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 Hosting a NADAC Trial

Here’s a worksheet that I prepared of the tasks that need to be performed and an approximate timeline for each. Although some of the things are specific for NADAC, the list could be easily adapted for USDAA, AKC, or other organizations.

When What Comments
6 - 12 months before the trial - the earlier the better!
  Apply to NADAC for club certification Your club must be approved to hold NADAC trials.
  Choose a date and location Check with NADAC and other local clubs to avoid conflicts. Make sure the facility you want is available and adequate
  Elect a trial committee The secretary and chairman must be members of NADAC
  Decide on the trial format What games, what days, how big, etc.
  Send application to NADAC to host a trial You’ll need proof of insurance and a $10 per class application fee.
  Find out what local permits are needed, if any, and send applications Don’t forget food handling permits if applicable
  Reserve the trial site Deposits will vary according to facility
  Hire the judges Judges may not judge another trial within a 6 month period and 200 mile radius from your site.
  Contact potential sponsors, if applicable  
  List your trial in newsletters & web sites Until you get approval from NADAC, the trial must be listed as "tentative pending approval"
4-6 months before the trial
  Check your equipment. Make any needed repairs, replacements. Be sure to refer to the latest NADAC rules & regulations, since specifications are subject to change
  Make a list of needed supplies and miscellaneous equipment for the trial. Check out our Packing List
  Assign the "chief" positions Course builder, ring steward, scorekeeper, hospitality, and other positions where experience is helpful. If a big trial, you may need two in each position.
  Make decisions:
  • How much to charge?
  • If limited, how to handle?
  • Move-ups allowed?
  • Fees for other things (catalog, camping, meals, etc)?
  • Opening / closing date?
  Research local hotels and campgrounds that accept dogs. If possible, reserve a block of rooms at a lower rate for your event
  Send the judges a map of the rings and a list of available equipment They need time to design their courses. Be sure to include any fixed entry / exit gates or other obstacles that they need to design around.
  Engage a caterer or food vendor, if needed  
  Contract with other vendors or exhibitors.  
  Design the premium. Send to NADAC for approval. Don’t forget a worker volunteer sheet.
2-3 months before the trial
  Print and mail the premium, or place it on the web. Most clubs have switched to on-line premiums
  Let folks know premium is available through on-line calendars or email lists.  
  Set up the trial in the computer  
  Make airline and hotel reservations for judges.  
  Order any pre-printed forms, such as NCR scribe sheets  
  Order ribbons and other awards, choose gifts for judges Allow more time if you need custom logos or special orders.
  Find a local veterinarian to be on-call or on site for emergencies  
  Offer a Training Class for volunteers to practice trial duties A fun match is a great opportunity for club members to learn how to time, scribe, and score.
Between the trial opening and closing dates
  Data entry into the trial program Don’t underestimate the amount of time this takes, especially for a large trial.
  Acknowledge correct entries by email Optional, but appreciated by competitors
  Return or ask for corrections on incorrect or incomplete entries  
  Update web site with status, FAQs, etc. Optional, but it helps by reducing the number of emails and phone calls a trial secretary will receive.
Closing date or one month before the trial
  Prepare a schedule based on number of entries in each event. Send to judges and post on web if applicable. Suggested times per run for estimating a schedule:

Regular and Weavers: Elite 60-80 sec, Open 70-90 sec, Novice 90-120 sec

T&G and Tunnelers: Elite 40-50 sec, Open 50-60 sec, Novice 60-70 sec

Chances:  Elite and Open 40 sec, Novice 50 sec

Jumpers: Elite 50-60 sec, Open 60-70 sec, Novice 70-80 sec

Major course changes (i.e. Regular to jumpers) 30 min

Minor course changes (i.e. Elite to Open) 15 minutes

Walk-thrus 15 min

  Email confirmations and "so sorry you didn’t make it in" letters If you are not having a lottery, the "sorry" letters should go out earlier than this.
  Prepare a volunteer schedule for trial workers This is usually the responsibility of the Chief Ring Steward. For each event you will need:
  • 3-4 course builders
  • 1 gate steward
  • 1 scribe
  • 1 scribe runner
  • 1 timer
  • 1 leash runner
  • 2-3 pole setters
  • 1-2 scorekeepers
  Arrange ground transportation for the judges. Confirm hotel and airline reservations, send tickets/vouchers.  
  Order porta-potties and dumpsters, if needed  
  Create an "advance team" task force who are responsible for the following:
  • Liaisons with facilities people to gain access, turn on heat/lights, etc.
  • Transporting equipment to the site
  • Site surface preparation, fencing
  • Signage
  • Early check-in duties
  • Judges hospitality
These are the folks who will have to get there early ensure that things are ready when the crowds begin arriving.
One week before the trial
  Make final changes to the schedule based on move-ups from other trials, cancellations, etc.  
  • Score sheets / Catalog
  • Run sheets & exhibitor list for hand-outs
  • Check-in sheets
  • Gate check-in sheets
  • Scribe sheets 
If you have a sponsor, be sure to acknowledge them in the hand-outs.
  Ensure you have enough copies of other forms that will be needed during the trial, such as those provided in your exhibitors packet, move-up forms, volunteer schedules, etc. You can also request that the judges bring copies of their course maps for distribution, if allowed.
  Calculate fees owed to judges and prepare checks. Also cut checks for other fees that will need to be paid and can be calculated in advance. Judges are usually paid according to catalog counts, ignoring the slight differences caused by move-ups or last-minute cancellations.
  Check with the judges to see if they have any last-minute requests.  
  Do a final check to ensure all is ready  
Immediately before the trial (the day before, if possible)
  Obtain a course map for the first event(s) It is often nice to be able to set the first course ahead of time, but not all judges are willing to do this. Respect their decision.
  Send in the "advance team" Unload equipment
Erect direction signs to the trial site
Mark off areas for parking, crating, etc.
Set up check-in table
Get the judges
On the trial day – Don’t forget:
  • Save a map of each course for the catalog
  • Make sure paperwork is filled out showing course times & distances
  • Get judges signatures on all forms requiring them
  • Keep a "clean" copy of the score sheets for the marked catalog.
  • Make sure the judges are fed, have plenty to drink, have adequate break times, and are paid.
  • Acknowledge all the people who helped make it possible
After the trial
  Send results and fees to NADAC. Within 5 days of the trial. 
  Send email results to competitors, or post results to web.  
  Pay any remaining bills  
  Start planning for next year!  

 Planning document courtesy of Mega-Dogs

You are welcome to print out the schedule to use or share with other clubs. All I ask is that you give me any feedback so that we can improve it for future use.