Judges Briefing for Rally-FrEe Video Events

  1. Here is a link to a short video on how to read a Rally-FrEe course map
  2. Music can be played continuously during all videoing or started for each performer. It is advisable that you do a test video upload for YouTube to ensure that the music you have chosen will not be blocked. While this is rare, this action by YouTube, due to some copyright rules, blocks out all sound and the judge is then unable to hear praise as part of teamwork, or whether cues are repeated or missed. One option is to post a test video with your music to YouTube or the site you intend to use before recording your performance video. This video tutorial also explains how to check your music or playability.
  3. The performance area should be identified by some kind of physical marking. The judges needs to be able to determine the amount of ring space used and if the dog or handler leave the ring before the end of the performance.
  4. When using a leash remember that leashes may be dropped only while performing behaviors in which the dog passes through the handler’s legs, or Free Choice behaviors where the leash would impede the dog’s ability to complete the behavior. The leash must then be picked up before continuing to the next station. Leashes should remain loose and not used to control the dog.
  5. Be sure to check your pockets for food or toys. These reinforcers are not allowed in the performance ring.
  6. Remember to go past the bow sign to exit the course properly, exiting without going past the bow sign will result in not earning full points for that station.
  7. When two or more signs are married at a station on the course, be sure to perform the signs in the order listed on the course map, read left to right. Not doing so will result in an off-course score for the station.
  8. When performing the 270 sign behavior, both the dog and handler are to walk in a circle. 270’s should not be performed as a pivot by either the dog or handler, with feet or paws remaining in place.
  9. Support your dog by allowing them to complete the behavior before moving forward to the next station. This impacts both your station score a nd your overall heelwork score.
  10. It is recommended that your videographer be in the ring with the dog and handler team, as a judge would be at a live event. The videographer does not need to follow the team closely, but rather find a location within the course where discreet movements allow for a judge to be able to view the positions and behaviors performed. Using the zoom lens will allow the judge to get a better view of performance of the sign while still maintaining a distance from the team. Both dog and handler need to be in frame at all times.
  11. If the video camera needs to be in a fixed location, ensure that the video camera has a complete view of all of the signs and team at the signs. Also try to place the video camera so that there is a clear view of each move executed at each sign.
  12. Start the video recording slightly before the performance starts and let the recording continue a short while after the performance ends, capturing some of the after performance celebration is just fine.
  13. Remember to check the time of your performance before submitting to make sure the team is within the 4 minute time limit.

Good Luck! Have fun with your dog.