The Official Rules for Half Moon Bay's Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off are as follows:
- Specimen must be grown, cared for, and entered by the weigh-off contestant.
- Each contestant is limited to having one entry (one pumpkin) weighed.
- Specimens that have won prizes in any other weigh-off competitions are not eligible.
- Specimens must be in healthy and undamaged condition, free of rot, holes and cracks through the cavity, chemical residue, and soft spots.
- To be classified as pumpkin, specimen must be 75% yellow/orange in color; all others will be classified as squash.
- The vine must be trimmed to one inch from the stem. No foreign material is permitted in the weighing.
- All specimens will be weighed without the use of tarps or other carrying devices.
- Pumpkins will be classified by division based on where the specimen is grown, not the residence of the grower.
- In the event of a tie, prize money will be distributed equally among the tied parties.
- Decisions of the judges are final in all cases.
- The five heaviest pumpkins will remain in Half Moon Bay to be part of a special display at the Pumpkin Festival.
- To receive the $30,000 world record prize, the grower must break and hold the world record at the conclusion of the Half Moon Bay Weigh-Off. If two or more growers happen to break the world record at Half Moon Bay, the prize money would go to the grower of the heaviest pumpkin.