Author Topic: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH  (Read 4141 times)

Cherie Singer

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2016, 11:40:20 AM »
I started to write this post as part of the Championship course thread but after seeing this thread decided to post it here so this is a bit of overlap. I don’t often read the forum for a reason and these strings are exactly why as it becomes less about constructive ideas and more about picking others apart for their thoughtful comments. Disagreement is not negativity if done constructively but rather an opportunity to open a line of communication so both sides are heard and valued. I do want to say that I LOVE NADAC, always have, always will and will be at Champs prepared for whatever is thrown at me.

I have been participating in NADAC for 16 years. Not as long as some of you but longer than most. I long ago accepted the fact that this is Sharon's game and I should keep just keep my head down and train my dogs to the best of my ability. It really is the best game around.  But also in that time it has become a game of the haves and the have nots....you either have big distance or you don't, you have great speed or you don't, you either have the means to travel to Sharon and learn what is coming down the pike or you don't, you either live in an area where you are exposed to all NADAC has to offer or you don't (I do and am very fortunate), or you either hear about the new rules or changes or you don't until you go to a trial and the judge tells you...it is all very fluid and you shouldn't get too attached. I have been a trial chair, secretary, club officer for many years, mentor to new handlers and essentially worked my butt off to support NADAC in my area.

But I have also spent years feeling marginalized that just because I go to trials to have FUN with my dog and earn a 10 point Q rather than something more that I am that lesser competitor who is afraid to try new things...which is untrue.  I try new things when I can and when I train but after working 60 hours a week, I want to go to a trial to enjoy connecting with my dog as a team and often times, new things are not the way to do that. I will leave frustrated, my dog will be confused and it is plain not fun. However, I DO expect to be challenged at Champs. Champs is a mental game as much as it is about whatever course you run. Bring it on.

That being said, I have run X-hoopers and will train it before the event but not everyone has or will have that opportunity (haves/have nots) even with the helpful videos. So if we all had to earn the same points to get to Champs to participate in all the challenges, and if x-hoopers (or barrelers or whatever) is a part of that, we should have all had to demonstrate the proficiency at a trial before we get there by earning points/a title in the class. Success in numbered hoopers will not equate as it is a different set of skills - at least the way most of us run it. 

I deeply respect Sharon for all that she have done for the sport and for me personally. But Lin B's comment from the Championship course post that  NADAC funraisers at Sharon's are different from the 'real world' is absolutely true and has been for many years.  The decisions many clubs make in what we offer has as much to do with what our exhibitors will enter and whether that can equate into paying the bills for the trial as it does what we ourselves might like to run. in the real world, we compete with other venues on any given weekend, struggle with defending how different NADAC is and how that is better for your dog and how much fun the courses can be. People who go to Sharon's for trials already know all those things.  Requiring clubs to add this class or that class will create a financial burden that will impact entries so I hope that will be considered in any future decisions. We don't have the luxury of saying that you can do what you like or go home and do your own thing. We need exhibitors to come to our trials and spend their hard earned money. If you make it part of the championship program, it will get offered but the real question will be at what cost?

My hope is that I am not vilified for writing this.  In many ways, I represent the 98% of NADAC exhibitors who carry on for the love of the sport, the camaraderie with our friends and the teamwork that NADAC inspires us to achieve with our dogs. I am not in the “in circle” and I venture to say many exhibitors feel like their voice is not heard or are too afraid to look stupid or be called out for expressing a concern. This post is less about the “Circle of Fun” that X-hoopers represents and more about how constructive ideas from exhibitors are only valued if they are in agreement with the status quo.

Cherie Singer & the Singer Shelties
Reno/Sparks, NV
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2016, 11:49:41 AM »
I started to write this post as part of the Championship course thread but after seeing this thread decided to post it here so this is a bit of overlap. I don’t often read the forum for a reason and these strings are exactly why as it becomes less about constructive ideas and more about picking others apart for their thoughtful comments. Disagreement is not negativity if done constructively but rather an opportunity to open a line of communication so both sides are heard and valued. I do want to say that I LOVE NADAC, always have, always will and will be at Champs prepared for whatever is thrown at me.

I have been participating in NADAC for 16 years. Not as long as some of you but longer than most. I long ago accepted the fact that this is Sharon's game and I should keep just keep my head down and train my dogs to the best of my ability. It really is the best game around.  But also in that time it has become a game of the haves and the have nots....you either have big distance or you don't, you have great speed or you don't, you either have the means to travel to Sharon and learn what is coming down the pike or you don't, you either live in an area where you are exposed to all NADAC has to offer or you don't (I do and am very fortunate), or you either hear about the new rules or changes or you don't until you go to a trial and the judge tells you...it is all very fluid and you shouldn't get too attached. I have been a trial chair, secretary, club officer for many years, mentor to new handlers and essentially worked my butt off to support NADAC in my area.

But I have also spent years feeling marginalized that just because I go to trials to have FUN with my dog and earn a 10 point Q rather than something more that I am that lesser competitor who is afraid to try new things...which is untrue.  I try new things when I can and when I train but after working 60 hours a week, I want to go to a trial to enjoy connecting with my dog as a team and often times, new things are not the way to do that. I will leave frustrated, my dog will be confused and it is plain not fun. However, I DO expect to be challenged at Champs. Champs is a mental game as much as it is about whatever course you run. Bring it on.

That being said, I have run X-hoopers and will train it before the event but not everyone has or will have that opportunity (haves/have nots) even with the helpful videos. So if we all had to earn the same points to get to Champs to participate in all the challenges, and if x-hoopers (or barrelers or whatever) is a part of that, we should have all had to demonstrate the proficiency at a trial before we get there by earning points/a title in the class. Success in numbered hoopers will not equate as it is a different set of skills - at least the way most of us run it.

I deeply respect Sharon for all that she have done for the sport and for me personally. But Lin B's comment from the Championship course post that  NADAC funraisers at Sharon's are different from the 'real world' is absolutely true and has been for many years.  The decisions many clubs make in what we offer has as much to do with what our exhibitors will enter and whether that can equate into paying the bills for the trial as it does what we ourselves might like to run. in the real world, we compete with other venues on any given weekend, struggle with defending how different NADAC is and how that is better for your dog and how much fun the courses can be. People who go to Sharon's for trials already know all those things.  Requiring clubs to add this class or that class will create a financial burden that will impact entries so I hope that will be considered in any future decisions. We don't have the luxury of saying that you can do what you like or go home and do your own thing. We need exhibitors to come to our trials and spend their hard earned money. If you make it part of the championship program, it will get offered but the real question will be at what cost?

My hope is that I am not vilified for writing this.  In many ways, I represent the 98% of NADAC exhibitors who carry on for the love of the sport, the camaraderie with our friends and the teamwork that NADAC inspires us to achieve with our dogs. I am not in the “in circle” and I venture to say many exhibitors feel like their voice is not heard or are too afraid to look stupid or be called out for expressing a concern. This post is less about the “Circle of Fun” that X-hoopers represents and more about how constructive ideas from exhibitors are only valued if they are in agreement with the status quo.

Cherie Singer & the Singer Shelties
Reno/Sparks, NV

Good input, Cherie, as always.  We always love to get constructive input from competitors, always have.

Sharon
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2016, 12:01:18 PM »
I am not in the “in circle” and I venture to say many exhibitors feel like their voice is not heard or are too afraid to look stupid or be called out for expressing a concern. This post is less about the “Circle of Fun” that X-hoopers represents and more about how constructive ideas from exhibitors are only valued if they are in agreement with the status quo.

Cherie Singer & the Singer Shelties
Reno/Sparks, NV

Cherie, you are part of the "in circle".  It is the 'in circle' of Reno, NV.   The same as there is an "in circle" in Northern CA or southern CA, in Texas, in the Midwest, or any other area.  EVERY area has an "in circle"....  every area.  Yep, Bend has an "in circle"!  But ours is open to everyone, where most areas aren't.  We welcome people to come, socialize with us, share our pond, our equipment and have great conversations together.  Our "in circle" changes with every trial as we have a different group every weekend.  As people travel less and more and more areas have the same competitors at each trial, the tighter and tighter those circles before.  And as those circles tighten, the more those in those tight circles feel "outside" the big circle.

We have another whole group of awesome Canadian exhibitors this week and lots of great conversations.  We love the fact that our circle changes every week and we can get fresh new input and views all summer long!

You are only outside of our circle if you choose to be.  We have an open door to our circle and love input, different opinions and viewpoints.  Now back out to a great trial this weekend!

Sharon
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Rebecca Kriz

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2016, 12:29:29 PM »
I think this has been brought up before in some other thread, but are X-hoopers and Barrlers ever going to be added to VT?  That might help those in areas that don't have those classes offered at trials.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 12:36:36 PM by Rebecca Kriz »
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2016, 12:52:59 PM »
I think this has been brought up before in some other thread, but are X-hoopers and Barrlers ever going to be added to VT?  That might help those in areas that don't have those classes offered at trials.

Good input.  It is possible to add X-Hoopers now that flow isn't scored.

Sharon
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Kyle

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2016, 01:22:48 PM »
Cherie,

I agree with so much of what you wrote. What we all might try to think about is even if something new has been added or changed, lots of them got "tweaked" along the way, most likely due to constructive criticism from "the masses"  :). My old brain cells aren't worth much lately, but here's some changes I can think of...

Remember when we had to use poker chips for Chances? (Sounded good to begin with...  ;) )
Strategic Hoopers vs. Numbered Hoopers... I think our wallets voted on this one. (But to be fair, clubs can still choose between the two!)
Gaters left quickly...
Barrelers was a course of only barrels. Holey moley that was hard! (Fun, but really hard!) That got made into a conglomeration of gates and barrels with hoops...now they're gone.

As you said, we expect to be challenged at Championships. I think Sharon said it was in Tennessee where we went out to walk the course and all we saw were hoops. It was like, "where's the REST of the obstacles??". Yup, numbered hoopers was our unknown "challenge" that year! (I remember crashing and burning on that one...) I don't remember which Champs it was, and there on the course were a couple of barrels. What the heck??? We had no clue... I remember a whole bunch of us taking turns out in the potty area *teaching* our dogs the barrel by using trash cans, trees, anything! It was crazy!  :o Of course we're all told about the "longer than normal" courses at Champs, but do you remember having the tunnel that connected the two ends of that enormous arena and we had to do the whole ginormous thing?! And, yes, this last little memory only affected several folks who ran in Stakes - when they could get "extra" points (or something like that) *IF* they took less steps?? If there wasn't that twist, we never would have seen Mike Omartian's run with Paul Kirk's "Elle" - that should be shown at every freakin' Championships - FOREVER!  ;D

Like you, I am in an area where we have X-Hoopers a lot. So, I guess, I must admit I would be one the "haves". I've already stated how sad I am that clubs don't offer X-Hoopers in many more areas. I can see how it would have a financial impact on many to introduce an "unknown". If my faulty memory serves me, I think the Manzanita club did a "fun" run kind of thing when X-Hoopers first got really going...I think they set it up on a Friday afternoon before a trial, or did it after the trial on Saturdays for a *nominal* fee of like $2 or $5. (It could have been free knowing Rainey, I just don't remember.) People could just go out and have some fun trying it out. Maybe this is an option for those clubs who don't want to offer it as a "regularly scheduled course"?? Might even bring in a few extra bucks!  ;) Interestingly enough, the folks who seem to get the most kicks out of it are the ASCA people! They love a course on the flat! Once they were introduced, they were hooked! Maybe it's kind of like having to learn that veggies can taste good as a kid...mom just had to keep putting it in front of us to get us to at least *try* it...??? I bet if clubs get a little "creative", it could easily happen. If a club doesn't want to set it up on a Saturday after the trial, maybe a few folks who *want* to do it could volunteer to set it up and run some fun runs? Once again, get creative and have fun with friends - both fuzzy and non-fuzzy - this way!  ;D

Just some thoughts....

See you at Championships, Cherie & Shelties!
-Kyle


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Linda W. Anderson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2016, 04:34:32 PM »
Thank you, Cheri, for writing your post.  I agree with your reasoning but would like to add one more comment about requiring X-Hoopers and/or Barrelers at a regular weekend trial.   Both of the trials I chair are held out doors with no lighting in March and in September.  I would be happy to offer both of these classes, but we just don't have enough daylight.  A few years ago, we added three classes on Friday afternoon to our March trial in order to be able to offer more choices over the weekend.  Last year (or the year before) we started offering Intro in some classes and it has become very popular.  As Cheri said, if we are required to add X-Hoopers and/or Barrelers, something would have to go, not to mention, we have a very heavy AKC presents here and they would not support these classes. 
Linda Anderson
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2016, 05:07:35 PM »
Thank you, Cheri, for writing your post.  I agree with your reasoning but would like to add one more comment about requiring X-Hoopers and/or Barrelers at a regular weekend trial.   Both of the trials I chair are held out doors with no lighting in March and in September.  I would be happy to offer both of these classes, but we just don't have enough daylight.  A few years ago, we added three classes on Friday afternoon to our March trial in order to be able to offer more choices over the weekend.  Last year (or the year before) we started offering Intro in some classes and it has become very popular.  As Cheri said, if we are required to add X-Hoopers and/or Barrelers, something would have to go, not to mention, we have a very heavy AKC presents here and they would not support these classes. 
Linda Anderson
Star City K 9 Training
Roanoke, VA

Sad that AKC mandates a NADAC club choices.  But sometimes it does.

Sharon
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Becky Woodruff

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2016, 05:12:32 PM »
Today those of us in Bend OR enjoyed a beautiful sunny day playing agility.  We had exhibitors from Western OR, Montana, and California.  The Canadians showed up last night and were on hand to help set courses, change jump heights and run leashes!   I think everyone was made to feel welcome.  Not many Q’s were earned today, but we had fun with our dogs.  There was some heckling and some good natured teasing.  There was also support and cheering.

But today I also feel sad.

It makes me sad to read that you have spent years feeling marginalized because you go to trials to have fun with your dog.

It makes me sad to read that if you earn a 10 point Q rather than something more you are made to feel you are a lesser competitor.

It makes me sad that people who have not ever once even tried X-Hoopers are dissing it.
If we can teach our dogs something more complicated like weaving, then we are certainly capable of teaching them to run through a gated circle with 4 hoops!  The dogs go in and they come out –

This makes me sad because it is said with such absolute certainty.
What does it even mean?  (Different = good? Or Different = bad?)
**But Lin B's comment from the Championship course post that  NADAC funraisers at Sharon's are different from the 'real world' is absolutely true and has been for many years.**

Becky Woodruff

I started to write this post as part of the Championship course thread but after seeing this thread decided to post it here so this is a bit of overlap. I don’t often read the forum for a reason and these strings are exactly why as it becomes less about constructive ideas and more about picking others apart for their thoughtful comments. Disagreement is not negativity if done constructively but rather an opportunity to open a line of communication so both sides are heard and valued. I do want to say that I LOVE NADAC, always have, always will and will be at Champs prepared for whatever is thrown at me.

I have been participating in NADAC for 16 years. Not as long as some of you but longer than most. I long ago accepted the fact that this is Sharon's game and I should keep just keep my head down and train my dogs to the best of my ability. It really is the best game around.  But also in that time it has become a game of the haves and the have nots....you either have big distance or you don't, you have great speed or you don't, you either have the means to travel to Sharon and learn what is coming down the pike or you don't, you either live in an area where you are exposed to all NADAC has to offer or you don't (I do and am very fortunate), or you either hear about the new rules or changes or you don't until you go to a trial and the judge tells you...it is all very fluid and you shouldn't get too attached. I have been a trial chair, secretary, club officer for many years, mentor to new handlers and essentially worked my butt off to support NADAC in my area.

But I have also spent years feeling marginalized that just because I go to trials to have FUN with my dog and earn a 10 point Q rather than something more that I am that lesser competitor who is afraid to try new things...which is untrue.  I try new things when I can and when I train but after working 60 hours a week, I want to go to a trial to enjoy connecting with my dog as a team and often times, new things are not the way to do that. I will leave frustrated, my dog will be confused and it is plain not fun. However, I DO expect to be challenged at Champs. Champs is a mental game as much as it is about whatever course you run. Bring it on.

That being said, I have run X-hoopers and will train it before the event but not everyone has or will have that opportunity (haves/have nots) even with the helpful videos. So if we all had to earn the same points to get to Champs to participate in all the challenges, and if x-hoopers (or barrelers or whatever) is a part of that, we should have all had to demonstrate the proficiency at a trial before we get there by earning points/a title in the class. Success in numbered hoopers will not equate as it is a different set of skills - at least the way most of us run it.

I deeply respect Sharon for all that she have done for the sport and for me personally. But Lin B's comment from the Championship course post that  NADAC funraisers at Sharon's are different from the 'real world' is absolutely true and has been for many years.  The decisions many clubs make in what we offer has as much to do with what our exhibitors will enter and whether that can equate into paying the bills for the trial as it does what we ourselves might like to run. in the real world, we compete with other venues on any given weekend, struggle with defending how different NADAC is and how that is better for your dog and how much fun the courses can be. People who go to Sharon's for trials already know all those things.  Requiring clubs to add this class or that class will create a financial burden that will impact entries so I hope that will be considered in any future decisions. We don't have the luxury of saying that you can do what you like or go home and do your own thing. We need exhibitors to come to our trials and spend their hard earned money. If you make it part of the championship program, it will get offered but the real question will be at what cost?

My hope is that I am not vilified for writing this.  In many ways, I represent the 98% of NADAC exhibitors who carry on for the love of the sport, the camaraderie with our friends and the teamwork that NADAC inspires us to achieve with our dogs. I am not in the “in circle” and I venture to say many exhibitors feel like their voice is not heard or are too afraid to look stupid or be called out for expressing a concern. This post is less about the “Circle of Fun” that X-hoopers represents and more about how constructive ideas from exhibitors are only valued if they are in agreement with the status quo.

Cherie Singer & the Singer Shelties
Reno/Sparks, NV
Becky Woodruff

Shirlene Clark

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2016, 05:14:01 PM »
Thank you, Cheri, for writing your post.  I agree with your reasoning but would like to add one more comment about requiring X-Hoopers and/or Barrelers at a regular weekend trial.   Both of the trials I chair are held out doors with no lighting in March and in September.  I would be happy to offer both of these classes, but we just don't have enough daylight.  A few years ago, we added three classes on Friday afternoon to our March trial in order to be able to offer more choices over the weekend.  Last year (or the year before) we started offering Intro in some classes and it has become very popular.  As Cheri said, if we are required to add X-Hoopers and/or Barrelers, something would have to go, not to mention, we have a very heavy AKC presents here and they would not support these classes. 
Linda Anderson
Star City K 9 Training
Roanoke, VA

Sad that AKC mandates a NADAC club choices.  But sometimes it does.

Sharon

I agree...sad

Does it ever work the opposite.....does NADAC ever mandate an AKC club choice ?  Food for thought.....

I should add I am not saying food for thought for any other reason than I wonder why the agility community doesn't ponder the inequity of this....
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 05:21:33 PM by Shirlene Clark »
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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2016, 06:00:09 PM »
I have had the good fortune to play agility at Bend, and Canby when NADAC was there.  In fact, I'm going to Bend this coming weekend.  Last weekend I was there and spent the first day of the trial watching amazing bonus runs from teams that I'm sure have some sort of mental telepathy going on.  I also watched some multiple NATCH handlers have great successes with their young dogs.  Saturday it was my turn to play - with my dog who has been known to spend more time eating the ring surface than running.  That wasn't the case on Saturday, she actually ran and we had a great time together.  While I was thrilled with her performance, there were people there who were even more excited than I was - and it was those multiple NATCH and bonus line handlers - in fact Sharon and Becky were the most vocal about it.  Do we have the skills they have - nope.  Will we ever - not with this dog.  Did we feel marginalized or lesser because I ran with her and our primary goal was fun - NOT A BIT!!  My runs, Q or not, were celebrated just as loudly as the successful bonus line runs - and that has been true every time I have run when Sharon and Becky are around.  To me, that is the heart of NADAC.  NADAC is about people having fun and success with their dogs, regardless of how that is defined for each individual team.  Skilled, Proficient, bonus, run with your dog, Q, no Q, or just not eating the course.  That feeling, from the very beginning, is why I have been NADAC only for many years.  While NADAC has grown and evolved and there are times I feel out of my league when I watch those bonus runs, I have never been made to feel that way by the people who are leading that innovation and change.

As for the "Circle of Fun" - I so remember the first time EGC was offered in Canby.  Arlene did an introductory seminar, and I went, hoping my Elite dog and my Novice dog would both hate it so I didn't have to add one more thing to my plate.  Apparently I didn't make that clear to them, because they LOVED it!!  Especially the "Circle of Fun" and especially my Elite dog, who was 13 at the time!!  She had seen gates before, and she had done hoops, but never in that configuration.  It didn't throw her off a bit - she took to it like she'd been doing it her whole life.  And that is what I have seen from so many dogs since.  They love the guidance and distance that the circle gives them and they speed up because of it.  In my dog's case, X-Hoopers and X-Gaters just served to renew her love of agility and that speed and excitement carried over to all the other classes.  I think she would have been thrilled to find that hoop circle in the middle of a Regular Agility run!  I just wish she was still here to try it.  Sharon is right, we do so many different things with our dogs that they just see it as one more.  It is the handlers that panic and cause any issues that do arise.  I hope that anyone who gets a chance to try it with their dog will do so, with an open mind and positive attitude - you may just find like I did that your dogs will thank you for it! 
Cindy and the Beagles

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2016, 06:03:22 PM »
I guess there's nothing to be done about the daylight, but I would like to remind you, Linda, that in an area with a heavy AKC presence, we were also able to put together a pretty successful EGC trial once we took the time to teach people how to do the classes...so you know me, I don't buy that people won't support it.  I will buy that maybe there isn't daylight.

Lee Anne

Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2016, 06:07:03 PM »

I agree...sad

Does it ever work the opposite.....does NADAC ever mandate an AKC club choice ?  Food for thought.....

I should add I am not saying food for thought for any other reason than I wonder why the agility community doesn't ponder the inequity of this....

No, NADAC will never mandate any AKC choices......... other than them adding rubber contacts, breakaway tires, shorter closed tunnels, lower jump heights, lower A-frames....... But AKC will always be the king just by the pure strength of the size of the organization.  That is okay, no issue with that.  I wish that they had been the ones to put out their hearts and souls into the start of the sport and not let other venues develop it, gain its popularity and then take it over.  But once AKC steps in (like agility, nosework, dock diving, rally, etc) they will become the voice of the sport.  The big box stores will always mandate what the now smaller stores have to offer.   

But that was all guaranteed so no worries!   

I love suggestions and I am open to them.  There are always those who believe that they have to agree with me or else........ those are the people who don't know me and have no understanding of who I am.  Love this sport, I am happy with life, I respect every person who has taken the time to train their dog and both enjoy this sport, whether they do NADAC or not.

If NADAC makes one miserable, I hope one of the other venues fills the emotional needs of the team.  But give NADAC a try, you might like it!!!  You might like, even LOVE, hoop circles too!  Try not to have a negative opinion until you have tried it and found that it did nothing to fill an emotional joy!!

Sharon
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2016, 06:22:18 PM »
I have had the good fortune to play agility at Bend, and Canby when NADAC was there.  In fact, I'm going to Bend this coming weekend.  Last weekend I was there and spent the first day of the trial watching amazing bonus runs from teams that I'm sure have some sort of mental telepathy going on.  I also watched some multiple NATCH handlers have great successes with their young dogs.  Saturday it was my turn to play - with my dog who has been known to spend more time eating the ring surface than running.  That wasn't the case on Saturday, she actually ran and we had a great time together.  While I was thrilled with her performance, there were people there who were even more excited than I was - and it was those multiple NATCH and bonus line handlers - in fact Sharon and Becky were the most vocal about it.  Do we have the skills they have - nope.  Will we ever - not with this dog.  Did we feel marginalized or lesser because I ran with her and our primary goal was fun - NOT A BIT!!  My runs, Q or not, were celebrated just as loudly as the successful bonus line runs - and that has been true every time I have run when Sharon and Becky are around.  To me, that is the heart of NADAC.  NADAC is about people having fun and success with their dogs, regardless of how that is defined for each individual team.  Skilled, Proficient, bonus, run with your dog, Q, no Q, or just not eating the course.  That feeling, from the very beginning, is why I have been NADAC only for many years.  While NADAC has grown and evolved and there are times I feel out of my league when I watch those bonus runs, I have never been made to feel that way by the people who are leading that innovation and change.

As for the "Circle of Fun" - I so remember the first time EGC was offered in Canby.  Arlene did an introductory seminar, and I went, hoping my Elite dog and my Novice dog would both hate it so I didn't have to add one more thing to my plate.  Apparently I didn't make that clear to them, because they LOVED it!!  Especially the "Circle of Fun" and especially my Elite dog, who was 13 at the time!!  She had seen gates before, and she had done hoops, but never in that configuration.  It didn't throw her off a bit - she took to it like she'd been doing it her whole life.  And that is what I have seen from so many dogs since.  They love the guidance and distance that the circle gives them and they speed up because of it.  In my dog's case, X-Hoopers and X-Gaters just served to renew her love of agility and that speed and excitement carried over to all the other classes.  I think she would have been thrilled to find that hoop circle in the middle of a Regular Agility run!  I just wish she was still here to try it.  Sharon is right, we do so many different things with our dogs that they just see it as one more.  It is the handlers that panic and cause any issues that do arise.  I hope that anyone who gets a chance to try it with their dog will do so, with an open mind and positive attitude - you may just find like I did that your dogs will thank you for it!

Kinsey was AWESOME last weekend!  And only one more Novice Jumpers and she WILL have that Novice Superior Versatility! 

You would have loved this weekend also, Cindy!  We had some exhibitors here from Montana (they came early so they could do X-Hoopers and they are not entered in champs, they just love the class!) who mostly came with Intro dogs.  It was so much fun watching the baby dogs learn more with each run and enjoy their runs with their handlers.  Yes, there were successful bonus runs also and many failed ones!  But the cheering and honest joy is just as high for any dog and handler having fun doing agility!

Next weekend we have competitors from Montana, Calgary, California, Washington, Idaho and Oregon coming!  More fun times with so many different levels of dogs and handlers!  People giving honest praise for everyone!

I think it is the same feeling for all dogs.  I love the feel of the connection when one of my bonus dogs and I really connect and have a great run, but it feels every bit as good when someone else has a run that is special for that team.  I feel the same when one of the pups learns something new and that spark is there!  Just makes one feel good from head to toe. 

People and dogs feeling good together, that is what it is all about.

On a side note, X-Hoopers has the highest qualifying rate of any NADAC class!!  It is not unusual to have an 85-90% Q rate.  And most people and dogs leave the course beaming and feeling good!

Sharon
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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2016, 09:06:23 PM »
The point of the thread in the Champs forum is not whether or not a hoop circle should be part of NADAC. It's whether or not it's fair to have it as part of a Championship event when a large percentage of competitors have never seen one. It seems to me that the majority of people saying "it's not so bad, you should try it" are people who have competed a great deal in the class, or at least have had the opportunity to do so. I'm not sure why it's so hard for you to understand the point of view from those who have literally never performed this obstacle/sequence.

AKC mandates absolutely nothing with regard to NADAC. There is the occasional (exclusively) AKC competitor that comes to a NADAC trial to train contacts and start lines. If those are the people you are trying to pull into your trials to boost numbers, classes like X-Hoopers will not encourage their participation. They will enter Regular, Jumpers, Touch-n-Go, Weavers, and maybe Tunnelers because it's fun. The "weird" classes or classes that require special training outside of what is seen in "normal" agility do not appeal to the crossover crowd.

In my region there are a (very) small number of NADAC diehards -- all they compete in is NADAC, but they are getting discouraged by the many changes and the ever-dwindling number of trials around here. Then you have the people who do NADAC in addition to other venues -- we at least have other places to play now that there are 75% fewer NADAC trials in this area than there were a few years ago. There are those folks from other venues who occasionally come to a NADAC trial to train, but honestly I don't see them as much since the barrels were added (hoops were a big enough hurdle). And finally you have the people who will not go to a NADAC trial for anything. I am always interested to talk to people at AKC/USDAA trials and find out how many used to do NADAC on a large scale, going to Championships regularly and whatnot. These people are trainers. When they left NADAC they took their students with them.

NADAC cannot survive in a region without trainers who teach the skills necessary. It's fine to have the attitude of "It's our sandbox, if you don't like it you can go play somewhere else" --- But don't then sit and wonder why trials and clubs continue to fold up and go away. Sometimes I think it would behoove some of the diehards to attend some trials in other organizations. Why would you expect them to come to your trials if you won't go to theirs? If all you do is proclaim that yours is better -- if you don't SHOW them that the skills you've trained for NADAC are helpful elsewhere -- why on earth would they feel compelled to make the jump?
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