Author Topic: Finals Format  (Read 451 times)

KarissaKS

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Finals Format
« on: September 04, 2017, 06:49:40 PM »
This came up in a discussion at a trial this weekend.

Historically, at least as long as I've been going, the "overall winner" is the dog who has the highest point total coming out of round 8 (the "finals" round). While it is theoretically possible for there to be an upset in placings due to the results of this round, and I know overall placements have shuffled for various classes over the years, quite often teams go into this round with their placement quite solidified and have no chance of making it into the top 3 (especially in the large classes where 12+ dogs run in the final round). While it's always an honor to be invited to run in the finals, this type of system doesn't really inspire teams to go for broke and many play it safe to try to maintain their spot (at least if they have a healthy lead).

Has there been any thought given to changing to a "wipe the slate clean" model for the final round and placements? Whereby teams earn their place into the final round through their consistency/speed in the earlier rounds, but the overall "winners" are based on the actual results of Round 8? This would most certainly make for a more exciting Finals round where placements actually matter. Right now we don't even learn the placements until after the event, which can be a bit anticlimactic.

I'm sure it's too late for this year, but perhaps consideration could be given for future events?
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PaulaGoss

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 07:07:21 PM »
I've run in many finals and the placements in my division are usually changed by the finals runs......at least the last few years I've gone they have. 

I think the thing that separates NADAC from other venue Nationals is the cumulative aspect of it.  Not that it can't change.....it's just a nice difference from the other venues. 

I've gone into the finals in 4th and very much gone for it since I didn't have anything to lose by not going for it.  Ended up 3rd one year and second another year - all comes down to how much separates the top dogs.

Richard Wolfe

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 07:09:09 PM »
I don't usually put my opinion out there on stuff like this, but here goes.

I competed at Champs for 12 consecutive years, most of them with 2 dog. We did pretty good a couple of times but were never in position to go to the finals round.  That said, I sort of like the present system.  There might be something to said for wipe the slate, but theoretically, a dog could take first place in the first seven rounds and depending on the consistency of the rest of the pack could be pretty far ahead.  Wipe the slate clean and the dog makes maybe its only mistake of the whole trial and ends up last in the finals round.  How would you like to be that one?
Richard Wolfe
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bettyj.carter

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 07:19:57 PM »
Completely agree with Richard Wolfe on this one. Dogs that do well throughout the WHOLE trial are rewarded with this method...not just one flukey run. And I have seen (and experienced) changes in placement during the finals round. I also think that it is cool that you do not know who "wins" until the award ceremony. Lots of excitement at the podium because of that. I have competed in other national events, and this is, by far, my favorite (and in my opinion...most fair) way to determine the national champion!! Please do not change it!!!

dogrsqr

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 07:28:16 AM »
I'm not sure that anyone I know who has made it to the finals plays it safe. 

NADAC champs has always been about who can hold it together for the entire event.  Of course years ago it was a little more grueling..... 43 obstacle courses and running until 10/11 pm.

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knittingdog

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 09:31:27 AM »

2 years ago Misha and I made it to the Finals round in 7th place out of 8.  I totally went for it because - what did we have to lose?  My going for it however made a mess of our run since I over estimated us and we ended up in 8th place.  And thats OK!  We had fun doing it!  I still feel honored that we made it to Finals in such a big group.

My point is - even though it was cumulative and we had no real chance of getting in the top three placements, I still "went all out for it" just because!   And it is a great memory for us!

KarissaKS

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2017, 09:35:25 AM »
Wipe the slate clean and the dog makes maybe its only mistake of the whole trial and ends up last in the finals round.  How would you like to be that one?

Such is the game of agility. Similarly, though, you might have a fast dog who bombs an early round with like 40-50 faults but then scrapes their way up to the cutoff for finals by running well in the other rounds. But because they are at the bottom of the pack, that fast dog, even with the fastest clean run in finals, has no hope of making a placement.

Pluses and minuses can be said for both formats. I was more looking for NADAC/Chris to chime in with his thoughts and maybe some historical reference for why Champs is scored this way.

At AKC Nationals this year Secret went into finals seeded 2nd and ended up 3rd. Kaiser went in seeded 5th, I think, and ended up 3rd. It goes both ways -- but I found that finals format a lot more exciting than when Secret was seeded 14th and Kaiser 5th (many points behind due to that bombed round....) in 2015 Champs. Based on our conversation this weekend I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, so I was just opening up the discussion.
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Linda W. Anderson

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2017, 10:14:32 AM »
I have to agree with Richard.  Champs have always been about cumulative good/great runs.  I vote for keeping the current format.
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Richard Wolfe

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2017, 10:45:51 AM »
I will admit that I may be different from some competitors.  I'm mostly into doing the best we can on EVERY run.  We don't really compete with any of the other people or dogs.  We try to do the fastest time we can and aim to be clean and to perform the distance challenge on all of them.  Makes me crazy to crunch numbers anyway.  We've had our competition try to play head games with us in the past, but for me, I cheer for everybody to do a great job. I'd rather be bested by the best, than to try to make someone else make a mistake so we could move up.
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Vicki Storrs

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 12:45:27 PM »
Love the current format.  Love that consistency is valued over one run flash.  Love that the dog who can do it all, or at least do their "weak skills run" good enough to not take them out of consideration, and that the handler who copes with the pressure of good runs and then finals, is rewarded.  Applaud those who overcome the pressure of the week to turn in 7 runs that qualify them for the finals and and then face the heightened pressure of finals to wrap it up.  DON'T think that that consistency should be dropped for a winner take all final run.  I understand that having one run go to to H*** with a fantastic dog can be heartbreaking...but I think that's the test of NADAC Championships--putting ALL the runs together during your week.  Have seen dog climb into placements and fall out of placements in finals--I find it Very exciting!!  If other venues offer a different formula, good for them.  And kudos to their winners. And if that's the way you want to compete, it's wonderful that you have a place to do it!!  But that's not the Championships I would choose. 
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Chris Nelson

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2017, 01:36:40 PM »
I don't foresee that particular system changing.

As others have mentioned Champs is more about consistency and proving yourself over 4 days.

If we only cared about that one finals round, well then why even have the first 7?    Having the best dog over 8 rounds is a lot different than having the best dog for one.


Foomin Z

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2017, 02:42:46 PM »
At AAC champs last year, my jump height had a lot of shuffling in 4-12th place at the final round (1-3 were way out in front). They awarded up to 10th place at the podium. I think it's nice for it to be cumulative for all rounds. And you never know if the top dogs will poop in the ring at the final round! ;) Never give up.

Billie Rosen

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2017, 04:48:49 PM »
Champs has always been cumulative, as long as I can remember, and that is the way it should be.  It is about the dog and handler team proving that they have all the skills needed to be a great NADAC dog.
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knittingdog

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Re: Finals Format
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 07:31:44 AM »

A year or two ago, I went to a Mental Management seminar with some people who are making podiums at World events like IFCS and WAO.  Some of the questions I was asking puzzled them.  Then they started realizing that NADAC Champs involved many more runs and required a different mental management strategy that they were unaccustomed to at a National event.  I think they gained some respect for NADAC that day.

It is a challenge to hang in there after you are tired and have blown run #5  due to a stupid handling mistake.  Keeping your head together and not melting down in that environment is a skill and not easy!