The Rip Van Wrinkler,
Volume XV, Issue 3,
August 2011

Pages 13 <previous page > <next page>

Training Conversation


2. CPE Non-Traditional Jackpot.

©2011, Leslie Matucchio

There is a Yahoo Sighthound Agility Group ~  SHAgility.


 On the show, all explanations given for dog behavior center around "dog psychology," which is defined as the dog being a pack animal that needs a pack leader.  Unfortunately, this has little to nothing to do with actual dog behavior, but is based on common myths about wolf behavior.

FINE ARTICLE – read more….

I thought it’d be fun to explain the CPE games to you guys who have not tried them. It seems to me that the folks who founded CPE agility liked playing cards, as the classes are Snooker, Wildcard, Fullhouse, Colors, Jackpot, along with the more traditional Standard & Jumpers’ classes.

Let’s start with a non traditional Jackpot class we ran recently.

This was fun.  Dogs in Level 3, like Fern, need to accumulate 40 points in 55 seconds.  Fern got 42 points in 42 sec.

The game here is that the handlers can’t cross the tape on the ground, as shown by the dotted line.  Any obstacle taken after one inside that area counts double. 3 points; tunnels, tire, weaves, double spread jump.  5 points; Aframe, seesaw, combo of those 2 jumps right before the F (finish). There is that 7 point single jump inside the gamble.

Fern did Jump (one by 30’ marker), Tunnel, around to the Seesaw, Tunnel, Seesaw, right to Jump, Double. 90 degree turn to Tunnel, Tire, Tunnel, Tire, Tunnel, Table to stop the time.

Q.  First Place!


Object: To test the course planning strategies of the handler, and the dog’s ability to work at a distance. The handler will attempt to accumulate the minimum required points in the first part of the game, then going on to the gamble, working for the Jackpot!

Qualifying: When the handler and dog perform the gamble without faults and within the required time, and have acquired the required accumulation points or greater, they have earned a qualifying score.

Direction on the course:

Jackpot is run as a two-part course. The first part consists of the handler and dog working the course, attempting to accumulate at least the minimum required points for their level, in the stated amount of time. The end of the accumulation time is signified by the timekeeper’s whistle. (See course variations at end of Jackpot rules for different types of gambles)

In a traditional Jackpot, the handler and dog then proceed to work through a series of gamble obstacles within a time set by the judge. The handler must stay out of a designated area, while the dog works within this area, with commands from the handler. The obstacles must be executed in the correct order, without faults, and cross the finish line (may be table), to earn the gamble points. The required points (including gamble points) must be within the total game time, in order to qualify.

All Judges decisions are final.

_ Back-to-back obstacles are allowed at any time. The following obstacles may be taken twice in a row, provided the dog makes a complete loop and approaches the obstacle in the correct direction safely: teeter totter, ascending broad jump, ascending double jump, triple jump & chute. If the Judge deems the back-to-back performance unsafe, he/she will not award points for the performance. All obstacles may be performed twice for points.

_ No two gamble obstacles can be performed in a row in the opening sequence - forward or backwards (unless the Judge declares differently in his/her briefing). If a gamble jump bar is knocked down in the opening sequence, the gamble is null and void. The bar will not be reset.

_ If the Judge says “Thank you” (or signals with a whistle) at any point, the team MUST move immediately to the finish line to stop the clock. The judge’s decision is final.

Obstacle Point Values:

1 point obstacles: Single Bar Jumps

3 point obstacles: Tire, Open or Closed Tunnel, Spread Jumps, 5 to 8 weaves

5 point obstacles: 10 to 12 weaves (not in levels 1 & 2), Contacts, Combination (to replace one contact on course)

Judge’s choice: 7 point obstacle (one time only, regular points second performance)

Usually a challenging placement or long distance from the start line

• Jump combo: 2 to 3 single Bar Jumps

• Contact or long set of Weaves

• Tire, Open or Closed Tunnel, Spread Jump

Total Obstacles on course 24 13 13 16

*If only two contacts are used, a combo of two displaceable bar jumps MUST be designated as a 5 point obstacle.

If a dog performs only one of the two jumps OR drops one of the bars, in the combo, the dog earns zero points.

The bars are not reset for that run. The jumps must be performed only in flow in either direction to earn points.

NOTE: The Table is NOT live until after the whistle blows for the gamble. If the judge briefed that the team can end at any time within a Non-Traditional Jackpot, the handler may direct the dog to the table to end their run (no penalty if the dog touches the table at any other time during this type of Non-Traditional Jackpot run). The time stops if the dog touches the table with at least one paw during the whistled gamble time – the run may or may not be a qualifying run. Judge’s briefing and decisions are final. The dog must have completed their last obstacle past the point of faulting to earn points when the gamble whistle sounds.

Jackpot Point Schedule

Regular and Veterans

Level Opening Gamble Total to Q

1 12 Points 20 Points 32 Points

2 16 Points 20 Points 36 Points

3 20 Points 20 Points 40 Points

4, 5 & C 24 Points 20 Points 44 Points

NOTE: In a non-traditional Jackpot – the above point schedules may or may not be in effect for opening and gamble points.

Make sure to attend the Jackpot briefing and have all of your questions answered before walking the course.

_ If the scoring will be different from the above schedule, the judge will announce it in the briefing. The total points to Q will be the same regardless of the type of Jackpot – traditional or non-traditional. At no time will non-traditional Jackpot points be less or greater than the total number required as listed above for a dog’s titling category and level.

The following standards are for a traditional gamble line, it may be different for a non-traditional jackpot.

Gamble Line Restrictions:

Levels 1 / 2: beginning at 0’ up to 5’, may graduate up to a maximum of 10’

Level 3: beginning at 0’ up to 10’ may graduate up to a maximum of 15’

Levels 4 / 5 / C: beginning at 0’ up to 15’ may graduate up to a maximum of 20’

Traditional Gamble directional control: The gamble obstacle discrimination has appropriate distance and angles depending on obstacle and level

Levels 1 / 2: may have up to 1 to 2 mild directional changes

Level 3: may have up to 2 directional changes

Level 4 / 5 / C: may have up to 2 to 3 directional changes

Gamble obstacles: a traditional gamble will be comprised of only 4 obstacles including the finish obstacle. The dog walk, chute or spread jumps are never allowed within a gamble line.

Level 1 / 2: bar jumps, open tunnels, tire, a-frame (gamble line must allow the handler to be within 5’ of the aframe)

Level 3 / 4 / 5 / C: any of the above, plus teeter-totter, a-frame and weave poles (5-12)

Stopping Time: Traditional gamble, the finish line is part of the gamble (may be table, bar jump, tire or open tunnel). The dog must cross the line and stop the clock before gamble time expires. It is possible for the dog to earn the last points of the gamble and NQ.

Non-Traditional Gamble: Table stops the time as the “finish line” obstacle.

The Traditional Gamble must consist of four obstacles; up to two dummy obstacles may be on the gamble course. The Dog Walk, Broad or Double Jump and the Triple Spread cannot be used as gamble obstacles within a traditional gamble line.

The last obstacle of a traditional gamble MUST either be a Bar Jump, Open Tunnel or the Table.

_ If the Table is used as the last obstacle, the dog must place at least one paw on the table to stop the clock (this is considered the finish line).

• May be used only for the last obstacle of a traditional gamble to stop the clock; it will have a point value.

• May be used to stop the clock in a non-traditional gamble that has a numbered gamble after the gamble whistle. It may or may not have a point value.

_ Must be used to stop the clock in a non-traditional gamble that does not have a numbered gamble after the gamble whistle, or the course allows gamble at any time. It may or may not have a point value.

_ If the last obstacle is a tunnel (open or closed) - the timer stops the clock when the dog’s nose exits the tunnel.

_ If the last obstacle is a bar jump, the timer stops the clock when the dog’s nose is over the bar, whether or not the bar is knocked down. This allows for the reaction time of the timekeeper in stopping the stopwatch.

See the Judge’s design guidelines on the CPE website for more Jackpot design details.


_ There will be only one whistle in Jackpot to signify the gamble time. A second whistle indicates the team has NQ’ed.

_ A judge may state in the briefing (if valid for the course), the option of leaving when you have accumulated enough points to Qualify in a non-traditional gamble.

_ A traditional gamble Jackpot MUST always be played until the gamble whistle has been blown.

_ The 4”, 8", 12" jump heights shall have 2 seconds more than the other jump heights for the Gamble.

Jackpot Opening Gamble

4” / 8" / 12" 30 - 40 Seconds 4” / 8" / 12" Up To 20 Seconds

16" / 20" / 24" 25 - 35 Seconds 16" / 20" / 24" Up To 18 Seconds

Gamble Variations:

A Judge may use a gamble variation in lieu of the traditional gamble. The Judge will be responsible for adequately explaining the variation to the exhibitors.

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