Would like to hear from handlers if they've seen "better" judging because of the current requirements?
Would like to know if less people are willing or able to fulfill all the apprenticeships and judging requirements before being able to judge?
Personally, I'm finding it to be a real PITA, more so even from the time involved than the expense. I've walked to the line hundreds of times at all levels of AKC HT, plus a few Derby, Qual & Amateur of late. I now have to start with a new seminar (scheduled for December, thanks for stepping up, Blackhawk Club), then apprentice at JH, judge twice at JH, apprentice at SH, judge twice at SH, apprentice at MH, THEN be able to judge MH. That's 7 weekend events before I can be considered "educated enough" to judge a MH. Yet I somehow managed to finish two MH titles this summer. Maybe it doesn't sound like a big deal to do all that just to judge, but, it is, in real time. For those of us with multiple dogs at various levels, the very ones who should be giving back by judging and using their experience, the time factor involved now is a very big obstacle.
Short enough season as it is, get back in the water in May if we're lucky, train hard May/June, try to start running some by end of June because the tests are closest then, run July, August, season is done in September. Doesn't give a whole lot of weekends to both run our own dogs and try to give back some. I have a lot of dogs and a lot of experience, I'm one of those who should be giving back (beyond working at events) now that I am in a position to do so, but am being encouraged not to do so by these current requirements. Whining? Maybe. But, as Ann has graciously provided the contact info for everyone's RAC rep, I will be contacting mine with my feelings on the matter, maybe with enough grumbling from clubs, there might be some revisions made to these requirements, if they are proving to be more hindrance than help in getting qualified judges.
To answer the question of cost: seminar plus apprenticeships, for me in driving range, no motel, about $300-400, before I can judge a MH. Less significant to me than the time factor, but not insignificant either.