Hosting a Trial

Hosting an NACSW™ sanctioned K9 Nose Work® trial is hugely rewarding, but it's also a huge responsibility. Competitors want a day of fun and fair competition, and that means pre-planning, preparing, and coordinating the work of many individuals throughout the day to meet that goal. Below is an outline of some of the basic requirements for hosting a trial and how you can get support as you are considering this endeavor.

We have launched a Mentor Program for those that are considering Hosting a Trial but who may have many questions and/or concerns before actually making the leap. It’s easy! Click here to request a Mentor. A Mentor can answer all your questions and gain access to any information you need in order for you to make an educated decision about hosting a trial.

You can find our "How to Host a Trial" document here or the full "How to Host a Trial" folder that includes many other supporting documents here.

The NACSW assigns a Trial Coordinator to each approved trial to help walk you through the hosting process.

If you are ready to host a trial, the first step is to get your location reviewed and approved.  To do that, please submit the Trial Request form at the bottom of this page to start the process. Questions about location review or the trial hosting process can also be sent to:


Trial Host Requirements

  • Volunteering at trials, while not required, is strongly recommended. You learn how a trial is scheduled and what all the different jobs are that will need to be filled with volunteers. Volunteering will give you the knowledge of what to expect at a trial.
  • Find a trial location, get it approved by the NACSW™ (see below for trial location approval details). Please note that this is typically the hardest thing on the list.  Usually this is the place to start as a trial can’t happen without a place to hold it!
  • Request trial dates at least 4-6 months in advance.

What do you need to host a NACSW™ Trial?

  • NACSW™ location approval. Please refer to the link in the menu to the left for trial location requirements.
  • You will need to identify a volunteer coordinator. It is critical that you have this role filled by a person who is NOT the host. Ideally, your volunteer coordinator will be someone who is familiar with the sport of K9 Nose Work, has excellent organizational skills, and has volunteered at one or more NACSW™ trials.
  • You will need an approved Score Room Lead for the levels you are offering.  There is a list of approved leads in the hosting documentation.  If you have someone interested in training to become and approved Score Room Lead, they can email for more information on the requirements.  We encourage each host to encourage volunteers in their area to work towards approval so that there are more options for covering this role at all trials.
  • NACSW appointed trial judges and trial certifying official (CO).  Beginning April 1, 2017, Trial Hosts will begin hiring their CO instead of NACSW appointing one. The trial fee amount a host will be required to submit to NACSW will be significantly reduced at that time because of this. For further information on this, please see the folder entitled “CO Hiring Procedure” in the “How to Host a Trial” full folder referred to above.
  • Volunteers or staff to cover check-in, gate steward, timer, judge’s steward, video, box setter jobs, scoring, and other roles as needed. 
  • Trial supplies - details provided when trial is approved. This includes things like painters tape, canopies, x-pens, office supplies, etc.
  • Liability coverage - you must have your insurance company list NACSW™ as an additional insured on your policy and most locations require that you list them as well.  This is something that is easily done by your insurance company on a case by case (trial by trial) basis. Once you request this of them, your insurance company will provide you with a certificate of insurance (COI) that you will provide to NACSW that lists the additional insured(s). Most companies can do this within one day or less via email.
  • Website for competitors to register to enter the trial (for example: if you are a dog trainer, you would use your business website).  If you do not already have a website, you can “borrow” a friend’s or obtain a free site fairly easily through a simple process.

Trial guidelines and information

  • All handlers must be current NACSW™ members and entered dog must be registered with the NACSW™. 
  • Trial entries will be available to the general public (no priority for students or members of a club or training facility).


  • Please refer to the How To Host a Trial documentation to ensure you have the most current fee information
  • 2019 Trials: $150/trial day NACSW™ Fees, 2020 Trials: $175/trial day NACSW Fees
  • Recommended $150 per day to each judge
  • Travel expenses and meals as applicable to the judges.
  • 2019 Trials: Recommended $200 per day for NW1/NW2/NW3/Elite trials or $300/day for Element Specialty Trials to the Certifying Official (who will be one of your judges in the case of an Element Specialty Trial).  2020 Trials: Recommended $250 per day for NW1/NW2/NW3/Elite trials or $350/day for Element Specialty Trials to the Certifying Official (who will be one of your judges in the case of an Element Specialty Trial).
  • Travel expenses and meals as applicable to the Certifying Official.
  • Trial supplies
  • Location rental (if applicable)
  • Some liability insurance companies have a fee for adding an "additional insured".  Event insurance is available for single events as well from some insurance providers.
  • Hospitality for officials, judges, and volunteers

Additional materials will be required for final approval of the trial and trial location. Submission of a request does not guarantee approval. Questions about hosting a trial or location approval should be sent to:  Thank you for your interest in hosting a trial and being an important part of the growth of the sport of K9 Nose Work®!