As a judge, I like having 3 days for an AM. It provides additional cushion to fairly judge the entry in the event something does not go exactly as planned. In Ed's example, 87 dogs in two days is tough and everything must go flawlessly to finish by dark on Sunday, especially early in the Spring or late in the Fall. Club mechanics, grounds, bird help, and the distance between stakes can greatly affect how smoothly and quickly stake runs.
I do agree with all of the reasons not to start the AM on Friday, particularly the additional expenses for judges and help.
Having the Amateur start on Friday may have the additional costs of two judges' expenses, however, being able to spread the amateur over three days allows for a more relaxed environment for all contestants, judges and workers in that the stakes can be shut down early enough on Friday and Saturday nights for the workers to put birds away, clean up and get home to have dinner with their families or socialize with other contestants.
Additionally, our club uses high school kids (JROTC) who are limited in the number of hours they can work each day. The cost of bird boys is the same if there is a Friday start or Saturday start. If the amateur were to start on Saturday, the push to finish land marks and land blind would result in running until dark and in the fall, this could be difficult as daylight is waning and bird boys will have to come out of the field. Our judges also give up their weekends to come and judge and I personally would like for them to be able to enjoy their time spent at our trials.
IMO, I feel the pros of a Friday amateur start far outweigh the additional 1 day of judges' expenses.
Just my $.02
Just had another thought, why shouldn't the amateur have 3 days to run their four stakes just like the pro's have in the open?
Just because a judge has three days doesn't mean they should use or need three days, a 50-60 dog stake does not need three days unless mitigating circumstances dictate, e.g. weather. Since a Friday start for the Amateur is optional each club can make it's decision based on it's needs but I hope Friday starts do not become the norm.
Most amateurs work. All judges are amateurs, most still work. Friday starts would put increased pressure on both the participants and the judges. It would only serve to lower the participation and increase the costs for those with the time to participate.
Friday Amateur starts are bad for the sport.
Probably the best thing I have heard is to just finish on Monday. Probably worth considering for the entire Field Trial.....start on Saturday and finish on Monday if necessary. The amount of contestants still there on the third day of a field trial is quite a bit less than those there on the first day.
It is a lot of work to put on a field trial, so there is a part of me that believes that the club that puts on a trial should be able to run it whenever they choose - and could start any day of the week.
That being said, I think:
1. It is a disservice to the sport to cut out working Amateurs - such as Marion. The sport is shrinking, not growing, and we should encourage as much participation as possible.
2. Although as a judge, the more time you give me, the more flexibility that I have, I believe that barring unusual circumstances - weather, large distances between stakes, short daylight hours, horrible mechanics in general - two days is sufficient to judge 60 dogs. If you get a bigger field, it becomes less practical
3. My club, and most clubs that I know of, have neither the workers, the grounds, nor the checkbook needed for four sets of judges that starting four stakes on Saturday requires
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As a field trial judge you have 3 primary obligations
1. To judge the stake in accordance with AKC rules and regulations
2. To be efficient in time management and use of club resources, quads require extra time and manpower.
3. To be fair and equitable to the contestants.
It is not a judge's responsibility to produce an ultimate stake without regard to those obligations.
Three day Amateurs with Friday starts should be discouraged unless no alternate possibility exists.
I may be able to agree with your statement for the youngsters, but those 7, 8, 9, 10 11, and 12 YO "not worth their salt" cant quite agree to that. And we tend to run trials in the heat more than we do in the cold which is a serious factor to consider. An almost 12YO dog won an open last weekend. We have to look after them and going from one big land series straight over to another big land series can be daunting or even life threatening on a hot day.
Originally Posted by BonMallari
Those 10 or so handlers still standing for a Monday finish are more motivated and have less to bitch about than the 50 plus that would have to turn out on a Friday for a Friday Am start. Certainly less impactful that way.
Originally Posted by Kyle B
This does in no way apply to me because I don't run major stakes so take it FWIW. Wouldn't most people plan on still being in the game Monday? Although less folks would need to be there Monday most working class stiffs don't have that flexibility in their schedule. Most would take off Monday just in case. You still end up with the same problem. IMHO the impact is the same.