Author Topic: Standard Course Times  (Read 2957 times)

Chris Nelson

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Standard Course Times
« on: June 05, 2017, 07:54:17 AM »
Hi everyone,
After the last update for times we have gotten a large number of complaints about the standard course times for small dogs.
The intent was to give a dog with a wither height of under 11 inches a comparable amount of time to qualify as a dog who measures nearly double that height.
So the times were updated to reflect that difference in height, by myself.

After having the updated times out there it appears that I was too lenient.  And also did not account for the fact that a 12" standard dog could also be jumping 4 as a Skilled, Veteran.  And because of those height breaks get a large increase in time even though their wither height could be nearly 14".

We will be updating the times again to reflect the displeasure we have currently been receiving.

I sincerely apologize for any feelings I may have invoked by implying that the little dogs needed such a large amount of time to Qualify.

I would also like to take this time to say that while NADAC is currently under my control the intent of all the changes over the past few months have been for the betterment of NADAC as a whole.   And all the changes were first consulted on by Sharon to ensure they would keep the focus of NADAC intact.   

Again I apologize and I hope everyone continues to enjoy the sport and your dogs and finds new challenges each weekend you come to a NADAC trial.

Sincerely,
Chris Nelson

Billie Rosen

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 08:09:34 AM »
Chris, I think almost all of the small dog people I have talked to the past 2 trials I have done under the new times agree that the new times are too lenient, but the old times were probably too harsh.  So a happy medium would be a really good idea.  I know several small dog people who quit NADAC because they couldn't make time, but they were over time by a few seconds.  I believe they would try NADAC again if the times were increased some.  But a dog that walks or trots the course should be still over time.
Billie Rosen    agilek9s@q.com
Kruz'n (Border Terrier)  NATCH 28, Vers. NATCH 14
Klev'r (Border Terrier)  NATCH 11, Vers. NATCH 9
Book'n (Border Terrier)  working on 1st NATCH

mephalon

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 09:17:54 AM »
Just to chime in-  I am a trial secretary and at our last trial small dog people were pleasantly surprised at the new times!  I am shocked small dog people would complain that they have gotten too much time- that's like telling your employer they are paying you too much money  ;).   Just because more time is given it doesn't make your dog run any slower- but it does give dogs who before may not have made time a chance to now make time which potentially will bring people back to NADAC who left because the old time requirement was just too tight for them- I vote leave the small dog change as it is. 

However (yes, shameless self interested plug here  :) ) I would also vote for an increase in the 16 and 20 dogs time also- maybe not to the degree that the small dog was increased but a more even distribution/increase would be nice as right now it is pretty disproportionate.   In your video Chris you said something to the effect that "we left 20" as it is (side note by me rarely do I see people jump 20" at NADAC in my area) and 16" got a small increase to make the yps number even because those dog's times seem to be fine".   I respectfully disagree that the large dog numbers are fine.  As I said before an increase will not hurt the dogs who already run fast but can make the difference for the not as fast but efficient dog.    With the larger dog times as they are now a fast dog can have bobbles on a course yet can be fast enough to still qualify while an extremely efficient dog running the same course albeit naturally slower may not make time.   Seems you are rewarding the speed over the efficiency- when I think the goal should be to reward both.   I am not talking about a dog walking or even trotting a course but a dog that runs an efficient line in full extension but just does not naturally run as fast doesn't Q when the super speedy dog runs wide, spins, etc but makes time because they are fast. 

Not all dogs (just like not all people) are naturally fast- and usually efficiency can (and in many cases does) make up for that lack of speed but sometimes depending on the dog/course it just doesn't- which is an issue a fast but wide running dog just does not have.   Why not loosen the times a little bit for all heights so all breeds/speed of dog have a decent shot.    And yes, I run a not that fast but super efficient dog (the boy does NOT take extra steps if he can help it  ;D) so this is self interested- but I also have a fast dog that can have a bobble at the Elite level and still make time so I am speaking from experience on both ends of the spectrum.  It can be very disheartening when we run a lovely, efficient, in full extension and fast (for us) course but miss time and then see the wide turning/spinning but super fast dog Q because they made time. 

However my greater interest is seeing NADAC continue in my area as I am in a region where it is shrinking more and more each year and I (and others) are trying to keep it alive.   Relaxed times would be a great help as I hear many people say "my dog is not fast enough for NADAC".   I would love to be able to counter that with- "have you heard standard course times for all heights has been increased?"  Just maybe that will make them give it a try and they will be as hooked as the rest of us.   

Just some thoughts.

Mary

« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 11:40:03 AM by mephalon »
Mary P.

Vicki Storrs

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 11:31:15 AM »
This makes me sad.  Not for my dog, any more.  Jack the Scottie recently went totally deaf, so though he still plays agility, I no longer worry about time...or much of anything else except is he having fun.   But I certainly sometimes was sad that we weren't quite good enough in his earlier years. An 11" dog, running skilled, with a vet handler (even before he was a vet), AND a breed exemption.  But he couldn't go any lower than 4" so there were 2 "drops" he couldn't take. But he ran against dogs who could take at least one of the additional drops and of course were just physically capable of running faster than he could ever hope to.  And of course these dogs made the overall times "appear" to be adequate because THEY could achieve them in satisfactory numbers.  Placing didn't matter to us, we were just happy when we Qed.  And his non Qs his entire career were predominately time related. But it was often frustrating, especially in Elite,  to see the bigger dogs in the taller classes have the time available to them so that they could start weave poles three times or make other time consuming errors and yet still Q--an option we never really had.  He pretty much needed to be obstacle perfect or we were over time.  Could he have run a Little faster, or been a Little more efficient...sure.  But so can a Ton of dogs in the bigger dog catagories, who Q despite it, as I well know, since that's where I'm running more now. Shoot, we can have stationary "discussions" with our dogs out there and still Q!!  I think the little dogs deserve that option, too.
I have been doing dog sports since the early 80s. I remember the FIRST time the AKC lowered obedience jump heights and the howl that went up over that.  But it was a good thing, and they have been lowered since then and THAT was also a good thing. In NADAC there was a LOT of dismay when MEDAL went away and everyone began to earn NATCHs because we were "diminishing the accomplishments" of the dogs who had come before and "lowering the standards" whatever that means.  But I don't think anyone Now would argue to go back to the old ways or the old jump heights or the old titles.  Maybe with the change there will be some slower "big" little dogs who might not "deserve" a Q earn one with the new times, but maybe now there will be some 10 or 11" dogs get some Qs who Really deserve them--when compared equally to the time options that the big dogs have. As I said, I no longer have a "dog in the fight" as Jack was my one and only small dog.  But I thought it was a good change and am sad you have reconsidered because of the complainers.

Sincerely,
Vicki Storrs
Vicki Storrs

Ashley Huffman

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 11:42:25 AM »
This makes me sad. I have not been trialing the last two summers because my dog cannot make time when it is hot (unless we can find the rare trial that is air conditioned). She runs her little heart out and is panting through entire courses by the end of the day.  We get close, missing SCT by a second or two. I was considering trying to compete again this summer since the SCTs were adjusted, but now I'm not so sure it's worth it. I guess we'll try one trial and see what happens.


Ashley Huffman
Maryland
Ashley Huffman
Union Bridge, MD

Lissie the Schnoodle

Carole & Pat Daggett

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 11:44:48 AM »
just talking about the small dog times I implore everyone to hold your powder - this is not an easy needle to thread. Before you even consider all the different ways of getting to the 8" and 4" category, you have height class that somehow is expected to treat Papillion ,Basset Hound, Jack Russell and Bulldog equally.

Pat Daggett

Amy McGovern

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 12:06:34 PM »
I was running teacup this past weekend and multiple people said they had quit NADAC over course times.  I kept telling people that small dog times had gone up and I was working to bring them back to the next local NADAC show.  I'm sad that I was now wrong :(. I think many venues have seen declines in participation and teacup is not immune either.  However, I was sure hoping to talk some of these dogs into trying NADAC at our next local show!  I don't know that it is possible if the times go back to being too tight.  Remember that teacup is for the little dogs so I'm really talking about tiny ones, not big dogs.  My schnauzers are big dogs at teacup!

-Amy
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Marcy Matties

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2017, 12:17:04 PM »
I echo the "WAIT" sentiment.  Chris never said times would be adjusted back to where they were before.  So it sounds like small dog time WILL be greater than they were - just not quite as much as they were in this initial change.  So if dogs in the past were missing time by 2 to 5 or 7 seconds they will still probably MAKE time with whatever Change Chris comes up with.  They just won't "make time" with 20 seconds to spare.
Marcy, Toby, Dublin and Odie
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Chris Nelson

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2017, 12:34:36 PM »
The small dog times will NOT be as tight as they were in the original rulebook.   They just won't be what they are right now.
I'm trying to find a happy medium.

If folks were not making time by a couple seconds they will still be okay and making time with update #2.

If they aren't making time by 20 seconds as Marcy said then it's possible there could be some issues.

So I would really like folks to keep an open mind and give it a shot.     

I do NOT like making adjustments like this.   I spent a lot of time on the last SCT tables and felt they were fair to the smallest dogs.    And that is still where my intention lies.  So give it a shot with update #2 and see where you stand after that.

Thanks everyone

DeafSheltieMom

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2017, 02:30:29 PM »
I've been a bit out of the loop with this discussion.  I believe what Chris has tried to do was be fair to the TRUE 4" and 8" dogs...  In NADAC, there was not a true 4" dog time, since there was not a true 4" dog height category.  So Chihuahuas, Yorkies, and other very small dogs were always fighting to make time since they were lumped with the 8" dogs.  These little dogs have to take 3-6 more extended strides between obstacles...  it would be like making a big dog run 3-6 more courses IN A ROW.  Try it and see how winded your poor big dog feels.

I've watched a few really good Chihuahuas here run their hearts out, be efficient, and just barely make time, if they made time at all.  I didn't blame their owners leaving NADAC...  it wasn't fair for them to work so hard, but still not Q because of the tight times.  I can see how this would drive people (and their $$$) away from NADAC...  it is nice to compete for the fun of it, but part of the fun is earning Qs to show your progress.  This change that Chris made seemed to help level the playing field for them.  As someone who runs a stupid fast little dog, I never had problems with times, but I sympathized with the other teeny dog owners when my little one was not feeling up to snuff and didn't make time. 

I agree that the new times were a bit too lenient, but also agree that the old times were much too tight.  A middle ground would be acceptable.  As I've seen with the teeny dogs, if they had that extra 5-10 seconds (as opposed to 20), they could make time, not have to be excessively efficient (which trust me, is a LOT of added pressure on a handler!), and feel they had a fair shot.  Maybe a good compromise would be to see what the statistics have to say about the new times...  what times are dogs actually posting versus the number of Qs earned, compared with the before the change Q rate.  Don't know if Chris has that info, but it would be interesting... 

Just my 2 cents... 
-dayle, and tesla (not so fast in the heat of summer papillon)
-Dayle Shimamura
 Mom to Alva, Hutch and Tesla

Amy McGovern

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2017, 05:41:21 PM »
It sounds like part of the issue is the dogs who are running in 4" but aren't really 4".  I know I have two of those!  I totally agree and understand that the tiny dogs really do need more time (the true 4" dogs, as opposed to my double-digit veteran).  Has there been any discussion of timing by withers height instead of jump height?  I'm only curious, please don't jump all over me.  I have already said that I run in TDAA also and they do that now.  We just finished a weekend where we were judged at 12" but we could run lower and my 12 year old schnauzer who measures 14" is happily running at 4" but she is scored as a 12" veteran, meaning isn't isn't competing for placements with the absolutely adorable 4" tall yorkie that was there (who also happens to be a veteran but sure shouldn't be competing in placements with my big dog). 
Amy and the schnauzers

Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2017, 11:32:18 PM »
I've been a bit out of the loop with this discussion.  I believe what Chris has tried to do was be fair to the TRUE 4" and 8" dogs...  In NADAC, there was not a true 4" dog time, since there was not a true 4" dog height category.  So Chihuahuas, Yorkies, and other very small dogs were always fighting to make time since they were lumped with the 8" dogs.  These little dogs have to take 3-6 more extended strides between obstacles...  it would be like making a big dog run 3-6 more courses IN A ROW.  Try it and see how winded your poor big dog feels.

I've watched a few really good Chihuahuas here run their hearts out, be efficient, and just barely make time, if they made time at all.  I didn't blame their owners leaving NADAC...  it wasn't fair for them to work so hard, but still not Q because of the tight times.  I can see how this would drive people (and their $$$) away from NADAC...  it is nice to compete for the fun of it, but part of the fun is earning Qs to show your progress.  This change that Chris made seemed to help level the playing field for them.  As someone who runs a stupid fast little dog, I never had problems with times, but I sympathized with the other teeny dog owners when my little one was not feeling up to snuff and didn't make time. 

I agree that the new times were a bit too lenient, but also agree that the old times were much too tight.  A middle ground would be acceptable.  As I've seen with the teeny dogs, if they had that extra 5-10 seconds (as opposed to 20), they could make time, not have to be excessively efficient (which trust me, is a LOT of added pressure on a handler!), and feel they had a fair shot.  Maybe a good compromise would be to see what the statistics have to say about the new times...  what times are dogs actually posting versus the number of Qs earned, compared with the before the change Q rate.  Don't know if Chris has that info, but it would be interesting... 

Just my 2 cents... 
-dayle, and tesla (not so fast in the heat of summer papillon)
I agree it has been difficult for the true 4 inch and 8 inch dogs. I trust that Chris will come up with a fair and Equitable solution. It is tougher for the little dogs. Maybe what needs to be looked at is the skilled veteran time for bigger dogs. But maybe we don't want to go into that. We don't want to make it too complicated, believe me.

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Foomin Z

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2017, 06:41:37 PM »
It sounds like part of the issue is the dogs who are running in 4" but aren't really 4".  I know I have two of those!  I totally agree and understand that the tiny dogs really do need more time (the true 4" dogs, as opposed to my double-digit veteran).  Has there been any discussion of timing by withers height instead of jump height?  I'm only curious, please don't jump all over me.  I have already said that I run in TDAA also and they do that now.  We just finished a weekend where we were judged at 12" but we could run lower and my 12 year old schnauzer who measures 14" is happily running at 4" but she is scored as a 12" veteran, meaning isn't isn't competing for placements with the absolutely adorable 4" tall yorkie that was there (who also happens to be a veteran but sure shouldn't be competing in placements with my big dog).
I think you meant scoring by withers height, not timing. I thought it was fair of Teacup to score my jump-height-exemption-dog with her measured height, so she was not competing with the dogs that actually belonged to the height she was jumping. I took the exemption to save her joints, not for more time. Isn't this how champs is scoring, by the way?

In the first trial I went to with the new times, my 8" dog had a bobble which I fixed. I thought we would not make time, but we did! So we got to experience what mephalon mentioned, having the opportunity to still Q with a fixed bobble. That Q would never have happened before the time adjustments.

Vicki Storrs

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2017, 06:56:41 PM »
I went to Eastern Champs twice with my 4" skilled dog, once as as Vet, once as double digit.  Both times we competed in a group with 4 AND 8 inch dogs.  there weren't enough 4" dogs entered to warrant breaking them out into a separate group.  So I believe, if that history continues, it will depend on the size of the entry of the groups/height divisions.  And also, Champs are NOT scored like a regular trial, for those who may not know. Everyone starts with the same number of points at the start of a run.  Then their time and faults are subtracted from these base points to give you your score. 
Vicki
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Amy McGovern

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Re: Standard Course Times
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2017, 07:29:55 PM »
Well, I meant setting the course times by withers height.  Also, I was discussing regular SCTs, not champs :)
Amy and the schnauzers