Q&A: Zach Carter, organizer of Knoxville Ice Bears Baby Derby

Define "baby" for the purposes of this contest.

A baby is from 8-12 months old and able to crawl but not walk.

Do you use the derby to recruit for the Ice Bears?

Of course, yeah.

Who are faster, the babies in the Baby Derby, or the dogs in the Weiner Dog races?

I would say the weiner dogs; the babies tend to get distracted by each other.

Any really good prospects for this year?

We just opened registration last week and we've got a couple entered. I won't see any of them until the night of the event.

Do you allow the babies of employees or players to enter?

We have in the past, but right now none of us have babies in the age range. A couple are close, but either they're not quite crawling or they've taken off walking everywhere.

Do the babies wear knee pads?

We ask them to wear long pants, and then we give each baby an Ice Bears T-shirt with a number on it. They crawl on a padded carpet on the center ice; it's about 15 feet long. We ask them to bring two adults, and one parent will hold the child and then they'll crawl to the other parent or friend.

How fast do they finish?

Well, they get really sidetracked. If after five minutes no one's crossed the finish line we declare a winner, whoever's closest.

Do baby parents wave some really nice treat at the finish line?

They haven't so far, but if they wanted to wave a teddy bear or blanket we'd allow it.

Would you let a baby of yours race?

Oh, definitely.

So is that a future goal?

That's a big "if"—all I meant by my answer to that question is that the Baby Derby is very family-friendly and safe!

Call 525-7825 if you would like to enter your child in the derby, Jan. 28 at the Ice Bears home game.