing Mechanism: the Firing Mechanism however designed should have a pull cord, chain or string at least 5ft. long to be able to fire from a safe distance.
  2. Team Rules
    1. Your Team is asked to come up with a Name to Identify the team.
    2. Your Team is asked to come up with a Name of your structure.
    3. Each Team is required to have at least one adult to help build, load and fire the catapult/trebuchet. The adult must be present at the event at all times.
    4. Each Catapult will have to be inspected for safety prior to the Contest for safety. Any device deemed unsafe will not be allowed to participate in the contest. Repairs are allowed to fix any safety problems. Catapult/trebuchet must be inspected again for safety to be able to participate. Members from other teams may be asked to help in repairs if needed the decision is theirs for assistance they are not required to help.
    5. When firing catapult/trebuchet all team members must stand a distance of 10ft. behind the barricade the length of 10 feet while firing. The team member firing must do so at least 5ft from the device with the use of a pull cord, chain or string.
    6. Inspection: Design inspection will be needed to make sure catapult/trebuchet meet specifications.
      1. One week prior to the event (due by 10:00 am on 10/15/2022) we require 5 photos of catapult/trebuchet showing throwing arm axel and firing mechanism.
  3. Event Rules
    1. 9:00 am set up time. At 9:45 am, all must be completely set up, ready for judging & inspections. Spectators will enter the fields to view & judge structures. Scott Amey will inspect each structure at this time.
    2. 10:45 am test fire – each team will be allowed 2 test fires. Teams will be responsible for suppling their own test firing projectiles. (Pumpkins, jugs of water, etc.)
    3. 11:00 am start time.
    4. Each team will fire 1 pumpkin in each of three rounds for a total of three shots.
    5. Shots will be judged closest to the target.
    6. The Shot will be measured on the fly. The pumpkin will be measured from the closest edge of impact to the ground to the target. A rolling pumpkin that hits the target will not count as hitting the target.
    7. Closest measurement to the target will win.
    8. 5 minutes will be given to load and launch the pumpkins for each round.
    9. 5 minutes after each shot for measurement.
    10. An additional 3 minute extension may be given for breakage to a catapult but after that period the team will forfeit their turn on that round.
    11. In result of a tie an extra shot will be held, closest to target will win. If tie still exists an additional shot will be given until tie is broken.
    12. If pumpkin explodes during the launch before hitting the ground, no score will be recorded and no reshot will be given for the round.
    13. Any over shot of the target by 100ft will be disqualified.
  4. Prizes
    1. Closest to Target - through competition of launching pumpkins to target at 100ft.
    2. Best Decorated Pumpkin - Teams will decorate their pumpkins and the best decorated will win.
    3. Best Decorated Structure - Teams will decorate their catapult or Trebuchet the best decorated will win.
    4. Best Team Outfits - Teams will wear matching outfits best team design will win.

Any Questions, please contact: Scott Amey at scott.amey@mylakelibrary.org or at 352-383-9980