Author Topic: Possible VT solutions  (Read 2637 times)

BeckyAH

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #75 on: December 06, 2017, 07:55:54 PM »
Re: Cost of judge/trials.  To keep things relatively impartial and fair there are also rules about how close to 'home' a judge can judge.  So a local person really isn't an option for saving money for clubs.   As Chris said, it's just expensive.

And of course entries are what is used to recoup those costs, and when the trial is small (either in number of people or number of runs) that actually makes it harder to do.   Those 10-15 whatever people show up to run a few courses at a VT run aren't going to come close to enough entries to pay for a real trial, as I understand the math.

Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #76 on: December 06, 2017, 10:00:38 PM »
It seems that a lot of these answers, and I haven't read them all yet, support or suggest things that don't affect them. For instance, if people have a lot of local trials that are nearby in their area, they support the 200-mile limitation. (I thought it was 150 mile limitation.) But anyway, they seem to support that issue because it won't affect them at all. And I will support Jill's suggestion that in the winter, traveling 150 miles over a place such as the Sierra is a lot more difficult then traveling somewhere in the Midwest, an exemption might be considered. And I say that having lived for quite a while in the Midwest.

That's only one example. Chris, I think in evaluating these suggestions you have to look at what is best for the program overall, and not suggestions that are specific to certain people in certain locations. A lot of people have said that VTS were started for people in remote locations, and that is true. But I also thought there were other reasons, such as people having certain dogs that did not do well at trials or were aggressive, and they wanted to do agility somewhere else.  If this is no longer reason for VTS, then  that reason should be dropped. And I will note that this does not apply to me.

I think any solutions that are proposed should be addressing the main problem, which is 10% of the people who are cheating. It should not be for other people to beat the drum again for reasons they did not want the VT program in the first place. I don't think I see how changing up the mileage for VT trials addresses the issue of cheating, unless the whole program is open to review, and that is somehow seen as addressing some other issue.

The only way I see to address the issue of cheating is you have some kind of verification process. Perhaps there should be a document everyone should sign when submitting a VT run to testify they have done it according to the rules. And anyone making a complaint that someone has not abided by the rules should have to sign a statement as well. If one or the other has signed the statement and is found to be lying, then throw the book at them. I don't think a complaint should be anonymous, but I think people should be able to make complaints without having their name made public. As Lynne said, sometimes just putting your name on a document like that, knowing the penalty will be expulsion forever if you're found to be cheating may cause some people pause.

The other way to stop cheating is to eliminate the reason people are cheating. Are they doing it to qualify for championships? Are they doing it so they get titles cheaper?  Whatever the reason, it should be addressed to that issue. If people are doing it because it's cheaper, then I guess raising the price to $10 a run might address that issue.

And finally, and I know I'm not the first person to bring this up, if it's only 10% of the people, why penalize everyone else? I am a firm believer that if you have to cheat to get something, how can you live with yourself that you've actually earned something when you had the cheat to do it? Pick a category that can be easily verified, such as you can't use VTs to qualify for Champs or top 10 or whatever other category you wish, and then don't worry about the rest. In the end anybody else who knows, and there will be others that know, will know that they really didn't earn it. But since we aren't competing against anyone else except ourselves, then let those people live with their fake results.

If the reason to dispose of the VT program is because it is too much work and not cost effective for NADAC, then you either have to make that decision based on business reasons or solicit reasons that might assist with that problem.

I will note that having VTs is not the reason, or the only reason, people are not coming to trials. For me, often the cost of lodging elsewhere is prohibitive. Maybe start a list with people who are willing to rent out a room cheaply for those attending trials in their area? Others will go to trials with the runs are the cheapest. Others won't go to trials because of the club, or political reasons or petty issues that have come up. There are other reasons too, is Sharon has mentioned. VTs are not the only reason that there is fewer people attending trials. I think that clubs may have to look at themselves as to why they may not be having the attendance they would like.


Thank you, Chris, for sharing that list indicating the number of VT run submitted from what places. I think that is an interesting tool to maybe decide how to pin address the problem, and addresses some arguments people have for or against VT trials in their area.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 10:54:17 PM by Sheila & the Shelties »
Sheila & the Shelties

Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #77 on: December 06, 2017, 10:24:16 PM »
Itís simply a difference of only paying for Qís vs paying for every run and the trial staff doing all the work vs the Nadac Office doing all the work.

There is no way to describe the amount of behind the scenes work that goes into VTís between Chris, Amanda, and Stefan.

Convenience always costs more. Thatís just life. It never fails, when itís convenient for the end user, itís twice as much work for the people offering it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

If one of the reasons for reevaluating the program is that the amount of work involved is not cost-effective, let's throw that into the mix as well as the cheating issue. It seems to me this is a separate issue from cheating and needs to be addressed as well.
Sheila & the Shelties

Rosemary

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #78 on: December 07, 2017, 11:24:36 AM »
I may be wrong, Sheila, but I am guessing that since a problem has come to light regarding the current state of the VT program Chris and company have decided to address the program as a whole and make any changes necessary at one time. 

I do not participate in the VT program, but I do see the value of it for those who have little opportunity to attend actual trials. 

Often you will hear someone say "I'm not hurting anyone".  I do hope that the folks who were dishonest will see that they are, in fact, potentially hurting someone after all.

Thank you Chris, Amanda, Jimmy, Becky and everyone else at NADAC HQ for all of your hard work.

Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #79 on: December 07, 2017, 06:06:08 PM »
You are probably right, Rosemary, and that's why I was commenting.  Is the whole program up for review, or is it just dealing with the cheating?
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HarryMelamed

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #80 on: December 08, 2017, 09:39:24 AM »
Looks like I missed all of the fun while I was out of town.

There are a few things that concern me (besides my erratic handling)

$10 seems a little high per run.
Been doing these for 3 years and wasn't aware I could cheat.  Could someone clue me in on what I can do to get those last Chances runs for my NATCH?

Chris, so sorry you have to face nastiness.  Hang in there.

Happy Holidays to all!

Chris Nelson

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #81 on: December 08, 2017, 10:22:01 AM »
Chris that list is awesome.  Is that total or per year? 
That was for 2016.   And it's number of Q's

Chris Nelson

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #82 on: December 08, 2017, 10:31:59 AM »
In regards to some of the changes that don't really make sense to people given the original reasoning for the changes.

Cost:
The original idea behind the VT program was that it was based on good ethics and morals.   Because of that it was designed with very little oversight.    But because of the recent issues we are now going to be spending a LOT more time checking every single submission that comes in.    Time is already something we are always very short on.     So if we are doubling the amount of time we spend on the VT program the cost will reflect that.

Distance: 
This does actually apply pretty directly to the abusing the rules issue.      People are NOT supposed to submit VT's when there is a trial nearby.   The current mileage is 200 miles from a trial, and if you want to submit VT's you have to get permission from the club.     Again this was always done on good faith, but now we are going to be patrolling it.    And this was just a good time to get a vote on what people really want for a mileage limit.


All the other questions that we left up to a vote are in relation to what people feel is fair.    And if people do continue to find a way to cheat, at least they will be more limited in what they can achieve by doing so.    Yes this would affect the good people too, but right now the vote is leaning towards the submission limit being 10 runs per month, per dog.    Which I think is okay.    For a program that is a courtesy, I think that's pretty generous and if you want to earn more titles quicker, then you need to trial as well.     I think it's actually one of the better things that will come out of the VT program update.    People can still submit and get their Q's, but if they want to earn those awards faster, well you'll need to pack your bags and support your clubs.

Lin Battaglia

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #83 on: December 08, 2017, 11:15:46 AM »
If you take 10-15 dogs out of a trial, that can make or break a trial. For one dog at $10 per run / 8 runs a day. You do the math. It has a big impact. Add in all the costs of a trial that Chris mentioned and trials need your support. I always questioned why dogs that are aggressive or too shy or whatever to run at trials are allowed VTs, their tests aren't the same for all dogs running at trials. Isn't that part of earning those points ? It's not the same. 

Marj Vincent

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #84 on: December 08, 2017, 12:58:11 PM »
I agree the VT program is a wonderful venue for those that don't have the opportunity to trial due to a lack of trials near them or for other personal/dog reasons.  And it probably does need to be reviewed,  especially if the income is not justifying the work load. I think the $10 cost is very fair.  I also want to thank Chris, Amanda, and Jimmy for all your hard work!

Many years ago, when the VT program first came on board, a group of my friends were having dinner and one very close friend was absolutely pissed off about this new program. This person was raging and ranting about how unfair it was to earn a Q in your own back yard. I turned to this person and calmly asked one question...."Does this VT program effect you in any way?"  After a few moments the frustration and rage left their face and the person responded with "NO, it doesn't."   This person then thanked me for slapping them on the side of the head and bringing clarity to their perspective. 

As I think about the current discussion about cheating or how someone is using the program because their dog can't deal with a trial situation....I go back to my first question.  "Does this effect me in any way"  My answer is still 'NO'. In reality, it is their guilt or decisions, not mine.  Life is too short to worry about what other people are doing.


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KarissaKS

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #85 on: December 08, 2017, 02:50:08 PM »
Obviously I am not a supporter of the VT program.

As someone who trials in multiple venues, I *do* feel that it affects me. It affects me because people make fun of NADAC and I feel I am constantly having to defend my decision to continue to participate in this organization. I feel very strongly that there is a huge difference between qualifying runs earned at a trial versus in a VT scenario. I am proud of every Q and title I have earned in a trial setting, under trial stress, possibly dealing with inclement weather, and running the courses presented in front of me on that day. With VT you can pick and choose what courses you run based on your strengths, you can set up the course on a beautiful clear day, you don't have dozens of barking dogs in the background, you get more time to familiarize yourself with the course, and of course, the cheaters are practicing. It's just not the same. I don't think they should count for the same. The majority of the agility community thinks it's ridiculous that you can earn titles by submitting runs you ran at home.

I have been working hard to support the NADAC trials in my area and get people to attend them -- and as a trainer, I encourage my students to attend NADAC trials and we work on skills that will help them to be successful in NADAC. But I cannot defend VT. I do not support the program and I never will. If it makes my titles a joke to the rest of the agility world then why am I spending so much time and money to attain them?
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Lin Battaglia

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #86 on: December 08, 2017, 03:08:14 PM »
I believe in the beginning of this discussion Chris said he didn't want to separate these out. OK but here's a new suggestion. Have VT points not count toward any trialing titles. Develop a new point system just for VTs, so VT people have something to work toward and be successful at. Perhaps a 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500 and so on just for VTs. Give VT only awards just for points in the different classes. Nothing toward trailing points or trailing titles. No combination of points. Cheating doesn't matter then. I wonder how many folks would choose trialing then? Just kicking around ideas here. 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 03:11:26 PM by Lin Battaglia »

BeckyAH

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #87 on: December 08, 2017, 03:53:26 PM »
I tend to be of the opinion that being highly concerned about other people's opinion of the validity of your titles or  organization choices is a personal problem - not a problem with the organization or for the organization to solve.   

I can't think of a single agility organization that I do not hear derided and mocked by people who don't like it.   Including 'Agility in the USA as a whole is a joke'.   So be it.  I know where I run, how I run, under what conditions I run and feel absolutely no need to demand that other people do the same so I can convince other people to be 'appropriately' impressed by those titles.

I also think that, again, saying VT runs won't count for titles is going to alienate those people from coming to trials at all, accomplish nothing but soothing some wounded pride in a minority of trial competitors, and generally do nothing to address the issues that this reform is meant to address.   That's opinion.  what's going to happen is going to happen.  Some people are going to be unhappy no matter what.   It's just the nature of the beast.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 03:59:49 PM by BeckyAH »

KarissaKS

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #88 on: December 08, 2017, 04:01:50 PM »
Quote
I tend to be of the opinion that being highly concerned about other people's opinion of the validity of your titles or  organization choices is a personal problem - not a problem with the organization or for the organization to solve.

When an organization is trying to solve the problem of dwindling trial numbers and can't figure out why people are leaving NADAC, then this does become a problem for the organization to solve. If people won't do NADAC because they think the titles are a joke then that IS a problem for the organization. This is not about my feelings, it's about one of the reasons why NADAC numbers have dropped since the inception of the VT program.

Also, as a person operating a business and deriving at least a portion of my income from training others to do agility, it does matter if people think my titles are a joke because I am less likely to obtain their business. So this sort of thing directly affects me.
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Laura Anne Welch

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #89 on: December 08, 2017, 04:39:13 PM »
I note that many of those who are advocating for making VT a separate title or for making them "fun runs" or for reducing the value of them have multiple NATCHES.  One said that there are NADAC trials in her area almost every weekend.  I truly think that this is great.  But, we have a paucity of NADAC here in NC.  I want VT because it is a chance to try a "trial quality" course and, maybe, Q without having to travel so far to get one.  Please, consider that VT is valuable for those of us who don't  have the option of spending the money to travel to almost every . single. NADAC. trial. that we do.