Key Worker Appointment and Fringe Benefit Policy



AS OF:  Aug 31, 2017

EFFECTIVE AS OF:  Oct 1, 2017

Updated/effective Feb 1, 2022

This policy provides guidance for how TRACS Agility Trial Keyworkers (KWs) are appointed and what fringe benefits are awarded for the work they do before, during, and after our agility trials.  The goal of this policy is to encourage as many club members as possible to volunteer for the jobs.

This policy governs all TRACS KWs, regardless of whether they are TRACS members, non-members, adults, or juniors.

This policy applies to designated KW positions only.  It does not address benefits for non-KW full time volunteers, trial day workers, etc.  Those are addressed in a separate policy.

This policy review and change was dictated by:

  • Concerns raised by the TRACS Board of Directors (BoD) that there is a possibility the IRS could see our previous method of compensation as taxable income.
  • Concerns voiced by the General Membership that KW positions are not fairly distributed among club members.
  • Concerns raised about the overall cost of KW compensation to the club.

The goal of this updated policy is to:

  • Ensure KW obligations and responsibilities are clearly defined.
  • Make the policy easy for club members to understand.
  • Simplify our Trial Secretaries’ job in managing the system during the trial entry process.
  • Clarify how KWs are appointed, making the process absolutely transparent to all TRACS members.
  • Identify fair and equitable KW benefits.

DEFINITION OF A KW:  A TRACS KW is anyone appointed by a Trial Chair or by the TRACS BoD to fill one of the positions used to manage a TRACS Agility Trial.   The following are the normal KW positions used at all TRACS agility trials:

  • Trial Chair / Co-Chair
  • Trial Secretary
  • Raffle KW
  • Hospitality KW
  • Awards KW
  • Equipment Managers (both TRACS and Contract Equip)
  • RV Camp Hosts
  • Grounds KW
  • Scorekeepers
  • Chief Course Builders
  • Ring Crew Chiefs
  • Special Event Coordinator


  • NOTE: TRACS recognizes there will always be the possibility of a need to deviate from this policy.  These instances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  The Trial Chair is the final authority in approving deviations from these expectations.
  • KWs are the “face” of TRACS to our exhibitors and as such, are the ones who make or break many peoples’ experience of our events. So, to their utmost ability, all KWs must be civil, helpful, courteous, and friendly to our exhibitors, regardless of what kind of a day they are personally having.   KWs are there to keep the trial moving along smoothly as well as helping our exhibitors as much as possible.
  • When a volunteer takes on a KW position, they assume an obligation to the club, the event, and the exhibitors. This means their responsibilities take precedence over their individual trialing experience.  EVERY effort will be made to ensure all KWs get to run all their runs, however there is always a possibility that circumstances may require that they miss one or more runs or be unable to fully concentrate on their runs
  • In order to get all facets of the trial ready for the day’s activities, KWs are expected to be onsite from 60 minutes prior to the start of judging to completion of judging in all rings each day they are assigned to work, serving in whatever capacity is needed.
    • When an individual volunteers for a KW position, it is with the understanding that by accepting this position and the associated fringe benefits, they acknowledge that they are expected to work as much as needed.
    • KWs will remain on site each day, assisting with tasks as needed, until everyone is done working for the day, or until released by the Trial Chair.
      • This will very likely require them to step in and help out in areas other than their primary keyworker duties.
      • Some KW positions are not as labor intensive on the actual trial days as others. Since all KWs receive the same benefits, if a KW has extended downtime, they are expected to actively look to see if they can help out others.
    • KWs are expected to assist with set up or tear down. It is recognized that not everyone can be there for set up, however, all KWs filling a position on the final day of the event are expected to stay and help close down the show at the end of final day.


  • In exchange for the work the KWs perform, they will receive the following fringe benefits on each day they are performing KW duties:
  • KW entry fee benefit will be commensurate with the expenses generated by their entry. As of 2022, this means KW entry fees must cover organization-specific fees (AKC fees, USDAA Fees…) and judges’ fees. If, in the future, other fees beyond the control of the club are added, they will be factored into the benefit.
  • The KW entry fee benefit will incur no additional cost to the club.
  • KW entry fee benefit is non-transferable. A KW may only use their entry fee benefit for dogs they own; for dogs they co-own that live with them and they are handling at the event; or for dogs belonging to and handled by their minor child/children.
  • Keyworkers may enter more than one eligible dog (see above for definition of what is an eligible dog). All costs are per run, per dog, per day.
  • Payment for KW entries must be sent in with the entry form, prior to the published closing date.
  • Anyone filling a KW position and not running a dog will receive the same benefit as a Full Time worker (currently, $50 in worker certificates per day)
  • A KW may use their KW benefit to enter their own dog and have it handled by another person. This person does not have to be a family member.
  • Periodic Reevaluation of KW Entry Fee Benefit: As with all costs, organization-specific fees and judges’ fees can change and new fees beyond the control of the club may be added, therefore:
    • The BoD will validate KW entry costs no later than Jan 31 of each year. In order to do this, The BoD will:
      • Contact those individuals knowledgeable of each organizations’ service fee for input no later than Jan 15.
      • Contact Trial Chairs for judges’ fee information (if known) for the various events.
      • Make a decision if the policy needs to be updated.
    • This information must be conveyed to all Trial Secretaries no later than Jan 31.
    • Based on current costs, the KW entry fees for 2022 will be as follows
      • USDAA
        • Individual titling runs: $5.00 per run per dog
        • Team: $25.00 per dog per team
        • Grand Prix: $5.00
        • Steeplechase: $5.00
        • Biathlon: $10.00
      • UKI
        • Individual Titling runs: $5 per run per dog
        • Masters Series: $10 per dog
      • AKC
        • All runs are $5 per run per dog
    • All KWs will be given a set number tickets to the workers appreciated raffle, as determined by the Trial Chair.
    • These tickets will be given by the associated Ring Crew chief in the ring they are working, by the Trial Secretary, or by the Raffle chair.
  • TRACS RING WORKER BUCKS: Because TRACS KWs receive the entry fee benefit, KWs will not be given TRACS bucks (the ones that are given to the day workers), for any day/ring worker job they may step in to fill.  If TRACS bucks are inadvertently offered to the KW, they are to be declined.



  • In accordance with TRACS’ written policy, the Agility Coordinator (AC) solicits volunteers to fill Trial Chair and Co-chair positions, at least one year prior to the event (two is preferred due to the lead time used by some of the positions).
  • The volunteer period will last for 60 days, at which time, the AC will send his/her recommendations to the BoD.
  • The BoD will have seven (7) days to evaluate the recommendations. At the end of that time, if the BoD has taken no action, the AC will assume Board concurrence and notify the appointees via email.
  • Individuals may volunteer to chair/co-chair more than one event; however, no one will be assigned to more than one event if there are sufficient volunteers to spread the work out.
  • If there are insufficient volunteers when the announced window for volunteering closes, one person may be appointed to chair/co-chair more than one event. If an additional volunteer does come forward later, and there is still sufficient lead time for proper event planning, the person assigned to more than one event will be asked if they are willing to relinquish one event.  If they do not wish to, they do not have to since they volunteered during the initial call when everyone had ample opportunity to come forward.
  • Agility Trial Chair: To volunteer to fill this critical position, a person must have either:
    • Previously filled a TRACS Agility Trial Chair position for the venue (need to have some knowledge of the venue you are going to be working with—AKC trials are very different from USDAA trials from a Trial Chair perspective).
  • Been a TRACS Co-Chair at least twice at the event they wish to chair. Previous experience as a Trial Chair for the same organization for another club may fulfill one of these requirements. This mentorship-type system allows the Co-Chair to fully learn what is involved in chairing that particular event.
  • Agility Trial Co-chairs: Previous experience in working other KW positions is desired, but not required.


  • KWs must:
    • Be more than bodies. They must be people who have the skills and/or temperament needed for the jobs.  Skill alone may not be enough to be assigned to some positions.  The ability to work well with others is critical to some jobs.
    • Be experienced and knowledgeable in the job they are volunteering to fill. Inexperienced volunteers are welcome, however, they will be paired with a experienced mentor (see below).
  • KWs should:
    • Be willing to act as mentors to provide training and guidance to inexperienced volunteers.
      • A mentor’s welcoming attitude sets the tone of how a new person perceives the job and makes the learning situation enjoyable.
      • Accordingly, those individuals willing to mentor new people are more likely to be selected by a Trial Chair to fill a position than those who are not or who grudgingly accept a trainee.
    • Be willing to learn. Inexperienced volunteers working as trainees with an appointed mentor must be open minded and willing to learn the job.
  • The Trial Chair will appoint most KWs for their event. Why? Because:
    • Most KWs change with each event, therefore, the Trial Chair must build a new team each time. To develop the most cohesive team possible, they must have final say in who fills out their team.  No event can run smoothly when there is conflict in the management team.
    • The Trial Chair sets the tone for each event.
    • Any event functions best when there is a single point of final authority.
      • It is important that all KWs know who this individual is, especially in time of crisis. In the event of an emergency, there is not time to try and figure out who should be making the decisions.
    • It is crucial that a Trial Chair can work well with his/her event KWs. This will not necessarily happen if someone else is appointing their team.
  • Appointment of non-TRACS personnel to KW positions
    • In general, only TRACS members may fill KW positions.
    • However, there will be times no suitable TRACS members volunteer during the call for help (e.g. no TRACS members volunteer who have the skills or temperament to fill a given position).
    • If this occurs, the Trial Chair will notify the Board of this situation. Subsequent to Board notification, if all avenues of getting suitable club members to volunteer have been exhausted, the Trial Chair may then invite non-club members to fill KW roles.
    • In this instance, if a club member later steps up and volunteers, the non-club member will NOT be replaced since all club members had adequate opportunity to take these positions and passed on it previously.


  • Actual numbers of KWs in each area is determined by the BoD. Trial Chairs may request additional manpower be authorized for their event.
  • KWs are selected to work the full trial day. Therefore, unless the volume of work dictates the need for more than one person (course building, ring crew chief, scoring, equipment, grounds), only one person will be appointed to each position.
  • Timeliness of KW appointments is crucial as there are some positions that begin working on the next event at the conclusion of the previous one. If an incumbent Trial Secretary, Raffle Chair, or Awards Chair is to be changed, these appointments must be made according to the times listed below.
  • If, for any reason, these appointments are not made within these times, the BoD may make the appointments.
  • Trial Secretary – no less than 6 months prior to the event
  • Raffle KW (1 per event) – no less than 4 months prior to the event
  • Awards KW (1 per event) – no less than 4 months prior to the event
  • All other KW appointments should be completed prior to the event’s opening date, but no less than 6 weeks prior to the event:
  • Contract Eq uipment Liaison (per contract)
  • Hospitality Chair (1 or 2, depending on how hospitality is set up; this may be split out at the Trial Chair’s discretion)
  • RV Camp Hosts/Coordinators (current trials can have: USDAA – 1 each; May AKC – 2; Dec AKC – None)
  • Grounds Chair (current trials can have: USDAA – 2 each; May AKC – 2; Dec AKC – None)
  • Scoring
    • USDAA: 2 Score table chiefs per ring
    • AKC: 1 Scorekeeper per ring plus one floater
    • UKI: To Be Determined
  • Chief Course Builders (CCB): 2 per ring (only those course builders specifically identified as CCB receive an entry fee benefit; all others are rewarded as ring workers)
  • Ring Crew Chiefs: 2 per ring


  • These are KWs that either have the same responsibilities across all TRACS agility trials or are in charge of a special event that exists for a single trial (think Parade of Veterans).
  • These individuals have the same obligations and expectations as all other KWs.
    • TRACS Equipment Chairs (2)
    • Special Event Coordinator (1)
      • When TRACS offers a special event and a KW is required, a Special Event Coordinator will be added to that trial’s KWs.
      • Special events do not normally fall under the purview of the Trial Chair, however, they must coordinate their event with the Trial Management in order to avoid conflicting with the trial.

To download a PDF copy of this policy, click here.