The Role of Sanctioning Bodies
As far as I can tell sanctioning bodies serve two main purposes. They standardize rules and organize some sort of championship based on the achievement within their rules. These tasks are vital and are normally done quite well. Not every association or club is perfect but it is typically put together by well intentioned people who want the best for the sport. There are some bodies that try to broaden that horizon. Some try to celebrate and recognize individual achievement through titles or levels earned. Some try to influence breeding of dogs with their own title type system. Now I think people prickly if these bodies try to meddle much beyond their traditional paths but I believe there is areas for expansion. One of the main obstacles in the way of handlers being able to trial are financial restrictions. I personally find full time trialing difficult for this reason. Time off work, entry fees, travel arrangements, over night accommodations and so on become rather expensive. This becomes even more difficult to justify when considering the average trial isn’t known for their incredible payouts. Those who run full time dog businesses find it easier as it is typically a tax write off on account of the advertising that trials offer. A lot of these types of problems are alleviated with an increase to the payouts offered. That’s where I think associations are able to step in. I believe that this sport has a far broader appeal then simply the competing community. I’m not saying every trial should include massive fan fair and should require large seating but some certainly should. And trials should embrace regular live streaming coverage at their events. I know that this is already a current trend but this is normally at those big shows, national finals, Meeker, that sort of thing. Higher exposure at events has proven to attract more money through sponsorship or attendance sales. However, the average trial host is far more concerned with putting on a great trial for their competitors and rarely considers any wider marketing. Nor should they. If there was say a sanctioning body that could be contacted and could assist with those other details, imagine how the trial quality could be influenced positively. Whether it is a list of association partner sponsors who provide a certain amount of money on certain event deliverables. Or a marketing specialist who can help attract public attention and understands sponsorship in ways the trial host doesn’t. Maybe even both. What would the sanctioning body get out of it? Easy. Increased branding, increased membership and a cut of all sponsorship revenues. All these services could be totally optional to the trial host and the degree of service could also be dictated. As simple as donated products for prizes or as complicated as a full public spectacle with live commentary livestreams. The association members have something to gain as well. Especially those members who run a stock dog business. The average stock dog business is run by excellent trainers and normally not the best marketers. I actually plan on another blog about stock dog business people and how their association can help them and the aspiring member but that will be another day. Again, I am not writing a scathing review of our wonderful associations. I am simply putting forward an idea that I think would be interesting. I know it would be fairly difficult to execute and would take probably a few years to really find success. If you read this through our Facebook please comment your thoughts or even comment directly to the blog on the website. Is this feasible? Is it worth it? Am I being an obtuse child? Actually don’t answer the last one.