CW12 Catapult CompetitionINTERNALService To Scouting

Catapult Competition 2019 – Well done everyone that took part!

Just a quick word of congratulations to all the teams that took part in the Catapult Competition on Saturday, everyone did really well and the Rovers were very impressed by how well the teams performed, and how the Scouts all thought on their feet to adjust their catapults to make adjustments and solve problems that came up. Keep it up and we’ll shatter the record next year!

Congratulations to 1st Blaauwberg for winning both the construction and distance categories!

Final Scores:

Furthest Throw Distance
Team Distance
1st Blaauwberg 26.8m
1st Table View 1 24.3m
1st Bothasig 17.4m
1st Table View 2 15.6m


Team Total Lashings (10) Structural Stability (10) Neatness/


1st Blaauwberg 24 7 8 9
1st Bothasig 19 6 6 7
1st Table View 2 14 3 5 6
1st Table View 1 11 3 4 4


You can find the album of photos we took here.

For the 2020 event we’d like to ask Troop Scouters to please ensure that a suitable date is scheduled at the DSC. Size restrictions have been removed, so transport should hopefully be easier for all the teams – we’d love to see the whole district participating!

Lastly, if you are planning on winning next year – build your catapult a few times during the course of the year and “tweak” things until your design s perfect (even the current record of 35.6m is far off of the theoretical maximum range of a small catapult). Here are 3 things the Rovers that were observing the competition felt all teams could improve on:

  • Think about the ration of the “level” of the throwing arm of your catapult. The longer the side of the lever where the pulling rope is attached is, the slower the projectile end will move and the further your Scouts will have to pull the rope to fire the catapult. The ideal ratio is one where your scouts can launch the catapult with one quick, forceful tug, without the pull feeling too heavy. This needs a bit of experimentation.
  • Most catapults have some sort of cross-piece that stops the throwing arm from moving and lets the projectile fly off. Remember that when the catapult hits this cross-piece, most of the energy that the catapult is carrying goes into hitting that piece, not into the projectile. The idea catapult should toss the projectile when the arm is moving its fastest, before it hits any sort of stop (i.e. by the time it hits the cross-piece, the pull should already be over and the projectile already flying). This was probably the biggest contributor to the short ranges this year – but can be fixed with experimenting.
  • Lastly, adding a sling to a catapult can double your range with almost no additional effort – it just takes tweaking. Here’s an example of how a sling works and we challenge more troops to try this out next year.

Have an amazing holiday!