DACOF FAST Guidelines



To provide a strategy class that places a premium on the competitor’s ability to strategize and work at a distance while still allowing an average or Novice level competitor to earn the minimum bonus.


Send bonuses:

FAST course design will incorporate 3 distance sends worth 10, 15 or 20 points. Only the highest value send will be awarded to the competitor that completes more than one send at a distance.

• “Novice” type send will comprise 2 obstacles up to 10 feet away with a Bonus value of 10 points. The majority of the send should be 5 feet away.

• “Open” type send will comprise 2 or 3 obstacles up to 15 feet away with a bonus value of 15 points. Only the critical part of this send must be 10 to 15 feet away.

• “Excellent” type send will be 3 obstacles up to 20 feet away with a Bonus value of 20 points. Only the critical part of this send must be 15 to 20 feet away and should include one of the following challenges: 1) complex obstacle (contact or weaves); 2) discrimination; or 3) direction change.

Any level competitor is eligible to attempt any “type” of send (for instance, a Novice competitor can attempt the “Excellent” or 20-point send.)

The Send Test may be attempted at any time, but only the first attempt can earn the bonus. An attempt is considered begun once the dog has four paws on, over or in the first obstacle. Once the first obstacle is committed to with all four feet, the dog is subject to refusal and wrong course faults and only the first attempt at a send can earn the corresponding bonus if completed without fault. If there are separate sends and the competitor fails one send; they may attempt another send and will be awarded that send bonus provided those obstacle points hadn’t already been earned. Separate Sends are highly encouraged in the course design.

Stepping over the line in the send area is allowed as long as the dog has not committed four paws to the first obstacle of the send. Once the dog has committed to the first send obstacle by having 4 paws in, on or over the obstacle you must be outside of the send area. You may step over the line if the dog has faulted the send or if you simply do not wish to attempt the send. You can still earn points for completing individual send obstacles without earning a send bonus.

Failure to successfully complete a “Send” sequence within Standard Course Time will result in zero “Bonus” points being awarded, but all obstacle points will be retained, subject to time penalties.

Completion Defined:

An obstacle is not considered complete until the dog has all 4 paws on the ground after the obstacle. Therefore, the handler must stay out of the restricted area until the final obstacle of the send is “complete” in order to earn the send bonus. Also, any obstacles that are not completed prior to the end of the horn indicating the end of the Standard Course Time will not be credited to the competitor’s score.

Course Time and Time Faults:

Competitors in all levels (Novice through Excellent) and all jump heights (4” through 24”) will have a Standard Course Time of 38 Seconds to accumulate points, attempt a Send Bonus and reach the designated finish obstacle.

The Send Bonus may be attempted at any time, but must be completed before the horn indicates the end of the Standard Course Time (SCT). Competitors will be assessed one time fault for every second or fraction of a second over SCT which will be subtracted from the total points (obstacle & Send Bonus total) accumulated on course to determine the final score.

Failure to take the finish obstacle will result in a zero score for that competitor. The finish obstacle is bi-directional and is active as soon as any part of the dog crosses the start line. Taking the finish obstacle stops the time and immediately ends the run.

Earning Obstacle points:

The competitor may earn up to 6 points on the 1-point jumps. The nine other obstacles valued 2 through 10 may only be taken one time for points, but may subsequently be used as flow obstacles if desired. A competitor cannot be credited with obstacle points when taking the same obstacle a second time immediately after the first time, regardless of whether any points were earned for taking the obstacle the first time. The only exception is that the weave poles may be immediately re-taken for points from the original entry end. All obstacles that can be, are bi-directional (may be taken in either direction) unless specified uni-directional by the judge. Maximum points available for all levels of the FAST class will be 80 points (60 obstacle points plus the 20-point send bonus.)


Course Design differences from level to level:

At the judge’s discretion the point values or obstacle directions may change from level to level. Also at the judge’s discretion there may be 6 or 12 weaves in Open & Excellent. Novice will have only 6 weaves.


Judge’s signals:

It is suggested that the judge call “Bonus-Ten” if the competitor has earned the 10 point bonus; “Bonus-Fifteen” if the competitor has earned the fifteen point bonus; and “Bonus-Twenty” if the competitor has earned the twenty point bonus.

“Fault” should be called if the competitor faults all possible sends, or if none of the sends are ever attempted prior to the finish obstacle being engaged or the Standard Course Time horn sounding.

Running order:

Running order for FAST will be all of Excellent, followed by all of Open then all of Novice (small to tall). Each class (FAST, Standard & Jumpers) will be divided in thirds for the purposes of walk-thrus. Handlers with dogs in the first part of the class will walk first, followed immediately by handlers with dogs in the second part, etc. Handlers who are running multiple dogs in different rings may walk with another group if their walk-thru conflicted with their walk-thru in another ring. Once all the handlers in the class have had their walk-thru then the running of all the dogs in that class will begin with no breaks except as needed by the judge until that class is complete.


Authored by Tracy Hanna

Updated January 2020

DACOF 2018
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