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Frequently Asked Questions for the 2017 Jump Height Changes - Part 1

FAQs regarding the new 2017 Jump Heights.

Q: USDAA jump heights were modified in 2014. Why are they being modified or changed again?

A: When the current jump heights were implemented in 2014, USDAA stated the data from these new jump heights and cut offs would be evaluated in approximately two to three years to determine the impact they had on creating equitable competition for every type of dog. We are now following through on this commitment.

Q: What was the basis for these new jump heights?

A: Empirical data was reviewed from performances over the past three years to understand the natural performance speeds of dogs at the various heights. This data was then subjected to months of discussion and consideration of variables among the USDAA Advisory Committee, leading veterinarians, and a variety of other sources. The result is what we determined to be the best structure that creates equitable challenges for each jump height in the Championship and Performance programs.

Q: When do the new jump heights go into effect?

A: The new jump height structure will go in effect on December 28, 2016.

Q: My dog measures between 17 and 17.5 inches and am competing in the 18" class. I'm close to finishing my ADCH but will not likely be able to do so by 12/28/2016, when the 18 jump height is discontinued. I will likely move my dog to Performance. Do I have to start over getting Qs?

A: No; if you are in this select group of competitors, i.e., those with dogs competing in 18 and measuring between 17 and 17.5 inches, a special procedure has been established to enable you to complete the current level of titles you are pursuing, by completing them in the Performance Program.

If you are unable to complete your ADCH title by 12/28/2016, you can register free of charge with USDAA to:

  1. complete the title by competing in the Performance Program, or
  2. may make a one time election to transfer your Championship Qualifications (Qs) to the Performance Program in order to apply them to the PDCH title in the Performance Program.
  3. All titles under this election must be completed by the end of 2017.

Q: What happens to any tournament Qs I earned between now and the end of the year?

A: Qualifications and byes earned at a local event prior to 12/28/2016, enable a competitor to enter the Regional championship or Cynosport World Games in any eligible new jump height in either program, regardless of which height class or program the qualifications had been previously earned. These wild card qualifications may be combined with qualifications earned in either program after 12/28/2016, as if earned in the new jump height and program, pursuant to individual tournament rules.

Q: What are the new Championship jump heights and cutoffs?


Dogs Maximum
Height at Withers
2017 Championship
Jump Height
Over 21"24"Extra Large

Q: Why is there no longer a 12-inch Championship jump height? Isnt that an international standard height used by IFCS?

A: Yes. A 12" jump height is an official international standard used by IFCS. When we looked at the empirical data of small dogs, specifically dogs measuring 12 inches or less; dogs in this height category had the greatest variations of body types and builds. To create a more competitive pool with like-sized dogs, the 10-inch jump height was developed.

Competitors striving to compete internationally can choose to jump 10" or 14" in the Championship program, or 12" in Performance. We believe among these options, a competitor may adequately prepare for international competition.

Q: Why did the cutoff for the 16-inch jump height move to 17-inches?

A: Increasing the cutoff to 17-inches for the 16-inch jump height combines dogs that have similar performance speeds (i.e., yards-per-second or YPS). Our data shows that in both Championship 18-inch and Performance 16-inch jump heights, dogs measuring within this range naturally align with dogs currently measuring below 16-inches.

Q: Why do some dogs that used to jump 18-inches now must jump two-inches higher to stay in the Championship program?

A: When we analyzed the empirical data for the 18-inch class, dogs measuring 17" - 17.5" were the smallest group of dogs competing in both Championship and Performance programs. Dogs over 17.5" generally outperformed dogs below 17.5", so the 18" class was competitively limited and continued to be the subject of discussion of a noncompetitive class. The 20" jump height not only being widely recognized domestically and internationally, it should create a robust competitive class for dogs measuring 17" to 19".

As an alternative to the 20" class, dogs 17" to 17.5" have the additional option of switching to the Performance Program and compete against similar sizes of dogs in a new 14" class in the Performance Program or in its 16" class.

Q: What are the new Performance jump heights and cutoffs?


Dogs Maximum
Height at Withers
2017 Performance
Jump Height
Over 21"20"Extra Large

Q: Why are the cutoffs in Performance Program different than the current Championship program?

A: Our study of Performance Program data indicated the cutoffs required a different approach from the Championship Program to maintain a balanced and equitable competition, considering that dogs are generally jumping lower than their shoulder heights. Beginning 12/28/2016, only the 16" cutoff is different from the Championship Program, and that recognizes the competitive factors that differentiate dogs measuring 14" or less that are competing in the Performance 12" class, versus the larger dogs. Dogs measuring from 12" to 16" as a whole in this class have historically performed competitively against each other in competitive numbers, and introducing dogs between 16" and 17" would likely have had negative impact.


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