I found out about the new organization called Rat Games www.RatGames.com (not affiliated with Barn Hunt in any way, but still about finding rats in straw).

We played in their winter league and everyone had a blast!  Now I’m offering trials!

— Who: Anyone at any level can play
— What: A set order of games based on finding rats in straw.
— When: Upcoming Trials
— Where: Same place I offer training! (In my basement)
— Why: Because it is a lot of fun! And the ribbons are beautiful!
— How much: Trial entry fee is $15 per game. $2 per entry goes to Rat Games and the remainder of this fee will help pay for ribbons, hired help to move straw, new parking area, and building rentals next year.

— Almost all the games have a 2:00 time limit. Bet the farm is a 3:00 limit
— All the courses in the league are a maximum of 2 bales high
— NO CLIMB REQUIRED in any game! And two of the games don’t require a tunnel!

In official games trials/leagues, points are accumulated for titles in each game.
Novice = 50 points
Intermediate = 100 points
Advanced = 250
Championship = 500 points
Additional championships at each 500 points (x2, x3, etc.)

Games Explained:

Mad Hatter Game (2:00 time limit)

Similar to Barn Hunt’s Crazy 8, except that there are TEN rats on the course and 6 bedding. But you can call 3 wrong tubes before you NQ! It is a points game and whatever points you have at the end of the 2:00 you keep.

2 points per correct rat call
1 point for tunnel
Minus 3 points for not tunneling (tunnel has 2-5 turns)
Minus 3 points for each incorrect rat call (3rd is an NQ)
If you find all 10 rats and tunnel in under 2:00 you double your score!

Heads or Tails game (2:00 time limit)

The course is divided into two halves (with tape, cones, etc.), one side is marked heads and the other marked tails. There will be 2 rats and a bedding tube on each side. The Judge flips a coin to determine which side you start/stay on. If the coin is heads, you go to the heads side and the other half of the course is a distance challenge. If the coin is tails, you go to the tails side and have to work the other side as a distance challenge. Once you call “Rat!” you can cross the line to get the tube or restrain the dog, but then you have to go back to the side where you started.

8 points for each rat found on the distance side
4 points for each rat found on the starting side.
No points for tunnels (tunnel is optional)

Speed game (2:00 time limit)

Judge does a random draw (4 to 10) at the start of the game to determine the number of rats on the course for everyone (and announces how many rats there will be). There are a total of 14 tubes on the course when you start and any tube that isn’t a rat, is a bedding. You have 30 seconds to find your first rat. Once you call rat, the timer restarts to 30 seconds and you have 30 sec to find the next rat. This continues until you have found all the rats or don’t find one within 30 seconds. You get 3 points for each correct rat call. For an incorrect call, time keeps going but results in no points for the next rat found within the 30 sec.

Distance Game (2:00 time limit)

Course is set with a visible line across one entire end, 4’ from the fence. The handler has to remain in that space unless retrieving a rat tube. If you cross the line before you call rat, it is an NQ run but you can keep playing for fun. There are 3 rats to find and 3 bedding tubes for your dog to ignore. After you call rat, you can cross the line to restrain your dog for rat tube removal, you can pick up and hand the tube to the rat rustler, or you can choose to redirect your dog and let the tube stay. As soon as you are done with the tube/dog, you have to return to the start line area. Each rat find is an element and doing the tunnel is an element.

The first element completed is worth 3 points
The second element completed is worth 6 points
The third element completed is worth 12 points
Finding all three rats and doing the tunnel in 2:00 is worth 24 points.

Bet the farm game (3:00 time limit)

This game is sort of like a Barn Hunt Master’s run. There will be 14 total tubes on the course. 4 to 10 of the tubes will have a rat, the rest will have bedding only. The Judge will use a random draw to determine the number of rats and the handler won’t know the number when they enter the course. You will have 3:00 to find as many rats as you can and then call finished (or clear) before time runs out. The run ends when time runs out or the handler calls finished.

If you don’t call finish or clear before time runs out, it is an NQ
If you call 3 wrong tubes, it is an NQ
If you don’t find at least half of the rats, it is an NQ

So there is some strategy on the handlers part.  Do you have the dog find 4 rats and hope that’s all or half the rats and call clear quickly to get bonus time points?  Or do you take more time and try to be sure the dog has cleared the course?  But there could be up to 10 rats and you only have 3 min.  And you have to call ‘finished’ before time runs out to qualify.

1 point for every 10 seconds under 3:00 (fractions of 10 sec round up)
1 point for each rat found
20 point bonus for correctly calling clear
2 point deduction for each missed call (up to 4 points)
1 point deduction for each rat left on the course
First place is highest points, ties broken by fastest time

Tunnels game (2:00 time limit)

The course will consist of 2-8 tunnels of varying difficulty. Points are awarded based on the number of turns the tunnel has. And each entrance is considered a separate tunnel effort that is worth the points for that tunnel. Each tunnel can be marked with its point value. Each tunnel entrance used to complete the tunnel only counts for points once. There will be 2-3 rats on the course, but they have no points. No bedding tubes on the course. Handler may call finish and stop the time and keep their current score and time. Maximum points on the course will be 20-30. One of the tunnels must be straight. Scribe calls done when all tunnels are completed.

Straight tunnels are worth 1 point.
All others are worth 1 point, plus 1 point for each turn. So a 5 turn tunnel would be worth 6 points.