Unfortunately, one is not allowed to jump wildly around a course and hope for a prize. Certain rules have to be followed. In all sports, there are two major factors- faults and time. At the end, the dog with the least faults and fastest time is the winner. Faults are ALWAYS the most important factor. For instance, if one dog has 5 faults and did the course in 25 seconds, and another did it in 30 seconds but had no faults....he would win.
COURSE FAULTS: On the course it is possible to get three types of faults-standard, refusal, and time(more on those later). A standard fault includes knocking over the pole on the jump, missing a contact, the owner touching the dog, or missing a pole. A refusal is if the dog runs past the official refusal line of an obstacle. If you earn three refusals, you are disqualified. (DQ). Standard and Refusal both get you 5 faults.
TIME FAULTS: Before the competitors start jumping, the judge will measure the course and set a speed at which it must be run. He/She then divides the length of course by the time, and tells the handlers the time they have. EG: The course is 180 meters, speed is 3 m/second, you have 60 seconds to run the course. Every second past the allotted time earns you 1 time fault, which are added to your course faults.
DISQUALIFICATION:It is also possible to completely eliminate yourself due to a serious area. DQ can be earned bytaking an obstacle in the wrong sequence, taking it the wrong way, if your dog leaves the ring, or by three refusals. There are other ways of earning DQ, usually found out too late. The ones I have listed are most common.
AGILITY RULES- NON-CONTACT
These are exactly the same as contact, with the obvious exception of missing the contact points, since there are none. The speed is slightly increased however.
DOG JUMPING RULES
In Dog Jumping, some of the rules are slightly different. A refusal will earn you 10 faults, not 5. Touching your dog is also worth 10 here. Time works the same.