Watching the world competition, we see a bunch of moves that make many of us cringe because they go against our handling system. In some cases we say, "Whoa! What was that?! That was sooo cool!"
I found a pretty good article explaining one of those moves we are seeing more and more, the blind cross.
Currently I don't teach students the blind cross. In fact, I teach them not to allow their dog to blind cross. I believe for most of us that the use of the blind cross could in fact confuse a dog and result in off courses more often then not. So I teach a basic handling system, sending a consistent message to your dog.
However, I'm not against the use of the blind cross, I just believe if one is going to use it, they need to add it to the handling system and provide consistent rules. I would want someone to define it's use and when it would be used (as compared to a front cross or rear cross or serp or threadle).
Many times when I see a handler that uses the blind cross, I see dogs switching sides when the handler doesn't expect. So the question comes up, "how does the dog know what side you are expecting them to be on?" How does a handler communicate to the dog, "it is time to switch sides behind me now."
I love watching the videos of the world team running. It is so very exciting. I would describe the courses as very physically demanding (lots of running by the handler) as well as technical (the tight turn is so very important). Straight tunnels to backside of jumps, running contacts almost certainly required, threadles to more threadles, and crazy speed sums it up. Fun!
There is streaming video and results can be found: http://results.agility2012.cz/
But just go on youtube and search or find a friend on facebook that is posting. The runs are simply amazing! Here is the Large USA team placing first place in Jumpers. They ended up in 4th overall!