Lucky 13

Lucky 13 comes to us from league play competition conducted by Northwest Agility League ~ sponsored by Columbia Agility Team. It is essentially a variation of the game as “12 Tone Row” with a couple of important differences.


The object of Lucky 13 is to collect as many points as possible while correctly performing a total of 13 obstacles – no more, no less – with the thirteenth obstacle being the tire. The course design is up to the handler. Each obstacle is assigned a direction and value indicated by the cone next to it. Some obstacles may have two different point values indicated by the cones.

Good natured help by teammates is allowed.

Maximum course times are 50 seconds for big dogs and 55 seconds for small dogs. Scoring begins at the designated start line and ends at the table which is not counted as an obstacle.


  • If the dog correctly performs more than 13 obstacles, only the first 13 count for points;
  • Each obstacle done correctly over OR under 13 incurs a special fault;
  • Each bi-directional obstacle (as indicated on course map) may be done once in each direction for points. Each direction correctly performed will count as one of the thirteen obstacles required;
  • Repeated obstacles will not count for the obstacle count or assigned obstacle points;
  • The tire must be the thirteenth obstacle, done in either direction, to avoid a special fault. Note: the opposite tire direction may be used in the handler’s course design; and
  • The table is live at all times and stops the clock. No specific position is required on the table to stop the clock.

Notes on faulted obstacles:

  • Each faulted obstacle incurs 5 faults (missed contacts, knocked bars, etc.) and there are no failure to perform faults;
  • A faulted obstacle is not included in the count of 13 obstacles to be done; and may not be repeated for points.

Notes on special faults ~ Ten point faults assessed for:

  • Each obstacle MORE or LESS than the required 13; and
  • The tire NOT being the thirteenth obstacle.

Conduct of the Game

Judge calls ALL points for correctly performed obstacles during a run, including repeated obstacles;

Judge calls out “fault” for any faulted obstacles; and the scribe will record all obstacle numbers called including any repeated obstacles in the order called and indicating an ‘F’ when “fault” is called by the judge. For example, 6, 9 F, 3, 6, 4, 16, etc.

The scorekeeper should count the number of obstacles recorded, excluding any faulted and repeated obstacles, to determine if the thirteenth obstacle was the tire. Then the scorekeeper will add up the number of valid obstacle points and deduct any performance and special 10 point faults. An example of scoring follows.

  • The dog performed the obstacles and stopped the clock within the allowed time; and
  • The scribe sheet reads: 7, 12, 9, 11, F, 13, 16, 6, 5, 15, 2, 14, 6, 18, 2, 8.

Fourteen obstacles were correctly performed and the thirteenth obstacle was not the tire. One obstacle was faulted and one obstacle was repeated. These two obstacles were not counted. The total of the first 13 obstacles is 138 points. Then the following points are subtracted from the total: 5 faults for an obstacle fault: 10 points for doing one obstacle over the required 13 obstacles, and 10 points for the tire not being the thirteenth obstacle performed. The new point total would be 113 points. (138-5-10-10 = 113).

Based on the qualifying criteria (see below) this score would have been an adequate qualifying score for Games I, but not Games II or Games III.

Scoring and Qualification

Lucky 13 is scored Points Less Faults then Time.

To qualify the dog must earn:

  • Games I – 102 points
  • Games II – 128 points
  • Games III – 154 points

Editor’s Note: The course used in this document was loosely based on the Northwest Agility League course but adjusted for play in the TDAA.

Joker’s Notebook #2 ~ Feb 2010

I’ve been working all day tidying up loose ends in the second in this series, a notebook dedicated to teaching agility distance skills. This is a work that is suitable for the agility enthusiast training alone in the back-yard, or the agility training center that wants to deliver a quality distance training program.

As it happens the Notebook is also a good source for weekly games for anyone running league play. Though, as should be expected, the games in the Jokers Notebook have a distance theme.

You will note the name change. Inasmuch as the Clean Run has threatened legal action because they claim trademark ownership of the title “Go the Distance”. I’m going to avoid the awkward moment and continue to publish a less flawed and more dynamic product that properly reflects the advances in training methods since I wrote that book some ten years ago, with Stacy Peardot.

Although the name of the Notebook has changed since the first month, our mission is renewed and undiminished. In this the February 2010 Notebook I go beyond the simple lesson planning that was envisioned in “Go the Distance”. I have always planned on writing companion volumes to that work that exceed the original content. Distance training is not a static pursuit that can be mastered with a few basic exercises. Distance training is a dynamic thing, an ongoing and evolving mission.

It is my intention to publish the Notebook on a monthly basis. While it is not intended to be a sequential and methodical step-by-step tutorial; it will certainly explore in great detail a comprehensive variety of distance training skills for both the agility competitor and his or her dog. The Notebook will reflect and represent the scope of training as I provide in my own training center; and when I am conducting camp work at home, or seminar work on the road.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

Try this one on for size:

Name three American presidents who were not buried in one of the 50 states.

First correct answer posted as a reply to this blog post wins a free copy of the February Distance Notebook.

Funny Drawing

This doesn’t mean anything and certainly is an unfinished work-in-progress. I just like the look of it.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – Feb 2010 available tomorrow:

4 Responses to “Lucky 13”

  1. Joan Wieckowski Says:

    Name three American presidents who were not buried in one of the 50 states.

    Bush Sr, Bush Jr, Clinton and Carter

  2. Jan Sund Says:

    I am guessing on your trivia question.
    Taft, Wilson and Kennedy.

  3. Ronni Says:

    It’s hard to google-proof a question! From The Adams and George Washington are not *buried*. Neither are Carter, the Bushes, Clinton or Obama.

  4. Deb Says:

    President Wilson is buried/interred at the Washington National Cathedral, which is not in one of the 50 states.

    George Washington is interred in an above-ground tomb at Mount Vernon.

    William Henry Harrison is entombed in Hamilton County Ohio.

    I stopped when I got to 3. 🙂

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