Changes to Judging Guidelines


At a meeting of the USBCHA Board of Directors on February 8, 2018, the Board adopted some revisions to the Judging Guidelines. This was done after study by a subcommittee and a thorough review by the Board. The Guidelines can be found on the website. The changes are incorporated on the page “Judging Guidelines.”  If you click on the pdf version, you will see the changes in red type (except as noted below).

I strongly encourage everyone (but particularly judges) to review the Guidelines.

A short summary of the changes follows.  Many changes are actually “corrections.”  A few include language already in the USBCHA Rules.

Corrections to the tables of point deductions:  The suggested point deductions in some of the tables were inconsistent.  For example, in the Table under outrun, in the first column it stated: “Dog that is redirected on the run (minimum ½ point).”  However, next to it in the right column, it stated “2-3 points” for the deduction. The corrections make column 1 consistent with column 2 in all of the tables.  These changes do not show in red on the pdf document but the tables are now internally consistent.

2.3.      Reruns  – p. 2

Most of the new language was in our current Rules – Part II. D.  This brings the language into the Guidelines. Two new issues are also addressed in the suggested changes – First, what to do if the wrong number of sheep or unsound sheep are let out, adding language is primarily from the ISDS rules with the addition of a rerun when the wrong number of sheep are let out.  Second, the suggested changes deal with what direction the handler should send the dog if a rerun is granted.

New language in Rule and added to Guidelines:

With few exceptions left to the judge’s discretion, a rerun should be given if the wrong number of sheep has been let out, a sheep being wrongly marked, or one or more sheep being unsound for working. In these cases, the judge shall decide if the rerun will commence at the beginning and, if not, at which point it will start. If decided that the rerun starts at any point other than the beginning, the points scored up to the point of rerun shall stand.

When a rerun is granted, the handler shall send the dog in the same direction as the original run unless otherwise instructed by the Judge.

2.4       Decorum, Sportsmanship & Humane Rules

 Language from Part II. F of the USBCHA Rules (as recently amended) has been added to the Guidelines as well.

Water shall always be available on the field for cooling a dog. Handlers should be allowed to direct a dog to the water and the dog use the water with no points penalty. Handlers should not leave the post to go to the water with the dog. However, if the handler is moving to the shedding ring or moving to the pen, he/she may detour to the water. The clock will not be stopped. Actions of the stock are still being judged and may result in a loss of points, up to disqualification if the stock leaves the trial area.

3.1     Outrun, Drive, Shed, Single

The following change make our guidelines consistent with ISDS rules – two modifications: (1) positioning of dog near the handler when sent and (2) may move to shed ring when first of stock enters ring if shed required after the drive (see for example, 3.1 Outrun and 3.4 Drive, on when handler can go to the shedding ring.)

Revised language:

The dog must be positioned close to the handler/post. The handler will remain at the post from the commencement of the run and remain at the post until the first of the stock enters the shedding ring when a shed is required after the drive. 

The language in the Rules is also changed so that it is the same as the Guidelines.  See III. K.4.  Changes will also be made in the similar language in the drive portion of rules and guidelines

3.5       Shedding, p. 10

Consistent with ISDS 5.2.7, the following changes allow for regathering in a practical and workmanlike manner, not necessarily in the ring.

On completion of the shedding, the dog will reunite all of the sheep, not necessarily within the ring but in a practical and workmanlike manner, and the handler must proceed to the pen, leaving the dog to bring the sheep to the pen.

The Rules have been modified to be consistent with the Revised Guidelines.

If you have any questions, please contact your directors.

Thank you.