Sedona Red Rockets
What is Flyball?
|What is Flyball?||
Flyball is a dog team relay sport: Four dogs and their handlers, and up to two
alternates, make up one team. Two teams at a time race each other: Each dog on
each team takes a turn running down a 51-foot course over a set of four
hurdles, releasing a tennis ball from a flyball box, and racing back over the
hurdles with the ball. The first team to send and return all four dogs without
error wins the heat. We've heard that flyball was created by a group of
Californians in the late 1960s as a way to entertain themselves and their dogs.
It was formalized as a competitive sport in the 1980s, and now encompasses more
than 1,100 active teams in the U.S. and Canada and other teams in
Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Europe. In the United States, there are two
active flyball leagues: the North American Flyball League (NAFA®) and the United Flyball League International
Tournaments are usually organized in either a double elimination or round-robin format. Each team has a seed time, and the tournament is divided into several divisions, with the teams in each division having a similar seed time. The tournaments we have attended were round-robin. We often race 5 sets of five heats, for a total of 25 heats per day. That's a lot of running, but our dogs always seem to want more!
Hurdle heights are determined by the smallest dog racing on the team the designated "height dog." The hurdles are set 4 inches lower than the height dog's shoulder. So you may see a Great Dane stepping over little 8-inch hurdles because he's got a tiny teammate and they may be racing against a team of Golden Retrievers all jumping over 16-inch hurdles. Hurdles may not be lower than 7 inches nor higher than 14 inches in NAFA tournaments, while the range in U-Fli tournaments is 6 to 12 inches.
|Who are the
behind the dogs?
Flyball Association (NAFA®)
United Flyball League International (U-Fli)
our web site host!
Find many teams listed here, and many more links
more links to teams and resources
great info on the beginnings of flyball.
Flyball World Speed Rankings
Try to find us!
Dogs earn points toward flyball titles based on the team's time in a single heat. To win the points, the team has to run without error, and the team cannot "break out."
Breaking out is when the team runs more than one second faster than the fastest seed time for its division in the tournament. The great thing about title points is that you can win them even if your team loses the heat! In NAFA, dogs earn points based on how fast the team runs:
less than 32 secs: Each dog earns 1 point
less than 28 secs: Each dog earns 5 points
less than 24 secs: Each dog earns 25 points
In U-Fli, dogs earn points based on how fast the team runs and whether the team wins:
less than 35 secs: Each dog earns 10 points
less than 30 secs: Each dog earns 15 points
less than 25 secs: Each dog earns 25 points
less than 20 secs: Each dogs earns 30 points
Winning heat: Each dogs earns an extra 5 points
When a team wins a heat, it earns a tournament point. At the end of the tournament, officials add up the tournament points to see who won and placed in each division.
above photos by Jen Shaul
Here is a list of NAFA titles and the number of points needed to earn each one:
20: Flyball Dog (FD)
100: Flyball Dog Excellent (FDX)
500: Flyball Dog Champion (FDCh)
1,000: Flyball Dog Champion - Silver (FDCh-S)
2,500: Flyball Dog Champion - Gold (FDCh-G)
5,000: Flyball Master (FM)
10,000: Flyball Master Excellent (FMX)
15,000: Flyball Master Champion (FMCh)
20,000: ONYX Award
30,000: Flyball Grand Champion (FGDCh)
Here is a list of U-Fli titles and plaques and the number of points needed to earn each one:
100: Top Flight (TF)
2,500: Top Flight Executive (TFE)
9,500: Top Flight Premier (TFP)
20,000: Top Flight Expert Plaque
20,500: Top Flight First Class (TFFC)
35,000: Top Flight Ace Plaque
35,500: Top Flight World Class (TFWC)
50,000: Top Flight Champion Plaque
54,500: Top Flight Extreme (TFX)
75,000: Top Flight Specialist Plaque
77,500: Top Flight Ultimate (TFU)
100,000: Top Flight Elite Plaque
Each title has three levels (eg. TF-I,TF-II, TF-III). Dogs move up as they accumulate points.