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Hoopers is a sport so named, because of an obstacle used: the hoops which is a semi-circle, supported by “feet”.  The dog must pass under this hoop. A Hoopers course consists of hoops, tunnels, barrels and gates. These obstacles arranged on a course are numbered so that the dog can run in an imposed order. Depending on the level, there can be between 15 and 25 obstacles on a Hoopers course.

This sport is similar to agility by recognition: the handler is invited for a defined time (for example, 5 minutes), to recognize the course on which the dog will evolve. The objective of the Hoopers is to be able to guide a dog on the course by gesture and/or voice, driving being done remotely. The handler does not run with his dog as in agility, but leads his dog from a specific place defined by the judge. This place is indicated by an area (for example, a driving square or BOX) delimited on the course. The driver must not stray from it otherwise he will incur penalties or be eliminated according to the defined rules.

The dimensions requested for a Hoopers field are 20 mx 30 m. This ground must be flat for the safety of the dog.

Equipment for a Hoopers course:

  • 14 hoops

  • 4 barrels

  • 2 gates

  • 2 tunnels

The hoops  : these obstacles are described in the attached rules.

barrels  : these obstacles are described in the attached rules.

The barrels are positioned to allow the dog to change direction on a course by going around them in one direction or the other. The number is placed on one side or the other to indicate in which direction it should be taken. If the number is placed in the middle (on the top of the barrel), the barrel can be taken in any direction.

The gates  : these obstacles are described in the attached rules.

The gate is placed in position to keep the dog "at a distance", and it is placed between the dog and the handler.  These obstacles are positioned on the course as guides, they help the dog to stay on its path, either between two hoops, or when exiting a tunnel, etc. Of them  gates  can be placed side by side to make a single wider obstacle, and in this case only one number is used. The dog must be visible to the handler so the gate must not be opaque. In some cases it can be used as a barrel for a change of direction.

The tunnels  : these obstacles are described in the attached rules.
They should preferably be placed in a straight line or in a very slight curve.

The numbers  : these are small panels or placards with numbers from 1 to 25, they are placed as close as possible to the obstacle to be taken. On the barrel, you have to put the number on the obstacle itself, or fix it with a sticker.

The driving area  (which can be either a square or a circle) (also called BOX) must be clearly visible to the driver, a strap fixed to the ground (3 mx 3 m. 4 mx 4 m or 5 mx 5 m depending on the level or the choice of the judge). Its location may vary on the ground according to the course but respecting the maximum distance between the obstacles according to the level.

The challenge lines  (the lines that cross the field) must correspond to colors that will determine scores.

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