Reports & News - Pigeonsport in the Netherlands (2)
My previous contribution was about the organization of the different type of flights, short distance versus one day long distance and longer, and flights with an international field of contestants, that are organized in the Netherlands. This contribution is about the national competitions in the Netherlands.
I must tell you in advance that, unfortunately, these competitions are not always fair. This has to do with the fact that the sections themselves decide on the number of flights on their flight program. For example, in most components competitions the ten best prizes from a pigeon are important. Then, of course, it makes a big difference if a pigeon has the opportunity to participate in 18 or 23 flights to choose those 10 best prizes from. Also, there is no nationwide system for 'training' pigeons, pigeons that use the race for training and are not clocked. In many sections these pigeons are not in the results, but there are also sections where these pigeons do count for the result. The racing pigeons from those sections automatically get better points. An example: Section A has 3.000 pigeons in the race and 3.000 training pigeons are also released but they do not participate in the race. A 15th prize will then be sufficient for a coefficient of 0.5. Section B officially has 6.000 pigeons in the race but in reality there are only 3.000 pigeons that compete against each other, the other 3.000 pigeons only used the race as a training and will not be clocked, however, the race officially had 6.000 pigeons. The15th prize than is sufficient for a coefficient of 0.25 which is a lot better. Unfortunately this is, at present, the situation in the Netherlands, the sections set their own interest for the national interest. This situation can also not be seen separately from the fact that the biggest names come from the same sections regularly. It is easier to reach the top in a section with a large number of flights on the program and with the number of training pigeons added to the number of racing pigeons!
Other things like wind and location of course play a large role, but we have much less influence on them!
The most prestigious competition in the Netherlands is the national loft and pigeon championship organized by NPO. In this competition the number of flights is equal for all contestants, this makes it a reasonably fair competition compared to other, commercial, competitions. Not taken into account, unfortunately, are the different ways in which sections deal with training pigeons. Each section on their own determines how to deal with training pigeons in the result of flight. The NPO-direction sees no reason to take steps in this matter.
The national loft and pigeon championship (in Dutch: “Nationaal NPO kampioenschap duif en hok”) is held for the following flight categories: (categories also in Dutch, for your convience, when looking through flight results in Dutch)
vitesse (short distance, 100-300 km)
midfond (middle distance 300-500 km)
jonge duiven (young pigeons 100-500 km)
eendaagse fond (one day long distance, 500-800 km)
marathon middaglossing (marathon afternoon release, ± 800-1.000 km)
marathon ochtendlossing (marathon morning release, ± 800-1.000 km)
For vitesse, middle distance and young pigeons the contestants submit their best 4 results, results achieved in a “samenspel” (a sub section level, consisting of a few clubs situated in a small region) out of 5 flights.
For the championship for one day long distance races also the best 4 results out of 5 flights are submitted.
For the loft marathon championships with afternoon release the best 4 results out of 5 National multiple day long distance races are submitted (for the pigeon Championship 3 out of 5).
For the pigeon marathon championships with afternoon release the best 3 results out of 5 National flights are submitted.
For the loft and pigeon marathon championship with a morning release only the best result of one flight is submitted. It is hard to take this specific competition serious. However, the sections believe that one flight with a morning release is enough, despite the results from a survey held under marathon fanciers.
In all national championships the prize ratio is 1:4, in the loft championships as well as in the pigeon championships.
The national loft championship consists of a non-appointed part and from an appointed part. For the non-appointed part applies: the best result from every 10 prize winning pigeon. As from 2012 for the non-appointed part, only the first twenty pigeons of the race entry list are eligible. This new rule is in favor of fanciers who race with a lot of pigeons. For them it is noticeably easier to make a good score by placing their best pigeons first on the race entry list, even if they enter the race with 400 pigeons. For the appointed part applies: the average number of points of 2 clocked pigeons from the first 3 pigeons on the race entry list, so when the first 3 pigeons from the entry list each win prize, the points of the 2 fastest pigeons are averaged. In the case of 2 out of the first 3 pigeons from the entry list winning prize, their points are averaged. (This is also true when the race is entered with only 2 pigeons). When only 1 of the first 3 pigeons from the entry list is clocked, then the points obtained by this pigeon is, as in the foregoing divided by two (the other pigeon has 0 points), this also the case when the race is entered with only 1 pigeon. The average number of points gathered in the non-appointed part is added to the average number of points gathered in the appointed part.
Submission of the results is not necessary; all fanciers automatically take part in the national championships.
WHZB is an abbreviation for “Wie heeft ze beter?”, in English: “Who has them better?”. WHZB is the oldest competition in Netherlands, it was started in 1958. Until 2011 the competition was organized by “Neerlands Postduiven Orgaan” a weekly magazine for pigeon fanciers. The magazine is bankrupt, but the competition still exists. Fortunately, several years before the bankruptcy, the organization of this competition has been housed in a foundation.
WHZB is a beautiful competition with eleven categories. Unfortunately, it is true that in five of these categories the location of the loft also influences the chances of winning the competition considerably. That has everything to do with the number of flights that in which points can be earned. The calculation is as follows:
- Best vitesse pigeon (V flights)
Points are calculated from the best 4 results of an individual pigeon in the official vitesse flights.
- Best middle distance pigeon (M flights)
Points are calculated from the best 4 results of an individual pigeon in the official middle distance flights.
- Best one day long distance pigeon (E flights)
Points are calculated from the best 3 results of an individual pigeon in the official one day long distance flights.
- Best young pigeon (J flights)
Points are calculated from the best 5 results of an individual pigeon in the official young pigeon flights.
- Best “natoer” pigeon (N flights)
In the Netherlands the flight season ends with the “natoer”, short distance flights (flight season begins also with short distance flights). Points are calculated from the best 3 results of an individual pigeon in the official “natoer” flights.
- Best ZLU pigeon (ZLU flights)
Points are calculated from the best 2 results of an individual pigeon in the official ZLU flights.
- Best cock/Best hen
Cocks must have won, in the official flights of their section, at least twelve prizes or the sum of the distances in the flights in which they won prize must be at least 3.000 kilometer, these kilometers are called “prize kilometers”. There is a maximum of 18 prizes or 6.000 kilometers in which a prize was won. When more than 18 prizes were won and more than 6.000 kilometers in which prize was won, the best 18 results are taken, when necessary also the best results leading to prizes on 6.000 kilometer are taken into account.
- Best hen
Like best cock.
- Best ace pigeon
Pigeons (old pigeons, cocks and hens) must have won, in the official flights of their section, at least ten prizes at a prize ratio of 1:10, the sum of the distances in these flights must be at least 2.000 kilometer. When more than 10 prizes are submitted the 10 best results are selected.
- Best fancier
The title “Best fancier” is won as follows. To calculate the average number of points, the flight (in a period of the flight season) at which a fancier entered the largest number of pigeons is important. For every five pigeons that entered the race, the fancier needs one pigeon that has won at least 8 prizes or the sum of the distances in the flights in which it won prize must be at least 2.500 kilometers. In the calculation of the average also the “rest pigeons” are taken into the calculation, but only for the part they are of one pigeon.
An example: A fancier has entered a race with all his racers, 34 pigeons. To be eligible to win the title he needs to have 34:5 = 6.8, thus 7 pigeons that won enough prizes. The points from the 6 best pigeons are added to 0.8 times the points of the seventh pigeon, than the average is taken (dividing by 6.8). All prizes and prize kilometers have to be earned on the official program of the section in which the loft of the fancier is located.
The race results are awarded with points, this is the case in all categories. The pigeon with the highest amount of points is the winner in its category. Each prize in a flight is awarded with 1000.5 points. From these points a certain amount of points is subtracted. The amount of subtracted points depends on the prize that has been won in that flight, the amount of subtracted points is called “subtract points”. The subtract points are calculated as follows: prize won x 5.000 / number of pigeons in the race. An example: prize 45 against 3.872 pigeons leads to 45 x 5.000 / 3872 = 58.1095 subtract points (rounded to 58.110). In the categories “Best cock”, “Best hen” and “Best fancier” added to the points is the sum of the prize kilometers with a maximum of 6000 kilometers.
Since 2011 all fanciers automatically take part in the competition, it is no longer necessary to submit ones results.
The Best of The Best (TBOTB)
TBOTB has always been the counterpart of WHZB. TBOTB is organized by “Het spoor der Kampioenen” another weekly magazine for Dutch pigeon fanciers, at the moment it is the only magazine. The publisher publishes for both WHZB as TBOTB. TBOTB is also a nice competition however, like the case in WHZB, the winners usually come from the sections with the most races on their program. In addition, to become “Keizer” (emperor), one needs a respectable amount of racing pigeons in ones loft.
TBOTB has the following categories:
- Ace pigeon vitesse/middle distance.
The pigeon needs to have at least 10 prizes at a prize ratio of 1:10 on flights, including the “natoer” flights, from 60 to 500 kilometer. In addition at least 2 prizes at a prize ratio of 1:100 en 3 prizes on flights from 250 to 500 kilometer.
- Ace pigeon one day long distance.
The pigeon needs to have at least 4 prizes at a prize ratio of 1:10 on flights from at least 500 kilometer. All flights marked as one day long distance by the section in which the pigeon races are allowed to count for the result.
- Ace pigeon long distance.
The pigeon needs to have at least 3 prizes at a prize ratio of 1:10 on flights from at least 750 kilometer. All ZLU flights and flights that are marked as multiple day long distance by the section in which the pigeon races are allowed to count for the result.
- Ace pigeon young
The only title for young pigeons (born in the same year as the year in which the title is won). The pigeon needs to have at least 6 prizes at a prize ratio of 1:10 on flights for young pigeons and the “natoer” flights, race distance at least 60 kilometer. In addition 2 prizes at a prize ratio of 1:100.
- Ace pigeon all-round
The pigeon needs to have at least 12 prizes at a prize ratio of 1:10 on flights, including the “natoer” flights, from 60 to 500 kilometer. In addition at least 2 prizes on flights from at least 500 kilometer.
- Keizer, “The Best of The Best”
The title “Keizer” (Dutch for emperor) is for the fancier with the best pigeons among the first 20 ace pigeons in the categories vitesse/middle distance, one day long distance, long distance, young pigeons and all-round. For each fancier the best pigeon in a category wins points (ace pigeon number one 20 points, ace pigeon number twenty 1 point) and a fancier can win points in the five above mentioned categories. When two fanciers have the same total amount of points the number of points won by the ace pigeons is decisive. Those point won by the ace pigeons are calculated as follows: prize won x 100 divided by the number of pigeons in the race with a maximum of 5.000 points.
To take part in this competition members have to send in their results themselves.
Fond mirror competition
This competition also exists more than twenty years. With the bankruptcy of “Neerlands Postduiven Orgaan” there was a chance the competition would be lost, fortunately, thanks to the Dutch Compuclub, problems are solved. The compuclub has offered to take responsibility for all the work involved in the competition.
The fond mirror competition is, in my opinion, the fairest competition in pigeon sport. The idea of this competition is from Bram Walpot, it is the only competition from which the setup has remained unchanged all those years. That’s illustrative for the objectivity of the formula of this competition.
There are 3 fond mirrors.
- The National Fond mirror
In this competition the results of the 3 longest long distance flights of a section with overnight stay are of importance.
- The ZLU Fond mirror
For this competition the results in the flight with an international field of contestants are of importance; Barcelona, Tarbes, Narbonne and Perpignan (for the pigeon championship also Marseille).
- The one day long distance mirror
For this competition the first 4 one day long distance flights (500-750 kilometer) of each section are of importance.
The calculation of points is as follows. All prize pigeons (1 in 4) are awarded with points,1.000 points for the first prize, no point for the last prize. The total number of points per fancier is divided by the number of raced pigeons of that fancier. This factor takes into account the prize percentage of a fancier as well as the quality of those prizes.
Because someone with a small number of pigeons possibly gains a higher factor than someone with a lot of pigeons, it is not fair to compare them. Therefore, all fanciers are classified in eight categories depending on the number of pigeons they play. In this way fanciers of the same caliber compete against each other. The category one plays in is determined at the end of the season. Each category winner gains 1.000 points. By ranking the winners of the categories, with “small” and “big” fanciers, the year ranking is made.
In addition to the fond mirrors that show who the best fanciers are, there are also pigeon championships (multi-annual), based on the flights that are of importance for the fond mirrors.
Falco Ebben, 2012