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Could someone describe the type of data collection a scribe does, how it is collected and if the scribe supplies the writing paper/forms/pencils? Also, does the scribe need to be knowledgeable about trial judging criteria and how is the data communicated to them? I am trying to get an idea if I might be useful as a volunteer, rather than being more trouble than I'm worth until I understand the process a bit better.

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Generally, you are given a scribe sheet. The judge will tell you what he/she wants to take off for each element. You write it down. Sometimes, he'll say "take 5 off the drive". Other times, he might say "take 1, take 2, take 1". You add up the points lost for each element, calculate the total points lost, subtract it from the start value, and that's your score.

 

You likely will be responsible for starting the timer, and letting the judge know when time is up. Time only matters if you go over. Field trials do not reward speed. :D So for example, if the team times out, say, at the shed, then they lose all their shedpoints (10), their pen points (10), and their single points (10). This is assuming the course ends with shed-pen-single.

 

Attached is a copy of a scribe sheet. This dog had nothing off his outrun, 1 off his lift, 6 off his fetch, 17 off his drive, 5 off his shed, and nothing off his pen. That totaled 29 points, so with a start value of 100, his score is 71. And yes, they let you use a calculator!

 

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Scribing is an amazing way to learn about sheepdog trialling, so don't be shy, jump in and have a go!

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Savvy trial hosts will ask a judge if they mind having a newbie scribe for them. That avoids problems from the get-go. When I'm judging I'm happy to have someone new beside me on the stand - it's fun to see the trialing experience through fresh eyes! I try to make a point of glancing over the scorecard after the run, just to make sure common errors are avoided, like writing down zero for a pen that did not get completed..... :rolleyes:

 

Enjoy your scribing, and thanks for volunteering!!

 

Amy

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Dear Potential Scribes,

 

Some years ago I invited a group of experienced obedience trainers to my sheepdog trial, selected judge who liked to teach and each of them got to see 8 or 10 runs through a judge's eyes.

 

Donald

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Some years ago I invited a group of experienced obedience trainers to my sheepdog trial, selected judge who liked to teach and each of them got to see 8 or 10 runs through a judge's eyes.

 

Interesting project.

 

I'd be interested in knowing if you had any particular reason for doing this (e.g. was there something you hoped they'd come away with, etc.?), and more especially, did you get any feedback from the trainers and, if so, what was their takeaway.

 

Tx.

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Dear Roxanne,

 

We dog people are insular and were half a dozen sheepdoggers to gather at - say - a schutzhund competition - we'd gossip about who won Meeker or Tommy's great run at the Bluegrass. I wanted highly skilled non-sheepdoggers to SEE a trial - which - to their credit, they did.

 

Donald

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Could someone describe the type of data collection a scribe does, how it is collected and if the scribe supplies the writing paper/forms/pencils? Also, does the scribe need to be knowledgeable about trial judging criteria and how is the data communicated to them? I am trying to get an idea if I might be useful as a volunteer, rather than being more trouble than I'm worth until I understand the process a bit better.

 

 

You don't need to be knowledgeable about judging. That's the judges job. However, depending on the judge, you may learn a lot about judging criteria.

 

The only way you'd be "more trouble than I'm worth" is if you insist on talking to the judge all through the run. Most judges do not mind you asking questions in between runs (some do so it's best to ask the judge or have the trial host or course director do it and tell you) but the judge needs to focus on the runs while they are happening.

 

If the timer doesn't beep on it's own, make sure you tell the judge when time is up quietly enough that the handler can't hear. Let the judge call time.

 

The trickiest thing is to know when to start the timer because sometimes the way some handlers set their dogs up looks like false starts (and sometimes it is a bit of gamesmanship). If you aren't sure, just ask the judge to tell you when to start the timer.

 

If you aren't comfortable with numbers, bring a calculator, or ask the Course Director to find one for you.

 

Some trials do shed then pen, some do pen then shed, some do shed, pen, single. If its your first time, for the first few runs, put something to the left of the score sheet to remind you which one to mark first.

 

Trials are always short of volunteers. Trial hosts are always super grateful to anyone who wants to help. Most judges are eager to help people new to the sport become knowledgeable and interested. Please do volunteer. You will enjoy yourself and you will learn a lot.

 

 

Pearse

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All very helpful advice and greatly appreciated; by me and likely by others who are thinking they might like to volunteer. Thank you Amy and Pearse.

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I volunteer anytime there is a chance. it a very good learning opportunity and the judge often explains why he/she decided to score in a certain way, so you will learn what is expected from the dog and about the rules of the competition in general.

and it is fun obviously!

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The only thing I have to add to the excellent advice above is: a calculator is invaluable so you don't have to think about adding/subtracting, in addition to timing, etc. The one trial that I scribed had a back-up person to double check the addition of each scribe sheet. I started with that job and did find a 10 point error. I guess what I am saying is that don't sweat the math calculations because there is someone (trial secretary at the very least) who will be double-checking the addition on each sheet.

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