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The Elimination Style Hunt Format
Posted on 01/03/2013 in Out On A Limb.

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UKC currently has two different formats for the running of licensed events. The differing procedures for running these two formats can be found in their entirety in the Official UKC Cur & Feist Rulebook.

The two formats are the Standard Hunt Format and the Elimination Style Hunt Format. All UKC licensed events, unless otherwise indicated, are run under the standard hunt format. In order for a club to run a hunt using the elimination format, it must first be pre-approved by UKC. This must be done at the time that the event is confirmed.

The reason that UKC attempts to somewhat restrict the number of elimination format events is because, to some degree, the elimination events could be considered bonus points events in regards to championship points that are awarded. Because all of the categories of dogs (Registered, Champion and Grand) are run together, the championship points schedule is tweaked somewhat to reward dogs for their accomplishments against stiffer competition. For instance, seeing as how Registered dogs in theory have tougher competition running against Champions and Grands than they would in a standard hunt format event, a “first place” win (40 points) is awarded to any Registered dog that finishes in the top three. Registered dogs that place third through tenth receive a “third place” win (30 points), and Champion dogs that place first through tenth receive a Champion win.

Can you see what the problem would be if all licensed events had the option of running under this format? The integrity of the UKC championship degrees would ultimately suffer with so many “wins” available. By that same token, anyone who is in the process of trying to finish a dog to Champion or Grand should certainly never pass up the opportunity to compete in an elimination format event. And because these events do, in theory, draw a better entry than a standard format event, more of you clubs that are eligible to host one should certainly consider doing so.

Now that we are no longer holding World Qualifying Events, only two types of events will be considered for approval to run an elimination format event. Those two events would be State Championship events and National Breed Hunts. Unlike the world of coonhounds, State Championships and National Breed Events (at least with United Kennel Club) are fairly rare. I do believe that in the future we will see State and National organizations in the squirrel dog world, but for the time being, UKC does have a policy that applies to this situation. For those States that do not have active State Associations, the first local club that designates one of its events the “State Championship” will be granted approval to do so and may hold that event using the elimination format. The same goes for breed events; however, keep in mind that in the event an actual State or National Association were to form in the future, the right to hold the State or National event will be assigned to the official group.

One thing that we strongly suggest to any group that will be conducting an elimination style event is to make sure you have a rulebook handy. I guess that goes for all events, but it is especially so with an elimination event. Those procedures unique to holding an elimination style event are spelled out in detail in the rulebook. It’s important that you conduct your event within the framework of the rules so as not to jeopardize the issuance of championship points.