I've put a good bit of my time into NAHRA and HRC:
Here is one...and I was wrong, the term is "A crisp cast is preferable to a long hunt" NAHRA Rulebook.
http://www.nahra.org/images/stories/...ok033009-1.pdf section 5.
Here is a second one.... "a clean handle ispreferable to an extended hunt.II. " http://www.ukcdogs.com/res/pdf/2011HRRulebook.pdf page 40
again on page 50 (Finished)
The AKC FT Retriever Rule book in Part II Evaluation of Dog work - Natural Abilities says, ":.........Dogs which disturb cover unnecessary, clearly out of the area of the "fall"' either by not going directly to that area, or by leaving it, even though they eventually find the bird without being handled, should be penalized more severely than those handled quickly and obediently to it"
In my estimation this is tantamount to it saying, "A crisp handle is preferable to a long hunt".
Thank u all.........
General rule I have noticed (yes there will always be exceptions) - two handles at Senior level marks and don't expect to pass. At Master I don't know - yet...
Junior test - one handle on 4 marks (singles) could be enough to get a pass depending on handle and work on other 3 marks
Senior test - a singular handle on 1 double could be enough to get a pass depending on handle and work on other double and blinds. Handling on both doubles should not be passable work (unless there were some extreme conditions in which case a re-run(s) should have taken place).
Master - difficult to pass when one doesn't complete a clean triple. Possible to handle on 2 triples, run the 3rd triple very good and very good blinds and pass. 2 handles and 1 uglybutt hunt on the third (swallowed whistle) generally doesn't cut it (and shouldn't). Double handle in one series is going to cost points big time but could feasible pass if other work was immaculate I suppose.
Edit to add: I believe that Junior is the only stake that the AKC rulebook actually gives direction on the number of allowable handles (one). If you have to handle on more than that (50% or more), you should not pass. I know for sure that there is no listed maximum number of handles given/listed for Master.