Many Clubs require that hamsters are entered into the show in advance as this helps reduce the paperwork and effort on the day of the show.
Hamster Shows usually have different classes for different colours and types of Hamsters. For example some classes that may be included are:
Many colours have standards that state how an ideal hamster of a particular colour should look and the hamsters are judged according to this. There are other colours, usually relatively new colours or rare colours, for which no colour standard has been written. There is, however, usually a Non-Standard class into which these hamsters can be entered.
Hamsters for which no colour standard has been written and entered into the Non-Standard class are judged on all of the above points except for colour and so total points awarded are out of 60 (as colour is usually judged out of 40 points).
As well as the 'main' classes there may be duplicate classes in which the hamsters can also be entered. For example:
Junior (if the exhibitor is under 16 years of age)
Breeder (if the hamster was bred by the exhibitor)
Grand Challenge (open to any hamster in the main classes)
On arrival at the show there is a table on which hamsters are placed to await to be judged.
Hamsters are then judged individually by the judge and marked accordingly.
Usually at the end of the show a Best In Show is awarded to the hamster with the highest points out of all the hamsters entered in the show. There is usually a Best In Show for the Syrians and a Best In Show for the Dwarfs.
As well as shows and classes judged to standards there are shows or classes judged to Pet Standards only where the hamsters are judged on condition and tameness only.