Different clubs may have different show rules but generally in the UK the show rules at the various clubs are very similar or the same.
Hamsters are shown in standard 'Show Pens'. These are small standard wooden pens with a wire front. This is to ensure that there is no way to distinguish who the owner of the hamster is and to enable easy management of the hamsters in the show.
Some Clubs allow hamsters to be shown in plastic animal carriers with removeable lids as well as standard Show Pens.
Short Haired Hamsters and Dwarf Hamsters are shown with wood shavings in their pens, whilst Long Haired Hamsters are shown with wood based cat litter in their pens to avoid shavings become entangled in the hair during showing.
As no water bottle can be fitted to the Show Pens a piece of moist vegetable must be placed in the pen with the hamster.
The judging is carried out by a qualified judge who will remove each hamster in turn from the Show Pen for judging. The Judge is helped by a 'Book Steward' who assists by writing down the comments of the judge and adding up the points that the judge awards. There are also 'Pen Stewards' who help to place the Show Pens on the judging table and remove them once the hamsters have been judged.
During a show exhibitors should not disturb the judge or handle any of the hamsters in the show or indicate in any way which hamster's belong to them. To do so could result in the hamster being disqualified.
For shows judged to Pet Standards hamsters can often be shown in their own cages.
Many shows in the UK now have between 80 and 150 Syrians entered and between 30 and 60 Dwarf Hamsters. The London Championship show has been known to have 400 entries.