IT WAS 7 TO 10 - IT'S NOT TIME YET
NOW IT'S 7 TO 11 AND COULD STILL BE TOO EARLY
(This is an updated message from September 2009 with changes underlined)
Dear Member Clubs and Delegates,
The Dog Show Superintendents Association (DSSA) understands the reasoning behind the move to re-align the Variety Groups and understands both sides of the argument. We see its merits but, at the same time, believe there are problems to be understood and addressed before implementing this change.
We ask you to consider all of the factors before voting. Our concerns at this time include:
Need: Adding the "new" breeds should have little impact on most shows at the Group level. Few shows have most or all breeds represented at that level. For those occasions where the Group Ring available is too small for the number of breeds the Judge can divide the dogs as they do now with a large class in a breed.
Time: Four more Groups will extend the length of shows. While the time to move from one group to another will be 5 to 10 minutes per group we would also add another 10 minutes for the additional 4 dogs in Best, which brings us close to an hour added to a show. Add to that hour the judges who take longer to judge a group of any size and the day could become very long. We already have complaints from all involved (clubs, judges, AKC staff, AKC field staff, superintendents and exhibitors) that shows are lasting too long. AKC itself has already asked superintendents to "push" the start time of the groups in the interest of time. And, remember, the majority of the FCI shows (which have 10 groups) are multiple day events.
TV: We are seeing fewer televised shows. Increasing the number of Groups and length of time to judge them could have even greater negative impact on production issues.
If conditions with the economy, registrations, and entries improve, the time will come when this should be reviewed and implemented, however that time is not now.