The rules and guidelines as defined in the current NACSW™ Rule Book (version 8.0a) apply except as outlined below. 
 
Competitors, please plan on attending the competitor briefing each morning of the event to get any additional updates. A competitor walk through of the search areas may be included in conjunction with the morning briefing.
 
Please remember to not discuss the hides or your experience in each search area until all competitors have completed a particular search.  Also, be respectful of those who do not wish to discuss or hear discussion of searches during the trial day even after everyone has completed the search.
 
 
Following are some of the rules & guidelines specific to the national invitational:
 
 
Searches
 
 Searches will not necessarily be broken down by element (i.e. vehicle, container, interior, exterior). You will be given a defined search area that may contain any combination of these elements.   
 
 Each search area will be clearly defined and you will be given a time limit for the area. Timers will give a 30 second warning only (no 10 second warnings will be given).
 
 Searches may have unknown or known number of hides for the area. This will be information given to you prior to starting the search. For unknown number, you may be given a range – for example: 0 to 5 hides.  If no range is given and it is an unknown number, then there may be any number of hides (or zero hides) in the areas.
 
 Time will stop when you say ‘Finish’. This is the case even if there are a known number of hides in the search area. If you forget to say finish, you will be given the full time limit for the search area.
 
 If you have a False Alert or Fringe during your search, you will be allowed to continue searching however there will be point deductions for each False Alert/Fringe.   See below in the scoring section for details.
 
 NW1, NW2, and NW3 hide parameters do not apply. Anywhere in the search area is fair game for hide locations.  Hides will not be in the search boundary markers (i.e. boundary cones, flags or tape) and hides won’t be outside of search boundaries.
 
 
Scoring
 
 You will accrue points for each hide found.  Each hide is worth 1 point.
 
 Time will stop when the handler calls ‘Finish’.   This is the case with both unknown number of hides and known number of hides.  In the event the handler forgets to call ‘Finish’ in a search area, the full time limit for the search area will be given.  The ‘Finish’ call will not be worth any points at this event.  It is simply used to stop the time.  In the event of an area with no hides, the ‘Finish’ (or ‘Clear’) call will be worth one point.
 
 Placements will be sorted by hides found, then faults, then time
 
 Faults are same as the trial faults for the category of faults described as “Qualifying Faults” in the rule book.  This includes items like dropped food, excessive pawing, dog not crossing the start line, etc.  
 
 False Alerts/Fringes will be scored differently than at a NW1/NW2/NW3 trial.  For each False Alert or Fringe, the team will lose 1/2 point, but may continue searching.
 
 Eliminating during a search will result in 0 points, full time and 3 faults (same as normal trial scoring).
 
 
Placements
 
 Placements will be given for 1st through 3rd place for each search.   Placements will also be awarded to 1st through 4th place for the finals.
 
 If there is a tied placement, there may be an additional criteria used for the tie breaker (for example the time the first or last hide was found).
 
 Results will be posted at the end of Friday and Saturday.  All ribbons will be awarded at the awards ceremony Sunday night
Qualifying for Finals.
 
 Qualifying for the finals on Sunday will be based on your combined score over both Friday and Saturday.
 
 The top 12 teams will qualify for the finals.
 
 Scoring for the finals will be done based on the results from Sunday only (We are resetting the scores and starting over for Sunday – the scoring for Sunday will not include your results from Friday/Saturday).