Anyone can participate in a West Central Waterdogs event. The most important thing is that your dog MUST be able to swim before you can Try-It.
Leap is usually the first game for most dogs beginning this wonderful fun-filled sport of Dock Diving. For this game, the dog races down our 36ʼ dock and "Leaps" as far as possible into our 45ʼ pool after their toy, which is thrown into the pool for the dog by the dogʼs handler prior to the dog leaving the dock.
Scoring of each jump is determined by our trained WCW Judges, and are based on the measurement from the end of the dock to where the base of the dogʼs tail enters the water. Each dog competing gets two opportunities on the dock per round, and the bigger of the two jumps counts as their score from that particular round. The dog is then placed into one of the divisions, based upon the distance theyʼve jumped. Throughout a competition, several rounds of "Leap" are held each day leading up to the last day. Only the dogs with the top 5 scores in each division will go on to be invited to jump in the Leap finals.
Catch is actually quite similar to Leap, except in this game the dog MUST catch the toy or object thrown by their handler in midair prior to entering the pool! This is one of the most challenging games for both handler and dog and it is truly a team effort. This game differs from all others in the WCW in that success at this game requires skill, dexterity and strategy on the part of the handlers. For a dog to score in this game, not only must the dog manage a mid-air catch of the thrown toy or object, but it also must catch it BEFORE landing in the water for it to count! Each team is given 2 jumps and if both jumps are successful the scores from each jump are added together for a final score.
This game involves height and distance, and is probably the most widely recognized and exciting game in the entire sport of Dock Diving, but is also one of the most challenging for dogs to master. In Reach, a bumper is suspended above the water on a specially built rig. The game begins with the bumper suspended 2 feet above the dock and 7 feet off the dock while the dog is restrained by itʼs handler at the far end. When released, the dog then runs as fast as it can down the dock, launching off the end, while reaching for the bumper at the same time. Dogs must either knock or actually grab the bumper out of the holders on the rig for the jump to count as successful. With each completed Reach, the bumper is moved down the pool in 1 foot increments. The dog that manages to successfully "reach" or knock the bumper out of itʼs holders at the furthest distance...wins!
The Fetch game is a timed race which is very similar to the sighthound sport of "Lure Coursing". Fetch involves the dog starting from a specific measured spot on the dock. The judge calls a "Ready, Set, GO!", and the dog then jumps off the dock into the water and swims as fast as possible down the pool to the finish line. Fetch can be done either with the dog following a special toy being dragged on a line through the water in front of it by a trained WCW staff member OR by the dog being encouraged with calls & their toy by a second handler at the far end of the pool. All dogs must keep their front feet on the 6ʼ mark until the "Ready-Set-GO!" call from the judge signals the start of the game. (Handlers pulling their dog back or 'Slingshotting' their dog while on the 6ʼ mark is not allowed and will result in disqualification from the game).
Timing begins the moment the dog leaves the dock, and ends the moment the dog crosses the finish line. Once the dog has crossed the finish line, it is given its toy and returns to the handler waiting on the dock. Each dog will be given two turns on the dock, and the dog with the fastest time in their division is the winner.
Try-It is available for a small fee and is open to all dogs who want to try dock jumping during open dock time but are not yet competing. During this time dogs are not judged or scored. Their jumps also do not count toward Finals or Titles.