Games of the 2011 Petit Prix ~ Part 2

In and Out is a game invented by Sheri Boone. You know, it’s a funny thing, some time back I documented the Rukis variation. And this is a variation I want to avoid, at all costs in the TDAA. The Rukis variation is worded like this:

  • In the Rukis variation, no points are awarded in a faulted loop. Allowing points to be kept within a faulted loop is a flaw of the game and could encourage bad or unsafe execution.

You should know that Ilze Rukis is judging In and Out at the 2011 Petit Prix. How’s that for an interesting twist?

As it turns out, the Rukis variation totally demolishes the original intent of the game; that is, it is no longer a game of strategy. So the rules have morphed over the years to the point that since it’s just a big numbered course it’s pretty silly to award points for obstacles in the numbered sequence. And so we wind up applying an SCT rather than a QCT; and the requirement to repeat a loop makes the repetition just a “loser’s lap” and is an extraordinary penalty.

See my discussion of strategy, after the briefing, below.

In and Out

In and Out is the invention of Sheri Boone. This game was created to encourage handlers to think about motivation and strategy. The game is considered motivating because movement and point accumulation on a course does not stop until time runs out. The game is considered strategic for the sole purpose of accumulating points in a variety of different ways.


The In and Out course is divided into three loops: the inner loop, the in-and-out loop, and the outer loop.

A loop must be completed without fault before the dog can begin the next loop. The judge will call out “fault” when a dog faults an obstacle. Standard faults apply (missed contact, dropped bar, wrong course, missed weave poles); refusals are not faulted. A fault occurring after the last obstacle in a loop is successfully performed will not fault the completed loop.

  • Inner loop – Obstacles 1 thru 7
  • In and out loop – Obstacles 8 thru 15
  • Outer loop – Obstacles 16 thru 22

The dog will earn points for each obstacle performed. Point values shall be:

  • 1 point ~ jumps
  • 3 points ~tunnels and tire
  • 5 points ~ Contact obstacles and weave poles

Points earned in a faulted loop prior to the faulted obstacle are kept; and the dog will earn points for obstacles previously performed each time the loop is restarted.

The Qualifying Course Time (QCT) shall be based upon the rates-of-travel respective to each jump height in the Superior class. At the expiration of time (whistle) the dog may earn no additional points and should be directed to the finish line to stop time.


In and Out is scored points then time. Time is a tiebreaker only. If the dog completes the entire course before time runs out, the difference between the dog’s time and the course time becomes bonus points added to the score.


On this In and Out course 46 points are required to qualify.


Now, returning to the original rules of the game and no variations imposed, let me speak to strategy. As a points-based game in the sample course pictured above there are three loops which have these values:

  • Inner loop ~ 12 points
  • In & Out loop ~ 18 points
  • Outer loop ~ 16 points

With this in mind, we’ll set the qualifying criteria at 46 points. 46 is the value of all three loops and is a reasonable expectation for qualifying: no faults and a clean run.

Here’s the part that you should find interesting… a dog can score more than 46 points!

By not playing the Rukis variation we’ve reintroduced strategy into the game. Take a good look at the course and consider this interesting design feature… As the dog gets to obstacle #10 in the In and Out loop he could close the loop by going on to jump #11; and then all he has left to himself are the last two points of the current loop and the 16 points of the Outer loop. But the handler could, instead, put the dog over the jump straight ahead of him, and then repeat the In and Out loop… which is worth 18 points. If he gets the In and Out loop done before the expiration of time… he’s actually managed to earn 46 points… and more if he goes on with the outer loop or attempts to repeat the In and Out loop yet again.

This is a risk/reward proposition. The handler must be confident that he can do this technical series of obstacles and maybe snatch a couple extra points within the confines of the QCT in order to rise above the pack. The mantra is… just keep running ‘til they blow the whistle.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The Country Dream web store is up and running. Be sure to check out my distance training series: The Jokers Notebook; an (inexpensive) elaboration and improvement on the work I did in Go the Distance.

3 Responses to “Games of the 2011 Petit Prix ~ Part 2”

  1. Courtney Keys Says:

    Okay. But what about the bonus points? If you have a very fast dog…. We played this last weekend and I think I got 30 or more bonus points on my 26-second run.

  2. Sarah Rex, CPT Says:

    Oh dear, I tried to use the email button up above, but it never gave me a field to actually write a message in. Sorry, Bud, if you received a blank email from me.

    Bud, you have been recommended to me by another trainer who took your agility workshop a few years back. The training business I work for is looking to send one or two of our people to an agility workshop to acquire knowledge so that we can both start to compete in it, and also teach it to our own clients eventually. I’ve been trying to get on to your website, but it appears that it is down. I keep getting the same error message every time “The Page Cannot Be Found” and does make it hard to look up future dates of any seminars/workshops that you are teaching.
    May I have a list of dates and places, or an alternate way to find this information? I would be much obliged, thank you.

  3. Mary Says:

    I haven’t played this game before so I am not understanding your strategy. If you fault after #10 you get to keep those points, but then do you have to start at #8 again to finish that loop? If so you have a long way to go to get back to #8 and what happens if you take jumps and obstacles along the way to get there?

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