Pointing Rules

UPDATED 1/20/2013
Rule 1; Definitions:

Sec 1: Acted On: Acted on is when a handler fires his gun at a bird for the purpose of bagging it.

Sec 2: Back: A back is when one dog honors another dogs point and holds his back until the pointing dog moves or the bird flushes. A back is worth five (5) points and must be called by the handler. Only one back per dog, per run will be scored. No dog in the doubles can be bumped or handled in any manner in an effort to safeguard a back. The handler cannot relocate the pointing dog until a reasonable attempt to flush has been made. NOTE: The pointing dog may not be whoa'd to point to give a partner's dog a back. The back must be in a natural situation where a pointing dog stops to point on his own accord.

Sec 3: Bagged Bird: A bagged bird is a bird that has been shot, retrieved, or picked up after a 3 second point was established, and in the possession of the handler or the judge

Sec 4: Beeper Collars: A Beeper collar is an electronic device designed to beep a particular cadence to aid the handler in locating his/her dog, whether the dog is running or on point. Beeper Collar must be turned on and working properly. The beeper collar must be worn properly as intended by the mfg. Properly, is defined by being behind the ears and in front of the shoulders on the dog's neck. A handler that does not place the beeper collar on the dog properly will be disqualified.

Sec 5: Designated Shooter (DS): A Designated Shooter is a person Designated or Approved by the Field Marshal, Trial Host or Trial Committee to shoot for a handler. Designated Shooter may not assist handler in any way. The Designated Shooter's sole purpose is to shoot for the handler.

Sec 6: Designated Walker (DW): A Designated Walker is a person Designated or Approved by the Field Marshal or Trial Committee to walk for an injured or physically challenged handler.

Sec 7: Youth Handler: Handler between the ages of 14-18 years may participate in a sanctioned trial as long as the following conditions are met: NO EXCEPTIONS:
a. The youth handler must be a paid member (Family Membership) or Individual). Must present a current Hunter Education/Safety Course from their state of residence.
b. Must have a waiver (Indemnification) which must show the youth handlers name and must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
c. The youth handler between the ages of 14-16 years must have their parent or legal guardian accompany the judge during the course of the trial.

Sec 8: Field Marshal: A field Marshal is a person appointed by the trial committee or host to oversee a particular field(s). A Field Marshal has the authority to make rulings on protests, changing of running order and to oversee the overall proceedings of the field he/she has been assigned too.

Sec 9: Illegal Dog: Is a dog that enters into a field in which the dog is not assigned too.

Sec 10: Ineligible Dog: Is a dog that does not meet the registration requirements of the UFTA By-laws or that has been suspended from UFTA events, or that is running under an assumed name. EFFECT: Immediate disqualification of the dog and handler.

Sec 11: Interference: Any dog or person not assigned to the field in which the run is taking place enters into that field and distracts the legal dog in any way. Or flushes a bird from the field, or in the judgment of the judge, hinders the legal dog in any way will be considered interference.

Sec 12: Point: A point is awarded when the handler calls "Point” and the handlers dog has been stationary for three seconds, and the judge has determined the point to be a "Good Point". In order for the handler to receive points awarded for a "Good Point" the judge must see the bird.

Sec 13: Re-runs: A re-run is an aborted run, which is to be started over. On any re-run, a handler cannot better their time from when the re-run was awarded, but the score can be improved.

Sec 14: Retrieves: There are two kinds of retrieves, a full retrieve and a partial retrieve:
a) A full retrieve is worth 10 points and is awarded when a dog brings the bird(s) back to within one step of the handler or doubles partner.
b) A partial retrieve is worth 5 points and is awarded when a dog only partially brings a bird back to the handler. To be scored as a partial retrieve, the dog has to have the bird in its mouth and make an attempt to bring the bird to the handler (the dog must make a complete step with at least one foot)

Sec 15: Running: The definition of running is the handler, the designated walker or designated shooter not having at least one foot on the ground at all times while competing.

Sec 16: Safety: A safety can be called by the handler, DS, or the judge. A safety shall be called only when the dog, judge, gallery, competitor in the other field or personal property would be in peril if the handler would choose to shoot.

Sec 18: Time Limit: A UFTA field trial will be run with a fifteen (15) minute time limit for Open and Amateur divisions and fifteen (15)) for doubles pointing division.

Sec 19: Trapped Bird(s): A trapped bird is a bird that has been caught (trapped) by the dog before leaving the nest. If the bird has gotten up, has moved, fluttered, or is moving, this bird by definition HAS left the nest.

Sec 20: Trial Grounds: The field trial grounds are 7-12 acre fields with mown or fixed boundaries with either fence or flags or some other approved markings to clearly mark out of bounds areas. Trial grounds may be larger if approved in advance by the Board of directors or State Director.

Sec 21: Walking: The definition of walking is a handler, designated walker or designated shooter having at least one foot on the ground at all times while competing. The cadence of the walk should be heel - toe, heel - toe


Rule 2; Field Trials & Divisions:

Note: At no time can any handler, DW, or DS in any division use any communication devices which includes but is not limited to; radios, transmitters, flags, signs, etc. This will be considered un-sportsmanlike conduct and grounds for immediate disqualification.

Sec 1: Open Shooting Dog division is open to any pointing dog and consists of one handler and one dog. The Open Shooting Dog division will compete in two (2) fifteen (15) minute runs. The two scores will be added at the end of the trial for one total score. The total score of the two runs will determine the order of finish. The Open Shooting Dog Division will be a three (3) Bird Run unless otherwise approved by the Board of directors prior to the start of the trial. EXCEPTION: more than one hunter may be in the field if the handler is utilizing the Designated Walker or the Designated Shooter. All rules and penalties of the Designated Shooter (Rule 9) and Designated Walker (Rule 10) apply.

Sec 2: The Open Doubles Division is an open division to any pointing dog and consists of two (2) handlers and two (2) dogs. The time limit for the Open Doubles Division is 15 minutes. The Open Doubles Division will be a six (6) bird run unless otherwise approved by the Board of directors prior to the start of the trial. Each handler must bag 3 birds and must quit shooting when he/she bags his/her third bird. The handler that bags his/her three birds first, may take his/her dog and assist the other handler to find his/her remaining birds. However, he/she may not assist the other handler in shooting. Each dog per run may get a back that is worth five (5) points to that team. No dog in the doubles division can be bumped or handled in any manner in an effort to safeguard a back. The handler cannot relocate the pointing dog until a reasonable attempt to flush has been made. No dog in the doubles can be leashed until the sixth bird is bagged or time has expired.
EXCEPTION: more than two hunters may be in the field if the handler is utilizing the Designated Walker or the Designated Shooter. All rules and penalties of the Designated Shooter (Rule 9) and Designated Walker (Rule 10) apply NOTE: Two (2) judges are required to judge the Open Doubles Division

Sec 3: Amateur Shooting Dog Division is open to any dog three years or younger. If the dog turns three (3) before January 1st it will not be eligible for that years amateur qualifying runs. This division is run with one dog and one handler for fifteen (15) minute time limit. This division runs only one time. EXCEPTION: more than one hunter may be in the field if the handler is utilizing the Designated Walker or the Designated Shooter. All rules and penalties of the Designated Shooter (Rule 9) and Designated Walker (Rule 10) apply

Sec 4: A dog can compete only one time per division per trial. However, the dog may compete in more than one division per trial.

Sec 5: Scheduling of run times will be determined by a witnessed blind draw prior to the event.

Sec 6: All fields must be flushed each morning prior to the event by dogs that are not scheduled to compete in that field that day

Sec 7: A handler may not use any objects to assist him/her to reach a dropped bird other than the one step and his arm’s length to pick up the bird.

Sec 8: A handler may not lie down to reach a dropped bird.
EFFECT: Sec 7-8: A partial retrieve will be scored if the dog has completed all necessary phases of the partial retrieve rule.

Sec 9: Handler must make an attempt to flush. After the three (3) second point is established and the dog does not move and the bird comes up the bird can be acted on for a full score. Hunter must be in reasonable distance to the dog or in the area of dog; up to judge’s discretion.

Sec 10: If the time limit has expired and a bird has been shot, the handler has a thirty (30) second grace period to complete the retrieve. If the retrieve is not completed within the thirty (30) second grace period, no (0) points will be awarded for neither the bagged bird nor the retrieve.
NOTE: If the time limit has expired while the dog is on point and no bird has been produced the handler must leash his dog immediately and (0) zero points will be awarded

Sec 11: If a shot bird falls behind an obstruction that the dog cannot pass safely over or through, the handler or designated shooter may help the dog over the fence and back and receive full points for the retrieval if the dog brings the bird back to within one step of the handler or designated shooter. Once the handler or designated shooter helps the dog over the fence the handler must now remain stationary until the dog retrieves the bird to within one step of the new position. If a bird is pointed in bounds and flushed and lands in an out of bounds tree it can be shot out of the tree. If you have not acted on (shot at) the bird you can move to the field boundary and shoot the bird from the tree and receive points for a full retrieve. NOTE: The handler is allowed one step from this new position; however the pivot foot must remain stationary.

Sec 12: If a fence is used to divide fields and a handler or designated shooter shoots a bird the judge must witness the bird had fallen dead in order for the handler or designated shooter to set the dog over the fence to attempt to make the retrieve in the field on the other side of the fence. Once the handler or designated shooter helps the dog over the fence the handler must now remain stationary until the dog retrieves the bird to within one step of the new position.

Sec 13: Once a dog has moved his quota three (3) plus one (1) extra bird without the handler bagging three (3) birds then the handler must pick up his dog. Birds flushed only count if dog works that bird. Multiple birds flushed only count as or for the ones acted on. If dog flushed bird on a retrieve it does not count towards quota rule. Time is stopped and the run is scored as full time.

Sec 14: If the dog goes on point during a retrieve in bounds. The handler or designated shooter may move to flush the second bird with no penalty on the first bird. However, he/she must use the second shooting spot as the stationary position for both birds. If no bird is produced the second shooting spot is still the stationary position for the first retrieve and the handler will be awarded a full retrieve provided the dog completes the retrieve to this new position.

Sec 15: Trees and bushes that are inside the boundaries are considered to be in bounds if the trunk of the tree is on the boundary or inside the boundary (over hanging limbs that are outside the boundary are considered in bounds if the trunk of the tree is in bounds. Over hanging limbs that are in bounds from a tree that is out of bounds are considered in bounds. An acted on bird that lands in or lodges in a tree can be shot again with the penalty of five (5) points for the additional shell. If the handler or designated shooter must move in order to shoot the bird again a partial retrieve will be scored if the dog makes a retrieve. If the judge witness that the bird had fallen dead in an in or out of bounds tree/object and a retrieve is impossible the handler will receive full points for the bagged bird.

Sec 16: Ties for first, second, third and beyond will be broken as follows:
a) For first place ties, time used based on seconds will be used as the tiebreaker (open division will have both runs times totaled) example: 12 minutes 30 seconds beats 12 minutes and 31 seconds, b) time of first bird is second tie breaker c) Number of unused shells will be used as the third tiebreaker d) Number of full retrieves will be used as the fourth tiebreaker.

Sec 17: On the last bird, including a safety, time does not stop until the dog is on the handler's leash or held by the collar and the bird is in possession of the handler.

Sec 18: The field trial grounds are 7-12 acre fields unless larger fields are approved by the State Representative or Board of directors that are clearly marked with fixed or mown boundaries. Fence, flags, paint can mark boundaries or mown strips or any other method approved by the UFTA Board of directors.

Sec 19: Any female dog in season must be run last. Handler must make the trial committee or field marshal aware of this. Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of the dog.

Sec 20: Trial Chairman, his/her immediate family or employees may compete in their own trials.

Sec 21: Trial committee members may compete for the cash and prizes, as well as the trophies and the points.

Sec 22: All dogs must be registered with a traceable pedigree. (Proof must be made available on request)
NOTE: If handler does not have the proper registration papers on hand. The handler has 7 days from the end of the trial to supply proper papers or any placements will be forfeited, and all prize money and prizes must be returned
EFFECT: Penalty for failure to return prizes and/or prize money will be the indefinite suspension of the offender until said prizes and/or prize money is returned

Sec 23: The UFTA will not under any circumstances tolerate poor sportsmanship, mistreatment of a dog, unsafe handling of a firearm, alcohol or drug use or any other act that is un-becoming of a gentleman or a lady or that is a detriment to the Field Trial Game.

Sec 24: A field trial must be set at least 21 days in advance to be recognized as an official trial.

Sec 25: An Open or Doubles field trial with less than eight entries or Amateur trial with less than six entries 48 hrs in advance of the trial will not be sanctioned as an official trial.

Sec 26: In any trial, a handler can run at least THREE (3) dogs, but otherwise no more than 10% which would allow four dogs in a 35+ dog trial. NOTE: This applies to each division and not the amount of dogs entered into the whole trial. EFFECT: The consequence for breaking this rule will be to disqualify ALL dogs handled, shot for or any combination of the two. Any prize money will have to be returned.
**Reminder** At the Nationals, a handler/designated shooter can run no more than four (4) dogs per day. (THIS MEANS IN ALL DIVISONS)

Sec 27: No club will be allowed to put caps on dog totals for the sole reason for running multiple trials in one day, however if time permits, multiple trials are allowed if scheduled.

Rule 3; Scoring:

All scorecards must be signed by the handler and by the judge. Scorecards are FINAL and the only additions/changes that can be made to the scorecard once signed is for a mathematical error, or a judge giving a handler credit for something that the dog did not earn. If the handler should have a protest, the handler SHOULD NOT sign the scorecard until a final decision has been reached by the trial committee or field marshal, following the protest. A handler refusing to sign a scorecard after a final decision has been reached by the trial committee or the field marshal shall receive (0) zero points

Sec 1: (0) No points will be awarded unless a bird is produced (bird seen by the judge) If a handler gets no bird work in the allotted time limit, his final score shall be (0) zero. EXCEPTION: In the open doubles division a team may score up to ten (10) points (5 points per back) if each dog would get credit for a back

Sec 2: (10) Ten points will be awarded for each three - second point after the handler has called "Point" up to the pre-determined quota. A handler may be awarded more than three good points, however, only three will be scored on the card. A point is considered a “Good Point” after the handler has called “Point” and the dog has been stationary for 3 seconds. The judge may award a “Good Point” as soon as the handler calls “Point” if the judge has observed the dog pointing for 3 seconds prior to the handler calling “Point”. To be credited with the score of 10 points for a “Point” the handler must call point. Multiple points will not be awarded to the dogs score if the dog relocates on the same bird. No points will be awarded if no bird was produced. Multiple points will be awarded if the judge sees more than one bird. If the handler acts on one bird and then bags another by any means, a shell worth 5 points will be deducted for the bagged bird as well as the shells the handler fired while acting on the other bird(s). This includes but Is not limited to being awarded a safety for a bird that doesn't fly.

Sec 3: (5) Five points will be awarded for one “Back” per dog, per run. After the handler has called “Back”, the handler may then whoa his/her dog. The backing dog must remain motionless after the handler calls “Back” with no assistance from the handler other than the command whoa, until the pointing dog moves or a bird leaves the nest. Otherwise, the team has lost the opportunity to score that particular back. Each dog has the opportunity for one back, which could give the team a total of ten (10) points. No dog can be bumped or handled in any manner in an effort to safeguard a back. The handler cannot relocate the pointing dog until a reasonable attempt to flush has been made. NOTE: A bird(s) DOES NOT have to be produced to get credited for a back, however, the pointing dog may not be whoa'd to point to give a partners dog a back. The back must be made in a natural situation where a pointing dog stops to point on his own accord.

Sec 4: (2) two points will be awarded for each minute under the time limit.

Sec 5: (2) two bonus points for each shot bird, provided the handler has not put his hands on the bird before it is shot. There will be no bonus points added unless the bird is bagged. If it is unsafe to shoot because of any person or personal property and a safety is called. The (2) two shot bird bonus points will be awarded. No shot bird bonus points will be awarded for a safety on the dog or a non performing bird. If the judge deems that the handler intentionally flushed the bird towards a known safety, (0) zero points will be awarded. No bonus points will be added after the dog has had the bird in it’s mouth.

Sec 6: (5) five points will be awarded for each partial retrieve.

Sec 7: (10) ten points will be awarded for each full retrieve. A handler only gets credit for one (1) retrieve per bird.

Sec 8: (5) five points will be awarded for each shell not used.

Sec 9: (5) five points will be deducted if the handler doesn't shoot but still bags a bird.

Sec 10: (5) five points will be deducted for each time the handler shoots. EXCEPTION: When the judge instructs the handler or DS to take a bird out.

Sec 11: (20) twenty points will be awarded for each bagged bird

Sec 12: The dog has to establish a “Good Point” as called or as recognized by the judge on a bird before the handler will be permitted to bag that bird or zero (0) points will be awarded for the sequence and a shell will be deducted if the bird was acted on.

Sec 13: The judge for certain safety violations can deduct Penalty points.

Sec 14: A bird may be scored on only one time during the run (including doubles). The judge may instruct the handler to "take out" the "scored on bird" if feasible to do so with NO DEDUCTION'S FOR THE SHELL (S). Otherwise the judge will remember the immediate area where the bird is and the trial will continue. If a handler tries to score on the same bird more than one time the judge will not allow it. If handler shoots a shell while trying to score on the same bird twice the judge will deduct five (5) points for each time the handler shoots.

Sec 15: Zero (0) points will be awarded for a cold, dead bird retrieved from out of bounds.

Sec 16: A perfect sequence will be awarded for a whole dead bird that is pointed in bounds. No shot bird points will be awarded.

Sec 17: Zero (0) points will be awarded if a handler uses ANY command to whoa his dog to point. After the dog has become motionless and the handler has called point, the handler may then whoa his dog. The dog must have been motionless in order for the handler to call point.

Sec 18: Zero (0) points will be awarded for any bird shot with an illegal shell.

Sec 19: Zero (0) points will be awarded for a back; if in the judgment of the judge, the pointing dog was whoa'd to point.

Sec 20: Five (5) point penalty for trying to injure a bird while attempting to flush.

Rule 4; Retrieves/Partial Retrieves
Once a bird has been "Acted on" which means shot at; the handler must keep one foot stationary at all times to be awarded a full retrieve. The foot that is stationary is a pivot foot and the handler may use this pivot foot to pivot in any direction. In order for the dog to be awarded a full retrieve must bring the bird back to within one step of the stationary pivot foot. If the handler drags his/her pivot foot or moves that pivot foot in ANY manner prior to securing the bird from the dog, or prior to the dog bringing the bird back to within the one step; the handler cannot receive points for a full retrieve. NOTE: The doubles partner not involved in the sequence does not have to stay stationary unless: 1) His/her dog is backing or 2) He/she is in a close proximity of the dog involved in the sequence and the judge instructs the handler to remain stationary. In which case the dog could retrieve to either handler and receive a full retrieve if all of Rule 4 has been adhered too.

Sec 1: The dog must retrieve the bird to the handler, (if using a designated shooter) the DS must step behind the handler immediately upon shooting the bird.

Sec 2: The dog may retrieve the bird to either doubles partner however, the pointing dog gets credit for the bagged bird. NOTE: The doubles partner not involved in the sequence that is still moving or has moved from his/her stationary position, may receive a retrieve from the dog involved in the sequence, or may take his/her dog towards the acted on bird, but it will be awarded a partial retrieve even if the dog retrieves the bird to the partner who was involved in the sequence and who remained stationary.

Sec 3: Once the bird has been acted on (shot at) all participants must remain stationary. This includes doubles partners whose dog is backing and doubles partners who are in close proximity to the dog involved in the sequence. EXCEPTION: 1) The designated shooter must immediately step behind the handler. 2) The doubles partner not in close proximity of the dog involved in the sequence may keep moving unless instructed to remain stationary by the judge.

Sec 4: If a shot bird falls behind an obstruction that the dog cannot pass safely over or through, the handler may help the dog over the fence and back and receive full points for the retrieval if the dog brings the bird back to within one step of the handler. Once the handler helps the dog over the fence the handler must now remain stationary until the dog retrieves the bird to within one step of the new position. NOTE: The handler is allowed one step from this new position; however the pivot foot must remain stationary.

Sec 5: If the dog goes on point during a retrieve in bounds. The handler or designated shooter may move to flush the second bird with no penalty on the first bird. However, he/she must use the second shooting spot as the stationary position for both birds. If no bird is produced the second shooting spot is still the stationary position for the first retrieve and the handler will be awarded a full retrieve provided the dog completes the retrieve to this new position.

Sec 6: If a handler misses the bird after being awarded a good point and the dog repoints and the handler moves from the original spot he acted on the bird. He will only be awarded a partial retrieve.

Sec 7: The dog may not bring the bird to the designated walker. This will be scored as a partial retrieve if the handler cannot get the dog to retrieve to him/her.

Sec 8: A handler may kneel down but MAY NOT lie down to retrieve a bird.

Sec 9: A handler MAY NOT lay his gun on the ground during a retrieve.
EFFECT: 1st offense the handler or shooter gets a warning. 2nd offense the handler is penalized five (5) points, and third offense the handler is disqualified for this particular run

Sec 10: The handler MAY NOT physically assist the dog other than the one step limit during the retrieve and still receive 10 points for the retrieve. EXCEPTION: The handler may take Golf balls, empty hulls or other safe objects to throw in order to help the dog mark a fallen bird(s). REFER TO RULE 4 Sec 4 for impassable obstructions.

Sec 11: ABSOULUTLEY NO LIVE SHELLS OF ANY KIND MAY BE THROWN to assist a dog in the retrieval of a bird.
EFFECT: An immediate 5-point deduction will be assessed for each shell thrown.

Sec 12: The handler may lift the dog over or through an obstruction such as a fence (electric or otherwise), hedgerow, or any barrier that is impassable by the dog with no deduction in points. However, this new position where the handler assisted the dog is now the position where the handler must adhere to all Rules set forth in Rule 4.

Sec 13: The doubles partner not involved in the sequence and that is not in a close proximity of the sequence does not have to remain stationary unless the judge instructs him/her to do so. If the judge instructs the handler to remain stationary, the dog is then permitted to retrieve the bird to either handler.

Sec 14: No more than one (1) retrieve may be scored on each bird.

Sec 15: Zero (0) points will be awarded for a cold, dead bird retrieved from out of bounds.

Rule 5; Shells:

Sec 1: Five (5) points will be given for each unused shell. Each handler or designated shooter will be allowed two (2) shells per bird. The handler's doubles partner will also be allowed two (2) shells per bird. Handler or designated shooters are not limited to how many shells that they may have in their possession in the field. However, the handler is only permitted to shoot double the amount of shells that the established quota of birds is. Example: 6 shells for 3 birds

Sec 2: Doubles partners may not share Shells. Once one partner is out of shells, that partner may not obtain extra-unused shells from his partner. Once one partner is out of shells he/she is not permitted to shoot from that point on
EFFECT: If a partner that is out of shells shoots an extra shell, that sequence will be scored as a zero (0)

Sec 3: One shell shall be forfeited for each bagged bird that was not shot at.

Sec 4: One shell shall be forfeited for each safety called.

Sec 5: The handler, designated shooter or judge may call a safety as long as there is a shell in the gun.

Sec 6: ABSOULUTLEY NO LIVE SHELLS OF ANY KIND MAY BE THROWN to assist a dog in the retrieval of a bird. EFFECT: An immediate 5-point deduction will be assessed for each live shell that is thrown.

Rule 6; Birds:

The UFTA highly recommends planting One (1) extra bird for the first run (example-on a 3-bird plant, put out 4 birds for the first run) in any single event and one extra bird for the doubles events. The birds must not be planted (if cover permits) closer than 30 feet of any boundary line.

Sec 1: A bagged bird must be in-bounds when pointed.

Sec 2: If a bird enters into the field of its own accord, this bird is then considered a legal bird.

Sec 3: If a bird is unintentionally pushed into the field by an out-of-bounds dog or if a hunter leaves the field to retrieve an out of bounds dog and accidentally flushes a bird back into the field. That bird becomes a "Marked Bird" and the handler has two options.
a) The handler may go directly to the bird and take a six-point deduction.
b) The handler may keep his dog off of the bird for three minutes and then hunt the bird for a full sequence.

Sec 4: No points will be awarded for a cold, dead bird retrieved from out of bounds.

Sec 5: An out of bounds dog may point a bird that is in bounds.

Sec 6: The whole bird must be completely out of bounds before the bird cannot be scored on. If the bird is standing on or directly above an out of bounds stake, fence or line, that bird is considered to be IN BOUNDS.

Sec 7: Pointed Dead Birds are a safety and shall be scored as a perfect sequence. The bird must be a whole bird. NO shot bird points will be awarded for a whole dead bird pointed in bounds.

Sec 8: No shot bird bonus points awarded for a non performing bird.

Sec 9: The handler MUST make an attempt to flush the bird. If after the attempt to flush the bird fails to fly and the judge sees that the bird cannot or will not fly, the handler, designated shooter or the dog may pick up the bird and the sequence will be scored as a safety.

Sec 10: After a bird has been scored on the handler or designated shooter (at the judges request) may fire his gun to take the bird out or to have his/her dog retrieve the bird to get it out of the field. NOTE: An extra shell will not be deducted if done at the judge's request and no more than one retrieve will be scored on the bird.

Sec 11: In the doubles division, either dog may retrieve the bird to either doubles partner, but the pointing dog gets credit for the bagged bird.

Sec 12: It is considered un-sportsmanlike for a handler to refrain from calling a dog in from out-of-bounds in hopes of flushing a bird into the field.

Sec 13: A trapped bird is a bird that has been caught (trapped) by the dog before leaving the nest, which results in (0) zero points for the sequence. If the bird has gotten up, has moved, fluttered or is moving; the bird by definition has left the nest.

Sec 14: It is considered un-sportsmanlike for a handler to intentionally injure a bird while attempting to flush the bird. Five (5) point penalty for trying to injure a bird while attempting to flush.

Sec 15: Handler or Designated Shooter may not intentionally mutilate a bird. For any bird that is mutilated whether judged intentional or not, the handler or DS must completely pick up all remaining parts of the bird to the judges satisfaction while the clock is running.
NOTE: Intentional mutilation could be considered grounds for disqualification

Sec 16: If a handler shoots and it is not in the direction of the bird in flight, this will be grounds for immediate disqualification.

Sec 17: Handlers intentionally loading the field will be automatically disqualified.

Sec 18: In all UFTA field trials the bird planters must wear gloves that are free of any scent other than that of the birds.

Sec 19: The bird planter shall mix the bird planting to the best of their ability so that the birds are not planted in the same spot each time. The bird planter needs to use three zones, a front, middle and a back zone. This way all competitors need to cover the same amount of ground.

Sec 20: The Judge must wear a vest or have a means of carrying all shot or dead birds for that run. The judge will carry all shot or bagged birds

Rule 7; Safety

A GOOD, SAFE SHOOT IS ALWAYS the responsibility of the shooter. Failure to display safe shooting or gun handling practices while competing in a UFTA event is grounds for immediate disqualification. This is left solely up to the judgment of the judge, trial host, field marshal or trial committee

Sec 1: No bird in flight may be shot unless it is safe to do so. A safety shall be called for ANY unsafe shooting condition involving potential injury to any person, dog, or personal property.

Sec 2: The handler, judge or doubles partner may call a safety. The final decision as to whether the safety will be allowed will be left up to the judge's discretion. NOTE: It is possible though NOT LIKELY for two or more safeties to be awarded if multiple flushes occur and there is no safe shot on any bird.

Sec 3: The handler MAY CALL a safety on his doubles partner or doubles partner's dog.

Sec 4: Running by any handler, designated shooter or designated walker is prohibited during the field trial. It is the handler's responsibility to control his/her designated shooter or designated walker from running.
EFFECT: The first warning assessed to the handler; zero (0) points will be deducted. For the second warning to the handler a five (5)-point deduction will be assessed. For the third warning, the handler WILL BE DIS-QUALIFIED.

Sec 5: A handler will be awarded a safety if the judge or cameraman flushes a bird out of the field. If the bird stays in the field the handler can immediately hunt the bird but will not be awarded the safety from the 1st flush.

Sec 6: As long as the handler or designated shooter has a shell in his/her gun, a safety can still be awarded.

Sec 7: Any Handler/Designated Shooter whose shot reaches the Gallery (whether a falling shot or a more direct peppering shot) is to be immediately disqualified if determined to be an unsafe shot by the judge, trial host, field marshal or trial committee.

Sec 8: Handler Safety:

a) No bird is to be shot on the ground.
b) Blaze Orange Vest; Cap, or Coat must be worn during the trial.
c) All guns MUST have the shells removed and the chamber left open at all times except while competing.
d) All dogs must be leashed, staked out, in a vehicle or restrained in some manner (approved by trial committee or field marshal) unless competing.
e) If the handler must help a dog over or through any obstruction, the handler must give the gun to the judge unloaded, with the chamber open.
f) If the handler must leave the trial grounds for any reason during the run, the handler must give the gun to the judge unloaded, with the chamber open.
g) Only 2 3/4 inch shells will be allowed for 16 gauge and larger bore guns. 20 gauge and smaller bore guns may use 3-inch shells. Maximum size shot is six (6) shot for ANY gun. NOTE: Some facilities or clubs may allow only smaller shot than six (6) shot, example, 7 ½, 8 or 9 shot.
h) Handler must shoulder gun to shoot a bird. Not shouldering the gun is grounds for immediate disqualification.

Sec 9: It is highly recommended by the UFTA board of directors that all participants in the trial, handlers, judges, bird planters, and anyone else in the field wear safety glasses for eye protection.

Sec 10: If a handler is disqualified for a safety issue, they will be disqualified for the entire trial. This does not apply to the dogs he is scheduled to run whether owned or handled. Another handler (UFTA member) can be allowed to run their dogs.

Sec 11: The UFTA Board of directors highly recommends that an extended flag be used on ATV’S (bird planters, judges, etc.) while in the fields during the trial.

Rule 8; Dog Handler

Sec 1: It is each handler's responsibility to be in the blind on time. The decision on how many handlers are to be in the blind is left up to the trial committee.

Sec 2: Beeper collars must not have prongs of any kind. (This includes but is not limited to: nails, screws, pins, rivets, needles or any other material that would serve as a prong or training device) The beeper collar must be worn behind the ears and in front of the shoulders, on the dog's neck. The beeper collar must be turned on and working properly.

Sec 3: No electric training collars, combination collars, check cords or any other training device will be allowed during the trial.

Sec 4: The dog's regular collar must not have any kind of prongs. Refer to Rule 8 Sec. 2 for further information.

Sec 5: The handler may not use any outside assistance whatsoever while competing in the trial. This includes help from the gallery prior to or during the run, the Designated Shooter or the Designated Walker. UFTA events are designed for one handler and his/her dog to locate and bag game with their own abilities. EXCEPTION: The handler may use an ATV, Golf Cart or other means of transportation if the handler is physically challenged.

Sec 6: If you are a handler that is disabled for any reason and he has a shooter or handler and his dog goes out of bounds the shooter or handler can bring the dog back in bounds.

Sec 7: Any participant in a UFTA trial event is required to sign a waiver and release agreement before participating in the trial. This includes among others, handlers, designated shooters, designated walkers, field marshals, judges and bird planters.

EFFECT: Sec 1-7: Immediate Disqualification

Sec 8: If a conflict occurs with starting times or fields, the next handler in rotation will be moved up, and the trial shall continue. The UFTA will try to make every attempt to make sure that this does not happen. The handler who had the conflict will move back into the regular rotation as soon as possible. NOTE: Moving ANY handler around in rotation is not grounds for protest. Handlers intentionally stalling to keep from moving back into rotation will be considered un-sportsman like conduct, and the handler may be disqualified.

Sec 9: A Physically challenged or injured handler may use an ATV, Golf Cart or other means of transportation. The trial committee should be made aware of this at least 24hrs a head of the scheduled start time of the trial. The contestant must provide a designated walker (DW) (and must be approved by the field marshal or trial committee). The handler must follow along behind the DW at a walking pace. The DW may be another contestant provided the contestant has no more runs in that field on that day, or the DW may be a Designated Shooter. NOTE: The trial committee or trial host IS NOT responsible for providing an ATV, Golf Cart or other mode of Transportation. However, the trial committee or trial host DOES RESERVE THE RIGHT to approve or to not approve a particular mode of transportation. Physically challenged competitors in their own best interest need to contact the trial committee or host prior to the start of the trial to get their particular mode of transportation approved.

Sec 10: The handler when using a Designated Shooter calls the "Point" for the sequence. The handler may assist the Designated Shooter with vocal instructions to assist in finding the bird. Once the designated shooter shoots the bird or has finished acting on the bird, he/she must immediately step behind the handler for the duration of the sequence. NOTE: While the DS is trying to find the bird the handler may not make any attempt whatsoever to flush the bird or make it move from it's nest. Only the DS will be permitted to flush the bird from its nest or from the ground. The handler MAY tell the DS where to look and where to attempt a flush, but must leave the flushing to the DS.
EFFECT: Zero (0) points will be awarded for the sequence

Sec 11: The handler when using a Designated Walker does not carry the gun while on the ATV or other vehicle. The Designated Walker carries the gun until the handler calls "Point" and is safely off of his/her ATV or other vehicle, and can safely handle the gun.

Sec 12: Handlers under the age of eighteen may participate in a UFTA trial as long as the following conditions are met: NO EXCEPTIONS: a. The youth handler must be a paid member (Family Membership) or Individual). Must present a current Hunter Education/Safety Course from their state of residence. b. Must have a waiver (Indemnification) which must show the youth handlers name and must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. c. The youth handler between the ages of 14-16 years must have their parent or legal guardian accompany the judge during the course of the trial.

Sec 13: Handlers under the age of eighteen must make it known to the Trial Chairman or Trial Committee that he/she is under the age of 18 prior to the start of the field trial.

Sec 14: All handlers must have an identification card to verify age.

Sec 15: Zero (0) points will be awarded if the handler uses ANY command to whoa his/her dog to point. After the dog has become motionless and the handler has called “point”, the handler may then whoa the dog. The dog must have been motionless in order for the handler to cal “point”.

Sec 16: Any handler or team in Doubles that get disqualified for any reason that trial DOES NOT count towards his/her qualification into the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

Rule 9; Designated Shooter (DS)

Sec 1: A designated shooter (DS) is a person that is assigned or approved by the field marshal, trial host or trial committee for the sole purpose of shooting for a handler.

Sec 2: Handlers under the age of eighteen may be a DS as long as conditions for a youth hunter have been met.

Sec 3: The DS may not assist the handler in anyway other than to carry the gun, flush the bird(s) and shoot for the handler
EFFECT: If the DS assists the handler in any way, the judge will score the sequence as a Zero (0) and the bird if still alive will not be score able for the remainder of the time limit.

Sec 4: The handler calls "Point" for the DS but must remain with the judge while the DS attempts to flush the bird. The handler may give vocal instructions only to the DS to assist him/her in finding the bird.

Sec 5: The handler and DS must walk together.

Rule 10; Designated Walker (DW)

Sec 1: A Designated Walker (DW) is a person that is assigned or approved by the field marshal or trial committee for the purpose of walking for an injured or physically challenged handler. The injured or physically challenged handler may ride in golf cart, ATV or similar mode of transportation approved by the field marshal or trial committee. The Handler must follow behind the Designated Walker (DW) at all times and may guide the DW in any means necessary, as long as the DW and the Handler adhere to the official Rule Book of the UFTA.

Sec 2: The DW will carry the gun while the handler rides along behind in an ATV or other vehicle approved by the trial committee or field marshal.

Sec 3: The DW must walk at all times as defined in Rule 1, Sec 15:
EFFECT: The first warning assessed to the handler; zero (0) points will be deducted. For the second warning to the handler a five (5)-point deduction will be assessed. For the third warning, the handler WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

Sec 4: The DW will stop walking when the handler calls "Point" and wait for the handler to dismount his/ her ATV or other vehicle. The DW will give the handler the gun when it is safe to do so. The DW will then remain with the judge until the sequence is complete and the handler moves on to the next bird or the Time Limit has expired.

Sec 5: The DW will not assist the handler in ANY WAY other than to walk and carry the gun for the handler.
EFFECT: For giving assistance to the handler: No points will be awarded for the sequence and if the bird is dead or alive, will not be score able for the remainder of the time limit.

Sec 6: Handlers under the age of eighteen may be a DW as long as conditions for a youth hunter have been met.

Rule 11; Re-runs:

Sec 1: A re-run is an aborted run that will start over. The field will be replanted with the number of birds removed since the beginning of the original run. A reasonable rest period will be granted prior to the re-run. The rest period will be no less than 5 minutes and no more than 15 minutes. On any re-run, a handler cannot better their time from when the re-run was awarded, but the score can be improved.
NOTE: If the handler chooses not to take the rest period and chooses to continue immediately, this will not be grounds for protest once the handler proceeds with the re-run.

Sec 2: If the handler chooses a re-run, he/she must remain in the blind while the replacement birds are being planted.

Sec 3: If ANY dog other than the dog competing in the assigned field, interferes in the field with the competing dog; the handler will have the option of a re-run or to continue the run already started. If the handler continues the run in progress, a re-run will not be allowed. EXAMPLES OF INTERFERENCE: Any dog or person not assigned to the field in which the run is taking place enters into that field and distracts the legal dog in any way. Or flushes a bird from the field, or hinders the legal dog in any way will be considered interference. NOTE: An illegal dog simply pointing a bird is not necessarily interference, especially if the illegal dog can be removed from the field without flushing a bird.

Sec 4: A re-run may be awarded for various safety reasons such as but not limited to lightning, darkness or any other incidents that the field marshal or trial committee deems necessary.

Sec 5: A re- run may be awarded for any inconsistencies in scoring or bird quota. Or for a judges error in applying the rules of the UFTA that puts the handler at a disadvantage.

Rule 12; Time:

NOTE: During Any UFTA Field Trial, the time will be stopped only at the judge's discretion.

Sec 1: The judge will record Time used in minutes and seconds. Un-used time is calculated for additional points

Sec 2: Time will be called by the scorekeeper for any of the following:
a) The hunter ceases to hunt (no points will be awarded for the un-used time).
b) The Time Limit has expired.
c) The handler has bagged the established quota of birds. Points will be awarded for un-used time.
d) All shells have been used.
e) An infraction of a rule, which leads to immediate disqualification.
f) Time stops after 4-bird quota. Refer to Rule 2: Sec 13.

Sec 3: If a protest in the field should arise, the judge should note the time and any details of what is being protested and the run should continue. EXCEPTION: When a re-run may or may not be awarded to the handler.

Sec 4: If time must be stopped for ANY REASON, the dog must be immediately leashed. Time is stopped once the dog is on the leash and in control of the handler. When the handler unleashes the dog the time will continue.

Sec 5: Time stops when the handler has bagged the established quota of birds and the handler has the dog by the collar or lead in bounds.

Sec 6: Time stops when the handler designated shooter or judge calls safety and that particular bird will give the handler his/her established quota and the handler be in bounds and has the dog by collar or lead.

Sec 7: The run is over and the handler must leash his/her dog even if the dog is pointing when the 15 minute (open and amateur pointing division) or 15 minute (doubles division) time limit has expired.

Sec 8: The dog and/or handler has 30 seconds after the time limit has expired to retrieve, partially retrieve or to find a downed bird. NOTE: To receive full points for the retrieve the handler must adhere to all Rules concerning Retrieves. Refer to Rule 4. The handler may elect to simply pick up the bird and lose his/her retrieval points in order to bag the bird prior to the 30- second grace period expiring.

Rule 13; Judges:

Sec 1: All Judges must be certified and registered by each State Representative or duly appointed official

Sec 2: Judges must be certified by the UFTA or appointed official. Certification is complete once the judge has passed the UFTA OFFICIAL TEST, and has co-judged (with a certified judge) 8 separate runs consisting of both singles and doubles runs.

Sec 3: Judges and Field Trial Committees have the authority to rule on situations not specifically covered by the rules if The National Rules Interpreter cannot be reached.

Sec 4: The Judge must wear a vest or have a means of carrying all shot or dead birds for that run. The judge will carry all shot or bagged birds.

Sec 5: Judges are required to count out loud in determination of a good point.

Sec 6: Judges shall tell the handler if the judge sees the dog on point and shall also assist the handler in locating the dog.

Sec 7: Judges MAY NOT compete in the field in which they are judging until their respective runs in that field are completed for that day.

Sec 8: Judges may use ATV's, Golf Carts, or other means of transportation or they may choose to walk. The decision will be left solely up to the judge.

Sec 9: There will be two (2) judges in the field judging the open doubles division.

Sec 10: Judges will instruct doubles partners that are in close proximity to his/her partner and is not involved in the sequence to remain stationary during the retrieve. Partners not in close proximity do not need to remain stationary during the retrieve.

Sec 11: It is highly recommended that the judges wear safety glasses when in the field judging.


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