Show Rules for CHA Shows

Entries are due to arrive at our Show Secretary's by 6 pm on the Wednesday before the show.  Late entries will be accepted at the Show Secretary’s discretion and a $1 late fee per hamster will be charged.  The contact information for our Show Secretary can be found on our
Calendar page.

Day-of-the-show entries will be allowed for those attending their first CHA show. Late fee applies.

For all others, day-of-show entries will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.  This rule will be strictly enforced.  Late fee applies.

Substitutions on the day of the show may be made in the same species, gender, and class. Any substitutions or absences should be reported to the show secretary at check in.

Approximate Timeline of Events

9:00 - 9:30      Check-in
9:30 - 10:00    Health Checks (mandatory for all hamsters)
10:00 - 12:00  Pet and Fun Class judging for Dwarves and Syrians
11:00 - 12:00  Dwarf Standards Class judging
1:00 - 3:00     Syrian Standards Class judging

All hamsters must be checked-in in their appropriate show pens and placed on the staging table at least 30 minutes before the judging begins.  Health checks will be performed before the judging begins. Anyone arriving less than 30 minutes before judging begins will only be accepted at the Show Secretary’s discretion

Minimum age for Dwarfs to be entered in the show is 4 weeks and minimum age for Syrians to be entered in the show is 5 weeks

Entry Fees

Standards Classes cost $1 per animal for CHA members and $2 for non-members.

The Fun/Pet Classes are block entry only meaning you pay one fee and are automatically entered into all Pet and Fun Classes offered at that show.  CHA members pay $2.50 per hamster and enter both the appropriate Best Pet Class and all Fun Classes offered at that show (typically three fun plus best pet per show).  Non-members pay $4 for the block Pet/Fun Class entry.

Late entries are any entries received after the deadline (typically the Wednesday before the show) or entries received at the door.  Late entries are $1 more per entry per animal.

Individuals may join the club on the day of the show and still receive the member discount.

Show Classes

Standards and Fun classes will be offered at each show unless otherwise specified.  A list of the pet/fun classes being offerred for each show can be found on our
Calendar page, and you may check our Fun Class page for a basic description of each fun class..

Pet/Fun Classes will be judged separately for dwarves and Syrians.

Pet/Fun Classes will be split by gender or other classification at the discretion of the show secretary and judge.

There are 3 standards classes offered for each species. These are Standardized, Guide Standard, and Unstandardized.  You may check our
Standards page or our Guide Standard/Unstandardized page for further details.

The inclusion of a guide standard class at any show is dependent on the number of hamsters entered. This class will sometimes be combined with the unstandardized class at the judge's discretion.

All classes and varieties may be combined or split at the judges or show secretaries discretion to assure fair judging and the smooth operation of the show.

Standard procedure will be to split each class by gender if there are 5 or more hamsters entered in that class. Each gender class may be further split by coat type, section (Agouti, Self, Patterned), color, or other feature as determined by the show secretary and judge. This will usually be done if there are 5 or more like animals entered in a gender class.

Hamsters entered in the wrong class may or may not be judged.  If the proper class has already been judged, the class will not be re-opened although the judge may offer to score the hamster for the owner’s benefit.  If the proper class has not been judged, the judge may choose to have the Show Secretary move the hamster to the proper class.

The winner of Best In Show, Best Guide Standard In Show, and Best Unstandardized In Show will be the hamster with the highest point total between the male and female classes.

Young hamsters will be shown in a separate Pup class. Ages for this class are: Syrians 5-8 weeks, Dwarfs 4-8 weeks. Pup class winners will compete for Best In Show, Best Guide Standard In Show, and Best Unstandardized In Show.

Large rosettes, medals, or other awards will typically be given for the following
1. Best Pet Dwarf
2. Best Pet Syrian
3. Best in Show Dwarf
4. Best in Show Syrian
5. Best Guide Standard Dwarf
6. Best Guide Standard Syrian
7. Best Unstandardized Dwarf
8. Best Unstandardized Syrian

Small rosettes will be given to the winner of each of the individual classes including the Pet/Fun Classes and the Standardized Classes.

Second and third place winners in the Pet/Fun Classes will receive a rosette or flat ribbon.  Second – fifth place winners in the standards classes will typically receive prize cards.

At some shows, an alternative prize will be given for one or more awards.  This typically occurs when prizes are donated to the club.  Donations of prizes are always welcome. These prizes may or may not replace the rosettes, medals, and/or flat ribbons and prize cards.

Health Check

All hamsters who come to the show for any reason must meet minimum health and age requirements.  Each animal will be health checked, and all dwarves must be at least 4 weeks of age while all syrians must be at least 5 weeks of age.   Exception must be requested at least a week before the show.   Frail, elderly, easily stressed, pregnant, nursing, or injured hamsters should never be brought to a show. Any hamster brought to the show which has been acquired from a different source must have been quarantined for at least two weeks.  Hamsters acquired within the last two weeks should not be brought to shows.  For more details on our health check procedure, see our
Health Check page.

Show Pens (Show Boxes)

All hamsters must be shown in
approved show pens and on approved beddings.

Approved show pens are the standard Kritter Keepers ONLY. These can be found in most pet stores.  This is required to help maintain anonymity in the judging process. 

Dwarves should be shown in the “small” size Kritter Keepers.  If two dwarves who live together are shown in the same show pen the “medium” size may be used.

Syrians should be shown in the “medium” or “large” size Kritter Keepers. 

Any other sizes will be at the discretion of the Show Secretary and will depend on the space available at that show. 

The CHA will have a limited number of Kritter Keepers for rent at every show on a first-come, first-served basis.  You must indicate on your entry form if you need to rent one.  Cost is $1 each.

For those shows in which there is a Hamster Ball Race, there will also be a limited number of Hamster Balls available for rent.  They are 50 cents each and rent on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please indicate on your entry form if you need one.

Show Bedding

Hamsters must be shown on
alphi-dri bedding.

Packages of alphi-dri bedding will be available for purchase at the show since it is not readily available in the pet stores.  It is a white bedding which works well for all hamsters involved in our shows.  It does not mat for the long hairs, and it does not produce the same sensitivities that aspen does for some hamsters. 

Each hamster must have a small amount of food and a small piece of fruit/veggie in the show pen (i.e. a chunk of apple or a baby carrot are recommended).

Other Hamsters-

Hamsters who are not entered should not be brought to the show. For any other exceptions, please write at least one week before the show to ask permission.

Selling Hamsters-

All animals which change hands at a CHA shows will be required to go through the CHA show sale process and must meet the CHA sales requirements. This is for people selling their youngsters, for people adopting/selling their older hamsters, and for people placing/adopting/selling rescues.  All animals are included.

The CHA has adopted the IHANA Code of Conduct and Breeder Code.  Please review these codes at Code of Care and Breeders Code   All CHA breeders who sell their animals at a CHA show or use the CHA name on their website or in the promotion of their hamsters must abide by these codes.

The CHA requires that a minimum price be charged for all hamsters changing hands at CHA shows. For hamsters under 6 months of age the minimum is $10. The minimum price for hamsters over 6 months of age is $5.  Again, this is a minimum, and you may charge more.

The CHA reserves the right to refuse to allow the sale of any animal at any time and/or refuse to sell to any prospective buyer at any time. All animals will be health checked. Animals deemed in questionable health, and those who are small, scrawny, or in poor condition will not be sold. Runts or babies from large litters will require a few extra days to comply.  Please take this into account and bring them when they are older.  There are no exceptions to these rules. Please do not bring under-aged animals. Due to the stress on them, they will be placed in another area out of the main traffic areas.

CHA Sales Requirements:

1. Hamster belongs to the seller   
2. Seller is a paid and current CHA Member   
3. Hamster is a minimum of 4 weeks old for Dwarves and 5 weeks old for Syrians
4. Hamster has been in the seller's care for a minimum of two weeks    
5. Hamster has not been exposed to any new hamsters during the two-week period prior to this show
6. Hamster has not shown any symptoms of illness, disease, or parasites for a minimum of two weeks    

CHA Sales Process:

All animals changing hands at a CHA show must be entered in the show. Entry deadlines and fees apply. Entry fee exceptions will be made for a limited number of rescue animals. Those wishing to place rescue animals must contact Linda Price ( a minimum of two weeks prior to the show.

Sellers must completely and accurately fill out a Show Sales Form for EACH animal they are selling prior to check in at the show. Each sales animal will be assigned a sales pen number. This number will be placed on their Show Sales
Form, on a Judges Comment form, and on a visible sticker identifying the show pen as containing an animal for sale.

Sales Hamsters will be health checked and entered in the show per CHA show procedures. After they are judged and commented on, sales animals will be moved to the sales table. All sales will take place from the sales table ONLY. Sellers are welcome to request that buyers speak to them directly about the purchase of an animal, however sales will be conducted by sales table staff.

All buyers will receive the top portion of a completed Show Sales Form with each animal purchased. After sales are complete CHA sales table staff will provide Seller with the money collected and the bottom portion of the completed Show Sales Form as a receipt. CHA is not responsible for bounced checks or any disagreements or problems with animals changing hands at CHA shows.

Seller may chose not to sell an animal once judging is complete. Any ribbons won by sales animals may be kept by seller or given to buyer if seller so chooses.

The CHA does NOT guarantee the health of any animals sold by any breeder/seller nor do they guarantee any claims made by the breeder/seller.  Please work directly with them if you are looking for anything in particular, and please follow up with them on any care, genetics, breeding, or other support issues.  They are the expert on anything they sell.

All hamsters at CHA shows will be sold with a starter kit.  The starter kit comes with

1. A gallon bag (about 12 cups) of a lab-quality lab block
2. A package of bedding
3. A package of hamster grain mix for treats
4. A packet of care information flyers

Please see our
Sales page for further details.

CHA Photo Policy for Shows-

Pictures are usually taken at CHA shows for use on our CHA website.  These include group photos of people as well as pictures of winning or participating hamsters.  On occasion or upon request, pictures of individuals are taken with their hamsters for use in the show results section.  Participation in our shows grants permission for photo use on our CHA website.  If members choose to take their own photos, those photos may be used for personal photo albums.  Pictures taken at CHA shows, though, may not be used on public or personal web sites The only exception to this rule is for pictures taken of the member's own animals or of themselves.
Show Entry Form
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