The blogosphere is talking about Internationalism in the world of agility. Check out all of the blogs at: http://dogagilityblogevents.wordpress.com/internationalization/
There are more USA world teams competing right now then ever before. The FCI, the IFCS, The WAO...so many I can't keep them straight. In addition, the European Open is available to anyone that wants to go. If you want to compete internationally and you have the dog, the skills, and the money...the opportunities are endless.
With this exposure, ideas start to creep into our training as trainers and mentors seek to improve their own competitive levels. In many ways, I think that our foundation training has greatly improved as we see what it takes to be competitive at the higher levels of international competition. There are more online classes, videos, exposure to top handlers/dogs which make high level agility training available to everyone.
We can't help but be influenced by ideas in course design and choices in handling in response to what we see on video coming from Europe. I love the challenge of a course that I have no idea how I'm going to get through.
On the other hand, I don't really see many European middle aged women with bad knees running those international courses. All this focus on having the tightest turns,being at the jump to manage turns, the biggest jumpers, the newest handling ideas...might that be taking the fun out of the sport for the 97% of people that will never run outside of their own state?
I think the next few years of agility are going to be very interesting, I'll be looking carefully for the "Middle aged woman who isn't in the best of shape just coming back from knee replacement surgery" class .... I know it will be coming soon to an agility venue near me (if the agility organizations want to make any money). In the meantime, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and have a blast with my dogs.