Standard Class Course Time - An appropriate set time for each
course shall be calculated by the judge, who shall take into
account the course length, the height category of the dogs
competing, and the grade or grades of the dogs competing in the
relevant class, together with any other relevant factors i.e.
The course length must be measured by the judge using a
commercially available measuring wheel, using the straight line
distance between obstacle centres method (Regulation H(1)(B)1.a.(4)
refers). The judge will then use the Course Times Matrix to arrive
at a course time suitable for that class. The set time shall be
stated by the judge before judging commences.
In 2010, the Agility Liaison Council asked the Judges' Working
Party to look into updating the Course Times Matrix. The
guide 'How to Measure an Agility Course & Course Time Matrix'
is available to download in the toolbar on the right hand side of
this page. This matrix was first produced in the mid 1980's and it
was felt it no longer provided relevant course times - some too
generous and others unachievable for the courses being set
Research was conducted which involved courses being measured at
agility shows throughout the UK. The judge's course time was
recorded and the times of the places along with notes about the
complexity of the course, for example; number of pull throughs,
pull rounds, weaves, etc.
The first discussion was how to measure a course? There have
never been any guidelines previously published on how a course
should be measured. The accepted practice was to measure along the
dogs' anticipated path but this has only ever been carried out by a
small percentage of judges. However, under tests conducted by the
researchers it was found there was too much difference in length
when different people measured the same course. The measured length
at times was different by several metres - therefore a way of
measuring was sought to provide a more accurate course length. The
researchers found that measuring straight lines between the centres
of each obstacle provided an accurate length of the course no
matter who did the measuring.
To date some 750+ have been recorded and in analysing the data
it became apparent that the lower grade dogs were now faster than
25 years ago, probably due to better training methods used today
and that the higher grades were travelling slower, due to more
complex courses. What has also been revealed is that there is a
difference in speed between Large dogs and Small/Medium dogs. The
updated matrix reflects all of this.
Data will continue to be gathered and the matrix will be updated
as / when required depending on the future findings from the