Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm Playing Flyball This Weekend!

I'm heading to a tournament this weekend (yay!), and as usual I'm waiting till the last minute to pack.

I can't really pack the car until tomorrow, because I have to take the kids to school in the morning and seats are an important component of carpooling. But I could at least start piling things up in a corner of the dining room or garage or something. Maybe blogging about it will motivate me...

It's going to be a small one-ring tournament, held at a pretty site in Virginia with 60' of runback. I love tournaments like this, especially since we only entered two teams (instead of our usual four). With one ring we'll have a good idea of how much time we'll have in between races and there won't be any ring conflicts. We'll have time to hang out together and socialize.

I'm going to talk to some start-dog people and ask them their secrets. Todd Pope, on my team Carpe Pilam, is so consistent with his starts -- he runs a whippet named Wii and turns in a .0-something start pretty much every time. (So does Tim Mulrooney on Fetchin' Frenzi, the other team I play with -- no matter what dog you give him, he gets a .0-something, it's crazy). I think being a great starter is equal parts of the following: 1) consistent dog, 2) handler's reaction time with the lights, 3) consistent start position (i.e., dog is always pulled up with back legs in handler's lap at 53' and 2"). "Consistent dog" also means well-conditioned dog, because in order to be consistent you have to run the same speed all the time and not get tired.

I'm also going to talk to people about how their teams split entry fees. I think our team does it by the # of heats run. I'm honestly not sure, but I never feel cheated when I get the tournament bill (from either team), so as long as I'm happy and feel like it's fair, I'm good with it.

I usually come home from tournaments with a whole bunch of new ideas for blog posts. Let me know if you have ideas, don't be shy.

I think for kicks I'll videotape our team's box turns so we can evaluate them later. I'm not running Rooster (The Ball Obsessed Dog) this weekend because he's still in Re-training Land, but I am running Kraken (The Spitter), at least in warmups. And Punk (The Beast), of course.

Actually I'm bringing all 9 dogs with me to the tournament, because nobody will be at home to watch them. My petsitter just closed on her house and moved out of the area (gah!!), and I didn't really feel like bringing a new petsitter up to speed and spending the $80 or so for her to come feed them while I'm gone. Hopefully bringing all the dogs won't be a mistake. Fringe (The Project Dog) will get some good socialization time, and so will Roc (Mr. ADHD).

Speaking of ADHD, that's sort of what my post feels like to me this morning. Sort of rambling and all over the place. I'm looking forward to re-charging with the team this weekend and coming back with lots of new material for the blog.

In keeping with my earlier post about tournament goals, here are a few of mine for this weekend:

  • I hope our teams run well!
  • I hope I get to spend a lot of great quality time with my team and other flyball friends
  • I hope I get some good video
  • I hope I get some good blog ideas
  • I hope Kraken holds his ball and is able to run a few races
  • I hope there are  no doggie health problems on the trip (no injuries, diarrhea, carsickness, seizures, etc.)
  • Also, I'd like to get through the weekend without screwing up my low-carb diet

To the rest of you out there gearing up for a tournament this weekend -- get packing!  ;)  And happy racing.


Tracy said...

Happy Racing Lisa! I just pulled that "last load" of clothes, collars and gloves out of the dryer. We're doing back-to-back weekends and starting our newest session of Intro classes next week so I'm trying to get ahead of the game...wonder if it'll work!

nickelsmum said...

Last load = team shirts!


Anonymous said...

Have a great time and take extra clothes in case you end up with holes again or ummm any squirting :)


Nat x said...

Hiya, I've come across your blog in the last couple of days and just wanted to say how much I am enjoying reading it. I do flyball in the UK and am finding everthing you write very informative so thankyou :). Hope your tournament goes well this weekend.


Nat x said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Pignetti Murnan said...

Thank you, Natalie! It's cool to have readers in the UK. Feel free to weigh in on the posts anytime, it would be interesting to hear what's similar and different about flyball there.

Susan said...

Ooh, ooh! Blog post idea: tournament packing list. I'm currently packing up myself and wishing I had one.

Unknown said...

Have Fun. I'll miss being there this weekend, but, I'll be in the mountains of NC this weekend.

Anonymous said...

I base fees on # of heats run. Seems the most fair to me. It means I have to keep track but I revised our stats sheet to make it easier. Plus I figure out the cost per spot and per heat ahead of time.

Happily Evfur After

Kim said...

FBI has billed per heat but awhile back we switched to - if just the 4 dogs run, they split the actual full cost. If dogs share or is pulled for a couple heats we do actual cost for those dogs. Paying per heat will end up with some dogs not being paid the same amount as a heat may have been called for the 4th dog or as happens, the club has to eat the cost of some heats. To make it easier for our treasurer we just did the even split.

Kristie Pope said...

Yeah, Kim, that's kinda how we do it. If two dogs are sharing a spot we split the cost between them even if one dog gets a few more heats than the other. It's sort of by the heat, but not down to serious science. We also don't make back-up people pay if their dog has to come in. I figure if you are nice enough to cram an extra dog in your van, bring it, walk it, feed it, etc., then it should run for free if we need it. We just bill whoever the bonehead was that needed backing up :).

Meagan said...

We pay by heat on my team. However I used to be on a team that started making everyone pay the same amount regardless of how many times they were going to let your dog run. One couple knew their dog was only going to run 10 times but they had to pay the same as me who got to run every time! I thought this was very unfair. The thinking of the captain was that it would punish their seasoned dogs by making them pay more if they did it per heat and they deserved a disscount since they were letting the newbies run. I thought this was silly. The seasoned dogs still got to run and earn points.

K-Koira said...

Both teams I have been with have charged by splitting costs evenly for all 6 dogs. Since I have one of two height dogs, that means I am paying as much for a half time slot as people are paying for a full time slot. But, I knew before any racing that this team charged like that.
I did join an Open team last minute with my height dog and they didn't expect me to pay anything, which was nice but not expected.

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