Beagle Field Trial Judge's Responsibility
by Jim Odle - Executive Staff-Field
The hounds performances and the field trial judge's evaluation
of those performances are the highlights of any AKC Licensed field trial.
The very essence of the event affords hounds the opportunity to win or
place in a competitive arena obtaining wins and points toward championship
status. The future of the sport is vested in the judges and their responsibilities
relative to the their evaluation of the hounds performances at the event.
The colossal focus of all participants at any field trial is the hound's
performances and the judge's evaluation thereof. The American Kennel
Club requires that clubs advertise all judges for all classes for the
event. Competitors enter hounds, in many instances; based on the advertised
judges for the class(s) they intend to enter their hounds. The vast majority
of judges takes their job very seriously, even though it is a fun and
an enjoyable event, and do an outstanding job. Judges judge for the love
of the sport and appreciation for good hounds. For the most part the only
compensation judges receive is the appreciation for good hounds and the
appreciation and recognition shown by their fellow beaglers. If not for
the love of the sport of beagling by well-respected and honest judges
the sport would suffer greatly.
Clubs should require all judges, prior to judging any class, to sign an
American Kennel Club Judge's Affirmation Form. ( Affirmation= The
act of affirming) Chapter 5, Section 3 of the Beagle Field Trial Rules
requires this. Preferably this should be done well in advance of the field
trial date. Should the judge not be local the form may be mailed to him/her
with a SASE for the judge's convenience in returning the form. The
judge should sign and return the form promptly. The Field Trial Secretary
should maintain these signed forms on file until the conclusion of the
event and submit them to AKC along with the field trials secretary's
report. When completed the form serves as an employer/employee contract
between the Field Trial Committee and the judge. While visiting field
trials AKC Field Representatives routinely ask to see the forms. When
they are not available for inspection it is very embarrassing on the club
Judges should report to work on time ready, willing and able to judge
their advertised class. Rarely, but occasionally, an advertised judge
does not arrive at the designated club for his/her assignment. Of course
it is understandable in case of unforeseen emergencies, ie work schedule,
weddings, illness and funerals. In such cases the judge's responsibility
is to contact the club as soon as possible informing the club of the judge's
inability to fulfill the assignment. A simple phone call to the contact
person, email message or a note by regular mail will suffice. Clubs are
very understanding and appreciative of the notice. This notice allows
the club ample time to make arrangements for a substitute judge. When
a judge does not notify the club of his/her planned absence and does not
show up for work the judge is classified as a "no show-no call"
and should be so reported in the field trial secretary's report.
A substitute judge must be appointed and announced prior to the closing
of the class. Sometimes this must be done on a very short notice. A "no
show-no call" judge, when properly reported, will receive a letter
of warning form the American Kennel Club pointing out the shortcoming.
Should a judge be classified as a "no show-no call" two or
more times in one year the judge will be removed from the approved judges
list and the judge will be required to attend a Beagle Field Trials Rules
Seminar before being approved to judge another event.
Adherence to these rules and procedures makes for a well managed event,
will be greatly appreciated by the affected clubs and the sport of beagling