Volunteer Jobs at Trials
 *  Timer  *

Timer

Your job is to sit beside the scribe at the side of the ring for each event and time each dog’s run. It is fairly straightforward, but does require some concentration (and some events have specific requirements).


Timing can be done either with a stopwatch and whistle/horn, or with an Electronic Timing System (ETS). Most of the time you use an ETS, but you will also have a stopwatch and whistle/horn as a backup. Make sure you are familiar with both systems before starting to time.


Before the event:

  1. Check the ETS poles and settings:
  2. How they will inform you that they are ready for the dog to start.
    1. When the timer posts are properly lined up, one will show a green light and the other a red light.
    2. If any of the lights are flashing, the pole may need new batteries.
    3. Test the breaking the start beam in the first obstacle starts the timer, and breaking the beam on the last obstacle stops the timer.
    4. If either the start obstacle or the finish obstacle is used more than once in the course, ensure the timer is set up for this.
    5. If this event does not use game horns, ensure the game horns are cleared. If it does use them, ensure that they are configured. 
  3. The judge will meet with you and scribe before the trial starts, so they can tell you their specific habits, e.g.
    1. How they will inform you that they are ready for the dog to start.
    2. Give you the Obstacle Repetition time and the Maximum Course Time.
    3. Please ask the judge to explain anything you do not understand.
  4. Make sure you have a clear view of the start and finish lines. In particular, your chair should be at the start / finish line or the plane of the first and last obstacles.

For All Event Types (Standard, Jumpers, Steeplechase, Snooker, Gamblers)
  1. Before a dog runs, check that the Judge and Scribe are ready. If the ring crew are on their way back to their chairs, this is okay. Press the "GO" button on the ETS console, or blow the whistle.
  2. If using ETS, you do not need to clear the time after a run. When the timer starts, the time starts again at 0. If you do need to clear the time, as can happen when the obstacle heights are being reset and the beams are broken, press CLEAR TIME.
  3. When the run is finished, show the time to the Scribe AND tell them the time EXACTLY AS IT APPEARS ON THE timing device. They will write the time on the Scribe Sheet.
  4. Alert the Judge to any timing malfunction as soon as it is discovered. If you have a problem with the time, OR aren't sure about ANYTHING you just did in a run -GO OUT INTO THE FIELD IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DOG IS FINISHED, AND EXPLAIN THE PROBLEM TO THE JUDGE.
  5. If a handler starts the dog BEFORE you are ready (i.e. BEFORE you blow the horn or whistle) -- IMMEDIATELY CALL OUT "NOT READY", AND SIGNAL TO THE JUDGE THAT YOU WERE "NOT READY". The dog will have to start again.
  6. When using the ETS:
  • the timer may appear to stop (sometimes caused by wind, leaves, shadows). Press the RESTART button and timing will resume with the correct elapsed time.
  • previous times can be recovered by moving through the times using the PREV and NEXT TIME buttons.


For Standard, Jumpers and Steeplechase

  1. Make sure the ETS starts the time when the dog takes the first obstacle. If it does not star automatically, press the START button. If you are using manual timing, start the stopwatch when the dog crosses the start line.
  2. Make sure the ETS stops the time when the dog completes the last obstacle. If it does not stop automatically, press the STOP button. If you are using manual timing, stop the timer when the dog completes the last obstacle. 
  3. If the finish line is live (the dog has completed the penultimate obstacle), and the dog runs by the last obstacle, continue to time the run until: the dog comes back and completes the last obstacle; or, the dog completes the last obstacle in the wrong direction; or, the dog and handler leave the ring having never completed the last obstacle.
  4. If Maximum Course time is reached while the handler and dog are still on the course, blow the whistle or sound the ETS horn. This is the signal for the dog and handler to leave the ring.
  5. If the Judge has signaled obstacle repetition (T signal), blow the whistle or sound the ETS horn when Obstacle Repetition time is reached. This is the signal for the dog and handler to leave the ring.

For Snooker

  1. Make sure the Game Horns option in the ETS is programmed to sound the horn when the time for Snooker is up (60 seconds for Starters and Advanced, 55 seconds for Masters).
  2. Because of the nature of Snooker, the timer poles cannot be used, as a dog can start or finish anywhere along the start and finish lines. However, you can still use the ETS by manually starting the time when the dog crosses the start line and stopping the time when the dog crosses the finish line.
  3. Start the ETS or stopwatch when the dog crosses the start line.
  4. If using a stopwatch (or you cannot program the time in the ETS), blow the whistle or sound the horn at the end of time allowed for the Snooker. Otherwise the ETS will sound the horn.
  5. DO NOT STOP TIMING UNTIL THE DOG CROSSES THE FINISH LINE.


For Gamblers

You have the option to program the ETS so that the horn sounds at 40 seconds and then at the time allowed to complete the main gamble. If you are to have all possible times (open, mini, open vet, mini vet) this can be complicated. Not only must 4 different times be programmed, but you must switch times during the run, depending on the jump height and class. Usually you program the ETS for mini vet time, and the Judge informs the competitors.


  1. Because of the nature of Gamblers, only the Finish light curtains(poles) will be used at the last gamble obstacle to stop the time. The time is started manually since the dog can start anywhere along the start line.
  2. Press the START button (or start the stopwatch) when the dog crosses the start line.
  3. At 40 seconds sound the horn or blow the whistle. If using the ETS, ensure the horn sounds – sound it manually if it doesn’t. Be careful not to be so interested in watching the dog that you miss this.
  4. If the dog is still running at the end of the allowed gamble time, sound the horn or blow the whistle again. If using the ETS, ensure the horn sounds – sound it manually if it doesn’t. Do not stop the time.
  5. When the dog does the final gamble obstacle the ETS should record the finish time. If it doesn't, or the dog runs past the final obstacle, press the STOP button. If manually timing, stop the stopwatch.
  6. Give the time to the scribe as in any other run.