USDAA Snooker Game is Easy as 1, 2, 3

snookers red jumpUSDAA Snookers is a fun game once you understand the pattern. Without this information, watching can scare off beginners and confuse spectators. We got some help from Linda at Agilityteamair’s Blog. She does a beautiful job of describing the game in a way that makes sense to beginners and experienced runners alike. But first lets look at the “official” description of the game.

Snooker is a point based game where the handler is tested on their planning skills and execution skills of the dog. It is named after the popular British billiards game. USDAA’s game tests the teams ability to collect as many points as possible during an allotted time. The confusion comes with how the pattern must be run. The Snooker sequences involves red obstacles, normally a bar jump, alternating with non-colored obstacles taken as the handler sees fit. The non-red obstacles hold different point values assigned by the judge. There is an opening sequence of “Red,” “Non-red,” as described in the course map followed directly by the closing sequence in which the team takes the obstacles in order from #2-#7 all non-red obstacles increasing in point value. This all has to be done clean and in the allotted time. Score is determined to the first fault or the total for the run if it is clean.

Linda explains the Opening Sequence as Red Jumps being the bank and the Non-Red Obstacles being your purchases with the course being the store. You have to go to the bank in order to make a purchase. If your dog drops a bar on the Red Jump, you must go to the next Red Jump (bank withdraw) and perform it correctly in order to take a Non-Red Obstacle (purchase). The number on the Non-Red Obstacle is the amount of points received when performed correctly. Two Reds (unless a bar was dropped) or two Non-Red obstacles in a row is an off-course and game ends. To have a chance at qualifying your team must earn at least 10 points in the opening sequence.

The closing sequence is the easy part, you just perform obstacles in order starting with #2 through #7 earning those points until your dog faults or you finish. A clean closing sequence earns 27 points. A qualifying run needs a minimum of 37 total points.

We hope this helped you understand the game and that you will give it a try as it can be a lot of fun once you learn how to navigate the course to you and your dog’s best advantage. For a more in-depth description of the game check out USDAA’s PDF on Snookers.