Games of the 2012 Petit Prix ~ Part 1

In addition to three standard classes, the Petit Prix will consist of seven games. The games we’ll play are described in this series. For additional information and sample courses refer to the The Book of Agility Games at www.dogagility.org/newstore.

The objective of this series is to explore the games of the 2012 Petit Prix both to understand the basic rules of each game and to explore competitive strategies for each.

Power and Speed

Power and Speed, a British import game, is the Iron Dog competition of dog agility games. The game demonstrates the ability of the handler to exercise tight control (power) through a part of the course, then show loose control (speed) over another part of the course.

Briefing

Each handler and dog runs a course that is split into two sections: Power and Speed.

Power – The Power section typically consists of technical obstacles; contacts, and weave poles. The Power section may also contain spread hurdles or other specialty hurdles.

The Power section is un-timed. Consequently the start-line is positioned between the last obstacle of the Power section and the first obstacle of the Speed section. If the time is getting close to the course time the timer is instructed to watch the dog. If the dog’s time exceeds the course time, the dog will still be allowed to continue on the Speed section, but there will be no score awarded.

Any faults earned by the dog will be added to the dog’s score. For example, if the dog misses a contact or earns a refusal on a contact obstacle, his score would be 5 for the Power section. Obviously, the ideal score for the Power section is 0.

Speed – The Speed section contains a straightforward Jumpers sequence. The goal is for the dog to run the course as fast as possible, preferably with no faults.

Scoring

Scoring for Power and Speed is Time, Plus Faults: faults from the Power section plus time from the Speed section plus faults from the Speed section. The dog with the lowest score wins.

Power and Speed is judged under the performance rules respective to the venue, and level or class of the dog in competition.

Qualifying

The qualifying score for Power and Speed is based on the measured length of the Speed section using rates of travel appropriate to the level of the dog’s in competition. Time-Plus-Faults equal to or less than the SCT will earn a qualifying score.

Competitors Analysis

As the Power section of Power and Speed is not timed, the handler should not be in a rush to complete that section. When the “Speed” element of the game begins, the handler should push for the best possible speed and a smooth and flowing finish.

A common error in Power and Speed is for the handler to rush from the Power section into the Speed section without taking advantage of the fact that time does not begin until on the approach to the Speed section. With this in mind the handler should take careful note of where the start-line is drawn. And if a lead-out from the dog is desirable the handler should leave the dog in a stay and take the lead-out advantage.

A clever host club will put Power and Speed as one of the first classes in a weekend trial so that this class can be used both for obstacle familiarization. With the contact obstacles especially the handler can work at a moderate and calculated speed, reminding the dog of his job on every contact. That careful approach to this competition could benefit the dog’s performance on contacts through the entire weekend.

In the Speed section the handler should be aware that the clock has begun ticking. This is the time for bold and aggressive handling. Go for the gusto.

As with all games in the Petit Prix, if something goes wrong you should pick yourself up and go on. Even though errors might cause your dog to not earn a qualifying score; it’s not all about qualifying. You are being measured against the field earning a score that continues to accumulate in background scoring. If you give up and leave the field ignominiously, then your dog will have a score of zero which, in the long run, is not highly desirable.

Variations

  • Style and Sprint variation – This refinement of Power and Speed allows a generous but finite limit on the Power course to limit the obedience interruptions, downing and staying the dog between obstacles. Enough time should be allowed to do the Power course carefully, but not so much that the section becomes a protracted stalling drag.When this variation is used timing for the Power course alone will be required. This time-keeper will be required to blow a whistle, dismissing the dog, if the time is exceeded before beginning the Speed course. A 5 second warning whistle might be employed to give the handler the last gasp of a chance to get going.
  • Death Penalty ~ In this variation any fault in the Power section of the course results in elimination and immediate dismissal. While this is the early tradition, the game has evolved to be more kindly application of faults, deferring instead to an overall Time-Plus-Faults scoring basis.

Premium Blurb

Power and Speed is a two part game. In the first part [Power] the dog will run an un‑timed sequence of mostly technical obstacles; and in the second part [Speed] the dog will run a timed jumpers course. Power and Speed is scored Time, Plus Faults.

Giving CRCD-4 a Workout

The thing I’m most excited about in this new version of the Clean Run Course Designer is that it supports TDAA equipment. Having real 16″ diameter tunnels is great.

I’ve presented here a 3-D rendition of the Power and Speed course. 3-D is interesting and gives the rare perspective that you typically only see… after the course has been built with real equipment on the field. CRCD has a “Save As” feature in case you want to save the graphic in this perspective.

The developer has provided a number of new tools for changing the viewer’s aspect on the course. I’ve played with these a little bit, but have not explored them completely.

Usage Notes

  • As usual the big numbers are over-whelming to the TDAA course. It would be great to be able to size numbers in the same way you size text. I went through a period where I sized my own text. Of course you lose the ability to use the robust renumbering tools and course reversal when you’re working with raw text.I’m wondering if it would be possible in some future release for the numbers to lie down on the field (and the grid markers) the same way that text does?
  • Shaping the tunnel is different (therefore alien and annoying). I couldn’t figure it out at first. The designer has actually provided a little pop-up tutorial for grumpy old farts like me that provides guidance for how to shape the tunnel using the new tool.
  • I’m a keystroke typist rather than a mouser. So a lot of the tasks that I like to do are programmed into my finger tips. CRCD4 unfortunately has changed some of the simple keystroke combinations to perform common tasks. For example, previously to copy a course map you would type [Alt-E] then “C” (for Copy). CRCD4 has morphed this combination to [Alt-E] then “y” (for copY).However, [Ctrl-C] still works for the copy command.
  • CRCD4 has re-introduced a keystroke for course size. The keystroke was unavailable in CRCD3. This is good, as it is a common task when designing courses for a wide variety of spaces.

Blog870

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

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