As the Agility Committee members are all competing in the Vic Team Heats I was asked to do the running order.
The natural approach would be to adopt the One Number System (ONS) but to be fair to all competitors, there
is an argument also to give every competitor a taste of competing say early, middle or late in the heat orders.
So randomising across the board is important, and I think all competitors will (maybe) see the logic of not always
being early in the order, or always middle or late in the order, but having a spread of positions in the different
With the high numbers of 500 dogs (84%) it will be fairer to group the non-500 dogs (5 off) as one group within
the total structure. That way, they won't be swamped or over-whelmed as much. This means that the 500 dogs
will be in 2 groups of varying sizes, interspersed with the group of non-500 dogs. This does mean that there will
be one extra change of bar heights, but as there are no 300 dogs, the number of bar height changes will be the
same as a normal class in a normal trial. Splitting the 500 dogs into 2 groups will be unusual, but I think it will be
treated as just another height change.
As good as the ONS is in the normal trial running orders, to employ the ONS in these heats would certainly be
unfair for some trialers. And getting technical, the explanation is:
Take 501 as an example. When 500ís are first, 501 would be 1st. When 200ís are first and if 500ís are second, 501
is 2nd in the heat. If 600ís are first, and if 500ís are 2nd, 501 is again 2nd to run. Even if all non-500 heights are
1st, 501 would be 6th. And in all cases, every heat, 527 (the last 500 dog) would be at least 27th and always
somewhere between 27th (6th last) and 32nd (last).
Another aspect with randomising is that any one competitor is not following the same handler/dog in all 4 heats.
Of course the running orders are not perfect, but they should be fairer than a typical trial scenario. You will notice
that there are no catalogue numbers allocated to dogs. You will need to keep checking which dogs are running
and get prepared to join the queue at the appropriate time/order. For those with multiple dogs there won't be the
usual swapping numbers all day.
I would like to wish all competitors all the best and I hope you all have good runs. Looking at the entries Victoria
will enter a strong team for the 2014 Nationals. I also think the Committee members are the heroes in the running