Author Topic: Possible VT solutions  (Read 40966 times)

Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #120 on: December 14, 2017, 09:17:23 AM »

I started with a Nadac instructor and was encouraged in Nadac, and I really wasn't aware of any other organizations. Since then I have gone to other places and observed other trainers' opinions and actions, which normally talks NADAC down. But I saw no benefit to taking any of their classes they felt they couldn't teach me anything. If I'd started there first, I have no doubt I would be influenced by what these instructors had to say.

Funny you should say that.  When I started way back when, I was researching agility clubs and had a choice of 2 clubs.  Knowing NOTHING about agility, I chose the one with lessons that were less expensive and were easier for me to get to.  It just so happened that it was a NADAC club.  If I had gone to the other club to train, I probably would be doing USDAA now because AKC at the time didn't allow mixed breed dogs. 
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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #121 on: December 14, 2017, 09:24:41 AM »
I may have missed it, but I don't recall seeing any posts saying that because you don't do any VTs, your opinion doesn't matter.

The one in particular that I was referencing was conveniently edited.

And if the majority of your students do AKC, I have no doubt that your one student who preferred AKC, probably does because either all her friends are doing it, or all her other friends pressured her into doing it. I would have been curious enough to ask her why she preferred AKC over NADAC.

I moved to an area with no agility and started an agility program from the ground up. My first batch of students all went together to their first trial, which was a NADAC trial. This student was the first (and only, so far) to attend an AKC trial. I asked her at the end of the weekend if she was leaning one way or the other (especially as she had shared with me that she is going to have extremely limited time for showing, so she doesn't want to split that between organizations) -- I was honestly surprised that her answer was AKC because she did not have any qualifying runs in AKC that weekend, and she had seen some success at the NADAC trial. Also, this was a 2-ring AKC trial where she sat for HOURS with nothing to do, versus the NADAC trial where she ran all day long. She didn't seem to have a very clear way to verbalize why she preferred her weekend of AKC, other than that she preferred the courses. She is a competitive person who likes to be challenged.

And I'm just curious-- do you only have concerns about Nadac, or do you have concerns about other organizations as well?

No agility organization is "perfect." AKC is my primary venue right now and I'm unaware of any big issues that need to be addressed there (others may disagree). I dislike the jump height alignments in USDAA for small dogs, so I simply don't run my small dogs in USDAA. The USDAA trials are small here, where AKC trials rule. Somewhat because of jump heights, somewhat because of course challenges. My only complaint about UKI is that there isn't more of it around here.

I, too, am very appreciative of the increased communication since Chris & Amanda took the helm and it's the primary reason why I have added more NADAC back into my schedule. For the most part I feel like I go with the flow and accept what an organization offers and make my choice to participate in that organization based on whether or not I agree with those principles. I have been vehemently against the VT program since its inception, or at least since it was combined with the regular program. I know people who left NADAC because of it, or at least it was part of the issue (double run format was another one that chased at least a few people away, along with barrels and other such things).

NADAC was my only organization from when I started in 2007 (AKC didn't allow mixed breeds back then so that wasn't an option, and my training center hosted a lot of NADAC trials) and remained my only organization until I started to compete in AKC in 2013. Oh wait, I dabbled some in USDAA for a bit in 2012 but the jump heights were an issue for my small dog. I didn't "jump ship" because my friends were doing it -- I didn't know a soul when I started running USDAA and AKC.  That means that there were specific things to NADAC that drove myself and others away. I didn't leave NADAC entirely because it was the only place Luke liked to play, and Kaiser enjoys it as well. That means I was at least here to see the positive influence and changes since Chris & Amanda took things over -- those who completely left are likely unaware.

Ultimately, I think you need to stop talking to people who only do NADAC to try to determine why people aren't doing NADAC. Much like my opinion about VT not counting if I don't do VT, if all you do is NADAC then you don't really have much to say about why people don't do NADAC.


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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #122 on: December 14, 2017, 10:15:25 AM »
There was actually a time when there weren't as many venues or trials so pretty much everyone did every local trial ... well except for AKC because they wouldn't let mixes play back then.  It wasn't based on what your instructor told you.

As an instructor I've actually had students ask which venues they should enter.  I've told them the clinical differences between the organizations, basically anything they could find in the rule book, and told them it's their decision where they want to play.  Why do instructors need to share their personal opinions with their students at all?  There are training schools in our area that won't even acknowledge their students accomplishments in certain venues.  Now why would anyone want to give someone their money for treating them that way I sure as heck don't know.



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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #123 on: December 14, 2017, 11:11:39 AM »
I really, honestly, having dog friends across many agility venues and many sports and play in several and can say pretty definitively:

Numbers are down across ALL agility venues, and markedly so. AKC and then USDAA seem the most stable but they're also having a notable falloff.   

Numbers in flyball and obedience (not rally) are ALSO way the heck down.   There's more stuff to do now and people are making decisions about what to do.  More new people coming in, yeah, but not enough to compensate for the fact that it's no longer agility, obedience, or flyball.  Now it's agility in one of 6 organizations, obedience with several organizations,  rally with several organizations, dock diving with multiple organization, disc with multiple organizations, nosework with at least a couple of organizations, freestyle with at least a couple of organizations, herding with at least a couple of organizations, treibball, barn hunt, parkour (also with at least a couple of organizations) - and more organizations offering flyball and obedience and agility, too.

WHY ARE ENTRIES FALLING OFF?  Some of those sports in various ways have been around forever, but they're spreading to new areas  and new organizations are being made.  How in the WORLD is it even possible to think that numbers in any individual trial isn't going to fall with that many options?

Yes, most people are going to go where their instructor recommends or is already at (if they're doing so rather than being professionally neutral)  but I  really, really don't think this is some mysterious thing.   Probably a complicated one with many, many factors, but honestly?  OPTIONS EVERYWHERE.  For sports and for venue, for live and for videoed (rally, freestyle, and parkour all have online divisions/ability to title).  It just - there aren't enough new people, time and money to see that kind of growth and not having entries into trials, venues, or sports drop off.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 05:49:20 PM by BeckyAH »


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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #124 on: December 14, 2017, 12:00:25 PM »
I came into NADAC because my instructor ran NADAC and said that she thought a few of us were ready to trial.   I had no real information about other venues.   I did really like the flow and that fact that as a Vet handler, my mini poodle and I could jump 9 inches.   In USDAA he would have had to jump 16 inches as standard height.

However, in our area, there are several CPE venues and also TDAA that are really close.   Next close is AKC and our club runs 1 USDAA trial a year.  I really like NADAC with the distance and flow.   Chances has been our best class and I am getting a new puppy given that I think Cocoa is now 9.5 years old and slowing down.

I guess if my initial instructor had been gung-ho CPE, I might have been okay running in that venue.  But I am really glad that I got taken to a NADAC trial as my first one.

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #125 on: December 14, 2017, 05:27:51 PM »
Those of us who multi venue, have seen the decline in attendance in all of the venues. Even though Texas is quite large, There are now so many trials, there are many to choose from on any given weekend. It's honestly over all, a good problem to have.  for many years local clubs did their best not to do trials on the weekends of other venues. Now, on Thanksgiving weekend, there a USDAA South of Austin, a NADAC in Waco, and AKC in Houston and an AKC in Belton, all within 100 miles or so of each other. Sometimes, it's a matter of which is the most convenient.

My students, are generally single venue people. That seems to be more the trend these days.  Many only do NADAC, some only do AKC, and some only do USDAA, and 1 pretty much does only CPE.  So, I believe that takes away from all venues a bit.  I remember when I've missed being able to attend a NADAC trial because I didn't get an entry in soon enough. Now, we have day of trial entries to hopefully fill in. The same with AKC, now, if trials fill it's a very rare thing.
Which is "nice as a competitor" but not so nice as someone who trial chairs for my club.

I hope the VT's stay around for some time to come. I am excited with the new regulations, I think they will serve the NADAC world very well.

With big thanks to Chris and Amanda for taking the time and energy to address everything that comes up around these issues.

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #126 on: December 15, 2017, 06:35:02 PM »
Karissa, I wasn't saying you competed in a venue because most of your friends were there. I was simply speculating on a reason why your student decided to do a AKC instead of NADAC. It does seem rather strange to me with the conditions you describe, unless she doesn't feel confident and is happier only doing one or two runs a day.  And I agree if you only do Nate at, you can't address why other people aren't. But I have talked to people from other venues, and people from other venues attend our trials, so I think I can repeat what they may have said.

As for my instructor pushing NADAC, I can honestly say she did not do that. She taught only NADAC, but also the trials held in the area we're mostly NADAC. There was maybe one USDAA trial & one AKC a year, and no CPE at all. So even if I was interested another venue, it wouldn't have made sense for me when there were eight or nine NADAC trials within the local area, and others within 3 to 4 hours. And I like NADAC's concern with safety and them am comfortable with it. That is why I'm surprised that some people knock NADAC when there's a lot of Trials here. Once people develop an idea or prejudice, it's often hard to change them.
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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #127 on: December 16, 2017, 09:45:53 AM »
Hi Everyone,
   I think we have fully discussed all aspects of this topic and I will be closing this thread. Chris and I appreciate everyone’s comments and opinion and we take all of them into account. Thank you!

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #128 on: December 16, 2017, 10:57:50 AM »
I totally agree that if you have trials in your area you should not be eligible to do VT runs. We have to support clubs willing to hold trials. Chris you are doing a great job, hang in there we need you.

We started in agility back in 2003 and have seen many changes in the sport. The VT option has been such a great opportunity for competitors that didn't have trials in their area to be able to run trial courses. In the Georgia area we have a total of 6 trials per year in the 200 mile radius of me. Just a couple of years ago we only had a total of 2 per year that we could get to and they were in Alabama.

When you have trials avaliable in your area it is easy to say.. Make the VT price more or Don't make the VT runs count toward anything. This excludes a lot of potential teams. With access to trials teams have the opportunity  to easily qualify for Champs, Top Ten, etc but for a lot of other competitors they would never have the chance to experience a championship if not for VTs. Now it shouldn't be all of your qualifying runs of course. You need to have full trial experience to be successful at the Championships.

I feel a Q is a Q? NADAC was always fun and strived to be inclusive for all unlike other venues that excluded due to height, speed, breed, age, etc.
It would be a real shame to start down that slippery path of exclusion.

Keep the rules as clear and simple as possible.
1.)$10 per run just like at a regular trial
2.)No VTs 5 days before any trial within a 150 mile radius of your residence
4.) If you are proven to be cheating by not following VT or NADAC rules you will no longer be allowed to submit VT runs.
5.) A VT qualifying run will count equally toward all NADAC awards and events with the exception of Championships where at least 50% of points must be earned at a regular trial.

Do not cheat. Treat each VT run like you are at a trial and the judge is watching.

Please do not let a few bad apples ruin this wonderful opportunity for everyone.