News & Events


2018 Regulations to be Released--Scoring of Exercises

This is article #3 of #4 of the introduction to the 2018 regulations, soon to be released.


Exercise Scoring

At the heart of the new regulations is determining success in performance based on the overall course performance, as opposed to a mere aggregation of the exercise; that is, what happens between the exercises is as important as the exercises themselves and no one exercise should result in elimination. Points deducted for penalties should be somewhat consistent throughout the course.

In 2018, the exercises will remain largely the same, but the scoring system will look at the entire course in determining both qualification and placement in the class. To accomplish this, each level has been provided a purpose, and each exercise has been similarly defined. This purpose for each exercises, the "Primary Element" (PE), carries an 8-point value. All other factors required to perform the exercise are called "Secondary Elements" (SE), which carry lesser point values, and with them, lesser penalties. Penalties are valued the same for all exercises, except that the Primary Element carries a higher value. Qualification overall remains at 170 points. Considering the possibility of a 10-point bonus, there is a more equitable distribution of values throughout the course, as well as allowing a 40-point margin for error in achieving qualification.

One other element added to aid in measurement of course performance is the addition of a Standard Course Time (SCT) in the "B" classes. After proving performance of exercises in the "A" classes (within maximum course time), in the "B" classes there is an expectation of more continuity and flow through the course. As the dog (and handler) gain more confidence, there should be a more natural flowing pace to the performance.

As a measure of course continuity and flow, in the last 20 seconds of the time period in the "B" classes, penalties will being to accrue on a 1:1 ratio, indicating improvement is needed in achieving expected continuity and flow on the course--whether it be from a slightly faster pace, less down-time at the end of stationary exercises, or perhaps indicating a number of exercises maybe taking longer than they could, possibly as a result of apprehension. The vision is that the course should be natural and flowing when performed with confidence.

With a reduction in the number of exercises, and course design guidelines seeking to meet the definition of purpose at each level, the course time periods remain generous in allowing adequate time for the performance with a significant margin for error.

Other notable refinements include a maximum deduction of 15 points for any one exercise sign (except for the bonus exercise, which has a 10-point deduction limit, so that teams cannot lose more points than they can earn by attempting the bonus.) All exercises may be retried up to two times (except jump exercises if a bar is knocked while performing the jump exercise.)

The bottom line of the new system is that only the aggregate score across the course should provide a measure of the degree of success in helping to identify areas in performance in need of improvement. An NQ will result from any score less than the minimum 170 points for the course, or in the case of elimination, which is the result of breaching one of a few critical course rules (see table below), such as off course, significant loss of control, or exceeding maximum course time (MCT).

The scoring system is established with penalties valued in Levels 1, 2, 3, and Veterans at between 1 and 8 points per occurrence, with 8 points reserved for the failure to meet the requirements of the Primary Element of an exercise. Course elimination is marked a score of "0" for certain conditions. See the following table for a summary of common deductions.


As an exercise scoring example, above is the description of the two-sign exercise #310 A-B (Halt, Leave Dog. Blind Front, Finish Left). Though it is one exercise, each sign is scored separately as a station on the course. The Primary Element (PE) for each sign is highlighted in yellow, and the Secondary Elements are underlined.

Scoring points of sign #310 A may include:

  • 8 points (PE penalty)
    • Dog moves out of place (more than 50% of footprint)
  • 4 points
    • Retry of exercise
  • 3 points
    • Additional cue
    • Sit, down, or stand when not required
    • Handler's or dog's failure to perform as described, other than a PE (e.g., dog changes position during stay)
  • 1 point
    • Crooked sit, each 30º increment (i.e., approximate: 30º = 1 point; 60º = 2 points; 90º = 3 points)
    • Not moving in unison with handler
    • Out of place sit, including moving partially out of place
    • Significant hesitation

Scoring points of sign #310 B may include:

  • 8 points (PE penalty)
    • Out of place front, or dog does not come to front
  • 4 points
    • Retry of exercise
  • 3 points
    • Additional cue
    • Out of place sit (i.e., after the finish)
    • Sit, down, or stand when not required
    • Handler's or dog's failure to perform as described, other than a PE (e.g., handler turns shoulders, dog doesn't sit at front, finish right instead of left, dog sits out of heel position)
  • 1 point
    • Crooked sit, each 30º increment (i.e., approximate: 30º = 1 point; 60º = 2 points; 90º = 3 points)
    • Significant hesitation or anticipation of a cue

Definitions:

    • Stay in Place refers to a dog's footprint, that is, the space on the ground covered by its body.
    • Stay in Position refers to the dog's stance (i.e., sit, stand, or down).
    • Front is defined as a place (centered in front of the handler), not a position.

In the final introductory article, to be posted this weekend, we will note new exercises and bonuses for each level.

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