General Rules

What You Need to Know

Experienced or first timer, its important to know the general rules and guidelines put in place to help ensure a great experience for everyone involved.  We appreciate you taking to read through these guidelines.  if you have any questions or ideas, please share!

– The mission of UpDog is to increase the number of dog owners participating in disc and dog sports.

– Our vision is to develop an organization that combines the elements of dog sports and human disc sports with earned accomplishments.  UpDog will award teams for their participation over time regardless of their finishing position in the games.

– Everyone should have an opportunity to be acknowledged for their continuing participation, singular achievements, and comprehensive accomplishments.  Dogs and players are to be treated with respect.

UpDog is a disc and dog sport organization.

At UpDog, canine safety is of utmost importance. Competitors are encouraged to keep their canine partner’s safety at the forefront of training and competition throughout the dog’s life.

UpDog is not tolerant of any abuse towards animals or humans at our events.  Individuals may be asked to not participate if the head judge or host club determines the behavior to be unacceptable.

An UpDog event should have an atmosphere that is fun, safe, and enjoyable. It should be crowd/family friendly and the host club, judges and competitors should be welcoming to all.

Everyone deserves an equal opportunity at success at an UpDog event.

General rules applicable to all UpDog competitions:

  • Competing teams should be given every opportunity to succeed within the realms of the UpDog and host club rules. 
  • When no UpDog, city, state, province or federal rules pertain, the host club rules shall prevail.
  • Except when competing or practicing, dogs should be kept on leash at all times and should not be a distraction to the dogs that are competing.
  • Practice is allowed during a competition provided it is not a distraction to the team competing.  The competitor and/or the judge may determine if a team practicing is a distraction.  It is recommended that any practice is done outside of the competition field line of sight.

Player Conduct:

  • Players must read and sign the Liability Waiver and Publicity Release prior to competing.  
  • Players are expected to treat all competitors, dogs, judges and staff with kindness and respect.  
  • Players are to present themselves in a positive light and assist to the best of their ability in creating a positive fun atmosphere at UpDog events.
  • Players are responsible for their own safety and that of their dog at all times.

Canine Age limits:

  • Freestyle: dogs must be at least 16 months old to participate (for rescue dogs please use your vet’s assessment of your dog’s age). 
  • Frizgility, FunKey, 7 Up and any future agility-based games:  dogs must be at least 12 months old.
  • All Other Games:  No age restrictions; however, competitors are expected to keep their dog’s health and safety at the forefront of their game play. 

Note:  Host clubs may allow dogs under the age limits listed above to play for exhibition only (FEO).  Those scores should not be sent to UpDog with the final results.  Allowance of FEO entries and determination of FEO entry fees are at the discretion of the Host Club.

Run Limits:

Dogs are limited to running 10 rounds or less per day regardless of the handler.  Points submitted for runs over the amount of 10 runs will not upload to the UpDog system.  It is up to the handler(s) to ensure they enter the proper amount of runs per day and are aware that if entering over 10 runs some will not count.  

Bitches in heat are allowed to play provided they wear panties.  Host clubs may override this rule if there is a valid reason (host clubs should contact UpDog to discuss) but will need to publish that rule change at the time the event is listed on the UpDog website.  

Judges and Host Clubs:

Judges and host clubs are expected to treat all competitors equally and with respect.  They are to present themselves and UpDog in a positive light.

In UpDog, the judge is the player’s ally and is encouraged to help the team during the competition especially in Level 1 games.

Judge expectations:

  • Judges should be focused on their job
  • Judges are responsible for knowing all UpDog game rules
  • To the best of their abilities, judges are to ensure scoring is accurate and UpDog rules are being followed 
  • The head judge should ensure that all field judges are aware of the game rules and know how to assist in judging the game
  • The head judge has the final say on all scores, rules and disqualifications

The Host Club has the right to ask any person whether entered or not to leave the premises for any reason. Possible reasons for disqualification from an UpDog event include but are not limited to:

  • Animal abuse or endangerment
  • Overly aggressive canine behavior
  • Aggressive and/or disruptive human behavior towards other competitors, judges or staff
  • Unethical behavior or conduct such as bribery, cheating or intentionally negatively impacting a fellow competitor’s game

It is at the Host Club’s sole discretion to bar competitors from participating in or attending their events.  This action should be limited to competitors that have behaved in a manner contrary to UpDog guidelines.

Host clubs must be in compliance with the UDC Requirements and Rules for Hosting Events document found on the UpDog Club Resource Google Drive.  

It is at UpDog’s sole discretion to determine if a Host Club will be sanctioned to host UpDog events.  Host Clubs that have conducted themselves in a manner contrary to UpDog guidelines may be barred from hosting future events.  

Entry Fees, Divisions and Levels:

Entry fees and refunds are determined by the host club.  

Host clubs may opt to offer as many divisions as they choose.  Examples would be divisions by height (mini, midi and maxi), competitor age, experience level, etc.  

We encourage host clubs to reward participants in a way that best works for their event.  

Clubs may decide whether to allow teams to enter multiple levels however if they do allow teams to enter multiple levels of the same game the team may only place in the highest level entered if placements are being offered.  

Clubs may not require a team to move up from Level 1.

Requiring a minimum number of teams entered in a level/game to be eligible for placements is allowed.  

It is at the host club’s discretion whether prizes are offered for placements however if they will not be offered the club should publish that information in advance, so competitors are aware.  

When offering 2 or more rounds of the same game clubs should publicize how awards will be handled if awarding cumulatively vs. individual rounds.  

Discs:

At UpDog the discs below are allowed to be used at competitions:

  • All Hero Dog Disc models
  • All Hyperflite Disc models
  • All Wham-O Fastback models
  • Latitude64 line of dog discs
  • Pup-sized discs are allowed for any sized dog.
  • Soft or floppy discs that are round in shape, solid in construction (no holes, etc.) and safe for the dog.  (Example: A Floppy Flyer would be allowed; however, a Hurl A Squirrel or ChuckIt Flying Squirrel would not be allowed.) Please contact UpDog or the event head judge prior to competing if you are unsure if your disc is allowed.

Disc Penalties:  

Each game has a maximum number of discs that can be used, and that number varies by game.  Both the competitor and judge should be aware of the number of discs the competitor uses in a game.  If the competitor plays with too many discs for the game entered, the judge will do the following:  

    • UpDog event with no qualifying criteria – the judge will stop the round, the competitor will discard the extra disc(s), time will reset and then the team will immediately re-start their round from the beginning (or forfeit the round if they so choose).  No score from the first faulted round will be given. Only the score from the 2nd round will count. This is allowed once per day. If it happens a 2nd time, that round will be over, and no score will be given.  
  • UpDog event with qualifying criteria (Ex: UPDIF or a National event) – the judge will stop the round, there will be no score given.

All calls by the judge regarding disc penalties must be made prior to the T in time.

Additional Rules:

  • Treats/cookies are not allowed on the field and may not be used as a lure or reward on the competition field.
  • Use of a non-audible tug toy (ex: no squeakers) is allowed in level 1 to encourage a dog to return the disc. Tugging on the disc itself is allowed at any level.
  • Prong, choke, electronic and other such training collars are not allowed on the competition field during the event. (Martingale collars, slip leads and head halters are allowed.)
  • For all games other than those with obstacles there are no additional restrictions on what collars, harnesses, vests, bandannas, etc. can be worn as long as the dog’s movement is not restricted, and no safety hazard is posed. 
  • Games with obstacles (Example: Frizgility):  Only flat buckle collars with no dangling tags may be worn.  This is to prevent injury.  Dogs may run “naked” (no collar).  If you are in doubt about your dog’s attire, please see the head judge for a ruling prior to the competition start time.
  • Canine eyewear such as Rex Specs are allowed in non-crossover games (disc only games) at any time, no veterinarian note is required.  For crossover games (agility/disc combo games – Example: Frizgility) a signed letter by a veterinarian stating the dog has a medical condition that necessitates the use of canine eyewear during disc play is required.  The letter should be available for the head judge to review at any time.
  • Use of a long line is allowed in level 1 for games other than the agility crossover games and freestyle.  However, if the head judge deems that use of the long line is dangerous for either member of the team their round should be stopped.
  • Nature breaks: Competitors are expected to walk their dogs prior to taking the field to ensure that the likelihood of an on-field nature break is diminished.  If a dog eliminates on the field, time will not stop and no penalty points will be assessed.  The player should clean up after their dog as soon as the round is complete.  Host clubs should provide water/solution to spray on the soiled area immediately after clean up.  If a dog soils the field numerous times within a competition the host club has the right to ask the handler to refrain from playing the dog the rest of the day.
  • Video review: Calls made by the head judge are final and are not subject to video review.
  • Defining a Catch:  A catch of a roller or an in the air throw is made when the dog gains secure control of the disc in its mouth and, if in the air, maintains secure control until point of contact with the Earth.  Secure control will be determined by the judges on the field to the best of their ability. As with all UpDog judges’ decisions, when there is not clear enough evidence to make a call one way or the other, the decision should favor the team.
  • Rollers are allowed in all level 1 and 2 games.  A roller is “live” and can be caught by the dog while the disc displays forward momentum in any direction.  The disc is considered “dead” if movement in a direction has ceased and the disc begins to teeter on its edge (like a spinning coin).  Judges will make the determination as to when a roller is “live” or “dead”. A roller too close to be called will be ruled in favor of the dog.  Judges decisions are final.