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AKC Point Schedule Divisions Due to Change in May 2012

For as long as most of us have been showing dogs, the AKC “Schedule of Points” used to calculate how many championship points are available was based on a three-year average of entries at dog shows within a particular group of states, each group being labeled a “division.” As an example, the championship point schedule for Division 2 (comprised of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) in 2009 was based on a formula that calculated the entry in each breed at shows in those three states in 2006, 2007 and 2008, then created the new point schedule using those calculations.

National Specialties and parent club-designated specialties are excluded from the computations, as these events often rotate annually to different locations around the country and could artificially impact a particular division. Likewise, the all-breed shows held prior to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship are not included in the calculation. The point schedule is formulated with the intention that a certain number of one-point, two-point and major wins will be available in each breed, based on past entry figures.

However, when the U.S. economy hit hard times in 2008, entries at dog shows soon began to decline. Perhaps predictably, it became more and more difficult for exhibitors in many breeds to find points, particularly majors, because the point schedules were based on entry figures that were simply no longer realistic.

It came to the attention of the staff at the American Kennel Club that the championship point schedule based on a three-year cycle no longer accurately reflected the entries at shows, and in 2010 the board of directors agreed that a new point schedule should be created each year, based solely on figures from the previous year. The schedule still runs from May to May.

Although the U.S. economy appears now to be leveling out, the downturn undeniably changed the habits of dog show exhibitors and handlers. Once again, the AKC has been forced to consider changes in the formulation of the championship point schedule. Indeed, at the November 2011 meeting of the AKC Board, directors were asked to consider a proposal made by staff to redistribute the states within the point schedule divisions with a goal to “minimize the differences in average entries among the states” in the divisions as they currently stand.

The board voted unanimously to discuss and vote on the matter in the November meeting, waiving the usual advance notice requirement. The proposal was approved by a unanimous vote by board members.


Beginning in May 2012, the point schedule will include 15 divisions, two more than the current schedule. Four divisions will remain unchanged: Division 8 (Oregon and Washington), Division 10 (Alaska), Division 11 (Hawaii) and Division 12 (Puerto Rico). Division 9, previously occupied solely by the state of California, is now comprised of California and Arizona.

New Mexico, which previously shared a division with Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma, moved into Division 13 with other states that have relatively fewer shows and smaller entries overall than those in Texas, Arizona and California. Colorado moved into Division 7 with Texas and Oklahoma. Division 4, which previously included seven states in the Deep South and along the southeastern coast of the United States, has been split into two separate groups, with the coastal states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina remaining in Division 4 and Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas occupying the new Division 14.

A significant change in the northeast moves the state of New York from Division 1, alongside Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island, into Division 2 with Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Minnesota and Wisconsin were removed from their place alongside four Midwestern states in Division 6 and paired instead in the new Division 15 with two other Great Lakes states, Michigan and Illinois. Indiana and Ohio, previously grouped with Michigan and Illinois, are now in Division 5 with Kentucky.

Major shifts in the U.S. economy have undoubtedly influenced not only how often fanciers go to shows, but how far they travel. The realignment of the point schedule divisions will hopefully make for more equitable availability of championship points in all states across the country.

The current points schedule can be found by clicking here.

Written by

Christi McDonald is a second-generation dog person, raised with a kennel full of Cairn Terriers. After more than a decade as a professional handler’s apprentice and handling professionally on her own, primarily Poodles and Cairns, she landed a fortuitous position in advertising sales with the monthly all-breed magazine ShowSight. This led to an 11-year run at Dogs in Review, where she wore several hats, including advertising sales rep, ad sales manager and, finally, editor for five years. Christi is proud to be part of the editorial team for the cutting-edge Best In Show Daily. She lives in Apex, N.C., with two homebred black Toy Poodles, the last of her Foxfire line, and a Norwich Terrier.
  • Judi Kline March 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    So when will the new point breakdowns be published for 2012?

  • Kit Van Niman March 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    When will they points come out? Interesting : I don’t show in MN, WI, or Illinois. Thrse places are too far away at $5 a gallon but majors are figured with MI 200 miles away. I still won’t be going to shows there. Hope it works out.

  • Kasey March 29, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    So looking at the map, Northern Michigan (The UP) is not colored. So do they go by Canadian Point Schedule? LOL!!! I just hate when they are left out as being part of Michigan.

    • Christi McDonald
      Christi March 30, 2012 at 5:55 AM

      Kasey, that was an error on my part in creating the maps. The entier state of Michigan is included in Division 15. My apology for the error!

  • MaryJane DeWitt March 29, 2012 at 5:57 AM

    Just wondering why they thought it needed to be changed? Did the Regional Governors have a say? It looks like it was all done by the BOD. How do they figure the states to be within a Region?

    • Christi McDonald
      Christi March 30, 2012 at 6:13 AM

      MaryJane, I’m not familiar with the term “Regional Governors,” but it is my understanding that the Board of Directors and AKC staff determined that, to make the point schedules more equitable in each region of the U.S., these changes needed to be made.
      The first consideration when grouping the states is that those within each region are to be contigous, meaning that they share a border or touch at someplace along the border. States are grouped along with other contigous states whose entries over the previous year were most similar. For instance, apparently in recent years the entries in most breeds in Arizona have aligned more closely with those in California than in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. Thus it would be unfair to exhibitors in NM, Texas and Oklahoma to continue to base their point schedule on the entries in Arizona, so Arizona is now coupled with California.
      Fanciers can be assured that the American Kennel Club uses a sophisticated computer program to make the calculations that help create a fair and equitable points system.

  • Alane Landry March 29, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    I am wondering about North Carolina? I did not see anything said about this area..and when will this be published?

    • Christi McDonald
      Christi March 30, 2012 at 5:59 AM

      As you can see on the maps, North Carolina remains in its original Division, which is Division 3. The updated AKC Point Schedule becomes effective each year in the second week of May, and point schedules can be found online at http://www.akc.org/events/conformation/point_schedule.cfm.

      • Leslyn April 1, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        Hi there Christi, When I go to the point schedule, all I find is 2011 & before, so when will the 2012 schedule be out so we can see it? Thank you & have a wonderful day!!

        • Christi McDonald
          Christi April 6, 2012 at 7:51 AM

          Hi Leslyn,

          The new point schedules become effective in May each year, so are released about the middle of April.

  • VickiSue Hickmott March 30, 2012 at 6:03 AM

    This makes it really hard to plan ahead for a show season. When do they Publish this information. As some of the shows in May actually close in April.So if you & fellow breed people are working to build a major, & according to 2011 you would have one, you get there & nope you need One more dog, or one more bitch. That is a long way to travel for didn’t you hear?? they changed it.If the AKC shows are to survive in this economy they have to become more Participant friendly, Like crossing over the majors, to make those high entry fees worth paying, & traveling worth it.. I am sure most people would agree..And What about The U.P. of Michigan?is that division 15 too?

    • silhouette April 2, 2012 at 7:21 AM

      I think it usually comes out around April 4-6 so you should know before any mid-May shows close. But amen to that on the crossing majors over. I am getting so sick of that, I have a bitch who is very nice, she was Best Puppy at our National last year and she currently has 12 SINGLES only. She has recently won two WB for 1 or 2 pts where there was a FIVE point major in dogs and despite the fact she is a nice bitch, and in great coat, the major was not crossed over. VERY discouraging after I had driven 5-7 hrs to have a shot at this major, both for me and for the people who didn’t get any singles because my singled-out bitch won. Frustratingly on a weekday before I arrived at the show, a bitch who was completely out of condition and has taken years to win just 3 singles DID cross over for a major when there were only 2 or 3 bitches present. There were 6 the day mine won. Where’s the justice in that? (especially since for some crazy reason they only require 5 DOGS for a major, but 9 bitches!) I really wish the award was not called “best of winners” but “you deserve as many points as the other winner, even if you’re not quite as nice”. LOLOL

    • Christi McDonald
      Christi April 6, 2012 at 7:55 AM

      Nope, it shouldn’t be “difficult to plan for a show season” in any way, shape or form. The new point schedule is released in mid April and becomes effective in mid-May. You’ll have ample opportunity to view the new point schedule for 2012 before any entries close that it will affect. You just need to check the AKC website before the entries for May shows close.

      The points schedules have been released for many years in April, effective in May, so this is nothing new! And believe me, AKC is doing everything it can to be “particpant friendly.”

  • Molly S March 31, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    I agree the AKC board/delegates need to shoot for an April 1st release on the point schedule so clubs can better plan. When is the fiscal year the stats are looked at for re adjustment?

  • Molly S March 31, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    The more I look at these divisions, I see some potential serious issues for specialty clubs that are struggling now to keep their heads above water. The change in this may put a lot of them over the edge. I hope the divisions get looked at on a trial basis and all aspects of show giving clubs are researched after one year.

    • Christi McDonald
      Christi April 6, 2012 at 7:56 AM

      Folks, the new divisions were made to BENEFIT clubs and exhibitors, based on the lower numbers of entries in some states and higher entries in others.

  • Tessdvm April 1, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    So glad ks is grouped with less states…hardly ever at point in borzoi, yet 9 bitches for a major….finally built one getting people from Ohio and mississippi to come and bring zoi……last 2 ks shows I entered no points and I had the only zoi why waste my money to even enter a show within 3 hours of my home?

  • Lyn Chernak April 1, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    When a club located in one district holds their show in another district, which district are the points based on? For example on the current divisions: A NY club (#1) moves their site to MA (#1) to be more accessible and therefore increase their entries, the points remained the same. However in 2012, the NY club (now #2) continues to use the MA site (#1) what division and points are used for the calculations? This is not an uncommon situation in the Northeast.

    • silhouette April 2, 2012 at 7:23 AM

      I’m no official but pretty sure they go by the state the show is actually held in.

    • Christi McDonald
      Christi April 6, 2012 at 7:57 AM

      Points at every show are based on the point schedule in the state where the show is held. Simple.

  • Pam April 1, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    So, the states have to “touch at some point”? So I am guessing that point the size of a pencil point at Four Couners is why New Mexico is with Utah and the northern states? Not complaining… They traditionally have lower point requirements than we do when combined with Texas and Oklahoma. It does look like an after thought though. All the other regions are next to each other in a clump and weare,well, not.

  • egeneh April 4, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    @ Lyn Chernak says:
    When a club located in one district holds their show in another district, which district are the points based on? For example on the current divisions: A NY club (#1) moves their site to MA (#1) to be more accessible and therefore increase their entries, the points remained the same. However in 2012, the NY club (now #2) continues to use the MA site (#1) what division and points are used for the calculations?

    I did not find it in the FAQs but I have seen AKC explain in writing – somewhere – that regardless of the club’s “home state,” the physical location of the show is used for purposes of calculating the point schedule.

    http://www.akc.org/events/conformation/faqs.cfm (formula for how many points is explained here, scroll about halfway through)

    That question isn’t answered in the Policy Manual either, but there are answers to a lot of other mysteries: http://www.akc.org/rules/policymanual.cfm

  • Ron Z April 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Interesting that the AKC went to a one-year history model.
    The original formula for the point requirements was developed when entries were trending upward, It makes a big difference when entries are trending downward like they are now. When entries are trending down, using only one year of history should give significantly lower point requirements than using three years. Of course it is much more subject to misc. fluctuations especially for the less popular breeds.

  • Ron Z April 4, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    There is a – call it a rumor – going around that a mistake was made in the state alignments – and that a correction will be issued soon. I have heard that the AKC delegates got an email from Jim Crowley about this.

    • Christi McDonald
      Christi April 6, 2012 at 7:58 AM

      Thanks for the heads up, Ron. We’ll check with Mr. Crowley to see if the new divisions are indeed different from the map we provided, and if they are we’ll post a new map.

    • Christi McDonald
      Christi April 12, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      Just to follow up, I’ve been told that the new points divisions as reported here are correct.

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