In 1989, the Dachshund Club of America began tracking field champion competition through a system which assigned merit points to dogs placing first through fourth place at AKC member and licensed trials. The first place dog received one point for each starter in his/her stake. Second got one less, third got two less, and fourth got three less.
At the present time, merit points are earned only for placements in the Field Champion stakes at AKC licensed or member trials. Points are tabulated using the Delaney System +1 based on the number of starters. A minimum of two Field Champion stake placements during the award year are required to earn an award and / or be included in preliminary listings.
Prior to 2002, dogs received a point for each dog defeated in any regular stake not just field champions. Placements in the open stake were counted if a dog finished its field championship during the award year. Dogs also received a 10 point bonus for absolute wins. Prior to 1995, an absolute winner was awarded points equal to the total number of entries in the trial.
At the end of each calendar year, a Top 20 list is published much like the conformation rankings generated by Canine Chronicle. The Top 10 Field Champions each year receive DCA merit awards.