It's Fast, It's Fun, It's Flyball!
The adrenaline is pumping, the dogs are barking, tugging, and ready to run! Flyball is a high-energy sport where two teams of four dogs run against each other in a relay race. The race basically consists of four things - jumps, a flyball box, a tennis ball, and a tug toy or treat. Ok, five things - and a handler!
Two lanes are set, both teams are ready in their own lanes and the race begins when the start light turns green. The handler times the release of their dog so it crosses the start line just as that light turns green. The dog races over the four jumps spaced 10 feet apart to a spring loaded type of box. When the dog hits the box with its front feet, it triggers the box that shoots out a tennis ball. The dog catches the ball and returns over the same four jumps to their handler. The race continues until all four dogs on the team successfully complete the run or "heat".
If a dog drops a ball, goes around a jump or crosses the start/finish line before the dog in front of them crosses, faults are incurred and that dog must run again. The first team to finish successfully wins the heat. A race may consist of 3-5 heats and the winner of the race is the team with the most heat wins.
Flyball is a fun sport in that the dogs are not only racing to earn points towards individual titles, but also racing for tournament placement points. The dogs love the game of Flyball. The dogs get to run, jump, get a ball, and then bring it back to their handler to trade it in for that special treat or tug toy. What better way to spend the day. you, your dog and flyball!
i-Flyball - links to major flyball sites
National Organization for Flyball - info on tournaments, points by breed, etc