Chris Perondi & Flashy Ferrari
Freestyle is an event in Skyhoundz Championships (Local, Regional Qualifiers, Open Qualifiers, International Qualifiers, European Championship, and the World Championship). Pairs Freestyle is an event in Skyhoundz Championships (Regional Qualifiers, Open Qualifiers, International Qualifiers, European Championship, and the World Championship). Freestyle is also an event in Skyhoundz DiscDogathon Qualifiers and the Skyhoundz DiscDogathon World Championship.
To get an idea of what Freestyle is all about, the video shown above is one of the top performances from the '10 Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship. Chris Perondi & Flashy Ferrari scored 38 out of a possible 40 points in this Freestyle round.
Freestyle is a free-form, choreographed, routine scored by judges using the Skyhoundz PAWS judging system with an emphasis on success, variety, innovation, and the athletic skills of the canine and thrower.
Competing teams will receive scores ranging from 1-10, in half-point increments, for each of the following four categories:
The team’s presentation of a crowd-pleasing routine with exciting choreography, continuous flow, good disc management and smooth transitions.
Intensity and athleticism in completing catches, tricks or maneuvers together with a dog’s speed, quickness, leaping ability relative to its size and control over his/her body while competing.
Ability to successfully complete challenging tricks or moves, including successful catches of throws with varied spins or releases. Also, the presentation of completely new moves, or a novel or unique presentation of a previously performed move, will result in higher scores in this category.
The team’s ability to successfully execute a routine with specific consideration given for the difficulty of the throws/catches and tricks. A team's overall success score will affect, positively or negatively, the scores in all PAWS categories. In this category, it is entirely possible for a team with a few misses to score higher than a team with no misses if the team having the misses completes a more difficult routine.
Judges will disregard tricks that do not begin or conclude with a disc in flight except roller throws. Takes — moves in which a disc is handed off to the dog – will not be scored.
Under the Skyhoundz PAWS scoring system, judges will evaluate each team’s ability to cleanly execute a challenging, varied and exciting routine within the time allotted. Although there are specific categories that focus on execution (Success) and difficulty (Wow!Factor), a failure to score well in either of these categories may impact a competitor’s scores in all of the PAWS categories. This is because the judges must account for differences between the routines of the competitors that are competing on a given day.
For example, even if two competitors have perfect rounds they will not necessarily each receive a score of 10 in the Success category. Instead, the more difficult routine will typically receive a higher score in Success than the simpler routine. Similarly, if two competitors have equally difficult rounds, it is likely that the competitor with fewer misses will receive the higher score in the Wow!Factor category.
Vaults, utilizing the trainer’s body as a launch pad, should be minimized or excluded from routines altogether. If attempted, vaults should be performed in a controlled and safe manner. Excessive height, or frequent repetition of vaults, will not increase the likelihood of a higher score. Vaults are not required for success in Hyperflite Skyhoundz competitions. A vault is to be valued no differently than any other trick of similar difficulty. Many World Championship titles have been won with vault-free routines or with vaults minimized.
Teams competing in Freestyle will receive a maximum of 90 seconds per round (at all levels of competition/in all competition series). Routines must last at least 60 seconds to be scored. Competitors in Freestyle are permitted to use up to five discs. Timing begins when the disc is placed in flight, or the canine attempts to catch or pick-up a disc placed on the ground, or takes the disc from any part of a thrower’s or canine’s body. Countdown of time remaining will be uniform for all competitors: 60 seconds, 30 seconds, 10 seconds and time.
Contestants who bring their own music should present it to contest officials when called to the on-deck area. Music should be on a CD (compact disc) that is marked with the competitor’s name and desired track number. This information should also be noted on the outside of the CD case. Contestants must choose music that is suitable for a family audience.
The Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship Series is family entertainment at its finest. Families with young children attend many Skyhoundz events as competitors and spectators. A Youth Division is now part of the Skyhoundz Series. Accordingly, any musical selection, choreography, or costumes chosen by a competitor, to be used in conjunction with a Skyhoundz Freestyle routine, should be free of offensive, suggestive, or inappropriate language or themes. If you wouldn't expect to see or hear it at Disney World, you shouldn't include it in your routine at a Skyhoundz event. Please note that this rule also applies to international competitors competing with music that is in a language other than that of the Skyhoundz host country.
Competitors are responsible for previewing their music to prevent any inappropriate or profane language (even the milder words) from being played. International competitors competing at the Skyhoundz World Championship, for whom English is not a first language, should have their English-language musical selection previewed by a trusted English-speaking individual to ensure adherence to the requirements of this rule. Please do not assume that song tracks not marked as explicit, if purchased from an online music source, will be acceptable. Listen to your selection carefully. When in doubt, leave it out!
Failure to adhere to the Mickey rule, in the sole discretion of Skyhoundz, will result in administrative actions up to and including immediate disqualification, suspension from future competitions, and/or vacation of any award or qualification slot earned at an event where the competitor's conduct violates the spirit of this rule.
Freestyle Tie-Breaker If there is a tie for first, second, or third place, the tie will be broken by the following criteria, as necessary: 1) The team with the highest combined scores in the Athleticism and Wow!Factor categories, 2) A Snapshot round will take place with each team alternating turns and receiving ten seconds in which to demonstrate their strongest trick or cluster of tricks. Order of competition will be determined by a coin toss. The timekeeper will announce the start of Snapshot when each competitor signals his or her readiness to begin. The judges will then declare a winner based on their impressions of the overall quality of the Snapshot performances.
As the name implies, Pairs Freestyle is essentially choreographed Freestyle employing two throwers and one canine.
With the safety of the canine always in mind, Pairs Freestyle teams demonstrate interesting variations on multiples, simultaneous throws, cross-feeding (i.e., alternating) throws to a canine, etc. Always exciting to watch, Pairs Freestyle offers endless possibilities for innovation and teamwork and doubles the fun for competing canines.
We believe that Pairs Freestyle is safer than an event in which two teams, each with a canine, are simultaneously working on a field. It has been our experience that canines, especially in the hands of inexperienced novice teams, are injured this way in greater frequency than in any other disc related activity. With Pairs Freestyle, the possibility of a canine-to-canine entanglement is eliminated.
That said, even though an additional thrower is involved, Pairs Freestyle routines should feature the substantial involvement of the canine. In other words, the judges are looking for routines that aren’t merely human Freestyle routines with an occasional throw to the canine team member.
Throwing from human-to-human, though regarded as a transfer, could potentially impact the various applicable scoring categories. In other words, if a transfer is executed cleanly and adds to the routine, it could positively impact a team’s score. A miss might have the opposite impact. Although transfers not involving the competing canine certainly could be an interesting and exciting component of a pairs routine, human-to-human throwing interaction should be balanced so as to highlight the significant involvement of the canine. Always, the emphasis will be on the canine.
In Pairs Freestyle, all the same rules for Freestyle apply with two exceptions. Competitors are allowed up to 10 discs and the category Teamwork (1-10 points) is added to the PAWS Freestyle scoring categories.
Teamwork takes into consideration the relationship, choreography, field use, and fluidity of movement of the team during the routine.
Pairs Freestyle Tie-Breaker If there is a tie for first, or second place, the tie will be broken by the following criteria, as necessary: 1) The team with the highest combined scores in the Athleticism and Wow!Factor categories from the Freestyle Round(s), 2) A Snapshot round will take place with each team alternating turns and receiving ten seconds in which to demonstrate their strongest trick or cluster of tricks. Order of competition will be determined by a coin toss. The timekeeper will announce the start of Snapshot when each competitor signals his or her readiness to begin. The judges will then declare a winner based on their impressions of the overall quality of the Snapshot performances.