Directional Distance Movement is one of the Team Elements scored in USDDN Freestyle. Two different types of directional distance movement are defined: Zig-Zags and Around The World. The rules handbook (found here, in its entirety) defines directional distance movement as follows:
Directional Distance Movement: “The team performs tricks consisting of at least 4 consecutive throws whereby the dog catches discs in a plane of space at a distance from the handler, including such movements as zig-zags, circling outruns, and the like.“ A key point of this element is a distance between the player and the dog. But not only distance is important, accuracy is very important, too. The dog should move from disc to disc without going back to the player during Directional Distance Movement and this should be performed in a fluent way. There is no exact distance stated, but at least about five (5) yards between the player and the dog are recommended. However, the distance between the player and the dog doesn’t have to be constant during the whole movement. The player can send the dog further with each throw. Or the dog can come closer to the player with each throw, but in that case it is important that the dog doesn’t get too close to the player.
Note: These elements will be recognized & scored in all disc dog organizations. USDDN is the only organization that defines various freestyle moves, so that is the standard we are discussing.
Danielle O’Neill was kind enough to record this video giving her take on Zig-Zags and Around The World.
First, let’s take a look at Zig-Zags. Here is the USDDN definition.
Zig-Zag: The dog must turn at least 90 degrees after each throw to count as a zig-zag, but 180 degrees is even harder for the dog and will be scored as more difficult. It should be obvious that a dog is performing a learned pattern, not only chasing discs thrown to the left and to the right.
Here is Danielle with one of her newer dogs, demonstrating & discussing the beginnings of a zig-zag.
Here is a video of Steve Chasse & Jackson, showing a finished zig-zag, so you can see it performed by a more experienced team.
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Newer teams are sometimes confused by the difference between a zig-zag and a passing sequence, so here Danielle explains the difference between the two.
Here Danielle & Vibe demonstrate the two maneuvers.
Now let’s look at Around The Worlds. First, here’s the USDDN definition.
Around the world: To score a circling movement as a Directional distance movement, it doesn’t have to be a full 20 circle. If a team is performing running circling movement, it´s still the distance between the player and the dog that is very important in this element. If a player does a big running circle, but the the player and the dog are too close to each other, it´s not a Directional Distance Movement. It should be obvious that a dog is performing a learned pattern.
Danielle & Vibe demonstrate Around the Worlds for us.
Thank you, Danielle, for your help in explaining & demonstrating these moves!
Featured image is (c) Marshall Smith