The USDAA Board of Directors met in Dallas June 27-29 and has announced plans for an expanded titling program and 2004 tournament series rules, as well as refinements in existing USDAA rules. EFFECTIVE DATES for items will be announced by mid-July, unless specifically indicated below. Some dates and details related to the Board's determinations are to be established and announced once specific details for implementation have been fully evaluated.
The most sweeping resolutions involve the expansion of the titling program in response to competitor request for "something more". As a result, titles will be awarded in each starters level and advanced level class (standard and nonstandard). These will be titled by class type, for example, Standard Agility, Starters Gambler, Advanced Standard Agility, Advanced Gambler, etc. (Final title designations to be determined.) The Agility Dog® and Advanced Agility Dog® titles are being refined to include games requirements, thus following the same criteria as the Master Agility Dog® title (three standard legs and one in each nonstandard class). Once the AD or AAD title is earned, the competitor may move up in all classes to the next level or move up in standard and remain in the lower level nonstandard class until each individual class title is earned. Once an individual class title is earned, the competitor must move up to the next level in that specific class for any shows whose closing date has not passed. Implementation and phase-in rules are to be established and announced in coming weeks.
For those who have earned their Masters titles, Championship titles are being offered in each masters level class, with ten qualifying scores required in each. To recognize milestones in advancement to the Lifetime Achievement Awards, certificates will be awarded for Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Championships in each class, for earning 15, 25, 35 and 50 qualifying scores, respectively, in each class. In addition to the foregoing, Agility Top Ten will now be calculated and published for the Performance III level classes.
For Junior Handlers, beginning in 2004, junior handlers may register their ages for purposes of being ranked in the regular program classes. More information will be forthcoming.
the introduction of a Performance Program Grand Prix, which will parallel the Grand Prix of Dog Agility®. Grand Prix qualification standards will be announced upon completion of analysis of 2003 local qualification results through June 30.
the refinement of Dog Agility Masters® Team Tournament scoring rules to better handicap course elements in respect of mixed height teams. Team tournament qualification standards are being similarly reviewed, with a 50% qualification standard being applied (previously 75%).
Dogs to be permitted, subject to the trial giving club's discretion, to enter a combination of performance and championship classes. For example, the same dog could be entered in Masters Gamblers and Performance III Snooker on the same weekend (separate entry forms ARE required and a dog may NOT be entered in both Championship and Performance divisions of the same class). A statement must be included in the Agility Test Schedule (a.k.a., premium list) specifying that dual program entries are acceptable for the event and stipulating that separate entry forms must be used for each program.
Copies of a dog's permanent height card may now be accepted for pre-check-in at club's discretion. A statement must be included in the Agility Test Schedule (a.k.a., premium list) specifying that such copies are being accepted.
Rules for the table count for the Advanced class are revised to match those of the Masters class (i.e. the judge's count will now be cumulative, not consecutive). Clubs are required to indicate in their test schedules (a.k.a., premium lists) if electronic timing systems are to be used. Rules and regulations relative to timing have been revised to incorporate policy where electronic timing systems are to be used.
The height of the A-Frame to be performed by the 16" height class in the Championship division is revised to 5'6".
The use of a crossover will no longer be permitted in competition.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is intended to recognize the comprehensive accomplishments within USDAA programs. The "core" number of qualifying legs in each class for each LAA title level (i.e., bronze, silver, gold, platinum) must come from the Championship Program (e.g., 15 core legs required in each class to achieve the Bronze level, with 150 legs overall, which may include Grand Prix tournament qualifications, Performance Program (Level 3) or former Veteran Program (Masters) legs. 25 core legs would be required in the Championship Program in each class for the Silver, 35 for Gold, and so on.
The 16" table is required to be used in the 16" standard agility class.
An interactive web site development project is now underway by an outside consulting firm that is scheduled to go online in mid-fall 2003. USDAA's new web site will allow access to individual dog trial results, rankings by breed, daily updated Agility Top TenSM and LAA standings, online dog registrations and more.
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