2015 NCA Finals


Entries and Substitutions

A handler may enter up to two qualified dogs per class in the NCA Finals. Any dog (or team for the Intermediate class) is qualified to be entered if they have earned any NCA points during the qualifying year. Among those dogs or teams entering, the top 50 dogs in the Open class, the top 25 dogs in the Nursery class, the top 25 dogs in the Open Horseback class, the top 25 teams in the Intermediate class and the top 15 teams in the Intermediate Horseback class will be eligible to compete. Those dogs or teams entering, but not eligible to compete, will be put on a waiting list to become eligible to compete if there are withdrawals. Waiting list dogs are ranked in descending order of points earned.

A handler may substitute a qualified dog for an entry at any time prior to the beginning of the Finals. Substitutions must be within class. However, if the substituted dog has not earned sufficient points to be eligible to compete in that class, it will be added to the waiting list.

For example, if a handler initially enters Open dogs ranked 3rd and 27th among the entries, but then wishes to substitute a dog that would be ranked 55th, the substituted dog will not be eligible to compete unless and until there are additional withdrawals.

Course/Handler Rules

Course is points and time.

Handler to send dog from and is free to move anywhere behind handler line.

Time begins when cattle leave trailer or setout panels or when handler sends dog.

The outrun will not be judged and points will not be awarded or deducted based on the outrun.

Must get one calf through each obstacle before proceeding to next obstacle.

If a handler has some cattle go through an obstacle, but not all, he/she can work on getting the ‘non-cleared’ cattle through the obstacle. However, if the ‘non-cleared’ cattle regroup with the other ‘cleared’ cattle, then ALL of the cattle must redo the obstacle or the handler can take the points earned to that point and go to the next obstacle.

Handlers may retry any obstacle before moving on, but once it is obvious to the head scorer that a retry is being attempted, previous points earned at that obstacle are forfeited. Handlers may retry obstacles as many times as they wish. After cattle have mixed, handler must either be retrying or moving to next obstacle.

Points are given for each tail end that clears the exit. Most obstacles will be 5 points per head (or tail in this case) but there will be some obstacles that points will be different for different ways in or out.

Runs will receive full time unless all cattle exhaust.

A stock stick may be carried.

The following are not allowed and will result in a loss of 15 points for each infraction that affects the outcome of the run. If it does not affect the outcome, a warning will be given from the scoring table as a courtesy. An infraction following a warning for that infraction will result in the loss of 15 points.

  1. Handler crossing the handler’s line
  2. Handler running on the course
  3. Handler entering obstacles
  4. Handler reaching into or sticking anything into obstacle.
  5. Handler touching the cattle other than in self defense

If cattle leave the course and the dog was not responsible, a rerun may be given at the discretion of the head scorer. If a rerun is not given the head scorer may allow points earned to be scored with full time allotted. If the dog is responsible for the cattle leaving the course, a full DQ with no score may be given at the discretion of the head scorer.

A handler may retire their dog for points earned and a maximum course time at any time during their run. Intention to retire with points should be indicated clearly to the head scorer.

During their run, handlers may question scorer as to completion of an obstacle. Scorers will not provide information unless asked.

If a dog appears out of control and is abusing the cattle, the head scorer may instruct the handler to retire. Dog will receive points earned to that point in the run and maximum time.

Instructions given at handlers’ meetings take precedence over these rules.

Grievances must be directed to the course director. Course director may consult with scoring committee. Decisions of the course director and scoring committee are final.


Top 40% of dogs in each class, based on sum of scores in 2 preliminary runs, will qualify for the Finals. In the event of tie scores, the dog/team with the fastest combined times will be taken.

Run order for the Finals will be from lowest to highest combined score.

Champions will be determined by sum of scores in highest scoring preliminary run plus the Final run (Cumulative scoring). Ties will be broken by:

1. Score in other preliminary run.

2. Placing in Final run

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