From:                              Patricia Bynre []

Sent:                               Thursday, 16 June 2011 10:04 PM

To:                                   Richard Mellon

Subject:                          FW: AFA Notification Number 29 ? On Trial Rule ? Sandbagging ? Issued June 2011.




AFA Notification Number 29 – On Trial Rule – Sandbagging – Issued June 2011.


( Following On Trial Rule changes are effective from 1st August 2011)




The AFA is aware of the potential for teams to use sandbagging in order to avoid breaking out of a competition and to gain an advantage, and is determined to prevent it.

Current rules on sandbagging, while well intentioned, are difficult to enforce in practice due to the lack of measurable, objective evidence, such as is available for breakouts or bad starts or crosses. The penalty for sandbagging is quite severe, and Judges are understandably reluctant to impose it given the difficulty of lack of objective evidence.

The AFA Committee has considered a number of penalty regimes that allowed Judges to demonstrate to a team suspected of sandbagging of the Committee’s determination to prevent it, without having to exclude the team from the competition at the first transgression.

However, it was also seen as important not to go too far the other way and give a team too many chances, which would allow them to gain an advantage.


Rule on Trial:


The AFA Committee has resolved that the following be adopted effective from 1st August 2011 as a Rule on Trial, as a new Section 9.5 of the Rules and Policies, with the following changes to the September 2010 Rules edition:




Section 9.5 – Sandbagging


a.       If a Judge suspects a team of sandbagging (eg they have had a breakout and their starts or crosses suddenly become very sloppy), the Judge shall discuss his/her concerns with the team captain.

b.      The Judge shall request the attendance of two other officials (such as other Judges and/or the AFA Representative) as Observers for the team’s performance at all later heats.

c.       If the Judge and the Observers all agree that sandbagging has taken place in a later heat, the Judge shall award the entire current race to the non-offending team. This shall be done by reversing the result of any heats in the current race that were won by the offending team and awarding them to the non-offending team. Remaining heats in the race shall be run as per the racing schedule. The offending team shall run in these additional heats under the conditions of Rule 7 (f). This sanction does not extend past the current race.

d.      If the Judge and the Observers all agree that sandbagging has taken place a further time (which could be a later heat in the same race as c. above), the team shall be excused from the competition by the Judge in the ring and the AFA Representative, and may not place in the competition.


·         This is not a Black Card on the handler(s) or dog(s) in the team, which means that the handlers may continue to run dogs in other teams in this competition, and the dogs do not have to appear before the Incidents Subcommittee before entering any future competitions.

·         For the current competition, the results of all races prior to the team being excused shall stand, and all remaining races involving this team shall be run by the opposing team without opponent until the race is decided.

·         All officials involved in the decision to excuse the team shall sign the Incident Report, which shall be forwarded to the AFA in the usual way.



 The following text from 9.2 (r) Black Card (i) on Page 29 of the September 2010 edition:

 (This includes sandbagging)



The following text into 7 (f) Forfeit for Infringement of the Rules of Competition:

(viii)     Sandbagging. Note: this applies to the entire race (refer 9.5).




Date: 8 June 2011.