New terms will be added to this list as they are used on the blog. If we miss something, please let us know at !
ASFA: Acronym for the American Sighthound Field Association, a sanctioning organization for lure coursing in the United States.
BIF: Best in Field (Lure Coursing). All Best of Breed winners are eligible to compete in BIF competition, except for provisional breeds, Singles stakes, and Limited stakes. No additional points or Bowens are awarded for winning BIF, but the hound that wins BIF will be credited with a first placement in a stake.
BOS: Best of Opposite Sex, the best of the sex opposite to the BOB.
Bowen Points: The Bowen point system is used by ASFA in order to calculate the annual Top 20 list as well as lifetime rankings for each breed in ASFA competition. How to calculate Bowen points. Current ASFA Top 20 list.
Breed-Specific Disqualifications (ASFA): Under the ASFA rules, hounds who meet certain criteria specific to their breed will not be allowed to compete in regular stakes. For example, Whippets with blue eyes are barred from regular competition. These hounds can still compete in the Singles stake, but they will not they be awarded points towards FCh or LCM titles, nor will they be eligible to compete for Best in Field. There are no breed disqualifications specific to Silken Windhounds.
Bumping (Racing): Legal contact between racers. Distinguishing bumping from fouls.
Championship Points (Racing): Awarded to the top hounds in each meet, except that points will “drop” or “roll” down past hounds who have already earned that racing organization’s championship. E.g., in LGRA straight racing the top non-GRC hounds will earn championship points towards their GRCs. Similarly, in ISWS Oval Racing, the top non-OTRC Silkens will earn championship points towards their OTRCs. National points are awarded to the top placing hounds, regardless of championship status.
CIC (ISWS lure coursing title): Coursing Instinct Certified. The hound must be at least 12 months old and receive one qualification from a judge and a second qualification from a different judge on the same or separate dates stating that the hound completed a 600 yard course with a minimum of 4 turns running alone. The hound must complete the course with enthusiasm and without interruption. Hounds that trot part of the required course will NOT qualify.
Closed or Continuous Loop: Refers to the mechanism by which the lure is propelled around the course or track, cf. drag lure. On a closed or continuous loop, the lure is attached to a loop of string that is wound around pulleys in order to direct its movement. The lure machine feeds the loop around the pulleys, moving the lure around the course or track.
Dismissals and Disqualifications (ASFA): Governed by Chapter VIII of the ASFA Rulebook. Hounds shall be dismissed from the field by a judge, for the day, for interfering (aggressively or playfully) with the course of another hound. (Growling and/or barking, in and of itself, does not constitute grounds for dismissal.) Hounds shall be disqualified by the judge, or by agreement of both judges where two are used, for the following reason: fighting – the aggressor in fighting in the field. A hound’s privilege to compete will be withdrawn upon either one (1) disqualification or two (2) dismissals within six (6) lure field trials.
Drag Lure: Refers to the mechanism by which the lure is dragged down or around a course or track. Cf. closed loop. The drag lure is attached to end of a length of string (or “line”), which is swiftly reeled onto a “take up wheel” by a lure machine. By winding the line around pulleys, the lure can be directed around a course or track.
Dual Champion (or “DC”): A Dual Champion has “titles at both ends,” meaning that it has at least one conformation championship (conformation championships are prefix titles that precede the dog’s name) and at least one performance championship (performance championships are suffix titles that follow the dog’s name).
EC (ISWS lure coursing participation title title): Expert Courser. ISWS recognition of those hounds who are qualified to course and who, after earning the Intermediate Courser title, have completed 50 courses of at least 600 yards with a minimum of 4 turns on at least 25 different dates with enthusiasm and without interruption and did not course or interfere with the other hounds it was running with. This must be certified by at least 8 different judges.
ECSW: East Coast Silken Windhounds, a regional club for Silken owners and fanciers on the East Coast and host of the East Coast Specialty.
FDCH: Flyball Dog Champion. Flyball Championship Requirements.
FDCH-S: Flyball Dog Champion Silver. Flyball Championship Requirements.
Flight (Lure Coursing/ASFA): When more than 20 hounds of the same breed competing in a stake, the stake may be split into multiple flights of at least 10 hounds. Points and placements are allocated within each flight as in a regular stake.
Fouls (Racing): Fouls are intentional body contact or other illegal interference. Fouling racers will be disqualified from competing for the rest of the meet. If the hound is disqualified again within the same calendar year, he or she will be barred from competing for the rest of the calendar year. A hound who is disqualified for intentional fouling three times will be permanently barred from official race meets. Distinguishing bumping from fouls.
FTE (Racing): First-time entered. An FTE has no prior race experience to determine his or her WAVE. He or she will normally be placed at the bottom of the rankings and will run in the lowest race (cf. high point race). A hound should train in solo schooling or practice races until he or she focuses only on the lure. The Race Secretary will want to know that the FTE can run cleanly with other hounds and may require a pre-qualifying run with another qualified dog of like speed before the FTE is permitted to enter a meet.
Grading Guide: Used in racing, reports hounds’ WAVE scores, points earned towards championships, previous disqualifications (if any), and more. Grading Guides: LGRA Straight Racing, NOTRA Oval Racing, ISWS Oval Racing.
Hand-Slipped: Releasing the hound by hand. In racing, the hound who is being hand-slipped is released upon movement of the lure, whereas a hound who is boxed is released from the racing box by the box operator. In lure coursing, hounds are always hand-slipped, and they are released on the “T” in “Tally-HO!”
High Point Race (a.k.a. the “High Point” or “HP”): There is one high point race per breed in each straight or oval racing program. It is always the last race for that breed in the program. The other races are known as low point races. The Race Secretary determines which hounds will run in the High Point in the first program by reference to the hounds’ WAVE scores — in the first program those with the highest WAVE scores will run together in the high point. In subsequent programs, the race meet points earned by the hounds will determine whether they move into higher or lower races.
HS: An abbreviation for hand-slipping. For example, the notation HS-IW indicates that Irish Wolfhounds will the hand-slipped at that meet.
IC (ISWS lure coursing participation title): Intermediate Courser. The ISWS shall recognize those hounds who, after demonstrating they are qualified to course, complete 8 courses of at least 500 yards with a minimum of 4 turns on at least 4 different dates with competition. The hound must complete each course with enthusiasm and without interuption and must not course or interfere with the other hound(s) it is running with. This must be certified by at least 3 different judges.
Inspection Committee: The committee who, prior to the race meet or lure coursing trial, inspects hounds to ensure that they are fit to compete. In ASFA lure coursing, the Inspection Committee is composed of three people who must also check for breed-specific disqualifications. In ISWS oval and straight racing, the Inspection Committee consists of two knowledgeable individuals who must also check the adequacy of the racers’ muzzles.
ISWS: The International Silken Windhound Society, host of the yearly National Specialty, SilkenFest. The ISWS maintains a calendar for racing, coursing, and conformation events open to Silkens nationwide.
ISWS FCh: ISWS Field Champion (lure coursing title). A permanent title of ISWS Field Champion (ISWS FCh) shall be awarded as a suffix to the registered name of any Silken which has fulfilled the following championship requirements:
(a) Attained a number of championship points, as fixed by the ASFA. That number of points is 100.
(b) Contained in this 100 points there must be two first placements or one first placement and two second placements.
All such placements shall be with competition which shall mean defeating at least one placing hound. In other words, a hound may have more than the 100 points but not be awarded the Field Champion title until the placements have been attained.
Points and placements for this title are accumulated in the same way as ASFA tallies points and placements for the title of Field Champion. ASFA title requirements.
ISWS LCM: ISWS Lure Courser of Merit (lure coursing title). The ISWS shall recognize and make appropriate awards to those hounds who have attained the ISWS Field Championship, and who, after receiving the championship, continue to compete and receive four first placements with competition and 300 more points. Hounds who shall have attained said number of placements and points shall be known as ISWS Lure Courser of Merit (ISWS LCM).
When a hound completes the ISWS LCM title it may continue to compete for additional titles. After receiving an additional four (4) first placements with competition and an additional 300 points, the title of ISWS LCM II shall be awarded. This process will be indefinitely repeatable for ISWS LCM III, IV, and so on.
Jack-a-Lure: An artificial lure typically made of faux fur and a squawker. Sometimes used to refer to the entire lure machine.
NBQ (Lure Coursing/ASFA): Next-Best Qualifying score. An ASFA placement awarded to the hound with the fifth-highest qualifying score in a stake (or flight) if the stake was split), earns no championship points, but is eligible to earn Bowen points.
NOTRA: The National Oval Track Racing Association, a national oval-racing program.
NRC Points (ISWS): National Straight Racing Championship points. A hound may accrue NRC Points towards SRCX, SRCX II, III, etc. in increments of 30 points.
OTRCX (ISWS): ISWS Oval Track Racing Championship Excellent, requires 30 National Oval Racing Championship points. A hound may continue to accrue National points and earn an OTRCX II, III, etc. in 30 point increments.
Oval Racing: Oval Racing is a sighthound performance event in which hounds race around an oval track. Track length is normally between 270 to 350 yards, but other lengths are approved. The premium list will specify the length of the track for a meet.
Points (Lure Coursing/ASFA): Points towards ASFA and ISWS lure coursing championships are awarded to hounds who achieve qualifying scores as follows:
First Place: Four times the number of hounds competing in the stake (or flight if the stake is split), with a maximum of 40 points.
Second Place: Three times the number of hounds competing in the stake (or flight if the stake is split), with a maximum of 30 points.
Third Place: Two times the number of hounds competing in the stake (or flight if the stake is split), with a maximum of 20 points.
Fourth Place: Points equal to the number of hounds competing in the stake (or flight if the stake is split), with a maximum of 10 points.
Pre-Slip (Lure Coursing/ASFA): When a hound is released (“slipped”) before the sound of the “T” in Tally-Ho. When a pre-slip occurs, each judge shall levy a penalty of between one and ten points for that course.
Premium List (a.k.a. “Premium” or “PL”): This is the document (usually available online) that contains all the information you need to know regarding the race meet or lure coursing trial, including the name of the club hosting the event, the cost of entries, who to send entries to, whether practices will be held, where to stay and eat, and much more.
Program: Each oval and straight racing meet has three “programs.” Each program is composed of multiple races. The number of races in each program is determined by the number of entries (hounds entered). Each hound will run only once per program, in a race composed of other hounds of the same breed, and, ideally, skill level (see Race Meet Points and WAVE scores.
Pulley: The line used in lure sports is threaded around the center of these small wheels. Straight racing requires only a few, oval racing and lure coursing require more. The red Injoy pulleys are very popular.
Race Meet Points: Race meet points are awarded based on the hound’s performance during races at that particular meet. Race meet points affect which race the hound will run in in subsequent programs (see high point race), determine the hound’s ultimate meet placement, and are used in computing his or her WAVE score. Race Meet Points Chart.
Race Secretary: The Race Secretary is charged with overseeing all aspects of a race meet, from taking entries to determining the final placements. For more information, see LGRA’s Race Secretary Handbook.
Racing Box: Racing boxes are the preferred method of releasing hounds in straight and oval racing events, as opposed to hand-slipping. Refer to the premium to determine whether the meet will be boxed or hand-slipped (often abbreviated “HS”).
Roll Call, Check-In, and Inspection (Lure Coursing): Required at the beginning of every lure coursing trial, the Field Trial Secretary ensures all entries are complete, while the Inspection Committee checks hounds for lameness, breed-specific disqualifications, and ensures that female entries are not in heat (bitches in heat may not compete). Hounds that do not pass inspection are not permitted to enter that trial and their entry fees are refunded.
Roll Call, Check-In, and Inspection (Racing): Required at the beginning of every racing meet, the Race Secretary ensures all entries are complete, while the Inspection Committee checks hounds for lameness or sickness and ensures that female entries are not in heat (bitches in heat may not compete). When all hounds have all been inspected, those that have passed inspection will make up the entry for that meet. Hounds that do not pass inspection are not permitted to enter that meet and their entry fees are refunded.
Singles stake (ASFA): ASFA stake where hounds run the course alone. Hounds competing in Singles are not eligible to compete for Best in Field, and they are not eligible for points towards either ASFA or ISWS FCh and LCM titles. ASFA, however, has a separate titling program for Singles coursers, points for which are credited in a similar fashion to the FCH and LCM programs.
Slip Lead: A special piece of equipment that allows a hound to be walked to the starting line and hand-slipped in such a way that the lead “slips” off of the hound as it takes off from the starting line. Slip leads are not commonly used in racing, even in unboxed meets, because it is usually easier to catch a hound who is wearing a collar. However, in lure coursing, a slip lead must be used because hounds are not allowed to course while wearing a collar.
Slipped: See Hand-Slipped.
Squawker: This is a noise-making device used in straight racing lures to entice hounds to the chase. Often used to refer to the entire jack-a-lure, not just the noise-making element. It is not typically used in oval racing or lure coursing because a closed-loop system cannot accommodate such a bulky lure. Even where oval racing is run on a drag lure, squawkers are used only infrequently.
SRCX (ISWS): ISWS Straight Racing Championship Excellent, requires 30 National Straight Racing Championship (NRC) points. A hound may accrue NRC points towards SRCX II, III, etc. in increments of 30 points.
SSOR (ISWS): Silken Senior Oval Racer. Awarded after a Silken finishes six full meets with competition and places in the top half of the entry, counting only those who completed the meet without a DQ, scratch, OC, or DNF. No longer awarded as of January 1, 2013.
SWC: The Silken Windhounds of California, a regional club for Silken owners and fanciers in California and host of the yearly regional specialty Boofest. The SWC maintains a calendar for California racing, coursing, and conformation events open to Silkens.
Tally-Ho: In lure coursing, the hounds are not to be released until the Huntmaster calls out the Tally-Ho signal. An early release is called a pre-slip and results in a penalty against the hound’s score for that course.
Trial: Refers to a lure coursing trial. To be distinguished from a meet.
WAVE: A “weighted average” score used in oval and straight racing, calculated based on the hound’s previous race performance. WAVE scores are reported in the Grading Guide. The Race Secretary uses the hounds’ WAVE scores to determine the initial draw for race position at a meet (see high point race). How to compute a WAVE score.
Any views and opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the individual authors of this blog and do not reflect the official views of the ISWS, UKC, ASFA, LGRA, NOTRA, NOFCA, NWSWS, ECSW, SWC, or any other official breed or performance organization. While reasonable best efforts have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, this is not an official guide. Please visit the linked sites for official rules and information.