A Little Out of Order ~ My Bad

You probably figured that I’d do all the agility games I know in alphabetical order. I intend do so… but I will go a little out of order from time to time.

One of the primary objectives of my “games” project is to update games that have some history in competition to reflect the evolution of those games. I also need to document games that have been invented since the last publication of the Book of Games.

One of my personal favorites is the game Quidditch, a game of strategy and daring. It is also a game that has unique terminology: Bludger, Beater, Keeper, and the Golden Snitch.

Quidditch

Hairy Pawter’s Quidditch is the invention of Becky Dean and Jean MacKenzie. The game was played for the first time at Dogwood Training Center in Ostrander, Ohio. The rules for this game didn’t make the publication deadline for the Clean Run Book of Agility Games (2d edition), as these rules were under review by the athletic faculty at Hogwarts at the time. There is no rushing those wizards with tenure.

Briefing

Big dogs will have 60 seconds and small dogs 65 seconds to complete three numbered sequences. When time expires the dog[1] should be directed to the table to stop time. The point values for each of the sequences are 15, 20, and 25 points respectively. Each sequence can be successfully completed only once. The sequences can be taken in any order. Each obstacle has individual point values that are earned by a team if a sequence is only partially completed prior to time expiring.

•         1 point for jumps

•         3 points for tunnels

•         5 points for contact obstacles and weave poles

Upon the successful completion of a sequence the team will have the opportunity to earn bonus points for a successful performance of a tire; the ‘Beater’ bonus, for which the team will earn an additional 25 points.

Refusals will be faulted on the tire, but nowhere else on course. The initial direction of the dog’s approach to the tire will define the run-out plane of the obstacle for the purpose of judging refusals. If a dog commits a refusal on the tire, the Beater bonus is lost.

After attempting the Beater bonus the team should attempt another three-obstacle sequence. If the team completes each of the different three-obstacle sequences, they will earn a ‘Keeper’ bonus of 50 points in addition to the points of the individual sequences. Note: the bonus points earned or missed by the completion of the tire do not affect ability for a team to earn the Keeper bonus.

A dropped bar, fly-off, some off-courses (see wrong course rule, below) or missed contact will be considered a sequence fault. The team can immediately reattempt the same sequence or move to another sequence.

If a team completes or attempts one sequence more than once the final score for the team will be zero.

When time expires no new points can be earned.

The Bludgers Rule

  1. A Bludger (wrong course obstacle) performed during the performance of an individual sequence shall result in a sequence fault. No points are earned for the performance of any individual obstacle unless the sequence is not completed due to expiration of time.
  2. Performance of a Bludger after the successful completion of a sequence on the way to the Beater (tire) shall be considered a fault of the Beater. The ability for the team to earn the Beater bonus is lost. The team should proceed to the next sequence, or to the table if appropriate.
  3. If the wrong course occurs: Bludgers (wrong courses) shall not be faulted: between the starting line and the first obstacle of a numbered sequence; between the Beater and the first obstacle of a numbered sequence; between the Beater and the table (to stop time).
  4. No points shall be earned for the performance of any Bludger.

Expiration of Time

If the whistle sounds prior to the completion of the three sequences, the dog should be directed to the table. The team will earn individual points for obstacles completed prior to the sounding of the whistle. When the dog touches the table, time will stop. No table performance is required.

The Golden Snitch

If a team successfully completes all three sequences, earns all three 25 point Beater bonuses, and touches the table prior to the 60-second whistle sounding, the team will earn the ‘Golden Snitch’ award of 75 bonus points.

Scoring

Quidditch is scored points then time. The dog with the most points wins. In the case of a tie, the dog with the shortest time will be the winner.

A perfect score requires completion of all three sequences and successful performance of the Beater bonus. The scoring notation would look like this: 15-25-20-25-25-25-50-75.

Course Design

The Quidditch course is a matter of some simplicity. It requires three sequences that are arranged about the “Beater.” The Beater should be the tire. The illustration here comes from the Teacup Dogs Agility Association using smaller obstacles and considerably less distance between obstacles.

Other obstacles that are not involved in scoring sequences are positioned about the course mostly to confound the team. These are “Bludgers[2]”. Often these Bludgers are positioned in that transition from a scoring sequence to the Beater. And so the dog’s path might take on a snookeresque quality and is the true test in the handler’s canny ability to manage the movement of his dog.

The table shall be considered a Bludger. A wrong course to the table is faulted only if the wrong course occurs during the performance of one of the numbered sequences.

Variations

With several years experience in designing and playing Quidditch (both in league play and in the TDAA) the game has evolved into a more interesting game of strategy and daring. In the early going each of the scoring sequences were typically limited to three obstacles only. This turns out to be not terribly interesting in terms of challenges.

Also considerable more thought has been put into the placement of Bludgers between the end of a scoring sequence and on the approach to the Beater. Sometimes the Bludger can be a simple ham-handed trap; and sometimes a subtle nuance of erstwhile scoring obstacles presented to entice the imagination of the dog.

Send to Beater

Adding a bit more challenge to the Beater Bonus, in this variation the handler must send the dog to the Beater (the tire) from some distance. Therefore in the description of the Beater bonus the briefing should use this description:

Upon the successful completion of a sequence the team will have the opportunity to earn bonus points for a successful performance of a tire; the ‘Beater’ bonus, for which the team will earn an additional 25 points. Please Note: Dogs in the Games III must be sent through the tire from behind the containment line shown on the course in order to earn the Beater bonus.

Games II might also be required to send from a well-defined containment line; and possibly even Games I. However, Games I typically doesn’t need this complication.

Dealer’s Choice

The three scoring sequences are unnumbered. The dog may be directed to do each of the obstacles in that sequence in any order. Note that a Bludger is not faulted between the Beater and any scoring sequence. Consequently, the handler may choose to direct his dog over an obstacle that is not a part of the intended scoring sequence before beginning it.

Qualifying and Titles

Quidditch is an eligible game for titling in the Teacup Dogs Agility Association (TDAA) and in the TOP SECRET Top Dog program. Use the same course for dogs competing at all levels. The level at which the dog qualifies depends upon the number of points earned:

•         Games I: 55 points

•         Games II: 75 points

•         Games III: 95 points

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

How many football games did Big 10 teams win on Saturday, January 1, 2011?

BLOG681

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training ~ Issue #0 ~ August 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: http://countrydream.wordpress.com/web-store/ . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special00” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.


[1] In this variation of the game the dog is naturally the Quaffle. But for the sake of clarity, we’ll just call him a dog.

[2] If we were to be true to the original game envisioned by J.K. Rowling, the Bludger would be a stick, and stewards might be assigned to whack the handler as he attempts to direct his dog to the Beater. At the end of the day, we decided to forgo this definition of the Bludger.

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2 Responses to “A Little Out of Order ~ My Bad”

  1. mark Says:

    A big goose egg. At least WI got close….

  2. mark Says:

    Big Ten got a goose egg. At least WI got close…

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