WHIPPET RACING ASSOCIATION

2019 Rule Change Proposals

 

 

PROPOSAL #1

WRA Rule Book, Section 2.6.2 Per Capita Payment:

Current Wording

The local Race Secretary is to send the per capita fee for all dogs who started the meet, and the $2.00 registration fee for any dog not previously listed in the Grading Guide to the Secretary/Treasurer.  The final report and any registration papers collected shall be sent to the Registrar/Recorder.  This requirement covers both adult and puppy racers.  All records and fees must be received by the within fourteen (14) days or be postmarked within ten (10) days of the Monday following the race meet.  The per capita will be waived for the club hosting the WRA National race meet.

 

Proposed Wording (in BOLD)

The local Race Secretary is to send the per capita fee for all dogs who started the meet, and the $2.00 registration fee for any dog not previously listed in the Grading Guide to the Secretary/Treasurer. The per capita fee may be paid in the currency of the country hosting the meet. The final report and any registration papers collected shall be sent to the Registrar/Recorder. This requirement covers both adult and puppy
racers. All records and fees must be received by the within fourteen (14) days or be postmarked within ten (10) days of the Monday following the race meet. The per capita will be waived for the club hosting the WRA National race meet.

 

 

 

 

PROPOSAL #2

WRA Rule Book, Section 1.2.8 Whippets Eligible to Participate in the WRA’s Racing Program.

Current Wording

8. DISQUALIFICATIONS ENFORCED BY THE WHIPPET RACING ASSOCIATION
PROGRAM ARE:
¨ Whippet bitches in heat or season (any sign of discharge or swelling).
¨ A Whippet that shows positive evidence of sickness or abnormaility (ie.
Lameness) that could be detrimental to the whippet or to other whippet
racers.
¨ The use of any drug, stimulant or narcotic

Proposed wording (in BOLD)

8. DISQUALIFICATIONS ENFORCED BY THE WHIPPET RACING ASSOCIATION
PROGRAM ARE:
¨ Whippet bitches in heat or season (any sign of discharge or swelling).
¨ A Whippet that shows positive evidence of sickness or abnormality (ie.
Lameness) that could be detrimental to the whippet or to other whippet racers.
¨ The use of any drug  that may enhance a dog's performance, including, but not limited to, anabolic steroids.

 

Reason:

Being a bit more specific about what sort of drugs are not allowed.

 

 

 

 

 

PROPOSAL #3

WRA Rule Book, Section 3.7 Box Operator:

Current Wording

If possible, two persons should be assigned to work the starting box, but one will suffice if a second qualified person is not available.  The Box Operator may serve as a foul judge also, if qualified. 

 

The lure should be placed ten to fifteen (10-15) feet down track, directly in front of, and at the center of the starting box. 

 

By watching the movement of the lure, and with practice, the boxes should be opened the very instant the lure moves.  A delay in opening the box after the lure moves can cause Whippets to charge the door and be off balance when the door opens, causing an unfair advantage.  Whippets should be placed (loaded) in the starting box in numerical order, one (1) through six (6) after all entrants reach the boxes.  The Box Operator should check all Whippets and racing equipment as the dogs are placed in the starting box, it is the responsibility of the Box Operator to see that all Whippets are muzzled and jackets are on properly before the box is opened.  The operator may assist owners in placing Whippets in boxes when necessary. 

 

After all Whippets are in the starting box, the Box Operator will tease the Whippets with the lure, and ascertain at that time all racers are facing the front and have their blankets and muzzles ON! 

 

The Box Operator will then place the lure in the center of the area, at the front of the box, in the marked circle.  Box Operators will not delay the start of a race due to untrained Whippets that persist in turning around in the boxes.  If a muzzle is broken, or pulled off by a dog, or if the jacket comes loose, the Box Operator must hold up the race until all problems are corrected!  If a delay of more than a few seconds is necessary, all Whippets will be removed from the box by their handlers.

 

Proposed Wording (in BOLD)

If possible, two persons should be assigned to work the starting box, but one will suffice if a second qualified person is not available.  The Box Operator may serve as a foul judge also, if qualified. 

 

When possible, prior to the Whippets leaving for the box, the Box Operator shall close the box and place the lure in a designated spot marked by paint on the course fifteen (15) feet in front of the center of the starting box.  Slack in the lure line shall be placed directly behind the lure, away from the boxes so that the Whippets do not see the line when the lure starts. 

 

By watching the movement of the lure, and with practice, the boxes should be opened the very instant the lure moves.  A delay in opening the box after the lure moves can cause Whippets to charge the door and be off balance when the door opens, causing an unfair advantage.  Whippets should be placed (loaded) in the starting box in numerical order, one (1) through six (6) after all entrants reach the boxes.  The Box Operator should check all Whippets and racing equipment as the dogs are placed in the starting box, it is the responsibility of the Box Operator to see that all Whippets are muzzled and jackets are on properly before the box is opened.  The operator may assist owners in placing Whippets in boxes when necessary. 

 

After all Whippets are in the starting box, the Box Operator will tease the Whippets with the lure, and ascertain at that time all racers are facing the front and have their blankets and muzzles ON! 

 

 The Whippets shall be teased with the lure at the spot where the lure is to start.  Teasing shall not be done immediately next to the box. 

 

The Box Operator will then place the lure in the center of the area, at the front of the box, in the marked circle.  Box Operators will not delay the start of a race due to untrained Whippets that persist in turning around in the boxes.  If a muzzle is broken, or pulled off by a dog, or if the jacket comes loose, the Box Operator must hold up the race until all problems are corrected!  If a delay of more than a few seconds is necessary, all Whippets will be removed from the box by their handlers.

 

Reason
These are the old NAWRA Box Operator guidelines. I like that this says 15 feet instead of 10-15 feet. I think most people operate the boxes this way but I noticed at the Nationals in Indiana the lure was set after the dogs were loaded and the slack in the line was right in front of the middle dog. This can cause the dogs to key on the line which will move before the lure does. This can cause a dog to hit the front of the box. 

 

 

 

PROPOSAL #4

WRA Rule Book, Section 2.4.3 Scheduling of Approved Whippet Racing Association Race Meets:

Current Wording:

No Member Club will hold WRA race meets on more than four (4) weekends per year within a radius of one hundred (100) miles of one another. (Each weekend may contain one or two WRA meets, for a maximum of eight WRA           meets per club per year.)

 

Proposed Wording:

No Member Club will hold WRA race meets on more than four (4) weekends per year if a club is within a radius of four hundred (400) miles of another club, or more than eight (8) weekends per year if that club is greater than a radius of four hundred (400) miles of another club.  (Each weekend may contain one or two WRA meets, allowing for up to eight or sixteen WRA meets per club per year, respectively.)

 

 

 

PROPOSAL #5

WRA Rule Book, Section 7.3 Whippet Race Champion Award Points.

Current Wording:

 

Whippet Race Champion Award Points Whippet Race Champion Award Points are earned by the Whippets earning the highest number of racing points in a race meet. The points are awarded according to the schedule of points presented below.

 

● No Whippet which has already earned a Whippet Race Champion shall earn WRCh Award Points.

 

● If the Whippet(s) with the highest number of race points have their WRCh title the Whippet(s) with the next highest number of racing points, that have not earned their WRCh will receive the Award Points.

 

● All Whippets with the title of WRCh count as entries when awarding WRCh Award Points. 

 

Add the following proposed wording:

 

If the Whippet with the highest number of race points, which has not yet earned WRCh, does not require the full set of Award Points to earn a WRCh, those non-required points shall be awarded to the next highest, eligible dog requiring those points. If the second (and subsequent) dog receiving points does not require all points, those too, would be awarded to the next dog requiring those points. No points will be moved down below Top Ten finishers in a race meet. 

 

No dog shall earn more than the original top set of points (e.g. 40-49 starters - 5 points, 30-39 starters - 4 points). Points can be awarded to the next eligible dog within the Top 10. In the event that all dogs in Top Ten have earned WRCh, points would be awarded to eligible dog (s) with no reallocation to next eligible finishers. 

 

 

Examples:

 Scenario 1

40 dog meet where points are 5, 3, 1:

Dog 1 - only needs 1 of the 5 points to earn WRCH (leaving 4)

Dog 2 - is awarded 3 + 2 of "spare" points (maximum 5 total points due to top points limit)

Dog 3 - is awarded 1 + 2 of "spare" points (where 2 is remainder of the top points)

 

 

 

 

Scenario 2

30 dog meet where points are 4, 2:

Dog 1 - only needs 2 of 4 points to earn WRCH (leaving 2)

Dog 2 - is awarded 2 + 2 but only needs 1 of the spare points to earn WRCH, (leaving still 1 point)

Dog 3 - is awarded that single point as the bridesmaid

 

 

Reason:

 

In many areas the effort to put on a race meet with enough entries is a challenge. Making the attainability of the WRCh to more dogs, without cheapening it, is a positive for our sport. Many are disheartened on the occasions when a dog is awarded points only requiring partial to complete their WRCh. The perception often is that the points are "wasted". In areas with small meets the points often to do not get awarded beyond the top two or three finishers, year after year. When the entry supports the award of X number of points, those points don't need to disappear, they could still be awarded.

 

Note from the Rules Committee: Also, please be aware that implementation of this rule change would incur significant technical difficulties based on the current state of the WRA website and specifically the race meet programming and would likely not be able to be implemented on January 1st.  After the website and race meet programming is remedied, the implementation of this point scheme should be easier.

 

 

PROPOSAL #6

WRA Rule Book, Section 3.4 Finish Line (Placement) Judges.

Current Wording:

 

The Race Secretary will appoint a head Finish Line Judge, who, in turn, will select the necessary finish line judges for each race.  Judges must be thoroughly qualified to honestly place all dogs in each race.  Whippet owners may act as judges, but must ask to be replaced when their dogs are competing.

 

There should be six (6) placement judges with a minimum of four (4) for High Point Races (Adult or Puppy), and four (4) placement judges, with a minimum of two (2) for all other races. 

 

Each Judge will write placements by number on the finish line report form immediately after each race and give this information to the Head Line Judge. Care must be taken to see that spectators are not blocking the placement judges’ view of the races, and that there is "quiet" with the judges until all placements reports are submitted to the Head Placement Judge.  Owners and judges should learn to call races BY BLANKET NUMBERS ONLY, not by color of blanket.  The color can be helpful to judges, but should not be relied upon in lieu of the actual number on the blanket.  At no time should the numbers or colors of racing blankets be called out loud as this may confuse the other judges.

 

Add the following proposed wording:

 

The finishing positions of all whippets in a race shall be recorded according to the order in which their muzzles (noses) reach the vertical plane of the finish line nearest the starting box.

Reason:

The rational is that in no sports other than swimming do extraneous body parts determine the finish. 

 

PROPOSAL #7

WRA Rule Book, Section 3.4 Finish Line (Placement) Judges

Current Wording (first paragraph):

 

The Race Secretary will appoint a head Finish Line Judge, who, in turn, will select the necessary finish line judges for each race. Judges must be thoroughly qualified to honestly place all dogs in each race. Whippet owners may act as judges, but must ask to be replaced when their dogs are competing. 

 

Add the following proposed wording after the first paragraph:

 

Finish Line Judges may elect to use a personal video recording device to record the finish of a race. If used, the placement judge must adhere to all of the following:

  1. The placement judge must be capable of independently recording and reviewing video from their personal video recording device.
  2. The video recording device shall adhere to the Cameras and Use requirements in section 3.4.1.2.
  3. The video recording device must be held at or near the placement judge's eye level and must capture the entire width of the finish line.
  4. Video from a placement judge's personal video recording device may only be reviewed by that judge to determine placements. This video cannot be viewed by other placement judges, spectators, or competitors. 
  5. Video from these devices shall carry no more and no less weight than the finish line reports and placements from all other placement judges.
  6. Video from a placement judge's personal video recording device cannot be used to break ties and may not be used as a substitute for an official finish line camera. 

7.     Race Secretary / Head Line Judge must inform all line judges of the rules regarding their “personal” video recording devices.

 

Rest of the Current Wording in this Paragraph remains the same:

There should be six (6) placement judges with a minimum of four (4) for High Point Races (Adult or Puppy), and four (4) placement judges, with a minimum of two (2) for all other races. 

 

Each Judge will write placements by number on the finish line report form immediately after each race and give this information to the Head Line Judge. Care must be taken to see that spectators are not blocking the placement judges’ view of the races, and that there is "quiet" with the judges until all placements reports are submitted to the Head Placement Judge. Owners and judges should learn to call races BY BLANKET NUMBERS ONLY, not by color of blanket. The color can be helpful to judges, but should not be relied upon in lieu of the actual number on the blanket. At no time should the numbers or colors of racing blankets be called out loud as this may confuse the other judges.

 

 

Reason:

 

Many people no longer volunteer to finish line judge because they do not feel that they can accurately record six dogs crossing the finish line. Since nearly everyone now has a high-definition video recording device on their person at all times, it makes sense to allow finish line judges to record and review finishes on their own and report their findings. This change would give us a larger pool of capable finish line judges and still leaves the official camera in place as the end-all tiebreaker.

 

 

 

PROPOSAL #8

WRA Rule Book, Section 4.3 Owner Conduct and Other Considerations for Possible Dismissals.

(Refer to the WRA Rule Book for other information included in this Section.)

 

Current wording:

 

All persons waiting to catch a Whippet at the finish of a race must stand outside the designated track area and beyond the finish line. 

 

Add the following wording to this paragraph:

 

People calling to dogs must stand in a designated area at least 20 yards away from where the lure stops.  At the discretion of the host club, yelling or shouting within 25 yds of the race track while the Whippets are racing may be prohibited. Owner/Handlers shall be subject to a fine, not to exceed $10.00, or dismissal of the Whippet, at the local Race Secretary’s discretion. Host clubs wishing to prohibit yelling or shouting must provide this information in meet advertisements/mailings so that competitors are aware in advance.

 

Rationale:

Yelling for dogs at the finish line can be a distraction to both finish line judges and dogs. This change gives host clubs the option to allow yelling at the finish line or not, and to advise competitors of this policy in advance of the meet.  It is important to have all dogs moving the same direction going over the finish line. A dog that is being called has the potential to cross over the track to go to its owner causing great risk of collision to the other racers. People screaming at the finish line is a great distraction to the judges and can have an effect on the judges focus.  A lure op needs to be able to hear when there is a loose dog, or other reasons they may need to stop the lure. 

 

Note from Secretary: Two individuals submitted separate proposals on this topic. The Rules Committee worked with both of the submitters and combined the proposals into one.