About the BAA
The BAA evolved from EMDAC (East Midlands Dog Agility Club) which was founded in 2002 by June Bass and Steve Retter (Pioneers of and paving the way for Non KC Agility Shows in the UK)
What can the BAA offer You & Your Dogs ?
For the Dogs:
- Lower Jump Heights
- Dogs under 14 inches may compete at a suitable height (Micro = 9 inches)
- Dogs 16 inches or under May compete at 13.75 inches (Mini)
- Dogs over 17 inches & 20 inches or under have a choice of 24, or 17.75 inches ( Maxi, or Medium) Jump heights
- Dogs over 20 inches Jump 24 inches Maxi Jump heights
- Safer (Minimum 15 foot) spacing between obstacles
- Fully netted rings with L shaped gateways at all BAA shows for all levels
- Competing against peers
- A good choice of Veteran classes for dogs over 7 years
- Veteran dogs may jump a suitable height
- Lower A frame & Dog Walk also NO Weaves in Veteran classes
- Any dog (Over 18 months age) may take part NFC (Not For Competition) in any Level at any Height
- All NFC dogs may have the use of a silent toy if required
For the Handlers:
- Membership to BAA is Free and automatic with the competitor's first entry.
- An overlap of heights giving the handler a complete choice of which height is most suitable for each dog
- Quality competition in a welcoming & friendly environment
- Practice rings available at most BAA shows
- A choice of different canine activities at some BAA shows
- Dog Leagues
- Handler Leagues
- Rewards & Awards for Wins
- Unique Team Competitions
- British Championships
- Grand Prix Finals
- Promotion based on Points
- Promotion based on Wins
- A full record of each dogs BAA history (from 1st April 2005)
For the BAA Show Organiser:
- Full support & assistance
- BAA show organisers may schedule any type of class they wish (full details in the BAA Show Organisers Manual)
- Schedules & Ring Planning assistance
- The only stipulation is that BAA shows are run in accordance with BAA Rules & Regulations
- According to existing BAA Organisers " It is so easy to run a BAA show !"
What does it cost ?
- 20p per run processing fees* (To cover cost of materials) including unique to BAA an "at show Results Programme" provided for all BAA shows plus full training on its use.
- Postage (if organiser requires cheque's & paperwork prior to the show)
- No hidden costs
- The BAA will ensure that Organisers do not incur a financial loss running a BAA show.
(* as at 1-OCT-2011)
A few BAA rules:
The BAA provides quality competition to test what you have learned in training.
- Training in the ring whilst under test is not permitted, if you do any kind of training in the ring (as described in the rules) then please have the courtesy to thank the Judge & leave the ring immediately.
- Food is not permitted in the ring either carried or in pockets etc
- Bum bags are not permitted in the ring
- Toys are not permitted in the ring Introductory/Pawsability/NFC excepted
- Training aides (training collars, clickers, training discs etc) are not permitted in or around the rings
- On entering a BAA show all competitors on signing the entry form, agree to help for one hour each day entered (competitors who do not wish to help are advised not to enter BAA shows.
- Novice & above handlers are not permitted to run other competitors dogs in Introductory classes unless running NFC
Some BAA History
In 2002 Steve Retter & June Bass with over 30 years of dog training experience between them, and after many years of competing & research on the Agility scene, together decided the time had come to provide an Agility service that many competitors were crying out for, basically people wanted a choice, whilst at the same time an environment to enable them to enjoy competing with their pet dogs, with this in mind East Midlands Dog Agility Club (EMDAC) was formed.
At first we were met with some opposition.
Excerpt from Our Dogs Magazine :
Agility club calls for independence from KC rules
THE KENNEL Club is under fire from a leading agility club for ‘interfering’ in its staging of events, contrary to legislation prohibiting ‘monopoly’ practices.
The East Midlands Dog Agility Club has been organising Agility shows independently of any other organisation throughout 2003. Spokesman Steve Retter said: "In its first year EMDAC will have organised a total of nine days of Agility competitions, as far as we are aware more than any other agility club in the UK. The shows we organise are aimed at a gap in the market that enables newcomers to the sport to enter in a smaller less formal atmosphere than is possible elsewhere. Our shows are designed to be small, friendly and intimate. Our members like them and in response to that demand we will continue to organise such events.
What we are doing is not new; others have and are doing similar things. What we have done differently is to openly advertise what we are doing. We are perfectly entitled to do this, as what we are doing is a legitimate lawful activity. What we want to do is to carry on organising our events as we see fit without interference by outside bodies who have no jurisdiction over us."
It is understood that the EMDAC feel that the Kennel Club’s press statements about agility events appear to have been designed to intimidate and discourage participation at the club’s events, which if true, would be a "grossly unfair trading practice by any standards." The EMDAC cites the Competition Act 1998, which can lead to organisations being fined up to 10% of their annual turnover possible for breaches of the Act. Perhaps buoyed up by the recent ruling against the Irish Kennel Club by the Irish Competitions Authority for their interference in GSA Ireland’s annual Sieger Show, EMDAC is prepared to stand its ground and use the law to defend its independence if necessary, although they also make it clear that they would prefer to seek an amicable solution with the KC.
Steve Retter continues: "Our events are growing each time and we wish to thank all those that have supported us, in return we will continue to promote our events. In the meantime we are trying to negotiate with the Kennel Club to reach an amicable solution so that all can participate in any event without fear of recrimination or sanctions being imposed. We see no reason why this is not achievable. There are already many precedents set where the Kennel Club waives any objection to participation in non-KC events. At present this happens at the whim and convenience of the Kennel Club. We would like to see a general acceptance by the KC that goes across the board of all canine disciplines that gives all the freedom to take part in events that they choose. Ultimately a bit of competition is good for us all as it drives up standards, those that don’t measure up deserve to fail.
But none should fail because of the bullying tactics of a monopoly. "A final recourse to law is an option for us. We are utterly convinced that we should be lawfully
entitled to promote events as we see fit according to the laws of the land without meddlesome interference from organisations that have no jurisdiction over us. The Kennel Club has already confirmed in writing to us that they have no jurisdiction over our events. Our intention was to quietly go about our business and do our thing for the benefit of our members. We have no desire to create a breakaway Agility organisation. We don’t want to grow too big. We want to open the market up so others can freely follow a similar path if they choose.
We would like to publish results and advertise judges names, actions that build confidence."
The Kennel Club declined to comment on EMDAc’s accusations, although they clearly sought to resolve the situation before it got out of control. A Kennel Club spokesman told OUR DOGS: "The Kennel Club Secretary has written to East Midlands Dog Agility Club to arrange a meeting at Clarges Street, as we are very keen to discuss this issue with them. An announcement will be made in due course, once the meeting has taken place.
"Statement From EMDAC September 2003
After correspondence and a meeting at Clarges Street between East Midlands DAC and Kennel Club officials, we make the following statement in response to the Kennel Club’s press release of Monday, 15 September 2003.East Midlands DAC, Promoters of the Grand Prix Agility Series, welcomes the Kennel Clubs announcement that gives all agility enthusiasts the freedom to participate in any agility event of their choosing, in any capacity whether it be owner, handler, judge, official or promoter without fear of sanctions against individuals or their dogs.
Our reason for raising matters of concern to us with the Kennel Club, were in relation to the Competition Act 1998. The Kennel Club has assured us that they will always take the appropriate actions to adhere to the law. We still have some concerns that confusion will exist. This latest statement from the Kennel Club contradicts several of their rules and regulations. We trust that they will adhere to the assurances given and remove all ambiguities and give appropriate guidance to their registered societies.
With this clarification in the status of independent agility shows, we look forward to planning our programme of events for 2004.
Statement From The Kennel Club September 2003
"Unlicensed Agility Shows:
The Kennel Club reiterates that it will not take action against any participants at unlicensed Agility Tests.
It should also be noted that Societies should not take action against individual members who enter these competitions. "
We continued to develop
East Midlands Dog Agility Club is the UK's First Independent Agility Association.
With the emphasis on The Well being of the Dog, Encouraging a Relaxed and Friendly Atmosphere, and the facility to introduce new competitors to the Sport we soon became victims of our own success, gaining 1000 members in the first year, and at one stage early in the second year finding ourselves running 5 rings. Our original aim was to run a 2 ring show once a month culminating in a Grand Prix Finals at the end of the season.
We spent many months deliberating over and developing our Rules & Format which have since formed the basis of most unlicensed shows that you see today.
Because we are Independent, this gives us the ability to be truly flexible, we are listening to our customers and improving continuously, also we are able to act immediately if changes are required.
Because of EMDAC's success & the fact that competitors from all parts of the country were traveling to Asfordby to take part, it was decided In 2006 to form the British Agility Association (BAA), to enable show organisers to put on shows in different parts of the country providing competitors with the same quality of competition without having to travel so far.