Author Topic: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH  (Read 6916 times)

TheQuestKnight

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2016, 11:06:15 AM »
WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kinda seems to me that a number of folks are trying to be snarky and keep it under Sharon's "radar" and within the bounds of all that she'll allow before she puts her foot down!
First of all, you really do NOT need hoops to train for Hoopers or X-Hoopers!  A couple of household objects, say coffee cups placed X inches apart will do.  You are supposed to be teaching your dog to RUN THE PATH!!!  If the dog is on path, s/he will perform the hoop!  Try it!  It works!  For giggles and grins, my little Dachsie mix learned how to run a path in our tiny living room while I was drinking wine and watching the Indians whip the Tigers on TV! ...and she knew NOTHING about agility!!! 
Secondly, A LOT of folks have gotten spoiled rotten by some other venues whose Nationals, Regionals, Whatever courses look pretty similar to trial courses.  It's a pity that you weren't around in agility's infancy.......................for special events like those, there were almost ALWAYS challenges that exhibitors hadn't seen before!  They were NEVER dangerous; but they did push beyond what folks normally trained for; but the philosophy was "If you want to be a NATIONAL champion, PROVE your WORTHINESS!" ...............and many did just that!
I really do think that some ambitious person on the forum should begin to categorize all of the excuses, whines (and the cheese to go with them) and petty critiques of NADAC and put them into a book.  That way, it would save some folks A LOT of trouble..........................they could simply name the class; and then give the number or numbers of their whines and gripes!
FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD AND DECENT, have some of you forgotten that Sharon is still in the early stages of recovery from traumatic cancer surgery........................that Chris is recovering from surgery (hernia?) as well........................and that Sharon, Becky, Chris & Amanda have families and lives OUTSIDE of NADAC???
BTW, if you want to see a REAL NADAC black hole, come to Ohio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.......................but we ALWAYS managed to find a way and a place to train.....................and to test our skills at trials.  Trials were some distance away, so we turned them into mini-vacations!!!
When I go to a trial, I go to have FUN with my dog................THAT'S IT!  If others want to whine, complain, pout or do whatever else negative they can think of, PLEASE STAY AT HOME!!!  I don't appreciate seeing you......................and your dog probably is NOT having fun being around you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
.....................and if attendance drops off; and NADAC trials cease to be, so be it!
NADAC has ALWAYS "marched to the beat of a different drummer"...................and I, for one, am sooooooooooooooooo very grateful that it does!  What I have learned about my dogs, about myself and about agility through my association with NADAC can never be taken from me.......................and I'm soooooooooooo NOT tallking about ribbons, awards titles or any of that trivial stuff!
Just my NOT so humble opinion; but if the driving force behind your doing agility are the ribbons, titles, awards and other trinkets, please do all of us...................and the sport, a HUGE favor and QUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
More or less respectfully...................I guess it depends on how self-conscious and insecure you are.............
Al
P.S. Sharon & Chris & Becky & Amanda: If I get a warning regarding the tone of my post, I won't be surprised! If I don't get one, I may be a bit disappointed! <LOL>  The NADAC family has been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too good to us and ours for me to let these truly unfounded and unwarranted critiques to to without a rebuttal.

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.

Karissa,

Oh, I think that point of view has been very clearly understood. But what you have failed to see is the majority of responses have been people *finding a positive way* to meet this new "challenge", not continually disparaging it. A trainer has said they will focus on it for the next 6 weeks with the *very large* group of students they always bring to Champs. Numerous people have sent in tons of suggestions to get started training this both from a small and large scale. There's been creative photos sent in on how to set something similar up at home or class. Folks who were surprised by this challenge are actively going about *finding a way* to make it work for them. This is how true NADAC Champions work! (OK, in *reality*, it's how ALL true Champions work!  ;D) They see a problem, they find a way to fix it, move on and win, rather than just sit on their butts and harp on the negatives.

You've made it very clear that you aren't coming to Championships this year. Lucky you! You've been given a 13 month "heads up" on one of the possible focus of one of the courses you might see in 2017, if you choose to qualify and enter. 13 months should be *plenty* of time for you to figure out how to train this thing. Actually, it will probably take you, as a handler, maaaaybe 13 minutes and your dog about 13 seconds. It's not exactly rocket science....since your dogs *do* know what hoops are.

So, Karissa, you better jump on the Circle of Fun Train along with the rest of us! It's coming to a town near YOU next year! We've all bought our tickets, climbed aboard and are having fun enjoying each other and our dogs in the Club Car....where are you???

-Kyle

I totally understand what Karissa is saying.  There is ONE club in the Chicagoland area that teaches NADAC and hosts NADAC trials.  That club, for me to train is over 2 hours away on a week night.  I just can't make it there.   All the rest of the clubs teach AKC/USDAA/CPE and now UKI and ASCA are coming in.  So, Kyle, you can say that "a trainer just offered to set it up, train it...."  But sometimes it just isn't feasible for people.  Not everything is as simple as some people make it sound.  I for one, work a full-time job, a part time job, have a house to clean and care for and have a 90 year old mother that I help take care of.  Time is limited.  Add to that, that I don't have a big yard to play in.  I train 1X per week if that.  I simply don't have the time to rent a facility and if I did, then they would not have the equipment necessary.  The fact is, that adding it to Champs IS a large disadvantage to those of us who never see it here. 

The second part she was saying also holds true.  The fact is, Unfortunately in this area, there is very little cross-over.  People either do NADAC or they don't.  The trainers that are out there (other than the 1 club), simply don't run NADAC and don't/won't train for NADAC.  I have hear them say things like "I won't train that crazy distance needed", or "I won't do a venue that has such different obstacles" or "I need my dog to be able to collect and not work away from me and he simply can't do both".  Is it true?  NOPE.  But can I change their mind?  NOPE.  I have gone to USDAA and AKC trials to watch my friends.  I hear the conversations that take place about NADAC whether they know that I run NADAC or not.  Even if I try to defend NADAC, the issue is things like the barrels or hoops.  Now, I have convinced some people that a hoop is simply like a jump without the bar.  They train their puppies on jump standards, what is the difference?  I have convinced some people that a barrel is simply teaching your dog to go around something (like a jump standard).  However, the vast majority do not going to listen.  For whatever reason, NADAC is like a black hole here.    Like Karissa said, there are some that will come and use it for training, there are some, that if there is no other trial around, will come and play for a day, but the vast majority just stay away.  The main complaint that I hear is the "constant change on a whim".  To me that is both good and bad.  Some of the changes are for the better, some are not (in my opinion), but for the most part, we all get heard.  BUT, for those that are thinking about crossing over, adding something like a hoop cirlce would totally cut them out.  Trainers are NOT going to pick it up and teach it.  Not only do they not have the skills necessary to teach it, but they also are not likelly to be supported by their students because it isn't required in any other venue.  And if their students balk at it, so will the trainers because they need to keep their students.  The students pay them to teach them the skills necessary to compete and that particular skill just isn't necessary (in their minds anyway) to compete in AKC, USDAA, CPE, UKI or ASCA.  The fact is, NADAC IS different.  I enjoy NADAC but I was lucky enough that when I started in agility, that club trained NADAC.  That doesn't happen with most newbies anymore.  The only place I could take my "newbie" dog is to an AKC/USDAA facility.  I can guarantee that all of those dogs in her class will end up NOT knowing anything about NADAC except what I have told them. 

And quite honestly Kyle, this comment,  "So, Karissa, you better jump on the Circle of Fun Train along with the rest of us! It's coming to a town near YOU next year! We've all bought our tickets, climbed aboard and are having fun enjoying each other and our dogs in the Club Car....where are you???", is one of the MAIN reasons people don't do NADAC.  I am sure you didn't mean it to sound snarky, but to someone who only does a small amount of NADAC and has other options available, it could definitely come across that way.  Karissa is one of the few people who supports NADAC in her area.  Without her talking it up, do you really think that we will gain competitors?
Castle Camelot: Al, Barb, Dred, Gael & Pellinore . . . and from The Bridge Grill & Pub,  Kali, Flurry, Promise, Chico, Romulus, Trix and Tony.

dogrsqr

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2016, 11:06:53 AM »
Catching all of this a little late.  None of us in 100% right or wrong.  Nobody knows what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes. 

We are having a hard time keeping NADAC going in the Midwest.  Recently we've had some new exhibitors, but we've also lost a few old ones.

I attended extreme games trials when they were being held in our area.  I really liked Gaters and X-Chances.  They went away.  I've grown to like X-Hoopers.  Our club does not offer it because of equipment logistics.  Our club only offers trials we do not offer training; we all have day jobs and we do not have a building.  We rent locations for trials and have all of our equipment in two trailers.  We really don't have capacity in the trailers to add gates or expens, neither space nor weight.  Currently even the hoops we use are at our house (they are actually our hoops).  Our club offers trials of another venue so having two sets of contact equipment is already very heavy.

When I attended my first extreme games trial my dog had not seen a gate a barrel or a Hoop circle.  The only one that has caused me any problems and continues to do so is the barrel.  I have tried to train them the best I can with limited time and resources.  I bought my own barrels, I work on them at home, but I don't have regular access to someplace that I can work on barrels integrated into a course with NADAC spacing.  My dog often does NOT see barrels when they are in a course whether that's due to speed or other equipment that she focuses on I don't know. I have tried to make them high value by using her favorite toy, but it doesn't seem to have worked.  Barrels have caused me great frustration; enough that I feel like I'm shutting my dog down and it's making me really unhappy. 

Of course no one around these forums actually talks about training anymore or trying to help people out.  I've asked questions before for advice on barrels and get no response.  So if any of you have some advice on trying to get my dog to do barrels on a course now is your chance .... speak up, help a home girl out.  Maybe if we talked a bit about training and actually helped out the people who don't have NADAC training available we could actually get some new interest.

Gina Pizzo who has been here for years
and Abbey who'd rather do anything but a barrel

Kyle

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2016, 12:04:53 PM »
Audri,

I truly do understand both Karissa's and your point of view. I totally Totally TOTALLY get the fact that there are no trainers for folks in your area to learn from. I totally get the problems of an incredibly busy life and lack of time due to real life problems. 

I apologize because it's quite clear to me now that I have not clarified that I am *only* talking about the inclusion of a Hoop Circle at Championships, I'm not talking about X-Hoopers being required for a NATCH nor was I talking about a lack of NADAC trials. So, again, I will apologize for not being terribly clear.

Honestly, in my heart of hearts, I do believe this one exercise - a Hoop Circle - won't be too difficult to train for anyone who has done any training with a hoop or two, or has entered Novice Hoopers, or has done Open Chances that includes a hoop in the test. That's my honest feeling. I also feel that if someone has tried AKC Fast, they shouldn't have too much of a problem.  :)

The input that has been generously given by many folks on this topic has been amazing. They've kindly offered so many different ways for folks to set up something to work on in the next 6 weeks - to get ready for Championships. From very small set ups (check out LeeAnn's posts) to larger ones. Sharon even did something she's *never* done before - sent out a sample course map. The hoop circle itself isn't very large, especially if you only set up one half at a time (as Sharon suggested by working pinwheels). And, as you have said, the hoops could easily be replaced by jumps with no bars. OR, you could forget needing a hoop or jump and just use some cheap garden fencing (chicken wire?) with cheap garden stakes and leave holes for the hoops. (I understand the problems with ex-pens.) I'll give you a little hint about training this that has helped some people not be so worried about the Hoop Circle - it's about showing your dog *the hole* and then *allowing them to find it*. Since the "holes" never change place the dogs figure it out pretty darn fast.

What I don't totally get is the really *hard* push back on this. We've all been given 6 weeks to figure this out. We've all been given some amazing help on how to do that in many different ways. There's been emotional support given for those who have to figure this out. Because, yes, I, as one, DO understand your pain on having to do something "new" at Championships. My dog (and many others) had *never seen a hoop* before she had to do a *whole course* of them at a Championships. My dog (and many others) had *never done* a barrel before she had to do them at a Championships. Did I grumble about that?? Yes I did, under my breath. But I also got the whole "challenge" thing that goes hand in hand with Championships. So I get part of your problem, but at least your dog knows what a hoop is already (one step ahead of the game there!), and that's the point of this exercise. To do some hoops. We've all been given the heads up it's going to happen and we've been given the time to work on it - yay!

Here's another way to think about things: I have a dog in Silver Stakes and a dog in Pre-Elite. My Silver Stakes dog and I are highly likely to walk away from Champs with zilch, zero, nada except for the pure JOY of working/playing together. Is that enough? You bet your bottom dollar it is. (BTW, we've never done a Hoop Circle at a distance...don't be thinkin' it's gonna be easy, it won't be.) My Pre-Elite dog has one trial under her belt in Open. She's really just a Novice kid. Do I have any hopes of doing anything stellar in *any* run we have. No way Jose! We're competing against dogs who have been running in Elite - with Elite TITLES. Are we gonna go out there and have the time of our lives on all the runs? You betcha, baby!

Don't be so down in the dumps about one single run - it's only one. You could kick ass in all the rest! Yay! You and your dogs are going to have a blast no matter what, am I right?

-Kyle

 
Kyle
Leona Valley, CA

Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2016, 12:21:58 PM »
X-Hoopers will never be a part of a NATCH.  We will add it to VT so those who want to enjoy the thrill of the class can get more opportunities that way since some clubs won't ever offer it.  But it won't be any part of a regular NATCH.

Sharon
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Cindy

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2016, 12:32:33 PM »
Here's another way to think about things: I have a dog in Silver Stakes and a dog in Pre-Elite. My Silver Stakes dog and I are highly likely to walk away from Champs with zilch, zero, nada except for the pure JOY of working/playing together. Is that enough? You bet your bottom dollar it is. (BTW, we've never done a Hoop Circle at a distance...don't be thinkin' it's gonna be easy, it won't be.) My Pre-Elite dog has one trial under her belt in Open. She's really just a Novice kid. Do I have any hopes of doing anything stellar in *any* run we have. No way Jose! We're competing against dogs who have been running in Elite - with Elite TITLES. Are we gonna go out there and have the time of our lives on all the runs? You betcha, baby!

-Kyle

Kyle, I LOVE your attitude and approach!!  I'm guessing you will have stellar moments in each and every run, and most likely some stellar runs as well!  Either way, you've already won in my book, because you are going for the fun times with your dogs, playing a game you love!  Enjoy!!

Cindy and the Beagles

Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2016, 12:40:57 PM »
I am up for any suggestions on how to keep NADAC going and build upon it..especially in the midwest !!
When I first started trailing in IL  in 2002, NADAC trials only had 4 runs a day and filled 2 ring trials with waitlists. 

I hold seminars and trials in and near Springfield IL at the fairgrounds and at my sister's place!    Chrissy teaches classes and pushes NADAC skills.  She attended non-nadac local trials to support her students and to run her dogs.. it is good for others to watch such a good handler with distance and great dogs ! (I am  not biased at all : )

I offer Xhoopers and Xbarrelers at all my trials.   Heck ITZ is always one of the first clubs to try something out...Sharon announces it and we sure give it a try !!

But even so-- I am LUCKY if I break even with these trials.   Even my trials in MD/NJ/PA are seeing a decline in entries.    Some people have moved  to other venues taking their students/ friends with them.   It is happening everywhere.

Gina---   I understand your pain.   I dont have a hard time with barrels in regular trial i am fine...but damn it if I dont suck at barrelers !   I trained and trailed in barrelers all year and I still have a very low Q rate....













 


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Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2016, 12:45:06 PM »
I am up for any suggestions on how to keep NADAC going and build upon it..especially in the midwest !!
When I first started trailing in IL  in 2002, NADAC trials only had 4 runs a day and filled 2 ring trials with waitlists. 

I hold seminars and trials in and near Springfield IL at the fairgrounds and at my sister's place!    Chrissy teaches classes and pushes NADAC skills.  She attended non-nadac local trials to support her students and to run her dogs.. it is good for others to watch such a good handler with distance and great dogs ! (I am  not biased at all : )

I offer Xhoopers and Xbarrelers at all my trials.   Heck ITZ is always one of the first clubs to try something out...Sharon announces it and we sure give it a try !!

But even so-- I am LUCKY if I break even with these trials.   Even my trials in MD/NJ/PA are seeing a decline in entries.    Some people have moved  to other venues taking their students/ friends with them.   It is happening everywhere.

Gina---   I understand your pain.   I dont have a hard time with barrels in regular trial i am fine...but damn it if I dont suck at barrelers !   I trained and trailed in barrelers all year and I still have a very low Q rate....
 

So everyone keeps saying that there are no NADAC trainers and evidently there are!  Keep up the good work!

I would expect the trials in NJ to drop since there are so many more trials in the MD/NJ area than there were 4 years ago.  The "entry" numbers haven't dropped as far as the number of runs in the area, those runs are now distributed to a lot more clubs and more trials.  Lot of choices for people and many don't want to trial every weekend, so they pick and choose a lot more, now that they can.

Still need that magic wand!!

Sharon
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Lorrie Stelz

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2016, 06:53:30 PM »
A few notes... I'd come to Lisa's ITZ trials a lot more but it's a 9 hour drive and with that far of a drive, I want to make the most of coming, so I usually enter most runs with 2 dogs.  That requires 4 nights in hotels and a shift trade at work just to come. That brings my weekend to around $800.  I would love to come more, but distance and money limits that.  Although I DO support all you do, Lisa!!  :)

I have no NADAC trainers in my area of Wichita, KS.  Starting in 2008, I had to become my own trainer as all my people out here ever taught was AKC.  I took it upon myself to train my 3 dogs all of their distance work.  We now have 29 NATCHs, with our 30th just 1 Q away.  It can be done being your own trainer, but I'm lucky I can go to a lady's yard that has space for me and equipment, although AKC contact equipment.  It's not been easy, but truthfully, being my own trainer has helped me understand what my dogs need and we developed our own communication system.  It would be fun to have a NADAC club out here, but I was determined to do NADAC and found a way to succeed with very limited resources.  It sure would be nice to have more NADAC interested clubs in my area so I don't have to travel 6-10 hours to 2/3 of my trials, though!  :)
Lorrie Stelz
Kaiden: NATCH 15 V-NATCH 12 AA NATCH 4 Tartan Bay More Than Meets The Eye PT BN MX MXJ MXF TKI IT
Tripp: NATCH 7 V-NATCH 6 AA NATCH 4 BB's Embrace The Journey TKI IT
Sketch: BB's Nothin' But A Good Time TKI IT
ret. Chaney: NATCH 8 V-NATCH 5 Wildblue Enchanted MX MXJ MJB MXF S-HP-E HOF

ricbonner

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #53 on: August 16, 2016, 06:57:21 PM »
A couple of my thoughts:

"6 weeks is enough time to prepare"  I disagree.  Many dogs, including one of mine, need some time before they can offer new performances in the trial ring.  I have heard many trainers say that there is a delay between teaching a skill and seeing the skill present itself in the trial ring.  In my experience, I see it in about 8 weeks.  I have heard other trainers say 12 weeks, some 4 weeks.  So I would need to be completed teaching the skill prior to 8 weeks out, in order to have a reliable expectation of my dog performing it.  Trying to teach a new skill now for Champs 2016 is a non starter for us.

As far as seeing challenges in the Champs ring.  That is a valid position.  But seeing a new challenge is not the only goal exhibitors have when coming to Champs.  Some teams go to demonstrate/celebrate just how awesome their dog is.  People dream of getting on that big stage and having a smooth beautiful run with their dog and showing how sweet it can be.  Many teams just want a clean run at Champs.  The sense of validation of a clean run at that level is a great thing and can be very inspiring and encouraging.  Now imagine these teams are faced with a challenge they've never seen, on a sequence they are completely unfamiliar with, on a course obstacle they don't even clearly understand the rules for.  Now, instead of a joyful run and demonstration of their dogs skills, they have a disastrous faulted run, they feel embarrassed, they feel like they don't deserve to be at Champs.  They are completely disheartened.  They have been practicing, training, competing for a year, usually several years.  They've made a huge investment of time, energy, and treasure to get there.  They have been told Champs is just regular courses.  They feel confident they have the skills needed.  And then they have that horrible experience.  Think seriously, is that good for the sport? for NADAC?  For people who have worked so hard and come so far, and committed so much, to have the target moved at the last minute, such that their dream of a smooth run at Champs with their dog is put at risk.  OK, it is just one run out of 7.  But in my first time at Champs, we only had 1 clean run.  It wasn't all that smooth, but that 1 clean run made all the difference for us.  If that run had had barrels or a hoop ring, I doubt we would have had that success in that run, and I'm not really sure I would have come back.

I personally am not against more advanced challenges at Champs.  I am not concerned by a hoop ring for my dogs.  And I am in an area that does not normally have extreme hoopers offered at trials.  But I recognize the concerns of other teams that are taken aback by this announcement.  I take hope in the observation that NADAC has announced this now, instead of like in the past when barrels were a complete surprise delivered at the walkthrough.  And not just a barrel, a figure eight of barrels.   Imagine, your dog has never seen a barrel and now you have to a do an outside figure eight around 2 barrels and not take that tasty tunnel in the corner.  Can you say instant 60 faults and no hope for the finals?  But I really wish NADAC would make announcements like this before they start accepting entries.  Before people have decided to come, before people have taken time off, booked hotels, etc.. This is my opinion, but I think the skills needed and challenges to be faced should not surprise or shock anyone.  With barrels a while back and the hoop ring now, some people are surprised.  This is not their fault for being surprised.  Of course people are reacting to this.  I say it is the timing of the information being delivered that causes this shock.

If the goal is to encourage more extreme hoopers across the country, then I think announcing this in January or February would effectively drive that, without the reactions that a late announcement or no announcement would generate.  If this was a known challenge or potential challenge at Champs, exhibitors planning for Champs would be asking for x-hoopers from their hosting clubs throughout the year.  If this was announced 6 months before champs, nobody would bark about it.  But announce it 6 weeks out, and there is going to be some barking.  Nobody should be surprised that teams are barking about this now.

My last point is this.  Not every post requires a counter post.  Not every expression of frustration, or concern, or shock or perspective needs to be responded with an opposing viewpoint or tips on how to "deal with it".  Training tips are great (if requested) but sometimes the best response is to just acknowledge the offering.  It is absolutely possible to say "thank you for your perspective and input" without immediately challenging that perspective or input.

My apologies for length.

--Ric Bonner

Lorrie Stelz

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #54 on: August 16, 2016, 07:08:17 PM »
Excellent points, Ric!  Well said.  I totally agree with your post!  :)
Lorrie Stelz
Kaiden: NATCH 15 V-NATCH 12 AA NATCH 4 Tartan Bay More Than Meets The Eye PT BN MX MXJ MXF TKI IT
Tripp: NATCH 7 V-NATCH 6 AA NATCH 4 BB's Embrace The Journey TKI IT
Sketch: BB's Nothin' But A Good Time TKI IT
ret. Chaney: NATCH 8 V-NATCH 5 Wildblue Enchanted MX MXJ MJB MXF S-HP-E HOF

Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #55 on: August 16, 2016, 07:30:41 PM »
A couple of my thoughts:

"6 weeks is enough time to prepare"  I disagree.  Many dogs, including one of mine, need some time before they can offer new performances in the trial ring.  I have heard many trainers say that there is a delay between teaching a skill and seeing the skill present itself in the trial ring.  In my experience, I see it in about 8 weeks.  I have heard other trainers say 12 weeks, some 4 weeks.  So I would need to be completed teaching the skill prior to 8 weeks out, in order to have a reliable expectation of my dog performing it.  Trying to teach a new skill now for Champs 2016 is a non starter for us.

As far as seeing challenges in the Champs ring.  That is a valid position.  But seeing a new challenge is not the only goal exhibitors have when coming to Champs.  Some teams go to demonstrate/celebrate just how awesome their dog is.  People dream of getting on that big stage and having a smooth beautiful run with their dog and showing how sweet it can be.  Many teams just want a clean run at Champs.  The sense of validation of a clean run at that level is a great thing and can be very inspiring and encouraging.  Now imagine these teams are faced with a challenge they've never seen, on a sequence they are completely unfamiliar with, on a course obstacle they don't even clearly understand the rules for.  Now, instead of a joyful run and demonstration of their dogs skills, they have a disastrous faulted run, they feel embarrassed, they feel like they don't deserve to be at Champs.  They are completely disheartened.  They have been practicing, training, competing for a year, usually several years.  They've made a huge investment of time, energy, and treasure to get there.  They have been told Champs is just regular courses.  They feel confident they have the skills needed.  And then they have that horrible experience.  Think seriously, is that good for the sport? for NADAC?  For people who have worked so hard and come so far, and committed so much, to have the target moved at the last minute, such that their dream of a smooth run at Champs with their dog is put at risk.  OK, it is just one run out of 7.  But in my first time at Champs, we only had 1 clean run.  It wasn't all that smooth, but that 1 clean run made all the difference for us.  If that run had had barrels or a hoop ring, I doubt we would have had that success in that run, and I'm not really sure I would have come back.

I personally am not against more advanced challenges at Champs.  I am not concerned by a hoop ring for my dogs.  And I am in an area that does not normally have extreme hoopers offered at trials.  But I recognize the concerns of other teams that are taken aback by this announcement.  I take hope in the observation that NADAC has announced this now, instead of like in the past when barrels were a complete surprise delivered at the walkthrough.  And not just a barrel, a figure eight of barrels.   Imagine, your dog has never seen a barrel and now you have to a do an outside figure eight around 2 barrels and not take that tasty tunnel in the corner.  Can you say instant 60 faults and no hope for the finals?  But I really wish NADAC would make announcements like this before they start accepting entries.  Before people have decided to come, before people have taken time off, booked hotels, etc.. This is my opinion, but I think the skills needed and challenges to be faced should not surprise or shock anyone.  With barrels a while back and the hoop ring now, some people are surprised.  This is not their fault for being surprised.  Of course people are reacting to this.  I say it is the timing of the information being delivered that causes this shock.

If the goal is to encourage more extreme hoopers across the country, then I think announcing this in January or February would effectively drive that, without the reactions that a late announcement or no announcement would generate.  If this was a known challenge or potential challenge at Champs, exhibitors planning for Champs would be asking for x-hoopers from their hosting clubs throughout the year.  If this was announced 6 months before champs, nobody would bark about it.  But announce it 6 weeks out, and there is going to be some barking.  Nobody should be surprised that teams are barking about this now.

My last point is this.  Not every post requires a counter post.  Not every expression of frustration, or concern, or shock or perspective needs to be responded with an opposing viewpoint or tips on how to "deal with it".  Training tips are great (if requested) but sometimes the best response is to just acknowledge the offering.  It is absolutely possible to say "thank you for your perspective and input" without immediately challenging that perspective or input.

My apologies for length.

--Ric Bonner

Good input!  My only remark is that it should be posted under the champs thread. 

Sharon
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KarissaKS

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2016, 09:54:26 AM »
With regard to X-Hoopers and/or the hoop circle --- It is clear that many people view this obstacle as extremely beneficial and directly aligned with all that is NADAC. If that is the case, why not begin to incorporate it into some Regular courses, similar to the example that was shared in the Champs thread? Elite could have the full circle with all gates in place, Novice could have the hoop configuration with no gates, Open might have some of the gates introducing some sort of handler restriction but not the full intimidating circle.

The idea of introducing yet another (required?) class is completing daunting, both financially and in the time it takes to set/complete it at a trial. There will be people that grumble and complain (as they did with hoops, gates, and barrels) but most will accept it and give it a go -- at a NORMAL trial, not Champs. I'm not saying put it in every course -- We don't even see a barrel on every Regular course. Just make it a thing that might be part of a Regular course at a normal trial. That will give all competitors equal opportunity to experience this exercise without relying on clubs to offer an additional class and causing competitors to incur an additional expense. Clubs should be given the option of gates vs x-pens, though, as I imagine there are several clubs who went through the bother of building gates for this and won't be able to immediately afford to purchase x-pens.

Note that if this is the route chosen, you would also need to accept that such a change may drive away yet more people in areas like mine. But if people feel so strongly about its importance, put it out there. For everyone.
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2016, 09:58:13 AM »
With regard to X-Hoopers and/or the hoop circle --- It is clear that many people view this obstacle as extremely beneficial and directly aligned with all that is NADAC. If that is the case, why not begin to incorporate it into some Regular courses, similar to the example that was shared in the Champs thread? Elite could have the full circle with all gates in place, Novice could have the hoop configuration with no gates, Open might have some of the gates introducing some sort of handler restriction but not the full intimidating circle.

The idea of introducing yet another (required?) class is completing daunting, both financially and in the time it takes to set/complete it at a trial. There will be people that grumble and complain (as they did with hoops, gates, and barrels) but most will accept it and give it a go -- at a NORMAL trial, not Champs. I'm not saying put it in every course -- We don't even see a barrel on every Regular course. Just make it a thing that might be part of a Regular course at a normal trial. That will give all competitors equal opportunity to experience this exercise without relying on clubs to offer an additional class and causing competitors to incur an additional expense. Clubs should be given the option of gates vs x-pens, though, as I imagine there are several clubs who went through the bother of building gates for this and won't be able to immediately afford to purchase x-pens.

Note that if this is the route chosen, you would also need to accept that such a change may drive away yet more people in areas like mine. But if people feel so strongly about its importance, put it out there. For everyone.

Good input and food for thought.

Sharon
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #58 on: August 17, 2016, 10:15:06 AM »
With regard to X-Hoopers and/or the hoop circle --- It is clear that many people view this obstacle as extremely beneficial and directly aligned with all that is NADAC. If that is the case, why not begin to incorporate it into some Regular courses, similar to the example that was shared in the Champs thread? Elite could have the full circle with all gates in place, Novice could have the hoop configuration with no gates, Open might have some of the gates introducing some sort of handler restriction but not the full intimidating circle.

The idea of introducing yet another (required?) class is completing daunting, both financially and in the time it takes to set/complete it at a trial. There will be people that grumble and complain (as they did with hoops, gates, and barrels) but most will accept it and give it a go -- at a NORMAL trial, not Champs. I'm not saying put it in every course -- We don't even see a barrel on every Regular course. Just make it a thing that might be part of a Regular course at a normal trial. That will give all competitors equal opportunity to experience this exercise without relying on clubs to offer an additional class and causing competitors to incur an additional expense. Clubs should be given the option of gates vs x-pens, though, as I imagine there are several clubs who went through the bother of building gates for this and won't be able to immediately afford to purchase x-pens.

Note that if this is the route chosen, you would also need to accept that such a change may drive away yet more people in areas like mine. But if people feel so strongly about its importance, put it out there. For everyone.

Karissa, I really appreciate that your focus is on a possible "solution" as opposed to a "problem".  The NADAC office loves "solution" ideas.  I like what you have to say above and will ponder that.   Maybe even a club could choose the option of offering "combo" or not and post it in their premium??  So a competitor would know in advance if one of the regular runs would be "combo" or not??

Sharon
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Linda W. Anderson

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Re: X-Hoopers as part of NATCH
« Reply #59 on: August 17, 2016, 10:16:16 AM »
Right now, our club doesn't have enough of either the PVC gates or X-pens alone to form the circle.  For the purpose of practice, could we use a combination of both and if so could you give the length of each side minus the hoops?
Thanks,  Linda
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