TSDA Rules


  1. Statement of Purpose
  2. Overview
  3. Class Definitions:
  4. General Rules & Guidelines
  5. Cattledog Rules & Guidelines
  6. Officers & Directors
  7. Dog of the Year Point System
  8. Premium Money Schedule
  9. Percentage of Money Paid Schedule
TSDA By-laws
ISDS Rules

Texas Sheep Dog Association
2915 ANDERSON LANE, CRAWFORD, TX. 76638
Phone(254) 486-2500 Fax (254) 486-2271
Questions? Contact Us


  1. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

    The Texas Sheep Dog Association (TSDA)Incorporated Crawford, Texas is hereby established to create interest in the breeding, working, and training of stock dogs; to further promote and conduct sheep dog trials on a uniform basis throughout the state of Texas; to cement happy, cordial relationships among its members and other dog associations; and to protect animals, dogs, sheep, cattle, goats.

  2. OVERVIEW
    1. ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT: TheInformation contained within was created to provide TSDA members with a uniform set of rules and guidelines regarding TSDA sanctioned events. In general, rules must be adhered to and may carry penalties for not doing so; guidelines provide more flexibility and serve to identify common practices or options available to competitors and trial hosts. Rules contain language such as "will", "must", or "may not" (or similar inflexible expressions). Guidelines contain language such as "may" or "can" (or similar more flexible expressions). The Class Definitions section provides dog and handler information. The General Rules & Guidelines section provides all other information.
    2. INFORMATION: The Texas Sheep Dog Association (TSDA) providesInformation to its members via a newsletter and the Internet. A newsletter is sent four (4) or more times a year. Newsletters can contain messages from the Board President and other Board or committee members, event information, trial results, etc. The TSDA maintains a web site located at www.texassheepdogassoc.org. Web site information is updated frequently and provides the most comprehensive source of information for both members and non-members. In addition to the types of information foundIn the newsletter, the web site also contains TSDA Rules & Guidelines,ISDS Rules, trial entry forms, trial sanctioning forms, point standings, etc.
    3. BOARD OF DIRECTORS: The TSDA sustains a Board of Directors consisting of no less then six (6) elected members. The term of a Board member is three (3) years. The officers of the Board are president, vice-president, and secretary/treasurer.
    4. CLASSES: The TSDA recognizes the following classes: Open, Open Ranch, Ranch, Novice, Nursery and Youth. To compete in a class both handler and dog must meet the requirements as stated in their respective definitions, i.e. Open Class: Open Handler, Open Dog.
    5. COURSES: The typical National Style trial course is run in an open field. However, trials can also be run in indoor and outdoor arenas, baseball diamonds, city parks, etc. The phases of work in a full course most often include, but are not limited to, the outrun, lift, fetch, drive, pen, and shed or single. Obstacles (such as panels) are usually set up and the dog is required to maneuver the livestock in, around and through themIn a workmanlike manner using as straight a line as possible from one to another. The trial host and trial committee most often set up the course and may incorporate, as part of the course, obstacles already part of the trial field, e.g. a bridge, creek, etc. A complete description of the National Style course can be found in the ISDS rules. Courses differ in difficulty from class to class. The courses, in order of difficulty, starting with the most difficult are: Open, Nursery, Open Ranch, Ranch, Novice, Youth.
    6. SCHEDULES: The Dog of the Year points schedule is strictly adhered to. The Premium Money and Percentage of Premium Money schedules are a guideline for trial hosts. Trials not following the published schedules must advertise that other schedules will be used. Advertising can be done in the TSDA newsletter and web site. Unless otherwise stated, a maximum of two (2) premiums per class per handler are paid.
    7. FINALS: Each class, with the exception of the Youth Class, is represented at the TSDA Finals Trial held at the end of the trial year. Perpetual trophies for Finals Champion are awarded in each class eligible to compete. Finals Champions are determined by their performance at the Finals Trial. All perpetual trophies must be returned prior to the Final Trial. To be eligible for the TSDA finals trial, a dog must compete in 5 TSDA trials of the year of the Finals. A Nursery dog must compete in 5 TSDA Nursery classes and 5 Open Ranch or Open classes in order to run in both classes at the finals. TSDA nursery dog age rule will be the same as USBCHA, with dogs turning 3 by July 1 ineligible to run in the nursery class after August 1. The exceptions to this rule are 1) any Triple Crown Trial occurring after August 1, and 2) the TSDA finals trial. Overage nursery dogs may compete in these trials in a separate class from age eligible nursery dogs. es. Dog of the Year points are awarded during the trial year with one (1) point given for every three (3) entries. To see how points are awarded for each placing, see Dog of the Year Point System. Classes with less than three (3) entries are considered qualifying trials, but do not award Dog of the Year points. Qualifying trials and points are earned by and belong to the dog regardless of handler or ownership changes. The handler/owner must be a paid, participating or family member prior to going to the post before the dog can earn qualifying or Dog of the Year points.
    8. DOG OF THE YEAR: Both fully judged Open field trials and fully judged Arena trials will award DOY points, Lifetime points and Qualify dogs for the TSDA Finals. Timed trials, whether Open field or Arena, will qualify dogs for the TSDA finals, award Lifetime points, and award DOY points. There shall be no restriction on the number of trials that a dog may run in to earn DOY points. Dog can receive points from a maximum of three (3) goes at any given trial. At the Finals Trial, perpetual trophies for Dog of the Year are awarded in each class with the exception of the Youth Class. An asterisk on these trophies identifies American bred dogs. , Dogs moved down within TSDA guidelines are not eligible for DOY in the lower class. Dog of the Year points begin with zero (0) points starting with the first TSDA sanctioned trial following the Finals Trial. A dog that moves to a higher class during the trial year retains any Dog of the Year points earnedIn the lower class. The high point dog takes Dog of the Year honors even though that dog may have moved up.
    9. "COMPULSORY ADVANCEMENT REQUIREMENTS": Any dog that begins its trial year with 50% or fewer of the Lifetime points required to point out of its class may continue to run in the same class for that trial year with no restriction on the number of DOY points it can accrue. However, such a dog must move up following the Finals Trial if it has reached or exceeded the Lifetime points requiring advancement. Any dog that begins its trial year with more than 50% of the Lifetime points required to point out of its class must move to a higher class immediately upon exceeding its maximum allowable Lifetime points Dogs moved down one class must advance at the time they reach or exceed the number of points allowable for such dogs.
      Lifetime points requiring dogs to advance consistent with the above:

      Open Ranch - 57 or more
      Ranch - 35 or more
      Novice - 28 or more

    10. TRIPLE CROWN:
      2016 Triple Crown Award Suspended
      At the Board of Directors meeting on November 14, 2015, the decision was made to put the Triple Crown award in abeyance for the 2016 trial year. The member's survey indicated 45% favored eliminating the award, 33% wanted tokeep it with no change, and the remaining members wanted changes in the process.
      The award was originally conceived to promote attendance at TSDA trials. As the sport has grown in the past few years, that is no longer a primary driver. In fact, growth in entries has led to more trials that focus on eitherthe upper levels of competition or the entry-level competitors. As a result, it has grown more difficult to findtrials that offer all the levels at the same venue without limited entries. Administration of the award has become complicated as well, leaving this year's award to be a last minute scramble.
      The board members welcome your comments and ideas on the final disposition of the award prior to the 2017 trial year.

    11. SANCTIONING: The rules herein apply to TSDA sanctioned trials only. Points, trophies and earnings awarded by other associations are not considered in TSDA Dog of the Year or Lifetime points. For a class or trial to count as a TSCDA sanctioned trial and receive TSDCA DOY or Lifetime points, it must be advertised in the TSCDA newsletter or website at least 14 days prior to the date of the trial or class. The trial host has the option of adding additional classes after the 14 day period but these classes will not be considered to be sanctioned and cannot be counted towards TSCDA DOY or lifetime points, nor can these scores or points be added into the scores or points from a sanctioned class.
    12. EXHIBITION: Trial hosts have the option of allowing exhibition runs during the course of the trial. These runs are non-competitive and place no restriction on a dog or handler. The handler must pay the TSDA fee plus any fee required by the trial committee, e.g. stock charge. The handler does not receive prizes or money, nor does the dog receive Dog of the Year points. A dog may not run exhibition and then compete in a lower class during the same trial, e.g. run exhibition in the Open Ranch then compete in the Ranch.
    13. CATTLE DOG PROGRAM: The Texas Cattle Dog Association (TCDA), an affiliate of the Texas Sheep Dog Association maintains rules and definitions for its trials, handlers and dogs. They can be found under Cattle Dog Rules & Guidelines.
    14. The Board of Directors moved and passed (December 30, 2006) to permit the TSDA/TCDA board(s) or members of any committee designated by such board to participate in and hold a meeting of such board or committee by means of a private Internet web forum that provides access to the meetingIn a manner by which each member participating in the meeting can communicate concurrently with each other participant. Participation in a meeting under this procedure shall constitute presence in person at such meeting, except where a person participates in the meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business on the ground that the meeting is not lawfully called or convened.
  3. CLASS DEFINITIONS
    1. OPEN CLASS
      1. HANDLER
        1. An Open Handler is a National style competitor who has competed in a TSDA, USBCHA, ISDS Open Class, or a comparable Open Class worldwide.
        2. This handler is eligible to compete in the Open, Open Ranch and Nursery Classes.
        3. This handler cannot move down nor run any Open dog in the Open Ranch Class.
        4. It is the responsibility of buyers and sellers to properly represent class status of any dog. Failure to do so may result in sanctions against either or both parties "
      2. DOG
        1. An Open dog is any dog that has competed in the Open Class worldwide, regardless of winnings.
        2. This dog may not compete in any other Class with an Open handler except for the Nursery Class.
        3. This dog does not accumulate lifetime points.
      3. COURSE
        1. In a field trial, the dog will run a full course with a shed or single. These trials are judged with a time limit for completing the course. The course may be modified toInclude, for example, a chute or Maltese cross. These obstacles may beIn addition to the full course or may replace a phase of work such as the shed or pen.
        2. In an arena trial, the dog may run a full course or may run a pattern as determined by the trial committee. The trial may be judged, timed, or a combination of judged and timed.
    2. OPEN RANCH CLASS
      1. HANDLER
        1. An Open Ranch Handler is any handler who has competed in the Open Ranch Class, but has not competed in the Open Class worldwide.
        2. This handler is eligible to compete in the Open Ranch, Ranch, and Nursery Classes.
        3. This handler may compete in the Open Ranch Class with a dog that may have been advanced from the Ranch or Novice Classes.
        4. This handler may compete in the Open Ranch Class with a dog that has a history of Open Class competition.
        5. This handler may move an Open Ranch or Open dog down to the Ranch Class.
        6. It is the responsibility of buyers and sellers to properly represent class status of any dog. Failure to do so may result in sanctions against either or both parties.
      2. DOG
        1. An Open Ranch dog is any dog that has competed in Open Ranch Class competition.
        2. This dog may be a dog in training, handled in competition by an Open Ranch or Open handler.
        3. This dog may have been started in the Open Ranch Class or advanced from the Ranch Class by point system requirement or by choice of the handler.
        4. A Novice Class dog may advance to the Open Ranch Class by the choice of the handler.
        5. All Open Ranch dogs earn lifetime points using the same point system as Dog of the Year points. Compulsory advancement of dogs brought into Open Ranch by b, c, or d (above) is governed by paragraph "I. COMPULSORY ADVANCEMENT REQUIREMENTS."
        6. An Open Ranch handler, under the following provisions, may purchase and move a dog from the Open or the Open Ranch Class to the Ranch Class.
          1. The handler both owns and runs the dog.
          2. Once the dog earns 16 points, it must move up to the next class.
          3. For such dogs advancing to the next class, once the dog earns 16 points, it is no longer eligible to compete in that class & must move up to the next class.
          4. This handler/dog team is ineligible for end of the year awards, i.e.: Dog of the Year or Triple Crown.
      3. COURSE
        1. In a field trial, the dog may be required to run a full course, excluding the shed or single. The dog is never required to shed or single. The outrun and drive are usually shorter than an Open course. These trials are judged with a time limit for completing the course. The course may be modified to include, for example, a chute or Maltese cross. These obstacles may be in addition to the full course or may replace a phase of work such as the pen.
        2. In an arena trial, the dog may run a full course or may run a pattern as determined by the trial committee. The trial may be judged, timed, or a combination of judged and timed.
    3. RANCH CLASS
      1. HANDLER
        1. A Ranch Handler is any handler who has competed in the Ranch Class, but has not competed in the Open Ranch, NURSERY, or Open Classes worldwide.
        2. This handler is eligible to compete in the Ranch class.
        3. This handler may compete in the Ranch Class with a dog that has a history of Open or Open Ranch Class competition.
        4. Any handler may exhibition a dog.
        5. It is the responsibility of buyers and sellers to properly represent the class status of any dog. Failure to do so may result in sanctions against either or both parties.
      2. DOG
        1. A Ranch Dog is any dog that has competed in the Ranch Class that has not competed in an Open Ranch, Nursery or Open Class worldwide.
        2. A Ranch handler, under the following provisions, may move a dog from the Open or Open Ranch Class to the Ranch Class.
          1. The handler both owns and runs the dog.
          2. Once the dog earns 16 points, it is no longer eligible to compete in the Ranch Class.
          3. This handler/dog team is ineligible for end of the year awards, i.e.: Dog of the Year or Triple Crown.
        3. All Ranch dogs earn lifetime points using the same point system as Dog of the Year points. With the exception of dogs subject to paragraph "b." above, compulsory advancement of Ranch dogs is governed by paragraph "I. COMPULSORY ADVANCEMENT REQUIREMENTS." Points remain for the lifetime of the dog unless it advances to a higher class.
      3. COURSE
        1. In a field trial, the dog is not required to run a full course. The dog is never required to shed or single. Typically the dog is required to do an outrun, lift, fetch, partial drive, and pen. The handler may not walk with the dog during any phase of work except to pen. The outrun and drive are usually shorter than an Open Ranch course. The outrun is approximately 150 yards or less. The fetch may or may not have fetch panels. The drive may have three (3) legs of approximately 35 to 50 yard each; or may be through or around an obstacle then to the pen. Drive points may be earned by completing the entire drive or to each leg of the drive.
          These trials are judged with a time limit for completing the course. The course may be modified to include, for example, a chute or Maltese cross. These obstacles may be in addition to the prescribed course or may replace a phase of work such as the pen.
        2. In an arena trial, the dog may run a modified course or may run a pattern as determined by the trial committee. The trial may be judged, timed, or a combination of judged and timed.
    4. NOVICE CLASS
      1. PURPOSE
        1. To give a beginning level handler and dog the experience necessary to be competitive at a higher level.
      2. HANDLER
        1. A Novice handler is any person that has not competed in any venue in the world, at any level, with any stock higher than beginner/started level. In the TSDA rules this is any handler that has not competed in Ranch, Open Ranch, Nursery or the Open class world wide.
        2. A Novice handler may earn no more than 28 points (whether with one dog or a combination of dogs) before being required to move to a higher class.
        3. It is the responsibility of buyers and sellers to properly represent class status of any dog. Failure to do so may result in sanctions against either or both parties.
      3. DOG
        1. A Novice dog is any dog that has not competed in any venue in the world, at any level, with any stock higher than beginner/started level. In the TSDA rules this is any dog that has not competed in Ranch, Open Ranch, Nursery or the Open class world wide.
        2. All Novice dogs earn lifetime points using the same point system as Dog of the Year points. With the exception of dogs subject to paragraph "c." below, compulsory advancement of Novice dogs is governed by paragraph "I. COMPULSORY ADVANCEMENT REQUIREMENTS." Points remain for the lifetime of the dog unless it advances to a higher class.
        3. A Novice handler, under the following provisions, may move a dog from the Ranch class to the Novice class:
          1. The handler both owns and runs the dog;
          2. Once the dog earns 16 points it is no longer eligible to compete in the Novice class;
          3. Should the dog move back to the Ranch class, it retains all previously accumulated Ranch points toward compulsory advancement.
      4. COURSE
        1. In a field trial, the dog is not required to run a full course. The dogIs never required to shed or single. Typically the dog is required to do an outrun, lift, fetch and pen. The handler may not walk with the dog during any phase of work except to pen. The outrun is approximately 75 to 125 yards. The fetch may or may not have fetch panels. The fetch may be straight to the pen, to the handler, or to a designated spot on the field.
        2. In an arena trial, the dog may run a modified course or may run a pattern as determined by the trial committee. The trial may be judged, timed, or a combination of judged and timed.
    5. NURSERY CLASS
      1. HANDLER
        1. Any Open, Open Ranch, or Ranch handler may compete in the Nursery Class.
          1. A Novice handler may compete in the Nursery Class, but will lose his/her Novice standing.
        2. The handler must submit a copy of the dog's registration certificate prior to going to the post.
          1. Certificates not available at that time have a thirty (30) day grace period.
          2. Imported eligibility documents should be included with certificates.
          3. It is the responsibility of buyers and sellers to properly represent class status of any dog. Failure to do so may result in sanctions against either or both parties
      2. DOG
        1. Any dog that meets the age requirement is eligible to compete in the Nursery Class.
          1. A Ranch or Novice dog that competes in the Nursery Class will lose their eligibility to run in both the Ranch and Novice Class.
          2. Nursery dogs are treated as Open Ranch dogs regarding movement from one class to another.
          3. TSDA nursery dog age rule will be the same as USBCHA, with dogs turning 3 by July 1 ineligible to run in the nursery class after August 1. The exceptions to this rule are 1) any Triple Crown Trial occurring after August 1, and 2) the TSDA finals trial. Overage nursery dogs may compete in these trials in a separate class from age eligible nursery dogs.
        2. Age Requirement:
          1. A dog must be less than 3 years old (36 months) on June 30th of the Finals year.
          2. Dogs imported younger than one (1) year of age may compete in the Nursery Class.
        3. A dog begins the trial year with zero (0) Dog of the Year points. All points are dropped after the Finals Trial
      3. COURSE
        1. In a field trial, the dog may be required to run a full course, excluding the shed, or as directed by the presiding judge. The dog is never required to shed or single. The outrun and drive can be the same an Open course, or may be shortened. These trials are judged with a time limit for completing the course. The course may be modified to include, for example, a chute or Maltese cross. These obstacles may be in addition to the full course or may replace a phase of work such as the pen.
        2. In an arena trial, the dog may run a modified course or may run a pattern as determined by the trial committee. The trial may be judged, timed, or a combination of judged and timed.

        Overview of the Nursery Class Requirements:

        Each year we have had questions and misunderstandings about requirements for Nursery dogs. The rules pertaining to this class can be confusing, especially for handlers new to this class. Here is a run-down of some of the requirements specific to running a Nursery dog. In Texas, the Nursery and Open classes are usually sanctioned by both the USBCHA and TSDA. The Novice, Ranch, and Open Ranch classes are sanctioned only by the TSDA. With the exception of the Nursery class, all the classes sanctioned by the TSDA follow the TSDA trial year (from Texas Finals to Texas Finals).

        Several years ago, the TSDA Board elected to follow the USBCHA trial year and age requirements for the Nursery class. This was done because, at that time, the TSDA Nursery year was different from the USBCHA and every other state. The USBCHA rules list the age requirements: "A dog is eligible for the Nursery Finals if its third birthday falls on or after July 1 of the year in which that Nursery Final is held." For the USBCHA, the end of the trial year is August 1, so the end of the trial year for the TSDA Nursery class also became August 1. This date impacts calculating the five trials necessary to qualify for the Texas Finals: only runs made before August 1 will count when calculating the five runs necessary to compete in that year's Texas Finals. Nursery runs made after August 1 of each year count toward the following TSDA trial year, which begins after the Texas Finals.

        If you plan to compete with a Nursery dog (and have thoughts about the National Nursery Finals), keep the following in mind:

        • For the USBCHA to count your Nursery (or Open) run, you must be a member of the USBCHA before you go to the post of a sanctioned trial. The dues year for USBCHA begins January 1.
        • You must be a member of TSDA and your dues paid before you go to the post (in any class) to earn TSDA points and to have the run counted for the Texas Finals.
        • The TSDA Secretary (Francis) must have a copy of your dog's registration (to prove your dog qualifies for the Nursery class). The USBCHA will also require a copy if you enter the National Nursery Finals.
        • The USBCHA requires that a minimum of five dogs run in a Nursery class before that class is sanctioned. TSDA does not have this requirement.
        • To be eligible to enter the National Nursery Finals, at least twice, you must place in the top 20% of Nursery dogs at a sanctioned trial (each placing is colloquially called a "leg").
        • ABCA membership is required to run in the National Finals. The ABCA dues year begins January 1.
    6. YOUTH CLASS
      1. HANDLER
        1. Any youth ten (10) years of age or younger may enter the Youth Class with a helper at the post.
        2. This class does not compete for prizes or money.
        3. The TSDA fee is waived. However, other fees, as set by the trial committee, can be charged, e.g. stock charge.
        4. Handlers in this class are drawn and compete within the Novice Class.
        5. The judge scores the Youth Class.
        6. Token prizes/certificates may be awarded.
        7. A youth may choose to run in the Novice Class, with no helper, to compete for prizes and money.
          1. A youth competing for prizes and money pays the Novice Class entry fee.
      2. DOG
        1. Any dog may run in this class: Open, Open Ranch, Ranch, Novice, or Nursery.
      3. COURSE
        1. In a field trial, the dog is not required to run a full course. The dogIs never required to shed or single. Typically the dog is required to do an outrun, lift, fetch and pen. The handler may not walk with the dog during any phase of work except to pen. The outrun is approximately 75 to 125 yards. The fetch may or may not have fetch panels. The fetch may be straight to the pen, to the handler, or to a designated spot on the field.
        2. In an arena trial, the dog may run a modified course or may run a pattern as determined by the trial committee. The trial may be judged, timed, or a combination of judged and timed.
  4. GENERAL RULES & GUIDELINES
    1. JUDGES
      1. All TSDA sanctioned trials are judged according to the following sections found in the ISDS Rules and Guidelines.
        1. Section 5 'i' through 'vi'
        2. Section 19
        3. Notes for the Guidance of Judges
      2. Judges should be familiar with these rules and these rules should be available for review while judging.
      3. Only a secretary, clerk, and/or timekeeper may sit with the judge.
      4. The judge should describe the trial field boundaries.
      5. Distractions to the judge should be limited.
      6. The judge has the authority to retire any entry that may be abusing the livestock and/or dog.
      7. All decisions of the judge are final.
      8. Judges determine reruns.
      9. Judges determine the manner in which ties are broken and have the following options available to him/her.
        1. Split the premiums.
        2. Use the highest scoring gather (total outrun, lift and fetch points)
          1. If the gather is tied, each single phase of work is compared until a higher score is found, thus breaking the tie.
            1. Phases or work are compared in the following order: outrun, lift, fetch, drive, pen, shed/single
            2. If a course has been modified so it does not include one or more phases listed above, the "other" phases will be compared in the order they occurred during the run.
        3. Have a run-off.
      10. Judges are not paid by the TSDA for judging, except for the Finals Trial.
      11. A judge may call for a personal break at any time during the trial.
      12. If a judge is unable to perform his/her duties, it is his/her responsibility to find a replacement. S/he may call the TSDA secretary for suggestions.
      13. It is the trial committee's responsibility to provide a clerk and a secretary.
      14. A judge may run a dog in a class s/he is not judging.
    2. COURSE DIRECTOR
      1. The trial committee, TSDA secretary, or trial sponsor may appoint a course director.
        1. If more than one person is designated course director, they should:
          1. Carry out all duties at different times during the trial.
          2. Carry out the specific duties that have been divided among or between those designated.
          3. Carry out duties as directed by the trial committee.
      2. The course director's duties include, but are not limited to:
        1. Handling complaints.
        2. Maintaining the run order.
        3. Determining the method of exhausting stock. The course director may:
          1. Appoint someone to exhaust.
          2. Require competitors to exhaust the run that follows them.
      3. The course director should be available at all times during trial hours.
      4. All complaints must be filed with the course director. If s/he is unwilling or unable to handle the complaint, it may be filed with the BoardIn writing.
    3. DOGS
      1. Any dog may compete regardless of breed, age, or color. A dog is not required to be registered or purebred.
      2. There are restrictions as to the equipment a dog is allow to wear on the trial field premise and during competition. Non-adherence to these restrictions may result in disqualification, as well as loss of fees, prizes and premium monies.
        1. A dog may be equipped with any standard collar.
        2. Restricted devices include, but are not limited to:
          1. Any remote controlled device on premise.
          2. Dummy or weighted collars.
          3. A leash or rope not detached before the dog is cast.
          4. Any device used to distract or cause pain to a dog.
        3. The judge and course director have the right to inspect a dog for any violation to this rule.
      3. All dogs should be kept securely tied, on a leash, or in a crate while not competing.
      4. Dogs that are competing should be kept off the trial field prior to their run.
    4. HANDLERS
      1. A handler is limited to the use of a crook or stock stick while competing.
      2. A contestant shall not enter the trial field at any time with any kind of training device.
        1. The trial committee, representative, or judge may disqualify a contestant if s/he enters the trial field with any such equipment.
      3. A handler is responsible for injury to livestock and property, both on and off the trial field, that results from a dog being loose and/or out of control.
      4. Handlers should always demonstrate sportsmanlike conduct.
      5. Assistance from sidelines may subject a handler to disqualification.
      6. Handlers may walk the trial field prior to the trial.
      7. Upon leaving the post area during a phase of work that does not include the pen, shed, chute, or other similar work, it is assumed the contestant is retiring and, therefore, no points are awarded.
      8. When the allotted time for a run has expired, points are awarded through the last completed phase of work.
      9. If the judge signals "off course", the handler will quickly retire from the post. No points are awarded.
      10. If the judge signals "thank you", the run has been disqualified and the handler will quickly retire from the post. No points are awarded.
      11. A handler should be ready to run whenever his/her name is called. Failure to come to the post when called is cause for disqualification of that run.
    5. TRIALS
      1. Every competitor prior to competing in a TSDA trial, effective May 22, 1997, must sign a Statement of Responsibility. This statement is renewed annually.
      2. Each trial host has the option to limit the number of dogs per handler entered in each class. Arena trials (Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Star of Texas) is limited to 2 dogs per handler per class.
      3. Entry fees are payable to the person designated in the newsletter or web site.
      4. No entries are accepted after the cut off date for trials that require pre-entries.
        1. Entrants may be put on a waiting list.
        2. The trial host may make an exception on a case-by-case basis.
      5. Entries are not accepted once a class is underway.
      6. Where the TSDA secretary is acting as secretary for a trial host, he/she will be allowed to use TSDA equipment, checks, supplies and postage at the rate of $1.00 per run for the number of dogs running in that trial,
      7. The TSDA secretary will furnish scoreboard sheets and a time clock. A run order may be furnished if requested by the trial committee.
      8. The complete run order must be drawn prior to the first entry in a class proceeding to the post.
      9. No entry may be pulled after the draw.
        1. The handler is liable for the entry fee.
        2. The trial host may allow substitutions.
      10. A draw in a run order consists of a dog/handler team
        1. An entry must run in order drawn.
        2. A handler cannot name the orderIn which his/her dog shall run.
      11. A random or rotation draw by the trial committee or someone appointed by the trial committee determines the run order.
        1. Should a handler's entries be drawn back-to-back or with only one draw between runs, entries are drawn and inserted so the handler has two draws separating his/her runs.
          1. If it is not possible to separate a handler's runs by at least two (2) draws, that handler is allowed enough time to put up one dog and get the other to the post without the risk of forfeiting his/her run for being tardy to the post.
        2. All classes are drawn in this manner.
      12. Score sheets are checked and posted by the trial secretary in an area not readily accessible to the judge.
        1. Total scores only are posted as soon as practical after run.
        2. Point deductions are filled in after the last contestant in a class has run.
      13. Once a class starts, the method of spotting livestock cannot be changed. It may be changed at the start of another class.
        1. Should it be necessary to change the method of spotting livestock before the end of a class, all competitors who ran using the first method must be given the option of a re-run.
      14. The TSDA secretary must receive the original score sheets, as filled out by the judge and clerk, for every sanctioned class run during a trial.
        1. A trial may use its own score sheet or the form found in the newsletter and web site.
      15. Each entry fee will include a $3. 00 TSDA fee (office charge) to be paid to the TSDA.
      16. The division of the premium money is at the trial host's discretion. It should be included in the trial application or properly advertised in the newsletter or web site.
      17. Any dog may run in a jackpot class without affecting their TSDA class standing. No Dog of the Year points are awarded.
      18. Deviations from TSDA guidelines may result in disqualification as a sanctioned, trial loss of points for entries, etc.
      19. A limit of $100. 00 for sheep loss/damage (per head) unless otherwise stated on web or newsletter.
      20. In all arena trials a trial host may limit the number of entries in each class - if the trial host does limit entries it must be listed in newsletter and web site.
    6. MEMBERSHIP
      1. Membership is not required to compete in a TSDA trial.
      2. Dues are paid annually, Januray 1 through December 31, and are based on the membership level.
        1. Participating Membership: $25 This level is for handlers who want to compete in TSDA trials and receive Dog of the Year points, run in the Finals trial, and vote in TSDA elections.
        2. Family Membership: $25, first member; $10, each additional member This level is for family members living in the same household. Each member has the same privileges as the Participating Member. The household receives only one (1) newsletter.
        3. Associate Membership: $15 This level is for individuals who do not regularly compete but wish to receive the TSDA newsletter. They may not run as a paid member nor vote in TSDA elections.
        4. All membership levels receive a newsletter.
      3. Participating or Family Membership is required before going to the post in order to receive Dog of the Year and qualifying points.
      4. The membership elects the Board of Directors.
    7. OTHER
      1. Rule changes and/or new rules made during the trial year will goInto effect 30 days after the rule change is approved, unless the change will affect year end issues such as DOY, lifetime points or handler status. In those cases the rule will go into effect with the first trial of the next trial season.
      2. In case where the number of handlers placing in a class is less than the number of places paid, the ltrial committee has discretion as how to distribute the remaining payout funds. They may:
        1. Split all remaining funds between placing handlers.
        2. Place disqualified and retired handlers by the work completed (i.e. add all points earned).
      3. The minutes of the Board of Director's meetings are published in the newsletter. The minutes will state how each director voted. Any motion made on the TSDA/TCDA forum which affects the rules or guidelines must be published within 48 hours on the TSDA website under "agenda". No votes may be taken on such a motion until it has been on the TSDA website for 48 hours.
      4. The Board has the authority to act on hardship situations on a case-by-case basis.
      5. Disciplinary Action: The Board of Directors has the authority to set disciplinary action for any valid written complaint filed with a course director. If a course director is unable or unwilling to handle a complaint, the next course of action is through the Board. A complaint must be filed, in writing, within ninety (90) days of the infraction. These infractions can include, but are not limited to:
        1. Unsportsman-like conduct
        2. Offensive language
        3. Disrespect to sponsoring host, labor, judge(s), or trial director
        4. Abuse to animals
        5. Misrepresentation of dogs and their classifications
      6. Handlers should observe the dress code, for each run, when requested by the trial host or Board of Directors, or if printed in the newsletter or web site. Failure to do so can result in denial overrunning privilege.
        1. Dress Code:
          1. Men - Long pants and sports coat should be worn while competing.
          2. Ladies - Dress jacket should be worn while competing.
    8. FINALS TRIAL
      1. Once the drawing for a class is completed and the class starts, the handler is liable for the entry fees.
      2. Entry fees must be paid prior to going to the post.
      3. The Open Class will have double lift finals.
        1. The course size may be modified.
        2. The double lift will have two (2) groups of sheep.
      4. Determining Runs:
      5. The following are guidelines as to how the runs will be determined at the Finals. These guidelines may be modified at the discretion of the Board to reflect the availability of sheep, number of entries, location of the course, or any other factor(s) that could influence the organization or conduct of the Finals", a, b, and c would remain unchanged.
        1. 75 entries or less: 2 go-rounds plus finals Payback: 60% average; 20% First go-round; 20% Second go-round
        2. 76 - 100 entries: two (2) go-rounds, combined scores, no finals for Open Ranch, Ranch, Novice, and Nursery Open only - 40% run back double lift finals, clean slate Payback: 60% average; 20% First go-round; 20% Second go-round
        3. 101 - 125 entries: one (1) go-round plus 40% run back in all classes Payback: 60% average; 40% First go-round
  5. CATTLE DOG RULES & GUIDELINES
  6. Cattle dog trials sanctioned by the TCDA must meet the following requirements:

    1. The TSDA Rules and Guidelines that have been in effect for many years must be followed when applicable.
    2. There shall be three (3) cattle dog classes for the TCDA: Open, Pro-Novice, and Novice. A Nursery Class, sanctioned by the USBCHA, can be included in the Pro-Novice Class (a class within a class) and the handler only pays the USBCHA fee of $4. The Nursery can be run as a separate class with a separate entry fee from which the $4 will be paid. The Nursery class will not be a class at the Finals.
    3. A dog or handler's classification in sheep trials has no bearing on their classification in cattle trials.
    4. Handlers with physical disabilities will be allowed to use tools that are not normally accepted (binoculars, wheelchairs, electric scooters or wheelchairs, or a walking aid). A horse or a mule is NOT considered an aid and therefore is disqualified from use. Handlers needing these tools should notify the judge/trial host of their needs before the trial starts so there are no surprises. The TCDA encourages those with physical handicaps to participate in our sanctioned events and believe that trial host and judges should make reasonable efforts to accommodate these handlers."
    5. ItIs each handler's responsibility to familiarize themselves with the rules and each Trial Host's responsibility to enforce these rules at each trial. Any questions on rules should be discussed before the trial begins.
    6. A trial sponsor/host must be a member in good standing of the TCDA.
    1. DOG DEFINITIONS
      1. OPEN
        1. Any dog that has run in an Open Cattle Class anywhere in the world since May 31, 2002.
      2. PRO-NOVICE
        1. A Pro-Novice Dog is any dog that has not competed in the Open Cattle Class in Texas since May 31, 2002, or since that time has not competed in an Open Cattle Class anywhereIn the world.
      3. NOVICE
        1. A Novice Dog is any dog that has not run in any of the other cattle dog classes.
    2. HANDLER DEFINITIONS
      1. OPEN
        1. An Open HandlerIs an advanced handler in cattle dog trials who may also run a dog in the Pro-Novice Class but not in the Novice Class.
        2. If a handler has run an Open Cattle dog anywhere in the world, then they are considered an Open handler.
      2. PRO-NOVICE
        1. A Pro-Novice Handler is any handler who has competed in the Pro-Novice Class, but has not competed in the Open Class worldwide.
        2. This handler is eligible to compete in the Pro-Novice and Nursery Classes.
        3. This handler may compete in the Pro-Novice Class with a dog that may have been advanced from the Novice Class.
        4. This handler may compete in the Pro-Novice Class with a dog that has a history of Open Class competition.
        5. This handler cannot move a Pro-Novice dog down to the Novice Class.
        6. This handler may exhibition and Open dog.
      3. NOVICE
        1. A Novice Handler is any handler who has never entered a cattle class higher than the Novice Class
        2. A Novice handler can purchase an Open or Pro Novice dog and show him in the Novice Class.
    3. SANCTIONED TRIALS
      1. Trials may be point/time and either partially or fully judged.
      2. If a trial is USBCHA sanctioned, a four (4) dollar sanctioning fee must be paid to USBCHA secretary for each Open dog and Nursery dog competing in the trial.
        1. Where the number of entries is too low to constitute a qualifying trial, the USBCHA fee will not be paid.
      3. The TCDA sanctioning fee is $5. 00 per entry per trial. The sanctioning fee along with the complete trial results must be sent to the TCDA secretary.
      4. Score sheets may be obtained from the TCDA Secretary.
    4. Trial Rules
      1. To qualify for the TCDA Finals a dog must have competed in at least three (3) sanctioned trials during that trial year.
      2. A handler's membership dues as a Participating member or a Family member must be paid before going to the post in order for that run to receive credit as a qualifying run.
      3. Presently there are two (2) go-rounds for each class (Open, Pro-Novice and Novice). In the future, as the number of entries change, it may be necessary to offer one go for each class and a finals in open or some other such change.
      4. All Cattle used in the TCDA finals must be exposed to dogs prior to the first go-round.
      5. The premium money will be divided into 20% for each go-round and 60% for the average. This may change as the program changes. See 3 above.
      6. The course will be set up by the trial committee when it arrives at the trial site and has had time to observe the disposition of the stock, the physical attributes of the arena, the location of the bleachers and so forth. The committee may modify the course in each class as they see fit.
      7. Handlers will have the full amount of the allotted time to complete as much of the course as they can. There will be no time limit for getting stock across the handler's line
      8. If a handler starts to run and doesn't stop or make a definite pause after the second step it will be considered a run and the handler will be penalized ten (10) points for each such infraction of the rules. Hopping will not be considered as running.
      9. Course Design.
        1. If logistics and cattle allow, the fetch, at least in the open class, must be completed with the handlers remaining behind the handler line unless a handler chooses to cross the handler line in order to help their dog, in doing so they will forfeit their points for the first obstacle.
        2. Each obstacle including the first one must be completed before moving on.
        3. The Pro-Novice and Novice classes should, if possible, be offered the same number of obstacles as are offered in the Open class.
        4. In general the course difficulty in Pro-Novice should be less than in Open and course difficulty in Novice less than in Pro-Novice. To attain this, obstacle entrances may be widened, extra panels extending the wings may be added, etc. Also, course difficulty for all classes may be made more difficult on the second go.
      10. Breaking ties when the handlers have not finished the course in the allotted time will be when all stock have crossed the handler line, completed the first obstacle or have completed the second obstacle. The trial committee will decide on which it will be when they assess the physical attributes of the trial arena.
      11. In some instances the course may be such that the handlers must stay behind the handler line for more than completing the first obstacle (in this instance the completion of the second obstacle may be the time line). This will be up to the trial committee when setting up the course.
      12. Contestants must not go into or through an obstacle they are working. If a contestant goes into or through the obstacle they are working, a penalty of 10 points will be imposed for each infraction. Contestants cannot reach through and or touch, with hands or staff, any panel, fence or gate. If handlers touch the stock with hand or staff the penalty will be 10 points for each infraction.
      13. If some of the stock goes through an obstacle and some do not, the handler may collect those not having gone through before they mix with the others and they can be put through for full points, but if the two groups mix they all must be put through again before moving on to the next obstacle.
      14. If time has not expired and the last obstacle is being attempted and one or more head won't get near the entrance and one or two do go in, the handler may signal the judge that he is satisfied with less than all and will get credit for the number in, or through the obstacle, but he will also be charged with the full allotted time to finish the course.
      15. If time has expired before a handler has completed the course the handler will be given credit for the stock that have completed the obstacle being worked
      16. If the judge awards a rerun during a run, the clock will be stopped. The rerun will commence from the same point where the original run was stopped and all points and deductions will stand and time resumed at the place in the run where the rerun was awarded. If the dog is responsible for the livestock leaving the course it will be an automatic disqualification.
      17. While recognizing that itIs often necessary for a dog to bite a cow to turn it, excessive or out of control biting will NOT be tolerated (a dog who hangs on to the livestock as it runs down the arena, or bites so hard it brings the livestock down). IfIt is deemed to be excessive, the handler/dog will be disqualified for that run. If necessary, the cattle dog committee is duly authorized to take appropriate action or to permanently disqualify a dog from future competition for abusive behavior to the livestock.
      18. The timekeepers will act as observers at the Texas Cattle Dog Finals with the cattle dog committee members available for any assistance needed. The three timekeepers spending the majority of their time observing of keeping time will be paid.
    5. E. DOG OF THE YEAR
      1. If a handler and dog places either 1st. or 2nd. for the dog of the year in the Novice or Pro Novice Class they must move up to the next class the next year.
      2. Dog of the Year points are awarded using the same schedule as the sheep dog point system.
      3. Points are awarded to the top one-third (1/3) of each class in which at least three dogs compete.
        1. Where a class has less than three (3) entries, the dog receives credit for a qualifying run. Dog of the Year points are not awarded.
      4. A dog that changes class during the year must compete at the Finals in the same class in which it competed at the end of the year.
      5. Dog of the Year points are awarded at the State Finals
  7. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
    1. TEXAS SHEEP DOG OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
      • John Lewis President, Class 2018 - 13437 FM 2093 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 - (p)830-997-8826 (e)jclewis@beecreek.net
      • Martha Howell Vice President, Class 2017 - 7422 FM 380 San Angelo, TX 76905 - (p)325-659-2257 (e)Mhowell@stoneaxefarm.com
      • Francis Raley Secretary/Treasurer, Class SEC - 2915 Anderson Lane Crawford, TX 76638 - (p)254-486-2500 (e)raleyfrancis@gmail.com
      • Chris Thomson Director, Class 2017 - 896 HCR 3140 Abbott, TX 76645 - (p)254-379-0480 (e)txthomson@yahoo.com
      • Jimmy Walker Director, Class 2017 - , TX - (p)254-723-5703 (e)jwalker5703@gmail.com.
      • John Lewis Director, Class 2018 - 13437 FM 2093 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 - (p)830-997-8826 (e)jclewis@beecreek.net
      • Brent Swindall Director, Class 2018 - Gatesville , TX - (p)254-223-0043
      • Jamie Mitchell Director, Class 2018 - 5345 Deep Forest Trail Navasota, TX 77868 - (p)281-831-5600 (e)Jamie@mosslandscaping.com
      • Jo Spurger Director, Class 2019 - Granbury, TX - (p)817-559-0665
      • Brent Phelps Director, Class 2019 - P.O. Box 612 Valley Mille, TX 76689 - (p)940-367-5507 (e)brentwphelps@gmail.com
      • Bruce Hawn Director, Class 2019 - 800 N Shoreline Corpus Christi, TX 78401 - (p)361-779-1813 (e)bhawn@welderleshin.com
  8. DOG OF THE YEAR POINT SCHEDULE
  9. Dog of the Year

    Point System Open, Nursery, Open Ranch, Ranch, Novice Classes

    # Entries 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
    3 - 5 1                  
    6 - 8 2 1                
    9 - 11 3 2 1              
    12 - 14 4 3 2 1            
    15 - 17 5 4 3 2 1          
    18 - 20 6 5 4 3 2 1        
    21 - 23 7 6 5 4 3 2 1      
    24 - 26 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1    
    27 - 29 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1  
    30 - 32 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
    ETC.  
  10. PREMIUM MONEY SCHEDULE
  11. Open, Open Ranch, Ranch, Novice, and Nursery Classes Unless otherwise stated in newsletter, catalog, brochures, etc.

      Total Entries Places Paid
      1 - 3 1
      4 - 6 2
      7 - 11 3
      12 - 15 4
      16 - 22 5
      23 - 28 6
      29 -35 7
      36 - 42 8
      43 - 48 9
      49 - over 10
  12. PERCENTAGE OF MONEY PAID SCHEDULE
  13. Percentage (%) of Money Paid
    Open, Open Ranch, Ranch, Novice, and Nursery Classes

    Places Paid 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
    One 100%                  
    Two 60% 40%                
    Three 50% 30% 20%              
    Four 40% 30% 20% 10%            
    Five 30% 25% 20% 15% 10%          
    Six 30% 24% 18% 12% 9% 7%        
    Seven 28% 23% 16% 12% 9% 7% 5%      
    Eight 25% 20% 15% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4%    
    Nine 23% 18% 15% 11% 9% 8% 7% 5% 4%  
    Ten 20% 16% 14% 11% 9% 8% 7% 6% 5% 4%