Author Topic: 5-foot Rule for Barrels  (Read 7290 times)

Helen Z

  • *****
  • Posts: 29
5-foot Rule for Barrels
« on: June 27, 2016, 09:15:58 PM »
Melinda Sito touched on this subject this morning after our conversation, but here goes my take.  We had two successful runs in Regular for one of my dogs on Saturday, or so I thought until I went to see the results and get her Q medal (side note...I prefer the Q ribbon...for one thing the label doesn't even fit on the medal).  One of her runs was marked NQ.  Fortunately we had a wonderful videographer at the trial, so I went to watch the video.  I saw the judge make the 20 pt. hand signal after her barrel, but I couldn't figure out why.  He wavered back and forth like he couldn't make up his mind, and then he made the hand signal.  I asked a couple nearby people and they couldn't figure it out either, except the videographer said he had called someone else on her barrel.  We watched that video, and her dog thought he was supposed to go to a different obstacle.  He started to go toward a tunnel a couple of times, and then she got him back, he came around the barrel, and he was called.  Of course that would be a whole other discussion as to whether we now are going to be called for refusals??  But in mine, my dog went around the barrel but looked to be pretty close to five feet from the barrel when she came back to the front to go on to the next obstacle.  I called my trainer over and he couldn't see why she would have been called.  So then I called Chris Nelson over to watch, and he said it was a close call but the reason she was called was because they have to be no more than five feet out from the barrel.  Well, I've never heard that.  The day before for barrelers, they had explained that for that barrelers course they had removed the hoops from the barrels and were putting little saucer cones at 5 feet for elite, 6 for open and 7 for novice.  No one said anything about the same criteria for regular, nor were cones put by the barrel for the regular course.  Chris said to talk to the judge and he would perhaps reverse the call.  I waited a few hours until the judge looked like he had a minute.  When I said I needed to talk to him, he immediately said "Is this about the barrel?"  So apparently Chris had already filled him in, and he already was obviously defensive.  He came and watched the video and said she was more than five feet.  I told him I didn't know anything about the five feet, nor did anyone I had asked know about it, including my trainer, who wins at Champs year after year!  He said "Well, it's been a topic of conversation on the forum since February."  I told him I don't read the forum and asked if that's now a rule, that I have to read the forum to find out new rules.  He said it wasn't of course.  I showed him another video the videographer had brought to my attention (she called it ammunition  :))   ) where a dog run by another handler who wins at Champs all the time had been farther out than mine and had not been called for it.  He said that "when you're in the moment you miss things."  Really?  I said that's not fair, and he wanted to know "What's not fair?"  I told him that arbitrary calls where one dog gets called for being more than five feet on a judgment call made from 30 or more feet away where you're going to call one dog and not another is not fair.  When I asked him why he didn't explain the five-foot rule in the briefing, he asked if he's supposed to go over all the rules in the briefing!   He concluded with asking me if it was really that important to have the Q, and I told him it was.  So he hollered over to Chris to "Change it!", making me feel like his intention was to make me feel small for wanting the Q.  I later had a conversation with the person whose video was the "ammunition."  She said the main thing is to have fun with your dog.  She said "Did you have fun with your dog?  Then the Q is not important."  I told her that of course I had fun with my dog, I always do, but the reason we trial is also to get Qs.  At that point she said, "But don't take away "Fluffy's" Q because he/she doesn't get many."  So wait, the Q WAS important to her too.  And honestly, if my only goal is to have fun with my dog, I can go play with her and have just as much fun without paying $10 a run! 

Now, I've found only one post from February regarding barrels, so maybe I'm not looking in the right place, and it didn't say anything about five feet in a regular run or even a barrelers run, because the last post by Sharon in that thread is that they will NOT be taking away the hoops from barrelers.  And yet they took away the hoops in our barrelers run.  Same weekend, up in Washington at Melinda Sito's trial, hoops were still on the barrels for barrelers, and tape was put out at five feet from the barrel in the regular courses.  AND it was fully explained by the judges that there would be a five-foot criteria for the regular runs.  Way more fair than in our situation, and yet....why is it one way at our trial and another way at her trial on the very same weekend?  I want to know the rules before I spend money to run a course, and the rules should be the rules at every trial everywhere.  In the other big agility venue, the rules are the rules, and they don't change from month to month and trial to trial. 

And finally, when I went to find the videos I wanted to purchase on Sunday, I watched my other dog's runs on that same regular course.  He was at least as far if not farther out from the barrel coming around the second side as my dog that got called, and yet he did not get called.  If I had the time and energy, I'll bet I could sit and watch all the videos from that course and find all sorts of dogs that came at least that wide and wider and did not get called for it.  If you're going to have an absolute five-foot line that dogs can't cross when coming around a barrel, how can you just eyeball it and deny someone's Q over it??  For that matter, why the heck have a line on the dog walk and the A-frame?  Why not just leave it up to each judge to eyeball it and call arbitrary faults on the dog walk and A-frame as well?  What's the difference? 

Sorry, I'm not in Seattle, but I am as clueless as Melinda.  I'm left with a Q that's been "muddied," and I don't think that's fair.  My dog is a double-digit dog.  She got her NATCH on Friday, and then this on Saturday.  Very disappointing.  I'm getting ready to send a big check for two dogs to go to Champs and I'm wondering why! 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 09:20:25 PM by Helen Z »
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
Will Rogers

Chris Nelson

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 807
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 10:31:48 PM »
Helen,
I am a little confused as to why this is being posted and what the intention truly is?
As we told you, during the briefing during barrelers we did say it was for all Barrel performances.  I am sorry if that was not made clear.  As we also told I was apologetic that we did not have the cones out for that course, but when that happens it does still fall to a judges discretion.  Same as a contact or unsafe weave performance or anything else.  The cones are meant to make things very clear for the exhibitors and eliminate what happened this weekend with your run.

I would like to know exactly what it is you would like from this conversation and once I know that I will respond appropriately so that I can answer everything.

Chris Nelson

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 807
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 10:52:24 PM »
Actually Helen I will go ahead and cover a few things now while I have the time.

Quote
He started to go toward a tunnel a couple of times, and then she got him back, he came around the barrel, and he was called.  Of course that would be a whole other discussion as to whether we now are going to be called for refusals??
As we explained this weekend the barrel has to be taken with a certain path.   If the dog goes outside that path then they have not completed it in the correct manner.  No different than a dog that gets over a dog walk but then jumps the contact, or a dog who jumps but knocks the bar.  Each obstacle has a performance criteria.  The criteria for the barrel is to stay within the designated path.

Quote
looked to be pretty close to five feet from the barrel

If you would truly like a definitive answer here go ahead and post the video.   I can go ahead and show the measured width of a barrel.  Take a screenshot and then measure exactly how far away your dog was during the performance of that barrel.

Quote
The day before for barrelers, they had explained that for that barrelers course they had removed the hoops from the barrels and were putting little saucer cones at 5 feet for elite, 6 for open and 7 for novice

Excluding the fact that we did brief this was for all barrel performances, are there any obstacles currently where the performance criteria changes upon the class being ran?   If your running Regular you must hit your contact.  That doesn't change in Chances or Touch n Go.  So I did somewhat hope that people would correlate the change to all classes.

Quote
I told him that arbitrary calls where one dog gets called for being more than five feet on a judgment call made from 30 or more feet away where you're going to call one dog and not another is not fair.

And again what do you expect on a contact? a unsafe weave performance? A unsafe tunnel performance?  Nothing in judging can be made rock solid.  We try to get everything as solid as we can and do the best we can to make it easier to identify when things go wrong.  But sometimes a judge just has to make the call.

Quote
So he hollered over to Chris to "Change it!", making me feel like his intention was to make me feel small for wanting the Q

His intention was to talk to you about the issue.  In doing so stopping the trial.  During the period he was reviewing the run we had stopped walking and had a dog ready to run, hence rather than walking over to me and delaying the trial even more he simply yelled it over to me.

Quote
In the other big agility venue, the rules are the rules, and they don't change from month to month and trial to trial.
The other venues also do not have much in the way of new progress being made.   Barrels are new, they are constantly evolving and that does require some adjustments along the way.  Until we figure out the perfect scenario for everything rules will be adjusted to continually give everyone the best experience we can achieve for the entire NADAC group.



I do apologize if I seem a little more fired up than normal but this does bother me a good bit.   Had I known this was such an issue I would have had a much more in depth discussion at the trial, rather than needing to write all of this down on the Monday following. 

Helen Z

  • *****
  • Posts: 29
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 11:17:59 PM »
Chris,

Even though I didn't run any dogs in barrelers, I did listen to the briefing.  I didn't hear anything about it being for all barrel performance, nor do I remember either you or the judge mentioning that during our Q discussions.  You did tell me that there's ALWAYS been criteria for barrel performance.  I've stumbled upon a thread started by Karen Birdsong this morning, and in reading that thread, I learned that originally there was no criteria for barrel performance (according to some of the posters) other than the loss of time for wider turns.  When that became a rule, I never heard about it nor did a lot of people who were at last weekend's trial.
I also don't remember an apology from either you or the judge that there were no cones on the regular course, simply that it was up to the judge to decide if the dog went too wide.  I've only watched videos of 3 dogs, Roxie, Mojo and ZZ.  Of the three dogs I watched, Roxie's was actually the tightest, and yet she's the only one of the three that was called.  You say "The cones are meant to make things very clear for the exhibitors and eliminate what happened this weekend with your run."  And yet I was made to feel belittled for wanting our Q instead of either one of you saying hey, it was really close, it probably shouldn't have been called a 20 point fault, we should have had cones, etc, etc.  Any of those things would have been better than the judge's demeaning question to me "Is the Q really that important to you?"
Another intention for this post, if it's not clear, is the lack of consistency and knowing what the rules are.  Another thing I posted about was the judge not mentioning the five-foot rule in his briefing for regular.  When I said that to him, he said should I give all the rules in the briefing?  Well, if they're changing from week to week or month to month, yeah, you probably should...at least the ones that keep changing.  In AKC trials, the judges give lots of rules at every briefing that you've most likely heard over and over, but you know what they are and how you're expected to perform and most importantly, they're the same at every trial in every state.  How many less people run barrelers than regular courses?  So if you actually did say, which I didn't hear, that this new rule will be in effect in all barrel performance during the barrelers briefing, how many people who aren't running or interested in barrelers are missing it?  So why wouldn't you tell about it in the regular briefing, especially if it's going to be judged so arbitrarily without any cones?  Like I said, why have a line on the dog walk and the A-frame for a point of reference for the judge but no line on the ground for the barrel?
I guess the biggest point of my post, which the general discussion says you can discuss anything you want to, is after my happiness on Friday with Roxie's NATCH, the handling of her Q on Saturday's regular run kind of soured the whole thing.  I think it was really unfair, and I assumed I had the right to share my thoughts.  Wrong?
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
Will Rogers

Chris Nelson

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 807
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 11:45:56 PM »
Quote
I also don't remember an apology from either you or the judge that there were no cones on the regular course
Correct I actually apologized to the entire trial on Sunday morning briefing.

I will be making a video tomorrow to clearly define the current rules for a barrel.  It will be the same as my briefing on Friday and my briefing on Sunday, but then it will be readily available for anyone to read.

As I said before I would have liked to talk about this in person at the trial rather then here.
I'm sorry you feel 'soured' about your run on Saturday, but what course of action could we have taken?  Had we kept the original call we would still be having this conversation.   You feel like it is unfair, but we gave you the Q?   Wouldn't it have been unfair had we said no it's close but we're still keeping the call as is?

Regardless I would have preferred to talk about this at the trial, as I also mentioned during the briefings all three days.

I'll get that video made tomorrow and that should clear up any questions that could come up in the future :)

I am personally sorry you feel we wronged you in some way.

Rsquared

  • 2016 Online Seminar Group
  • *****
  • Posts: 172
  • Scooter's Mom
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2016, 06:56:37 AM »
Wow, it's a little hard to read this because there were so many positive things about this trial and all the attention is being focused on one Q/ NQ.  So here's some equal time for the positive:
I love the arena!  Though it was hot outside, it was much cooler inside the arena with good strong breezes.  Friday night after the last class you could walk down the road and hear a free bluegrass concert in the park with your dog!  It was a Funraiser but all the competitors were provided with delicious catered lunches each day!  I'm assuming this came out of the pocket of Denise Gosik/My Agility Dog, who was originally slated to run the trial.  And let's not forget the stuffed toy each dog received!  I wonder how many people took the time to thank Denise for all of this generosity?  The trial secretary and judge were very efficient and friendly!  My fellow competitors were good at stepping up to volunteer so the trial moved right along!  I was grateful my dog was having a good time running after being sidelined with a health issue!  So many positive things to be grateful for at this particular trial that also should be mentioned...
Ronni in San Diego with Scooter, Ollie & Xtra Crispy (R.I.P. Sage)

Sharon Nelson

  • Mother NADAC
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6040
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2016, 01:46:49 PM »
Wow, it's a little hard to read this because there were so many positive things about this trial and all the attention is being focused on one Q/ NQ.  So here's some equal time for the positive:
I love the arena!  Though it was hot outside, it was much cooler inside the arena with good strong breezes.  Friday night after the last class you could walk down the road and hear a free bluegrass concert in the park with your dog!  It was a Funraiser but all the competitors were provided with delicious catered lunches each day!  I'm assuming this came out of the pocket of Denise Gosik/My Agility Dog, who was originally slated to run the trial.  And let's not forget the stuffed toy each dog received!  I wonder how many people took the time to thank Denise for all of this generosity?  The trial secretary and judge were very efficient and friendly!  My fellow competitors were good at stepping up to volunteer so the trial moved right along!  I was grateful my dog was having a good time running after being sidelined with a health issue!  So many positive things to be grateful for at this particular trial that also should be mentioned...

Thanks, Ronni!!  And you are correct about so much coming from Denise!!  Beautiful trial, awesome people and dogs and a great environment!

Sharon
Sharon
In-Sync-Agility

Chris Nelson

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 807
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2016, 03:51:16 PM »
This will be the standard from now on.

Sharon, AZ

  • *****
  • Posts: 108
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2016, 04:16:50 PM »
Chris, LOVE the video!  Thanks for the great, clear explanation.   Sharon, AZ

Linda W. Anderson

  • Trial Secretary
  • *****
  • Posts: 965
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2016, 04:19:45 PM »
Love the video!!  I am a definite visual learner.  One question to clarify a point - as long as your dog hasn't gone more than 4" past the plane of the barrel or completed an additional obstacle, you are allowed to "fix" the barrel performance by completing the barrel in the correct/chosen direction and your only penalty would be lost time, correct?
Linda
Linda W. Anderson - Dogs have only one fault, their lives are too short!

Chris Nelson

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 807
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2016, 04:24:19 PM »
Love the video!!  I am a definite visual learner.  One question to clarify a point - as long as your dog hasn't gone more than 4" past the plane of the barrel or completed an additional obstacle, you are allowed to "fix" the barrel performance by completing the barrel in the correct/chosen direction and your only penalty would be lost time, correct?
Linda

Yes, kind of.
When I said feet I meant doggie feet, not numerical feet :)

But you're correct on everything else.

Sharon Nelson

  • Mother NADAC
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6040
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2016, 04:28:38 PM »
Love the video!!  I am a definite visual learner.  One question to clarify a point - as long as your dog hasn't gone more than 4" past the plane of the barrel or completed an additional obstacle, you are allowed to "fix" the barrel performance by completing the barrel in the correct/chosen direction and your only penalty would be lost time, correct?
Linda

Yes, think if it as breaking out of the weave poles.......... once you left the required path of the obstacle, you can restart.

Sharon
Sharon
In-Sync-Agility

Mark Gwillim

  • Judge
  • *****
  • Posts: 144
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2016, 06:00:13 PM »
Great job Chris,

Mark ;D
Mark

LeeAnne McAdam

  • 2016 Online Seminar Group
  • *****
  • Posts: 1062
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2016, 06:17:05 PM »
Great video, Chris!  Thanks for doing that.
Lee Anne

KathieT

  • 2016 Online Seminar Group
  • *****
  • Posts: 77
Re: 5-foot Rule for Barrels
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2016, 06:55:40 PM »
Thank you Chris.  Helen Z, sometimes we are given a Q when our dog has made a mistake.  I have a video of my young dog missing a contact and she got a Q.  Judges are human and calls will sometimes go our way when they shouldn't.   If I think that I should have had a Q, I will talk to the judge.  I don't expect them to change it (hoping maybe -ha ha) but I use it as a learning experience so that I make sure there are no questions on my runs.

Kathie T
Kathie
Beulah WY