Monday, November 05, 2007

Back From Nationals

Phew, finally back. 14 1/2 hours, 13 hours driving time and 1 1/2 hours of stops. Got home at 1:40 a.m. but it was worth it to spend the night in my own bed and I couldn't bear the thought of another night in a hotel.

Sorry for the Nationals blackout, I had no internet access at Westworld this year. I have lots of stuff to post but need some time to download videos and I need this day to relax and do other things.

In short, dogs did better than last year, I had fun overall but this is probably my last USDAA Nationals. They had fault limits across the board this year (last year it was up to the judge) and there are few things more demotivating than sitting around agonizing over a course for 7 hours only to get whistled off after 3 obstacles. I'm afraid fault limits are a deal breaker for me.

In general the courses were nicer and more fun than last year's. The Classic Grand Prix and Steeplechase were way more fun than the Time Gamble and Power & Speed classes they had last year.

It would be really really nice if someone from USDAA would brief the judges, especially the international judges, on the rules before the event. It is Nationals after all, is it too much to ask that the judges know the rules?

7 comments:

  1. Roxanne1:43 PM

    Glad to hear you're home safe. Can't wait to read more and see videos, etc.

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  2. Welcome back! Happy to hear they (and you) did well.

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  3. 14.5 hours straight! Whew. But I get the sleeping on my own mattress, under my own blankets thing.

    Can't wait to hear more about your Nationals. And see some video too.

    /amy

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  4. I hear you about the fault limits. It's one thing in Snooker to think you might get whistled off after only a few obstacles, but a whole other ball game to think it could happen in other classes too. Sucky.

    Anyway, glad it was still a fun event! Looking forward to watching those videos.

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  5. On the up side of not knowing the rules--in one ring (Jumpers, I think) with one of the overseas judges, I watched a big dog (not BC) & handler have a little confusion at the start line, and the dog looked a little worried, and when the handler started leading out, the dog trotted forward *under* the first jump.

    Normally that would a fault--maybe an E?--, but the judge waved her back to the beginning and let her restart. Maybe the judge didn't know the rules. Or maybe because there was only one bar, the judge made an exception deliberately. But anyway I thought it was a nice move, considering the dog's seeming reaction to the environment and that otherwise they'd have had to leave the course.

    -ellen

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  6. Well, it's nice for that one person who got a break but in general I think it would be a good thing if the judges at an event like nationals knew the rules. Most of the issues I saw were with the overseas judges.

    Cody came in 10th or so in the Grand Prix Classic and I can't help but wonder if any of the dogs that finished ahead of him were in the ring where faults on the broad jump weren't being called. It's one thing if judges miss a call or two, nothing is 100% fair in agility esp. at nationals, but it's another if they're not judging according to the rules.

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  7. "It is Nationals after all, is it too much to ask that the judges know the rules?" I'm with you--USDAA is so picky about how it moves judges up from being eligible to judge novice, to advanced, & finally to masters, all under supervision, and then it brings in judges for the championships who don't know the rules for this venue perfectly. Surely SOMEONE could put together a list of the differences and then test the judges on their knowledge.

    But I must also say that some things are a little obscure--As ab exmple, after doing agility for 11 years, I first encountered a dog running through the side of a broad jump and what the penalty & fix were only in the last year. Then it has cropped up dozens of times since then. Maybe it's the year for broad jump issues. :-)

    -ellen

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