Trials Versus Matches

It takes as much work to offer a match as it does a trial, usually clubs opt to hold a trial. You can get something out of it, Legs! Agility has an awful lot of stuff to tote around. Most folks would just as soon enter a trial if they have to travel, so most clubs accommodate this thought. There's just not that much agility in any one region...Yet!

One of the ways to help newer members is by having club matches. It doesn't take as much work as a match held for open entry. Skip the ribbons, and require that the "exhibitors" do much of their own work as far as score keeping, etc., which will really cut down on the work involved. It also serves as a good learning experience for future shows. Have these matches at areas away from the usual practice field, so training in what might appear to be a real trial setting can take place. This is helpful to everyone involved.

It's valuable to hold these matches for club members who are excited about entering a show, but who aren't really ready yet. The setting is more relaxed, the handler is more relaxed, and the dog is more relaxed. It often points out what training they need to concentrate on, as well as allowing for fixes amongst the more experienced dogs. (Katie Greer)

Matches are a great way for beginners to get a feel for agility, they especially like the on-lead agility. Use wingless jumps to accommodate the leashes. Give them lots of chances to fix problems. The match also helps club members. Some of them can have a chance to judge. You realize how you have to concentrate on each dog and be in position to see all the contacts. It's not as easy as it looks. Especially when you have speed demons out there! (Dorothy Kirk)


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