Flyball for Dogs

flyball for dogs
Photo belongs to: Berwick Obedience Dog Club in Australia

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What is Flyball?
Flyball is an extreme relay dog sport where teams of four dogs compete from start to finish by traversing a series of hurdles to reach a crate that contains a tennis ball. After catching the ball, the dog runs back to their handlers without dropping it.

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Video 2015 Crufts Flyball Final

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Are there Flyball clubs?
North America: North American Flyball Association (NAFA)
United Kingdom: British Flyball Association
Belguim: Belgian Flyball Federation
Australia: Australian Flyball Association 

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Does it cost to compete?
Training class costs vary depending on your region, and competition costs range from $80 to $100.

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How does a dog win in Flyball?
Teams of four dogs run a course, which consists of a starting line, four unique hurdles spread 10 feet apart, and a spring-loaded box. The initial hurdle is placed six feet from the starting line, and the box is 15 feet from the last hurdle, making the course 51-foot in overall length. The dogs leap hurdles to reach the spring-loaded box. After pressing the pad on the box, a tennis ball pops out. The dog grabs it mid-air and then races back over the four hurdles. After crossing the starting line, the next dog on the team runs the course. The first team with all four dogs successfully running the entire course without any errors wins the heat.

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How many dogs compete?
Teams of four dogs run as a relay. The total number of competitors vary. In fact, over 1,000 dogs participated in the CanAm Classic Flyball in 2015.

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How is it scored?
When a team competes in a NAFA approved flyball tournament and finishes a race time that is less than 24 seconds, all dogs on the team participating earn 25 points. For race times below 28 seconds, each dog receives five points. When time recorded is under 32 seconds, each dog is awarded one point toward a flyball title.

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How do I get my dog involved?
There are nearly 400 existing clubs registered with NAFA across Canada and the United States. You can search for clubs by province or state by using the Flyball Locator. Another way to locate a club is to look over the NAFA Regions page to determine your region, locate the Regional Director in your area, and access local information such as regional flyball websites and local groups. Regional Directors are an ideal starting place if you are just getting starting in flyball or are new to your region and are searching for a team to join.
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