A short post about Snooker Super Qs in USDAA

Yesterday I had the following random string of thoughts enter my mind: The reason USDAA added Super Qs to the criteria to earn an ADCH (Championship Title) is because people were just getting the necessary 37 points and leaving the ring with Snooker Qs, which indicates to me that USDAA Snooker courses tend to be too easy.  However, instead of making courses more challenging via course design or reducing SCT (Standard Course Times), which would make qualifying more difficult, USDAA opted to invent the Super Q.

This might have been a smart business decision since competitors need to enter a lot more Snooker classes to get their three required Super Qs which means that USDAA is potentially earning more money from each loyal competitor.  Or it could have been a stupid business decision if USDAA has been losing large numbers of potential competitors who run 22″ or 26″ non-BC breeds because most people are smart enough to realize their non-BC dogs are going to have to run A LOT of Snooker courses to get three Super Qs competing against a gazillion BCs.  I think most people also realize it is within the realm of possibility that they may never get two Super Qs, even with a nice running dog, and thus could spend years and thousands of dollars competing in USDAA and never earn a Championship title.

I recall a woman standing ringside after her Snooker run in tears, as she watched a BC team earn one more point than she had earned with her dog.  She was totally distraught that her great running (and fast) Golden was not going to earn an ADCH due to not being able to get her Super Qs in the highly competitive 22″ class.  She had spent two years trying to get those Super Qs to no avail and said had she been able to do it over again, she would have stopped competing in USDAA as soon as they implemented the Super Q rule and competed elsewhere.  I felt bad for her and said something lame like “You might still get a Super Q” to which she responded that it was unlikely to happen due to her dog’s age.

The same situation applies, but to a far lesser degree, with 8″ Performance dogs because the 8″ class is usually / always combined with the 12″ class due to there being so few 8″ dogs competing in USDAA.  Incidentally P12 dogs can be as tall as 15 15/16″ so there is quite a spread of heights between dogs who measure 9-10″ to dogs who measure nearly 16″ tall.  However, one advantage mini-P dogs have is since classes are so tiny to start, everyone tends to know everyone else and lets just say, people know who needs a Super Q and who does not.

In the video above, the second run is of my 3-year-old Australian Terrier, Lil running Snooker at our last USDAA Trial (a year ago).  I had already stopped running my dogs over USDAA’s higher A-Frame prior to this trial, and since the A-Frame was obstacle #4 in the closing we had only one way to earn 38 points by getting four 7s in the opener.   It was a  fun course to run and Lil did a great job bypassing all those obstacles to get all four 7s.  Of course we didn’t earn a Super Q with 38 points but I’m glad I stuck to my guns about not running my dog over that higher A-frame just to get a Super Q (not that a Super Q was guaranteed).

Follow up on my decision to stop running my dogs over USDAA’ higher A-Frame.  Since only running Lil over 5′ A-Frames for the past year, she has developed a nice, consistent striding pattern that looks comfortable and safe. I’m so glad I made that decision!

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