Jackpot Gamblers ~ Judge Needs to Catch a Plane Variation


The objective of this game is for the dog to accumulate 21 points as quickly as possible and then to perform the distance challenge. There will be no whistle to indicate the end of point accumulation.

Big dogs (22” and 26”) will have 45 seconds.

Small dogs (12” and 16”) will have 48 seconds.

Successful completion of the gamble shall be negated if:

  1. the dog faults an obstacle during performance of the gamble
  2. during point accumulation the dog drops the bar on a jump used in the gamble sequence
  3. the dog performs two gamble obstacles in flow direction during point accumulation
  4. a bar on a jump in the gamble is dropped during point accumulation
  5. the time whistle sounds before the dog has completed the gamble

Obstacles on field can be taken only twice for points. Back-to-back performance of any obstacle is allowed. The point values for obstacles are:

  • Jumps 1 point
  • Tunnels 3 points
  • Contact obstacles and weave poles 5 points


This game will be scored time only. In order to qualify, a point accumulation of at least 21 points is required and successful performance of the gamble. With these conditions met, the lowest time wins.

There is no benefit for scoring more than 21 points, and no penalty for doing so.

25 points are awarded for successful completion of the gamble.


Here’s a nifty variation of the (nearly) traditional gamblers game. In the interest of limiting the amount of time required to run the Jackpot/Gamblers class, the judge changed the scoring basis to “time only”. How would this work?

Given that 21 points and successful completion of the gamble are required to qualify, the win and all placements would be based on who could do so most quickly. While this variation removes the element of timing-to-the-approach which is an important part of the traditional game; it introduces an interesting strategy of finding the most efficient path for point accumulation.

The game would be played with a single whistle… this would be a combination of times that would ordinarily constitute the gamblers class. For example, in a 30 second point accumulation period given 15 seconds for performance of the gamble, the whistle will sound at 45 seconds. Of course this means if the whistle sounds the dog dig not qualify.

However, what we are more likely to find is that the whistle will seldom sound as the teams whip through the required point accumulation as quickly as possible and make the attempt on the gamble. As a consequence the class will move along with great efficiency.

What Do You Make of This?

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Once again… find in this set of the floor an interesting training exercise. Send it to me at BudHouston@hughes.net. The best answer will get the next issue of the Go The Distance Notebook for free. I’ll email it to you!

The best response will include permission for me to publish the exercise, and will be well documented and illustrated.

Winners List

Like I said, whoever has the best response will get the next issue of the Go The Distance Notebook for free.

In the What do You Make of This for Nested Gamblers (published two weeks ago at: http://wp.me/pmSZZ-sB) the winner is Steve (Agility Nerd). You can see the work he did here: http://bit.ly/6G0Zfw. While he did not provide permission to publish or send me his email address, he provided a thoughtful solution to the contest. It strikes me that I should have pro / amateur categories. It wasn’t a fair contest at all.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Go the Distance ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Notebook – Jan 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: http://countrydream.wordpress.com/web-store/

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