FCI-ban on stick hits ... also for IFR World Championship + Utility Dog Test at the IFR World Show

As we are all aware, the FCI has decided that all stick hits are banned from the IGP-program. We will all have our personal opinions about this decision - as do I - but it seems pointless to enter this discussion.
Since our IGP World Championships are organized on the basis of the FCI program, it is clear that – unless the FCI would in the future decide otherwise again – all stick hits are from now on a thing of the past at the IFR-World Championships too.
Part of our efforts to preserve the qualities of the utility breed was however also the addition to our show regulations that the title of IFR World Winner can only be obtained by dogs that have proven to possess the natural drives of the utility dog.
They have to do this by passing a test on the eve of the show that involves protection work. The regulations leave the judges a certain freedom to determine the routines of the test and do not impose that stick hits must be given (which was the case in 2022) :
“The test will consist out of protection work, namely two exercises : an attack on the dog from the blind and a courage test. Precise instructions on the routines of the exercises will be given by the judge (s) and will be shown to all participants before the actual test starts.”
All personal views left aside, seen the decision of the FCI to bann stick hits and the fact that this decision is now also reflected in the routines of the ZtP, the breeding suitability test by which the “Mother Country” defines breeding suitability and the characteristics that must be preserved, the IFR Board thinks it necessary and inevitable that stick hits must also be banned from our test at the show and that instructions for this must and will be given to the judges of the test.
I dare morever say that it is highly unlikely that a protection helper and/or judge would even be willing to act against the reasons and decisions of the FCI and/or its national Kennel Clubs.
It will be left to the judges to decide on the manner and intensity of the threat and pressure that the protection helpers must deploy. For this, we must and will appeal their knowledge and experience concerning the qualities that define the utility dog.
With friendly greetings,
On behalf of the IFR-Board,
D. Vandecasteele.