Monday, February 20, 2012

Yardage Calculations

On every AKC run, entrants receive a report stating the Standard Course Time, the dog's time and Yardage.  This is useful for calculating your dog's average speed and to track improvements (which I do).  When you have a lethargic dog like my Lucky, it's important to know if you're improving. Especially important as the Excellent B dogs don't get as much time to complete the course.

Lucky's Yardage: Using the Excel program I designed last year, after every trial I input the data they give you and calculate her average speed for the weekend.  Course Yardage/ Dog's Time calculates the Yards Per Second for each run.  I add those up, then divide by the number of runs, which gives me her Average Yards Per Second for the weekend (the bottom figure).

By this chart from last weekend's Mobile Agility Trial, you can see Lucky exceeded course time 4 out of 6 runs, by from 1.3 to 4.6 seconds.  Other than exceeding course time, she had 5 clean runs out of 6.  If I can improve her speed, we should have little trouble Q'ing based on her accuracy.

The chart below clearly indicates Lucky has gotten faster during her first year of trialing. 

Trial Weekend         Class Average         Yardage
3/19/11                           Novice                   2.96
4/1/11                             Novice                   2.70
4/9/11                              Open                    2.70
4/23/11                            Open                    3.07
6/23/11                            Open                    2.59
8/19/11                             Ex A                    2.77
9/23/11                             Ex A                    2.58
10/21/11                           Ex A                    3.26 (After Brittany Schaezler seminar)
11/25/11                           Ex A                    3.05
2/10/12                             Ex B                    3.31

The yardage differences may seem small, but they are not.  For example, the difference between covering 2.75 YPS vs 3.25 YPS is considerable as follows:  3.25 - 2.75 = .5 YPS or 1 yard every 2 seconds.  If your run is 180 yards long and you are given 60 seconds to run it, your dog will need to cover 3 YPS just to make time.  If every 2 seconds Lucky is covering an extra yard, I can reduce her final course time by 15 seconds, and Qualify with time to spare.

This knowledge allows me to set a realistic goal of 3.50 YPS for Lucky this year in Jumpers, 3.25 in Standard, which will allow her to Q with every clean run.  It also makes me VERY CURIOUS about other dogs' average times.  Nobody has ever mentioned their stats to me, but I am sure some people keep track.  Else, why would AKC bother giving us the data?  Does AKC study this info to help them set realistic standards?  What's the average SCT for our fastest dogs (border collies, goldens)?  Is it 4.5, 5.5, what?  I have no idea.
The difference in yardage between small and large dogs is considerable, too. The judge adds between 8-12 more yards for larger dogs.  I'm told it's because larger dogs are assumed to make wider turns, although I haven't observed this to be the case.  Little dogs make mighty wide turns!

Obviously, the system is not entirely objective.  Each judge wheels courses in their own way.  At one trial I attended the yardage was the same for both large and small dogs in each class.  Some judges are generous with time, others not so much.  One should know going in, it's subjective.  Some people make a study of judges, and only go to trials where they think their dog has a good chance to Q based on the difficulty of a particular judge's course designs and tendency to wheel extra yardage and give extra time.  Oh yes, it gets sophisticated in some regions of the county.

Maxie's Yardage: I don't bother averaging Maxie's yardage, because course time has never been an issue with him. He's among the faster 8" dogs on the course. If he Q's, he usually places. If I ever decide to compete with him on a serious level, I'll probably need this information, which will be very easy to calculate using my aforementioned Excel program.
I'll keep a record of Lucky's time averages posted here for awhile until I figure out a better place to put them.

Upwards and onward!

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Michele -

Heather's Border Collie Ellie post a 5.07 YPS this past weekend. Her personal best. She was MOVING!!!!