|With Trooper at a fun match in Reddick, FL|
I’ve been reading through the AKC Match Regulations (very dry, btw) and have gleaned some important information.
Since my club is an AKC sanctioned club, we must hold an A or B match; a fun match (which is what I wanted) would be authorized if it was restricted to club members only. “Any event for which the club solicits or accepts entries from nonmembers must be approved by AKC as a sanctioned match.” Which means paperwork. Ugh. However, a B match is a less formal than an A match, so I suggested we go that route. Everybody agreed.
Part of the paperwork includes a formal application. Per AKC, the application needs to be approved before we can start advertising the match –- therefore, the sooner the better! Required info on the match application includes:
- Match date and start time
- Exact location of match
- Will match be held independently, concurrently with a show or in the evening after a show?
- Will match be held indoors, outdoors or both?
- Is match for all breeds, group only or specialty (single breed)?
- Is match an A match or B match?
- Is match conformation? Obedience? Rally? Tracking? Combination?
- Which classes will be offered?
- Name/address/phone/email of Match Chair
- Name/address/phone/email of Match Secretary
I gathered the Match Committee and started asking questions:
Who will take on the role of Match Secretary? Unlike regular shows, a Match Secretary must be a club member. The duties are similar to that of a Show Secretary: take entries, hand out armbands and keep track of the judge’s book. We must have a name for the application. Fortunately, a B Match does not need to produce a Premium or a Catalog. YAY!
Which classes should we offer? The standard classes are: 6-9 Puppy, 9-12 Puppy, 12-18 Months, Novice, Bred by Exhibitor, American-Bred and Open. We agreed to those plus 4-6 Puppy and Juniors classes. We can offer “Non-Regular” classes as well, but we need to tell AKC what they are ahead of time. I asked AKC what non-regular classes were and got an answer that didn't make any sense whatsoever. There is no list defining available non-regular classes (I asked). However, it's not a whatever-you-want catchall either because the one I asked for -- sterilized pet class -- was emphatically disapproved by the AKC rep.
Who will judge? We don’t need to have an AKC judge. A professional handler or experienced breeder would be fine, as long as he/she knows GSDs and doesn’t have dog in the ring. We're courting a few professional handlers.
So we made the necessary decisions and I sent in the application. It was sent back. The AKC didn't recognize the address as one listed in their system and we needed to clarify a few things. I did and resubmitted.
|With Jedi at a fun match in Jacksonville, FL|
- Why couldn't the AKC have said that the first time? (Obviously someone looked at the address.) and
- How can the small town of Dunnellon belong to both clubs? (BTW, there isn't a published list of designated geographic territories -- I looked.)
People -- including me -- complain that there aren't many matches for beginners and young dogs to get their feet wet. Old-timers will tell you that once upon a time there were matches nearly every weekend. Now you're lucky to find 2-3 a year. It's sad. And frustrating.
The AKC makes the entire process as difficult as possible. Newbies must learn how to put on a match (or show!) on the fly. There are stacks of dry, vague rules but no concise step-by-step instructions for beginners. Ferreting out info online is tedious. And the "help" I get from the AKC is akin to the "help" I received from Microsoft when Windows crashed. I guess this is why the all-breed clubs use superintendents to put on their shows. And why matches have been abandoned. Seriously, if a club is going to go through all the trouble of finding a location, filling out mountains of paperwork, soliciting volunteers and buying ribbons (yes, the AKC has specific ribbon requirements) then why not just hold a regular show? What a pain this has turned out to be! I'll keep you posted. -- K