Monday, June 06, 2011

USDAA 2011 Top Ten

SUMMARY: Tika's standings after 5 months of 2011
I've updated Tika's Top Ten link (above, here at tajmutthall.org) for the first time this year. Took the current USDAA Top Twenty-Five info (which is through roughly May 15), added a note to the side on more points that we earned this last weekend.

We're currently #2 in Gamblers with almost enough points to not have to get any more this year and still be in Top Ten, #1 in Jumpers with almost undoubtedly enough points to not have to get any more this year and still be in Top Ten, way down at #12 in Standard, and this year for pete's sake after ending 2010 at #4 in Snooker, we can't get a super-Q to save our lives and don't even show up in the Top 25!

I vowed that I'm not doing any of this specifically for Top Ten, and I'm not. I didn't really expect to be able to do this two years in a row. But Tika has been such a consistent dog this year, I'm glad to brag this little bit.

About Top Tens

The Top Ten awards are a poor approximation of determining which dogs are the most successful competitors. To be in the Top Ten, you have to do a lot of trials and you have to do trials where there are more dogs competing than at other places in the country. I'm lucky on both counts.

The flaw in the Top Ten points awarding is like this: If Tika is one of 6 dogs on a course and wins, we earn 5 points. (See my USDAA Rules link, above, for Top Ten point rules.) If the judge were to set up the same course somewhere else in the country, and then:
  • A dog wins it with exactly the same results that Tika got (same time, same points, whatever), but there are only three dogs competing, they get only 1 point. 
  • There are 6 dogs competing, one of them does exactly what I do, but two dogs do better so they're in 3rd, they get only 1 point. 
  • There are 6 dogs competing, all of them have really crappy runs and maybe don't even earn a qualifying score, the 1st place dog still earns 5 points, same as us.

So it's not really a good side-by-side comparison of dogs across the country, but it's fairly simple to calculate. Since in fact the exact same course almost never appears anywhere else in the country, ever, there's no actual way to compare dogs, so it's a best approximation by comparing how you do with other dogs on the same day, the same course, the same running conditions, the same judge.

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