Lynchburg Parks & Recreation is accepting entries for the first annual Pumpkin Chuck and Chili Cook-off to be held at City Stadium on November 4, 2017.  To participate, please complete the form below. Waivers must be signed and delivered in person at Miller Center, 301 Grove St. The registration fee can be paid online or in person.  Each team member MUST complete and sign a copy the waiver to be entered into the competition.  If any member of a team is under 18 years of age, a parent/guardian must sign for them. The deadline to register is October 17, 2017.


  • Teams must register in advance by October 17th to participate.
  • Teams may designate up to six individuals to be in the launching area during the event.
  • ALL teams must designate a Team Captain who is responsible for all communication between the Pumpkin Chuck staff and their crew.
  • Team Captains are required to attend the information Meeting the day of the event, 11/4 at 9:30am.
  • Participants must have their devices in the line-up for the competition no later than 10:30am the day of competition.
  • ALL machines must participate in a practice session to test out their machines. There are two optional dates for practice sessions, both held from 9:00am – 12:00 pm on Saturday,10/21 and 10/28.
  • All team members must have a signed waiver of liability on file prior to the start of the event. Entrants under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by their parents/legal guardians on their behalf.
  • Teams may not fire until Chuckin’ Officials have given the all clear and notification horn has sounded.

Teams should provide at least one sign or flag that will be visible to spectators, identifying their machine. There will be a prize for the most creative design.


  • Event will be held rain or shine.
  • Pumpkins provided by event host are to be used for this event and all pumpkin. Regulation weight is around 15lbs.
  • Maximum field distance is 250 ft.
  • There are two dates for practice sessions on Saturday,10/21 and 10/28, both held from 9:00am – 12:00pm.
  • Parks & Recreation will provide all of the event competition pumpkins.
  • Practice pumpkins and pumpkins to be used for the testing of machines 10/28.



  • Machines must be powered exclusively by human power. Use of engines, hydraulics, compressed air, motorized winches, etc. are strictly prohibited.
  • Machines may consist of springs, cords, rubber, elastics, dead weights, counter weights, or other means of creating stored energy.
  • Machines must be wholly contained in a 10’ x 10’ launching area. No part of the machine may cross the firing line, with the exception of slingshot elastic.
  • Machines may be of no greater size and weight than what allows for the participating team’s pumpkins to remain within the “field of play.” Maximum field distance is 250 ft.
  • Catapult machines should be fired using a trigger mechanism that allows the trigger operator to be a minimum of 5 feet from the machine while firing. Teams are responsible for ensuring safety of their members while in the launching zone. Only one member of the team is to be in the launch zone.
  • All catapults must have a safety strap or mechanism to hold the throwing arm in place in the event of a misfire when loading. Any personnel holding ropes or cables should take necessary precautions to prevent injury, including gloves.
  • Machines must be able to load in three minutes and reload in fifteen.
  • Lag bolts are not allowed in load bearing applications. Approved attachments include carriage, shoulder or hex bolts with washers and backing plates.
  • Weights, stakes, and braces are allowed and encouraged to immobilize machines for safety. No digging is permitted.
  • Machines must be easily portable and cannot be stored in the stadium or event grounds any time before the event.
  • Catapults must utilize the potential energy of stretched rope, springs, or rubber bands that when released, propel an arm with the projectile (pumpkin).
  • Catapults should not exceed a height of 10 feet when the long arm is fully extended.



There will be four categories of awards for this year’s Pumpkin Chuck event.

  1. Distance: The machine firing the greatest distance will receive a reward. The center of the bullseye is exactly 250ft from the launch zone. Please keep in mind that this is the furthest distance allowed due to safety and space limitations.
  2. Creativity & Design: Scores will be based on creative machine design as well as team presentation. Points will be awarded for creative design, use of unusual materials, eccentricity, theming, etc.
  3. Accuracy: Participants will be rated on accuracy pending their ability to hit the bullseye target located in the center of the launch field, on the ground, with approximately 250 ft Participants will be rated on whoever can hit or come the closest to hitting the bullseye.
  4. Popular Vote: The crowd will vote by applause.



There are a number of resources online, such as YouTube videos and Pinterest, which can be used as guidelines to build a catapult. There are kits that can be purchased online if there is limited time to build one.

For clarification, questions or concerns, please contact Kellie Reynolds at 434-455-5873 or via email at