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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: John H. Gooldy on September 30, 2018, 08:18:22 AM

Title: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: John H. Gooldy on September 30, 2018, 08:18:22 AM
Chris,
     Do you ever foresee Champs at a location with turf? Watching this years Champs and looks like a great facility but with dirt just wonder if conditions are equal for all jump heights. Just wondering what your thinking is on turf and possibilities of some day running Champs on it. I know you are quite busy right now so when time permits would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks. John
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: KarissaKS on September 30, 2018, 09:26:26 AM
Are you aware of a facility with turf that is large enough to host Champs *and* allows dogs? That might be a limiting factor.

Dirt (good dirt) is my preferred surface. I now live in an area of the country (TN) where trials are almost exclusively on dirt, but I moved here from the great white north where our trials were all on turf or mats, so I know it's a vastly different experience for those who aren't used to it. I used to drive 4+ hours to find a trial on dirt (generally with another organization)  to get my dogs on that surface before Champs.

My main concern with turf is that it's not all created equal. Some is very slippery, so I'm sure this comes into consideration since NADAC has some very fast dogs. In general, dirt is a safe and forgiving surface when well-maintained.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: John H. Gooldy on September 30, 2018, 09:48:04 AM
Not wanting to start a argument but a discussion. Never been to Champs. So why not educate me on what it takes. 2 rings or more? Dirt is great to run on when it is fair for all heights. Love those fast dogs but no venue can just make it on there fast dogs. It takes $$$$ from all size dogs to keep them all profitable. Help me with what it takes and then maybe we can continue this discussion. Thanks in advance for your experiences at Champs.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: knittingdog on September 30, 2018, 11:25:41 AM

What do you think is the advantage on turf?  Not all turf is created equal.  There are also studies showing that turf causes more injuries for human athletes.  I have to question whether my own dog recently sustained a minor injury resulting from catching or jamming a toe on older turf at a local soccer arena.

Granted turf is cleaner, but I agree that well maintained dirt is best.

Robin & Surge
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: John H. Gooldy on September 30, 2018, 12:41:42 PM
All dogs play on a level playing surface on turf. Weave poles are really hard on smaller breeds when trying to weave in big ruts. The key point to your statement is well maintained dirt. Dogs can be injured on any surface. Just wanting to get Chris's thoughts. Not here to start up a argument but a good discussion. Those studies you speak of about turf could you lead me to them. Thanks
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Anne Etherton on September 30, 2018, 01:56:32 PM
How many people remember the year NADAC brought in turf in Mankato, MN?  Overwatering caused a big headache.

Anne
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: knittingdog on October 01, 2018, 07:01:41 AM


Go look up turf toe and in increase in knee injuries in humans.  I'm sure you can do a web search and find all that stuff.

 
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: KarissaKS on October 01, 2018, 07:22:20 AM
How many people remember the year NADAC brought in turf in Mankato, MN?  Overwatering caused a big headache.

Anne

That would be sod, I believe John is referring to artificial turf as would be found in indoor soccer arenas.

Ruts and deep spots are a real concern when competing on dirt surfaces. It's important to rake the weave poles regularly and I believe NADAC is good about doing this -- especially when going from big to small dogs. I don't think anyone is trying to start an argument of turf vs dirt and which is better, but I believe it's come up in the past and the limiting factor mostly seems to be facility. Without a facility it's hard to even throw it out there for consideration. It's more than just arena size (which is very large), but also crating, vending, scoring, RVs, etc. From what I gather, it's often difficult to meet all of these requirements even with the large dirt coliseums.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on October 01, 2018, 07:56:09 AM
How many people remember the year NADAC brought in turf in Mankato, MN?  Overwatering caused a big headache.

Anne

That would be sod, I believe John is referring to artificial turf as would be found in indoor soccer arenas.

Ruts and deep spots are a real concern when competing on dirt surfaces. It's important to rake the weave poles regularly and I believe NADAC is good about doing this -- especially when going from big to small dogs. I don't think anyone is trying to start an argument of turf vs dirt and which is better, but I believe it's come up in the past and the limiting factor mostly seems to be facility. Without a facility it's hard to even throw it out there for consideration. It's more than just arena size (which is very large), but also crating, vending, scoring, RVs, etc. From what I gather, it's often difficult to meet all of these requirements even with the large dirt coliseums.

I prefer to run on dirt, but as someone who runs a little dog (11" at the shoulders) I do remember being in Champs in Springfield and being second dog on day 1.  The turf was "fluffy" still from being turned and my poor dog really had a rough time in it.  He literally was in dirt up to his elbows and he struggled even running the course.  I also ran later with another bigger dog, and there really are ruts through the course especially on the landing side of jumps and exits of tunnels and weave poles.  They were raking weave poles but not the others.  And raking only does so much for loose dirt.  There are also some ruts where PEOPLE run and turn that don't get raked.  That being said, I still would prefer good dirt to turf because it is far easier on ME and my knees as well and quite honestly, my dogs LOVE to run on dirt and do well on it.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Foomin Z on October 01, 2018, 11:49:38 AM
Just like the "issue" with the teeter elsewhere in the forum, there is no need for surface to be equalized among all heights, because NADAC does not make dogs from different heights compete against each other, even at champs. Yes, there are other champs/nationals that will award a prize that combines all heights, but NADAC does not.

Regarding ruts for the small dogs in the weaves, if the weave areas get raked and stamped during jump height changes, that should mostly take care of the issue. However, if a small yet heavy and powerful dog is first up at a height change, they're going to create ruts for the rest of the height. No one can help that. You just gotta do your best.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: John H. Gooldy on October 01, 2018, 03:10:32 PM
What do you run?
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Vicki Storrs on October 01, 2018, 05:58:32 PM
Not wanting to start a argument but a discussion. Never been to Champs. So why not educate me on what it takes. 2 rings or more? Dirt is great to run on when it is fair for all heights. Love those fast dogs but no venue can just make it on there fast dogs. It takes $$$$ from all size dogs to keep them all profitable. Help me with what it takes and then maybe we can continue this discussion. Thanks in advance for your experiences at Champs.

A couple years back Sharon said they looked for a 200í x 300í clear span arena (I think thatís what you call itóno poles or pillars in the arena).  Thatís like 3 regular NADAC Agility fields. The point was that Champs courses themselves were bigger, plus they have the staging areas/chutes leading into and out of the course and then sometimes a larger warm up area. Things may have changed some now, but it still needs to be pretty darn big. In looking around at horse facilities they were very often not even close to that size. I donít have Much experience with turf facilities, but certainly havenít seen any this size. But that doesnít mean they may not be out there. LOL
Plus you need bleachers, vendor space, crating space and plentiful RV parking. And reasonable rates. Concessions are certainly nice. Restrooms or at least plentiful, frequently pumped porti potties (unlike in Ohio in 2017).  Areas to walk and exercise the dogs are so nice. And we all love having the live feed, right?  So that capability is a plus.
And it needs to be in a location that will result in entries, Champs is an expensive undertaking so it needs entries to make it viable,  so itís nice  if itís in a NADAC area or near enough to draw NADAC competitors.
Does that get you started?   ;D
Vicki
 
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: John H. Gooldy on October 01, 2018, 06:10:13 PM
Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: jrtsdoitall on October 02, 2018, 09:16:53 AM
Every surface has it's own pluses and minuses for any group of dogs (by size, speed, etc).  There have been some studies. Honestly I would love to see more and more in depth studies looking into benefits and risks for various groups.

Any time you run on grass, turf, dirt, or any mixture there of ruts and wetness can be a concern. In dirt/mixtures it's not only ruts/wetness but overall depth of dirt as well as dirt vs sand ratios that can impact some dogs more heavily then others.  I will say depth needs to REALLY be looked at both at local and national events. It can quickly become not just unfair but a health/injury concern for all dogs but especially for our shorter legged partners...speaking as the owner of a dog who came back from a Champs with some significant overuse and strain issues from running in too deep of a dirt/sand mix. I've learned to become a surface snob and yep there are events we just don't go to because that is my choice).

Mats and astroturf...not all are created equal.  There is a huge difference in the amount of grip vs slip between manufacturers (and it changes with age and maintenance).  Though I will say I think overall mats and astroturf provide a more "level" field as far as footing challenges.

All have assorted risk factors for injuries, wipe out, etc... There is no perfect surface for every dog. We all have to pick and choose which surfaces fit our team best and weigh the pros and cons.  I understand why champs tends to be on dirt...it's hard to find facilities with sufficient ring, crating, vendor, and camping space for a National event. I do think it would be nice to have it on a different surface now and then so teams who don't run on dirt or don't run well on it (despite practice) perhaps get a "chance" as well. But I understand the difficulties in finding suitable facilities.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: aprweber on October 02, 2018, 11:07:42 AM
For what it's worth, college football has found that artificial turf grows all sorts of nasty bacteria, far more than just dirt. And, there is no good way to clean it.

The one time I ran on artificial turf, static electricity was a problem for me.

April
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Billie Rosen on October 02, 2018, 11:34:58 AM
Sorry, my computer is not cooperating.  That last post again sent before I was finished.  I was saying that dirt generally is not my favorite surface, but it can be good and not good, just like turf, artificial turf, etc.  So the real question is the actual facility's surface, not just what kind of surface it has.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Richard Wolfe on October 02, 2018, 01:36:46 PM

The one time I ran on artificial turf, static electricity was a problem for me.

April

I'm really shocked to hear that.




Uh...sorry, April.  I couldn't resist.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Ed Scharringhausen on October 02, 2018, 03:55:56 PM
Agreed April. You are correct. And actually it is generally believed that Ďindoorí turf is loaded with bacteria which neither chemicals (which tend to not be applied enough in most facilities) nor the sun can deplete. Not sure who said turf is cleaner but they need to check their info.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: mephalon on October 03, 2018, 12:30:31 PM
Agreed April. You are correct. And actually it is generally believed that Ďindoorí turf is loaded with bacteria which neither chemicals (which tend to not be applied enough in most facilities) nor the sun can deplete. Not sure who said turf is cleaner but they need to check their info.

Turf may be "cleaner" from the "I don't have dirt on my clothes and skin" perspective but as an environmental lawyer I can tell you-  artificial turf is NOT cleaner than dirt- from an "ingredient"  (i.e. chemicals) perspective and a "cleanliness" (i.e. spill clean up) perspective.     
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Marj Vincent on October 03, 2018, 01:22:28 PM
As a few have said, not all artificial turf is the same. Not all dirt facilities are the same. The NADAC crew did a great job of raking the weaves, and other areas that needed attention during the Champs.

From my experience judging and watching dogs run on various turf locations, I have witnessed many dogs slip and fall on turf. I have also seen dogs slip and fall on wet grass. Both can cause injuries.  I don't see a lot of dogs slipping on dirt but it depends on the type of dirt surface. A hard packed surface with grains of sand on top can be quite slippery for both handler and dog.

Many of the highly competitive fast NADAC dogs have handlers that refuse to run on turf due slippage and injuries. I have spoken to many handlers of very fast dogs and they all say the same thing...no way would they run their dog on turf because of the slippage issue.

Another thing I have witnessed while judging, when big fast dogs run on turf for the first time, and slip on a turn, many will then go into self preservation mode and will slow down to prevent injuries. This in turn leads to lower YPS for those dogs. I have also watch many videos of dogs that I personally know and have noticed how slow their runs are on turf vs dirt.  A huge difference in DRI's.

I can't say all dogs will slow down, some don't care about their bodies and will run and fall a lot....which makes me cringe when I am judging. What I have witnessed is those teams are not longer running at those facilities when I come back to judge there. Either because the dog has injured himself, or the handler has realized the dog is not taking care of its body and the handler must do it for them.

On the other hand, I have heard from a lot of small dog (4'-8")) handlers that love the turf because of the levelness of the turf. Their dogs seem to run faster on turf. 

So I think there are some pros and cons about turf vs dirt, and IMHO it depends on the size and speed of your dogs.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Chris Nelson on October 04, 2018, 03:12:36 PM
Pretty much what everyone before me as said is correct and the main reasons we don't use a turf facility, but I'll echo a few of them just in case:

Facility size is a big one.  This year we used a full 125' X 350' arena and honestly we were a bit cramped at times.     Next year in Ohio we might not even be able to do two rings because the Champions center is only 128' X 202'.     

Turf quality is another big one.   Not all turf is created equal.    I know of about 2 facilities in the entire country that have what I would consider 'nice' turf.   And they definitely aren't large enough for an event like ours.

The other issue is like others have mentioned the really fast dogs do tend to have more issues on turf.   With our small dog entries ALWAYS being the smallest, and our large dog entries always being the largest, it wouldn't be a smart move to change to a surface that could possibly alienate the largest group of attendees.
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on October 04, 2018, 08:54:12 PM
while I love running on turf, I have had some experience with some facilities and watched my dogs, who are fast, but not blazing, slip on one location's turf a few times.  I think dirt is much more forgiving (again, assuming it's a "good dirt") and NADAC is able to find a handful of large horse arenas across the country to hold Champs at those with the required other needs (crating, arena size, restrooms, vendor space, RVs, cost...)  My preferred surfaces are:  dirt, turf, grass, matting with dirt easier on my dogs.  Wet grass/contacts worry me a lot during outdoor trials until they dry out and always hope my dogs take it easier until then.  I don't have good experience with matting.
I watched a lot of weave pole grooming on the live feed during Champs.  Kudos to your workers!!  :)
Title: Re: Facility With Turf for Champs
Post by: John H. Gooldy on October 05, 2018, 06:46:12 AM
Chris thanks for the input. Size of building biggest problem. Saw lots of raking of poles at Champs but with little dogs the big hole is just filled in for a dog or two. Depth of dirt throughout rings concern me also but I do understand every bodies concerns and appreciate all the input. Looks like dirt it will be. Thanks to all.