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Edited transcript for NAFA® Leadership Chat February 21st, 2007

dgsmithOK, I guess we'll go ahead and get started. Lee and Sam - any opening comments? If you have a question you'd like to ask/discuss, click on dgsmith on the left and send the question as a private message - I'll let you know when its up in the main window. Once its in the main window, you're welcome to interact there directly to continue the discussion.
BCSamDon't have anything in particular this evening except many of you have received ballots in the mail (or you will shortly). Please stew on them and return them. It is important for us to have guidance about these ideas. One deals with possible changes to the false start rule and the other has to do with allowing traveling teams
dgsmithNo questions in the queue at this time
BCSamSince there are no questions I will remind everyone that there are new Junior Handler Pins for 2007. They just arrived and will be out to RD's in the very near future.
dgsmithOur first question comes from Chris_thth: How did the new brochures come out and how are they going to be distributed?
BCSamThe brochure will be available online if you want to download and print them yourselves. If you don't want to do that we will print a large number to get the best price and make them available for teams to order for our cost plus shipping.
Chris_THTHSam, do we have a date for the download on line?
BCSamI don't off the top of my head but it shouldn't take long to get the color one up. We are working on two formats - full color and a black and white version.
Chris_THTHThat would be great as our outdoor tournament is coming up in March and with 5,000 spectators coming, I need to download brochures.
dgsmithYou might consider ordering the glossy ones from us for that kind of crowd - the price is pretty competitive
Chris_THTHIf we have anything left after all our expenses get paid. LOL
Dana.NicholsJust wanted to add that I've seen the new brochure and it looks really nice. Lisa did a good job of putting it together.
JenUnleashed_I saw it as well.........looks really good
Chris_THTHNow I can't wait for them on line.
LisaPThey will be up very soon, i promise
dgsmithOur next question: Chris_thth: Is there anything new besides the height card challenge on determining a better, fairer way to measure height dogs?
BCSamThere is nothing formal on the table but this is a topic that we all carry with us to every meeting. We continue to investigate options but nothing has jumped out to make things perfect.
Lee_HeightonChris, we plan on starting the filming for the measuring video very soon. This will help in the education of both our judges and competitors
Chris_THTHI guess what I am asking is someone investigating, a committee to look into this?
Lee_HeightonChris, to date no one has brought a proposal to the BoD that a committee could be assigned to investigate
Chris_THTHOK, how do I do that?
Lee_HeightonSend your proposal to the BoD. You can mail it or use the email address
Chris_THTHOK, thank you
zachary_chernikWith the Height Card Challenge, is the 3 judge review panel made up of judges who did not sign that height card?
BCSamZac there is nothing written that restricts the choices of the Judges Committee or the ED. But it stands to reason that Signers of the height card might not be the best candidates for the review committee
zachary_chernikI was just wondering because if the Height Card is in question, would that not also include the judges that signed off on the card? It would remove more of the gray areas around the measuring of that dog.
BCSamI don't quite get your point Zac. The judges I know want the correct height for the dog and work hard to accomplish that. So a height card challenge isn't about fault but rather about verifying the correct height.
ScottNETThere are a couple of items that people need to remember. First, a person can challenge any card (and there is nothing to say that a challenged card has anything wrong with it). Second, the committee is evaluating the stand presented during the re-measure, not the stands presented when the height card was originally given
zachary_chernikI not saying a fault with judges, because dogs can be on the border of that inch line. But if a card is challenged and a 2 inch difference in jump height is recorded, this would bring into question why a big difference.
Lee_HeightonZac, maybe I also don't understand your question. I for one will be amazed if the owner of a challenged height card sends in a video that shows a different height than the one that they have a card for. The question for the committee is simply does the stand meet our standards at the height listed on the card.
zachary_chernikI think that tracking of the signatures of a 2" difference should be done to identify patterns if any exist so that additional training of that judge or judges can happen ASAP.
ScottNETI would agree that such a situation suggests issues. However, this process is not designed to be punitive of our judges. We are looking at creating a training program for our judges that will eventually be followed by an evaluation process that will allow us to ensure the quality of our judges
BCSamZac. What owner is going to send in a video showing a 2 " difference to defend a height card?
zachary_chernikIf I understand the challenge rule - if the HC is challenged and the dog is remeasured, but the new measurement is different than the height card, that HC is now invalid....correct?
ScottNETThe owner needs to submit a video to the committee. It is up to the owner to determine what video they submit. If they measure their dog at three different tournaments, they can send any one of those measurements
Lee_HeightonNot quite as I don't expect anyone to send in a video with a different measurement. What is anticipated is that the owner will send in a video with the matching measurement called out loud by the judge and the committee will determine if the stand was correct to achieve this height measurment.
dgsmithNext question: zachary_chernik: Has the BoD forecast or projected the reduction of income due to the decrease of tournament fee structure?
ScottNETYes, that was done prior to the vote
zachary_chernikI did see that NAFA saved close to 40k in shipping this past year....
ScottNETWe are instituting this mid-year and I don't have the mid-year numbers off the top of my head. Using a full year, the forecast estimates a $20,000+ reduction in income. NAFA did save quite a bit in shipping this year. We are anticipating a slight increase this coming year given the EJS systems are entering a time when they will need to be shipped back to the manufacturer for preventive maintenance
dgsmithNext question: zachary_chernik: Is being part of the Leadership Chat a required function of each BoD member?
Lee_HeightonNo it isn't. The dates are usually set up so that the ED and Chairperson can be in attendance
dgsmithNext question: Chris_thth: Why is it thought that running outdoors is a bad thing? We just had an indoor tourney with 30 teams, we are having an outdoor tournament and the top teams will not come, because it's bad for the dogs to run full blast outside. How do I combat this?
ScottNETRunning indoors vs outdoors is a personal preference item. Dogs do tend to run better on surfaces that they are used to. In many areas of the country tournaments are not run outdoors due to the unpredictability of the weather. So the dogs are not used to it. In CA and NV, almost everything is outdoors
Lee_HeightonWe recently found that our dogs did better on grass than we expected them to
ScottNETAs did ours. But I will say it took a number of races for our dogs to get used to the difference in traction
Chris_THTHOur Championships were held outdoors and the dogs adapted. I am asking for suggestions to combat this stereotype
barbaraChris you are also battling the high priced and scarce motels in the only time of year we can hold outdoor tourneys in Florida
ScottNETI'm not sure there is an easy answer to this. Stereotypes in general are difficult to combat. My best advice is to put on a first class event so that the teams that don't come know they missed something great and will put it on their calendars for next year
Chris_THTHScott, this is our fifth outdoor tourney that we have held as a club and as Barbara said, it is always first class. What I am asking for help on is getting teams to think that running outdoors is not a bad thing.
ScottNETUnfortunately, I don't have a good answer for you. The best way to prove them wrong is to have them try it. If they are unwilling to try it, I don't know what to tell you.
dgsmithNext question: Chris_wooferines: What is the status of the NAFA News? The last I remember was that it was being converted into an electronic form. Is that still being considered?
BCSamYes we are working on the idea of getting an Electronic Version of the NAFA News going. Currently the combination of the Web Site and the Database present much of what constituted much of the Nnews. By expanding on this further we see this as a much more effective way to get information out
Chris_WooferinesThanks Sam. I do consult the website for new "news" but, sometimes I forget to visit and the news I find there is several days old. It would be nice to be notified that there is updates on the website.
JenUnleashed_Not everyone has a computer as well....people really used to like the NAFA news
BCSamJen we realize that not everyone has a computer but everyone knows someone that does. In addition the cost of mailing and printing have gone to the point that the most cost effective way to get information quickly into everyone's hands is electronic. So that is where we have chosen to put our energy.
ScottNETA very minor percentage of ballot votes were returned via mail. I'm sure that Dale can give us an idea of the number. Based on that, it appeared that a sufficient number of people have on-line access to justify the change in the NAFA news and to question the expense of a mailed version
zachary_chernikScott...but the votes most likely came from the team owner not the individual member.
ScottNETYes, but the NAFA news is sent to the address NAFA has, which is the Club owner
Chris_WooferinesWould the BoD consider developing an electronic means of notifying interested parties that changes have been posted to the website?
Lee_HeightonChris, we will definitely look into that idea
dgsmithNext question: zachary_chernik: Is Cyno/NAFA Flyball going to have different locations around the US/Canada?
BCSamThe powers behind Cynosport are looking at other locations and there are attempts to move it around. Cost, availability, weather all come into play with such a large event. So for this year we will be in Scottsdale.
zachary_chernikSame Month as the 2006 Event?
BCSamNovember 3rd 4th and 5th
dgsmithNext question: zachary_chernik: Are any other committee going to have non-committee members on them besides marketing?
Lee_HeightonZac, non-BoD member assignments are at the request of the Chairperson of each committee. At this time am not aware of any additional requests
dgsmithWith no other questions pending at this time we'll go ahead and wrap up. As of tonight, just under 9% of the vote has been returned electronically on the two false start questions out for delegate vote and the pick-up team survey. Any closing remarks?
Lee_HeightonI want to thank everyone for attending. There were some great ideas that will help us continue to improve and grow our sport. See everyone next time.
BCSamThanks everyone for your good ideas and input. It helps to hear from everyone.
dgsmithThanks everyone for coming. I'll try to get the transcript up in the next couple days as work will allow. Have a good evening.

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