Belgian Sheepdog Club of America
Belgian Sheepdog Club of America
Belgian Sheepdog Club of America

Chapter 2 Preparing to Bid


National Specialty Guidelines Book

Chapter 2

Preparing to Bid to Host a National Specialty

The Board and Membership of the BSCA would like to thank you for your interest in hosting a National Specialty. The National Specialty is the most important event the BSCA holds each year and can only come about through the dedication and hard work of its volunteer members. This chapter is designed to help you form your core committee, outline local responsibilities and detail the permanent activities for which responsibility has been delegated to a standing committee member.

Section A Timing & Reporting Requirements

Section A.1 Timing

The Annual Membership Meeting and the National Specialty must be held during the first six calendar months of the year. (Please refer to the Constitution, Article III, Section 1) This may be interpreted as anytime from January through the end of June. Consideration should be given to the weather and climate conditions of the location where the local committee resides. February and March would be inappropriate for a site in Montana, but may be perfect for a site in Phoenix. The Board liaison will be able to answer specific questions regarding dates and timing in your area.

Section A.2 Reporting Requirements

As the Specialty is the single most important event of the year for the BSCA, it is imperative that the show committee provide structured communications with the Board of Directors. Below are the minimum reporting requirements to the Board of Directors from the local show committee:

1.From the acceptance of the bid to hold the National Specialty until one (1) year prior to the Specialty, written reports should be submitted quarterly;

2.From the end of the previous year’s National until six (6) months prior, written reports are due every other month for a total of 3 reports;

3.Six months prior to the Specialty date, written reports should be submitted monthly.

These minimum requirements are not meant to be the only communication between the show chair and the Board. Communication should ideally be open, frequent and freely undertaken to provide for the most efficient use of the show chairs and committees time. In many cases, if informal communication is sufficient, the Board may waive some of the formal report requirements. THIS IS LEFT TO THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

Section B Local Core Show Committee

In order to effectively and efficiently host a National Specialty, there needs to be a core committee in a central area to coordinate activities at the local level. The committee recommends a core group of at least 5 people to spread the work load. Obviously, the more people the better, but more people increases the amount of communication and coordination that must take place between the volunteers. National Specialties have been held by fewer people, but doing so will lead to frustration, exhaustion and disillusionment, which is highly discouraged. The core committee should be in close enough proximity to each other and the intended show sites to make regular meetings easy to attend for all members.

Section C Events & Activities

Below is a listing of events and activities that are traditionally held during a National Specialty. They have been classified as mandatory, highly recommended and optional.

Section C.1 Mandatory Events & Activities

Mandatory events and activities are what define the National Specialty. Through discussion within the committee and with Board approval, all these activities MUST be held and the hosting local group accepts responsibility to hold these activities. These are:

AKC Events


a.  All regular classes (6-9 puppy, 9-12 puppy, 12-18 junior, Bred-by Exhibitor, Novice, American Bred, Open, Dogs & Bitches, Best of Breed)

b.  Non-regular classes

1. Veteran Dog & Bitch, Stud Dog, Brood Bitch, Brace, Team

2.  Heading Titled – For dogs & bitches who have one or more AKC herding trial titles (HS, HI, HX or HC) by close of entries

c.  Junior Showmanship (Novice Junior & Senior, Open Junior & Senior)

2.  Sweepstakes

a.  Puppy (6-9 month, 9-12 month, 12-18 month, dogs & bitches, Best in Sweepstakes)

b.  Veterans (7-8 yrs., 8-9 yrs., 9-10 yrs. 10+ yrs. Dogs & Bitches, Best in Veteran Sweepstakes)

c.  Working Dog (dogs & bitches)

3.  Obedience Trial

a.  All regular classes (Novice A & B, Open A & B, Utility A & B)

b.  Non-Regular classes (Veterans, Graduate Novice, Brace, Team, Pre-Novice)

4.  Herding

a.  Tests (Herding Test, Pre-Trial Test)

b.  Trial (Course A, started, intermediate, advanced)

5.  Agility

a.  Regular classes (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced)

1.  Standard

2.  Jumpers w/weaves

b.  Preferred (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced)

1.  Standard

2.  Jumpers w/weaves

6.  Tracking – TD level only

BSCA Events

1.  Meetings

a.  Annual Membership Meeting

b.  Board Meeting #1

c.  Board Meeting #2

2. Hospitality

3. Annual Awards Banquet

4. Parade of Treasured Companions

5. Versatility Competition

6. Messenger Dog Demonstration/Trial

7. Herding Instinct Test

Section C.2 Highly Recommended Events & Activities

These activities are highly recommended, meaning that every effort should be made to include these events and activities. It is recognized that it may not be possible to hold all these events due to space and/or site restrictions or other factors that are outside the control of the Show Committee.

AKC Events

1.Tracking TDX & VST

2.Canine Good Citizen Testing

BSCA Events

1.Therapy Dog Testing

2.Temperament Testing

Section C.3 Option Events & Activities

These activities may or may not be included as part of the National Specialty. Their inclusion is left to the sole discretion of the local show committee.

1.Freestyle Dance

2.Educational Seminars

3.Health Screenings


b.CERF – eyes


d.Semen Collection

e.Epilepsy Swabbing

4.Performance Event Seminars

Section D City & Site Considerations

Choosing the City to hold the National Specialty is the first and most important decision and will influence many of the other decision regarding the show and activities.

Section D.1 City Considerations

The following considerations should be evaluated in selecting the host city:

It is strongly recommended that the local committee contact the cities Convention & Visitors Bureau in any of the cities they are considering. In many cases they will take a request for proposal from the committee and contact ALL relevant facilities in the city to submit bids. This is a definite time saver when searching for cities and sites

In many cases, so-called ‘Second Tier’ Cities (those served by discount airlines Southwest or JetBlue) will have cheaper airfares. While the discount airlines currently do not accept dogs for travel, they provide competition that keeps the airfare of all carriers to those cities lower than would normally be the case.

Second tier cities often work harder to bring convention business to town. One good consideration is college towns AFTER graduation.

Proximity to the local, core show committee;

Available venues for holding dog related events. A city that hosts a number of all-breed shows on a regular basis would be a good candidate;

Availability of dog-friendly hotels of sufficient size to accommodate up to 100 rooms for BSCA guests as well as adequate banquet, meeting and catering capabilities;

Easy access from major interstate highways, proximity to a major airport for exhibitors traveling by air with and without dogs;

If the host hotel does not have adequate dog showing facilities or is unwilling to allow the actual events in their meeting rooms or on their grounds, the show site should be no more than a 20 minute drive of the host hotel;

Performance locations within a 45-60 minute drive of the host hotel.

Section D.2 Show Site Considerations

It is recognized that there are currently two schools of thought regarding the physical location of the main show site (i.e. for conformation & obedience events). The first school believes that the host hotel and the main show site MUST be contained within the same, physical location. However, given changes in the attitudes of many of the larger hotels and the proximity of alternation show sites, it is no longer a requirement that the host hotel and the main show site be one and the same. While it is recognized that having them both together is preferable and easier for the exhibitors, a location should not be excluded from consideration if all other considerations are superior to other available alternatives which would allow the host hotel to also serve as the main show site.

Some of the more general considerations regarding host hotels and/or show sites are listed below.

1.  Is the facility large enough to accommodate the expected entry? (Please refer to the National Specialty Statistics section for past history of entries in your geographic location.)

2.  Is there adequate parking nearby for exhibitors, spectators, vendors and those involved the numerous activities of putting on the show? All sites should conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

3.  Is there a sufficient area for exercising dogs to avoid overuse and possible odor? Are there adequate restroom facilities nearby for people?

4.  Are the people at the prospective site friendly and accommodating?

5.  What are the restrictions regarding motor homes at the host hotel? How far is the nearest campsite/dump station for motor home using exhibitors?

6.  Proximity to the main show site if not the same as the host hotel.

7.  Proximity to alternative eating and shopping establishments.

Obviously, each site is unique in the benefits and disadvantages it provides to the club. Reasonable judgment should be used in evaluating each situation and making a determination on the superior choice. If there is serious disagreement among the committee as to the most appropriate site(s), please consult with your board liaison.

Section E Outside Local Area Assistance

Part of the committee’s charge from the Board was to establish a standing National Specialty Committee with specific functions related to the holding of the Specialty assigned to semi-permanent volunteers throughout the country. This new structure will help alleviate some of the burden and eventual burnout experienced in past years of the local show committees. The following tasks and activities have been designated for delegation outside the local show committee: (Please note that the people’s names will be listed when they ‘volunteer’).

Superintendent Contracts

Compilation and Mailing of Information Packet

Premium Lists – through regular Superintendent & agility secretary

Banquet: Reservations, Centerpieces, Favors, Annual meeting dinner

Performance Judge selection & contracts

Logo competition

Apparel sales


Trophy donations/record keeping

Budgeting for Specialty

Final financial reporting

Cash handling & reconciliation


AKC Paperwork

At the time of this update, these were the identified jobs. As this structure is put into practice, it is expected that this list will change. Updates will be made periodically to keep this current.

Some communication with the local committee will be necessary by the people involved in these particular functions, but the main responsibility for these functions rests with the designated volunteers.