The now tried and tested ODRA Loft-grouping competition

After 3 years of trial and tests with measuring 345 lofts, 4 Unions and 27 clubs, the following realities became evident;
It is the only fair and accurate Loft-performance measurement in the Racing pigeon sport today.
However, this competition will never replace the old tested and trusted measurement of;
“The winning bird is the one with the highest velocity”
Nor was it ever intended to do so. The Loft grouping method uses the results of the “Highest velocity”, and in fact, it is not possible to calculate the results of Loft Grouping without first determining the club results the normal way.
After three years of scrutinising the available results, it is now possible to answer the following questions;
1. Is it a true result that awards the best competing fanciers nationally as the South African or provincial Champion?
Answer from Odra;
• It is firstly impossible to determine a National winning loft by using velocity alone as the determining factor, we all know that factors of different weather conditions will make such a result laughable, to say the least. Furthermore, even results within the same organisation, when liberated together from the same destination and all birds flying in the same direction, are always influenced by the location of the loft, wind direction as well as geographical factors. To determine the best National loft remains a guess and the winners of the large organisations with the expensive pigeons and methods will always expect to be awarded the honors.
The basis of the Odra Loft-grouping is, “Distance behind the first bird in an area” and not the speed of the first bird.
“If one bird could have achieved an arrival at a certain speed then, theoretically it was possible for all the birds to have accomplished the same performance”
Therefore the use of the “marker” which is the first arrival in each CLUB. Is the only true method to find out what was possible in that location or area under the same conditions. By using net flying time of the “Marker” and multiplying it with the velocity of the second we calculate the distance the second bird traveled in the same net flying time as the marker. Repeat the process with the next three birds and calculate the average distance the first four birds of each loft were behind their markers and you have a winner in the loft with the smallest average of distance, not time. Wind speed from the front or on the tail has no effect as it is the distance not the speed that determine the winner.
2. But surely a weak club with below average performing members and birds stands a better chance of being awarded the honors?
Answer from ODRA
As the author of this blog and who started testing this method 23 years ago, I have never found that to be the case, in fact, it is always the top performing lofts in their organisation that achieves the lowest grouping averages. This fact was proven when John Falck the developer of the Falckon-flight software included the automatic loft-grouping calculations of all 345 lofts across the country, using the Falckon-Flight program, that it became apparent that very many club champions of various clubs did in fact not even make the first 100 National positions yet the top achievers was also the top achievers in their organisations. Factors that did make a difference was;
• The birdage at liberation; below 3000 had a distinct advantage and was rectified with a handicap worked into the calculations. Above 4000 receives a difficulty benefit.
• Team size: It stands to reason that the bigger the team the quicker you will receive four birds. This was rectified by using 1 bird extra in the averages.
1. 15 bird teams use 4 birds
2. 20 bird teams use 5 birds
3. 25 bird teams use 6 birds
In closing allow us to reassure you, it is a fact;
“your normal velocity results in the club and in your organisation WILL improve if your Loft grouping results improve”
A loft that is without form and poorly managed, might produce a winner but will never produce a good
Loft grouping.

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