What are Tournaments?
Tournaments have to be sanctioned by the British Flyball Association (BFA) in order for the dogs taking part to accumulate points, depending on the results and the times your team achieves.
Points earned over a season are added together for each dog and gradually as your points increase, your dog will win awards to reflect their achievements.
Many flyball competitions actually take place over a few days, often weekends, with a large number of teams entered. Teams will converge on the site of the tournament and will travel hundreds of miles to take part. Many teams have sub-teams entered, some being less experienced and perhaps made up of slower or older dogs. As the number of teams has dramatically increased over the last few years some shows now run two or more rings to fit in as many races as possible.
Tournaments are held indoors and outdoors throughout the year - Summer tournaments tend to be outdoors, whilst winter ones are usually indoors.
Tournaments are generally run in divisions based on seeding times to make things fair. This means that teams are racing against comparable teams to give all a fair chance of winning. As teams improve and their racing times get better they will progress through the divisions until they reach the fastest division - rather like football teams graduating through the football divisions until they reach the Premier Division.
Membership of a sanctioned team means you get the benefit of being able to take part in sanctioned tournaments around the country. Each team secretary receives details of competitions being held. In the Summer these are usually every weekend , and all around the country, so teams really have chance to travel and meet other flyball fanatics.
The show organisers also run other fun flyball events such as pairs and starters.
Your dog can compete in starter classes from the age of 12 months. It is a competition for young dogs and dogs new to flyball. It helps both dog and handler gain competition experience but in an environment where everyone makes mistakes and can learn from them. These competitions are usually run in netting to aid training but make no mistake - competition is still fierce and the racing is a close and exciting as the real thing - and just as much FUN!!
Or an alternative explanation - Starters is basically a fun competition with novice dogs and handlers attempting to run up and down the lane frequently ending in mass chaos.
A sanctioned tournament class with teams to include 4 different types of breeds.
Or and alternative explanation - it's a bit like the finals night at Crufts - but on speed.
As your dogs gains flyball points he or she will start to achieve awards,
There are certificates for each award, and the achieving of these levels commonly results in a rowdy celebration by all team members - and usually all other teams as well !! The Cheshire Set (or the BFA for higher awards) also present plaques and other keepsakes to team members who achieve awards.