Drawing Casts and Judges

World Qualifiers and Hunt Directors

Q: Can clubs use a Hunt Director for a World Qualifying Event?

A: Clubs have the approval to use a Hunt Director at a World Qualifying Event, with the understanding that clubs assign an individual who is well-qualified and capable of following all event procedures.

Drawing Casts and Judges

Back in the day, it went largely unnoticed, or was universally accepted, that club officials and Masters of Hounds were within their rights to see that questionable characters in any particular area got a “strong” Judge by seeing that the shady character was “put” on a particular Judge’s card, or vice versa. Because it was being done with the honest intention of seeing that the hunt was actually more honest and enjoyable, everyone kind of turned their heads to the situation. It was wrong, but it was accepted. One of those classic examples of “just seemed like the right thing to do.”

Along the way, it became obvious that clubs and Masters of Hounds needed some sort of authority to be able to place a non-hunting Judge on any given cast. In essence, to be able to do almost the same thing, they had been doing but completely within the rules. No longer would it be necessary to mess with the draw now that they had the authority to place non-hunting Judges where they needed them. This was specifically designed to handle problem individuals.

Since then, UKC has taken the drawing of casts yet another step further. Club officials now also have the authority draw hunting judges to each cast in a manner that assures them they are using their most qualified individuals to judge for them. That approved procedure gives officials the authority to select the number of judges needed from their total entry pool and place them on their scorecards first. After each scorecard has a qualified judge entry on it, they then “draw” their remaining entries to the scorecards. (Refer to page 53 and 54 of the current Official UKC Hunting Beagle Rulebook for further details.)

Drawing Rules also state that owners having multiple entries will have them drawn to separate casts, if at all possible. The significance of this rule is that it requires entry-takers to denote, in some fashion, entry slips of individuals who have more than one dog in the same category. There are several ways to do this, but only one that I know of that complies with the required impartial drawing of dogs.

The real issue at hand is marked entry slips and the opportunity for individuals to rig a draw, for one reason or another. On one hand, you have two buddies that want to hunt together to put the odds in their favor. On the other hand, you have two friends who drive a long way to a hunt together and don’t want to draw out with each other. Or maybe you have a father-and-son team who have their own dogs in their own name and would rather not hunt against each other. All of the above are very real situations and fall under the same restriction; that being, they cannot intentionally be drawn together or separate. Read that last sentence again. It works both ways!

In conducting a draw, make sure all the slips are face down and that none of them have x’s or anything else on the back of the entry slip. Do not mark your multiple entries with an x on the back of the entry slip. The reason for this is two-fold. First, it looks bad and lends suspicion to your draw. Second, it is still easy to see that one of the two x’s gets on the “right” scorecard. Make sure that you announce the fact that the draw is taking place and that anyone who wishes to do so may witness the draw.

In the event that you have multiple entries in a category from the same owner/co-owner, the best way to make sure they don’t draw together is to highlight the front of the sticky (entry form). After you conduct a random drawing from all entries lying face down and unmarked on the back, then flip them over and check to see if any of your multiple entries were drawn to the same cast. If they were drawn to the same cast, randomly swap an entry from another cast.

The problem is, you can’t let some (the ones with honest intent) ignore the draw rules without providing others (those with less than honest intent) the opportunity of doing the same thing. We have the rules in place to deal with problem individuals. Let’s use the rules within the system and not take matters into our own hands, even if it does seem like the right thing to do.

Misconduct Guidelines

It’s surprising to learn just how few people really are aware of how to handle the situation where you have a person on a cast that is threatening and intimidating others. What about the situation where you discover that a scorecard was falsified?

There is a specific procedure for dealing with problems of this nature, and if you are going to be involved in the competitive side of this sport, whether it be as a Master of Hounds, Bench Show Judge, club officer or cast participant, you need to know the procedure for taking the steps necessary to make this game a better place to be.

A Misconduct Form is a separate form found in the club’s event supply packet, which accounts for why many participants may not be familiar with it. Let me say this, if you haven’t been on the receiving end of one, it’s a good thing! This is the form used to report problems of a serious nature to the club or to United Kennel Club. Before we touch on a couple of the more important aspects of it, please keep in mind that the rules for filing a Misconduct Form and the procedures for holding Misconduct Hearings can be found in their entirety beginning on page 22 of the current rulebook under the heading “Misconduct & Discipline”. If I can’t interest you in reading through it now, at least remember where to find this specific information for as long as you remain active in this sport, there is a very real chance that you will someday find yourself needing to reference this information.

The misconduct rules state that any person who becomes aware of event-related misconduct during the hours of a UKC licensed event must notify a UKC official or club officer. Basically, a UKC official or club officer will see that the complainant receives a Report Form and any assistance necessary to complete it. The completed form is then sent to UKC. The club should not begin any hearing procedures until they have heard back in writing from UKC that it will be necessary to hold a hearing. When the misconduct is discovered after the hours of the event, the person who wishes to file a misconduct report can either contact UKC or their local club to obtain a form.

Once received at the office, UKC will do a short investigation to determine whether the evidence surrounding the reported misconduct does indeed warrant a hearing. In the event that it does, the club will receive a letter instructing them to hold a hearing in accordance with the procedure for doing so outlined in the rulebook.

One thing to remember here - not many of us associated with these types of meetings are schooled or experienced in the art of conducting formal, court-room-like hearings. The obligation is to try to conduct a fair and impartial hearing in an effort to review the evidence and make a recommendation to UKC as to how to handle the alleged misconduct.

A discussion regarding the procedures for filing a misconduct report would not be complete without some theorizing on the responsibility that goes along with it. This procedure is each and every participant’s guarantee that the world of competition can be an even better place than it already is. Can you imagine that if everyone that went into a tirade on a cast was slammed with three years’ probation and a $100 fine, how quick we could put an end to the majority of unsportsmanlike nonsense? It wouldn’t be long before some of the hunters who simply don’t want to risk the chance that they’ll draw one of these individuals would come on back out to your club’s events. Keep in mind it needs to be an offense serious enough to warrant a hearing. Threats are serious enough. Issues like cussing someone and general unsportsmanlike behavior are best handled at the club level by a refusal of entries at a set number of future events at that club.

This explanation was not written with the intent of encouraging a rush of Misconduct Reports. But, darn it, if someone is causing problems, do your part to stand up to it. I don’t mean to imply that these situations happen all the time. They don’t, but when they do, it’s very frustrating to learn that individuals either: a) didn’t want to get involved; or b) didn’t know how to get involved. After 9/11, did you feel a renewed allegiance to your country? What’s going to have to happen before you feel a renewed allegiance to your sport?

Source: www.ukcdogs.com



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