WHAT TO BRING TO INDOOR/OUTDOOR EVENTS AND PRACTICES
- Water and bowl: While events may provide water for your dogs, it's always a good idea to bring your own just in case. Keep in mind also that some dogs are particular about the water they drink.
- Food or snacks for you and your dog: enough said.
- Dog Crate: if you plan to spend the day, it's always nice to have a crate so your dog can rest and you can relax or watch the competition.
- Your Dog's Favorite Toy: you are more likely to have success if your dog is going after his very favorite toy. Keep in mind that toys must be floatable, retrievable and must not be or ever have been alive.
- Chair: a place for you to relax.
- Acceptable collar and 4-ft. leash: Only flat buckle collars or material-only martingale style collars are allowed on the dock. Leashes can be no more than 4-ft. in length.
- Poop Bags: all competitors are expected to pick up after their dogs. This cannot be stressed enough as it can make the difference in a venue inviting DockDogs back. Many events will provide these but always bring your own to be sure.
- Towels or shammies: it's important to dry your dog off after he competes, especially in cooler weather. The shammies used for drying your vehicles are an excellent choice as they can easily be wrung out.
- Dry clothes and shoes for yourself: you never know when you might get wetter than expected.
- Shade Canopy: for outdoor events. These keep the sun and rain off you and your pet.
These are just some suggestions of items to bring with you.
CHECK-IN AND PRACTICE
Locate the crating and/or tenting area and get set up so your dog can relax.
Find the Admin tent which is where you will check in if pre-registered, register for waves onsite, sign the Waiver of Liability, and get your wristband which designates you as an official competitor. The Admin person can also answer any questions you may have.
Once checked in you can check out the venue, watch dogs competing or practicing, practice yourself if the dock is open for practice, or relax until your wave.
Events will often have practice time before the first wave of the day, and in between waves. If you wish to practice, step in line with your leashed dog and his toy. Generally each team in practice gets either 2 jumps or 90 seconds on the dock. If time is running short, practice may be limited to 1 jump or dry dogs only.
Once on the dock you can choose to use either of the two methods for jumping your dog in Big Air®:
- The Chase: in this method you sit or down stay your dog wherever you wish on the dock, then walk to the front of the dock. When ready, call your dog and throw the toy as he nears the front of the dock.
- Place and Send: here you and your dog walk to the front of the dock. While holding onto your dog (to make sure he doesn't jump right in) you toss the toy out into the pool. Take your dog back to the spot on the dock you wish to start from, then release the dog to retrieve the toy.
The Handlers Meeting will be called approximately 15 minutes before each wave. At this meeting, the running order will be given out as to which group and number within that group you will be. Depending upon the size of the wave, there could be up to 4 groups with up to 10 in each group. Each group will be run in order with each dog within the group jumping once, getting back in line and then jumping the second time. Generally at the start of the second jump within the group, the announcer will call for the next group to get ready. Please stay attentive to announcements to ensure you do not miss your jump.
Once the wave is complete the results will be posted within 10-15 minutes. Your score will be the best of your 2 jumps. Awards are given out for each wave within each division.
There are 2 Finals formats for Big Air® Finals: the Divisional format which most clubs participate in and the 4-tier National format (which is used for all National events except the Regional and World Championships and is the format Buckeye currently uses).
For Divisional Finals the top six (6) dogs from each division for the event compete. The divisions are Novice (0' - 9'11"), Junior (10' - 14'11"), Senior (15' - 19'11"), Master (20' - 22'11"), Elite (23' - 24'11") and Super Elite (25' and above).
The 4-tier Finals have 4 "divisions", Amateur, Contender, Semi Pro and Pro. The top six (6) dogs up to 12'11" qualify for Amateur; top six (6) from 13'0" to 17'11" for Contender, top six (6) from 18' - 21'11" for Semi Pro; and the top six (6) dogs 22' and above qualify for the Pro Finals.
Extreme Vertical™ is run as a wave/finals all in one, as is Speed Retrieve™ unless there are enough teams competing to hold 2 heats.