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Author Topic : AKC agility FAST class
 Everdale Goldens
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9/20/2013 10:48:00 AM reply with quote send message to Everdale Goldens Object to Post  

Can anyone give me some more information or advice about competing in this class? I have competed in standard and jww but I've never tried this class. I guess I am confused because I have seen people just do jumps and Q but some people do contacts and/or weaves. I have been trying to research it a bit. What are the actual requirements and how do you Q? Thanks! happy :)
 YukonGoldECS
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9/20/2013 8:23:59 PM reply with quote send message to YukonGoldECS Object to Post

Fast is my most favorite class in AKC. You can do whatever # of obstacles. Each obstacle has a point value from single jumps are usually worth 1. In order to qualify you must complete a distance challenge. In novice it's 5 feet, usually 2 obstacles, most often a jump to a tunnel or two jumps. When you successfully complete the distance challenge you earn a send bonus which is 20 points. You need to earn a total of 50 points in novice. So you'd need to accumulate 30 plus the send bonus to qualify. There are 80 points available on the course. I hope that sort of explains it.
 PixelPups
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9/20/2013 11:33:58 PM reply with quote send message to PixelPups Object to Post

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FAST is my favorite class too. There are basically two parts to the class. One part is the "send", a distance challenge. The dog has to do the obstacles that the judge designates, in order, while the handler stays behind a line on the ground. Novice has 2 obstacles and the line is not far away. Open has 3 obstacles with a farther away line, and Masters has 3 obstacles with an off-course opportunity and even more distance!

The other part of the class is accumulating points. There are 6 1-point jumps, and the 9 remaining obstacles are worth 2-10 points each. Each obstacle can only be taken once for points. (Except, the 1-point jumps can be taken more than once. But you can only earn a total of 6 points from single-point jumps.)

So you get to design your own course in this class, which I like! I know my dog can do 12-14 obstacles in the time allotted, so I plan a path that gets me enough points and incorporates the send. At the end, you go over a specific finish jump that stops your time.

It doesn't matter when you do the send, as long as you get it done before the time ends. If your dog has not completed the final obstacle before the buzzer goes off you can't qualify. This means all 4 feet on the ground after the final obstacle.

If you don't take the finish jump before the buzzer goes off when time ends, you start LOSING one point per second until you stop the clock by taking the finish jump!

I really like the strategy involved, and getting to design a path that works for my dog. Try it, you may like it!

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Last edited by PixelPups on 9/20/2013 11:39:24 PM
 Everdale Goldens
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9/21/2013 9:31:35 AM reply with quote send message to Everdale Goldens Object to Post

Thank you both for explaining! happy :) I think I'm still confused about the send part. I watched 2 videos on youtube and it looks pretty simple but I'm not sure if it actually is lol. In the first video the dog just did a tunnel, jumps, and weave poles in a simple U shaped pattern. Although I think I saw something about a pink box and the dog had to do the 2 jumps without the handler in the pink box. Is that correct? In the second video the dog just did jumps. So is this all you need to do to qualify?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4JMNjGXo8Y
www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6opZOYvgeI
 griffin
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9/21/2013 6:44:09 PM reply with quote send message to griffin Object to Post

this post has been edited 1 time(s)

quote
posted by Everdale Goldens
Although I think I saw something about a pink box and the dog had to do the 2 jumps without the handler in the pink box. Is that correct?
yes, and there should have been a similar thing in the second video but it is hard to see because there are so many lines on the ground in that one.

quote
posted by Everdale Goldens
In the second video the dog just did jumps. So is this all you need to do to qualify?

The dog also did a tunnel and somewhere in there (I think the wall-jump tunnel combination but not sure) was a distance challenge too that the dog had to complete. Depending on the course and which obstacles are available it may be possible to get enough points just doing jumps other times it might not be - or is very difficult to do. The fun of these classes is the very flexible rules, you just have to get enough points and complete the distance challenge in the time allotted you can get those points by completing any combination of obstacles you wish so if there are enough jumps out there to get enough points and you just want to do jumps that is what you can do, OTOH if your dog really likes weaves you can do weaves, if they really like contacts you can do contacts.

Generally the distance/send challenge is really easy in Novice (you barely have to do anything different from how you would normally run), Open is still straight forward but you can actually tell you're farther away than you normally would be, and Excellent can be quite hard.

My advice would be to look up a few example courses online first and practice finding paths that get you enough points. I personally love these types of classes because you can usually find a really nice flowing course if you put a little thought into it.

grif,

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Last edited by griffin on 9/21/2013 6:44:26 PM
 PixelPups
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9/21/2013 6:50:59 PM reply with quote send message to PixelPups Object to Post

I watched both videos (in fact, I was at the trial the first one was filmed at LOL!).

The first one is easier to see the send part, it is just 2 jumps and the handler outside the pink line. Her course was very straightforward, and yes Novice FAST can be that easy. Points were 4-1-1-5-6 (bonus 20 for getting the send of 5-6 correctly) 1-10-9 for a total of 57. Only 50 needed to qualify in Novice so it's a Q!

For the second video, I would say it is uncommon to be able to get enough points without contacts or weaves but obviously it is not impossible. There was a tire, double jump and a triple jump that are frequently worth more points.

I think in some ways it is easier to see FAST from a map rather than videos so here is a map from today's trial I was at.


This map has the aframe used twice for points, different points each direction. You can't take the same obstacle twice in a row though, so you have to have at least one obstacle between getting 8 and 10 points. Also, in this case you can take the send either direction, but that is not always the case.

For this course, if you get the send correctly you get 6+9+20 for a total of 35. Since you need at least 50 to Q, you need to get 15 points outside the send. So you can plan a course to get the minimum to qualify, or try to get lots of points! (80 is the most you can get.)

 PixelPups
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9/21/2013 6:59:10 PM reply with quote send message to PixelPups Object to Post

Actually I see you could qualify in this one with just jumps too. 4,5 and 3 are jumps for 12 points and just 3 more single pointers would get your 15, plus the send is just jumps.

I have had an aframe and even 6 weave poles on Novice sends though, so you never know what you might get in Novice. It isn't always jumps!
 griffin
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9/22/2013 2:42:41 AM reply with quote send message to griffin Object to Post

Oooh that is a nice course, I've found a very flowy route worth 64 points and a slightly less nice one worth 68. But then I'm very competitive so I'm not satisfied with just Qing wink ;)

grif,
 Everdale Goldens
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9/22/2013 7:29:56 AM reply with quote send message to Everdale Goldens Object to Post

Thank you griffin & Pixel Pups!! happy :) I really appreciate all of your help and thank you so much for posting that course map! I agree it really helps to see a map. happy :)

I am planning on entering my next trial soon. I was just going to enter Open JWW but I thought if I could do Novice FAST as well that would be fun. I'll have to find some more course maps and see if maybe I should try entering. I'm so used to doing the exact course that we are supposed to do so I'm not sure how I would do making up my own course and making sure we get enough points! Thanks again! happy :)
 Ixion
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10/1/2013 11:45:22 AM reply with quote send message to Ixion Object to Post

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I say definitly try FAST at your next trial!! happy :) I have a couple other people I talk with who also compete in FAST that I ask for opinions of how to get up to the minium points needed, everyone has always been easy to talk to. I like FAST over the other distance games because I can complete the bonus whenever is the best time, vs at the end like USDAA. I wpersonally was intimated with the FAST class at first but I've grown to really like it! It's actually Taboo's favorite class. She LOVES distance work and is so proud of herself (and I'm proud of her, lol) when she completes the distance portion of the FAST course. We breezed through both Novice and Open FAST. I have her entered in Excellent FAST for the first time here in November. We'll see how it goes, LOL!! What I like about the FAST class is I can work on making a really fast, flowy course for Taboo with mostly jumps & tunnels. The biggest issue I've found with the send line is to remember to back up a couple steps if I send her into something like a tunnel, so I can give her another push/out command up to the line. The couple FAST courses we didn't Q on, was my fault for not being able to make my body language clear to Taboo for what I wanted without stepping over the line. happy :) Unfortunitly I do not have any videos of Taboo and I competing in FAST.

Here is a photo of Taboo and I in an open FAST class.....but if you see there is a cone next to the double jump, the 10 meant that the double jump was worth 10 points. happy :) You can see the pink tape for the send line. If I remember right the send bonus was 2 tunnels and a single jump.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/882947_4483924506402_686151277_o.jpg

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Last edited by Ixion on 10/1/2013 11:50:46 AM
 Everdale Goldens
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10/2/2013 9:08:17 AM reply with quote send message to Everdale Goldens Object to Post

Thank you for posting! happy :) I actually just sent my entry in for my next trial and I didn't enter FAST this time. I decided I will try to watch it at my next trial so I can get a better idea and then I will enter it for the next trial! happy :) Sounds like a lot of fun and I definitely want to give it a try.

So there are cones in front of each obstacle that tells you how many points the obstacle is?
 
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10/2/2013 10:45:31 AM reply with quote send message to Object to Post edit post

quote
posted by Everdale Goldens

So there are cones in front of each obstacle that tells you how many points the obstacle is?

Usually yes but I don't recommend using them while running unless you have a REALLY slow dog. You are best off getting the course maps and drawing on what course people take. -> it is very hard to see how it works from the side lines otherwise. Depending on how rigid the judge is you might beable to do the walk through even if you aren't running.

For picking a course there are basically two strategies:
1) find the course that will get the most points you can.
2) find the course that you think your dog would enjoy running.

Once you get good at it you'll start doing both simultaneously.

Here is a website full of course maps you browse through: agilitycoursemaps.com/CourseMap.aspx/Index/AKC

If anyone wants to scare themselves, they can have a look at the AAC courses (Gamble is the rough equivalent to FAST) - they are noticable harder than AKC - but I assure you dogs do complete them successfully so have faith that you can manage AKC FAST.

grif,
 Everdale Goldens
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10/2/2013 3:55:32 PM reply with quote send message to Everdale Goldens Object to Post

Lol yes wouldn't be able to use them when running the course, I just meant for the walk through. Oh that's a good idea about drawing the course that people take. I will try to do that at my next trial. Yes I might be able to do a walk through even if I'm not running. I always wonder if they will notice but I could ask permission first. wink :)

Thanks for posting that link and thank you again for the advice! Much appreciated. happy :)
 Ixion
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10/3/2013 11:32:34 AM reply with quote send message to Ixion Object to Post

Yes, all the obstacles have cones in front of them with their point value. I usually bring a pen and play with different course options and add up how many points are available, then choose which one Taboo would like the best. Then I walk the course I picked using the course map to follow my path and see if I like it as much as I did on paper, lol. Then I alter it as need be. With my next agility dog, I'll probably go more for the points value with....but with Taboo I pick easy, flowy courses....since the technical aspect of Excellent JWW/Standard gets to her. It's fun seeing her eyes light up when she gets to go really fast and not make a lot of hard turns. razz :p
 sscressa11
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10/3/2013 12:24:42 PM reply with quote send message to sscressa11 Object to Post

Depending on who you are watching... I know countless people who consider FAST as a training class. Since it doesn't count towards their MACH or qualifying for nationals.
FAST is the class you can try out news handling moves at a competition and "work" your dog without suffering any consequences. If your dog is having issues on an aspect of a competition(for example obstacle issues) and you need to work on it at a trial... FAST is a great class for that. It can provides a nice practice run before you actually run in std or jww.

Hope I didn't confuse you more.
 Everdale Goldens
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10/3/2013 2:30:25 PM reply with quote send message to Everdale Goldens Object to Post

quote
posted by Ixion
Yes, all the obstacles have cones in front of them with their point value. I usually bring a pen and play with different course options and add up how many points are available, then choose which one Taboo would like the best. Then I walk the course I picked using the course map to follow my path and see if I like it as much as I did on paper, lol. Then I alter it as need be. With my next agility dog, I'll probably go more for the points value with....but with Taboo I pick easy, flowy courses....since the technical aspect of Excellent JWW/Standard gets to her. It's fun seeing her eyes light up when she gets to go really fast and not make a lot of hard turns. razz :p
Yes that's a great idea. I'll definitely get the course map at my next trial and watch the different paths that people take. Should be fun! happy :)
 Everdale Goldens
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10/3/2013 2:31:32 PM reply with quote send message to Everdale Goldens Object to Post

quote
posted by sscressa11
Depending on who you are watching... I know countless people who consider FAST as a training class. Since it doesn't count towards their MACH or qualifying for nationals.
FAST is the class you can try out news handling moves at a competition and "work" your dog without suffering any consequences. If your dog is having issues on an aspect of a competition(for example obstacle issues) and you need to work on it at a trial... FAST is a great class for that. It can provides a nice practice run before you actually run in std or jww.

Hope I didn't confuse you more.

Oh ok that makes sense and that's good to know. happy :) Sounds like a fun class and I can't wait to try it! I'm kinda wishing I entered it at my next trial but I guess it's a good idea to watch closely first. wink :)

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