Standing ringside, I was spectating at a recent NAFA tournament. I don’t usually pay attention to the “count”. The wins and losses are indicated by the Head Judge when something “unusual” came up. There was a conference at the table between the Head Judge and the captain of each of the racing teams.
At the conclusion of the conference, both teams shook hands and left. I inquired as to the reason for the conference. I was surprised to learn that both sides would be scored a “zero” for this race of only 4 heats.
How does that happen?
It begins with NAFA’s clarification that ALL races will be limited to 5 heats. It is possible to race fewer than 5 heats but, nobody will run more than 5 heats.
In the event that a clear winner cannot be determined after racing 5 heats, the “winner” will be determined by the previously published tie-breaker.
Wait a minute! Didn’t I state that BOTH teams scored a zero? How does that happen with a tie-breaker? …after running only 4 heats?
The answer lies in another rule concerning “meaningless” heats. Heats that cannot change the outcome of scoring will not be run for the sake of earning points for dogs.
So, how does a 3/5 formatted race become “meaningless” after running just 4 heats?
The answer is how to score a team that runs a heat “breakout” time.
The scoring for this race broke down like this:
- Heat 1, Team A win, Team B loss
- Heat 2, Team A NF, Team B NF
- Heat 3, Team A “forfeit”, Team B win
- Heat 4, Team A “forfeit”, Team B “breakout”
At this point, the race ends because its just not mathematically possible for either team to score three wins with only one heat remaining in this race. Team A was forced to forfeit their heats following Heat 2 because of an injured dog. Team B lost the opportunity for an easy win by breaking out in Heat 4. Recent NAFA clarifications allow the dogs to earn title points in a breakout heat. A breakout will be scored as a “loss” when determining placements in the division for this tournament.
It just looked so strange to see a “double zero” with no seven behind it! (I just had to say that!) Would seven be a good name for a flyball dog? You be the judge!
Good Luck & Good Racing!