Agility Trial Jobs

Course Builder
Summary: Move obstacles between rounds as directed by the Chief Course Builder.
Help move equipment between classes to set the course for the next class. Requires more brawn than brains. You must be aware of when each class ends so the new course can be set quickly. Efficiency in course building can significantly affect how late a show goes. Generally, the Chief Course Builder (and then the judge during final “tweaking”) provides instruction about what pieces of equipment are needed and where to place them.

Gate Steward
Summary: Make sure dogs and handlers are ready at start line.
Armed with a running order, call out the names of handlers and dogs to make sure they are present and aware of when they will be going into the ring. You must not be too shy for this job as it can require shouting for missing handlers. You must also be prepared for nervous handlers asking repeatedly when they will be running. It’s a great way to get to know names and faces. You can make a show run faster and smoother if you:

  • Have the next three dogs ready to go.
  • Have the next dog on the starting line-without its collar!-before the previous dog finishes, if possible.
  • Provide information to the Assistant Scribe to ensure that the running order matches the scribe sheets.
    • Note: Before going to ring: Pick up running order list and pen from Score Table. (Or they might already be posted at ringside.)
Summary: Make marks on paper when judge raises hand or calls out a number.
Mark down faults and points as directed by Judge on the scribe sheet while each dog is running. Scribing differs for different classes, just as judging differs. The Judge will instruct you as to the meaning of various hand signals; s/he is always pleased to provide you with a quick one-minute primer on the signals if you ask. If you ever are unclear about a Judge’s signal, wait until after that run and clarify before the next dog starts. It is wise to verify that you have the correct scribe sheet for each dog. IMPORTANT: You must watch only the Judge at all times during each run, never the dog or handler. Note: Before the first dog: Get pen and clipboard with first dog’s scribe sheet from the Assistant Scribe.
Assistant Scribe
Summary: Give the Scribe the correct scribe sheet for the next dog and write down the previous dog’s stopwatch time.
As the first dog starts, place the first dog’s scribe sheet onto a clipboard and give it to the Scribe. As each dog finishes, take the clipboard with scribe sheet from the Scribe and hand over the next scribe sheet on the second clipboard.With a two-stopwatch system, also take the stopwatch from the Timer at the end of the run, return a second zeroed stopwatch to the Timer to start the next dog, record the time on the scribe sheet, and reset the watch. This job is critical for ensuring that the Scribe writes scores on the correct scribe sheet, as there are often changes in the running order at the last minute or even during the class.When a dog has scratched a run, mark the scribe sheet “Scratched” and give it to the Runner immediately so that the Score Table knows the dog is not there. Note: Before going to ring: Pick up two small clipboards, scribe sheets, and two pens from Score Table.
Summary: Use stopwatch to time a dog during a run.
This job requires the full attention and no distractions, as focusing on the dog crossing the start line and finish line is critical. One person must time an entire jump height within a class to minimize timing differences. The Judge will give you specific instructions on timing a class before the first dog runs.The Timer is important in keeping the competition running on time, so you must cue the next dog and handler by saying “Ready!” loudly and clearly as soon as you see that the Judge is ready and you are ready to begin; you can also nod or signal with a flag but not all handlers look at the timer when starting so a loud call is important. Keep the whistle in your mouth; as soon as a dog begins and you start the watch, check immediately that the watch is running. If it is not, blow the whistle immediately and loudly, no later than the third obstacle, to stop the run.Note: Before going to ring: Pick up the two stop watches and a whistle from Score Table. Make sure that the whistle works.
Scribe Runner
Summary: Take scribe sheet from Assistant Scribe to Score Table
Runners usually take sheets from the Assistant Scribe to the Score Table one at a time. Might require a bit of walking (probably not running).
Leash Runner
Summary: Take leashes from the start line to finish line.
This is a very easy job often filled by children. However, you should be as invisible as possible to the handler at the start; don’t demand the leash or crowd the dog in anticipation of the removal of the leash.
Ring Steward (Pole Setter and Tunnel Straightener)
Summary: Reset bars for height changes and when they are knocked by dogs during a run. Straighten down chute as needed.
Judge will instruct you before each class as to where you should sit and whether the bars are to be reset during a run; for example, if a jump is taken twice in the same run. Bars are never reset during a Gamblers run. If the course includes a collapsed tunnel, you will also straighten the tube after each dog. This is a great job for watching each dog run as you must be attentive to the happenings in the ring at all times.
Score Table
Summary: Add up marks made by Scribe and write them on the master score sheet.
Take the scribe sheet from the Runner, compute how much (if at all) the dog exceeded course time using a calculator, add up the faults (they are all multiples of 5), and determine whether the run qualifies (for example, has five or fewer faults). At the end of each jump height, determine first, second, third and fourth places.There are always at least two people at the score table to double-check each other (three for jumpers classes), and there is always at least one experienced score table person to give instructions and answer questions.Sometimes a third person can copy scores from the master score sheets to the posted score sheets to make results available more quickly for competitors.
Registration Check-In
Check names off a list or hand out catalogs.
If you can help first thing in the morning, you can offer your services at the Registration Table. You can check people off on the check-in lists, hand out catalogs or goodies, or help with measure-in (handle paperwork for the measuring judge).
Summary: Hand out ribbons or place ribbons/prizes so that they may be picked up by competitors.
Get the results from the score table for a class (probably use the posted third copy of the score sheets), make announcement that ribbons for that class are being given out. One person reads the results, a second person hands out the ribbons and/or prizes, and (if available) a third person can write names on the backs of unclaims ribbons. Many clubs place ribbons and prizes on tables for pick up by competitors. Termed “self serve”, once placements and qualifications have been posted, competitors may pick up their ribbons and/or prizes at their convenience.
Summary: Organize/prepare coffee, muffins, cups, plates, etc. for use by competitors before trial starts. May or may not include serving/preparing lunch which may be purchased by competitors and/or those watching or working at the trial.
Much of the work is done before the trial by determining supplies needed and ordering same. Includes someone at hospitality table most of the time to refresh items available.