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Upcoming A-frame Rules Amendment

USDAA approves new A-frame performance specifications, to take effect July 1, 2016


USDAA is pleased to announce an amendment to the A-frame performance standards as set forth in Appendix A of USDAA Official Rules & Regulations.

When the sport was first introduced to the dog world, the A-frame was a solid 90 degree angle or approximately 6'3" at the apex for large and small dogs alike. The obstacle provided a means of demonstrating dogs' scaling ability, as they ascended and descended its 9-foot ramps.

With the sports rapid growth at the end of the 1990s, the angle of ascent and descent was decreased to a 98 degree angle (app. 5'11" or 180cm) for large dogs and 104 degree angle (app. 5'6-1/2" or 170cm) to reduce the degree of impact encountered by dogs, recognizing the sport was formulated without anticipating the high degree of frequency of events and number of performances to be encountered on a weekly basis. In more recent years, further evaluation of the standards has led new standards being adopted, effective July 1, 2016.

Appendix A of the regulations shall be amended to read:

A-Frame (Effective July 1, 2016)
The A-Frame ramps shall be securely hinged or anchored together on one end to form the apex of the A-frame when standing upright. The angle of the two ramps at the apex shall be adjustable as shown in the table below in order to provide a consistent angle of ascent:

PROGRAM HEIGHT DIVISIONS APEX* ANGLE APPROXIMATE HEIGHT*
Championship
All heights 104 degrees 1700mm / app. 66.5"
Performance 20", 16", 12" 104 degrees 1700mm / app. 66.5"
8" 112.5 degrees 1525mm / app. 60"
Veterans
All Heights 112.5 degrees 1525mm / app. 60"

*The angle of incline is a key element in evaluating a dog's impact when alighting on and exiting the A-frame. When the A-frame construction strictly meets the construction specifications of 108" length ramps at a 104 degree angle, the height of the A-frame at the apex shall measure no less than 66" (168cm) and no more than 67" (170cm). When at the 112.5 degree angle, the height of the A-frame at the apex shall measure no less than 59" and no more than 60".

Chains or other support devices shall be fastened to the A-Frame ramps on each side between 2' and 3' (app. 610mm - 915mm) above ground level to provide stability at the angles (heights) required above.

This amendment to the A-frame performance standard requires no equipment modifications since it utilizes A-frame angles (& heights) already in use. Specific amendments and modifications to the Rulebook will be made and posted under the Rules Amendment section of the Regulations eBook section of the website by July 1, 2016.

Our thanks to the USDAA Advisory Committee, Janet Gauntt and Stuart Mah for their comments, explanations and suggestions. Established in 2015, the Advisory Committee is a group of approximately 50 competitors, event organizers, affiliated group representatives.

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