Sunday, December 04, 2011

AKC Equipment Changes effective 1/1/2012

With the coming new year there are a slate of changes coming to AKC agility near you. For trials on or after January 1st, 2012 the following changes take effect (also note that any trial that begins on 12/31 this equipment is legal for that day as well - but exhibitors must be notified in the premium).

Weave Pole Spacing - its official. Weave pole spacing is now 24" on center. Fortunately for New England dogs, I don't think I've seen 20" or 22" poles at a trial since November of 2010, but nevertheless, it is a welcome change.

Tunnel changes: In the past tunnels with 'pitch' of 4" or 6" were permissible in AKC courses. Effective January 1st tunnels must have 4" pitch. Pitch refers to the distance between ribs (the metal reinforcements). I'm not sure I've noticed the difference (except in pricing). I DO know that I just purchased a nearly brand-new (used two days) 20' tunnel for  25% of the actual cost because it was mistakenly ordered with 6" pitch. YAY for me!!

There's also a brief mention of tunnel supports - specifically "Tunnel supports shall not have a rigid upright (i.e., steel/wood) that is capable of fitting between the ribs thus possibly projecting into the tunnel.".

A Chorter Chute. The total length of the fabric part chute (or closed tunnel) will now be between 6' and 6'6". I'll be curious to see how new course design accounts for this change, we certainly won't have the normal carry-out from a chute sequence. It will definitely be easier to get dogs turning after or in a chute which could go either way. I don't think Teller will see a shorter chute until his first trial in January though as I have not shortened my chute fabric.
KeepHer weaving at Westfield.

Design changes: Doubles and triples have to have open sides, bars have to be visible from the side. There are some more details on the width of wings - wings need to be standardized between 16" and 36" wide(24" wings recommended).

Labeling changes: AKC is recommending that height markings for the tire jump reference the jump height that they'll be set for, not the actual height. In other words a tire set at 20" off the ground would be labeled 24" - so as to not confuse the ring crew. I think this might end up being MORE confusing at least in the short-term - is this 20" actually 20" or is it 16"? The Max 200 tire jump has two labels on each jump height: 'true height' / 'AKC Height' - which still confuses people.

And at the end of the day hopefully we'll have a safer sport, happy running dogs and happy and enthusiastic exhibitors.

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