Course time in Agility

In the last two posts I have bragged about how fast Rory and Valerie have run the course- but what does that mean?

When a judge designs a course, they have to consider many things. Each level (Novice, Open, Excellent) has a different requirement for the number and types of obstacles that are required. For example, a Novice Jumpers with Weaves class (often refered to as a "jumpers class"- or abreviated to JWW) must have from 14-16 obstacles which can only include jumps, tunnels and weave poles (no contact equipment). In the Excellent level of JWW, 18-20 obstacles are required- same rule applies as to type of obsticles. The route the dog will take to get to each obsticle must also be considered. Judges must submit their course maps to AKC prior to the trial so that it can be checked for appropriate angles of approach, number and appropiateness of the obsticles, and distance between the obsticles. Judges design unique courses for each trial.

Each course has what is called "the standard course time"- this is the time each dog must complete the course in or be faulted. Course time is determined by the yards of the course. So, in Novice Jumpers with Weaves Class, dogs that are in the 8 inch jump height and the 12 inch jump hight are allowed 2.5 yards per second. Dogs in the 16 inch jump height are allowed 2.75 yards per second. Prior to the start of judging, but after all of the obsticles have been set for each course, the judge measures the course to determine the yardage and figures the "Standard Course time". The yards and times are posted for the exhibitors to see.

Posted Standard Course Time vs. Acadia Sheltie time.
The course Valerie ran was 99 yards and Standard Course time was 41 seconds. Valerie ran it in 29.00 (yes the electronic times do 100ths of seconds too).
Rory's course was 94 yards and the Standard Course time was 38 seconds. Rory ran it in 21.45 seconds.

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