In 2005 the GOG Big Air competition will be bracketed for the first time. In the Qualifying Round 12 dogs will make two jumps from a dock in to the water. The distance of each jump will be determined by electronic sighting of the point at which each dog's hind quarters (not including their tail) enters the water.
The 8 dogs with the longest jump distances will advance to Round One, being placed in brackets based on their Qualifying Round ranking, the other four dogs will be eliminated. In each bracket in Round One the two dogs will alternate jumping until both dogs have jumped twice.
The dog in each bracket with the single longest jump will advance to Round Two; the other dog will be eliminated. In each bracket in Round Two the two dogs will alternate jumping until both dogs have jumped twice.
The dog in each bracket with the single longest jump will advance to the Final Round; the other dog will advance to the Consolation Round.
The two dogs in the Consolation Round will each jump twice, with the dog with the single longest jump earning 3rd place and the other dog 4th place. The two dogs in the Final Round will each jump twice, with the dog with the single longest jump earning 1st place and the other dog 2nd place.
Big Air terms
Bumper(s)or Training Dummies
They get their name from the bumpers that boats often hang over the side to keep them from bumping against other boats or docks. They are cylindrical in shape, and range in sizes from about the size of a cucumber that puppies use, to larger versions about 12 inches long and diameters of 1" to 2 1/2" inches. They are typically made of plastic or stuffed canvas. They have a rope attached to them to make it easier to throw them farther distances. When training in the field, handlers will often "scent" them with duck scent purchased in outdoor shops to help reinforce the dog's ability to find the "bird" or "bumper" by using their natural tracking abilities.
A dock is a long walkway extending out into water. Boats are parked and tied next to the dock to make it easier for people to enter and exit their boats.
This is the human competitor in the Big Air team. The person that throws and encourages the dog to run and leap off the end of the dock. Usually this is also the person who has trained the dog for competition, but not always as some people will have their dogs trained by another person and then "handle" them in the competition.
Dogs in Big Air will run and leap off the end of the dock, most often in pursuit of a bumper thrown by their handler. The Jump Distance is measured from the end of the dock to the closest point where the dog breaks the water (not including their tail).
The place from which the handler sets his dog up and releases him from.
A dog will "mark" the bumper where it falls, or memorize exactly where it is and run straight to it and then back to the handler.
Running the Dog
Term used for working with a dog in competition. Handler's often ask things each other things like, "Which dog are you running today?" or, "How did Lady run for you?"
The term used to describe a dog that will stay in place, watching the bumper or bird fall, until released by the handler. This is very hard for the dog, especially retrievers, who want to retrieve very badly. It is Very hard for them to stay still and wait to be "released". This is usually a sign of a well-trained dog. Often, retrievers will whimper or even bark waiting to be released, such is their desire.
Example: "Zolotia's Topsy Turvy" UD SH MX MXJ WCX
To break this down: Zolotia's Topsy Turvy is this dog's AKC registered name. The initials indicate different levels of difficulty in various events that this dog has achieved. As per AKC rules, these initials become part of the dog's name upon achievement.
FC -- Field Champion
AFC -- Amateur Field Champion
MH -- Master Hunter
SH -- Senior Hunter
JH -- Junior Hunter
MX -- Master Agility
MXJ -- Master Agility Jumper
WCX -- Working Certificate Excellent
WC -- Working Certificate
UD -- Utility Dog