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Point Values
Posted on 11/18/2011 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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Advisor Article – November '11
Allen Gingerich

Point Values
Hot Topic. In light of the most recent World Championship Zone Events where several dogs were scratched for incomplete scorecards, it quickly became a hot topic of discussion. Unfortunately, several dogs got knocked out on Friday night because of it, leaving them without the opportunity to compete on Saturday. This even happened to dogs, in several cases, that had not won their cast.

There are two things that a handler must be aware of and make sure of when signing off on the scorecard. The two things that will leave a scorecard to be incomplete and will get the dog scratched, regardless of whether they won the cast or not are: 1) turning in a scorecard with strike and/or tree points that do not show a value; and/or 2) failure to sign the scorecard.

First, each and every point in the strike and tree columns on the scorecard must show a value of plus, minus, circle or delete. Simply having it noted in the plus or minus column on the right hand side of the scorecard is not acceptable. That side of the scorecard should simply be considered a worksheet to add up the dog’s points from each drop. The Master of Hounds or Hunt Director can never assume that unvalued points are placed in the correct column on the right hand side of the scorecard. While most good judges will have the scorecard filled out completely and correctly, it will only benefit the handler to form the good habit of checking it over good after each hunt just to be sure before signing.

Where we find the most cases of “incompleteness” on scorecards are on the last drop of the night when hunt time expired when the dogs were still trailing. While it is likely obvious to the official that those points should have been deleted they must be scored or valued as such.

And then, of course, the second item rendering a scorecard to be incomplete and resulting in getting your dog scratched is failure to sign the scorecard. A new policy added to Rule 13 now allows the handler to sign the scorecard in view of the Master of Hounds at the club. However, turning in a scorecard with unvalued points in the strike and tree columns cannot be changed or added at the clubhouse. That must be done prior to turning it in.

Here’s something very important for all Master of Hounds to know and understand. Whenever you find any strike or tree points recorded on a returned scorecard without a point value; scratch that dog only. Do not scratch the whole cast unless, of course, the scorecard reflects unvalued strike and tree points for each dog on the cast.

Finally handlers, don’t be the subject of an unpleasant surprise after the official has completed his review of your scorecard at the club. It is their job to make sure it is complete before considering your score for placement. They don’t have the option to pick and choose which rules to abide by regardless of what hunt it is or whose dog may be involved. It is your job as the handler to be responsible and make sure it is complete before signing it or turning it in. You owe it to your dog to not allow any scorecard technicalities get in the way of a hard earned win or placement. Otherwise, the Master of Hounds and/or the cast judge are not to blame.

Time Frame Allotted for Handler to Sign Scorecard at Clubhouse
Q: Rule 13 now allows a handler, who failed to sign the scorecard in the woods, to sign it at the clubhouse in view of the Master of Hounds or Hunt Director. The question is; what time frame is allowed in which the handler may sign at the clubhouse?

Advisor: Great question. A handler shall be given the opportunity to sign the scorecard until; whichever of the following two items comes first:
1. The deadline to return all scorecards.
2. Immediately following the return of all scorecards.
This is a very simple and hunter friendly time frame that makes good sense. Strict entry and scorecard return deadlines were put in place to allow officials to proceed forward at a certain time. This policy subscribes to that same theory. It makes sense to give the handler the opportunity until the point when the official is ready to move forward with filling out the event results paperwork. It makes no sense to have a 3 a.m. deadline and give the handler until then when all the scorecards had been returned by 2 a.m.
So at the time of whichever of the two items comes first, any handlers who have not yet signed their scorecard will result in their dog being scratched at that time. Finally, officials should not be subjected to the responsibility of contacting any such handler that may have left the club grounds for whatever reason.

Slam Payout With No Cast Winners
Q: The club had a UKC Slam Event where no casts came in with plus points. How is the prize money distributed?

Advisor: UKC Slam Events pay out 55 percent of the entry fees to its winners. First, each cast winner, who had a total score of plus points, receives its entry fee back. The remaining prize monies are paid out to the four highest scoring cast winners who, with a majority vote, may opt to split it equally. Or, they may hunt it off in a one hour hunt where the winner will take 40 percent, second 30 percent, third 20 percent, and fourth 10 percent. If there are less than four dogs who had a total score of plus points a breakdown form, found in the Hunt Packet, breaks down any such scenarios.
It is never an option for the club to retain any portion of the prize money, even when they had no cast winners with plus points. When the club has no plus point cast winners they should simply pay out that 55% equally to the owner of each dog that was entered in the event.
Example: Using the scenario of 16 dogs entered, at $30 per entry fee, results in a payout of $264. That amount is divided by 16, resulting in a payout of $16.50 to the owner of each dog that was entered. Ironically, the payout to each dog would always result in $16.50 each regardless of the amount of dogs entered. In a $20 entry fee event it would be slightly less obviously or, in either case, just better than half or 55 percent of the fee they paid to enter.