a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Zero-Fault Grand Prixs

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Zero-Fault Grand Prixs

SUMMARY: You just knew it was going to happen sooner or later.

Well, folks, we're getting word that the 2009 Grand Prix qualifying season will now require clean runs to qualify.

Sigh--I knew that would happen sooner or later. There go all of Tika's future GP qualifiers. (It's like steeplechase--knocked bars have kept her from qualifying SO many times; now it'll be the same in the GP. 19 of her 25 GP Qs have been with 5 faults. And one of Boost's two Qs has been with 5 faults. Basically-- I'm doomed.)

Here's how they've gradually been shortening the leash:

Grand Prix introduced: 1988. I have no info from then through 1996.

1997: 15 or fewer faults to qualify.
1998, 1999: I can't find info. Anyone have this?
2000, 2001, 2002: 10 or fewer
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006: 7 or fewer
2007, 2008: 5 or fewer
2009: 0 or fewer

2012: 0 or fewer faults within 25% of the top three finishers?

2015: The top three finishers with 0 faults?

Maybe I shouldn't even suggest those, even facetiously, in public...it might give the wrong people some bad ideas...


  1. Hi there! If I remember properly the early/mid 90's Grand Prix's were all 2 rounds, and I *think* you had to finish with under 15 faults total to qualify.

    Of course, back then, getting under 15 faults on a GP course was HARD!

  2. I think requiring no faults is a good idea. It should be hard to qualify for Nationals. But I think they might run into trouble requiring placements because some areas of the country are more competitive than others. Even if the competition increases overall in the next 5-10 years you're still likely to have disparities between parts of the country. Maybe they'll start requiring 3 or 4 qualifying runs.

  3. Well, there are disparities now with Steeplechase--if you want a Q and you have a fast dog, go someplace where the dogs are slower or there are just fewer dogs. Around here it's so hard to get those Qs when you're competing against dogs who are likely to be in the final round anyway.

    Same thing with Super-Qs. People have traveled elsewhere to collect their super-Qs.

    It would make more sense to me for all nationals tournaments to have minimum performance requirements, like for all the other classes. Or like for the Olympics. But getting into Nationals shouldn't necessarily be the same thing as earning a Q if you're going to do it on percentages, since the Qs are required for titles now. So I have less problem with GP being 0 points than I do with Steeplechase being arbitrary depending on who you're competing against that weekend.


  4. Oh, I agree, Steeplechase Q's are determined in a really stupid way and there certainly is a disparity but I don't think that's a good reason to add another disparity. And I don't understand why you need GP Q's for your ADCH. What does that class prove that Standard doesn't? It's just a way for USDAA to make more money since those classes are so expensive. Super Q's are really stupid, I don't get that one at all. Why are there placement requirements in Snooker & Steeplechase and nowhere else?

  5. If this comes to fruition, I would be disappointed. The whole premise for allowing faults was to give hope to those in Starters/Advanced. Shoot...even some Masters teams who typically have a bar down each round. Not to mention that it could very well hurt the bottom line as not as many dogs will come to Nationals since they were unable to Q.

    At the West Valley trial a few weekends ago, there were only 3 clean runs on the yucky GP course I mentioned in my blog...a total of 8 dogs Q'ed (in Championship)...so the 5 dogs with 5 faults would've been out of luck. Could you imagine if only cleans Q'ed? 3 dogs out of 80 would've qualified. In my opinion, this could only hurt USDAA.

  6. Yeah, I heard about a couple of those recent challenging GPs, but USDAA has said 0 faults for the 2009 qualifying season. I don't think they care if they have fewer dogs at the nationals--that event is a monstrosity that's pretty hard to manage already.

  7. Elayne--well, there's a topic for more posts! :-) I'm sure I've seen it discussed before...or maybe I'm just remembering dozens of conversations about these things over the years.

    Roseanne--I don't remember GPs being 2 rounds, but I didn't start until '96 and back then we usually saw only one GP a year and it was all new to me, anyway, so not much of it made a lot of sense.