Transcript for the NAFA® Candidate Chat December 18th, 2011

moderatorHi, this is Dana moderating tonight. Sorry I was a couple of minutes late.
moderatorWe'll wait a couple of minutes to get started.
moderatorSam is flying back from a Nafa flyball demo in Florida and won't be able to join us.
moderatorI think Nancy will be joining us still.
moderatorDale, if you want to start working on your introductory remarks.
moderatorAllright, well, we'll go ahead and get started. Maybe some others will join us later.
moderatorDale, do you want to start with some opening remarks?
Dale.G.SmithThank you to those of you joining this evening or reading the transcript. I appreciate your willingness to be involved and your desire to stay informed. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to continue to serve Nafa in the coming years.
moderatorI don't have any questions submitted yet, so let me get us started. Dale, what areas would you like to see Nafa work on this year?
Dale.G.SmithWe need to continue to grow the sport and keep it relevant to dog owners. I hope we'll continue to find ways to get our sport in front of new audiences and make it easier for people to get involved with their pets. Along similar lines, I'm going to keep working on tools focussed on making it easier to host an event. We need clubs that are willing to host tournaments and if we continue to make it easier for them, I'm hopeful that more clubs will give it a try or maybe even currently hosting clubs will host one more event.
Dale.G.SmithI'll always be involved in the technology areas as well - the website, the Ejs, etc.
moderatorDale, since you mentioned the Ejs, there are some new updates coming out. Can you tell us about those?
Dale.G.SmithSure. We're working with the company that manufactures our Ejs system to add some new features. These new features will be added through software, so we'll be able to update our existing systems with minimal expense. We're making the updates in two waves - the first of which is almost ready to roll out. In the first wave, we'll be adding mainly three new features.
Dale.G.SmithAs some of you may have seen at Canam, we'll have a warmup countdown timer up on the large displays that will allow judges and teams to keep better track of warmup time. The large displays will still show your dog splits during warmup as well. It has been very well received at all the events where we've done testing.
Dale.G.SmithThe second feature is for Veterans racing. The new release will have a "vets mode" that will preset the false start lights for each heat without the judge needing to cycle the lights or the table needs to hit a bunch of buttons. There is one key that enteres Vets mode and one key that exists from it.
Dale.G.SmithThe last feature is really only visible to judges. The judge will have the ability to reset the Ejs from their handswitch. This will help when the table person has to step away for a moment or perhaps isn't paying attention ;-) As before, you can always scroll back on the console to retrieve any heat times that were missed if the judge resets the Ejs.
moderatorI should have started by saying this is Dana Nichols moderating tonight.
Dale.G.SmithThe second wave, which we're just starting work on, will be focussed on improving the interface from the Ejs to tournament scoring programs that people run at events.
Dale.G.SmithMore on that in the future as we work through the changes we'll be adding.
moderatorSam Ford won't be able to join us this evening as he's flying back from Orlando where he did a flyball demo for Nafa.
moderatorDale, one thing we discussed at the last chat were clubs hosting touranments.
moderatorDo you have any suggestions for clubs wanting to host tournaments?
moderatorAnd, perhaps ways you think Nafa could help clubs wanting to host tournaments.
Dale.G.SmithMy first comment would be its not as scary as it would first appear. There are lots of Clubs - and people - out there who are willing to help a Club host a tournament. If you have the lsightest interest in hosting but just don't know where to start, talk to another Club in your area, or talk to your Rd or write to Nafa and we'll help you get started.
Dale.G.SmithWe're trying to develop some tools to help wiuth the mundane administrative tasks like seeding., scheduling, and getting the necessary approvals. We're also trying to get Nafa Flyball to be more visisble to the public so you have an easier time getting news coverage or spectators at your event if you desire.
moderatorHere's an update on the election. All the ballots have been distributed electronically via email. If you haven't received one and believe you should have (club owner, Td, approved or supervising judge, board member), please email us at so we can get your ballot to you. At this point, we've had about 40% of voters vote their ballots. Ballots must be voted no later than January 19, 2011.
moderatorDale, you've served on the Board for many years, how do you think Nafa can improve now?
Dale.G.SmithI'm not sure I can htink of any "revolutionary" thinags that I would advocate for Nafa right now - I think its mostly incremental or evolutionary. We need to continue to manage our money wisely and psend it in ways that benefit our organization and the sport.. We need to continue to make Nafa Flyball visible to the public - and to dog owners in particular. We need to continue to exploit the web and emerging technology to the benefit of Nafa and our sport. We'll continue to fine-tune our rules as new situations arise but again, I can't think of any major changes that I would advocate right now. I think we're doing most of the right things - we need to persist in them and continue to improve.
moderatorWe don't have any further questions, Dale is there anything else you'd like to say in closing?
Dale.G.SmithI'd like to thank Dana and Karen for joining me this evening. I hope a few others will read the transcript and enjoy the comments. I know this election season is a bit different with three openings and three people running - there's no drama. But I think that could be good for us right now and we can get right down to focussing on what Nafa needs this coming year. I hope you all stay safe this holiday season and find some time to spend with family, friends and those you cherish. I'm looking forward to the new year abd the new opportunities it will bring. Stay safe and good racing. Merry Christmas and G'nite
moderatorThank you. We'll go ahead and close the chat transcript there.