There has long been an inequality in the scoring system in CFA with regard to the winner's ribbons requirement needed for a cat to earn the title of Champion or Premier.
To earn the title of Champion or Premier, an Open must win a winners ribbon in six rings. In the majority of cases, cats in each Open Color Class have no actual competition, so that as long as the cat is not disqualified, it earns a winners ribbons without having to defeat any other cats. Even a pet quality cat that has just enough merit not to be Disqualified or Withheld can easily earn the title of Champion or Premier in one show if it has no competition.
Conversely, if two National Winner caliber cats happen to be in the same color class as Opens, because they are competing against one other, they could split rings and both would then take at least two shows to earn all six of their needed winners ribbons. This hardy seems fair.
In addition, an Open cat cannot earn Grand points until it is a Champion. This means that even if an Open cat goes Best Cat, defeating every cat present including all the Grand Champions, it earns no Grand points, simply because it is not yet a Champion. Again, this hardly seems fair.
The solution to the inequity is to make the requirements for the champion/premier titles the same for all color classes, regardless of competition. Since all Opens do not have to compete for winner's ribbons, NO Open should have to compete for winner's ribbons. As long as a cat is not disqualified, the cat earns a "qualifying ring". When the cat has six qualifying rings (or the required number for the geographic area), the owner can claim the title of Champion/Premier. This is the effective requirement right now for most Opens.
New show rule 8.01:
Of each color class recognized as entitled to Championship or Premiership, all opens in any type of ring, e.g. Allbreed, Longhair/Shorthair or Breed specialty, can use the ring as a "Qualifying Ring" so long as the judge does not disqualify or otherwise withhold awards (including wrong color) from the open.
As long as the cat receives a 1, 2, 3 or dash, the cat can use the ring. DQ, DQ/UT, NA/IM, NA/COND, WCC, or any method of withholding means the ring will not count as a qualifying ring.
By allowing exhibitors to avoid split rings for winner's ribbons, they will save money, which helps keep people in the hobby.
The new rule also allows Opens to compete for Champion points, which mean cats start working on the truly competitive title of Grand Champion/Grand Premier from the first show they enter as an adult.
The new rule will:
- Allow Opens to compete for Champion/Premier points so that exhibitors can start working on the Grand title right away.
- Opens will be eligible for the purple ribbon and for the Champion/Premier final spots.
- Exhibitors will still enter their cats as Opens, Champions/Premiers, and Grands and the show catalogue will show their titles.
- The judges' books will list Opens as Champions/Premiers so that the judges will judge Opens and Champions/Premiers together.
- Opens will count as Champions/Premiers towards the calculation of Grand points.
- In the event an Open earns 200 Grand points in fewer than six rings, the Open cannot compete as a Grand until finishing the necessary number of qualifying rings to be a Champion/Premier.