Posted Date: November 4, 2007
How well can you estimate elapsing time? What would your strategy be?
The Gamblers course this year is a time gamble. Strategy is the name of this game. The rules for this are a bit different than what you would usually run at a local trial. Credit is given for any obstacle that is started before the first buzzer. At the end of the opening time, as many jumps as possible are to be performed, earning 3 points per jump. Each jump may be performed a maximum of twice. If the dog takes a non-jump obstacle or time expires before the dog crosses the finish, all gamble-portion points are lost (handlers keep the opening points). The finish jump is for timing purposes only and does not count as part of the closing points tally.
Some things are the same as a normal gamblers class. They will be using a 1-3-5-7 point system, the weaves being 7. No two contact obstacles may be performed sequentially. Back-to-back performances are OK.
The opening time for the 22" and 26" dogs is 25 seconds, 16" inch dogs have 27 seconds, 12" dogs have 30 seconds. Closing times are 12 seconds for 22" and 26" dogs, 14 seconds for 16" dogs, and 16 seconds for 12" dogs.
Pam Leislee and Kelly Misegadis from Colorado believe the course has good challenges, and is very doable if the handler sets good lines. If handlers get greedy at the close, they could be in trouble. They believe it will come down to what is done in the gamble in the end. Their plan is to "Be aggressive with the option to be conservative."
The most popular strategies for the opening were to start either with the jump directly in front of the tire, to the tire, and a right turn to the A-frame. Another popular option was to begin with two trips through the tunnel near the start line. What happens next varies greatly from team to team, based on the specific strengths and abilities of a given team.
One of the more interesting options in the closing was to do a figure 8 at the two jumps nearest the A-frame. Many competitors appear to be leery of running out of time and are leaving the course with 5-10 seconds left of their closing time. The tunnel that appears on the lower right portion of the course diagram is responsible for many dogs going "off course" during the closing. A few dogs took the seesaw after the buzzer, negating all hope of any points in the closing.