I started competing in UKI in December of 2015, when my local trainer decided to host a trial. Soon after that, I volunteered to Secretary her future trials. As a result, I have spent a considerable amount of time (a) developing automated spreadsheets to handle entries and scoring (but that still meet the requirements for submission of results), and (b) studying the rules so I could (among other things) properly guide entrants who had confusion about which level to enter their dog.
After several back-and-forth emails with Laura D, I think I have figured out the answer to that question. To assist other competitors with sorting out this confusion, I'm publishing this summary/FAQ.
There are three sets of rules to consider when determining which level to enter your dog in its first UKI trial. The starting point is always the date the Handler registers with UKI.
Scenario 1: The dog is already competing in another venue at the time the Handler registers with UKI. In this scenario, the following table defines the level. Quoting the rule book, "Use the highest STANDARD AGILITY level/title. You must also use the highest STANDARD AGILITY level if competing in multiple venues."
Scenario 1 is covered in the GREEN sections of the following table. Please note that there are two lines to consider, depending on when the dog was registered (relative to the handler).
Scenario 2: The dog is NOT already competing at the time the Handler registers (and in fact, may not yet exist). In this case, there are additional considerations, as outlined in the BLUE sections of the following table.
Reference Table (endorsed by Laura D)
Scenario 3: The dog has advanced in other organizations since it was registered, and has not competed in UKI in the past 4 months because of a lack of trials in the geographic area. This is covered by Rule 2.4.c, where "lack of trials" is defined by a radius of 100 miles. Dogs who meet this criteria can request a move-up to their current Standard level as outlined in the transfer table above. Handlers looking for this exemption MUST contact the office to do the move-up - it won't be up to the individual Trial Secretaries.
As much as I wish these three scenarios clarified everything, alas, that is not the case. And so here are the questions I posed to UKI for further clarification, along with their official answers (and in some cases, my unofficial commentary).
If my dog fits the criteria on the last line, must I enter Novice or can I enter Beginner?
You must enter Novice.
If a handler runs the new dog in Beginner out of confusion, is the dog stuck there until it titles? Or can it move up to Novice when the error is revealed?
It can move into Novice but the Beg run will be void.
Editor's Note: Excellent - in some organizations, you're stuck once you Q.
If a dog enters too high (based on a misunderstanding of the lateral transfer rules), what happens to any Qs they earn at that level? Are they lost, or are they held until the dog advances back up to that level?
They will be void.
Editor's Note: Bummer, thank you for your donation. I consider this an opportunity for improvement in the marketing department. At least one other organization holds them in abeyance.
What's the quickest way to determine the date of both the handler's and the dog's registration?
If they login to their account and click on the red menu MY ACCOUNT - then click on the VIEW DETAILS next to the All transactions USD - the date next to the registration of handler and dogs is when they registered.
For people who registered a new dog in 2015 but don't remember the date, is there a Dog # that we can use a reference for pre/post June 30?
No, sorry, best way is to have them go online
Editor's Note: I registered both of my dogs on 10/18/15 - their numbers are 9146/7. I think it's safe to say that anything larger than 9146 is post-6/30/15.
If a new dog wasn't competing (or didn't even exist, for that matter) at the time the handler registered, that dog can NEVER register higher than Novice, right? In other words, no lateral transfers for dogs that weren't competing at the time of handler registration?
Correct. Itís all based on time of handler registration. The point behind this is that folks would then wait until their dogs reached a high level in other venues before transferring to UKI.
Editor's Update: Unless the dog qualifies for a move-up under Scenario 3 above.
Editor's Note: Revenue matters, I get that. I take no issue with this rule.
If I'm entering my young dog in Nursery Agility, but also want to enter Speedstakes, what level do I enter SS?
The SS level will be according to the chart - not connected with Nursery at all.
Corollary: Since I can jump one height lower in Nursery, what do I jump in SS?
Competition height, unless you opt for Select.