Author Topic: Possible VT solutions  (Read 2663 times)

Chris Nelson

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Possible VT solutions
« on: December 01, 2017, 09:53:12 AM »
Hey Folks,

So we are going to work through some possible solutions here, and also rule out some suggestions that just aren't feasible.

Things that aren't feasible:

1) Banning anyone based on emails alone.   This just doesn't work.    Much as I would love to think that everyone is a great and friendly person in the agility world, sometimes that just isn't the case.   And we can't ban someone based off word of mouth alone.   So anyone suggesting this can move on and focus their efforts on a different solution.

2) Limiting VT's to 50%.   This would be massively difficult.    Depending on the application.   If it was 50% of every single title and award, I will be grey before my next birthday.     If it was 50% for a NATCH only, that is much more doable, albeit still very headache inducing.

3) Separating the VT program completely.   This is 100% doable, but I really don't like it.   The only way this will happen is with overwhelming support from everyone.    This would essentially eliminate the VT program for most people, and at that point we might as well just end the program entirely.


Possible solutions that are workable:

A) VT's do not count towards Top Ten or Qualifying points for Championships.   This is incredibly simple to do and would help with 70% of the problems people have.

B)   Mileage rules and time from trial is more strictly and accurately enforced.   This will take some time to make accurate, but currently it's done by good faith.   So any step forward here will be an improvement.   The mileage number would need to be decided.   

C) If you are questioned about the validity of your runs you are required to have another person, approved by NADAC,  to sign off on your videos.    This would help since 90% of the people submitting videos are doing it correctly and with the right intentions.    And the other 10% who we question but don't have proof of anything can be supervised by someone we deem trust worthy.   

D) Only 2 course sets will be posted per month.     This will bring the program more in line with how many trials an average competitor can go to each month.


 
Now some of these solutions will cause new issues.  Mainly with the folks who like to do VT because they just aren't comfortable at trials or have issues with the local club and don't want to trial with them.   And sadly there is no good answer to this and it's just going to be the case, it's still the better option considering the alternative of cancelling the program entirely.

So let me know your thoughts, and try to keep it productive.    I get that everyone is upset, with myself and with the people who created this issue.    But at this point it is what it is and we need to focus on how to fix it for the future, not how we got here.

KarissaKS

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 10:37:20 AM »
Quote
3) Separating the VT program completely.   This is 100% doable, but I really don't like it.   The only way this will happen is with overwhelming support from everyone.    This would essentially eliminate the VT program for most people, and at that point we might as well just end the program entirely.

Why would keeping the two programs separate eliminate the VT program for most people? They still have the option of working towards VT titles. And they have the option of working towards regular titles at trials. The two just wouldn't be combined, which they shouldn't be. If people don't see value or worth in VT titles I would ask them why they support the program.

Titles and awards are not a god-given right. Not every team is guaranteed a NATCH, be it through financial limitations, training limitations, medical limitations (dog or human) or geographical limitations. Further, if people find it difficult to complete goals towards Versatility NATCH or All Around awards due to class schedules at local trials then that is something to bring up with local clubs. If you just plain old can't afford to run all of your dogs in all of the runs at trials and feel slighted for that reason, that is a *PERSONAL CHOICE* (says she who has five dogs and absolutely makes choices about who does what because of $$).

Or, you just focus on earning those awards in the VT program.

If the programs remain combined, the mileage rule should be boosted greatly. If you have a trial available within a 3 hour drive within a one-month period you shouldn't be able to VT, maybe unless you ALSO go support the trial. VT was originally created to help fill the void for areas without NADAC trials -- not to supplement your trials to allow you to get titles faster and cheaper.

On that note, why not up the cost of VT submissions? Who wouldn't find it appealing to earn titles at a fraction of the cost of attending trials? With VT you have a 100% Q-rate at $5/run. At trials a person is paying $10-$15/run and might have a 20% Q-rate. If you were that person, which would you choose? I mean sure, I'd rather pay $200 for a NATCH than $2000. Make it so that VT submissions cost more than a trial entry -- maybe $20 -- then we'll see what titles really mean to people I guess. And bonus, more $$ for NADAC.
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Chris Nelson

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 12:02:14 PM »
I just think a lot of people would feel slighted.   Even though it makes total sense to me to separate them,   I can already see a lot of issues from someone being in Elite-VT-Regular but only in Open regular for trials.
I think folks would just stop competing in one or the other.

Iím more on board with making VTs difficult to do when a trial is nearby and encouraging more people to trial instead,  and if they choose not to support the trial they canít do a VT, period.

The cost thing Iím on the fence about.   I agree it is a very different situation only paying for your Qís instead of paying for your attempt at a Q like at a trial.   Just have to think about the possible negative ramifications from that before I say too much


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jmurdock

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 12:27:17 PM »
Hi Chris,
Just a thought on the enforcing the mileage rule... I believe the current rule is somewhere around 200 miles which for us is fine most of the year; however, driving over the Sierra Nevada mountains in mid-winter can be difficult if not downright treacherous.  Would you allow us to request specific exceptions at certain times of the year?
thanks for all you do,
Jill Murdock
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Chris Nelson

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2017, 12:44:20 PM »
Hi Chris,
Just a thought on the enforcing the mileage rule... I believe the current rule is somewhere around 200 miles which for us is fine most of the year; however, driving over the Sierra Nevada mountains in mid-winter can be difficult if not downright treacherous.  Would you allow us to request specific exceptions at certain times of the year?
thanks for all you do,
Jill Murdock

Since we're really in a planning phase right now we won't rule anything out.
That also means I can't guarantee anything either!

In the end I think the majority of the smaller intricate rules will be left to a vote, because there is just no obvious or easy answer.

BeckyAH

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 02:24:34 PM »
Is there any reason you can't combine the solutions?  They all seem like good ones to me.  No VT points to qualify for champs, if there are reports of cheating you must sign off,  and enforce the milage more accurately (as you can).  I don't know about the courses posted, but I also don't have a problem with it.  If the work load is too much with all of that just a combination of no points applying for champs qualifications and requiring sign offs based on reports of cheating (or maybe multiple reports, I don't know) would probably eliminate most of the problems and send a pretty danged clear message that NADAC does not approve or condone the cheating.

Lorrie Stelz

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2017, 02:29:19 PM »
I like Karissa's suggestions. Definitely the one where if there is a trial within a certain distance within that month, you can't do VT. I talked to a trial host last year who said VT runs were really affecting their entries.
How about making VT Qs only worth 5 points and increase the cost a bit. So it would be more expensive and take twice as many Qs to achieve the same title, therefore making trials more appealing. I saw one competitor who earned their natch mostly on VT runs and stopped doing trials. Besides this dog not being successful in a trial atmosphere which I believe all dogs need to to earn top awards, they didn't support the trials. I'd save a TON of money and have only 1/4 of my current awful debt if I only did VT, but there's something special about trialing and should be encouraged. I hate seeing entries falling and since VT, I've seen people in my region be less concerned about attending trials than they were before. 😔  Where they used to attend about 80 percent of trials, now they are attending only about 1/4-1/2 than they were before.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 02:31:20 PM by Lorrie Stelz »
Lorrie Stelz

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& ret. Chaney: NATCH 8 VersNATCH 5 Wildblue Enchanted MX MXJ MJB MXF S-HP-E HOF

Chris Nelson

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2017, 02:37:44 PM »
The idea of making the VT Q's worth less, or more expensive is definitely an option.

I agree whole heartedly that trials is where people should be.

Also the list I posted above was definitely going to be used ALL TOGETHER!    Using only a couple of those options would help, but at this point we would be enforcing all of the options I listed above.   With the possibility of a couple more not listed.

BeckyAH

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2017, 02:46:51 PM »
The idea of making the VT Q's worth less, or more expensive is definitely an option.

I agree whole heartedly that trials is where people should be.

Also the list I posted above was definitely going to be used ALL TOGETHER!    Using only a couple of those options would help, but at this point we would be enforcing all of the options I listed above.   With the possibility of a couple more not listed.

Then it sounds like you've got a solution to me! 

I will say I rarely even submit VT runs - I think I've submitted one; I just don't have the space or equipment, though I think I might do some hoopers when the program's back online (or hope to!).

But I tend to agree that separating VT program titling would be... less than ideal.   I don't think it would really address the cheating in any way.  It may well lead to people feeling excluded - and would actually exclude them because their titles now have nothing to do with people doing trials.
 
And most importantly it could potentially  really remove motivation from people who do a lot of VT runs to EVER enter a trial.  Why bother with those few trials they can do/do do now? Those Qs are now the ones not going toward the titles they're getting/going to get.    (Of course the flip side of this is people who do a lot of trials also have no motivation to do VT runs at all, ever, either, but that's not quite the same downside given the 'we want people in trials' thing.)
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 02:52:30 PM by BeckyAH »

Lorrie Stelz

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 03:16:52 PM »
I should mention that VT has had a LOT of positive response in my region and has created some additional interest. And, I know the people by me are very honest. I just hope we keep the trial as the primary goal which it sounds like you are wanting to do.

Keep up the great work, Chris!!  I am forever appreciative!!!!!
Lorrie Stelz

Kaiden: NATCH 11, VersNATCH 8, AA NATCH Tartan Bay More Than Meets The Eye MX MXJ MXF IT HIC HOF
Tripp: NATCH 4, VersNATCH 3, AA NATCH BB's Embrace The Journey HIT HIC HOF
& ret. Chaney: NATCH 8 VersNATCH 5 Wildblue Enchanted MX MXJ MJB MXF S-HP-E HOF

Lin Battaglia

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2017, 07:10:25 PM »
Trial attendance is dropping off everywhere. So VTs are hurting many areas. Some people only do VTs alone at home so their dogs aren't getting the same trial test atmosphere and challenges. And there is the honesty issue. In our area some people could easily come to a trial but don't. Yet they travel away for other venues. Limiting VTs to none allowed within 200 miles of where any trials are held. Give it back to those remote people only. The program was started for folks who were living in remote areas without trials. Price them higher, more than or the same as a trial. Points could be earned but no titles. You would have to support a real trial.

Fact : Other venues don't have VTs.

An issue that no one has mentioned here is not everyone is capable of building courses. So how are times and yardages calculated for VTs ? Dogs at trials have to meet all those challenges. 

Lynne Almeida

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 11:12:54 PM »
Reading through the suggestions, I think the 5-point idea for VT q's is quite spiffy!  Our practice group tends to do VT runs seasonally ... in our area it's more hazardous to drive to many winter trials, and our winter practice location is more than 200 miles from all 'local' trials.  It's a time of year that club members trial sparingly, if at all, anyways.  I wouldn't feel slighted in the slightest at earning fewer points, given the vastly lower expense.  I wonder if there could be an app for that ... that has current trial locations in it, so when you log in to submit runs, you enter your gps'ed VT run location, and it automatically allows/disallows you based on your location being valid, or not.

The idea of only posting two sets of courses per month seems very reasonable, too.

What about a sign-up form (and maybe a processing fee?) for a club, group, or individual to become a 'certified host' of VT runs?  This could come with signing something saying that one agrees to abide by the code of conduct, etc., and understands that there are (x) repercussions if the rules are found to be broken?  I find that often the simple act of having someone put their name to paper makes them take things a bit more seriously.  This might help with the validity issue, because there will be a go-to party who knows they will be held accountable.

VT's have been a fun way for our group to change up our winter practice routine, and have been a great way to introduce newer folks to what to expect at 'for reals' trials, too.
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Edraith

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2017, 04:22:51 AM »
Within 200 miles of me is 6 hours of driving. I would MUCH rather see a drive time.

$20 for a submission? Haha i make $10k a year nope no VT for me anymore.

5pt Q? Look. Either it is the same program (fair for all of us 90%+ers doing it right) or not. If not, Im out. No other venue has VT? EXACTLY. It is something that makes NADAC unique. And it brings IN members too. We already dont get bonuses, dri, and i already thought it didnt count towards champs or anything so sure add that stuff.

As I put in my post in the vt forum, i think the EASIEST implemted, EASIEST to police, and FAIREST system would be limit to 50 VT runs a calendar year.

Average trialer lets say does 1-2 a month depending onlocation, time, money. We will take the Once a monther. Lets say this person works so they cant do fridays and are limited to Sat and Sun. Lets say 4 runs each day which is low end. Thats 8 runs a month = 96 a year. So for a person on the *low end* of trialing, limited to 50VT a year would be half of regular trial.

How is this not the simple fair for all solution?!
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RobertStewart

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2017, 10:36:16 AM »
The 200 mile limit has been since the beginning, so it makes total sense.

I'd be surprised if trials start having more competitors, but with a 6 month suspension we'll see what happens. I actually think because in the Central Texas area, there is literally a trial almost every single weekend year round, we have 2 indoor climate controlled venues, one on dirt one on turf. So it's endless trial ops here. With minimal travel required. And I'm someone who multi venues because I love the differences that each venue offers.  You should see the faces some people make when I tell them NADAC is my favorite venue.

I know that my club TAG, would still do VT's even if there was a separation of titles, because it's a great training tool. We have people coming in from all around! I believe many in our area would continue doing VT's. However, i don't think it would continue if the cost increased. although if it went to $10 per run,  I believe that would work as well

I do think that the VT's should not count towards top 10 placements, I was actually surprised that they were.

I was asked recently how much longer would we have VT's at our club, I responded with so long as I can move equipment around or have adequate assistance.

I actually think VT's are more chaotic than not. We often will have 10 -25 people with multiple dogs show up for our VT's.
of note, we do not charge our club members to run. and our field use fee for non members is only $5.00 for the day. Unless we're fund raising for our local shelter. Then we usually ask for 15.00 with checks made out to the shelter.

A designate person to oversee that things are happening properly, is brilliant. I know that may be difficult in some areas of the country, but those can possibly be dealt with on their unique circumstances.

2 sets a month is brilliant. Just FYI I've downloaded every course for every week for a couple of years now. They are great for training and teaching on real courses.






Robert Stewart

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KarissaKS

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2017, 12:08:20 PM »
There is absolutely nothing stopping people or groups of people from setting up NADAC courses and running them. I think having fun runs that benefit a local shelter is an awesome idea. I set up courses for my classes every week and run them just for the learning opportunity they provide. Why should each of these runs count as points towards a title -- the same titles I earn when I attend trials? Would people not attend a fundraiser event if it didn't net them titles and awards?

Before I left Wisconsin I drove two hours (each way) to attend fun runs hosted by a local club (well, as local to me as it got). Those runs didn't net me a darn thing other than a learning opportunity and time to play with my dog. Does everyone think that everything they do needs to win them a title now?

There are organizations set up SPECIFICALLY for the sole purpose of video run submissions and they have the appropriate titling programs that go with them. I don't know if VALOR is still a thing, but Bud Houston has a shindig going as well. Those organizations were designed for the "at home player." NADAC was designed to earn titles through attendance at agility trials. There's something for everyone, but not everyone has to do the same something.

Agility is expensive. You know what I do when I don't have money to attend a trial? I stay home and train -- because I still love working with my dogs, and the fact that I can't afford to run them at a trial every weekend to earn titles doesn't stop my enjoyment of still getting to play together.
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