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Performance Pack
Posted on 12/03/2012 in Full Circle.

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This month’s article is solely geared towards the UKC Performance Pack format. It features the results of the Performance Pack Rules Committee. Any proposal(s) that was passed becomes effective January 1, 2013. Also, noted are changes to the Performance Pack State and National Run-Offs.

Rule Proposal Results (Performance Pack Format only.)
1. Conditional Entry: Allow a Conditional entry. A fee of $5 is applied, in addition to regular entry fee. (Passed 8/0)
Summary: Provisions for Conditional entries will be added to the section of the rulebook under the heading Entering Dogs in UKC Licensed Events.

In further clarifying, let’s start with a question. Have you ever hurried off and arrived at the hunt only to realize that you forgot to grab your dog’s Registration Certificate or Easy Entry™ Card? Or from an officials’ or club’s standpoint, have you ever felt terrible about having no choice but to turn an entry away because the participant was not in possession of the required form of entry (Reg. Cert./Easy Entry™ Card)? I’ve had the unpleasant personal experience from both sides of that coin.

Beginning on January 1, 2013, for a fee of $5, in addition to the entry fee, the participant will now have the option to enter their dog in the event as a Conditional Entry when they are not in possession of that required form of entry. The dog must, however, be permanently registered with UKC. A dog with puppy papers only is not eligible to be entered as Conditional.

The participant is not required to show entry takers proof of anything. They simply provide them with the most accurate information possible. Example: Dog’s registered name, owner’s name, including city and state. If you know the dog’s UKC number, provide it as well. If not, don’t guess at it. Simply leave that part blank. It’s important that participants do provide as much accurate information as possible so that points can be applied, if earned. Without enough accurate information, any placements or wins the dog earned at the event may not be awarded.

In the case where a dog entered as Conditional places in the event, and where the handler was not able to provide the dog’s UKC number, the Master of Hounds might simply write COND in the space provided for the dog’s UKC number on the Event Report. Each Event Packet now also comes with an Event Fee Worksheet (carbon copy) for the clubs to complete and return with the Event Report. On this form there’s a space to note the number of Conditional Entry fees taken at the event. Any Conditional entry monies are forwarded along with recording fees, etc., to UKC.

Dogs that were single registered the day of the event shall remain in accordance with rules pertaining to single registration. In other words, those dogs would enter as “pending” just as they did prior to the option of a Conditional entry. They also continue to enter as “pending” until permanently registered and/or as outlined under the rules for single registration. Conditional entries should not be confused or play a part in dogs whose registration is pending.

2. Certification of Champions: Change portion of rule where it requires certification date be advertised when other than date of event. (Passed with Amendment 8/0)

Summary: Under Performance Pack Champion Certification Procedures, Rule 1 (B) will be changed to include; certifying champions may be done on the day previous to the event without it being advertised as such. This simply allows for clubs to certify champions on the night previous to the event, without it being advertised in accordance to the rules. Certifying champions on the day previous to the event shall be at the clubs discretion.

3. Master of Hounds: Rule 5 (a) Change the second sentence to read:
These individuals shall be licensed and certified Performance Pack Judges that are knowledgeable when it comes to all Performance Pack rules, policies and procedures for conducting Licensed Performance Pack events. (Failed 6/2)
Summary: The rules committee agreed unanimously that it’s a good idea. And that it would better ensure that the Master of Hounds is as capable as anyone to serve as the event official. However, considering the lack of enough “certified” judges in the current pool, requiring the Master of Hounds to be a certified judge may be a little too taxing for clubs at this time still.

4. Casts: Rule 7 (c) Change portion of rule to further clarify ownership. (Failed 7/1)
Summary: The proposal suggested that only those multiple owners whose names appeared exactly the same on both dogs would allow for one of them to roll out of a cast. Example: Allen and Bob are the registered owners of Little Duke. Allen and Frank are the registered owners of Little Hammer. Duke and Hammer drew out in the same cast. Because the owners were not identical on both dogs, the proposal suggested they would not have the option to roll one of them out. In any event, the proposal failed and the rule remains that so long as one of the registered owners is the same on both dogs then one of the dogs may be rolled out of the same cast, if possible.

5. Babbling: Define Rule 3 (b) to minus dogs for babbling as: (dog opening where no track is evident or while running to other dog(s) struck in on trail). (Passed 8/0 with Amendment)
Summary: There was a lot of good discussion on the topic of babbling vs. harking in. It’s fair to say the committee wholly agreed there is a difference. They also all agreed that regardless of what you want to call it (babbling or harking in); both are undesired actions.

The amendment that will be added to Rule 3(b) will simply define babbling as: a dog that has opened three times where no track is evident. It will also further clarify that this to include dogs that open three times “harking in” to other dogs on trail. It’s important to further make note to judges that a dog should only receive one penalty (minus 10) per infraction when it comes to “harking in” from across the way.

6. Strike: Change the portion of Rule 3 (c) to read: If no rabbit is produced within the three minutes, strike points for all struck dogs to be scored as minus. (Failed 7/1)
Summary: It took even less than three minutes to produce the decision on this one.

7. Handlers and Spectators: Change portion of Rule 7 (a) to read: Handlers are permitted to use tracking devices during any time of the hunt. (Passed 7/1)
Summary: In depth discussions obviously included the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages. In the end, everyone agreed that Performance Pack hunts are designed to score dogs for 60 minutes. And the sooner we can get scattered dogs back in the pack and under scoring the better. Under the heading Handlers and Spectators; Rule 7(a) will now be changed to allow the use of tracking telemetry, including GPS systems, during the course of the hunt.

Will this rule open the door for constant dialog from handlers to judges advising them of the location of their dog etc., etc.? A distraction for judges, if you will? First, judges are in charge and in control of the hunt. Secondly, Rule 7(a) addresses the fact that handlers cannot at any time interfere with the judge in a manner that influences the judge in any way. This should cover any concerns of handlers getting in the way of judges, including verbally.

Any concerns of “out of pocket” dogs should be left up to the judge, and part of their pre-hunt instructions to the handlers on how they want them to react should they “track” their dog as being out of the pocket during time in periods of the hunt. It makes good sense that if judges have any concerns as to the whereabouts of any certain dog they might simply ask the handlers. That opposed to the other way around where handlers are bothering the judge with “hey my dog is way over there”! In any event, feedback of this new rule regarding it working out in the field may determine any further policy for such, as deemed necessary.

Finally, combo units such as the SportDOG® Tek™ 1.0 or the Garmin® Alpha™ tracking and controlling may not be used during hunt time. The handheld of any such system may not be carried by the handler during the hunt. Controlling device rules will take precedence over the tracking portion of such systems. Current rules allow the use of controlling devices (referred to in the rulebook as “training systems”) after the dog is scratched from the cast only. The same will apply to any tracking/controlling combo units. UKC makes an exception for the SportDOG® Tek™ 1.0 to where the handheld may be carried under the following provision. The controlling portion on the dog’s collar of this specific unit is removable. So, in the case where the controlling portion is removed from the collar, the handler may carry and use the handheld during the hunt.

State Race Runoff Changes
This change is specific to the Performance Pack format only and effective immediately for those in the running for the 2012 Black Gold State Race program. State Race Runoffs have been eliminated. Instead those dogs placing in the top 10 of each state/region will all be eligible for the National Runoff. The National Runoff will continue to be held on the day prior to the UKC Performance Pack National Championship. Those dogs winning their state/region will be granted a ticket to the second round of the National Run-off.