Author Topic: Proposed updates to Bonus Program  (Read 7997 times)

Richard Wolfe

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #60 on: May 23, 2018, 09:46:44 PM »
Thanks, Marcy!!!!  When I get a chance I'll try to find mine.  I had a couple of great captions on the ones with Don!!!!
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Kyle

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #61 on: May 29, 2018, 11:06:39 AM »
Hey Everyone,

We're looking at the possibility of updating the bonus program to reflect the current competitors.   We're looking for feedback on the proposed changes.   If these changes are approved they would not go into effect until January of 2019.     They would not be announced officially until June assuming they are received well.

The entire system of bonuses is proposed to be changed.   Currently how the program works is a handler attempts a bonus and sends in a video via the NADAC website.  The video is then approved or denied and bonus points are added to the teams point history.

What we are proposing is a very large shift from this current system.

1) Judges could approve bonuses on a weekend.   But, these judge approved bonuses would only count towards getting into Starter Stakes at Championships.    These runs would have a bonus designation in your point history, but you would not receive extra points for these runs, and they would not count towards bonus only awards.

2) If you want the extra points for the run you would be required to send in a video in the same way you currently do.   And the same criteria would be applied in regards to path and flow.

3) For all videos sent in they would be reviewed by a rotating group of 11 judges. 




You can vote via the link below:

https://form.jotform.com/81324936036153

I realize I am at the end of the time limit to vote but, honestly, I have been doing a lot of humming around about this, trying to take my time making a decision on how to vote. The Bonus Program is really important to me and I can't thank NADAC enough for supporting and spending so much time, energy and thoughtfulness on such a small subset of the complete NADAC agility program.

My rambling thoughts are numbered in response to the points in Chris' post above.

1.) If judges are being taught all the fine points of path and flow for Distance Challenges/Bonuses for Starter Stakes, could that not be applied for Silver or Super Stakes also? Meaning that if someone did a Bonus from the 20/30 point area path and flow are being judged the same as the Distance Challenge, so would it be possible for the judge to make the same decision? The handler could choose to use those runs for Champs in either Silver or Super Stakes but *not* take the extra points if they choose to not send in a video. This might be for those who aren't really into awards or extended titles or even for those who find it difficult to get a videographer but want to compete in Stakes at Champs. I think I remember Chris mentioning trying to keep the integrity of the program by only allowing this for Starter Stakes but I just can't seem to grasp the difference. Please help me understand...  :-\

2.) I've got no problem with this.  :)

3.) After speaking to Amanda and Chris about this, and learning that Bonus Handlers (on a rotating basis) would make up part of the judging panel, they already know I have concerns about this.  ;D One of my concerns has to do with busy people and NADAC having to herd cats  ;)....getting runs judged in a timely manner. Right now we get super fast responses from NADAC about our Bonus runs and it's wonderful! I don't know that it will be that fast (and easy) to get a response from 11 very different, busy people. Now, I could be dead wrong about that and that's fine, it's just a concern I have. My other concern is on a more personal level (others may very well not feel as I do and that's perfectly OK with me!) and is that I'm not sure, being a Bonus person, that I would want to judge my friends' runs. Even if it's done by "secret ballot" or something, *I* know if I denied their run.  :( Some of us only send in a video if we think our run was next to perfect, other people don't and send in a "not so perfect" run with the idea that it will be up to the panel. That's fine but, I don't know if I want to be the one who says "nope". It's just kind of tricky when these folks are your buddies and you only want the best for them. I go to trials so I can hang out with them and have fun. I'm certainly not saying that anyone would let something slide, just that I think it's going to be rough. We're like a small band of brothers who stick together because we go through the same heartaches (low Q rate!!) and the same ecstasy when we actually accomplish the next to impossible!  ;D  I like the way I'm being judged now, by the same people with the same criteria all the time. There's a sense of constancy to it - I know what, for instance, a wide turn is to our current judges and realize how I will be judged. I understand that I'm suggesting that the same folks continue to do a difficult job but they're doing it well and I appreciate them!

Please allow me to say again - The Bonus Program is really important to me and I can't thank NADAC enough for supporting and spending so much time, energy and thoughtfulness on such a small subset of the complete NADAC agility program. No matter the choices NADAC makes, I will continue to try Bonuses because they're just "my thing" and I have a blast doing them with my dogs. I sincerely hope they never go away... Thank you for offering us the opportunity to voice our opinions on this! It's appreciated!

Sincerely,
Kyle

Kyle
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Kyle

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #62 on: June 15, 2018, 07:37:32 AM »
Just curious - how did the voting go? I'm wondering what the results were!

Thanks,
Kyle
Kyle
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Chris Nelson

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #63 on: June 15, 2018, 09:28:02 AM »
Iíll post tonight!

It was pretty heavily favored to the Ďyesí side of things,  but Iíll post the real numbers


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KarissaKS

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #64 on: October 01, 2018, 04:11:40 PM »
Perhaps more attention should be paid to the rules and criteria for bonus runs. There is a different set of rules and standards as far as getting out of flow, re-directing, stopping, etc that are not applicable in any other NADAC class - including the distance tests of chances. Somewhat like all of the headaches with judging the barrel performance with how close, in flow, markers or whiskers, etc. The simple solution was to get back to the basic NADAC philosophy and let the clock take care of poor execution. I am of the personal opinion that something that is either so subject to individual interpretation, so complicated, or so sublte that it cannot be judged on the spot has a problem with the rules and criteria.  Chances is judged all the time with no stress about these things, and in fact there is often extra cheering when someone manages to recover in the middle and restart a stalled dog to finish the course. Could that not also be considered a success at two or three times the distance in a bonus? Is there not a way to maintain the integrity of the challenges presented (directional, speed/collections, etc) and make it something that could be judged by any trained judge AND clear and understood by the exhibitors as well as handler?

I browsed a bit and could not find if anything was ever solidified and published with regard to the changes that were proposed in this thread. The rule book still calls out the need to submit video for all bonus/distance challenge considerations.

I am always incredibly inspired by watching the stakes runs at Champs (especially this year, as there were an abundance of amazing teams), which is why I've dredged up this topic. Perhaps more information is forthcoming when the requirements are posted for 2019. I copied Doug's post from above to propose that, if distance challenges are to be approved at trials and don't include bonus points (thus are only for the purpose of qualifying for Starter Stakes), perhaps it would be considered to allow pauses and re-directs? We all saw some impressive "saves" during the stakes runs. Those runs may not have earned all possible bonus points, but were still "clean." If those types of runs can net you wins at Champs it seems reasonable that you might be able to qualify for Champs with a run that required a similar type of redirect.

Of course this request is entirely selfish, because my dog is still at the point where I often pause to get us back on track. I would be far more likely to go for the distance challenges at trials if I could get credit to enter Starter Stakes with one of those redirects. Otherwise I'll probably end up playing it safe to qualify for the normal division and then see how much time I have left to play with the idea of Stakes.

It's been a goal of mine to have a stakes dog since watching it at my first Champs in 2009. It's a marvelous sight to behold and kudos again to all of the wonderful teams this year. Obviously it's my goal to have one of those flawless and smooth runs, but it seems like there might be an opportunity to offer a stepping stone on the way to that level of skill.
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AndreaEntin

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #65 on: October 02, 2018, 07:09:40 AM »
Champs is a entirely different ball of wax for the bonus dogs.  There are redirects and such, but they will lose bonus points for that sequence.  And if the sequence is connected like 3-7 and 7-11, a redirect at obstacle 4 will negate bonus points for both sequences.  I think the current requirements at regular trials sets up bonus teams best for running at Champs.  I think it could be related to putting a pre-elite dog in elite....they most likely are not ready and might not have all the skills and maturity to compete in that division.  If you cannot get around a bonus course in a regular trial clean it is unfair to ask a dog to go to Champs and do it under pressure.

Lowering bonus standard at regular trials I think would do a dis-service to dogs and handlers.  Don't be in a rush to run with the bonus people.  You will be happier and your dog will be happier and you will be a better team in the end.

Andrea  8)

Becky Woodruff

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #66 on: October 02, 2018, 08:22:01 AM »
The bonus program's heart and soul were based on teamwork and the ability of a team to work as a smoothly functioning team at a distance.   When you have pauses, stops, redirects, spins, is that team working smoothly throughout the run?
Yes, there is an "oooh" factor when a team experiences a glitch and the handler stands there giving extra commands and signals to get back on track and it works, but the key point here is there was a glitch.   And, that glitch can become very frustrating and ugly when the handler gets wrapped up in just getting back in sequence and the poor dog gets confused and struggles.  Many a dog has been shut down because the handler shouts "back up", "turn around", "look left/right", and the handler gets into a trance and won't cross the line to help the dog.

What many people miss is that the bonus program is not for just any dog that likes to be at a distance from their handler.  I have heard it many, many times through the years, "Oh, I've got a distance dog in the making, he hates to come in close."   That does not a bonus dog make.

The beautiful runs that give us chills and for which we aspire to are the smooth functioning, in sync runs displaying trust and confidence by both dog and handler.

Review videos of dogs and handler teams that give you goosebumps while watching and then take a look at some runs with glitches and then decide what you aspire to.

It would be a terrible disservice to the bonus program and what it stands for to lower the criteria and allow restarts, redirects and general glitches.

Becky Woodruff
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KarissaKS

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #67 on: October 02, 2018, 12:12:52 PM »
I'm not talking about runs that get bonus points or go towards the bonus awards. Chris had proposed runs that happen at trials that would count only towards qualifications to enter Starter Stakes at Champs. And the types of pauses I'm talking about are like the one I had in this run: https://youtu.be/4Niyq_uJwuc?t=39s

If the goal is to get more people to aspire towards the bonus program, having a stepping stone to the "big leagues" would be a place to start. I think the distance challenge lines/boxes are a great place to start. And because a "deviation from course flow" is allowed from the bonus box with a deduction of 5 points (15 point bonus vs 20), then I'm not sure why there couldn't be a similar stipulation for those going for the distance challenge, especially for a run that wouldn't even have extra points if video is not submitted.

But again, I'm also wondering if anything was decided with regard to this video vs no video subject, because I never saw anything posted.
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knittingdog

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #68 on: October 05, 2018, 08:44:23 AM »
Champs is a entirely different ball of wax for the bonus dogs.  There are redirects and such, but they will lose bonus points for that sequence.  And if the sequence is connected like 3-7 and 7-11, a redirect at obstacle 4 will negate bonus points for both sequences.  I think the current requirements at regular trials sets up bonus teams best for running at Champs.  I think it could be related to putting a pre-elite dog in elite....they most likely are not ready and might not have all the skills and maturity to compete in that division.  If you cannot get around a bonus course in a regular trial clean it is unfair to ask a dog to go to Champs and do it under pressure.

Lowering bonus standard at regular trials I think would do a dis-service to dogs and handlers.  Don't be in a rush to run with the bonus people.  You will be happier and your dog will be happier and you will be a better team in the end.

Andrea  8)


Are the rules for scoring Bonus at Champs published somewhere?  I just learned something about how it works from this post.  Would be good to get a better understanding for those of us who are interested in this route!

Robin and Surge



Marj Vincent

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #69 on: October 05, 2018, 09:13:22 AM »

Champs is a entirely different ball of wax for the bonus dogs.  There are redirects and such, but they will lose bonus points for that sequence.  And if the sequence is connected like 3-7 and 7-11, a redirect at obstacle 4 will negate bonus points for both sequences. 
Andrea  8)



The above statement from Andrea is incorrect.  A redirect at obstacle 4 would only have a dog losing the bonus points for sequence 3-7.  Not also 7-11.   Now if a team faults at obstacle 7, then yes, both bonus sequences would be lost because 7 is in both bonus sequences.

This year at Champs there were 4 bonus sequences on each course. Each sequence was 25 bonus points with a total of 100 bonus points  possible per course.  The stakes competitors were given maps stating which sequences were bonus sequences.  ie:  2-5, 5-11, 14-17 and 17-21.   For each clean run through those sequences you earn your 25 bonus points. If there was a redirect, spin, pause, fault or your were out of the bonus box area, you lost your bonus points for those sequences it occurred. You also needed to be in a bonus box before your dog went through the first obstacle to earn the first bonus sequence. So a stay at the start is imperative for some of the courses.
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knittingdog

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #70 on: October 05, 2018, 10:43:32 AM »

Champs is a entirely different ball of wax for the bonus dogs.  There are redirects and such, but they will lose bonus points for that sequence.  And if the sequence is connected like 3-7 and 7-11, a redirect at obstacle 4 will negate bonus points for both sequences. 
Andrea  8)



Thanks Marj!  That makes sense.  I was wondering about the spins, redirects, etc.

Robin and Surge



The above statement from Andrea is incorrect.  A redirect at obstacle 4 would only have a dog losing the bonus points for sequence 3-7.  Not also 7-11.   Now if a team faults at obstacle 7, then yes, both bonus sequences would be lost because 7 is in both bonus sequences.

This year at Champs there were 4 bonus sequences on each course. Each sequence was 25 bonus points with a total of 100 bonus points  possible per course.  The stakes competitors were given maps stating which sequences were bonus sequences.  ie:  2-5, 5-11, 14-17 and 17-21.   For each clean run through those sequences you earn your 25 bonus points. If there was a redirect, spin, pause, fault or your were out of the bonus box area, you lost your bonus points for those sequences it occurred. You also needed to be in a bonus box before your dog went through the first obstacle to earn the first bonus sequence. So a stay at the start is imperative for some of the courses.

Chris Nelson

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #71 on: October 05, 2018, 04:33:30 PM »
To answer a couple things from the original questions.

1) We are going to eventually switch over to a board of judges who review the bonus runs.   But this is probably a few months out since it's going to take some work to get the structure going.

2) I highly doubt we will be going to anything where a judge at a trial approves bonuses in any regard.   There are just too many variables and it's far too easy to 'miss' something.   

3) The main goal for any changes within the bonus program are to grow it, this year we had 18 dogs in Stakes which is the largest group we've had in a LOT of years by my memory.    So we're going to stay to the course that we originally started and see where it takes us.    I believe we have lightened things up enough that the program can grow again.   

But I would hate to lighten it up to the point it loses it's validity and skill required.    The one thing you can always do is make things easier.   But once a bar is set for an easier goal it's incredibly difficult to then make things harder again.    So I would like to creep up to that happy medium as slowly as possible so that we don't create issues in the future by going too far and then having to make the program more difficult.

Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #72 on: October 30, 2018, 09:54:17 AM »
I think of board of reviewers is a great idea. This may take the burden off of Amanda and get the bonus runs reviewed more quickly.  I am sure more and more people are sending bonus' in which is great!!! 

Stakes at champs this year was awesome!  I am hopeful that the program will keep growing.   I love the changes that have been made- bonus' on more courses, being able to run in normal order, being able to submit both rounds etc.   I regularly try bonus' with 3 of my dogs.  In fact, I even try some DC and bonus with my deaf girl :) I came close this weekend to getting jumpers bonus with her! 
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DataHound

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Re: Proposed updates to Bonus Program
« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2018, 11:31:19 AM »
At some point, perhaps in conjunction with rolling out updates, I think it would be helpful to document the requirements for the videos so new folks (and experienced folks too) know for sure what needs to be captured. For example

Get the leash coming off and going on at the end.
Follow the dog.
Capture all contact performances.

Do you need to capture the handler in the box during any part of the run?

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