The Pigeon Racing Federation of Western Australia, and its affiliated clubs, welcome young pigeon fanciers to the age of 17 years* for competition against similar aged members located throughout the clubs of Perth.
The competition, each week, is based on the standard Federation Rules of Racing and the Junior's pigeons are released in company with senior members' birds and the junior competition operates as a mini Federation race against juniors throughout all clubs. On this basis, the competition provides as wide an exposure to like members as possible and offers a chance to compare results against boys and girls in all the clubs of Perth. The competition is both exciting and educational and provides opportunity to apply correct husbandry methods and techniques in the management of pigeons and the art of pigeon racing. Of course, we hope this early grounding will carry forward to many years of enjoyment in the sport, but there is no obligation in this regard. It is quite common for juniors to experience a brief brush with pigeons and pigeon racing, and, as time goes on, other interests will take hold and pigeons will become a passing phase, as it is with many other pursuits that are sampled as part of growing up. Nevertheless, we still believe juniors are worth the effort. Every junior we invest in will take forward an overview and an understanding of pigeon racing that cannot be imparted to a general public. Some of these juniors will become neighbours of pigeon fanciers, some might even become future legislators, wherever they may be, all will maintain an understanding of what pigeon racing it is all about. We also know that some juniors will return to pigeon racing, as adults, and will go on to make it a lifetime hobby and of course, some, once "bitten by the bug" will not leave in the first instance. Such is the true 'magic' of pigeon racing.
Returning to the 'business' side of 'things', pigeon racing for juniors is essentially free, save for the nominal annual fees comprising of $5.00 for Federation Registration (this covers Administrative costs and trophies) and $5.00 - $10.00 Club fee which may apply in some locations and is simply raised to partially offset direct costs to clubs for race banding markers and so on.
* A number of Clubs have race clocks available on loan for a period of 12 months
after which time the Junior would be required to purchase their own.
Juniors must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other accredited person, while at the club, and juniors are also encouraged to help, as necessary, in the actual operation of the club on race entry meetings. Race entry meets are a busy time for all participants, and everyone shares in the workload. Pigeons must be produced for health and fitness inspection by accredited Stewards at the designated time, and this also applies for the pigeon timers, which must be set, signed and sealed by the clock committee in readiness for striking off, at the appointed time. Each Junior's race nomination form also needs to be processed by the Secretary and passed on to the race basket and banding committee who have responsibility for banding and recording each pigeon's unique marker for the race and have it done in sufficient time to coincide with the arrival of the Federation's transport unit, where the birds are shipped to the race station, along with more than 2,000 pigeons from all clubs.
To view the pigeon transporter click here
Juniors are permitted to register up to thirty (30) pigeons with the Federation and may race up to six (6) each week and are accepted free of charge and on an amateur status. It is normal for participating juniors to receive a trophy, or trophies, to mark their achievements throughout the racing year and these are presented at the various club or Federation official presentation night. It is important to note that a racing pigeon clock is required, for all competition, and as these are an expensive item of equipment, juniors should inquire early with their prospective club regarding availability and cost. The construction of a suitable pigeon loft is important and needs to be neat and tidy and essentially blend in with its surroundings and especially when located in close residential situations. Local government regulations apply in most areas and are often not uniform and therefore a check with the Federation is advisable, before making a commitment to a loft and pigeons. The Federation operates both on internal rules and regulations of racing and a published Code of Practice and prospective members need to be aware of their urban obligations and these can be provided on request. Essentially, good pigeon management, on the home-front, is a paramount requirement and the Code of Practice policy, for inner urban living, covers such items as:
The Racing Pigeon should be exercised daily, sufficient to ensure its fitness for the purpose intended.
Free-flight exercise is to be on a planned basis, with duration time typically from 30 to 90 minutes and performed to a maximum of twice daily.
Other than for pigeons returning from racing and training, daily times for free-flight exercise are to be on a planned basis, typically from daylight and concluding by 0900 hours and between 1530 hours and 1900 hours with adjustment according to the annual calendar for available daylight. Application to the Federation/s for planned exercise outside the typical hours should be made.
Free non-flight time, at any time, is to be conducted under close supervision by the owner.
Other than for planned free flight and non-flight times, all racing pigeons are to be confined within their home Loft.
Persistent fielding and or roof sitting habits are prohibited.
The Racing Pigeon should be housed within a Loft, both complying with the Pigeon Keeping and Pigeon Racing Code of Practice and the requirements of Local Authorities.
Inherently, all racing pigeon "Lofts" should be constructed in such a manner as to maintain the correct public image sought by the Pigeon Racing fraternity.
Another important factor to note here is that overall municipal standards apply for siting a pigeon loft on a residential property. Essentially, a loft needs to be situated 1.2 metres from a boundary fence and 9 metres from dwellings, but, again, a check with the Federation is recommended, as some areas vary from these basic parameters. As a general rule of thumb, properties of less than 600m2 are questionable in regards their ability to place a loft and meet the stipulated set-back provisions. Again, a check with the Federation would be advisable before undertaking any loft building.
Back to the Juniors; it is very much a natural progression that junior members can often arise from already established pigeon racing families. In this respect it is important to maintain as level a playing field as possible, between juniors, but, at the same time, we need to minimise the impact of a junior participant racing out of a parent, guardian or sponsor's loft, which, invariably, the loft is governed by limitations as set down by municipal ordinance, ie limits on pigeon numbers on a normal residential property may well apply. In these circumstances the junior's pigeons are permitted to form part of the sponsor's team and needs to be factored into the competition, on a fair-for-all basis. There are a number of combinations that operate, but each combination contains the common factor that the junior nominates up to thirty (30) birds, before the competition starts, and lodges the list with the Federation.
In this respect, the thirty (30) birds may well form part of the sponsors team and therefore it is possible for the sponsor and the junior to have entered the same bird/s (up to the maximum of the junior's 6 and the senior's permitted maximum) for competition. In some circumstances dual ownership is the only solution. On the other hand, the sponsor, and junior, may elect to separate the birds, each into their own unique teams and possibly into separate lofts on the same property. Two scenarios can arise from this two-team competition and these need to be agreed upon before racing commences and is binding for the year. The sponsor may elect to permanently separate the Junior's thirty (30) pigeons from his/her own team and is therefore permitted to nominate the maximum number of birds allowable in the senior competition, and, in addition, the junior may enter her/his own additional six (6) pigeons as a separate entity from the same loft, or property. Alternatively, the junior's team of thirty (30) birds may remain part of the sponsor's team and in which case, where the Junior's birds form a surplus to the sponsor's maximum permitted entry number, these birds are excluded from the sponsor's results for that week only. It is always difficult to achieve the right mix to satisfy every situation, but, the organisation views junior participation as a major priority and is willing to adapt to any equitable situation, providing the level playing field principal is maintained and the sponsor is not penalised, or limited, in open competition for electing to take a junior fancier under wing.
If you would like to make an inquiry about junior pigeon racing in the Pigeon Racing Federation of Western Australia, please contact our accredited official at:
* Some clubs may have a minimum age of 12 years for juniors, but, this is also dependent on the maturity of the junior and ability to adequately participate in club proceedings. Parents, or guardians, of prospective juniors will need to inquire regarding any age condition that may be in place for the club in the respective area.