North American Flyball Association

Edited transcript for NAFA® Leadership Chat August 23, 2006

Lee_HeightonHello everyone
BCSamGood evening Lee and all.
BCSamThanks to all for joining and I look forward to your questions.
dgsmithOur first question - a good open-ended one
dgsmithChrisVW> The Board had a busy agenda for the last face to face meeting. Are there any significant developments the Board would like to share from that meeting?
BCSamOne issue that always comes up at this time is voting. Please begin now to see that everyone gets their votes in and counted
dgsmithWell, maybe wait until we mail the ballots ;-)
BCSamWe always have votes that go out but don't get returned. Getting the vote out is important to our success
Lee_HeightonWe are working out the final wording on a delegate ballot regarding false starts
BCSamThe suggestions that have been received by the board are around two ways to do false start. One idea is to limit a team to one false start per race (not heat). One idea is to do away with all false starts. And there is always leaving it the way it is now.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityWhy limit the the false starts? To save time?
BCSamThe suggestions that have come in do stress the time it would save
ChrisVWSounds very limiting. When will the 3 month comment period begin?
BCSamRight now the board is trying to fairly put into words what the suggestions are. It is always difficult to get the wording correct so everyone knows what they are voting for.
Lee_HeightonAs with most agenda items, this is in response to a suggestion sent to the BoD. The comment period will start once the final wording is published
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityWhy not record a full racing session of a ring to see where time can be saved.
BCSamWell Zac, this idea hasn't come from the board but rather was written to the board. Someone put it to us as a suggestion and we are trying to get such an important change out to the delegates.
dgsmithjhhh> couldn't there be other things to look at besides false starts like time people take to reset up their dogs?
BCSamThe board at this point is only putting out what has come in to us.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityBut getting the change out to the delegates for 1 2 or option 3 seems too early. A better analysis should be done over the whole racing time period.
BCSamCertainly there are many things that might be done differently and if anyone wants to write a suggestion to the board, it will get a hearing too. The board isn't on a mission to change things so it doesn't make sense for us to video and push people into doing something they don't want to do.
Lee_HeightonZac, a 2/3 majority is needed for any change to the Rules of Racing. If too many choices are offered, none of them will meet this limit
dgsmithA change to the false start has been debated off and on for years. This is an effort to see if the delegates have any real appetite for a change or prefer it the way it is.
ChrisVWZac, are you suggesting the Board receive a suggestion but not act on it? Eliminating false starts has been put to the Board before. Maybe, the delegates should put the matter to rest.
BCSamOne of the things that was discussed at the BOD meeting was how and when to start the clock on what has been referred to as the 5 minute rule
jhhhI think though that if would be better if the delegates had an idea about how much time it would save. Maybe Zacs idea of a study would be a good thing to do so that some figures are there for the delegates to look at.
ptwsIn what region would the study be done?
dgsmithThe Board is not advocating the change. If someone wants to do some analysis and publish it, I'm sure it would be useful to the delegates.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityI believe that a better schedule for all teams/clubs would help reduce time.
Lee_HeightonZac, any specific suggestions.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityA better schedule that will allow sister teams to help, boxloaders to move to box judge chair, maybe a pass caller to the line judge chair just to name a few.
Lee_HeightonThat has been tried in different regions. There has been some resistance from teams participating in "forced" help to a tournament due to the fact that they have already paid to play
BCSamWell Zac, in some regions Boxloaders to judges works and in other regions it isn't liked at all.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityNot forced help. This was just some of the ideas kicked around. How much time is lost waiting to fill a chair?
BCSamZac please explain for me your first idea - a better schedule that will allow sister teams to help?
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityIf a team has a sister team because of not having enough handlers - or a number of other reasons- to help to run a team at a tournament. The program can help in resolving conflicts. The sister team does not run the next race but may run 2 races later.
jhhhBut shouldn't the delegates have study information to make the decision on the ballot? Do we have enough information that says it will save time. Or are there other reasons for the change.
ScottZac, you are assuming that teams notify the tournament director that they are helping out other clubs
BCSamMaybe Zac I don't understand your definition of a "Sister team" Is that another team on the same club or another club? And how is the TD is know ahead of time who these sisters are?
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityThat is correct. We help Tough Spun and TNT, they help us.... but at many tournaments....we run back to back
dgsmithDebbie_TXHeat> Maybe I am wrong, Zac, but this idea is simply one team helping another team out. I would like to think this goes on in all regions already (I know it does in region 5).
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityThe program can be written with a rule set that can be used based on a regions likes and dislikes... It can even help out in teams that travel the most miles and try to get them on the road faster
dgsmithWe're focusing on time saved here but others have suggested a number of other reasons for changing the false start. I'm sure many ideas both pro and con will come out during the comment period as well as any ensuing balloting time
Lee_HeightonThat is an interesting idea. It would require that all Clubs use the same program to schedule tournaments. Right now, there are may different programs being used and I'm not sure it would be accepted very well if only one program was allowed
BCSamZac, schedules are handled by TDs in many ways. Some use programs, some don't. Right now a NAFA representative is there to help and assist but works very hard not to have to dictate what goes on at a tournament.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityBut the program would take all the rules that everyone would agree to.
ptwsDoes anyone know how much time is lost to false starts in 1 hour if you are working on 8 races per hour?
Karen.OlesonIt would certainly cut down on the wide varieties of formats currently run across the continent.
dgsmithsue_doubleimpact> I run on a very small team and we help out other teams all the time in exchange for them helping us out... I don't see how a sister team/friends helping each other out would impede racing...
dgsmithRoberta.McClure> It seems to me that the comment period would be a good time for an interested person to conduct a study and report the resuts.
Glenn_Hamilton10 years ago I timed a tournament's false starts for 3 hours and it extrapolated to over 60 minutes a weekend.
jhhhbut that was 10 years ago and things have changed drastically since then in the world of flyball
Glenn_Hamilton60 minutes a weekend. Now it is worse.
Zac_Bordering-On-InsanityCan you verify your numbers Glenn? And at what tournament?
Glenn_HamiltonA one ring tournament held in Rockton ON in the late 1990's. Do I have the notepad? No.
ScottI believe the important part regarding this proposal is the fact that it has been proposed to the BOD many times over the last few years. As a BOD, we are sending this to the delegates to let us know what they prefer.
dgsmithAny final discussion on the false start issue and/or other significant items from the last Board meeting?
dgsmithOK, next question from Zac
dgsmithZac_Bordering-On-Insanity> How is the Judge's video modules coming along? When can we expect to see them on the site?
ScottThe scripts have been written. Currently we are working on scheduling filming
dgsmithOK, next question on the new jump heights effective Oct 1 and height cards
dgsmithChris_THTH> What has been decided, now that the jumps have been changed re: Height cards?
dgsmithChris_THTH> Is NAFA going to lower the heights for all dogs?
Lee_HeightonWe need to discuss this very question before October 1st. What would everyone suggest we do in reference to this question
dgsmithHeight cards that are currently for dogs jumping 14 and 15 will become pointless.
Karen.OlesonIt is my understanding the new minimum height will be 7". I would suggest having the base board at 6".
dgsmithA 6" base is already required as of Oct 1. Our rules always require a 1" top board and the delegate vote did nothing to change that
dgsmithcindy.ferlitto> I'd like to see a proposal put out to the flyball community re graduating the jumps all the way down, not just the top and bottom heights
ScottI'm not sure I understand
Chris_THTHI would like to see them lowered for all dogs. You wanted an example the last time we spoke. Dusti is a sheltie right at 12 in. In NAFA she runs on average 5.8 over 8 in jumps and double steps, running over 6 in jumps she is running 5.1 and single strides the whole way up and back!!! That is my proof that lower would benefit height dogs.
dgsmithChrisVW> Will dogs that currently hold an 8" jump height card be allowed to re-apply for a 7" height card if the owner believes they would qualify for a lower measurement?
BCSamYes Chris. They would be allowed to jump lower
dgsmithcindy.ferlitto> I'd also like to see voluntary measuring at the Cynosports...just a good faith effort
dgsmithcindy.ferlitto> There are so many questions re height cards and this is for the championship. A remeasurement of dogs would seem appropriate
Scottthere will be measuring at Cynosports. Just like at all NAFA tournaments
dgsmithcindy.ferlitto> I think all dogs should be measured at the Cynosports regardless of whether they have a height card.
dgsmithThere was some discussion and voting on this very issue as I recall (measuring at Cynosports) at the last meeting. The end decision was to leave it like any other tourney for this year. I believe there were some close votes.
Scottso, not voluntary. but required?
BCSamThe Games will be run under the normal rules of a tournament. Measuring will be available but the BOD has chosen not to amend the measuring rule.
dgsmithcindy.ferlitto> There is so much controversy re measuring. At least put an end to it at the championships.
dgsmithChris_THTH> So even though the base height has been changed we are not going to change the jump height for the height dogs, unless they can measure in under 12 in?
dgsmithThat is correct Chris, the delegate vote did not change the 4 inches below measured height part of the rule - just the minimum.
BCSamCindy before height cards ever came into being there was controversy. Height card or not won't change that
dgsmithcindy.ferlitto> I agree. But this is the championship. No different than drug testing in sports. Even the Tour de France guy had to be tested again after he won. I'd just like to see the championships not be under a cloud of questioning re heights
Lee_HeightonCindy, the Tour de France testing was done in accordance with existing rules. They didn't suddenly change the rules just because an American won
dgsmithcindy.ferlitto> I'm asking for VOLUNTARY remeasuring. If your dog's height is correct..then no problem. Just a good faith effort by guys like you and the others on the board.
Glenn_HamiltonCindy, why single out the board?
dgsmithChrisVW> So, if its VOLUNTARY, what if someone decides not to measure at the Championship? Do you see a problem with NOT volunteering to measure?
cindy.ferlittoNope, but it would be interesting
dgsmithChris_THTH> How many of the BOD are going to Cynosport with a team?
ScottI'm sorry Cindy, but I have to ask. Did you just indicate that the voluntary measuring applies specifically to the BOD members going?
cindy.ferlittoAbsolutely not. I think all competitors should remeasure for a championship
dgsmithjhhh> Glenn when will the minutes of the meeting be out so we can see how this vote for measuring at Cynosports went and also other things that were discussed?
Glenn_HamiltonI expect the minutes will be out by early September if not sooner
Glenn_HamiltonCindy, do you think then that every division 1 team racing for a regional championship should measure?
BCSamChris To answer your question about who is going, My teammates plan on running if possible.
Scottalong those lines, my team is discussing it
cindy.ferlittoIf I were in the regional championship, I would not have a problem with remeasuring my dog. At this time there is no process in place for that. The Cynosports however are brand new, Why not make remeasuring part of the process. This is for the Gold, the Championship of all of NAFA
BCSamWait. let me correct the record. Cynosports isn't the Championship of all of NAFA. It is a Championship of that tournament. NAFA names its Champion by the rules in the rule book
dgsmithjhhh> So Glenn shouldn't Div 1 and possible NAFA champions be held to high standards and isn't part of those standards measuring.
Lee_HeightonShouldn't everyone be held to the same standards
dgsmithNo more than 5 more minutes on this and then we have other questions queued
cindy.ferlittoNo, people are not being held to the same standard. Our method of measuring is not as accurate as it could be. That's part of the contoversy.
ScottPart of the issue with revoking height cards if you are in Division 1 (racing for regional championship points) is that teams do not know the tournament entry prior to getting the seed chart. You may be a division 2 team regularly and in a small entry tournament you are suddenly thrust into Div 1 and lose your height card due to no fault of your own. Additionally, if there is a large out of region entry, Div 2 teams could earn regional points with a height card, even though those teams in Div 1 had theirs nullified and had to measure
cindy.ferlittoThe height card could only be nullified, if the dog measured higher than the height card.....correct? And if that dog is actually taller than stated on the height card...well, it should be revoked
Scottor if they measured lower. But you said earlier that you would not be against teams competing for regional championships having to measure, essentially nullifying their cards
cindy.ferlittoNo, what I said was I would be willing to voluntarily remeasure my dog. There is no process in place right now that requires me to remeasure. But the Cynosports would be great place for folks to settle controversies and remeasure dogs.
dgsmithOK, I'm calling time on this one. Next question comes from Karen Oleson on mixed divisions and breakouts
dgsmithKaren.Oleson> What was the proposed/discussed change to breakout for combined divisions?
Glenn_HamiltonWe discussed the issue and determined that having a floating BO, which was how we understood the proposal, would be too difficult to manage at events. Time sheets are preprinted with BO's, wall charts, seeding lists, etc. and to introduce a floating BO would just confuse and confound.
ScottThe proposal was to move a team who breaks out to the higher combined division for the remainder of the tournament. The problem was that it made it impossible for teams to run an elimination because the number of teams in a division could change
Lee_HeightonIt would be very difficult on the host team as a lower division team, that broke out, could suddenly change divisions near the end of a tournament, making scoring impossible
dgsmithNext question is another Cynosports question
dgsmithsue_doubleimpact> Is there a plan to have TV coverage of the Cynosport Championship?
BCSamWe don't have the rights to the TV coverage but there is TV coverage planned for the event as a whole and at this time the finals of flyball are going to be covered. Again as time moves forward we will see how this plays out.
dgsmithKaren.Oleson> Next Question.... Do you expect any changes to the timing requirements of schedules getting to RD's?
Lee_HeightonKaren, due to the long agenda this item was tabled. I will try to schedule a teleconference to address this problem. At 12:40 am we just couldn't go any longer
dgsmithChrisVW> I noticed there was an agenda item regarding wording of delegate ballot regarding Height Cards. Is there going to be a ballot? Can you summarize what will be decided by a height card ballot?
Glenn_HamiltonThe ballot, when finalized, will ask a series of questions about the current height card policy and its procedures
Glenn_HamiltonIf I may return to that question for a moment, I erred in that there was no decision made on dealing with a height card ballot. There is no ballot in the plans currently for height cards.
dgsmithNext question was regarding the reasonable number of heats per day from Cindy.Ferlitto - was there any discussion/resolution on a reasonable number of heats per day in a tournament and a maximum?
ScottThis question was tabled and sent to Sam to poll his RDs to find out how many heats are typically run in each region.
BCSamThere was some discussion about the max number of heats and it was tabled so that data could be gathered.
dgsmithherocdx> Has it ever been brought up or discussed to have a position in NAFA to build schedules for tournaments for host teams, even for a fee? Seed charts, stickers, labels, etc.
ScottHero. to my knowledge that suggestion has never been brought up
BCSamAs far as a position in NAFA to do schedule. I don't ever recall this being discussed.
Lee_HeightonHero, that is a good idea. How do we prevent a private person from undercutting the "set" price for the NAFA person
herocdxMaybe give this person permission to also approve schedules, making the process faster
dgsmithThe suggestion might have been a service that NAFA "could" provide if requested. If someone else will do it cheaper - more power to them.
Lee_HeightonMaybe this would be best left to private people, but a good idea
dgsmithWith no more questions pending at this time, I'm going to wrap it up by asking Lee and Sam for any closing comments.
BCSamThank you all for a lively chat. Several ideas that merit study were put forth. Hopefully you will put them forward to the BOD for further review.
Lee_HeightonWe would like to thank everyone for attending and offering some excellent suggestions. It's great to see such a good turnout
dgsmithThanks for being another well-behaved crowd. Great to see so many out and participating.

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