Volunteering

MAC is a volunteer organization, and relies heavily on the enthusiastic participation of its membership, both in the day to day administration of the club, and the more event-oriented activity of putting on an agility trial. Both members and non-members are welcome to volunteer at MAC trials. Sometimes people hesitate to become involved because they don’t have a sense of what is entailed in a particular job. Our friends at the Bay Team Agility Club in San Francisco have done a very good job of summarizing the specific tasks that are part of putting on an Agility Trial. We’ve borrowed from their work below, and would encourage you to visit their website.

Show committee position descriptions are available to current members in the files section of the MAC Yahoo group.

Course Builder

Summary: Move obstacles between rounds as directed by the Chief Course Builder.

Help move equipment between classes to set the course for the next class. Requires more brawn than brains. You must be aware of when each class ends so the new course can be set quickly. Efficiency in course building can significantly affect how late a show goes. Generally, the Chief Course Builder (and then the Judge during final “tweaking”) provides instruction about what pieces of equipment are needed and where to place them.

Gate Steward

Summary: Make sure dogs and handlers are ready at start line.

Armed with a running order, call out the names of handlers and dogs to make sure they are present and aware of when they will be going into the ring. You must not be too shy for this job as it can require shouting for missing handlers. You must also be prepared for nervous handlers asking repeatedly when they will be running. It’s a great way to get to know names and faces. You can make a show run faster and smoother if you:

  • Have the next three dogs ready to go.
  • Have the next dog ready on the starting line before the previous dog finishes, if possible.
  • Provide information to the Scribe and Timer to ensure that the running order matches the scribe sheets.

Note: Before going to ring: Pick up running order list and pen from Score Table. (Or they might already be posted at ringside.)

Scribe

Summary: Make marks on paper when judge raises hand or calls out a number.

Mark down faults and points as directed by Judge on the scribe sheet while each dog is running. Scribing differs for different classes, just as judging differs. The Judge will instruct you as to the meaning of various hand signals; s/he is always pleased to provide you with a quick one-minute primer on the signals if you ask. If you ever are unclear about a Judge’s signal, wait until after that run and clarify before the next dog starts. It is wise to verify that you have the correct scribe sheet for each dog. The Scribe works closely with the TImer to ensure that the class runs efficiently and smoothly. Important: You must watch only the Judge at all times during each run, never the dog or handler.

Note: Before going to ring: Get scribe sheets, pen and clipboard from Score Table.

Timer

Summary: Monitor electronic timers and write time on scribe sheets after each run or report time to Scribe.

MAC uses electronic timers. In most cases the time is started and stopped by the dog completing the correct first and last obstacles. In some classes, you may be required to manually start or stop the time. The Judge will give you specific instructions on timing a class before the first dog runs. The Timer is important in keeping the competition running on time because the Timer is responsible for promptly starting the next team. Check to make sure that the previous dog is under control and off the course, that the bars are reset and the judge is ready and then signal the next team to start (usually by pressing the “ready” button on the electronic timer console). After the dog has started, check that timer did start automatically. If not, blow the whistle immediately, no later than the third obstacle, to stop the run. After the run is over, write the time on the scribe sheet or report it to the Scribe. The Timer works closely with the Scribe to ensure that the class runs efficiently and smoothly.

Sheet Runner

Summary: Take scribe sheet from Scribe or Timer to Score Table.

Runners usually take sheets from the Scribe or Timer to the Score Table one at a time. Might require a bit of walking (probably not running).

Leash Runner

Summary: Take leashes from start line to finish line.

After the dog has left the start line, pick-up the leash and take it to the designated spot at the finish line. This is a very easy job often filled by children. However, you should be as invisible as possible to the handler at the start; don’t demand the leash or crowd the dog in anticipation of the removal of the leash.

Ring Steward (Bar Setter and Chute Straightener)

Summary: Reset bars for height changes and when they are knocked by dogs during a run or straighten the chute after each dog runs through it.

The judge will instruct you before each class as to where you should sit and whether the bars are to be reset during a run; for example, if a jump is taken twice in the same run. Bars are never reset during a Gamblers run. If the course includes a chute, you will also straighten the tube after each dog. This is a great job for watching each dog run as you must be attentive to the happenings in the ring at all times.

Score Table

Summary: Transer the information on the scribe sheet to the master score sheet or enter into a computer scoring program

Take the scribe sheet from the Runner, and transfer the information to the master score sheet or enter it into a computer scoring program. If using a master score sheet, compute how much (if at all) the dog exceeded course time using a calculator, add up the faults, and determine whether the run qualifies. At the end of each jump height, determine placements. After the judge’s approval, post the score sheets for the exhibitors. There are always at least two people at the score table to double-check each other, and there is always at least one experienced score table person to give instructions and answer questions.

Registration Check-in

Summary: Check names off a list and/or hand out catalogs.

If you can help first thing in the morning, you can offer your services at the Registration Table. You can check people off on the check-in lists, hand out catalogs or goodies, or help with measure-in (handle paperwork for the measuring judge).

Equipment Set-up

Summary: Load equipment from the locker to the truck and/or set-up the rings the night before

Help out at the storage locker by loading equipment into the truck. At the show site, move equipment into the rings and set-up other equipment like tents, practice jumps, and scribe/timer supplies.

Equipment Tear Down

Summary: Tear-down the rings after the runs are done and/or help unload at the storage locker.

Move equipment and all other items back into the truck at the end of the show. Help unload the equipment from the truck into the storage locker.

Contact MAC

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