North American Flyball Association

Edited transcript for NAFA® Leadership Chat January 3rd, 2007

dgsmithEither Sam or Lee want to say anything to open? Otherwise, those of you with questions can send a private message to dgsmith with your question. I'll let you know when your question goes on the "floor". Once the question is on the floor, you're welcome to interact in the main window. Others may also chime in if its Directly related to the question on the floor. Any other topics can be sent to me and we'll just queue them up as the next questions.
Lee_HeightonI would like to welcome everyone and hope that we are all recovering from the holidays
BCSamWell we are beginning a new year after a very close election. I look forward to putting the campaign behind us and everyone rolling up their sleeves. It is time the real work begins.
dgsmithOur first question comes from Fbjoe - Regarding Veterans racing, the press release from the last BoD meeting said "sunset provision removed from Veterans class". What does that mean?
Lee_HeightonWhen the Veterans division was first introduced, it included a one year "review" that was labeled a Sunset clause. This gave us the opportunity to receive feedback before deciding to make it a permanent fixture in our rules.
BCSamLike renewable term life insurance. Veterans racing was on trial for a year. It now has permanent status
FBJoeCool, thanks!
dgsmithOur next question comes from Zac - When will the non-BoD members for committees be selected?
Lee_HeightonThe committee chairs were approved recently and I would anticipate them contacting prospective committee members very soon
dgsmithOur next question comes from Scott(26) - Are there any new changes in the way Measuring is done ??
Lee_HeightonScott, there are not any changes but we are beginning to work on a training video to show examples of proper stances
Scott_judge26OK so the instruments that are used wont change such as the Wicket?
Lee_HeightonNo, not at this time
Scott_judge26OK thanks
dgsmithNext question is from Zac - How do we get more membership to the Leadership chats? We have over 3,000 members and 11 are here tonight. What about a $20 rebate if your club is represented at each chat?
Lee_HeightonZac, with about 600 clubs that could be a cost of approximately $1200.00 per chat. A better question might be how do we get more teams to host tournaments
dgsmithOr existing host Clubs to host more NAFA tournaments?
zachary_chernikThe 20 dollars was just thought....but don't we need more interaction with all the clubs. There are currently only 347 that are active.
Lee_HeightonThat's exactly what I was referring to. How do we "inspire" these inactive clubs to host tournaments and become more active in NAFA. Thoughts?
FBJoemore delegate votes for them?
zachary_chernikdirect marketing surveys...ask them.... demographics of our membership....are host site location prices driving them to not host....
Lee_HeightonJoe, if they are inactive they aren't earning any delegate votes. As soon as they host or attend tournaments, they earn delegate votes. I like the idea of the marketing survey
FBJoeagreed, I was thinking about existing active clubs hosting more tourneys.
zachary_chernikI think we need to know who are membership is, what we do, why we joined, are we in big cities or near smaller ones or more in the country.
Karen_OZac, would it help to see a budget from a successful tournament? Some clubs make money paying $2500 for venues, while others cannot seem to break even when paying $1000 for a venue.
dgsmithI still think a packet that really helps a new Club host their first event would be welcome. I know an RD did one some time back, but something more general and from NAFA...
zachary_chernikmaybe that is were marketing comes in....helping clubs understand what it takes to runs a tournament...the pros and cons and the possible costs involved.
BCSamthe limiting factors in our region are location location location
zachary_cherniksometimes it is just the number of team entries too.
Lee_HeightonIt would be good for Marketing to generate a packet like that
zachary_chernikWhat is the average costs per region and where....maybe clubs need choices to help them put on a tournament.
dgsmithAnd ideas from people on how they find new sites. What are possible places to look.
zachary_cherniklike fairgrounds...RV hook-ups...camping...this all affects turnout.
zachary_chernikand one of the biggest is like Sam mentioned...location....maybe too far to draw enough entries
BCSamIn different parts of the country tournament vary widely. Camping and RVs are big in some regions and only a small part in others. First you have to find a place to run that is available and affordable.
zachary_chernikdog friendly hotels
dgsmithSome places have the location but the problem is drawing teams. Travel costs are up, lots of dogsports compete for weekends and more competitions means some teams don't need to travel any more in order to play "enough".
Karen_OZac, how can we (in Region 4) get your club to host a tournament? I'll donate my services scheduling and running the table, I bet Ule would donate his judging.
zachary_chernikwe are working on is my fault...we are trying to buy 38 acres to build a 100x200 outbuilding for hosting flyball and agility. We have the matting, the backstops and the ring sides....
dgsmithCan I get in on this deal?
Scott_judge26yea how about me ??
Lee_HeightonKaren, heck with that offer we might come down and host one
Karen_OOnly if you pay for gas Dale....and let me run my dog on a veterans
zachary_chernikzoning changes take forever.....
Lee_HeightonKaren, would you be able to assist Zac in finding a suitable site until he gets his building
Karen_OI sure would try!
zachary_chernikHenry or Jefferson....Jefferson is booked March until Nov with horse shows
BCSamOne of the things that helps every team hold tournaments is the sharing and pooling of information and manpower.
Karen_OWe have been quite spoiled in our area with really nice facilities that are becoming unaffordable. I think a concrete slab with a roof over it is suitable during certain months.
Lee_HeightonOne of our main facilities is a pole building at a fairground
Karen_OHenry Zac, Definitely.
BCSamIf someone knows of a site then maybe they share that among regional teams. More and more I hear teams calling for manpower and support to pull off tournaments. So volunteering to help is essential
Karen_OLee, does it have sides?
zachary_chernikThe one in Chelsea?
Lee_HeightonYes, it is only available from April thru September
Karen_OWhat would those here think about flyballing in a building that has no sides? Roof, concrete floor, fencing around the sides.
BCSamThe way this works best if local teams share information locally to accomplish the task., NAFA can only go so far and can never replace the spirit of local cooperation that is needed in every region
dgsmithOur next question from Fbjoe - Where are we at with the false-start ballot? And this one I get to answer too.
dgsmithThe Board approved the mailing of the ballot at the last meeting. We said we'd get it in the mail shortly after the first of the year as I recall. I would expect shortly after the next Board meeting on the 13th.
FBJoesounds good, thanks again
dgsmithOur next question comes from Zac - What is the time frame for getting the remaining EJS systems so that all regions will be on the same equipment?
BCSamFirst Light systems aren't regional - they must be national. Not all regions are equal and NAFA won't be able to support nor should it support dedicated lights for a region with just a few tournaments. What we are doing to trying to carefully move to replace and standard light systems so that all tournaments will have newer lights but there is no timetable that is set in stone. We can't just put all our money in lights and leave nothing to operate on.
zachary_chernikthat is not the question Sam....when will all the regions be using the same equipment which is national....not having EJS stationed in each region was not my question....i should of explained it better.
BCSamWhat we are doing is continuing to balance expenses and the need for new lights. I am sure at the next meeting after the close of the year we will be looking again to see if we want to invest in additional lights. But spending all the money to get lights in every region isn't our goal.
zachary_chernikIs there a plan to get the new EJS systems so that all regions would have experienced them within a certain timeframe....say 12 months?
BCSamZac in new regions we may be using some of the older sets for a few more years. More and more we are moving the busiest regions to the newer lights but on max use weekends we stretch the system. Hopefully this year we will get the BoD to approve additional sets. And I know of no one against this idea. I just mean to say we have to be careful not to run the finances past what is prudent. No there is no time frame established. What is established is that finances will dictate what is prudent and how fast we move. Simply put we don't want to spend ourselves into a hole just to meet an arbitrary deadline.'
zachary_chernikPart of my question goes to the ballot that will be sent...if the false start goes away...there would be an issue in areas that can see a early start time vs. a .000.
Lee_HeightonZac, most regions have seen the lights at least once. The only ones I know of that haven't are in Western Canada and we have to be very careful with shipping across the border due to tariffs.
BCSamZac since I got on the BoD many years ago we have moved from no supplier of lights to a good supplier of lights and new technology in the process. Progress is being made every year as money permits. I am sure we will make further progress this year but to commit to you something that is impossible to know....well I can't do that. I will commit as would everyone on the Bod, to moving as carefully and quickly as we can
Lee_HeightonDale, is this true. Won't any start that is not an early show properly regardless of the system. I believe that the advantage would actually go to the teams using the older light systems as a -.001 thru a -.009 would show as a perfect start.
zachary_chernikI was wondering with the money saved from shipping that would allow a faster time frame for the remaining EJS to be purchased.
dgsmithNo, 0 is zero on all systems and early is always early. -.001 would show as -.01. Late starts show the same (up to the precision of the system) on all current approved systems. I think all currently approved systems show the early start - some on large displays and some at the timer table.
Lee_HeightonOK, so the systems would work the same. Correct.
dgsmithOur next question from Scott_judge36 - Has NAFA thought about a display on the EJS that is just for warm-up times?? example. 2 minute warm ups 1 minute warm ups??
dgsmithFunny you should ask. In our next software release we have a countdown timer that runs during warmups to assist with warmup timing. We'll still show passes on the tree and splits on the large displays, but the splits will only stay up for so long and then each display will revert to the countdown. Similar to the function in the Signature Agility systems. Sorry about aging you too...
Scott_judge26I think this would take some of the stress off of the judges to the competitors:)
Lee_HeightonThat's a very cool idea
Scott_judge26I mean they can actually see when it starts - so then they don't have to ask :)
BCSamIt will still be the mean ole judge that starts it.
Scott_judge26Lol thanks Sam Lol!
dgsmithYea, we've been thinking about it throughout the development of the new systems. It wasn't as high a priority and we wrestled with an implementation that didn't take away "training mode" during warmups and didn't require another display (as they're not cheap). And yes, the mean judge still starts the countdown.
Scott_judge26so then would this have a separate button??
dgsmithYes, initially it will be on the timing console (at the table) But in a future judge's button it is planned to be on the judges handswitch - as will a number of other functions
dgsmithQuestion from Scott - When does a 2 Minute or 1 minute warm up start ??? When both boxes are down? When both teams are in?? What is the proper procedure??
Scott_judge26I guess why I ask this question is that I have seen it done inconsistently at different tourneys
BCSamI think that is a determined by the judge and the TD. I know I run tournaments that have special circumstances that may effect what the answer is. So I know there isn't one right answer.
Scott_judge26I guess what was made aware to me was that when the boxes from the previous race were picked up that the warm up started
BCSamI have seen teams take advantage of the idea of Boxes down starts by just not sending in their box loader.
Scott_judge26I guess what I am looking for is some Consistency in the way we handle Warm-ups
BCSamBut doesn't the circumstance have an influence? I know out west where people stake boxes you have to allow time that isn't needed on a concrete surface.
Scott_judge26I see
ScottNETScott. I'll bring this to the judges committee and have them discuss it and get back to all the judges
Scott_judge26OK thanks Scott
dgsmithI'd like to thank everyone for joining this evening. Turnout was a little light - perhaps many are still recuperating from all the holiday hustle and bustle. We had some good questions and discussion. We'll plan to have another one of these sometime after the next Board meeting on the 13th - near the end of the month or first of next.
BCSamIt would be helpful if people would look at the situation in each of their regions and list out what are the restriction to hold tournaments in your area. That way we could see if there are possible action we could take to assist.
BCSamThanks everyone and hope you have a great racing year.
Lee_HeightonThank you everyone for attending. We are looking forward to holding the chats in the future.

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