Fellow ACFA North Central Members,
In my September 6 email to ACFA North Central members, I mentioned a few of the issues that will be on the ballot this fall and said that I’d have more comments after you had a chance to see them on the sample ballot. The proposal that affects the most sections of our rules is the proposal to allow split-format shows, but in reading the individual sections you see the trees. The purpose of this email is to help you see the forest.
First, let’s take the 20,00-foot view of the forest. Throughout our history, ACFA has been innovative in introducing new show formats to better serve our members’ needs. The split format show is another step along that path. It gives clubs another option for putting on a show – an option that could save the sponsoring club money in show hall rental and could save exhibitors money by reducing the number of nights they would have to stay in a motel.
Consider a club that would like to put on a six-ring one-day show. Now suppose that they can’t find or can’t afford a show hall big enough to set up six rings at the same time. With a split format show, they can rent a smaller hall and set up three rings. Three judges evaluate all the cats in the first session, and then the rings are re-set for the second session with three different judges. This has been tried successfully in the NorthWest region.
Now let’s move a little closer to the forest. The proposal also allows up to four rings per session, so it would be possible to have 8 rings in a single day in a show hall that is only big enough to set up four rings at a time. In comparison with a two-day show having four rings per day, exhibitors might be able to get eight rings without staying overnight (depending on how far away they live) between the two days of a show.
Finally, let’s navigate among some trees. I’m sure that some of you may be thinking, “Fluffy would never tolerate an 8-ring show; she’d take a bite of the judge in rings 7 and 8.” In discussions I’ve had with NC region members, this is the main concern I’ve heard, often followed by the observation, “Cats can count rings.” To look into that objection, I asked long-time ACFA members what happened when we started allowing 6 rings in one day. Their answers apply to the current proposal just as well as it did back when the 6-ring show was introduced. First, some cats learned to count to six. Second, other cats (after a first bad experience) were never again taken to six-ring shows. Fluffy might not go to a long show, but other cats with more patient dispositions might do just fine.
If you are thinking about voting against this proposal because of your concern for the cats and judges (and maybe your own fingers) at the end of a long day of showing, I urge you to consider two things:
- A “no” vote not only prohibits an 8-ring split format show, it also prohibits a 6-ring split format show,
and we already allow shows to have six rings per day.
- Even if your club has a large, inexpensive show hall, some clubs – particularly in other regions that are struggling – have the potential to stay out of debt by eliminating a day’s rental with a split format show.
North Central Regional Director