Transcript for the NAFA® Candidate Chat November 18th, 2013

leerie.jenkinsThis is Leerie Jenkins acting as moderator again tonight. Good evening and thank you all for joining us for the second candidate chat for the 2013/2014 Nafa elections.
leerie.jenkinsThank you to Nominating Committee Chair Dana Hanson, and fellow Election Committee members, Kim Davis, Dana Hanson, and Emma Mak, for your work on the elections. Thank you to our Board of Directors Candidates: Steve Corona, Dirk Elber, John Hendriks, and Dave Walt for offering to serve on the Nafa Board. Executive Director (and Ed candidate) Lee Heighton won’t be able to make tonight’s chat, due to his work schedule. John Hendriks also has a work conflict, and will join us if and when he is able. If you have any general questions, please send a private message to the moderator.
leerie.jenkinsWe will start by taking opening remarks from the candidates.
leerie.jenkinsIf you have a question for the candidates, please send them via private message to the moderator, and I will queue and present them to the candidates.
Dirk_ElberGood evening! Again thank you to Nafa for hosting these chats not only for the candidates to express their views, but also as a chance to learn what others see as important issues in this sport.
Steve CoronaGood evening everyone. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to join us this evening and thank you to Nafa for hosting
leerie.jenkinsFirst question:
leerie.jenkinsdana.hanson: At a previous chat, in a previous year, a statement was made that it is the clubs’ responsibility to grow the sport. Please provide your thoughts on this statement.
leerie.jenkinsThere is 1 question in the queue.
Steve CoronaI believe on a national level Nafa and its marketing committee should work towards growing the sport and making it more visible to the general public. However there is great value in clubs doing demonstrations at dog events or relevant other events to get to the grass roots. Once people see the dogs in action they are drawn to the sport and very interested in learning more about it. I think the clubs have a responsibility to be able to talk about the sport and provide information at the local level.
Dirk_ElberThe clubs are the local contact to bring growth to the sport. They are the ones that can do demos, teach classes and show people what a great sport it is. So I would agree that they have best opportunity to make it work. That being said I believe that it is essential that they have the support, whether in the form of literature, professionally made videos, etc that will help draw more interest to their local efforts.
leerie.jenkinsNext question:
leerie.jenkinsdana.hanson: Misconduct has been identified in the rulebook to include racing a dog who is not in adequate physical condition for the number of heats the dog is asked to run. Last chat some concern was expressed about adding awards beyond 100K because it might encourage running dogs beyond reasonable limits of those awards. The first position seems very hands off; the latter, not so much. How would you reconcile these positions?
leerie.jenkinsThere are 0 questions in the queue.
Steve CoronaAs always, the health and safety of the dog comes first. I'm not opposed to titles beyond 100K but just like we currently limit how many heats a dog can run in any given tournament there should be a system of checks and balances or even limiting the number of tournaments a dog can enter in a given time frame to prevent over exerting a dog just to reach a certain point total. Of course some dogs with faster times will reach these milestones much more quickly than others but overall this sport is about enjoying the talents of your dog, bonding with them, and doing it all safely in a team environment.
Dirk_ElberI think the former is a tool that is given to the Judges/rds to prevent abuse at any given tournament... this I believe is a last ditch tool to prevent this type abuse. My opinion of not supporting an additional certain point title beyond Hobbes would be to make it less likely that judges are forced to make a subjective call since their would not be a specific goal beyond what we already have to make as a target. But again I would not be adverse to offering some life time award, just not one that would push dogs beyond what they can safely do.
leerie.jenkinsNext question:
leerie.jenkinsDana.nichols.launch: Tell us about an area of the rulebook in which you think Nafa definitely “got it right,” and why. Tell us an area of the rulebook you would like to see modified, enhanced, overhauled, or removed, and why.
leerie.jenkinsThere is 1 question in the queue.
Steve CoronaNafa's rule about not allowing retractable leashes is spot on. I would hate to see a dog get clotheslined or a handler get tripped uo by one of those during warm-ups. It is a great rule for safety in the ring. One of the rules that in my opinion needs to be reviewed is the time between heats. Although as judges we have recently been given some more authority over the amount of time a team can take inbetween heats; I'd like to explore that rule in more detail.
Dirk_ElberWhat I really like about the rule book is that it can be changed. Just because it has always been a rule doesnt mean it will always be such. Whether it is in dealing with items such as the Break Rule to allow dogs to continue to earn points even if the team Breaks out, or in creation of a class like Open. I think the change just implemented to help draw interest to the Multi-breed class, is probably one of the "got it right moves" that have happened in the years I have been playing. I do not currently have an area of major concern that would require a section to be totally re-written.
leerie.jenkinsSpeaking of Open, here's our next question:
leerie.jenkinsdana.hanson: The Open class of racing has done many good things. On the flip side, it’s also allowed people to take the team aspect out of the sport and work less hard on building and keeping a club together. It appears to have impacted Multibreed, as well. What suggestions do you have to help mitigate some of these unintended effects and preserve the positive aspects of Open racing?
leerie.jenkinsThere are 0 questions in the queue.
Dirk_ElberI think Open may have had some of those unintended consequences, it has allowed the smaller clubs to go to tournaments that they otherwise would not have had enough dogs to enter but it has also kept people in the sport that either have not found a club to join or not found one that meets their requirements. And I see that as good things. My biggest issue with Open is the conflicts that are created in a race because people are waiting on people from various clubs to make it to the ring. I like the Canam rule of not allowing conflicts for Open teams other than ones with other teams from the same club.
Steve CoronaThe Open class has allowed people to attend tournaments when their club is not attending or due to a last minute injury. I personally have not noticed that it has effected the integrity of a club and always felt it built friendships by helping out. One suggestion that comes to mind is that a club has to have a regular team entered before they can field an Open team?
leerie.jenkinsLast call for questions.
leerie.jenkinsWhile the candidates are preparing their closing remarks, I’d like to mention three things regarding the election: 1. if you haven’t already, please go through the verification process to verify your email address and the vote counts you will have this election, 2. please vote, and 3. please join us for our third and final candidate chat on Friday, December 20th, at 9 pm Et.
leerie.jenkinsThose eligible to vote include: club owners, regional directors, approved and supervising judges, and board members. step 1 – go to, input your name and email address. Once you are found in the database, you’ll be sent a confirmation email. step 2 – after you receive the confirmation email, click on the link and make sure that your address has been verified. if anyone has any issues with the process, please email, and we will help you get confirmed.
Steve CoronaThank you again to everyone that has joined us this evening and for allowing us the priviledge to express our opinions. Thank you for the thought provoking questions and I hope to serve Nafa well in the future. I look forward to our final chat and it has been an honor to be nominated alongside these other fine candidates. Thank you to Nafa for putting on this evenings chat.
Dirk_ElberI would again like to thank the people that have made the time to come join us this evening. As I mentioned in my opening comment it is a great opportunity to see what is important to others so that I can open my eyes to those issues. Again thank you and hopefully we can include even more people during the third chat.
leerie.jenkinsThanks again candidates, election committee members, and thanks to all the Nafa participants who attended the chat, and/or who will read the transcript. Good night all.