Allen / UKC
Registered: Nov 2004
What to Look for in 2018
Pilot Program. For those unfamiliar with what a Pilot Program is; it’s a testing grounds, of sorts, for something new you may want to try before you decide to implement it or not. One thing about Pilot Programs is they allow the participants to play a role. Generally, that role comes in the form of being directly involved and the opportunity to have a voice based on their opinion of that potential change. In other words, after participating in such a designated event where something new or different was applied the participant is asked to give their feedback. Did you like it? Did you not like it? Would you approve as is, with slight modifications, major modifications, or not at all?
A good example of one of the most recent UKC Pilot Programs was several years ago before the use of Telemetry during the course of a hunt was approved. You may not have been aware of it but UKC did in fact only approve their use after first testing the idea at several designated Pilot Program events across the country.
Feedback from designated Pilot Program events is generally sought after in one of two options. 1) Verbal feedback or 2) documented feedback where each participant is asked to complete a form that is submitted to UKC. For 2018 we have scheduled two different Pilot Programs as noted in this article below. Each one will note whether feedback will be requested verbally or documented by each participant.
Elimination Events - 2018 Pilot Program I. Several months ago, UKC sought out feedback from the Hunting Beagle format community as it relates to the idea of advancing dogs in Elimination events without the cast winner being required to have a total score of plus points. The original proposal was to require a total score of plus points in the first round of Elimination events but after that plus points would not be required to advance further.
The responses suggested that most hunters would support a rule change that would do just that. A large majority suggested that plus points shouldn’t be required in any round, including the first round. There were, however, some who were opposed to allowing dogs to advance with a total score of minus and that we should only allow dogs to advance on circle points.
Regardless, we’ve decided that this would be a good one to try out on a Pilot Program type basis at a very limited number of events only. Additionally, it has been decided to go all-in at those approved events regardless of the best minus or circle, to advance from any round to the next round. This way, we will get an even better feel for what our beaglers would like when the time comes to decide what is best beyond these trial events.
For 2018, the following four major events have been approved to advance a dog from every cast, unless the whole cast is scratched, regardless of score.
1. Eliminator East and West
2. UKC Hunting Beagle Nationals
3. Don Sr. McVay Memorial
4. UKC Hunting Beagle World Championship
Keep in mind that deleted points may never be considered when it comes to breaking ties. In the event of unbreakable ties where those dogs involved have no points (no bark); a coin flip would determine who advances. Most don’t like the idea of a coin flip to determine a winner but bear in mind it’s all part of the all-in logic to be considered beyond this year. This will be one of those Pilot Program trials that will be based on verbal feedback.
2018 Eliminator and McVay Memorial World Qualification Requirements. To remain consistent with qualification requirements at regular World Qualifying events; under the Pilot Program revisions a dog must be a cast winner with a total score of plus points in at least one of the rounds to meet qualification requirements at the Eliminator and the McVay Memorial. A dog that does not have a total score of plus points may advance to the next round, but the dog would not meet requirements to be qualified for the World Championship. However, if that same dog wins a subsequent round cast with a total score of plus points the dog would be qualified at that point. In other words, a dog would have the opportunity to qualify in a later round.
Timed Lines (Speed and Drive) - 2018 Pilot Program II. At the most recent rules meeting the committee considered a proposal to score speed and drive based on time opposed to full circles. A majority of the committee was in favor of timed lines, however, they found it difficult to come to a comfortable conclusion on what that time period should be. It was agreed that some testing at designated events, prior to the next meeting, would be the better idea and hold off on approving. That was in the fall of 2015. Well, here we are. This fall the Rules Committee will meet to discuss and consider any Rule Changes for 2019.
The UKC Field Representatives have been assigned to work with a club in their area that would be willing to schedule one of their regular events to test this proposal. If your club is interested in being considered for this, you should let the rep in your area know. This will need to be done before August 1st. Any events that are set up for this will be noted in the Upcoming Events Listing as a Pilot Program Event / Timed Lines. Watch for those and, if interested, support the event and give your feedback on it. UKC will also try to get the word out for events that are designated for this test. These trial events will include a form for every participant to complete a form with the participants feedback. Results of all events (feedback) will be compiled and considered at the Rules Committee this fall.
Rules Change Proposals. It’s a Rules Change year for both Hunting Beagle and Performance Pack. Anyone wanting to propose a rule change for Hunting Beagle must submit their proposal to a UKC Field Representative. Anyone wanting to propose a rule change for Performance Pack must submit their proposal to a member of the Judges Advocates Committee (Andy Romack - IL, Jonathan Hayes – MO, or JT Berry – VA). All proposals must be submitted to them no later than July 1, 2018. Proposals submitted after that date will not be considered. All proposals will be considered this fall at the World Hunts of both formats.
2019 National All-Star Series Chase. From the onset, the idea of having Chase Contenders drawing each other only was highly supported. The late Bill McFarland was a huge fan of the idea and always tried to convince UKC to make it happen somehow. Well, we’ve finally done just that.
After this year, starting in 2019, the National All-Star Series Chase will no longer be held at the Eliminator, NHBA Days and the Nationals to determine the winners. The Chase will be a two-round event held on Thursday afternoon before the Nationals. To make this happen we had to change the number of contenders to 16 instead of 20, as in the past.
All Contenders will be seeded. The top four seeds will be the regional winners, based on their points earned. 5th through 8th will be the second-in-region dogs, based on their final points, and so on. The regional winners will be on separate casts in the first round. From there, casts will be drawn in a manner that will have the #1 seed draw the lowest seeded wildcard, the lowest seeded third in region, and the lowest seeded second in region dogs. Cast two would consist of the #2 seeded dog, the second to lowest wildcard, second lowest third in region, and so. At this point, I can’t confirm, but it’s a possibility that we may take it step further and in a manner of “the lowest seed that is not in the same region”. In other words, try to create casts that would not have more than one dog from the same region. That might not be entirely possible if most of the wildcards came from the same region. We’ll see and make that decision. Regardless, this will allow us to create a hunt where contenders are competing against each other with no outside dogs involved.
You’ll see the Chase rules, published in the January Issue magazine, will now only take the top 3 dogs of each region and four wildcards. This is so we have an even 16 contenders to start with and to make it work out in a two-round hunt off in the Chase. The other change you’ll see is that the Juniors will now also have 16 dogs going to the Chase, in the same manner as the All-Age division. Again, those contenders will be based off the final results of the 2018 All-Star Series.
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