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Scoring Methods

There are three basic methods for scoring classes in dog agility –

  • "Standard” scoring,
  • "Time-plus-Faults" scoring, and
  • "Point-basis" scoring.

Each of these are described below:

"Standard Scoring" is the preferred method for standard agility and jumping classes, though "Time-plus-Faults" scoring may alternatively be utilized. Classes scored pursuant to "Standard Scoring" are run against a "Standard Course Time" or "SCT" that is set by the judge. In titling classes that utilize the standard scoring method, strict time standards are prescribed for each level of competition (i.e., Starters, Advanced, Masters in the Championship Program and Levels I, II & III in the Performance Program). Fault penalties are assessed for each infraction as defined under the rules for course and obstacle performance and for exceeding the SCT. The competitor with the fewest total penalties is the winner; in the event of a tie, the competitor with the fastest time is the winner, unless some other tie-breaking method is specified prior to the class. Penalties are assessed pursuant to the following table of faults:

Fault Description Starters/Level I Advanced/Level II Masters/Level III
Missed contact zones 5 faults 5 faults 5 faults
Fly off 5 faults 5 faults 5 faults
First missed pole 0 faults 5 faults 5 faults
Displace top pole or plank 5 faults 5 faults 5 faults
Touching wishing well base 5 faults*** 5 faults*** 5 faults***
Failure to clear jump span 5 faults 5 faults 5 faults
Leaving table prior to end of count 5 faults*** 5 faults*** 5 faults***
Anticipation of end of count 5 faults 5 faults 5 faults
Handler/Outside Assistance 5 - 20 faults, or "E"
Refusals (including runouts) 0 faults 5 faults* 5 faults
Wrong course 5 faults 20 faults "E"
3 Refusals (including runouts) 0 faults "E"** "E"
Single omission 20 faults**** "E" "E"

      *Contact obstacles only
    **Single contact obstacle, not cumulative on course
  ***Maximum penalty of 5 points for individual obstacle for this infraction
****Multiple omission is "E"

"Time-plus-Faults" scoring is utilized in classes that wish to emphasize speed, such as relay classes; however, this method may also be utilized in standard agility and jumpers classes that might typically be scored on the Standard Method. The score is the competitor's actual performance time on course plus any penalties assessed for improper performance as indicated above for "Standard Scoring". For example, a competitor with a time of 47.68 seconds on course incurs 10 faults by incurring a refusal at one obstacle and dropping a pole from one hurdle. They would have a score of 57.68 seconds. The dog with the fastest time after the addition of fault penalties is the winner. In case of a tie, a jump-off is run to determine the winner unless another method of breaking the tie is specified.

"Point Basis" scoring is utilized in nonstandard classes such as gamblers, snooker and other specialty classes, wherein the judge assigns point values to each of the obstacles and establishes a time parameter during which points may be accumulated in performance; points are awarded for successful (i.e., no faults) performance of each obstacle. The competitor with the highest number of points accumulated in the round is the winner. In the event of a tie, the fastest time determines the winner unless another method for breaking the tie is specified.

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