Flyball is a high speed team sport for dogs and their people. “Team” is very much at the heart of it – you’ll see competitors cheering for their teammates’ dogs as loudly as for their own.
Flyball is a relay race where two four-dog teams race against each other in parallel lanes. Each dog jumps four hurdles, triggers a spring-loaded box to release a ball, catches the ball and carries it back over the hurdles to the starting line, at which time the next dog is released and the next and the next. Speed is important but accuracy counts too – any error and the dog has to rerun, adding to the team’s total time.
Jump heights are determined by the size of the smallest dog in the team – this dog is called the height dog and they are worth their weight in gold.
Tournaments are divided into divisions so that teams compete against other teams of equal abilities. All dogs, purebred or mixed-breed are eligible to compete and earn titles. Dogs can get awards for both winning their division and for accumulating points throughout their careers.
Racing is timed using a state-of-the-art timing system with infrared sensors, an LED Start Tree (like Drag Strip Racing) and large LED displays that show the start time along with each dog’s individual time and the overall team time. The World Record is less than 14.2 seconds.
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