The UFO D-Tour
The D stands for Distance! A UFO D-Tour competition is a long-distance throwing competition, of course with the dog catching at the end. At all levels, unless explicitly allowed otherwise, men and women compete in separate divisions.
A D-Tour competition will always have the "Classic Distance" event, but might be comprised of up to 3 different events. The final format is left to the competition host. They may choose to run 1, 2 or all 3 of the events, which are listed below.
To add to the excitement of the competition, one of the events-"Classic Distance" is also a qualifier for the UFO World Cup Finals! The UFO World Cup Finals will include Men's and Women's Classic Distance Championships, with the competitors qualifying for the Finals at D-Tour events throughout the year!
Each D-Tour event utilizes the same start and catch marking procedure:
The Start is what is known as a "free start". This means that the dog can leave the line and start running down the field before the throw is released. It is important that the dog is in motion down the field when the throw is released. If the dog stops or comes back before the throw is released, and subsequently a throw is made, then that attempt is considered a miss. Any throw made where the thrower steps on or across the line during the throw will be called a miss. AFTER the throw leaves the thrower's hand, they may follow through or step across the line.
A Handler may call off a throw by simply calling the dog back to the throwing line. The dog must return all the way behind the throwing line, and the thrower should make it clear to the foot fault judge that they are calling the throw off.
The mark is made where the front feet of the dog touch the ground during the catch, or where the front feet touch upon landing if the catch is made "mid-air".
Here are the D-Tour event explanations:
This is event is simple and to the point. Which handler can make the longest throw to their dog.
Format: Each team takes the field by themselves. They get 3 throws. each throw is marked after the catch. If the field is lined with yard marks or hashes, an approximate distance can be communicated to the announcer who will state it over the PA. When the team is done and leaving the field, the judging crew brings a measuring tape out and measures all marks for catches, and records these. All catches are measured and recorded for tie-breaking purposes.
After all Throwers in the division have made 3 throws, the 5 teams with the longest catches will return for a final round. In the final round, each team takes 3 more throws. The longest single catch is the winner. 2nd longest is second, and so forth.
This event is a qualifier for the UFO World Cup finals. The top 3 teams in Men's and top 3 teams in Women's Classic Distance Qualify for the Finals, where they will compete for the Championship. Teams that have already qualified for the finals may not compete in the "Last Chance" qualifier at the finals.
Divisions: The Classic Distance event must have a Men's Pro Division and and Women's Pro division. These are the divisions that qualify for the UFO Finals. The competition host may choose to run additional, "lower" divisions at their discretion.
Awards: Top 3 in the division.
Tie-Breaker: The tie breaker for any award is the longest catch in the first round. Then the second longest in the final round, then the third longest catch in that round. In the event that teams are still tied, a sudden-elimination "throw off" will be held where each team gets 1 throw, with the longest catch winning/advancing.
Judging: The Classic Distance event requires a minimum of 2 spotters in the field to mark the catch. A 3rd "safety" spotter is recommended, if there is enough staff. The Safety positions themselves 20 meters past the primary spotters to catch any "big arm" throws that catch the primary spotters by surprise. A foot fault judge, recording judge and announcer are also required. The Recording judge writes down each measured distance (and notates misses) for each team on the field. The recording judge may be a spotter as long as they don't lose their clipboard chasing a throw!
Most "Long Distance" events have a throwing line. Instead of a "throwing line" that is set in place and having the need to mark catches and compare and measure, etc, etc…the UFO Longshot instead has a CATCHING LINE.
Format: ALL TEAMS in the division get ready to throw. The first throw is from 10 meters away. Teams may throw from EITHER side of the catching line. The catch must be made across the catching line (where the front feet touch down during the catch, or after, if caught in mid-air). All teams make this throw. (No, not at the same time; in order, one after the next) This format uses a "free start" (same as the Quad). Each team that successfully makes a catch across the catching line will move up to the next distance. The progression of distances can vary by any amount, but here is one suggested format:
...and so on...
If you catch across the catching line, you stay in. Each miss counts as a strike. Each team has 3 misses for the whole game. A throw will be scored a miss if they miss the catch OR if they miss the distance (ie, the catch is NOT across the catch line). If a team misses, they IMMEDIATELY make a second try. Misses are cumulative, so if you miss once at one distance, that miss WILL count against you if you miss a second time a longer distance. Once a team gets their 3rd miss, they are out.
This will continue until there is only one team left, our winners.
Awards-top 3. If at any point, multiple teams are eliminated, they all leave. However, in the case where one of these would end up in the top 3, then ALL of those teams that missed will move back to the previous distance, and go again in single elimination until that place or places have been decided.
Tie breaker example:
There are 5 teams left. At 65 meters, 3 of the remaining teams are eliminated when they get their 3rd miss. One of these teams will be the 3rd place finisher, so a tie-breaker must be implemented to determine this. These 3 teams will then move back up to the 60 meter line, where they will all make one throw. They will continue in the normal fashion (moving back when a distance has been completed) until there is only one team left (filling that 3rd place placement).
Divisions: men's and women's. It can ultimately turn into a long-distance throwing contest, so to keep it fair, men's and women's divisions are separate. If desired, the men's division can start further back.
Order of go will be the order of sign up. Order stays the same for the entire game. No changes. The order of go doesn't matter, actually. The game will always be the same for everyone, no matter where they are in the running order, because you will need to make a catch at a certain distance. This is an important distinction. You can't beat someone by throwing farther, you beat them by making catches and outlasting them. It doesn't matter whether you throw 1st, 2nd or 17th. Your task is the same. You have to make a catch at that distance. Whatever the other teams do doesn't effect you.
Judging: The required judges are 1 foot fault judge, and 1 line judge who stays at the "Catching line". If the field is set up so that the "Catching Line" is right in front of the announcing tent, then the announcer can act as a spotter, and provide color commentary on the action. The footfault judge watches the throws, and is also responsible for moving the throwing line markers (cones) to the current line.
Finals - It can be exciting to see the last few teams duke it out in a final round. One variation that may be employed is to play the game until there are only 4 teams left (after a distance has been completed by all remaining teams). Then have the 4 remaining teams go back to the start and begin again, resetting their "misses" back to 3 as well.
Our second new event in 2012 is the UFO Team Distance event. This is a new concept in canine disc, and a new take on long distance. The event involves multiple dogs and handlers, which are referred to as a "team". There are 3 divisions, Men's, Women's and Mixed. We are excited about this one, and really would appreciate feedback on it, should you choose to run it. We think it is going to be a big hit, by tying into the fun, social nature of our sport.
Format: The format is pretty simple. In the Men's and Women's divisions, a team-the group- gets 5 total throws. Each team member must take at least 1 throw. The other 2 throws are the "mulligans". If a person on the team has a miss with their first try, they can use a mulligan to take another shot. Or if a big arm can better a short throw, you get can take another shot. (in the event that a second attempt is shorter than the first, or misses, the longer catch will count). The team 'score' is the sum of all the best catches for each team member. Each team member must contribute 1 score, and only 1. (ie, if you have a miss, and another team member has 2 catches, their second catch will NOT count towards the team total-your contribution is simply a 0.) The Team with the highest 'score' wins. This format gives everyone on the team a chance to step up, but it should not drag out an event. (if everyone on a team took 3 throws, it would take all day). In the Mixed division with 4 throwers, the team gets 7 throws. This event can have a final round, if you choose.
Divisions: There are 3 divisions: Men's, Women's, and Mixed. Men's and Women's teams are 3 people on a team. Mixed division requires 4 people-2 men, and 2 women. Each person on a team must have a dog to throw for. It does not have to be their own dog, but dogs cannot be shared on the same team. (ie, 3 people, 3 dogs. 4 people, 4 dogs).
Judging: Same as Classic Distance.
Tie-breaker: In the unlikely event of a tie-breaker, the longest single catch from each team is compared. The longest catch wins the tie-breaker. Then the second longest, and so forth.
Variations: Since this event is new, it is a bit experimental. So we definitely appreciate feedback, complaints and suggestions, and it is ok to tweak it if you find something that is broken. Just please talk to us about your tweak-we may include it in future rules. Because it is experimental, some aspects are up to you. For instance a finals round. If you want to do a finals round, it is our initial suggestion that the finals be only the top 2 teams, to give the event a more 'head to head' feel. This will also keep the event time manageable.
One other suggestion for the Team events is that our initial direction is that each person can only be on 2 teams. 1 in their own sex division, and 1 mixed division team. This is the simplest way to approach the question, which WILL come up! However, allowing people to be on more than 1 team may work out. Just be aware that 1 person may end up on teams that face each other, which could be awkward. But again, this is a new event, so this would fall under the category of a 'tweak' that you can experiment with.