Posted Date: June 27, 2004
It has been a long time coming . . . and we hope you enjoy our new home on the web.
Redevelopment and deployment of the new USDAA.com has been a monumental task, encompassing almost one year of focused effort from the USDAA office, outside consultants and some volunteer testers. There obviously have been some interruptions in our development along the way due to attention required for major events and other activities that could not be ignored. Much of the delay over recent months has also been additional restructuring of our data systems to improve in-office functions in such a way that we can now capture more information than ever before, and you will be able see the results of these efforts on the web -- individual scores of award recipients, standard course times and distances, course configurations in gamblers and snooker, qualification rates by height class in a given class, and more, all updated automatically every 24 hours with the latest data available.
The awards section brings you up-to-date Top Ten standings and Lifetime Achievement Awards (LAA) standings. LAA has been updated for all Steeplechase and Team tournament qualifications back through 1999, the year now established as the first that qualifications will be recognized for LAA purposes for these two tournaments. Sometime in 2004, the Dog Agility Hall of Fame pages will be populated with photos and captions, featuring those who have made the sport what it is today, as well as those who have reached the pinnacle of their game in lifetime achievements and tournament competition. Many worthy individuals and dogs have already been granted Meritorious status in the Hall of Fame, and they are presently being evaluated for status as "Pioneers" by the Hall of Fame Committee, who will be responsible for evaluating future inductees.
We have a new online Store. Over the past decade we focused very little attention to our "marketplace", letting others take the lead as we focused on events and related services. Our purpose has been and remains to serve groups and competitors with essentials, while at the same time presenting new items that we come across that may be of interest. We are pleased to present items that we carry now in an electronic storefront, so that you can order items more easily and more quickly. These range from event supplies, such as score sheets, batons, awards and ribbons, to books, USDAA apparel, mouse pads, and more. We welcome suggestions for additional items that would assist you in your ongoing quests in the sport.
There are new interactive features to our site in the Subscriber Services area. Here you will find complete access to your "owner" information and the records of dogs that are registered to you. Your records will be no more than a click or two away. In reviewing show performance results on the site there are a couple of things that you will notice right away. First, while detailed show results information is in our records, titles for 2004 have not yet been computed. Now that the web site is finished, we are proceeding full speed ahead with programming the calculation process. In the meantime, you can see your event results in the Subscriber Services area, sorting by date, class or club. There is a $24 annual fee for access privileges. Once you log in, simply click on Subscriber Information and then select one of the dogs registered to you. As soon as the title programming has been finished and tested, we will post a notice that titles are being run, and you will see the results in the Titles Earned page of the Subscriber Services area. Another important note is that you will find that prior to 2004 only "Q"s, placements for Top Ten points, judge information and pairs relay partners were recorded for successful round in each class at an event. This was the only information necessary for calculation of titles and the only information that our systems would accept. We have modified the systems to collect scores and class summary information (standard course times and distances). We have been keying in 2003 data in reverse calendar order to provide you with more data relative to those events. We presently have all events from September through December 2003 populated with scores and placements for competitors receiving those awards, and will continue to add more from earlier months in 2003 as time permits, working backwards in time.
Also in the Subscriber Services area, there is a
- separate event calendar that shows individual class assignments by judge as well as provides you post event access to results from all events.
- separate Forms and Documents library
- Special News Page for this area that includes additional features and contributed works.
The Subscriber Services area's "Special News" page is being populated with past articles from the Dog Agility ReportTM that we feel are of continuing use or historical interest. A few are posted now and we will add more as time permits. More importantly for this section, we will periodically post special articles of general interest, training, course designs and more - sort of an electronic magazine, if you will. Clean Run Magazine is sponsoring an article per month, and we are interested in hearing from any knowledgeable trainers and enthusiasts who might have information or experiences to share, who can provide materials on a regular basis, as well as when the urge may hit. Fees are available for contributed works.
Just how current is the data on the web site? There is a nightly update that will present all changes every 24 hours. But event results data may not be up-to-date as there is a lag from the time the event concludes and the group submits the data to us. That information has to be reviewed for completeness before it can be keyed in, which on average, should be no more than 4-6 weeks of the event date. The latest date for which results are recorded is displayed in each section.
As you find features you like and see ways they might be improved, or if you don't find features that you would like to see, please make note of them as you browse through the site and email us so that we can have your input for development of the next phase. Some ideas may simple enough that we can do immediately, while others may require more complex approaches. Though we have gone through extensive testing to root out problems, there will undoubtedly be an occasional one we missed. Simply drop us an email and we will look into it. We have several items on the drawing board that we think will assist competitors and want to keep the ball rolling in making the site the best it can be to serve your needs.
I want to extend a special thank you and appreciation to Janet Gauntt who has contributed considerable time and energy in monitoring and reviewing the test site throughout the development phase.
Once again, welcome to the new USDAA.com. We hope you will enjoy it.