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Shut Out Scoring Situation - Tardy Handlers / Cast Lost on Way to Woods -
Posted on 08/24/2006 in The Coonhound Advisor.

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August Advisor
Allen Gingerich

Shut Out Scoring Situation
Q: This question came up the other night at a UKC hunt that I was involved in where two dogs had been withdrawn and we were down to two dogs left in the cast. Dog A is declared struck and treed. Dog B has not opened. Within the five minutes but before it expires, dog B is also declared struck and treed with a line drawn under his strike points. Before we got to the tree, dog A was heard off the tree running track again and was minused its tree points. The argument was that dog B should be awarded strike points since we did not physically see both dogs on the same tree. In other words, they could have been on separate trees. What is the proper way to score this situation? Please advise. JP/NC

A: It’s easy to see where one might want to make an argument for the reason you mentioned – they were not seen on the same tree. In applying the proper rules and interpretations of them we can however eliminate that argument. Whenever dogs are declared struck and treed, no other dog(s) can receive strike points on that tree because they are considered “shut out” – the term used in accordance with rule 3(d). {Dog cannot receive plus or minus strike points if he is not on trail when first dog is declared treed unless he trees on separate tree.} You mentioned that the Judge drew a line under dog B’s strike points when he was declared treed. Not saying it’s wrong to draw a line under the strike points initially, because in some instances when you get to the tree the dog is in fact on a separate tree. It just makes sense to wait to draw that line through the strike points until verified for the sake of a scribbled up scorecard! The point is, drawing a line under the strike points leads me to believe that the judge could not/did not determine dog B to be split treed from dog A when the handler declared dog B treed. According to Rule 11, {If a split tree is obvious (Judges decision), split tree must be declared.} So, in assuming there was never a question regarding dogs having been split until the issue on how to score dog B was brought up, it would be considered as the same tree and also scored as such. Dog B was “shut out” on that particular tree and cannot be moved up to 125 because 1) you don’t move up when other dog(s) leave and neither is he eligible for strike points because 2) a split tree was not obvious he was “shut out” on that particular tree. On another note, if dog A would have been minused for leaving before dog B was declared treed – then the tree would have been considered open again and dog B would have been eligible for both second strike and first tree points. However, in your situation, 75 tree points only for dog B on that particular tree.

Time Allowed For Tardy Handlers / Cast Lost On Way To Woods
Q: Recently, I entered two dogs in a Regional Qualifying Event where I had a friend of mine handle the one dog. My handler had called the Master of Hounds earlier that day and advised him that he may be a few minutes late but that I would be entering the dog for him. He was told that shouldn’t be a problem, as it would take a little time for him to get all the casts drawn before calling them out anyway. Unfortunately, the handler had not arrived at the clubhouse yet when the casts were called out. After waiting a period of time, the guide and judge on that particular cast tried persuading the Master of Hounds to scratch the dog so they could head out. I feel it was done only with the intent to eliminate competition when they were told he was still on his way. Eventually, the Master of Hounds scratched the dog and the cast was told to go without him. In the meantime my handler arrived and the cast had not yet left the grounds but was told by the Master of Hounds that he was already scratched and there was nothing that could be done at that point. Should he not have been given at least one hour for “delay of the cast” considering he had called the Master of Hounds and told him he would be late? If not, where is there a written rule that a Master of Hounds can apply to scratch a dog/handler for not being on the grounds within a certain amount of time? JN/IN

A: This question was recently posted on the UKC message board and of course it immediately caught my eye as I was present at the RQE where this incident took place. The handler had asked for a Formal Complaint, which was granted but before writing it up he came to me and told me about the situation. He also told me about calling the Master of Hounds earlier that day and felt he was treated unfairly. I told him it was an unfortunate situation and also that obviously the Master of Hounds had made his decision and could not overturn it. He agreed and left it at that but was obviously a little upset over the whole deal.

In such a situation the one-hour delay of cast that is noted in rule 6(j) where it states, dogs will be scratched: {For delaying completion of cast for one hour after time out is called in accordance with rule 8.} does not necessarily apply here. That rule applies only to situations where after a time out has been called during the hunt and a handler delays the completion of the cast. No, you won’t find a written rule stating a certain amount of time that should be allowed. Officials are merely expected to use common sense and set a reasonable amount of time when/if needed. The MOH may have given the handler an hour or any other amount of time to show up, in the same token, he may also not allow much if any time at all after the cast/handler has been called if he thinks it is unreasonable that the handler is not there and ready to go with his cast. Understand that giving someone a certain amount of time to arrive at the club or having to run here or there before they are ready to go with the cast on the hunt is only done out of courtesy. Most cast members will not have a problem with it when you may not be ready to go the minute they are, however, expecting too much or being unreasonable is another thing regardless of excuses. How many times have you drawn out on a cast and someone says, “We need to stop at a gas station – I’m running on empty”? Most of us have been guilty of delaying the cast in some form but let’s be considerate especially when time might be an issue as it can be very annoying and disrespectful of others in your cast. Probably the best advice one can give to avoid unfortunate situations such as the one described is; if you plan on going to a hunt, make sure you have your dog, your boots, tracking system, plenty of gas in the truck and whatever else you will need and give yourself plenty of time to get there. If you are busy at home with personal issues, limited on time and will be flirting with the deadline, well…there’s always next week. A wise man posting on the message board may have said it best when he simply stated “The UKC implemented a rule a long time ago called a deadline”, which he interprets as; be at the grounds with your hound and ready to go huntin’. It’s fair to say - Mr. Flowers hit the nail on the head with that one!

The same can also be said for when a cast becomes lost or separated on their way to the woods and need to return to the clubhouse. The Master of Hounds does not necessarily have to give the rest of the cast members an hour; they are simply required to give them a reasonable amount of time to return. That amount of time given is the decision of the Master of Hounds. Consideration needs to be given for how long it may take them to get back to the clubhouse after realizing that the cast was not together and also making sure those involved will have enough time to get their hunt time in should it be an issue etc; etc…Sometimes an hour is needed and given, in the same token, sometimes allowing an hour is simply unreasonable or becomes an issue. Again, it is the MOH who makes that decision and we all need to live with whatever that allowed time may be.

This may also be a good time to remind everyone that if you draw out to a satellite club at Autumn Oaks this year, you are expected to be there when your cast is called!