Volunteer Jobs at Trials
 *  Ring Steward  *

Ring Steward

You have two jobs during the event:

  • change the height of obstacles as the gatekeeper calls
  • replace bars that are knocked off during a run


Once you know what you are doing, this can be a relaxing job, plus you get to see all of the runs.


Specifically:

  1. You will be assigned a place to sit in the ring and told which obstacles in the area for which you will be responsible.
  2. Do not bring any food or drink in the ring, as the smell can distract the dog. Water is allowed.
  3. If you have a smart phone, turn it off or leave it outside the ring. Do not text or check social media while the dogs are running. You need to be alert for height changes and other adjustments.
  4. The gatekeeper will call out the new height when it is time for a height change. You will make adjustments for your assigned obstacles
    1. Single jumps – move the bar to the given height, either 6, 10, 16, 22, or 26 inches. There will be only 1 bar unless the judge decides otherwise.
    2. Double jump – move the top 2 bars to the given height. Put the bottom 2 bars as a vertical X, the tips of the bars in the cups directly underneath the top bars. Height are 10, 16, 22, or 26 inches.
    3. Ascending spread jump – for 10 inches, bars on the 2 bottom cups. For 16 inches, bars on the 3 bottom cups. For 22 inches, the 4 bottom cups. For 26 inches, all 5 cups.
    4. Tire – The links that give the height are marked. On either side is tape and in the link itself is a label. Put that link on the hook at the top of the tire frame. If the end of the chain dangles, put more links on the hook. The chain is never to touch the tire because it is not safe for the dogs.
    5. Table – there are only 2 heights, 10 and 22 inches. For 10 inches, stack the table (6 inches) on the yellow frame (4 inches). For 22 inches, stack 2 blue frames (6 + 6 inches) on top of the yellow frame, then the table on top of that. It goes faster if the yellow frame is always on the bottom. At jump heights 6, 10, and 16 the 10-inch table is used. At 22 and 26 inches the 22-inch table is used. It does not matter if it is Regular, Special, or Veterans. The gatekeeper should call out any changes to the table.
  5. Regular to Special/Vet or vice versa. The gatekeeper will call out instructions
    1. A-frame down or up – you need 2 people. Lift up one end and move it so that the chains are loose. If the judge does not tell you which end, ask. For one A-frame you put the hook through the correct link. The links for the 2 heights are marked with tape on either side. For the other A-frame there are 2 large hooks. The hook for the lower height is always attached. Add the other hook to raise the A-frame, take out the hook to lower the A-frame.
    2. Spreads out – You convert the spread to a winged jump. Place the LOWEST bar on the ground to mark the spot and remove the other bars. Fold back the frames of the spread to make wings and place them at the bar on the ground. Put the bar at the correct jump height. Do not forget to move the cone. If the judge wants 2 bars, add another.
    3. Doubles out – You convert this to a winged jump. Place a bar on the ground in the middle to mark the spot and remove the other bars. Turn each frame and place the other end at the bar on the ground. Put the bar at the correct jump height. If the judge wants 2 bars, add another.
    4. Spreads in – Place the bar on the ground to mark the spot. Open the frames and place the LOWER end next to the bar on the ground. Place the bar in the cups. Add other bars to get the correct height. Remember to move the cone.
    5. Doubles in – Place the bar on the ground to mark the spot. Turn the frames around and place them so that the bar is in the middle. Get 3 other bars and set them to the correct height.
  6. If a dog knocks a bar down, wait until the run is finished before putting it back on the jump. The exception is if the bar poses a danger to the dog. In this case wait until the dog is out of the way, then quickly grab the bar and take it with you. Replace the bar when the run finishes.
  7. Also keep an eye on the chute and tunnels if they are in your area. If the chute is tangled straighten it. If the tunnels bulge out, kick them back into shape. You do not have to do this after every run.
  8. If a dog comes to visit,
    1. Freeze. Do not move.
    2. Do not make eye contact. Look up.
    3. Ignore the dog. Do not talk to it.
  9. It generally faster to do the table and A-frame first, then the jumps during height changes. Move as quickly as you can.
  10. Look over the entire ring once you are finished with your obstacles. A fellow ring crew person may need some help.