NADAC Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Chris Nelson on December 01, 2017, 09:53:12 AM

Title: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 01, 2017, 09:53:12 AM
Hey Folks,

So we are going to work through some possible solutions here, and also rule out some suggestions that just aren't feasible.

Things that aren't feasible:

1) Banning anyone based on emails alone.   This just doesn't work.    Much as I would love to think that everyone is a great and friendly person in the agility world, sometimes that just isn't the case.   And we can't ban someone based off word of mouth alone.   So anyone suggesting this can move on and focus their efforts on a different solution.

2) Limiting VT's to 50%.   This would be massively difficult.    Depending on the application.   If it was 50% of every single title and award, I will be grey before my next birthday.     If it was 50% for a NATCH only, that is much more doable, albeit still very headache inducing.

3) Separating the VT program completely.   This is 100% doable, but I really don't like it.   The only way this will happen is with overwhelming support from everyone.    This would essentially eliminate the VT program for most people, and at that point we might as well just end the program entirely.


Possible solutions that are workable:

A) VT's do not count towards Top Ten or Qualifying points for Championships.   This is incredibly simple to do and would help with 70% of the problems people have.

B)   Mileage rules and time from trial is more strictly and accurately enforced.   This will take some time to make accurate, but currently it's done by good faith.   So any step forward here will be an improvement.   The mileage number would need to be decided.   

C) If you are questioned about the validity of your runs you are required to have another person, approved by NADAC,  to sign off on your videos.    This would help since 90% of the people submitting videos are doing it correctly and with the right intentions.    And the other 10% who we question but don't have proof of anything can be supervised by someone we deem trust worthy.   

D) Only 2 course sets will be posted per month.     This will bring the program more in line with how many trials an average competitor can go to each month.


 
Now some of these solutions will cause new issues.  Mainly with the folks who like to do VT because they just aren't comfortable at trials or have issues with the local club and don't want to trial with them.   And sadly there is no good answer to this and it's just going to be the case, it's still the better option considering the alternative of cancelling the program entirely.

So let me know your thoughts, and try to keep it productive.    I get that everyone is upset, with myself and with the people who created this issue.    But at this point it is what it is and we need to focus on how to fix it for the future, not how we got here.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 01, 2017, 10:37:20 AM
Quote
3) Separating the VT program completely.   This is 100% doable, but I really don't like it.   The only way this will happen is with overwhelming support from everyone.    This would essentially eliminate the VT program for most people, and at that point we might as well just end the program entirely.

Why would keeping the two programs separate eliminate the VT program for most people? They still have the option of working towards VT titles. And they have the option of working towards regular titles at trials. The two just wouldn't be combined, which they shouldn't be. If people don't see value or worth in VT titles I would ask them why they support the program.

Titles and awards are not a god-given right. Not every team is guaranteed a NATCH, be it through financial limitations, training limitations, medical limitations (dog or human) or geographical limitations. Further, if people find it difficult to complete goals towards Versatility NATCH or All Around awards due to class schedules at local trials then that is something to bring up with local clubs. If you just plain old can't afford to run all of your dogs in all of the runs at trials and feel slighted for that reason, that is a *PERSONAL CHOICE* (says she who has five dogs and absolutely makes choices about who does what because of $$).

Or, you just focus on earning those awards in the VT program.

If the programs remain combined, the mileage rule should be boosted greatly. If you have a trial available within a 3 hour drive within a one-month period you shouldn't be able to VT, maybe unless you ALSO go support the trial. VT was originally created to help fill the void for areas without NADAC trials -- not to supplement your trials to allow you to get titles faster and cheaper.

On that note, why not up the cost of VT submissions? Who wouldn't find it appealing to earn titles at a fraction of the cost of attending trials? With VT you have a 100% Q-rate at $5/run. At trials a person is paying $10-$15/run and might have a 20% Q-rate. If you were that person, which would you choose? I mean sure, I'd rather pay $200 for a NATCH than $2000. Make it so that VT submissions cost more than a trial entry -- maybe $20 -- then we'll see what titles really mean to people I guess. And bonus, more $$ for NADAC.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 01, 2017, 12:02:14 PM
I just think a lot of people would feel slighted.   Even though it makes total sense to me to separate them,   I can already see a lot of issues from someone being in Elite-VT-Regular but only in Open regular for trials.
I think folks would just stop competing in one or the other.

Iím more on board with making VTs difficult to do when a trial is nearby and encouraging more people to trial instead,  and if they choose not to support the trial they canít do a VT, period.

The cost thing Iím on the fence about.   I agree it is a very different situation only paying for your Qís instead of paying for your attempt at a Q like at a trial.   Just have to think about the possible negative ramifications from that before I say too much


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: jmurdock on December 01, 2017, 12:27:17 PM
Hi Chris,
Just a thought on the enforcing the mileage rule... I believe the current rule is somewhere around 200 miles which for us is fine most of the year; however, driving over the Sierra Nevada mountains in mid-winter can be difficult if not downright treacherous.  Would you allow us to request specific exceptions at certain times of the year?
thanks for all you do,
Jill Murdock
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 01, 2017, 12:44:20 PM
Hi Chris,
Just a thought on the enforcing the mileage rule... I believe the current rule is somewhere around 200 miles which for us is fine most of the year; however, driving over the Sierra Nevada mountains in mid-winter can be difficult if not downright treacherous.  Would you allow us to request specific exceptions at certain times of the year?
thanks for all you do,
Jill Murdock

Since we're really in a planning phase right now we won't rule anything out.
That also means I can't guarantee anything either!

In the end I think the majority of the smaller intricate rules will be left to a vote, because there is just no obvious or easy answer.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 01, 2017, 02:24:34 PM
Is there any reason you can't combine the solutions?  They all seem like good ones to me.  No VT points to qualify for champs, if there are reports of cheating you must sign off,  and enforce the milage more accurately (as you can).  I don't know about the courses posted, but I also don't have a problem with it.  If the work load is too much with all of that just a combination of no points applying for champs qualifications and requiring sign offs based on reports of cheating (or maybe multiple reports, I don't know) would probably eliminate most of the problems and send a pretty danged clear message that NADAC does not approve or condone the cheating.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on December 01, 2017, 02:29:19 PM
I like Karissa's suggestions. Definitely the one where if there is a trial within a certain distance within that month, you can't do VT. I talked to a trial host last year who said VT runs were really affecting their entries.
How about making VT Qs only worth 5 points and increase the cost a bit. So it would be more expensive and take twice as many Qs to achieve the same title, therefore making trials more appealing. I saw one competitor who earned their natch mostly on VT runs and stopped doing trials. Besides this dog not being successful in a trial atmosphere which I believe all dogs need to to earn top awards, they didn't support the trials. I'd save a TON of money and have only 1/4 of my current awful debt if I only did VT, but there's something special about trialing and should be encouraged. I hate seeing entries falling and since VT, I've seen people in my region be less concerned about attending trials than they were before. 😔  Where they used to attend about 80 percent of trials, now they are attending only about 1/4-1/2 than they were before.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 01, 2017, 02:37:44 PM
The idea of making the VT Q's worth less, or more expensive is definitely an option.

I agree whole heartedly that trials is where people should be.

Also the list I posted above was definitely going to be used ALL TOGETHER!    Using only a couple of those options would help, but at this point we would be enforcing all of the options I listed above.   With the possibility of a couple more not listed.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 01, 2017, 02:46:51 PM
The idea of making the VT Q's worth less, or more expensive is definitely an option.

I agree whole heartedly that trials is where people should be.

Also the list I posted above was definitely going to be used ALL TOGETHER!    Using only a couple of those options would help, but at this point we would be enforcing all of the options I listed above.   With the possibility of a couple more not listed.

Then it sounds like you've got a solution to me! 

I will say I rarely even submit VT runs - I think I've submitted one; I just don't have the space or equipment, though I think I might do some hoopers when the program's back online (or hope to!).

But I tend to agree that separating VT program titling would be... less than ideal.   I don't think it would really address the cheating in any way.  It may well lead to people feeling excluded - and would actually exclude them because their titles now have nothing to do with people doing trials.
 
And most importantly it could potentially  really remove motivation from people who do a lot of VT runs to EVER enter a trial.  Why bother with those few trials they can do/do do now? Those Qs are now the ones not going toward the titles they're getting/going to get.    (Of course the flip side of this is people who do a lot of trials also have no motivation to do VT runs at all, ever, either, but that's not quite the same downside given the 'we want people in trials' thing.)
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on December 01, 2017, 03:16:52 PM
I should mention that VT has had a LOT of positive response in my region and has created some additional interest. And, I know the people by me are very honest. I just hope we keep the trial as the primary goal which it sounds like you are wanting to do.

Keep up the great work, Chris!!  I am forever appreciative!!!!!
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lin Battaglia on December 01, 2017, 07:10:25 PM
Trial attendance is dropping off everywhere. So VTs are hurting many areas. Some people only do VTs alone at home so their dogs aren't getting the same trial test atmosphere and challenges. And there is the honesty issue. In our area some people could easily come to a trial but don't. Yet they travel away for other venues. Limiting VTs to none allowed within 200 miles of where any trials are held. Give it back to those remote people only. The program was started for folks who were living in remote areas without trials. Price them higher, more than or the same as a trial. Points could be earned but no titles. You would have to support a real trial.

Fact : Other venues don't have VTs.

An issue that no one has mentioned here is not everyone is capable of building courses. So how are times and yardages calculated for VTs ? Dogs at trials have to meet all those challenges. 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lynne Almeida on December 01, 2017, 11:12:54 PM
Reading through the suggestions, I think the 5-point idea for VT q's is quite spiffy!  Our practice group tends to do VT runs seasonally ... in our area it's more hazardous to drive to many winter trials, and our winter practice location is more than 200 miles from all 'local' trials.  It's a time of year that club members trial sparingly, if at all, anyways.  I wouldn't feel slighted in the slightest at earning fewer points, given the vastly lower expense.  I wonder if there could be an app for that ... that has current trial locations in it, so when you log in to submit runs, you enter your gps'ed VT run location, and it automatically allows/disallows you based on your location being valid, or not.

The idea of only posting two sets of courses per month seems very reasonable, too.

What about a sign-up form (and maybe a processing fee?) for a club, group, or individual to become a 'certified host' of VT runs?  This could come with signing something saying that one agrees to abide by the code of conduct, etc., and understands that there are (x) repercussions if the rules are found to be broken?  I find that often the simple act of having someone put their name to paper makes them take things a bit more seriously.  This might help with the validity issue, because there will be a go-to party who knows they will be held accountable.

VT's have been a fun way for our group to change up our winter practice routine, and have been a great way to introduce newer folks to what to expect at 'for reals' trials, too.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Edraith on December 02, 2017, 04:22:51 AM
Within 200 miles of me is 6 hours of driving. I would MUCH rather see a drive time.

$20 for a submission? Haha i make $10k a year nope no VT for me anymore.

5pt Q? Look. Either it is the same program (fair for all of us 90%+ers doing it right) or not. If not, Im out. No other venue has VT? EXACTLY. It is something that makes NADAC unique. And it brings IN members too. We already dont get bonuses, dri, and i already thought it didnt count towards champs or anything so sure add that stuff.

As I put in my post in the vt forum, i think the EASIEST implemted, EASIEST to police, and FAIREST system would be limit to 50 VT runs a calendar year.

Average trialer lets say does 1-2 a month depending onlocation, time, money. We will take the Once a monther. Lets say this person works so they cant do fridays and are limited to Sat and Sun. Lets say 4 runs each day which is low end. Thats 8 runs a month = 96 a year. So for a person on the *low end* of trialing, limited to 50VT a year would be half of regular trial.

How is this not the simple fair for all solution?!
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: RobertStewart on December 02, 2017, 10:36:16 AM
The 200 mile limit has been since the beginning, so it makes total sense.

I'd be surprised if trials start having more competitors, but with a 6 month suspension we'll see what happens. I actually think because in the Central Texas area, there is literally a trial almost every single weekend year round, we have 2 indoor climate controlled venues, one on dirt one on turf. So it's endless trial ops here. With minimal travel required. And I'm someone who multi venues because I love the differences that each venue offers.  You should see the faces some people make when I tell them NADAC is my favorite venue.

I know that my club TAG, would still do VT's even if there was a separation of titles, because it's a great training tool. We have people coming in from all around! I believe many in our area would continue doing VT's. However, i don't think it would continue if the cost increased. although if it went to $10 per run,  I believe that would work as well

I do think that the VT's should not count towards top 10 placements, I was actually surprised that they were.

I was asked recently how much longer would we have VT's at our club, I responded with so long as I can move equipment around or have adequate assistance.

I actually think VT's are more chaotic than not. We often will have 10 -25 people with multiple dogs show up for our VT's.
of note, we do not charge our club members to run. and our field use fee for non members is only $5.00 for the day. Unless we're fund raising for our local shelter. Then we usually ask for 15.00 with checks made out to the shelter.

A designate person to oversee that things are happening properly, is brilliant. I know that may be difficult in some areas of the country, but those can possibly be dealt with on their unique circumstances.

2 sets a month is brilliant. Just FYI I've downloaded every course for every week for a couple of years now. They are great for training and teaching on real courses.






Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 02, 2017, 12:08:20 PM
There is absolutely nothing stopping people or groups of people from setting up NADAC courses and running them. I think having fun runs that benefit a local shelter is an awesome idea. I set up courses for my classes every week and run them just for the learning opportunity they provide. Why should each of these runs count as points towards a title -- the same titles I earn when I attend trials? Would people not attend a fundraiser event if it didn't net them titles and awards?

Before I left Wisconsin I drove two hours (each way) to attend fun runs hosted by a local club (well, as local to me as it got). Those runs didn't net me a darn thing other than a learning opportunity and time to play with my dog. Does everyone think that everything they do needs to win them a title now?

There are organizations set up SPECIFICALLY for the sole purpose of video run submissions and they have the appropriate titling programs that go with them. I don't know if VALOR is still a thing, but Bud Houston has a shindig going as well. Those organizations were designed for the "at home player." NADAC was designed to earn titles through attendance at agility trials. There's something for everyone, but not everyone has to do the same something.

Agility is expensive. You know what I do when I don't have money to attend a trial? I stay home and train -- because I still love working with my dogs, and the fact that I can't afford to run them at a trial every weekend to earn titles doesn't stop my enjoyment of still getting to play together.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Amy McGovern on December 02, 2017, 05:18:34 PM
Fact : Other venues don't have VTs.


Lin, that is not true.  There are at least two other active video programs out there, and those are just the ones I know of!  Sure, AKC doesn't have one (that I know of!) but others do.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 02, 2017, 05:50:33 PM
Quote
There are at least two other active video programs out there, and those are just the ones I know of!

Do those organizations also have live in-person trials, and treat qualifying runs the same from both programs?

Please share.

Major agility organizations in the USA:

AKC -- No video program
USDAA -- No video program
CPE -- No video program
UKI -- No video program
ASCA -- No video program
UKC -- No video program
DOCNA -- No video program
TDAA -- No video program

VALOR (Virtual Agility League) -- Only offers video submissions, no live trials
NDAL (National Dog Agility League) -- Only offers video submissions, no live trials

Did I miss any?
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Linda L on December 02, 2017, 07:14:54 PM
I'd like to add something completely different to the discussion.  We run double-run format in live trials, getting two attempts at every course.  Why not allow two attempts at each course in video runs as well?  Only one would count as a Q.  Maybe add a box when submitting the video if it was attempt #1 or attempt #2. 

Linda Lavolette
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: evlcek on December 02, 2017, 07:17:08 PM
I do not agree with punishing people who don't have the time to take off from work/school to attend trials 5 hrs away by increasing the fee of vt runs by 100%.  In addition this increase will make vt run throughs cost more than a trial for groups who rent the field,  vts have been helping bring in people from other venues, that might not be ready for a full fledge trial.  So we would have to pay more per run.  And jr handlers would pay more than at a trial too. What's the point in increasing?  To denture people from running vt. It's not going to cause them to go to more trials
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on December 02, 2017, 07:21:22 PM
The cost is the same as a trial run at $10. That is not unaffordable.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: evlcek on December 02, 2017, 07:24:40 PM
But the club gets some of that money. And not when you have to rent your rings
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 02, 2017, 08:13:51 PM
Youíre only paying for Qís.  If you send in $30 for three Qís that is a lot different then paying $80 to go to a trial for a day just for a chance at those Qís.

The reason for making it more expensive is to make it more like a trial.     
If you would rather give that $10 to a club for a trial run that makes me more than happy.

If you decide to not go to a trial in February and do VT instead,  it is going to cost you more.   


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 02, 2017, 09:12:09 PM
So because there isn't a trial close enough to drive to, you should be able to VT all your runs, and get the same 10 point Q for $5?

I'm sorry but I just don't follow the mind set of this very well.
The alternative, is there are no VT's period.   In which case you wouldn't be trialing at all.

NADAC is the only major venue offering this.   I don't follow that we need to take something that is already a courtesy, and stretch it to the absolute max that is has to work absolutely perfect for every single person.     

Money that comes in from VT makes up absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things for NADAC.    Even with the price increase it will barely make a dent in the operating expenses.

At this point I truly am wondering why, we as NADAC are spending this huge amount of time and effort on a program that is pure courtesy to our competitors and takes away a huge amount of time from us running NADAC for the absolute lack of positive influence it has from our point of view.

The most emails we get every week has to do with VT.    The most issues we have to deal with has to do with VT.    The most complaints we get is about VT.

We're trying to be nice here and keep this program going because it helps some people.     But if it continues to detract from the overall picture of NADAC it's future will more likely be a complete halt instead of a revamp.

NADAC did quite well for nearly 18+ years with no VT program.   Every other venue seems to be doing just peachy with no VT program.    So us keeping it going is us being exceptionally kind since the initial reaction when all these issues came to light was to dump it entirely.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: JimmyS. on December 02, 2017, 09:54:43 PM
But the club gets some of that money. And not when you have to rent your rings
5 hrs of driving I assume is somewhere between 250-300 miles, yes? And I am assuming thatís one way, yes? I wonít right out all the figures but I would guess, depending on the type of vehicle, your spending $50-$100 just in gas. Plus food. Plus hotel if you are doing multiple days.

Now you pay between $8 and $15 a run for EVERY class you want to run.

Now itís extremely possible you have a better Q rate than me but I would be happy with half the runs I enter to be Qís.

Low ball #ís........22 classes (max a 3 day trial can have) is $176. Fuel = $50. Hotel = $150
Total: $376

Even if you could run 22 classes for VT and Qíd every single one, you have saved $156 and 10 hrs of driving. And thatís low trial costs vs high VT costs!

I suppose Iím confused.

I totally understand that upset feelings about a price increase, nobody likes price increases but, when you look at the numbers, it still seems rather fair.






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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on December 02, 2017, 11:07:11 PM
I agree, Jimmy and Chris!  And, outside of reasons completely prohibiting people from attending trials-- weather, work, I don't understand why people would rather do VT, besides for financial reasons. I have the best time at trials!  You see many people from all over the region, you cheer each other on, you celebrate achievements together that were earned in the trial setting. You have a whole weekend to do special bonding with your dog(s). I'm a classic example of tight income, a work schedule that makes me work half the weekends a year, missing close ones because of that, and having to drive up to 9.5 hours one way to trials. But, I do it because I love the trial experience and I'm trying to support the clubs offering trials. I've watched my region lose 5-6 trials a year over my 13 year agility career and I don't want to lose anymore. The trial is the ultimate setting of you and your dogs skills. I'm sad that some people would rather do VT than trial. I know a lot of people have limited trials in their areas and I can understand the need for VT there. I just hope that people would put their main effort into keeping the trials they do have supported and use VT sparingly.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 02, 2017, 11:13:33 PM
My last trial was local - no travel fees.    My entry fees to that trial were 135.00.  I had 14 runs, getting me a 2.00 per run price break (YAY!)  I Qed 4 times.   It was not my weekend, and that's just how it goes.

That works out to 33.7 dollars per Q.

As opposed to a VT event where I'd pay 4.00 per run or 20.00 for 5.  So,  I'd pay 45.00 for 14 runs, + 40.00 for the Qs  (which are the only runs I'd have to submit).  That adds up, total, to 85.00.   That's STILL a sixty dollar/nearly 50% savings over attending even a local trial.

I don't think it's going to help cheating and I've got some grump about price increases because I'm a human with limited money (and also because I'm confused about what this has to do with cheating) but I'm not seeing a problem on that front, nor seeing how it suddenly becomes more expensive than a trial - even for a group of people renting a field.  If you could guarantee a 100% Q Rate it would work out somewhere between 1.00 and 4.00 per run more expensive, but I have had that precisely ONCE.

It's also still far, far, cheaper than the per cost run of any other venue.

And on a completely pragmatic level, that I hate myself for saying because not excluding people is a thing I actually care about a  LOT personally: keeping people in NADAC who don't attend trials and support CLUBS isn't a very sound business priority: and giving people an incentive to NOT go to trials and support clubs even less so.

THAT SAID: I like the VT program and our club hosting events where people can video and submit does support my club (and I'd happily pay more to support them on that end, too, at least when I could - I love my club).  I don't want to see it go for those reasons, or just because I really do think it's a nice thing for a lot of people and I don't want them to lose it.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: evlcek on December 03, 2017, 03:39:23 AM
Actually that's about 200 miles,  I get it. You want to make it comparable to a trial, but like I said that supports the club,   We can't always go to trials. We would love to go to more, and support more clubs, but they are too far for us because of traffic. 200 miles is not equally timed everywhere in the country.  I still feel a  100% increase isrxcesdive, especially since it dosn't support a club
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Maureen deHaan on December 03, 2017, 05:48:38 AM
But the club gets some of that money. And not when you have to rent your rings


Actually - by supporting the club - which is awesome - you are actually supporting everyone who wants to get together to play with their dogs - all the $$ that clubs take in goes toward the running of the trial - at least in my area - there is very little $$ left over for a "profit" if you will - when all is said and done
 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Dheavner on December 03, 2017, 05:54:54 AM
I think it is a PRIVILEGE that NADAC allows us to do VT Runs.  And I hate to hear that some people have taken advantage of that privilege.
No matter what Chris decides to do he is NOT going to make everyone happy.  And being allowed to vote on some of the items is also a privilege.
Since it is a privilege and a choice that we make to do VT runs, I think NADAC should charge $20.00 for each submitted run.  There is so much complaining here on the forum and Chris just asked for possible solutions (Complaining is not a solution).
Thank you Chris for all the hard work that you do.  And Thank you for being considerate to the members and allowing them to vote.

Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Dheavner on December 03, 2017, 06:01:52 AM
Question.....I read that the results of the voting will be posted Dec. 10th.....but when will any of the new rules take effect? 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: JimmyS. on December 03, 2017, 06:03:01 AM
I still feel a  100% increase isrxcesdive, especially since it dosn't support a club
But it does support the lowest priced (or tied for the lowest) venue in the country and the only venue to even offer VT to exhibitors.


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: JimmyS. on December 03, 2017, 06:09:12 AM
But the club gets some of that money. And not when you have to rent your rings


Actually - by supporting the club - which is awesome - you are actually supporting everyone who wants to get together to play with their dogs - all the $$ that clubs take in goes toward the running of the trial - at least in my area - there is very little $$ left over for a "profit" if you will - when all is said and done
In Nadacís case, even with the price increase to VT, by the time you figure on the time involved to judge all the video submissions, enter all that info into the database including put together the email system for every time someone earns a title, AND manually put together awards and spend the unbelievable mailing fees to mail them..... thereís little profit left over for Nadac as well.


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: JimmyS. on December 03, 2017, 06:10:36 AM
Question.....I read that the results of the voting will be posted Dec. 10th.....but when will any of the new rules take effect?
Chris is hoping for Jan 1. He would like to not have to suspend the program so he is trying to have everything situated by then.


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sara Langston on December 03, 2017, 07:14:41 AM
But the club gets some of that money. And not when you have to rent your rings


Actually - by supporting the club - which is awesome - you are actually supporting everyone who wants to get together to play with their dogs - all the $$ that clubs take in goes toward the running of the trial - at least in my area - there is very little $$ left over for a "profit" if you will - when all is said and done
In Nadacís case, even with the price increase to VT, by the time you figure on the time involved to judge all the video submissions, enter all that info into the database including put together the email system for every time someone earns a title, AND manually put together awards and spend the unbelievable mailing fees to mail them..... thereís little profit left over for Nadac as well.


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sara Langston on December 03, 2017, 07:19:26 AM
Oooops.  Somehow, my reply got lost on my previous post.  What I wanted to say in response to the post about what it takes to run the VT program is to not forget about the time involved in selecting, posting/monitoring the courses each week.  Also, if questions come up about a certain course, someone has to research and answer the question.  There is a lot more work to the VT program than can be seen on the surface.  Thanks, Chris, for listening to the exhibitors before making any decisions. 

Sara
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Ed and Dino on December 03, 2017, 07:33:06 AM
I took the survey but if some of this is implemented, I suggest some detail on how to determine some of these restrictions.

For example if the 200 mile restriction is used then it should be based on Google driving directions. A 200 mile restriction by how the crow files could end up being a 300 mile driving distance, which to me is too far. I base this decision on a person coming for 1 day of trial, going and coming same day from home. Not sure how the determination is specified now.

For the within so many days of a trial, this should be made clear that it is before and after your VT run date.
Your choice here are 5 and 10 days the first will knock you out by 1 weekend trial most likely whereas a 10  day limit could knock you out from almost the whole month. There is trial within 200 miles weekend before your VT date and one weekend after your VT date then you cannot submit. You wouldn't be able to submit the following weekend either SO you just lost the whole month. I voted for 5 days on this one, I don't think you should be knocked out for a whole month!

I have never submitted a VT run but I believe it is valuable and should be kept.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: StefanElvstad on December 03, 2017, 09:12:25 AM
I applaud the efforts to reform the VT program. Actually, I do believe that the suggestions that have been made are not so much a reform as a way to return it to a form that remains true to its original intent - provide a way for people in "NADAC deserts" to participate in NADAC activities. It was from the outset clear that you could not submit a VT run that took place when there was a trial that would be an alternative, at the time defined as within 200 miles and 5 days.

As human nature goes, it is easy to stretch boundaries and push envelopes. So there clearly are some, I believe a small minority, of people who choose to do VT as a more convenient and less expensive way to earn their points as compared to attending a trial. It has also gone to a situation where there are clubs/informal groups that have seen the opportunity to put on VT events that essentially are trials, albeit without a judge, score table and trial secretary in place, and also possibly without the necessary liability considerations in place. These developments clearly are outside of the intent of the program.

I also don't see any justification for why it should be cheaper to earn a VT Q than earning one in a trial. Amanda is managing a huge workload of judging the VT runs. In a trial, you have a continuous flow of runs, and as the judge you judge what you see. As one team has finished their run and leashed up, the next team starts. Most videos include a good amount of time for each run prior to start and also after the finish. Amanda is not only doing the role of judge for those runs, but also is the timer, score person and trial secretary. Just the work of judging these runs takes up a lot of time for someone who also needs to spend it on all the other work to support the core mission for NADAC. The current fee for VT does not really cover the time that would be best spent on other activities like course design, club support and all the administrative tasks needed to run a big ship like NADAC. Raising the submission cost to where it becomes on average neutral with trialing is reasonable in my mind.

I hope we can retain the VT program, but return it to the form that better ensures it remains within the original intent. I'm saying this as one of those who has invested, and continue to invest, a lot of time supporting the program. Nonetheless, trials represent the core priority for NADAC, and if the VT program detracts from that, it must be changed or eliminated. The efforts to reform the program have my full support and I think the palette of solutions Chris has suggested offer a good opportunity to save the program.

Personally, I think the major benefit of the program has been to supply courses for training. In many places, there is a scarcity of opportunities to find trainers that understand and support NADAC style agility. I know that many are using the courses for that purpose, and that alone is helping develop skills that encourage people to enter NADAC trials. So whatever happens to the program, I hope that at least that aspect will remain.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 03, 2017, 10:38:04 AM
I think a lot of the issues that a select few are having could be solved with exceptions.

In other words if you have a valid reason for why you canít trial,  whether that be that 150 miles really is a four hour drive because of traffic,  or your work schedule doesnít allow for you to have the weekends off,  then you could get on a exception list and be allowed to submit VTs.

The only thing is that you would need to both prove it,  and your reasoning should have some validity to it.

I think that would solve the issues of the few,  while keeping the stricter rules in place for the masses where itís really needed.


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 03, 2017, 12:33:15 PM
Purely out of curiosity, do you have data to share what percentage of qualifying runs over the last, say, 6 months have come from VT submissions versus real trials?

If the number of anywhere in the range of 25% of all qualifying runs coming from VT then there is way too much VT going on. I'm curious to know just what the comparison is.

I agree with Stefan regarding the availability of course maps. Personally, if you are trying to build up NADAC in an area that DOES have trials available on a reasonable basis (and by that I would consider a trial every month or two within a 2-3 hour drive) then I would argue that having a "NADAC Fun Day" where you set and run NADAC courses WITHOUT QUALIFYING OPPORTUNITIES would do just as much to bring people to the organization as anything else. Then the multi-venue folks could play on the Elite courses, too, where maybe they'd have more fun.

One of the biggest complaints I hear when trying to get people to come to NADAC trials is that they don't want to start over in Novice. UKI has a program where they let you start at a level equal to where you are at in another approved organization. They just take you on your word for it. Heck, even CPE lets you start at Level 3 (I don't do CPE, so maybe Level 3 is equivalent to Novice, I do not know). Might that be an idea to peak the interest and try to bring in some new blood? I realize this is completely off the subject of VT. I'm talking about real trials.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: A Jussero on December 03, 2017, 12:40:08 PM
I trial 4 or 5 times/year because it is a 1200 mile round trip each time to my closest NADAC trial.  I end up taking 5 days for each trial so it is a large expense in time and money.  I do these trials because I love them and the people who share them.   Having the VT option gives us the opportunity to get a few titles, especially for the owner of my rented teammate to show off.  Even for VT runs, I drive 4 hours round trip plus I haul a full pickup load of agility equipment and we do not have access to use any contacts.  The field is surrounded by large apartment complexes, busy roads and sidewalks, blowing garbage, no fences, lots of distractions plus the horrendous ND winds so there are challenges here also.   Yes, there are AKC trials which are a 550 mile round trip--but I love NADAC!

We certainly are a "NADAC desert" so I hope the program can continue, it gives us the only opportunity to have something very close to a trial experience to help us when we actually get to one.  But if not,  thank you for what you have done!
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 03, 2017, 12:45:39 PM
I trial 4 or 5 times/year because it is a 1200 mile round trip each time to my closest NADAC trial.  I end up taking 5 days for each trial so it is a large expense in time and money.  I do these trials because I love them and the people who share them.   Having the VT option gives us the opportunity to get a few titles, especially for the owner of my rented teammate to show off.  Even for VT runs, I drive 4 hours round trip plus I haul a full pickup load of agility equipment and we do not have access to use any contacts.  The field is surrounded by large apartment complexes, busy roads and sidewalks, blowing garbage, no fences, lots of distractions plus the horrendous ND winds so there are challenges here also.   Yes, there are AKC trials which are a 550 mile round trip--but I love NADAC!

We certainly are a "NADAC desert" so I hope the program can continue, it gives us the only opportunity to have something very close to a trial experience to help us when we actually get to one.  But if not,  thank you for what you have done!

Your situation is exactly why the program was created.    And I do think that we can it going for everyone in your situation
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 04, 2017, 07:27:26 AM
So if the submission cost rises to $10 per run we will end up paying $15/run for VT runs unless of course you have room and equipment to run in your own back yard which I do not.  I will opt out of any VT at that time as well.  If I just want to practice I can do that for free where we teach.  No ..... we can't run VT there because there are poles in the building and slats on the contacts.

I think the point that someone else was trying to make is that those putting on the VT runs aren't doing it for free.  When we hold a trial the cost per run to NADAC and the judge don't add up to $10/run. 

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 04, 2017, 07:33:18 AM
So if the submission cost rises to $10 per run we will end up paying $15/run for VT runs unless of course you have room and equipment to run in your own back yard which I do not.  I will opt out of any VT at that time as well.  If I just want to practice I can do that for free where we teach.  No ..... we can't run VT there because there are poles in the building and slats on the contacts.

I think the point that someone else was trying to make is that those putting on the VT runs aren't doing it for free.  When we hold a trial the cost per run to NADAC and the judge don't add up to $10/run. 

Gina

Without price breaks for running many runs, the cost per run in trials I attend is between 11 and 15.00 per run.  With price breaks it is down to 9 or 10.  Nowhere that I run, no matter how many runs goes lower than 9 and I've never heard of anywhere lower than 8.  Even adding in the cost per run at our VT events to submission costs,  I am at worst getting the same 15.00/run that it would cost in one of the more expensive trials.  Obviously this varies based on club and location, but those are the numbers for me.

This is also without accounting for the fact that I pay for runs that aren't Qs in a real trial, as opposed to VT where I only have to pay 2/3 of that cost if a Q.   I am DEFINITELY paying for runs that aren't Qs in in person trials  (and on a bad weekend I have had some '80.00 Qs').

So while I rarely do VT  (or submit VT, I do every event I can get to) it is STILL more cost effective than even the local trial.  For it not to be the submission cost would have to approach something like double the even increased price.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 04, 2017, 07:48:43 AM
So if the submission cost rises to $10 per run we will end up paying $15/run for VT runs unless of course you have room and equipment to run in your own back yard which I do not.  I will opt out of any VT at that time as well.  If I just want to practice I can do that for free where we teach.  No ..... we can't run VT there because there are poles in the building and slats on the contacts.

I think the point that someone else was trying to make is that those putting on the VT runs aren't doing it for free.  When we hold a trial the cost per run to NADAC and the judge don't add up to $10/run. 

Gina

Without price breaks for running many runs, the cost per run in trials I attend is between 11 and 15.00 per run.  With price breaks it is down to 9 or 10.  Nowhere, no matter how many runs goes lower than 9.  Even adding in the cost per run at our VT events, you are at worst getting the same 15.00/run that it would cost in one of the more expensive trials.  Obviously this varies based on club and location, but those are the numbers for me.

This is also without accounting for the fact that I pay for runs that aren't Qs in a real trial, as opposed to VT where I only have to pay that 10.00 for Qs.    I am DEFINITELY paying for runs that aren't Qs in in person trials  (and on a bad weekend I have had some '80.00 Qs')

So while I rarely do VT it is STILL more cost effective than even the local trial.  For it not to be the submission cost would have to approach something like double the even increased price.

We don't have VT events.  There is just one person here that offers them to those interested on a weekday evening.  Usually 2 runs which vary depending on who wants which runs.  Our most expensive trials are $12/run and typically $10/run if you run the whole package.  If we charged more than that we'd probably lose entries.

I do support trials and do travel 5-6 hours to support other groups.  Our local trials have greatly diminished in the last 10 years.  It's just nice to be able to run some week nights in the summer when we know it isn't going to be 95 degrees and humid.  I'm just not willing to spend $15 a run to do that. My Q rate at VT isn't all that great either.  I'm not getting upset over it, just stating my opinion.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: JimmyS. on December 04, 2017, 08:13:15 AM
Itís simply a difference of only paying for Qís vs paying for every run and the trial staff doing all the work vs the Nadac Office doing all the work.

There is no way to describe the amount of behind the scenes work that goes into VTís between Chris, Amanda, and Stefan.

Convenience always costs more. Thatís just life. It never fails, when itís convenient for the end user, itís twice as much work for the people offering it.


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lin Battaglia on December 04, 2017, 08:26:24 AM
Cut down your work load by giving it back to only the remote people. Mileage to be determined by you but maybe 300 miles from trials ? They need it the most. But you still need to require them to travel to at least one trial a year. Separate them out from all the other trial points and give them only VT points with no titles earned thru those points. They would have to go to a trial to earn the final run for that title. Question ...How are yardage and times calculated for VTs ? Not everyone can set a course correctly.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 04, 2017, 09:08:11 AM
If it's really such a big deal just get rid of VT runs.  Our opportunities to trial are never going to be equal across the country anyway.

Hope the people who were cheating are happy with themselves.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on December 04, 2017, 09:10:27 AM
So reading all of the responses, here is my take on it all.

As far as runs counting towards Top 10.  I am indifferent.  It really doesn't matter to me.  Those to me are fun awards and while it is nice to say that my dog was in the Top 10.  In the grand scheme of things, it really isn't a big deal.

Cost of the VT runs:  Again, I am indifferent.  Yes, it might make them $15.00 per run BUT you are only paying the $10.00 if you Q, so in reality, your NQ runs are $5.00 so that does cut down on the cost there.  Most trials I go to cost $10.00 per run (because I run a LOT of runs) and that is whether I Q or not.  I have a beagle that I run.  I generally get MAYBE 1-2 Q's out of 6-8 runs... Not a great percentage so her Q's can cost me $60-80.

Trial distance:  Again, not a huge deal to me, but you do have to take into consideration travel time as well as distance. 

Separate program/less points for a Q:  This just doesn't make sense to me.  The entire purpose of a VT run was to get people who CAN'T get to trials because of distance, work or other reasons a way to get some Q's to work towards their titles.  No, no one is "guaranteed" a title, BUT if you have either NO trials or have to trial 6-8 hours for 3-4 trials per year, or work weekends and can't always get to trials, would you continue to do NADAC trials knowing you might never get those titles?  Not likely, you are more likely to change venues and do something that you can actually earn those titles in.  Yes, there are those that just LOVE the venue and would do that, and there are those that would say, I do it for the joy of trialing and NOT the titles.  But I know for me, and for many other people, if I don't feel that I am working towards something, then I wouldn't do it.  I wouldn't spend the money.  I would find another venue or event to do spend it on.  People who have an abundance of NADAC just don't get that.  If I had only 4 trials per year, it would take me 12 trials (or 3 years) if I Q EVERY run to get enough Q's for a NATCH.  And since we all know that there is no way to Q every run, it would take far more than that.  And that is if I move up immediately, which I NEVER do with my dog.  I would more likely turn to AKC, which has far more trials in far more places. 

I do agree with what someone said earlier, (and I don't remember the exact quote) about it being cheaper to do VT for her titles and her debt wouldn't be as big, but she enjoys going to trials because of the people.  I think that the main reason I like agility so much is because I get to meet a whole bunch of really nice people while I am there.  Yes, I am spending time with my dogs, but I can do that with a walk in the woods, a visit to the pet store, just staying at home and playing with them and it wouldn't cost me much.  And yes, my dogs love agility, but again, I can do that with renting a facility, etc.  And quite honestly, my dogs like to do things with me so agility or not, they would be pretty happy as long as they are with me.  So, the main reason I do agility is because I get to hang with some really great people. VT runs just don't allow me that unless we have a group doing them.  Agility is actually more for ME than it is for my dogs.

As far as no other venues that allow VT, true.  BUT that is what makes NADAC, NADAC.  Most venues don't allow training in the ring either, but we all LOVE NADAC for that.  Most venues use the teeter and NADAC doesn't and we all love NADAC for that.  NADAC doesn't have refusals and we all love NADAC for that.  Most venues have tight courses, back side jumps and NADAC doesn't and we love NADAC for that.  When I started agility, AKC didn't allow mixed breed dogs so I wasn't even ELIGIBLE to compete with them.  It wasn't until 2 years later that they allowed them, and then, the clubs had the choice, and around my area, clubs didn't allow them.  So, every venue has their own set of rules and regulations.  You either like them or not but that is what makes each venue special.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Dheavner on December 04, 2017, 09:11:52 AM
Just an FYI......Trial attendance is down across all venues.....at least they are in Texas. 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on December 04, 2017, 09:15:56 AM
Just an FYI......Trial attendance is down across all venues.....at least they are in Texas.

Right.  Agility is expensive and with the current economy, people have to cut back on things.  I see it here in Illinois as well.  AKC used to have HUGE wait lists for shows and I rarely hear my friends talking about being wait-listed anymore. 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lin Battaglia on December 04, 2017, 10:03:34 AM
Yes, trials used to have wait lists to get in. Drop the VTs and bring back the people that only do VTs. Perhaps help trials.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 04, 2017, 10:10:41 AM
So instead of this round and round bickering about the VT program (either you support it or you don't), perhaps our energy would be better spent at figuring out how to build trial attendance and bring NADAC trials to the areas of the country that are lacking. Because face it, VT has not helped to build trial attendance up to this point, so I'm pretty sure it never will. If anything, the VT program *degrades* how other-venue folks feel about NADAC. They think it's a joke and that the titles hold no value when you can earn them at home. I've had this conversation with a lot of people at non-NADAC trials.

There is no CPE in my region. There is no UKI in my region. There is very little USDAA in my region. There is a ton of AKC and we're up to 13 NADAC trials for 2018. If I want to participate in UKI I have to travel 5-6 hours. Same for USDAA aside from the handful of trials within 90 minutes (3-4 a year). I'm not sure why this is the fault of those organizations. If I want to do more UKI or USDAA then it's kind of up to me to try to build up interest in my area and find out how to make them happen. I'm not making a plea for them to allow me to submit runs via video. How did this become such an expectation and DEMAND of NADAC competitors?
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 04, 2017, 10:33:55 AM
Just an FYI......Trial attendance is down across all venues.....at least they are in Texas.

Absolutely, they are down everywhere I know of.  There are so many competing venues and more and more trials,  not to mention other dog activities, and only so many people and dogs to go around.  People only have so much disposable income so they have to make choices.  We are at saturation and that means something has to give.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lin Battaglia on December 04, 2017, 11:13:22 AM
I agree Gina. Too many choices everywhere. I always say pick one and do it well. Competing in only one venue helps to get titles faster. Find those trails and support them. If you do 4 venues all the time it will take longer to earn titles than if you only supported one venue.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Mark Buehl on December 04, 2017, 11:21:41 AM
I will admit,  I've never submitted a VT run, or attended a VT trial. Just had the thought that Might bring VT costs more in line with other Q's And support local clubs.  If you submit  a video,  and there is a club within 200 miles who hosts a trial that year, you add $2 to your fee.  So if you're doing VT'S in Austin, add $6 (TAG, WAG, New Hope) So your per run cost would be $11, the local clubs would get support,  win win.


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 04, 2017, 11:24:56 AM
Believe it or not, but not everyone is in this game to acquire as many titles as possible in as little time. I happen to enjoy the variety of challenges that the different organizations offer.  I have fun at NADAC trials, but in no way would I want it to be my only organization. I don't feel challenged enough by the courses in NADAC -- Except for Chances, which has always been my favorite. My dogs think it's fun, though, and I like the people, so I fit it into my schedule as able. I guarantee I won't be attending all 13 of those trials in TN next year, I'm just not willing to give up my other organizations that align better with my long term goals.

I recently stopped at a UKI trial on my way home from Wisconsin. As I said earlier, there is no UKI where I live. There is zero chance that I will obtain titles in that organization. But I entered because it was FUN. Imagine that.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 04, 2017, 12:37:35 PM
There is nothing wrong playing purely for fun.  There is also nothing wrong with having goals and trying to achieve them and making steps to make that happen.

Frankly, the attitude that if you're not in pursuit of titles you're doing it wrong is patronizing, demeaning, and obnoxious.  But so is the attitude that anyone who considers anything except having fun in deciding what to do is doing it wrong.

Unless you are not paying your bills, neglecting your family, or are hurting your dog there is NO WRONG.

I have NADAC, AKC agility, Rally, obedience, flyball, barn hunt, lure coursing, dock diving and disc available to me with a reasonable drive.  I only have so many dollars to spend on dog sports.  I only have so many hours to spend training and competing.   Both my dog(s) and I absolutely have to have fun doing it for me to do it at all, and how much fun I have is a factor in my willingness to invest time and money in it - but so is having goals (and by goals in this context I mean getting titles and moving on to the next level, or officially recognized points accumulation) and the achievability of them. 

Where my time and money goes is prioritized by first removing everything that isn't fun for both the dogs and I, and then prioritizing the places where I am able to set and pursue goals with reasonable expectation of success.

That means, yes, that anything that does not allow me to achieve titles and 'move up' in difficulty is going to get what time and money I have 'left over' from those things that do.  Which isn't a whole heck of a lot, frankly.

I have 7 'local' trials in a year with NADAC, and I'll probably add a couple that require travel this coming year.   So, not a desert and not a ton.  Enough, though.   I am able to set goals and achieve them there, so they are my first priority for my hours and my dollars.   I don't expect everyone to have those priorities, but I sure as heck expect not to be told I'm doing it wrong because I care about whether or not I can earn titles when deciding where to spend my time and money.

Titles may not mean anything to you (general you), but they mean something to ME.  Both are okay.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 04, 2017, 02:13:15 PM
As you can see by my signature line, I like titles. I was responding to the idea that we should all focus our time and efforts on one organization to get as many titles as possible (or at least that's how it came across).

I think the argument at hand is how those titles are being obtained. At trials versus not at trials.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 05, 2017, 06:00:15 AM
I only run in NADAC because the course design aligns with what I want to do with my dog.  I only run one venue but we also compete in flyball and dabble in herding.  I like the variety in doing multiple dog sports and I think the dogs enjoy it too.

Flyball doesn't require a lot of brain power for either of us, but it's just plain old fun. 

I like herding because it's awesome to see a dog do what it was bred to do.  I don't like herding trialing so much because it seems so artificial to me.  I'd probably like ranch trialing if I ever tried it.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on December 05, 2017, 09:15:30 AM
I tend to agree.  I work towards titles but it is my choice.  I have limited dollars to spend, so why spread myself out and be stuck not advancing.  If there was a one-off trial, I might try it.  I was actually thinking of running some UKI or CPE with my newest dog just to try it out.  However, she isn't really built for UKI because she is long-strided and fast and doesn't do tight turns well but they have a "try it before you buy it" so it is a possibility. 

When I first started agility, AKC didn't allow mixed breed dogs.  I had a mixed breed dog so I wasn't even ALLOWED to compete in agility with them.  (I was fortunate enough, that where I trained actually did NADAC because I had no clue that there was even differences).  When they started to allow it it was only if the club allowed it.  In my area, the clubs had wait lists anyway so they didn't need to allow them.  It wasn't for a few years that some of them started to allow mixed breeds as attendance dropped at their trials and they needed the dogs to fill.   Also it is restrictive in the fact that it had to be a stand alone trial so any trial that was part of a conformation show I wasn't allowed at.  At the time that it started you weren't allowed to compete at Nationals because it was part of the conformation.  I am not sure what the ruling is now, but Westminster has their agility off site now and before conformation to get around that.  Similar to ASCA, you can compete in it all year, but then you can't compete at Nationals.  No thanks....  I won't spend my dollars at a "non-inclusive" venue. 

Quite honestly, my budget for both time and money is about 8-9 trials a year.  I can generally do that with NADAC and I like the people.  I have gone to AKC trials to watch friends and I can't believe all the snarkiness I hear coming from people about the dog on the course!  I have also gone to USDAA trials and those seem OK, but I don't really like their jump heights or their titling system.  ASCA is growing in our area, but it is similar to NADAC, so there is no reason to do that and then there is a growing amount of UKI. 

Quite honestly, I do enough other things with my dogs that I don't need to do agility every weekend.  And when I do agility, I want it to be fun.  NADAC is just that.  Maybe the courses are not as technical, and I understand those that want that, but I work other things with my dogs. 

And as far as trying to build NADAC here.  We tried, BUT in my area, the trainers are such that they hardly even acknowledge that NADAC exists.  I am currently training at an ACK facility with my newest dog because there are no other places to train and the trainer outright told me that NADAC is dying so why should I start there?  Mind you, she hadn't competed in NADAC in over 10 years.....   I had a friend that was kicked out of a class with a well-known trainer because they said they were competing in NADAC.  And while we do try to get new people to the trials, it is tough if the local trainers don't help out. 

This is a case of where VT could be helpful.  We could set up courses and bring people in, let them compete in a lesser setting, not committing a lot of money or a full day and then have some fun with it.  If they think Q, then they can send that in, if not, well then nothing lost....  And they don't need a NADAC number until they send in a video for review.  Kind of a "try it before you buy it" situation.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lin Battaglia on December 05, 2017, 09:48:44 AM
Thx for filling us in on what the other venues do in your area.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Ed Scharringhausen on December 05, 2017, 07:05:28 PM
If the program goes forward and hopefully the trial mile and day limitations remain, I donít see a need for exceptions HQ approval since it is still incumbent on the Exhibitor to get that local club running a trialís approval. No local trialing club approval = no VT exception. To my knowledge this has worked around Texas well, except for the violator(s).

Iím great with managed VTís for the 600 mile away folks particularly. God love Ďem for having the desire and option for NADAC VT structure.   And Who knows, maybe a new Group eventually develops within their geographic location.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 06, 2017, 09:05:14 AM
If the program goes forward and hopefully the trial mile and day limitations remain, I donít see a need for exceptions HQ approval since it is still incumbent on the Exhibitor to get that local club running a trialís approval. No local trialing club approval = no VT exception. To my knowledge this has worked around Texas well, except for the violator(s).

Iím great with managed VTís for the 600 mile away folks particularly. God love Ďem for having the desire and option for NADAC VT structure.   And Who knows, maybe a new Group eventually develops within their geographic location.

For the most part I agree.

But there are outliers that would be allowed.
A couple that come to mind:

1) There is a particular area where they definitely fall under 150 miles, but it's nearly impossible to actually travel because you have to take a ferry with an impossible schedule.
2) People who were kicked out of the local clubs trials for reasons that don't really align with what NADAC views as a valid reason for kicking them out.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: David Tharle on December 06, 2017, 09:51:11 AM
Thanks for the examples; especially #2.  That hadn't come to mind, but certainly understandable by anyone who's been around any dog sport for any length of time. 

Always good to get more information.

Dave Tharle
Ardmore, AB
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Roger Coor on December 06, 2017, 10:20:14 AM
  I like the idea of having at least several people at the site witnessing the video run that are active in NADAC.  It could even be a slot when submitting of who are several of the people who witnessed this run.
  A lot of trials are getting smaller, there are a lot of reasons for that, such as a whole lot of trials in every venue, a whole lot other activities including other dog sports competing for the "disposable dollar", and the agility community everywhere is aging.  In my area there are people that blame the VTs on smaller trials, but it is odd that the people that do the VTs are the same people that are at more of the regular trials.  In other words in my area for the vast majority that do VTs, the VTs do not replace going to trials, but actually encourage people to be chasing titles and are more likely to keep chasing titles in VTs and regular trials.
  I personally encourage VTs in my area, because we are not competing against other NADAC trials, we are competing against focusing on NADAC vs AKC, USDAA, ASCA, CPE, UKI, Nose Work, Barn Hut, Dock Diving, and the list goes on. 
  In any area if you compete in NADAC long enough you are likely to end up with more of Qs in some classes than other classes.  Having VTs is a much appreciated means of trying to balance that out.  For some they really struggle with Chances, having some VT Chances more often than trials, runs that count really helps by getting more chances (pun intended) at both trying them and getting better at them.  Since Chances is perhaps one of the more signature classes in NADAC, getting better in Chances makes going to a Regular trial much more enjoyable and likely to keep that person going to a NADAC trial. In my area now there are close to 70 or 80 AKC and USDAA trials within 150 miles, when handlers are not taught very little distance skills, those become more attractive.  VTs help keep NADAC on people's minds.
 I see knew people who are not sure if their dog and they are ready for a full trial come and try a VT.  Sometimes it shows they are not ready, but others it boosts there confidence and have a more confident attitude about going on to a full trial.
  In my area, I have not seen people opting to do VTs instead of regular trials.
  To make it less valuable or separate would kill it.

  I have no problem with extending the distance restriction, or the cost per run.  For top ten I could go either way, there are people that can go 30 to 50 trials per year within a 200 mile radius, and those are the people who get the lion's share of the top ten, a VT allows leveling the field against that, but that is certainly not the most important reason to keep VTs.  I see the VTs as having a very positive impact on agility and NADAC agility.  I do not see it as the cause of diminished trial sizes, please stop using VTs as a scapegoat.  For the people who do cheat, they are only cheating themselves and harming a really much appreciated program.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Team Bailey on December 06, 2017, 01:05:56 PM
We really think the VT program needs to continue as it enhances NADAC.  We use the VT's to fill in for the awards, but also to keep our dog in shape, which is very important to us.  We love the way Sunny runs the VT's at Vision Agility.  She is the one that determines if we Q'd or not.  We are in a rather remote area and not many in our group travel the long distance to a trial.  We also like the extra practice and attempting distance once we have run the course for videotaping.  It's a great situation for us and I think NADAC would suffer with lack of attendance at trials due to people dropping out completely.  There are simple remedies to the problems with the VT program.  Let's keep a good thing going as each submission could be supervised for those that can't do it accurately themselves.   
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Billie Rosen on December 06, 2017, 01:56:06 PM
Chris, I have some fact questions about VT's.
   First, how many VT runs are there each year, compared to runs at NADAC trials?  Any way to get that stat?
   Second, what is your take on how many VT's are done by one or two private people, vs. a club putting them on like Jumping Chollas?
   Third, what is your take on how many VT's are done in more remote areas where NADAC trials are non-existent or pretty scarce, vs. urban areas, like Phoenix?

I think that data could really help figuring out whether they should continue and, if so, in what form with what rules.  Thanks.

Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 06, 2017, 02:13:43 PM
Chris, I have some fact questions about VT's.
   First, how many VT runs are there each year, compared to runs at NADAC trials?  Any way to get that stat?
   Second, what is your take on how many VT's are done by one or two private people, vs. a club putting them on like Jumping Chollas?
   Third, what is your take on how many VT's are done in more remote areas where NADAC trials are non-existent or pretty scarce, vs. urban areas, like Phoenix?

I think that data could really help figuring out whether they should continue and, if so, in what form with what rules.  Thanks.



Good questions!

So far in 2017 VT's have accounted for 5% of the total Q's.    Now obviously that number becomes even smaller when you account for runs V Q's at a trial, and I'm only looking at Q's submitted.

I checked a few different years, and it pretty much always stays right at 5%, give or take 0.5%
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 06, 2017, 02:22:07 PM
And what cities contribute the most:

Phoenix
Tucson
Mandan
Port Orchard
Rapid City
Austin
Norman
Olalla
Virginia Beach
Scottsdale
Eatonton
Minot
Leander
Santa Rosa
Buda
Appleton
Vermilion
Moscow
Blacksburg
Huntsville
Eagle River
Greensboro
Puyallup
Glendale
Powder Springs
Hortonville
Cortez
Va Beach
Creswell
Haymarket
Clermont
Sturgeon Bay
Gold River
Lancaster
Round Rock
Cave Creek
Lloydminster
Townsend
Hewitt
Pullman
Dolores
Helena
Lakeland
McGregor
CEDAR PARK
Durango
Colorado Springs
Kaukauna
Roanoke
Newnan
Chino Valley
Virginia City
Boise
Chesapeake
neenah
Oklahoma City
Kansas City
South Wales
Mancos
Fayetteville
Lees Summit
Tempe
Prescott
Farmington
Sharon
Thonotosassa
Greenville
Louisburg
Peoria
Seattle
Valrico
Winnipeg
Atlanta
Corvallis
Saanichton
Albuquerque
Bridgeton
Knoxville
Bremerton
Douglass
Eagle
Goldenrod
New Berlin
Petaluma
Sandpoint
Akron
Bozeman
Brighton
Evansville
Hardy
Hudson Oaks
Rome
Sebring
Clinton Township
De Pere
Elk Grove
Sidney
Ardmore
Bishop
Meridianville
Plano
Windsor
Cokato
Dallas
Driftwood
Moab
North Saanich
OKC
Rapid River
Reno
Sierra Vista
Attleboro
Emmett
Flagstaff
McKinney
Prior Lake
Anchorage
Aurora
Bellingham
Chandler
Chattanooga
Forestville
Georgetown
Hesperus
Kailua Kona
Manitowoc
Mill Valley
Mokena
New London
Sparks
Victoria
Bertram
Bulverde
Denver
Fairburn
Green Bay
Lincoln
Rowlett
Sebastopol
Wichita
Belton
Billings
Caldwell
Covington
EL MIRAGE
Geyserville
Island Lake
Jefferson City
Las Cruces
Lee'S Summit
Louisville
Mammoth Lakes
Maple Valley
Maplewood
Minneapolis
Peculiar
Pflugerville
Prairie Village
Pringle
Thunder Bay
Bend
Bucyrus
Clawson
Colden
De Soto
Gower
Greenback
Hamilton
Nanaimo
OMRO
Sammamish
Snohomish
Thornton
Truckee
Vinton
Argyle
Brooks
Broomfield
Calgary
Church Hill
Decatur
East Helena
Firestone
Gladston
Greeley
Henrico
Malcolm
Mesa
Mundelein
Nevada
Palm Desert
Springfield
Venice
West Richland
Antioch
Arlington
Black Creek
Bloomington
Boulder
Butte
Cheektowaga
Craig
Escanaba
Eureka
Gaithersburg
Grass Valley
Johnstown
Kailua-Kona
Lewiston
Munising
Northridge
Overland Park
Pahoa
Richland
Riverview
Salem
St. Clair Shores
Troy
Tyler
Union
Warrensburg
Warwick
Washoe Valley
Winter Springs
Alachua
Amado
Anderson
Athens
Auburn
Ausin
Benalto
Billlings
Blue Springs
Carson City
Celina
Clearwater
Cold Lake
East Coburg
Florence
Fort Worth
Johnston
Kamuela
Keaau
Kingsford
Kingston
Kurtistown
Kyle
Larsen
Lecanto
Liberty
McLeansboro
Mechanicsburg
New Braunfels
New Richmond
Oakdale
Piedmont
Plymouth
Prescott Valley
Pula
Red Deer
Royse City
Sacramento
San Antonio
Shady Spring
Sheridan
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN
Springtown
Sterling Heights
Stevensville
Tampa
Vancouver
Westwood
AZ
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ND
WA
SD
TX
OK
WA
VA
AZ
GA
ND
TX
CA
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WI
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ID
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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Foomin Z on December 06, 2017, 03:40:07 PM
I don't understand why clubs and groups of people gathering to do VT runs don't just hold a real trial. Is it because they don't want to buy the ribbons and pay a judge? A lot of the other things you see at trials are not really necessary (raffles, food, etc). They are already together at a site with equipment, changing the courses and jump bar heights. All that seems to be missing is a stopwatch, which is now available on every smartphone, and a pen and paper.

If ribbons were no longer required to be given, would it make it that much cheaper to hold an official trial? Can trials in remote areas have a local person designated as a judge who does not run dogs at that particular event (I think UKI did that in the beginning before they gathered up a judges roster)? If these smaller groups only want to do a couple of courses, as opposed to six runs per day, would that help?
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 06, 2017, 04:50:23 PM
The cost of a judge is usually the hardest part.

Most flights are $500-700.
Hotel for 2 nights is pretty close to $160 if you can find a cheap one.
Judging fee is $1 per run, assuming you have a REALLY REALLY small trial of maybe 200 runs, that would be $200.

So right there just in your judge you've got nearly $1200 and we have skipped a few important things.   

If you are running this in your own facility where you don't have to pay a rental fee, then it's do-able.
But as soon as you start talking about renting a facility, well there's another $1500 in most areas.

There are also fees to NADAC.   But we do have a history of waiving those fees on the incredibly small trials.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Visionagility on December 06, 2017, 05:24:45 PM
 I will offer my .02 on this topic as a club and as an individual who hosts Vt runs. I see this program as a benefit to many in remote areas or not to people who are never going to travel to a trial be it 150 or 200 or more miles. I can tell you that they feel an great accomplishment every time they have a chance to work towards a title, be it any title most are not picky. As for the increase for run submission everything usual goes up at sometime so not a big deal as long as it is not more then you would pay for a run at a trial.

 As club owner, yes sometimes we do not have the entries to cover the costs of a trial weekend, that is no one's fault it is just what happens sometimes. There for yes I will host a vt day or 2 great part of this NADAC still makes some money for the weekend and a few people get a chance to work with their dogs and on titles if they choose.

Funny part for as many vt runs as I offer my Q rate as not seemed to increase seems to be about the same as a trial weekend slim to none! :)

 So i think we can come up with something that will work for most there are always going to some that can't follow rules, but that will always be true in many things.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sharon Nelson on December 06, 2017, 05:27:58 PM
I should mention that VT has had a LOT of positive response in my region and has created some additional interest. And, I know the people by me are very honest. I just hope we keep the trial as the primary goal which it sounds like you are wanting to do.

Keep up the great work, Chris!!  I am forever appreciative!!!!!

Very true!  And you are in an area where you also get good entry numbers.

Sad fact, but in some areas, people do VT because the local clubs are not nice to their competitors. 

I think that some clubs need to not complain about losing entries to VT and ask themselves, "why would a person choose to do VT instead of supporting the local trials?".   

In areas where the people continually rave about how great the clubs are, the entries are getting higher and higher.  In other areas, the entries continue to decrease and exhibitors complain that the clubs are very difficult to deal with at trials and make them feel unwelcome.

There are many reasons that people choose to do VT.  All of those reasons should be examined.

Sharon
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: aprweber on December 06, 2017, 06:27:19 PM
I was going to stay out of this, but as someone who both goes to trials and does VT, I will contribute to the conversation.  I do my VT runs in the summer.  My dogs are not bothered much by the heat, but I am.  I will be ill if I work and trial all day in the heat.  It is worse for me if it is an outdoor trial. I do trial in the summer, but there are consequences for me.

So, I will set a VT course to run in the morning, or early evening.  I usually have 1 or 2 other people to run their dogs as well.

There are no climate controlled arenas anywhere within a 6 hour drive that I know of.  There is an arena in Belgrade, MT that stays fairly cool, and I have gone there in July and August.  It is, according to Google, 441.8 miles away from me and a bit over 7 hours. The seven hours does not include stopping to potty 3 dogs, etc..  You can all do the math for the cost of gas, hotel, and entry fees. As a senior citizen, the long drives are getting harder and harder to do. And, as a retiree, the income is not what it once was.

I do not have exact numbers, but I believe my Q rate between trials and VT is very close.  The only differences are that there are fewer witnesses to the runs in which everything goes wrong, and I can go back and train that contact after the last obstacle.

I appreciate the VT program, and hope it will stay around.
April
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Amy McGovern on December 06, 2017, 07:35:18 PM
Chris that list is awesome.  Is that total or per year? 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 06, 2017, 07:55:54 PM
Re: Cost of judge/trials.  To keep things relatively impartial and fair there are also rules about how close to 'home' a judge can judge.  So a local person really isn't an option for saving money for clubs.   As Chris said, it's just expensive.

And of course entries are what is used to recoup those costs, and when the trial is small (either in number of people or number of runs) that actually makes it harder to do.   Those 10-15 whatever people show up to run a few courses at a VT run aren't going to come close to enough entries to pay for a real trial, as I understand the math.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on December 06, 2017, 10:00:38 PM
It seems that a lot of these answers, and I haven't read them all yet, support or suggest things that don't affect them. For instance, if people have a lot of local trials that are nearby in their area, they support the 200-mile limitation. (I thought it was 150 mile limitation.) But anyway, they seem to support that issue because it won't affect them at all. And I will support Jill's suggestion that in the winter, traveling 150 miles over a place such as the Sierra is a lot more difficult then traveling somewhere in the Midwest, an exemption might be considered. And I say that having lived for quite a while in the Midwest.

That's only one example. Chris, I think in evaluating these suggestions you have to look at what is best for the program overall, and not suggestions that are specific to certain people in certain locations. A lot of people have said that VTS were started for people in remote locations, and that is true. But I also thought there were other reasons, such as people having certain dogs that did not do well at trials or were aggressive, and they wanted to do agility somewhere else.  If this is no longer reason for VTS, then  that reason should be dropped. And I will note that this does not apply to me.

I think any solutions that are proposed should be addressing the main problem, which is 10% of the people who are cheating. It should not be for other people to beat the drum again for reasons they did not want the VT program in the first place. I don't think I see how changing up the mileage for VT trials addresses the issue of cheating, unless the whole program is open to review, and that is somehow seen as addressing some other issue.

The only way I see to address the issue of cheating is you have some kind of verification process. Perhaps there should be a document everyone should sign when submitting a VT run to testify they have done it according to the rules. And anyone making a complaint that someone has not abided by the rules should have to sign a statement as well. If one or the other has signed the statement and is found to be lying, then throw the book at them. I don't think a complaint should be anonymous, but I think people should be able to make complaints without having their name made public. As Lynne said, sometimes just putting your name on a document like that, knowing the penalty will be expulsion forever if you're found to be cheating may cause some people pause.

The other way to stop cheating is to eliminate the reason people are cheating. Are they doing it to qualify for championships? Are they doing it so they get titles cheaper?  Whatever the reason, it should be addressed to that issue. If people are doing it because it's cheaper, then I guess raising the price to $10 a run might address that issue.

And finally, and I know I'm not the first person to bring this up, if it's only 10% of the people, why penalize everyone else? I am a firm believer that if you have to cheat to get something, how can you live with yourself that you've actually earned something when you had the cheat to do it? Pick a category that can be easily verified, such as you can't use VTs to qualify for Champs or top 10 or whatever other category you wish, and then don't worry about the rest. In the end anybody else who knows, and there will be others that know, will know that they really didn't earn it. But since we aren't competing against anyone else except ourselves, then let those people live with their fake results.

If the reason to dispose of the VT program is because it is too much work and not cost effective for NADAC, then you either have to make that decision based on business reasons or solicit reasons that might assist with that problem.

I will note that having VTs is not the reason, or the only reason, people are not coming to trials. For me, often the cost of lodging elsewhere is prohibitive. Maybe start a list with people who are willing to rent out a room cheaply for those attending trials in their area? Others will go to trials with the runs are the cheapest. Others won't go to trials because of the club, or political reasons or petty issues that have come up. There are other reasons too, is Sharon has mentioned. VTs are not the only reason that there is fewer people attending trials. I think that clubs may have to look at themselves as to why they may not be having the attendance they would like.


Thank you, Chris, for sharing that list indicating the number of VT run submitted from what places. I think that is an interesting tool to maybe decide how to pin address the problem, and addresses some arguments people have for or against VT trials in their area.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on December 06, 2017, 10:24:16 PM
Itís simply a difference of only paying for Qís vs paying for every run and the trial staff doing all the work vs the Nadac Office doing all the work.

There is no way to describe the amount of behind the scenes work that goes into VTís between Chris, Amanda, and Stefan.

Convenience always costs more. Thatís just life. It never fails, when itís convenient for the end user, itís twice as much work for the people offering it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

If one of the reasons for reevaluating the program is that the amount of work involved is not cost-effective, let's throw that into the mix as well as the cheating issue. It seems to me this is a separate issue from cheating and needs to be addressed as well.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Rosemary on December 07, 2017, 11:24:36 AM
I may be wrong, Sheila, but I am guessing that since a problem has come to light regarding the current state of the VT program Chris and company have decided to address the program as a whole and make any changes necessary at one time. 

I do not participate in the VT program, but I do see the value of it for those who have little opportunity to attend actual trials. 

Often you will hear someone say "I'm not hurting anyone".  I do hope that the folks who were dishonest will see that they are, in fact, potentially hurting someone after all.

Thank you Chris, Amanda, Jimmy, Becky and everyone else at NADAC HQ for all of your hard work.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on December 07, 2017, 06:06:08 PM
You are probably right, Rosemary, and that's why I was commenting.  Is the whole program up for review, or is it just dealing with the cheating?
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: HarryMelamed on December 08, 2017, 09:39:24 AM
Looks like I missed all of the fun while I was out of town.

There are a few things that concern me (besides my erratic handling)

$10 seems a little high per run.
Been doing these for 3 years and wasn't aware I could cheat.  Could someone clue me in on what I can do to get those last Chances runs for my NATCH?

Chris, so sorry you have to face nastiness.  Hang in there.

Happy Holidays to all!
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 08, 2017, 10:22:01 AM
Chris that list is awesome.  Is that total or per year? 
That was for 2016.   And it's number of Q's
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 08, 2017, 10:31:59 AM
In regards to some of the changes that don't really make sense to people given the original reasoning for the changes.

Cost:
The original idea behind the VT program was that it was based on good ethics and morals.   Because of that it was designed with very little oversight.    But because of the recent issues we are now going to be spending a LOT more time checking every single submission that comes in.    Time is already something we are always very short on.     So if we are doubling the amount of time we spend on the VT program the cost will reflect that.

Distance: 
This does actually apply pretty directly to the abusing the rules issue.      People are NOT supposed to submit VT's when there is a trial nearby.   The current mileage is 200 miles from a trial, and if you want to submit VT's you have to get permission from the club.     Again this was always done on good faith, but now we are going to be patrolling it.    And this was just a good time to get a vote on what people really want for a mileage limit.


All the other questions that we left up to a vote are in relation to what people feel is fair.    And if people do continue to find a way to cheat, at least they will be more limited in what they can achieve by doing so.    Yes this would affect the good people too, but right now the vote is leaning towards the submission limit being 10 runs per month, per dog.    Which I think is okay.    For a program that is a courtesy, I think that's pretty generous and if you want to earn more titles quicker, then you need to trial as well.     I think it's actually one of the better things that will come out of the VT program update.    People can still submit and get their Q's, but if they want to earn those awards faster, well you'll need to pack your bags and support your clubs.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lin Battaglia on December 08, 2017, 11:15:46 AM
If you take 10-15 dogs out of a trial, that can make or break a trial. For one dog at $10 per run / 8 runs a day. You do the math. It has a big impact. Add in all the costs of a trial that Chris mentioned and trials need your support. I always questioned why dogs that are aggressive or too shy or whatever to run at trials are allowed VTs, their tests aren't the same for all dogs running at trials. Isn't that part of earning those points ? It's not the same. 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Marj Vincent on December 08, 2017, 12:58:11 PM
I agree the VT program is a wonderful venue for those that don't have the opportunity to trial due to a lack of trials near them or for other personal/dog reasons.  And it probably does need to be reviewed,  especially if the income is not justifying the work load. I think the $10 cost is very fair.  I also want to thank Chris, Amanda, and Jimmy for all your hard work!

Many years ago, when the VT program first came on board, a group of my friends were having dinner and one very close friend was absolutely pissed off about this new program. This person was raging and ranting about how unfair it was to earn a Q in your own back yard. I turned to this person and calmly asked one question...."Does this VT program effect you in any way?"  After a few moments the frustration and rage left their face and the person responded with "NO, it doesn't."   This person then thanked me for slapping them on the side of the head and bringing clarity to their perspective. 

As I think about the current discussion about cheating or how someone is using the program because their dog can't deal with a trial situation....I go back to my first question.  "Does this effect me in any way"  My answer is still 'NO'. In reality, it is their guilt or decisions, not mine.  Life is too short to worry about what other people are doing.


Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 08, 2017, 02:50:08 PM
Obviously I am not a supporter of the VT program.

As someone who trials in multiple venues, I *do* feel that it affects me. It affects me because people make fun of NADAC and I feel I am constantly having to defend my decision to continue to participate in this organization. I feel very strongly that there is a huge difference between qualifying runs earned at a trial versus in a VT scenario. I am proud of every Q and title I have earned in a trial setting, under trial stress, possibly dealing with inclement weather, and running the courses presented in front of me on that day. With VT you can pick and choose what courses you run based on your strengths, you can set up the course on a beautiful clear day, you don't have dozens of barking dogs in the background, you get more time to familiarize yourself with the course, and of course, the cheaters are practicing. It's just not the same. I don't think they should count for the same. The majority of the agility community thinks it's ridiculous that you can earn titles by submitting runs you ran at home.

I have been working hard to support the NADAC trials in my area and get people to attend them -- and as a trainer, I encourage my students to attend NADAC trials and we work on skills that will help them to be successful in NADAC. But I cannot defend VT. I do not support the program and I never will. If it makes my titles a joke to the rest of the agility world then why am I spending so much time and money to attain them?
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lin Battaglia on December 08, 2017, 03:08:14 PM
I believe in the beginning of this discussion Chris said he didn't want to separate these out. OK but here's a new suggestion. Have VT points not count toward any trialing titles. Develop a new point system just for VTs, so VT people have something to work toward and be successful at. Perhaps a 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500 and so on just for VTs. Give VT only awards just for points in the different classes. Nothing toward trailing points or trailing titles. No combination of points. Cheating doesn't matter then. I wonder how many folks would choose trialing then? Just kicking around ideas here. 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 08, 2017, 03:53:26 PM
I tend to be of the opinion that being highly concerned about other people's opinion of the validity of your titles or  organization choices is a personal problem - not a problem with the organization or for the organization to solve.   

I can't think of a single agility organization that I do not hear derided and mocked by people who don't like it.   Including 'Agility in the USA as a whole is a joke'.   So be it.  I know where I run, how I run, under what conditions I run and feel absolutely no need to demand that other people do the same so I can convince other people to be 'appropriately' impressed by those titles.

I also think that, again, saying VT runs won't count for titles is going to alienate those people from coming to trials at all, accomplish nothing but soothing some wounded pride in a minority of trial competitors, and generally do nothing to address the issues that this reform is meant to address.   That's opinion.  what's going to happen is going to happen.  Some people are going to be unhappy no matter what.   It's just the nature of the beast.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 08, 2017, 04:01:50 PM
Quote
I tend to be of the opinion that being highly concerned about other people's opinion of the validity of your titles or  organization choices is a personal problem - not a problem with the organization or for the organization to solve.

When an organization is trying to solve the problem of dwindling trial numbers and can't figure out why people are leaving NADAC, then this does become a problem for the organization to solve. If people won't do NADAC because they think the titles are a joke then that IS a problem for the organization. This is not about my feelings, it's about one of the reasons why NADAC numbers have dropped since the inception of the VT program.

Also, as a person operating a business and deriving at least a portion of my income from training others to do agility, it does matter if people think my titles are a joke because I am less likely to obtain their business. So this sort of thing directly affects me.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Laura Anne Welch on December 08, 2017, 04:39:13 PM
I note that many of those who are advocating for making VT a separate title or for making them "fun runs" or for reducing the value of them have multiple NATCHES.  One said that there are NADAC trials in her area almost every weekend.  I truly think that this is great.  But, we have a paucity of NADAC here in NC.  I want VT because it is a chance to try a "trial quality" course and, maybe, Q without having to travel so far to get one.  Please, consider that VT is valuable for those of us who don't  have the option of spending the money to travel to almost every . single. NADAC. trial. that we do.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 08, 2017, 04:49:56 PM
Quote
I tend to be of the opinion that being highly concerned about other people's opinion of the validity of your titles or  organization choices is a personal problem - not a problem with the organization or for the organization to solve.

When an organization is trying to solve the problem of dwindling trial numbers and can't figure out why people are leaving NADAC, then this does become a problem for the organization to solve. If people won't do NADAC because they think the titles are a joke then that IS a problem for the organization. This is not about my feelings, it's about one of the reasons why NADAC numbers have dropped since the inception of the VT program.

Also, as a person operating a business and deriving at least a portion of my income from training others to do agility, it does matter if people think my titles are a joke because I am less likely to obtain their business. So this sort of thing directly affects me.

I don't think NADAC numbers have particularly dropped since the inception of the VT program.  I think NADAC numbers have dropped.   Correlation doesn't equal causation, and certainly I've seen no evidence of any direct correlation in those numbers.   Or even allusion to them outside people who don't like the program.    I also think it's been made clear that it is important to people running NADAC to keep the VT program, even if limited and in spite of additional work for them.  I assume there are reasons for that.

And you are absolutely right.  Every single person has the right to spend their money where they see fit, and to ensure that those places are working for them.   People are going to be unhappy no matter what happens with this change.  The options in that case are, ultimately, 'deal with it or find a better fit to give your money to'.   

In NADAC in particular, I see more complaining about those changes,  with the idea that things should be changed to better suit them individually, than I do ANYWHERE else in either dog sports or life.   I have no idea why it happens so much here, possibly because the people running it try so very hard to make sure to get input, or maybe it's just visibility of it.

But it frustrates the ever loving crap out of me when it happens - especially when it happens AFTER opportunity to present discussions and points of views, have input,  and a decision of any type is announced.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Foomin Z on December 08, 2017, 05:07:55 PM
Re: Cost of judge/trials.  To keep things relatively impartial and fair there are also rules about how close to 'home' a judge can judge.  So a local person really isn't an option for saving money for clubs. 
How unusual for this judging-distance limit to exist. Locally to me, there are a number of judges for various organizations who rotate around to all the local sites for trials. Wouldn't it help smaller groupings of people if they could become NADAC judges and work local trials?
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Amy McGovern on December 08, 2017, 05:36:56 PM
I have a fun idea that will share the VT stories.  For those of us who VT regularly, explain all the ways in which a VT is more challenging for your dog than going to a show. 

1) We used to have to VT in a park.  That meant we were VT'ing with lots of kids and other dogs running around us (other dogs sometimes off leash).  One time a preschooler carrying a nerf gun ran right through our course while we were running.  And the squirrels... Lots and lots of squirrels.  I think this training is great for trials but it sure is a lot harder than the controlled conditions you get at shows. 

2) We used to VT in a friend's yard.  Her neighbor (other side of the fence) had a very loud dog who would bark at us nearly all the time.  Another distraction in that yard?  The wildlife (pack rats, tarantula, hawks, etc).  My dogs are hunters so they literally found the wildlife and pointed it out.  The tarantula was a surprise.  I'm still glad she didn't try to catch that one (she was just staring it down).  Not going to find those at every trial!

3) We now are renting land to VT.  Distractions?  Loose neighborhood dogs who come by, gophers (my dogs are big hunters so the obvious gopher holes are distractions to them that they are learning to ignore), snakes, traffic only a few feet away (the land is right next to a country road so it doesn't have much traffic but the traffic is fast), and in between runs: drones. 

I could probably make a longer list but I am looking forward to hearing other people's stories too.  I know the conditions are not pristine and easy.  And if we made a list of how it is harder for *us* as handlers?  Well, start with having to set entire courses by ourselves... There is a reason I only run tunnelers when I have help building the courses!  One can only lug so many tunnels and bags around!
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on December 08, 2017, 05:47:50 PM
I agree with both Lin and Karissa.  That increased VTs hurt trial numbers in the long run and that earning VTs at training sites where dogs are comfortable, is not the same as earning them in trials.  One short example... my dog Kaiden's contacts are 100% where we train and he has perfect start line stays. Add in trial excitement...well... and that becomes a training issue.  However, I do train often and try to improve these issues so we can be successful in a trial atmosphere.  A Q in a VT on a course with contacts for me is pretty much a given,  In a trial...well, maybe 70% success.  There is a difference with trial stress vs. VT stress.
And, although I said I think VTs should not be done away with, I'm saddened that people don't see the value in trials as much as before because of VT access. I'm trying to keep interest/numbers up at trials in our area because I'm afraid over time, we will lose them.  So, I think VTs should be limited for various reasons.  They should remain for those that have no access to trials.
Amy-- those you mentioned are frequent issues we all face when we trial outdoors in parks.  I've been to many outdoor trials.
 Mostly in Colorado, Iowa, and Missouri.  Some had army helicopters flying overhead often, the army guys shooting at their practice range nearby, kids playing ball nearby, traffic, sprinklers, one had a race going through not far from the rings, volleyball areas, BBQ wafting our way, of course weather changes.  How about Bears roaming through the park at night.  Yeah, that was interesting!  I could list a million distractions.  This is not limited to VT areas. I have been to probably 25 outdoor trials over the years.  They all have new challenges especially when they are in public parks, and they never deter me.  Only the inconvenience of weather and hauling twice as much stuff in my tiny car.  But, I still attend them.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 08, 2017, 06:44:37 PM
Here is my take.

Yes VT's are different then a trial environment.   There is no argument there, no valid one anyway.

Where I do disagree is that setting up a VT course will give anyone an advantage, if they are following the rules.

I would gladly set up a course anywhere in the country.    Give 10 handlers two hours to analyze the course.   And then let them run.   After watching thousands of runs and watching a LOT of vt runs live in person, I do not believe the Q rate would be any different between the two.

Until someone creates a device that lets us communicate with dogs, I believe that will always be the case.     

Now if someone sets up the course, and then spends two hours in a separate area practicing a wrap because there is one on the course, well that's different, and NOT in the spirit of VT.

So a better question would be how do we stop people from doing that, and negating the possible negative effects of the people who do it.

I think limiting the number of Q's is a good one.   Limiting it to 10 submissions per month, per dog will slow down anyone abusing the system a LOT.

Currently the most Regular Q's anyone has ever earned in a single month is 6 from VT.    You can do way better then that attending trials.   So just slowly down the accumulation of titles and making it where going to trials is more enticing is a nice option.

And then for the cheating.   Well we have a few things that we look for when watching videos that make us suspicious.   I'm NOT going to list those things here.    Sort of like reverse engineering something, I would hate to give away our secrets as it would then be easier for people to sneak around them.


Also it's worth mentioning that just because we are going to implement everything in January and keep the program going, that does NOT remove the fact it's under review.   If things don't improve by June then the program is highly likely to either be cancelled, or points separated from those earned at trials.    I have high hopes that the changes will improve the program by a large factor
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: David Tharle on December 08, 2017, 08:35:30 PM
This whole mountain became a mole hill for me when Chris posted the stats for 2016; +-4887 runs that year. The way the rumour mill was running rampant, there were places doing VTs before & after breakfast, lunch & supper and twice as many on Sundays. Obviously that's not the case. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I usually find if someone's a weasel and getting away with something,  they don't just stop at one, two, three, four,........so if we look at those centres submitting 10 or more runs (ourselves included), that's only +- 4282 runs. Chris says there maybe a "problem"with 10%, so now we're down to +-429Qs out of roughly 98,000 that year (VTs make up roughly 5% of the annual total). So the runs which may be in question, are not even "point"5%!!  There "might" be "a tainted" NATCH out there from these, but I never seen a handler at a trial inform the judge when they actually missed something on a supposed clean run either. 

On the subject of making us look bad to other venues, this is just another in a very long list of nit picking that has gone on since long before VTS. Our chute was too short, our wall not high enough, we didn't have a chute, we have hoops, we don't let your dogs run in red socks.  If it isn't this, they use something else until they adopt it themselves.

Some great suggestions have been made and a vote's being taken to tweak the program, so lets let the office move on to do those positive announcements Chris spoke about at the end of the VT video.

Dave Tharle
Ardmore, AB
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on December 09, 2017, 05:18:48 AM
I tend to be of the opinion that being highly concerned about other people's opinion of the validity of your titles or  organization choices is a personal problem - not a problem with the organization or for the organization to solve.   

I can't think of a single agility organization that I do not hear derided and mocked by people who don't like it.   Including 'Agility in the USA as a whole is a joke'.   So be it.  I know where I run, how I run, under what conditions I run and feel absolutely no need to demand that other people do the same so I can convince other people to be 'appropriately' impressed by those titles.

I also think that, again, saying VT runs won't count for titles is going to alienate those people from coming to trials at all, accomplish nothing but soothing some wounded pride in a minority of trial competitors, and generally do nothing to address the issues that this reform is meant to address.   That's opinion.  what's going to happen is going to happen.  Some people are going to be unhappy no matter what.   It's just the nature of the beast.

Well said.  And whether the VT program exists or not, I don't think it will affect the way people think of Nadac. Anyone that has anything derogatory to say, let them try a Nadac course and see how they do.

And as for eliminating VT runs so that more people come to trials, there is no guarantee if you eliminate it, more people will go to trials. It could be that they never would have attended trials in the first place. There could be other reasons why they're not attending trials. And finally, looking at the numbers Chris posted, there was only 26 VT Qs submitted in an entire year in my area. I realize that that doesn't include other runs people may not have run in and gotten a q, but even if you multiply that by four times, it is not a figure that would make or break local trials over a year.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sharon Nelson on December 09, 2017, 03:50:45 PM

If the reason to dispose of the VT program is because it is too much work and not cost effective for NADAC, then you either have to make that decision based on business reasons or solicit reasons that might assist with that problem.


If NADAC needs help, Becky and I would be more than willing to do the VTs.  We don't travel and are almost always available.  It could help us make the house payment here if NADAC needs help!  We have helped in the past, we have experience, and it could help all of us!

Sharon
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Lin Battaglia on December 10, 2017, 08:52:16 AM
Sharon this sounds like a good solution and helps everyone. Freeing up time for both Amanda and Chris for their already big job of running NADAC while traveling too. Not only did you start NADAC but you started the VTs so you have the knowledge to judge those VTs. Changes need to be made and policing of VTs does have to be accurate and stepped up. I have no doubt you and Becky can do that.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 10, 2017, 01:28:38 PM
Some people are assuming that VT runs are taking place at training centers where dogs are taking class and they are therefore comfortable there.  That may be true in some cases but not all.  Even if it is the case how is that any different than those that only trial at the same place at regular trials?

VT runs don't take any runs from our trials.  People here are using them to supplement the classes that are harder for them or that aren't offered much.

I really don't understand how someone getting a title thru VT runs makes anybody else's title a joke.  Even if you believe that, if you get yours at regular trials isn't that different than how the other got theirs?

Quite frankly I don't care what anyone else says anyway.  I really don't understand why people feel the need to judge what brings others happiness. 

I am glad that NADAC has time/distance restrictions on judges.  I would find it boring to show under the same judge all the time.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Becky Woodruff on December 10, 2017, 03:38:45 PM
Well said Gina.  There are many facilities where people trial weekend after weekend under the same conditions and on the same equipment.  One facility comes to mind because I have heard people say they only trial there because a.  it is fully enclosed and b.  there are so many trials there.   It seems some  who are outspoken on this topic have said, NADAC is not their primary venue & they have never done VT.  Why people have to judge or belittle someone who for whatever reason cannot or does not attend regular trials is beyond me.   
And for those who think you don't get the same performance (some may, some may not) on a VT run as you do in a "real" trial, because their dog does great in training but blows them off at a trial, try pointing a camera at yourself and getting that same "training behavior"....
Becky

Some people are assuming that VT runs are taking place at training centers where dogs are taking class and they are therefore comfortable there.  That may be true in some cases but not all.  Even if it is the case how is that any different than those that only trial at the same place at regular trials?

VT runs don't take any runs from our trials.  People here are using them to supplement the classes that are harder for them or that aren't offered much.

I really don't understand how someone getting a title thru VT runs makes anybody else's title a joke.  Even if you believe that, if you get yours at regular trials isn't that different than how the other got theirs?

Quite frankly I don't care what anyone else says anyway.  I really don't understand why people feel the need to judge what brings others happiness. 

I am glad that NADAC has time/distance restrictions on judges.  I would find it boring to show under the same judge all the time.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris on Mushtown Road on December 10, 2017, 06:07:36 PM
Some people are assuming that VT runs are taking place at training centers where dogs are taking class and they are therefore comfortable there.  That may be true in some cases but not all.  Even if it is the case how is that any different than those that only trial at the same place at regular trials?

VT runs don't take any runs from our trials.  People here are using them to supplement the classes that are harder for them or that aren't offered much.

I really don't understand how someone getting a title thru VT runs makes anybody else's title a joke.  Even if you believe that, if you get yours at regular trials isn't that different than how the other got theirs?

Quite frankly I don't care what anyone else says anyway.  I really don't understand why people feel the need to judge what brings others happiness. 

I am glad that NADAC has time/distance restrictions on judges.  I would find it boring to show under the same judge all the time.

Gina

As a local host, I can vouch for the fact that EVERYONE who has EVER done VT on Mushtown Road has been at the local, and not so local trials. We don't do the VT days  often enough that a person could possibly replace trial runs. We do them for the opportunity to train after a VT attempt (NOT BEFORE) and get feedback on handling for the future. A Q is a nice touch and sure, it  means people will show up here. My own VT-Q rate is likely worse because I have been building courses (although my crew is wonderful at helping change courses!) and because my dog is so amped up to have company on "his field" that I sometimes don't even run. in 2017 I think we had a whopping 43 runs here. Not going to affect attendance at our trials. And if I thought it would, I'd cancel in a heartbeat.


Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on December 12, 2017, 09:20:41 AM
Quote
I tend to be of the opinion that being highly concerned about other people's opinion of the validity of your titles or  organization choices is a personal problem - not a problem with the organization or for the organization to solve.

When an organization is trying to solve the problem of dwindling trial numbers and can't figure out why people are leaving NADAC, then this does become a problem for the organization to solve. If people won't do NADAC because they think the titles are a joke then that IS a problem for the organization. This is not about my feelings, it's about one of the reasons why NADAC numbers have dropped since the inception of the VT program.

Also, as a person operating a business and deriving at least a portion of my income from training others to do agility, it does matter if people think my titles are a joke because I am less likely to obtain their business. So this sort of thing directly affects me.

Karissa

Trainers around here have always said NADAC was a joke.  This was going on LOOOOONG before VT trials.  When I first started in 2009, I went to a run through at a local place that trained for AKC.  The person running it told me that she won't do the "crazy distance" that is needed for NADAC.  Another trainer, who happens to be a friend of mine, said that she won't do NADAC because she does USDAA and she doesn't want her dog to work that far away from her.  Another VERY well known trainer, kicked my friends out of her class because they used "go on" and she thought of that as a NADAC phrase and knew they were doing NADAC.
So, it isn't the VT program that people don't like, it is NADAC in general and the VT program gives them something to poke at.  They can point to the VT runs as a reason NOT to do NADAC, while the reality is, that they don't know how to TRAIN to be successful in NADAC.  They don't know how to train the dog for distance and they don't know how to train for independent obstacle performance.  And if they can't be successful in an organization, then they can't get students to train with them.  If they don't have students, they are out of business.  SOOOO, if they are successful in AKC or USDAA, then they can brag about their titles and get students. 

I am currently training with Calypso at an AKC place.  I go there because it is convenient, but is the trainer really able to train me?  Nope.  She can give me some pointers on wraps or backsides, but Calypso runs at a distance from me and she has no clue how to help me with that.   If I had another option would I go to her?  Nope because she can't possibly train me as I need to be trained.  If I didn't know about NADAC at the time that I started with her, would she encourage me to run it?  Nope, because she can't run it, so she doesn't train it, thus doesn't encourage others to run it.  Heck, she didn't even know what a NADAC course looked like until I gave her some course maps. 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Becky Woodruff on December 12, 2017, 03:11:40 PM
Thank you Audri.

I believe therein lies one of the problems with declining entries (there are other reasons as have been brought up).  Many trainers don't know how to train for NADAC or have never stepped into a NADAC ring, yet they freely bash and bad mouth the organization, which does hurt the new people coming into the sport or those who are "kicked out of class" because they cross venue or want to try NADAC.   Face it, weekly classes are places where folks meet other dog people and develop friendships.  They don't want to be kicked out into the unknown...
I'm certainly NOT talking about trainers who are open to teaching cross venue skills and who have and do step into the NADAC arena.

Becky
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 12, 2017, 05:08:36 PM
Frankly, the posts that say, "You don't even do VT so your opinion doesn't matter" don't do much to retain those of us who do currently support NADAC while competing in multiple organizations.

Also, as a trainer, I can't force my students to train for distance. I regularly share videos that show me working my dogs at a distance AND doing "international" skills. Quite honestly, the distance videos seem to get more interest and comments -- but I don't have one single person who has come to me and said, "Can you teach me to do that?" After my first batch of students went to their first NADAC trial, where they were exposed to Chances for the first time, I was asked to have a distance-specific class. I put it on the next schedule. Do you know how many people signed up? ONE. She admitted that she felt what she learned over those 6 weeks helped her in all of the courses we run, but after doing one NADAC trial and one AKC trial she said she thinks she'd rather do AKC. Why? Not sure, you'd have to ask her.

There are many reasons people don't do NADAC. Maybe you should ask them. Meanwhile maybe you should stop driving away the people who do include NADAC trials in their multi-venue pursuits.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KellyDittmar on December 12, 2017, 06:16:39 PM
Frankly, the posts that say, "You don't even do VT so your opinion doesn't matter" don't do much to retain those of us who do currently support NADAC while competing in multiple organizations.

Also, as a trainer, I can't force my students to train for distance. I regularly share videos that show me working my dogs at a distance AND doing "international" skills. Quite honestly, the distance videos seem to get more interest and comments -- but I don't have one single person who has come to me and said, "Can you teach me to do that?" After my first batch of students went to their first NADAC trial, where they were exposed to Chances for the first time, I was asked to have a distance-specific class. I put it on the next schedule. Do you know how many people signed up? ONE. She admitted that she felt what she learned over those 6 weeks helped her in all of the courses we run, but after doing one NADAC trial and one AKC trial she said she thinks she'd rather do AKC. Why? Not sure, you'd have to ask her.

There are many reasons people don't do NADAC. Maybe you should ask them. Meanwhile maybe you should stop driving away the people who do include NADAC trials in their multi-venue pursuits.

Are you talking about VT driving them away?

I guess I will just say that there is always going to be some things that individuals will disagree with about any organization.  Some people will be drawn in by VT and some will be driven away by it. 

I used to trial in another venue, not a lot but the local trials.  When I came back to it with Abbey I found some things that I didn't like that were deal breakers to me so I quit entering even the local trials.  I didn't feel like I was driven away ... just that what was important to me wasn't part of that organization. In addition what has happened here is that all trials except the NADAC trials are indoors on matting in spaces that would make me claustrophobic.  While others seem to really enjoy that it's just not for me.


Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 12, 2017, 06:17:21 PM
   Face it, weekly classes are places where folks meet other dog people and develop friendships.  They don't want to be kicked out into the unknown...
I'm certainly NOT talking about trainers who are open to teaching cross venue skills and who have and do step into the NADAC arena.

Becky

Yes.

Honestly, the most 'resistance' I see to NADAC has not a thing to do with the VT program - or distance.  It is, at the very basic level, the same reasons people  don't do any other agility venue - or actively mock and dislike them - and it has very, very little to do with courses, obstacles, vt programs (or not) or any other specific.

It's comfort zone.  It is straight up comfort zone.  I started in a class that used hoops and barrels and also had a teeter and chute (before it was removed) and tire and table - but the trainer has a NADAC club.  That means that when I finished classes, I folded into a NADAC club.  I do NADAC at private lessons, I do NADAC at club practices, I do NADAC trials.  NADAC is where my people are.   I didn't make a carefully considered decision as to where I would trial - I went with what was available close and within that where the people I am comfortable with were.  I have stayed almost entirely exclusively there because the longer I am in NADAC the more comfortable it is and the more different the other venues 'feel' to me and less interest I have.  Take all of that and apply it to a CPE, USDAA, or AKC competitor, only in reverse.

I had one person who thought even NADAC regular didn't have jumps - they just assumed we were more different and required so many completely unique skills that there was no point.  Not true, but given how hard I side-eye an AKC course after a while in NADAC, I can understand it.

And of course there's some general derision but that's always the sort that comes with 'the venue I run in/country I run in/system I run in is the best and nothing else counts' type crap that you really have to dismiss out of hand.  It's all basically justification and nonsense, and it's never based on anything solid except ego, pride, and/or justification for not wanting to leave their comfort zone (and again - I like my comfort zone so I can hardly complain).

Not that I don't hear specific reasons (rather than complaints) people don't run NADAC; I do.  A rulebook that's not up to date and frequently changing rules is a REALLY common one.  Otherwise?  That's just about it, online or off.    Sometimes stuff about their dogs being conditioned to tug into and out of the ring and not wanting to confuse the dog/take away their reward.   Some stuff about the expense of NADAC compliant equipment.

Mostly - comfort zone stuff (including comfort zone training things).

What I don't hear are complaints about the people, the dog, the atmosphere, or any real resistance to the actual agility - or anyone complaining about VT trials.

Frankly, unless we become AKC-lite, all of this stuff is going to apply.  And if we become AKC the second, we're going to lose other people.   Honestly the best bet for boosting numbers would probably to be getting out of our comfort zone, going to other venues and trials, making friends and bringing them back.  But I like my comfort zone, darn it, and as discussed elsewhere there are still time and money considerations.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 12, 2017, 06:19:15 PM
Frankly, the posts that say, "You don't even do VT so your opinion doesn't matter" don't do much to retain those of us who do currently support NADAC while competing in multiple organizations.

Also, as a trainer, I can't force my students to train for distance. I regularly share videos that show me working my dogs at a distance AND doing "international" skills. Quite honestly, the distance videos seem to get more interest and comments -- but I don't have one single person who has come to me and said, "Can you teach me to do that?" After my first batch of students went to their first NADAC trial, where they were exposed to Chances for the first time, I was asked to have a distance-specific class. I put it on the next schedule. Do you know how many people signed up? ONE. She admitted that she felt what she learned over those 6 weeks helped her in all of the courses we run, but after doing one NADAC trial and one AKC trial she said she thinks she'd rather do AKC. Why? Not sure, you'd have to ask her.

There are many reasons people don't do NADAC. Maybe you should ask them. Meanwhile maybe you should stop driving away the people who do include NADAC trials in their multi-venue pursuits.

Are you talking about VT driving them away?

I guess I will just say that there is always going to be some things that individuals will disagree with about any organization.  Some people will be drawn in by VT and some will be driven away by it. 

I used to trial in another venue, not a lot but the local trials.  When I came back to it with Abbey I found some things that I didn't like that were deal breakers to me so I quit entering even the local trials.  I didn't feel like I was driven away ... just that what was important to me wasn't part of that organization. In addition what has happened here is that all trials except the NADAC trials are indoors on matting in spaces that would make me claustrophobic.  While others seem to really enjoy that it's just not for me.


Gina

Sorry that really is Gina, using the club computer and showing up as Kelly.   .
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 12, 2017, 06:41:45 PM
Quote
Are you talking about VT driving them away?

No, I'm talking about the attitude of "this is our game and if you don't like it you can leave" -- but then in the same breath crying about a lack of NADAC trials.

And for the record, I have talked to a number of competitors in other organizations who did cite the VT program as being a reason they don't respect NADAC enough to spend their money on it. I have also talked to NADAC competitors (past and present) who cited disdain for the VT program.

I fought against the program when the points were first combined. I lost then. I did less NADAC. I appear to have made zero impact this time. I am made to feel that my opinions don't count and that I'm wrong to feel the way I do. I am one of those apparent "rare" trainers who can and does train for skills across the board, and when I give my opinion and share things I hear at other trials I am essentially told that I don't count.

If you want to keep NADAC a club for NADAC purists then keep doing what you are doing. If you want to grow your numbers and draw in people who do other organizations then maybe be a bit more open to listening to why people don't want to do NADAC.

Also for the record, I was at a NADAC trial this weekend where a handful of people came up and said, "I saw what you posted and think you made good points" -- but not everyone is "brave" enough to speak up on these matters for whatever reason.

In addition to me having no faith that people adhere to the "first try" rule in VT submissions, I've also seen a number of examples of runs listed as qualifying that shouldn't have been. I saw a qualifying run in Chances with a dropped bar. I saw a qualifying run in Weavers where the dog skipped poles. I've seen submissions that were so blurry and from such a distance that I couldn't even see the bar, much less if one dropped or the contact angles are terrible. All of this is what goes to form my opinion that the VT program is not legit or on par with scores earned at trials.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Amanda Nelson on December 12, 2017, 07:22:30 PM
I will chime in here. :-) I am the one who reviews VTs, and sometimes when doing large batches I do miss things every now and then. With the changes coming in January, these oversights should hopefully be completely stopped with some changes on my end that will be made. :-)

Chris is currently out of town right now, But i am sure he will chime in on a few things in here as well once he gets a chance.

I do agree that we need to listen to why people arenít doing NADAC, and Chris and I have been trying very hard to do that this year and will be doing the same next year.  Every venue has something different to offer, and I am personally against venue bashing of any kind.

There are lots of different flavors of agility to do, and I think every venue should be listening to their competitors. That doesnít mean making every change that competitors want, but we should always be listening! :-)

Amanda


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 12, 2017, 07:29:34 PM
Quote
Are you talking about VT driving them away?

No, I'm talking about the attitude of "this is our game and if you don't like it you can leave" -- but then in the same breath crying about a lack of NADAC trials.

And for the record, I have talked to a number of competitors in other organizations who did cite the VT program as being a reason they don't respect NADAC enough to spend their money on it. I have also talked to NADAC competitors (past and present) who cited disdain for the VT program.

I fought against the program when the points were first combined. I lost then. I did less NADAC. I appear to have made zero impact this time. I am made to feel that my opinions don't count and that I'm wrong to feel the way I do. I am one of those apparent "rare" trainers who can and does train for skills across the board, and when I give my opinion and share things I hear at other trials I am essentially told that I don't count.

If you want to keep NADAC a club for NADAC purists then keep doing what you are doing. If you want to grow your numbers and draw in people who do other organizations then maybe be a bit more open to listening to why people don't want to do NADAC.

Also for the record, I was at a NADAC trial this weekend where a handful of people came up and said, "I saw what you posted and think you made good points" -- but not everyone is "brave" enough to speak up on these matters for whatever reason.

In addition to me having no faith that people adhere to the "first try" rule in VT submissions, I've also seen a number of examples of runs listed as qualifying that shouldn't have been. I saw a qualifying run in Chances with a dropped bar. I saw a qualifying run in Weavers where the dog skipped poles. I've seen submissions that were so blurry and from such a distance that I couldn't even see the bar, much less if one dropped or the contact angles are terrible. All of this is what goes to form my opinion that the VT program is not legit or on par with scores earned at trials.

Do any other venues ask why I don't trial there?  I think pretty much every trial around here is smaller than they use to be. I know our outdoor trials are smaller because too many people don't want to play outside and/or because they don't feel their dogs will stay with them in an unfenced ring. 

On a positive note our New Year's weekend trial filled again and we have a HUGE intro class. 

I have to agree with Becky that NADAC needs to be what it is.  Turning it into a diluted version of some other venue doesn't serve anyone.  I really can't believe that someone would choose not to play NADAC purely because of VT.  What other people do, even cheating, does not affect our accomplishments.  People cheated in school too, did that mean that my grade was of less worth?  What was the old saying When you cheat you're only cheating yourself.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 12, 2017, 07:32:10 PM
I will chime in here. :-) I am the one who reviews VTs, and sometimes when doing large batches I do miss things every now and then. With the changes coming in January, these oversights should hopefully be completely stopped with some changes on my end that will be made. :-)

Chris is currently out of town right now, But i am sure he will chime in on a few things in here as well once he gets a chance.

I do agree that we need to listen to why people arenít doing NADAC, and Chris and I have been trying very hard to do that this year and will be doing the same next year.  Every venue has something different to offer, and I am personally against venue bashing of any kind.

There are lots of different flavors of agility to do, and I think every venue should be listening to their competitors. That doesnít mean making every change that competitors want, but we should always be listening! :-)

Amanda


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Amanda, even judges at trials miss some things.  I would think once you have more time or people to review the videos that judging will be tougher than regular trials since you can rewind and watch in slow motion.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 12, 2017, 08:29:06 PM
I will chime in here. :-) I am the one who reviews VTs, and sometimes when doing large batches I do miss things every now and then. With the changes coming in January, these oversights should hopefully be completely stopped with some changes on my end that will be made. :-)

Chris is currently out of town right now, But i am sure he will chime in on a few things in here as well once he gets a chance.

I do agree that we need to listen to why people aren’t doing NADAC, and Chris and I have been trying very hard to do that this year and will be doing the same next year.  Every venue has something different to offer, and I am personally against venue bashing of any kind.

There are lots of different flavors of agility to do, and I think every venue should be listening to their competitors. That doesn’t mean making every change that competitors want, but we should always be listening! :-)

Amanda


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Amanda, even judges at trials miss some things.  I would think once you have more time or people to review the videos that judging will be tougher than regular trials since you can rewind and watch in slow motion.

Gina

Seriously.  I've gotten Qs where I missed things and not gotten Qs I'm pretty sure I didn't.  That's the nature of the beast.  Judges do the best they can to be accurate and fair, competitors accept the ruling and move on.  Yes, the judges are always there to talk to and willing but 'the agility gods give and the agility gods taketh away' I thought was pretty fundamentally understood across all venues and sports.

As a general: "The judges do their best, ask if you had questions but accept their calls in the end, whether they're in your favor or against."

But my ability to care about someone else's 10pt Q is just not something that exists.  In fact it's negative, to the degree that I find the idea of even trying both weird and a little insulting.   I'm running my own race here, and on my own journey.  My only role in someone else's is to be supportive of them, and if I can't do that shut up and stay out of their way.   Actually, be supportive or get out of the way and don't hinder them is pretty much my philosophy in LIFE.

(Cheating is bad of course, and efforts should be made to stop it, but things like miscalls?  Not my journey - or circus or monkeys or problem or business.)
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 13, 2017, 06:53:16 AM

Seriously.  I've gotten Qs where I missed things and not gotten Qs I'm pretty sure I didn't.  That's the nature of the beast.  Judges do the best they can to be accurate and fair, competitors accept the ruling and move on.  Yes, the judges are always there to talk to and willing but 'the agility gods give and the agility gods taketh away' I thought was pretty fundamentally understood across all venues and sports.

As a general: "The judges do their best, ask if you had questions but accept their calls in the end, whether they're in your favor or against."

But my ability to care about someone else's 10pt Q is just not something that exists.  In fact it's negative, to the degree that I find the idea of even trying both weird and a little insulting.   I'm running my own race here, and on my own journey.  My only role in someone else's is to be supportive of them, and if I can't do that shut up and stay out of their way.   Actually, be supportive or get out of the way and don't hinder them is pretty much my philosophy in LIFE.

(Cheating is bad of course, and efforts should be made to stop it, but things like miscalls?  Not my journey - or circus or monkeys or problem or business.)

Absolutely.  My comment was only to be supportive of Amanda.  We are all only human we all do the best we can. 

I've always said ... it's only agility.  Nothing earth shattering or life saving.  No one lives or dies because of a Q or an NQ.  Some of my best runs have been NQ's because of a missed contact, but that took nothing away from the dance.  As I sit here waiting for a CERF test in January because something doesn't seem quite right with my dog, I think none of this is really that important.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: knittingdog on December 13, 2017, 06:57:14 AM
As and instructor, I just wanted to chime in and say that I do see some people who are nervous about comfort zones - BIG time!  They have learned one venue and others are scary to them. What I have done with beginning students is introduce all the obstacles from the start - hoops, panel jumps, tires, barrels, double jumps, etc. - so that the students who start with me are more comfortable with them from the start.  I haven't seen any real complaining or hesitance from students unless they started elsewhere and have already developed a comfort zone of their own.

I also try to mix skills up each week in class.  I will put in barrels for a couple of weeks and then work backside/International skills the following couple of weeks and then do a night or two of distance work.  And follow that with a week of Jumpers courses.  Or Hoopers courses.  My students will ask for a mix of all the above since they are comfy with all of it.  We had a blast playing traditional Gamblers in class a few weeks ago.  The flip side to all this is to make sure that they see each thing enough to get the lesson down and then move on to something else.  We don't want to get so scattered that we can't do anything.

A week ago, they were asking about doing some VT runs. And about VALOR. And about doing local trials this Spring.

I guess I'm trying to say that I feel it's my job to train my students to do anything they want to do out there.  And I do my best to do that.  I don't see a need to make a choice between venues.  I'm sure as they get out there more they will find what fits their team the best since each team has their own strengths and weaknesses. But I want them to be able to decide that for themselves and not because they disrespect or are uncomfortable in another venue.  I wish more clubs/training facilities thought that way.

Robin

Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 13, 2017, 06:57:26 AM
I think to say we arenít taking everyoneís opinions into account is a little off.   Seeming how we did use everyoneís opinion in the survey to make the new rules.    Separating points was voted against,  by a very large margin.    700 people voted.   The majority rules.

Also the rule book is no longer outdated.   Weíve been updating every time there is an update,  we havenít updated for the VT stuff yet because it hasnít gone into effect.

Also there is always going to be people who donít compete in some venue for some reason.  Itís been like that for 20+ years and I donít see it stopping anytime soon.    I do agree that trainers need to teach Nadac skills for the trials to grow.   But trying to get someone who hasnít even looked at a nadac course map in ten years to all of a sudden start teaching our skills is not easy.   And there is also the question if they havenít been to a Nadac trial in ten years,  can they even teach our skills


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Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 13, 2017, 08:04:41 AM
I think to say we arenít taking everyoneís opinions into account is a little off.   Seeming how we did use everyoneís opinion in the survey to make the new rules.    Separating points was voted against,  by a very large margin.    700 people voted.   The majority rules.

Also the rule book is no longer outdated.   Weíve been updating every time there is an update,  we havenít updated for the VT stuff yet because it hasnít gone into effect.

Also there is always going to be people who donít compete in some venue for some reason.  Itís been like that for 20+ years and I donít see it stopping anytime soon.    I do agree that trainers need to teach Nadac skills for the trials to grow.   But trying to get someone who hasnít even looked at a nadac course map in ten years to all of a sudden start teaching our skills is not easy.   And there is also the question if they havenít been to a Nadac trial in ten years,  can they even teach our skills


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To be clear, Chris, I'm not saying all of their reasons are currently valid.  You've done a great job of keeping  the rulebook updated and I've been clarifying that for them.  Like you said, people who haven't been around in a while have some fixed ideas in their heads and nothing current to counter it - except when they manage to run into someone who's currently doing it - which I've tried to do.

And some issues just are preference and fit things and I think that has to be okay.  Like you said.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Edraith on December 13, 2017, 01:58:54 PM
I will chime in here. :-) I am the one who reviews VTs, and sometimes when doing large batches I do miss things every now and then. With the changes coming in January, these oversights should hopefully be completely stopped with some changes on my end that will be made. :-)
I dont know if it helps or not, but in the description I always put if I am unsure if it would q, and why. Usually it is because I know I am right on the time using the SCT chart (which I know can vary for each actual course). But I dont know if those even show bc it doesnt in the view runs section.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on December 13, 2017, 10:04:31 PM
Quote
I tend to be of the opinion that being highly concerned about other people's opinion of the validity of your titles or  organization choices is a personal problem - not a problem with the organization or for the organization to solve.

When an organization is trying to solve the problem of dwindling trial numbers and can't figure out why people are leaving NADAC, then this does become a problem for the organization to solve. If people won't do NADAC because they think the titles are a joke then that IS a problem for the organization. This is not about my feelings, it's about one of the reasons why NADAC numbers have dropped since the inception of the VT program.

Also, as a person operating a business and deriving at least a portion of my income from training others to do agility, it does matter if people think my titles are a joke because I am less likely to obtain their business. So this sort of thing directly affects me.

Karissa

Trainers around here have always said NADAC was a joke.  This was going on LOOOOONG before VT trials.  When I first started in 2009, I went to a run through at a local place that trained for AKC.  The person running it told me that she won't do the "crazy distance" that is needed for NADAC.  Another trainer, who happens to be a friend of mine, said that she won't do NADAC because she does USDAA and she doesn't want her dog to work that far away from her.  Another VERY well known trainer, kicked my friends out of her class because they used "go on" and she thought of that as a NADAC phrase and knew they were doing NADAC.
So, it isn't the VT program that people don't like, it is NADAC in general and the VT program gives them something to poke at.  They can point to the VT runs as a reason NOT to do NADAC, while the reality is, that they don't know how to TRAIN to be successful in NADAC.  They don't know how to train the dog for distance and they don't know how to train for independent obstacle performance.  And if they can't be successful in an organization, then they can't get students to train with them.  If they don't have students, they are out of business.  SOOOO, if they are successful in AKC or USDAA, then they can brag about their titles and get students. 

I am currently training with Calypso at an AKC place.  I go there because it is convenient, but is the trainer really able to train me?  Nope.  She can give me some pointers on wraps or backsides, but Calypso runs at a distance from me and she has no clue how to help me with that.   If I had another option would I go to her?  Nope because she can't possibly train me as I need to be trained.  If I didn't know about NADAC at the time that I started with her, would she encourage me to run it?  Nope, because she can't run it, so she doesn't train it, thus doesn't encourage others to run it.  Heck, she didn't even know what a NADAC course looked like until I gave her some course maps.

Well said. And Nadac does not involve just distance. Your dog has to be able to work close to you as well as distance. And there is nothing to stop someone from running alongside their dog if that's what they want to do. I've seen a number of people who were able to run next to or close to their dogs in Nadac and do just fine.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on December 13, 2017, 10:15:43 PM
Frankly, the posts that say, "You don't even do VT so your opinion doesn't matter" don't do much to retain those of us who do currently support NADAC while competing in multiple organizations.

Also, as a trainer, I can't force my students to train for distance. I regularly share videos that show me working my dogs at a distance AND doing "international" skills. Quite honestly, the distance videos seem to get more interest and comments -- but I don't have one single person who has come to me and said, "Can you teach me to do that?" After my first batch of students went to their first NADAC trial, where they were exposed to Chances for the first time, I was asked to have a distance-specific class. I put it on the next schedule. Do you know how many people signed up? ONE. She admitted that she felt what she learned over those 6 weeks helped her in all of the courses we run, but after doing one NADAC trial and one AKC trial she said she thinks she'd rather do AKC. Why? Not sure, you'd have to ask her.

There are many reasons people don't do NADAC. Maybe you should ask them. Meanwhile maybe you should stop driving away the people who do include NADAC trials in their multi-venue pursuits.
Karissa, I may have missed it, but I don't recall seeing any posts saying that because you don't do any VTs, your opinion doesn't matter. I think instructors are very important in forming students opinions of other organizations. I started with a Nadac instructor and was encouraged in Nadac, and I really wasn't aware of any other organizations. Since then I have gone to other places and observed other trainers' opinions and actions, which normally talks NADAC down. But I saw no benefit to taking any of their classes they felt they couldn't teach me anything. If I'd started there first, I have no doubt I would be influenced by what these instructors had to say. And if the majority of your students do AKC, I have no doubt that your one student who preferred AKC, probably does because either all her friends are doing it, or all her other friends pressured her into doing it. I would have been curious enough to ask her why she preferred AKC over NADAC.  It would be interesting to know, whether it change your behavior or not. I have observed a lot of runs in different venues, and Nadac handling would greatly improve handling in other venues. Handling in AKC, for example, involves a lot more effort. Not criticizing it, but I often think there's a better way.

And I'm just curious-- do you only have concerns about Nadac, or do you have concerns about other organizations as well? I appreciate NADAC often solicits and listens to our opinions, and I also know that they are not going to be always doing things the way I might like to see them done. I ask this question sincerely: do you think other organizations have issues? Do they have trouble attracting new competitors? Do they do a better job in listening to and addressing concerns of competitors? I truly want to know the answer, because maybe if the other organizations do it better, perhaps NADAC can learn something from them.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on December 14, 2017, 09:17:23 AM

I started with a Nadac instructor and was encouraged in Nadac, and I really wasn't aware of any other organizations. Since then I have gone to other places and observed other trainers' opinions and actions, which normally talks NADAC down. But I saw no benefit to taking any of their classes they felt they couldn't teach me anything. If I'd started there first, I have no doubt I would be influenced by what these instructors had to say.

Funny you should say that.  When I started way back when, I was researching agility clubs and had a choice of 2 clubs.  Knowing NOTHING about agility, I chose the one with lessons that were less expensive and were easier for me to get to.  It just so happened that it was a NADAC club.  If I had gone to the other club to train, I probably would be doing USDAA now because AKC at the time didn't allow mixed breed dogs. 
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: KarissaKS on December 14, 2017, 09:24:41 AM
Quote
I may have missed it, but I don't recall seeing any posts saying that because you don't do any VTs, your opinion doesn't matter.

The one in particular that I was referencing was conveniently edited.

Quote
And if the majority of your students do AKC, I have no doubt that your one student who preferred AKC, probably does because either all her friends are doing it, or all her other friends pressured her into doing it. I would have been curious enough to ask her why she preferred AKC over NADAC.

I moved to an area with no agility and started an agility program from the ground up. My first batch of students all went together to their first trial, which was a NADAC trial. This student was the first (and only, so far) to attend an AKC trial. I asked her at the end of the weekend if she was leaning one way or the other (especially as she had shared with me that she is going to have extremely limited time for showing, so she doesn't want to split that between organizations) -- I was honestly surprised that her answer was AKC because she did not have any qualifying runs in AKC that weekend, and she had seen some success at the NADAC trial. Also, this was a 2-ring AKC trial where she sat for HOURS with nothing to do, versus the NADAC trial where she ran all day long. She didn't seem to have a very clear way to verbalize why she preferred her weekend of AKC, other than that she preferred the courses. She is a competitive person who likes to be challenged.

Quote
And I'm just curious-- do you only have concerns about Nadac, or do you have concerns about other organizations as well?

No agility organization is "perfect." AKC is my primary venue right now and I'm unaware of any big issues that need to be addressed there (others may disagree). I dislike the jump height alignments in USDAA for small dogs, so I simply don't run my small dogs in USDAA. The USDAA trials are small here, where AKC trials rule. Somewhat because of jump heights, somewhat because of course challenges. My only complaint about UKI is that there isn't more of it around here.

I, too, am very appreciative of the increased communication since Chris & Amanda took the helm and it's the primary reason why I have added more NADAC back into my schedule. For the most part I feel like I go with the flow and accept what an organization offers and make my choice to participate in that organization based on whether or not I agree with those principles. I have been vehemently against the VT program since its inception, or at least since it was combined with the regular program. I know people who left NADAC because of it, or at least it was part of the issue (double run format was another one that chased at least a few people away, along with barrels and other such things).

NADAC was my only organization from when I started in 2007 (AKC didn't allow mixed breeds back then so that wasn't an option, and my training center hosted a lot of NADAC trials) and remained my only organization until I started to compete in AKC in 2013. Oh wait, I dabbled some in USDAA for a bit in 2012 but the jump heights were an issue for my small dog. I didn't "jump ship" because my friends were doing it -- I didn't know a soul when I started running USDAA and AKC.  That means that there were specific things to NADAC that drove myself and others away. I didn't leave NADAC entirely because it was the only place Luke liked to play, and Kaiser enjoys it as well. That means I was at least here to see the positive influence and changes since Chris & Amanda took things over -- those who completely left are likely unaware.

Ultimately, I think you need to stop talking to people who only do NADAC to try to determine why people aren't doing NADAC. Much like my opinion about VT not counting if I don't do VT, if all you do is NADAC then you don't really have much to say about why people don't do NADAC.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: dogrsqr on December 14, 2017, 10:15:25 AM
There was actually a time when there weren't as many venues or trials so pretty much everyone did every local trial ... well except for AKC because they wouldn't let mixes play back then.  It wasn't based on what your instructor told you.

As an instructor I've actually had students ask which venues they should enter.  I've told them the clinical differences between the organizations, basically anything they could find in the rule book, and told them it's their decision where they want to play.  Why do instructors need to share their personal opinions with their students at all?  There are training schools in our area that won't even acknowledge their students accomplishments in certain venues.  Now why would anyone want to give someone their money for treating them that way I sure as heck don't know.

Gina
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: BeckyAH on December 14, 2017, 11:11:39 AM
I really, honestly, having dog friends across many agility venues and many sports and play in several and can say pretty definitively:

Numbers are down across ALL agility venues, and markedly so. AKC and then USDAA seem the most stable but they're also having a notable falloff.   

Numbers in flyball and obedience (not rally) are ALSO way the heck down.   There's more stuff to do now and people are making decisions about what to do.  More new people coming in, yeah, but not enough to compensate for the fact that it's no longer agility, obedience, or flyball.  Now it's agility in one of 6 organizations, obedience with several organizations,  rally with several organizations, dock diving with multiple organization, disc with multiple organizations, nosework with at least a couple of organizations, freestyle with at least a couple of organizations, herding with at least a couple of organizations, treibball, barn hunt, parkour (also with at least a couple of organizations) - and more organizations offering flyball and obedience and agility, too.

WHY ARE ENTRIES FALLING OFF?  Some of those sports in various ways have been around forever, but they're spreading to new areas  and new organizations are being made.  How in the WORLD is it even possible to think that numbers in any individual trial isn't going to fall with that many options?

Yes, most people are going to go where their instructor recommends or is already at (if they're doing so rather than being professionally neutral)  but I  really, really don't think this is some mysterious thing.   Probably a complicated one with many, many factors, but honestly?  OPTIONS EVERYWHERE.  For sports and for venue, for live and for videoed (rally, freestyle, and parkour all have online divisions/ability to title).  It just - there aren't enough new people, time and money to see that kind of growth and not having entries into trials, venues, or sports drop off.
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: danforth on December 14, 2017, 12:00:25 PM
I came into NADAC because my instructor ran NADAC and said that she thought a few of us were ready to trial.   I had no real information about other venues.   I did really like the flow and that fact that as a Vet handler, my mini poodle and I could jump 9 inches.   In USDAA he would have had to jump 16 inches as standard height.

However, in our area, there are several CPE venues and also TDAA that are really close.   Next close is AKC and our club runs 1 USDAA trial a year.  I really like NADAC with the distance and flow.   Chances has been our best class and I am getting a new puppy given that I think Cocoa is now 9.5 years old and slowing down.

I guess if my initial instructor had been gung-ho CPE, I might have been okay running in that venue.  But I am really glad that I got taken to a NADAC trial as my first one.

Isabel
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: RobertStewart on December 14, 2017, 05:27:51 PM
Those of us who multi venue, have seen the decline in attendance in all of the venues. Even though Texas is quite large, There are now so many trials, there are many to choose from on any given weekend. It's honestly over all, a good problem to have.  for many years local clubs did their best not to do trials on the weekends of other venues. Now, on Thanksgiving weekend, there a USDAA South of Austin, a NADAC in Waco, and AKC in Houston and an AKC in Belton, all within 100 miles or so of each other. Sometimes, it's a matter of which is the most convenient.

My students, are generally single venue people. That seems to be more the trend these days.  Many only do NADAC, some only do AKC, and some only do USDAA, and 1 pretty much does only CPE.  So, I believe that takes away from all venues a bit.  I remember when I've missed being able to attend a NADAC trial because I didn't get an entry in soon enough. Now, we have day of trial entries to hopefully fill in. The same with AKC, now, if trials fill it's a very rare thing.
Which is "nice as a competitor" but not so nice as someone who trial chairs for my club.

I hope the VT's stay around for some time to come. I am excited with the new regulations, I think they will serve the NADAC world very well.

With big thanks to Chris and Amanda for taking the time and energy to address everything that comes up around these issues.


Robert
Title: Re: Possible VT solutions
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on December 15, 2017, 06:35:02 PM
Karissa, I wasn't saying you competed in a venue because most of your friends were there. I was simply speculating on a reason why your student decided to do a AKC instead of NADAC. It does seem rather strange to me with the conditions you describe, unless she doesn't feel confident and is happier only doing one or two runs a day.  And I agree if you only do Nate at, you can't address why other people aren't. But I have talked to people from other venues, and people from other venues attend our trials, so I think I can repeat what they may have said.

As for my instructor pushing NADAC, I can honestly say she did not do that. She taught only NADAC, but also the trials held in the area we're mostly NADAC. There was maybe one USDAA trial & one AKC a year, and no CPE at all. So even if I was interested another venue, it wouldn't have made sense for me when there were eight or nine NADAC trials within the local area, and others within 3 to 4 hours. And I like NADAC's concern with safety and them am comfortable with it. That is why I'm surprised that some people knock NADAC when there's a lot of Trials here. Once people develop an idea or prejudice, it's often hard to change them.