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Discussion Starter #1
I got asked to co-judge our fun trial. I want to do a good job and be fair and have it be fun.

I helped score a few years ago. Someone else did the setups, gave me paper and pencil, said just draw a picture of the dog picking up the bird. I took all kinds of notes on line manners and heeling etc. but my experienced co-judge didn't seem to pay attention to that.

After the trial, we compared notes, agreed on who NQ'd - the obvious stuff - couldn't find bird, wouldn't pick up bird, couldn't complete delivery, etc ... then we compared our diagrams and picked 1, 2, 3, etc. based on the best marking / least hunting.

The stakes are along the lines of little puppies, big puppies, junior singles, possibly the advance singles, and veterans.

I looked at Field Trial regs for judging tips, it talked about marking and line manners, but I don't see anything about a scoresheet with the clear cut 4 sections like the Hunt Test - Marking / Trainability / Perserverance / Style

Do I just focus on Marking and draw pics and only worry about the other stuff it the obedience is so bad they NQ?

Anybody know? I can ask my cojudge that day but wanted to kind of get a clue in advance. Thanky.
 

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I think that what you experienced might be one of the reasons that the game has a problem with some field trial judges. But you did say that it was a fun trial. It can't hurt to ask how important these things are and what is the "spirit" of the fun trial.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
That could be and I should clarify, being a FUN trial, we aren't "real" judges, I.e. I'm not sure my experienced cojudge was a FT judge. I'm sure not a FT judge. We're just a bunch of volunteers.

I guess my question is how are FT scored? I didn't see any numerical scales like HT. Maybe it is just the pics? Is the criteria bring back all birds without doing anything so disobedient as to interfere is Q? And classify placements by least amount of pencil doodles? That's what it looks like to me.

Also I was thinking about setups. I was thinking start w/ WC type marks and modify by the levels. But I'm sure I won't be in charge of that, there'll be real brains of the operation. I was just thinking for my own learning.

Will check in w/ my cojudge philosophy that day too, and get on the same page.

I just wondered if anyone knew how to score FT.
 

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I just wondered if anyone knew how to score FT.
As I understand it, FTs are subjective. There are no score sheets or number values like in HTs.

Here is a book you should probably check out. In fact, I'm thinking of picking up a copy myself. theRetrieverNews.com - Store Scroll to "Judge's Manual."
 

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My club ran a singles stake. One category was puppies, the other category was older dogs. Steadiness was not required in either stake. What I saw was judges drawing diagrams of the dog's work. There was no scoring rubric that I could see. Both judges are veteran hunt test judges, one was a veteran field trial judge. I don't know how they scored the dogs but I can ask if you would like me to.
The test for the older dogs consisted of 1) a dead bird single on land 2) a shot flyer on land but the dog had to run downhill across a puddle and then uphill and across a meadow 3) a single in water with a long water entry 4) a shot flyer in water that included a long water entry and a water re-entry. Because the dogs were doing so well, a final series was set up in order to get placements. The final single was a 140 yard retrieve, eighty yards across a meadow, 30 yards across water, and then 30 yards uphill to a shot flyer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you. If you get a chance to ask FT judge how to score FT I would appreciate but don't go out of your way. Will prob discuss w/ cojudge. I asked our trainer who is HT judge not FT judge but ran some FT, he said there is no formal scoring system w/ nunbers but we can make one or use the HT one or agree on whatever system.

Cojudge and I are both data nerds, I made jokes about developing an assessment tool to quantify on a time and accuraccy axes, that is prob going a bit overboard tho :) I will look at link from Mlopez too, thank you !!
 

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I shoot, they fetch.
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If you take a look at the Supplement section of the FT rulebook it does discuss how to evaluate dog work. This starts on pg. 47. There is also a section on faults starting on pg. 54. http://www.akc.org/pdfs/rulebooks/RFTRET.pdf

Draw the line the dog took to the bird, and note strengths of the dog's performance as well as faults exhibited. Some Serious Faults require elimination at some levels, and others would be enough to drop a dog from contention in a FT style scenario--you and your co-judge would need to decide what is appropriate for the fun-stake you are judging. Other faults are categorized as Moderate and Minor, but if they happen repeatedly they can accumulate to be considered a Serious and be grounds for elimination. So then placements become a matter of weighing the quality of the marking (since marking is of primary importance)of the dogs not eliminated for Serious Faults, and if all else is equal in marking, then non-elimination faults can be brought to bear in deciding whose performance was better overall.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I didn't see all those details in the supplemental section, thanks for pointing it out. Time to study.
 

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Fun Trail

Think of it as school. Good dogs get A. Bad dogs get Fs. Grade them on manners, line to the mark. Then think of the winner as that one dog you would want as valedictorian of the class. Above all, it’s a fun trial. Should be fun for you as well as the handlers.
 

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Wow, I didn't even know they HAD fun trials for field! Sure wish they'd have some around here!
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Think of it as school. Good dogs get A. Bad dogs get Fs. Grade them on manners, line to the mark. Then think of the winner as that one dog you would want as valedictorian of the class. Above all, it’s a fun trial. Should be fun for you as well as the handlers.
Thanks for the great analogy.

I got the same idea from our trainer who is a HT judge; he additionally suggested having some obstruction (strip of grass, stump, weed island, etc..) on the way to the bird for one mark; that way the ones who go over or through the obstructions in a straight line are easily identifiable as the A students; if it's too easy then everyone is an A student then it gets hard to judge.

It is supposed to be fun, but there was one year that someone was literally yelling at the judge (a non-club member VOLUNTEER who gave up a Sunday he could have watched football or trained his own dog) about why her dog didn't get a ribbon. I've seen people yelling at each other at our "fun trial" too. :uhoh:

Unfortunately, when ribbons and/or trophies become involved, some people get all gnarly about it. I hope it will be fun though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, I didn't even know they HAD fun trials for field! Sure wish they'd have some around here!
We are lucky around here! Several of the retriever clubs have "fun trials". They are usually for club members, but I got invited to one as a guest a long time ago. They invited me to join their club, but I declined. It is a wonderful club and I love them, but too many club memberships -> too much volunteer work.

Some people use the fun trial as a training day. It's a good chance for the dog to think they're in a test and get a needed correction for "test smart" unwanted behaviors. I did Boomer's first steady at a fun trial and learned a lot too.

Gladys will have her first steady at this one. Should be eeenteresting ..... :hide:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wanted to follow up my post with some things I learned from judging yesterday.
It was hard work but it was fun.

Keeping in mind, this wasn't a "real" trial, it was a fun trial for puppy, junior non-steady singles, and veterans.

We didn't have to worry about things like no-birds or steady issues.

I wasn't sure what to wear, but decided on something neutral and hunt-test-ish to not distract the working dog - right choice.

Basically, we drew pictures of the paths the dogs took picking up the marks
and quick simple notes like:
need help
rethrow
drop bird
drop bird to pee
drop bird to poop
play fetch game
hop over clump
barge thru clump
come bak no bird
(these are just examples)

The notes were not necessarily NQ, but just general observations that later proved to be quite helpful.

Later we compared notes. My co-judge, who is more experienced than me, advised we first remove those who needed help, rethrow, or came back no bird. Then we classify by marking. Then we classify by the less desirable behaviors, keeping in mind, stopping to pee or poop on the way back is not considered an infraction. I agreed but said I thought stopping and DROP the bird to pee / poop is less desirable, so we agreed on that.

There were obvious marking standouts, easily classifiable.
There was a clump of dogs that had similar patterns - nailed 3 marks, long hunt on one mark.

Those were harder to classify - that's where our short notes came in.
Now we could take those notes - the less desirables fell to the bottom of the pile by amount of infractions - play the fetch game, drop the bird halfway back, etc.

There were 2 dogs we had a hard time between; one had taken such a straight line as to hop clear over a huge weed clump on the way to one of the water marks. That was how we picked that one over the other that the handler made a point to set up next to the clump making it a non-issue.

My co-judge pointed out we could not make the weed clump a marking or perserverance issue if we didn't specifically line everyone up in the exact same spot for it to be a concept in the mark, but we did agree that the dog who leapt over it had more style than the other.

So, we don't all have the time to memorize the AKC rulebook, but actually judging I learned a LOT about the judges eye and the true meaning of the judges picking out -
which of these dogs would I want to hunt with? You could see how the dogs w/ the desirable enthusiastic stylish behaviors outrank the ones w/ the undesirables like the fetch game.

So, at the end of the day, someone asked me how we scored the dogs. I'm pretty sure she thought since he nailed 3 marks and had a long hunt on one she was probably expecting a higher placement. Not having seen all the dogs run, she didn't realize he was clumped with several others we micro-classified by our notes, of which her dog was guilty of a decent amount of the "fetch game" on every bird.

I was able to explain the above and she understood it.
It was a great day.
 
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