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Czech competitions

 

Many of the competitions that we’ve gone to over the past five seasons have been organized by the Czech DiscDog Club. Recently I was asked by an American why I like Czech competitions so much. This post is an attempt to answer that question.

 

I should start by saying that if I had regular sponsorship to cover the costs of travel, I’d happily go to a competition every weekend, all over Europe, any country, any format.  However, there’s only so much my personal budget can support. And so I have to make choices. And it’s been my experience that we get the best bang for the buck, or the best disc for the dollar (actually, euro and Czech crown), in the Czech Republic.

Why? Here’s what keeps us coming back for more:

  • good organization
  • good judging
  • nice people and enjoyable company
  • very high level of play–Czech events consistently attract a large number of competitors, including many of Europe’s best, from both within the Czech Republic as well as outside it. It’s always a pleasure to watch such teams play, and if we do well in that company, it’s something to be justifiably proud of.
  • at the same time, it’s a fun, friendly, healthy atmosphere. People don’t obsess over results, and although I’m sure the Czechs also have their own internal quarrels, it’s a remarkably inclusive and welcoming community compared to the situation in many other countries.
  • they’re two days, so you get a full weekend of fun and time with your dogs
  • they offer a nice mixture of disciplines: specifically, freestyle weekends featuring freestyle + minidistance, and distance weekends, with dogdartbee, minidistance, quadruped, and parallel time trial. Also sometimes some extra stuff, like weave pole races. Oh, and beer races. :P

 

  • they’re usually held in attractive locations where your dogs can enjoy a relaxing walk and even a refreshing swim in the immediate vicinity
  • good food and drink are generally available on site at affordable prices
  • camping is cheap or free
  • there’s no cut rule in freestyle and minidistance. I hate cut rules! But that’s a subject for another blog post.
  • easy online registration and you can immediately see everyone who’s entered
  • full results are posted within a day, indeed even within hours, of the conclusion of the event. (I’m still waiting for results to be posted for a competition I went to in another country three months ago…)
  • archiving of results in one easy to access place (click)
  • a freestyle championship for which teams need to pre-qualify. You want to play in the championship, you have to qualify your dog first earlier in the season. Since I have three (and have qualified then all, each year that the rule has applied), and it’s hard to qualify all of them at one event, we keep going back. I mean, we would probably go anyway, because it’s fun, but that’s an added incentive.
  • a cup series, with points that accumulate over the whole season. Also an added incentive. And those standings are also updated promptly (click).
  • the opportunity to have your freestyle performances filmed in slow motion by DogSports.cz. Like this one:

 

Maybe there are a few more things (feel free to add your own in comments), but those are the main ones I can think of.

The biggest shortcoming as far as I’m concerned is the distance I have to travel to get there, especially given the rising cost of gas. :( Which is why we are not at Jihlava right now.

I’m not sure how this will affect our standing in the Czech Discdog Cup; Oli won it last year (BB was third) and has been leading this year, but we need another distance competition to stay competitive (points are taken from 3 freestyle weekends and 2 distance). Originally the distance competition for this weekend was scheduled to be held just over the Austrian border. It would have been the least driving I’d ever had to do to get to a Czech competition, closer even than Brno. Then the venue was moved to a more distant town and, well, it just became unattainable for us given our current situation.

There is one more opportunity this season, at Bye-bye Summer at the end of October, but that’s even further than Jihlava and more expensive, too, due to the cost of accommodation. And I’ll probably have even less money then than I do now. So it’s quite a long shot, but maybe we’ll be able to manage it.

 

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