Sunday, February 22, 2009

Seeing the Point-Time Estimation Method in Action

Using "Magic Points" can easily help you with a Time Gamble.

Here is the USDAA DAM/PVP Time Gamble from Mark Wirant at Good Dog Agility in Tempe, AZ. In a nutshell, the ideal time to cross the finish jump was between 30.01 and 31 seconds in a 1-2-3-5 system.
A couple of considerations:

  1. In a 1-2-3-5 system, the value of the contacts and weaves, unless one is the 5-point obstacle, is not much compared to the jumps and round things. It is to your advantage in a 1-2-3-5 system to get the 5-point obstacle twice, and focus on round things (tire and tunnel). Round things and jumps are cheap and fast, usually faster than contacts and weaves.
  2. Tire is always your friend! It is fast and easy, and worth more points than a regular jump.
I ran this with my older, very consistent dog, Scout. She has a fast A-Frame, and, as luck would have it, that was the 5-point obstacle. I stressed because I wanted the tire twice but could not work that into a nice flow. I planned for 14-15 magic points, with the option of taking the tunnels on the left twice, depending on her speed.

I did a couple of things I would not normally do: 3 back-to-back obstacles. I did, however, allow Scout to safely exit the obstacle and nicely turn around to re-perform it.

Because of her speed on the tunnel-jump sequence that EVERYONE took on the exit, I opted to toss in a back-to-back tunnel by the exit jump.

Finish time: 30.30 seconds.
Opening Points: 28
Gamble Points: 15
Placement: 1st, P16 (my partner finished at 30.36 with extra jumps - the double the wrong direction, and a dropped bar), and highest in PVP Class

The following was my strategy, red text shows the sequence numbering and magic points, blue shows the obstacle values:


Anonymous said...

Wow, outstanding analysis! But since I'm not an Engineer (more the artsy type), can you explain the magic points and why they are different than the 1-2-3-5 point value system?


AgilityEngineer said...

I suggest you read all my posts tagged "Gamblers" and "Time Gamble". All of these include how to mathematically determine magic points, a point system based on the time it takes for a dog to get to and execute an obstacle. It's a fast way of figuring out where you will be when the horn blows in gamblers.