Launch It! A Trebuchet Contest

Launch It! A Trebuchet Contest

This May for the first time, Central Rappahannock Regional Library will be running a trebuchet contest. A trebuchet is a kind of medieval siege engine. Full-sized ones were used to smash down castle walls. This contest will be a fun, family event, and you can join in by bringing your handcrafted trebuchet and testing it against your competitors!

Launch It! will begin at Headquarters Library on Saturday, May 6, with registration at 10:00 and a robot demonstration by Kilroy Robotics at 10:30. The contest will take place on private property adjacent to the City Dock, located near the end of Sophia Street, starting at 11:00. Dave Shotwell of Kilroy Robotics will be our guest judge.

Schedule of Events:
10:00 - Registration at Headquarters Library - trebuchet measurement, review of rules
10:30 - Kilroy Robotics demonstration at Headquarters Library 
11:00 - Competition near City Dock

New to trebuchets? Contestants can make their trebuchets at home or in a library MakerLab. You can also check out these books and web sites on building trebuchets from the library. 

Categories are: 

  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Adult
  • Family

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Distance
  • Accuracy
  • Most Creative Trebuchet


  1. You must have a name for your device (trebuchet). For example, King Edward I's trebuchet was called Warwolf.

  2. The dimensions of your trebuchet may be no larger than 2 x 2 x 2 feet.

  3. CRRL will provide projectiles which are less than 2 inches in diameter.

  4. Projectiles must remain intact until they hit the ground.

  5. All trebuchets must be propelled by gravity (no springs, no elastics, no compressed air or water, no explosives).

  6. CRRL judges are the final arbiters on safety.