BOTC Flyball (Bloomington Obedience Training Club) – Region 3 (Bloomington, MN)

botcflyball@gmail.com

BOTC Flyball Facebook page

https://botcmn.org/training/flyball/

BOTC Flyball believes there is a place in Flyball for every dog, no matter the breed or speed. We believe in playing Flyball for FUN! – having fun as a team, with our local Flyball community and most importantly, having fun with our dogs!!

We are a small group of friends with a passion for the sport. Most of us train & compete in other sports together including: Obedience/Rally, Agility, Barn Hunt and Lure Coursing! We always encourage and cheer each other on, no matter what sport we are playing.

Reborn!

BOTC Flyball was registered with NAFA as club #31 on 3/15/1999, and remained active for over ten years before the program was discontinued at BOTC. After a ten year hiatus, five club members came together to breathe new life into the team. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the team was reborn!

We are currently a small club but, we are looking to grow! We do offer flyball classes twice a year (fall/winter & spring). Those interested in classes can reach us at botcflyball@gmail.com for information on the next class session.

Matsqui Flyball and Agility Club – Region 7 (Abbotsford, British Columbia)

http://mfacdogs.com

MFAC Facebook Page

Matsqui Flyball and Agility Club practices in Abbotsford, British Columbia. We hosted our first Flyball tournament in May 1991. We pride ourselves in creating an enjoyable team experience for dogs and handlers. As a result, our team has grown significantly in the past few years. We recruit and train throughout the year working with both rookie and experienced dogs and handlers. At MFAC our members range in age and we welcome Jr. Handlers to participate. Many of our members compete in other dog sports including dog agility, urban mushing, and nose work.

 Our club presents demos for the public throughout the year. We especially like festival events such as Canada Day as many of our dogs love showing off, getting cheers, and meeting their fans. As much as we love to have fun, we also get serious about competing. We travel to tournaments throughout Western Canada and the USA to let the fur fly. Several of our team dogs have achieved their Grand Champion status.

If you would like to learn more about Matsqui Flyball and Agility Club please visit http://mfacdogs.com or visit http://facebook.com/mfacdogs

Diamonds in the Ruff Flyball – Region 8 (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)

www.diamondsflyball.ca

Diamonds in the Ruff Flyball Team Facebook Page

diamondsflyball@gmail.com

Diamonds in the Ruff Flyball Club was founded in September 2001 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We are a fun, enthusiastic group of people who come together to play a game that we and our dogs love – flyball!!

Diamonds in the Ruff is dedicated to improving the life of man’s best friend, the dog. By participating in Flyball, offering training classes, promoting responsible pet ownership, and engaging in community activities (including rescue events), we demonstrate the true passion and dedication we hold for this sport and man’s best friend. Diamonds in the Ruff also promotes the sport of Flyball by setting an example of team spirit, cohesiveness, and fun at both practice and at tournaments for all participants. We believe that it takes an entire village to train a flyball dog.

We advocate using positive reinforcement (reward-based training) and setting the dog up for success to teach our dogs. We reinforce desired behaviours with verbal, food and play rewards. This ensures that learning the sport is fun for both dog and handler! We do not use any form of punishment.

Finn & Sophie flying…

Diamonds in the Ruff does not support any form of Breed Specific Legislation. Flyball is a dog sport that any dog and handler should be able to participate in. Breed Specific Legislation DOES NOT protect people from dog bites or dangerous dogs. Only responsible pet ownership and holding owners response for their dog’s actions will change the statistics.

We love to socialize after tournaments, either at a restaurant or campsite and our snack table at tournaments is so good. We love escape rooms!! Our members are really creative and crafty with lots of home made items on our fantastic raffle tables including home made quilts! We have have awesome “pit crews” that are so efficient and maximize our warm up time at tournaments. We also promote the participation of our junior handlers.

We are the fastest team in SK: 15.268. Our club had the 1st dog to earn an ONYX in Saskatoon. His name was Lugnut (a great dane/Chesapeake Bay retriever mix). We have the highest pointed #41 Australian Kelpie, #21 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, #11 Sheltland Sheepdog and #9 Whippet (retired). We also host the largest flyball tournament in the prairies!

Our team practices every Saturday in the Fall and Winter and on Tuesday nights during the Spring and Summer. Practices involve exercises which are geared specifically to the individual dog to aid in their training, as well as team specific training. Our training goals are geared towards excellence in techniques to enable dogs to succeed both safely and to the best of their abilities.

We run classes during the winter and are accepting new students and members at this time. Our current classes are: Relationship building and Sports Foundation (2 sessions) starting Oct 27, 2019 and Beginner Flyball starting Nov 26, 2019. Check our website and contact us for our latest classes.

Blockade Runners – Region 9 (Wendell, Cedar Grove & Julian, NC)

www.blockaderunnersflyball.com

Blockade Runners Flyball Facebook Page

The Blockade Runners were founded in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1996 by Mike Randall. Mike was originally with the Front Runners Flyball team, which is based out of Michigan. Mike Randall wrote the first NAFA Rule Book in 1985, and was also the first NAFA Executive Director.

Competing at the Coconut Classic

Being a team player is really important to the Blockade Runners Flyball Team! We have some rules:

  1. While participation in practice, demos to the public and tournaments is not mandatory, having fun is!
  2. No drama.
  3. Positive dog training is a requirement – have fun with your dog!
  4. Everyone has input into lineups and seed times for team, but once they are submitted, no whining!

Everyone is welcome to attend our practices! Regardless if you are new to the sport, or if you are already playing flyball with another team, everyone’s welcome. All dog breeds and mixes are also welcome. We do not charge for our practices. We have many years of experience, and can help you train your dog. We have chosen not to host classes that require payment as we simply enjoy the sport and don’t want to get into charging for training.

At the NAFA’s CanAm…the biggest tournament in the world!

The Man Behind the New EJS Start Lights

Get to Know NAFA People – Dave Thomas, the ‘Flying Nerd’


The first in a series designed to let readers know some of the people behind the scenes at NAFA

by Emma Mak, NAFA Communications Committee
Dave Thomas with his flying pup, Cassie, on the wing of his Cirrus SR22

NAFA is incredibly thankful to have Dave Thomas, a Go Dog Go! member from North Carolina, as a technical consultant on the Technology Committee. Some of you may recognize Dave as the person behind the APES (Automatic Pass Evaluator System) used in the Championship rings at NAFA’s CanAm Flyball Classic. 

In 2018, Dave created a prototype for new start lights (light trees) donating all his engineering time, which could have easily cost many thousands of dollars, and charging NAFA only for the cost of parts. NAFA’s goals for new development of EJS include reduction of overall cost, easily replaceable parts, and an eye towards reducing shipping costs as supplier rates continue to escalate. These are all things Dave delivered in his prototype for the start lights.  They’ve since been tested alongside the current lights at multiple events in the East and Midwest with great success. Now, NAFA is a few months away from having five new EJS start light sets, ready to replace existing sets as they fail.

New EJS Start Lights

The new lights offer the following features:

– one horizontal light instead of two vertical ones, saving space and reducing weight for shipping

– use an affordable, readily available 20V battery that can be charged in 1 hour

– low cost, easily replaceable parts – including LED light strips, Raspberry Pi computer

– flexibility in terms of how the lights can be programmed to work and look

The Technology Committee was initially concerned that competitors would find the horizontal configuration of the lights too different from the original, but as Jonathan Bescher, NAFA Supervising Judge in Region 9 explains, “It took a few heats to get used to the horizontal flow of the lights, but once you saw it,  it was very easy to adjust.” He adds, “The feedback I have heard from competitors has all been positive. With the lights not hanging down from the poles, it allows more room and visibility to see the time displays behind the box loaders.” Flags and lane wins are indicated by red lights or green flashing lights at the far end of each side (left for flag left lane, right for flag right lane, etc.).

Start Lights in action…*

* NOTE:
The brightness of the lights in this video is not true to life, due to camera exposure settings. During tests, the New EJS Start Lights were found to be as bright, or brighter than existing lights.

As NAFA looks to the future of the EJS, Dave would like to totally eliminate the need for head table workers and work toward fully automated, real time tournament scoring. Line judge time sheets could be replaced with software on tablets. Dave has already written software for this (the “Stats Helper” application) that obtains times from the EJS, and line judges need to only define run order and confirm race result. Lighter, thinner time displays, as well as moving away from Farmtek’s custom designed hardware to off-the-shelf hardware and open source software where possible, are all being discussed.

So, who is Dave Thomas? Dave retired from a 35-year career at IBM, including 15 years as a chip designer and 15 years of software development of C++ and kernel level C debuggers. 

In Dave’s own words (Warning: highly technical content ahead), “Projects included DRAM , numerous analog, and microprocessor designs. I got a patent for the first NMOS, non-volatile RAM cell—a big deal before CMOS technology was affordable.  I also spent several years designing high frequency DC/DC convertors and the chip to make the designs possible.  I share a patent for the first 1 Mhz, monolithic DC/DC convertor chip (along with several of my co-workers).” 

Later he did the hardware design for the for worldwide compatible modem for the Thinkpad machines. He adds, “Back then, countries had widely varied regulatory requirements which drove many unique hardware designs. My ‘universal’ design had programmable electrical characteristics so a single hardware design could pass regulatory requirements in all countries.”

It’s okay if you didn’t understand all of the above two paragraphs, you’re not alone. To say Dave has an absolute passion for all things technical would be an understatement. In his retirement, his enthusiasm hasn’t dwindled in the least. “Now I do embedded hardware and software development for fun. I just love writing code in any language! It’s instant gratification versus chip design.”

With his penchant for riding electric unicycles and being a licensed commercial drone operator, as Dave would be the first to admit, he tends towards super geeky pursuits . . . but he and his wife, Sandy, also a former engineer at IBM, have plenty of decidedly non-nerd hobbies, including skiing, scuba diving, and hiking in Montana. And if you ask Dave how he got into flyball he’ll tell you, “It was a good excuse to fly! Flying to a flyball tournament was a nice alternative to a weekend trip for a $100 hamburger.” Dave is also an instrument-rated pilot and owns his own plane, a Cirrus SR22. 

Having a similar Cirrus airplane saved Dave’s life in 2016, when he survived a crash with “only a collapsed T12 vertebra.” The Cirrus is special for having a ballistic parachute system.  Due to engine power loss during that flight, Dave as pilot was able to take quick action, pulling an emergency handle which launched a rocket which then deployed a parachute, allowing the whole plane to safely descend to the ground.

See a nail-biting demonstration of this feature in the above brief video

The future of NAFA EJS looks bright, in huge part thanks to Dave’s generous contributions of hours of time and brain power. Ask Dave if he has any answers for a technical issue and he’ll rapidly provide myriad detailed and innovative solutions. Not only does he generate creative ideas, he quickly hones in on the most practical solution, and with NAFA’s go-ahead, gets the work done. 

Dave plans to bring a new start light set to CanAm 2019 for demonstration to interested flyballers. You can find him near the Pit Boss area . . . if he’s not off somewhere riding his electric unicycle or racing with Go Dog Go!

Power UN-leashed Flyball – Region 3 (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Celebrating some new flyball titles with cake!

Power UN-leashed Flyball Club

Power UN-leashed Flyball Club practices at Twin Cities Obedience Training Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We are a small club that right now has seven Border Collies, an Australian Shepherd and four mixes. We are all great friends and enjoy participating in tournaments in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We’re in flyball for our dogs to have fun, and in return we have a BLAST!

The first title is a very important one!

We offer a six week class for $120. Contact us through our Facebook page and get started today.

Capital Flyers – Region 15 (Silver Spring, MD)

Capital Flyers after our win at CanAm – NAFA’s Premier Annual Event in Indianapolis, IN

https://cdtc.org

Email Contact: Dona Dwyer at ddildon@aol.com

Capital Flyers is one of the first and oldest flyball teams located in Silver Spring, Maryland. Our team was first started when after a trip to Texas, Neil Jennings found out what the wonderful game of flyball was all about. We started training our dogs shortly after that. Back then, we used tuna/cat food cans on the end of a wooden pole and the box had a small trigger plate on the front. Mind you this was in 1983, before outdoor lights and training facilities! Flyball boxes have come a long way since then. As the years have passed, we have had teams split off from Capital Flyers and No Speed Limit. Now there are 15 teams across Maryland and Virginia that play flyball. 

Currently, we are looking for new members to create another team. As mentioned previously, we practice in Silver Spring, Maryland. Practice is held Saturday night at the Capital Dog Training Clubhouse (CDTC). Each session is eight weeks and costs $100 for non-CDTC members. For additional questions, please contact Dona Dwyer at ddildon@aol.com. More info about flyball as well as CDTC can be found on this website https://cdtc.org

Hoping to race with you soon!

Tampa Bay Barkaneers – Region 11 (St. Petersburg, Florida)

www.dtcsp.org

Contact Email: flyballmom@yahoo.com

Tampa Bay Barkaneers Facebook page

Tampa Bay Barkaneers was established in 2007 and is one of the longest running active clubs in Florida. We train at The Dog Training Club of St. Petersburg, St Petersburg, Florida.

Our goals has always been to have fun…and we do! Our members pull together, support each other and help each other to train and compete. Being a team is what makes flyball unique as a dog sport. It is this TEAMWORK that makes the Barkaneers such a great team!

Outside of the flyball lanes, we like our dogs to be versatile and members have earned titles in Agility, Conformation, Dock Diving, Obedience, Rally, FASTCat and Barn Hunt.

Tampa Bay Barkaneers in action!

We offer regular, weekly ‘Intro to Flyball’ Classes and our Team Flyball Practice is held on Sunday evenings. Contact us at the above links to find out times and confirm availability.

Arizona Supercharged Flyball – Region 6 (Gilbert, Arizona)

Team members celebrating with a dinner, following a 1st place finish in an out of state tournament.

www.ArizonaSupercharged.com

azsc.flyball@gmail.com

Arizona Supercharged Flyball Team Facebook page

Arizona Supercharged Flyball promotes inclusivity and fun on our club – we are friends first, and work together to train and compete. We use the most up-to-date training methods to get the most out of all our dogs. Our club captains attend seminars consistently and also participate in online training with some of the top flyball competitors in North America.

Small dogs, large dogs, unusual breeds are all welcome – we currently have the following dog breeds on our club: Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Jack Russell Terrier, Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, Chihuahua, Shiba Inu, American Pit Bull Terrier and also sport bred mixes and rescued mixes. We often accept re-trains as well, and place a lot of emphasis on proper technique.

Flyball demo at an Arizona Rattlers Arena Football Game with another local club.

Our club enjoys scrimmages with other local clubs and hanging out outside of flyball. Other activities we enjoy together include team dinners, parties, game nights, dock diving, kayaking and disc. We attend all local tournaments and often travel to surrounding states 2-3 times a year as well.

Arizona Supercharged Flyball is celebrating over 10 years together! We are looking for goal-oriented people, who enjoy a team environment, that want to share in this fun, high-adrenaline sport with us, to send us a message or email. Contact us at our Facebook page listed above, or drop us an email to find out more about flyball and how to get started with lessons!

Small, medium, and large dogs are all welcome to enjoy the exciting sport of flyball!

Pawmetto Pack Flyball – Region 9 (Florence, South Carolina)

Pawmetto Pack Facebook page

www.pawmettopack.com

pp.flyball@gmail.com

Founded in 2002, Pawmetto Pack is a small flyball club looking to grow. Our positive-based training sessions include dogs at many different levels of learning at the same time. We welcome all breeds and sizes and really most enjoy our junior handlers – we foster a family atmosphere.

Many members of our Pack enjoy other sports and challenges with their dogs: field work, dock diving, disc, barn hunt, obedience, rally, agility and conformation. We also have certified therapy dogs in our club, visiting nursing homes and other facilities. Even though we have members in North Carolina and areas well outside Florence, we enjoy gathering together to support all our teammates and have fun.

We currently host the only tournaments in South Carolina, one in December and on in February. We regularly travel to tournaments in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia, and have participated in the NAFA-hosted October CanAm tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well. Occasionally, a team member of two will travel to other eastern states to participate in tournaments.

Our mission is to have fun with our dogs and each other. We believe each dog and handler is an important part of our Club. We support each other throughout the positive training process and into the tournament setting. We celebrate each and every milestone our dog and handler teams reach – and have a lot of fun doing it! Our dogs steadily earn points to gain higher titles, but it’s the joy of the game and participating with each other that makes us winners! We are proud to say we have Iron Dogs (Ten consecutive years of running NAFA Flyball) as members of our Club!

We offer free demonstrations of this awesome sport to any and all that ask. We have provided demos to the Florence Humane Society, Health South (rehab facility), the River Jamboree at Lynches River State Park and Central United Methodist Church, as well as dog training facilities in Myrtle Beach and North Carolina, and the Santa Paws Dog Pageant at Grand Dunes in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Contact us at the pp.flyball@gmail.com if you’d like to learn more about Flyball and become part of our Pack!

Mutter Chaos – Region 21 (Des Moines, IA)

mutterchaos@gmail.com

Mutter Chaos Flyball Facebook page

Mutter Chaos Flyball Club has been Bringing The Chaos in Des Moines, Iowa (Region 21) since 2016. The philosophy of Mutter Chaos Flyball Club is to give our dogs an outlet for their abundance of energy, and have fun doing so. We strive for each handler and dog to perform at the best of their ability. We do not limit membership to those dogs who have the greatest potential – we’re open to all. Flyball can provide an outlet to dogs of any breed and skill level. The goal is to build a stronger relationship between handler and dog.

We have had a variety of pure breeds and rescue dogs run with our team, including Weimaraners, Australian Shepherds, Miniature Schnauzers, German Wirehair Pointers, German Shorthair Pointers, a Swedish Valhund, a Field Spaniel, Huskies, a Dutch Shepherd, Border Collies, and mixes. All are welcome!

Our club enjoys sharing our love of Flyball with the community. We have performed a number of Flyball demos in support of Puppy Up (Companions Against Cancer), the Great Iowa Pet Expo, and even on center ice (with carpets and mats) for the Iowa Wild Pucks N Paws Night in support of the Animal Rescue League.

Mutter Chaos humans and dogs enjoy a variety of activities together in addition to Flyball. In summer 2019, several of our dog/handler pairs earned a variety of Do More With Your Dog(R) trick titles. We also enjoy occasional backyard agility training, backyard flyball/dog romp sessions, and even doggie birthday parties. The humans also enjoy getting together for social activities such as corn mazes, game nights, ‘Friendsgiving’, and more.

Find us on Facebook @mutterchaosflyball or contact us at mutterchaos@gmail.com

Region 18 – Alaska

Check out the NAFA Locator for contact info for clubs in this region. The Regional Director contact info can also be found there, and is a good resource for finding flyballers to get you started.

If you are a NAFA Flyball club that would like to be featured here, please email CC@flyball.org and/or fill out this form.

Go Flyball!

Region 17 – Hawaii

Check out the NAFA Locator for contact info for clubs in this region. The Regional Director contact info can also be found there, and is a good resource for finding flyballers to get you started.

If you are a NAFA Flyball club that would like to be featured here, please email CC@flyball.org and/or fill out this form.

Go Flyball!

Region 11 – Florida

Check out the NAFA Locator for contact info for clubs in this region. The Regional Director contact info can also be found there, and is a good resource for finding flyballers to get you started.

If you are a NAFA Flyball club that would like to be featured here, please email CC@flyball.org and/or fill out this form.

Go Flyball!

Dixie Flyers Flyball – Region 14 (Birmingham, Alabama)

Dixie Flyers celebrating Hallowe’en!

Dixie Flyers Flyball Facebook Page

Contact Club owner, Jeanne Harem: jeanne_harem@hotmail.com

The Dixie Flyers club, based in Birmingham, AL, was organized in Jan 2011 by Jeanne Harem and 8 other founding members. Our mission remains the same – to be a club that is all-inclusive, allowing any family dog with a desire to play to enjoy the sport. Although there is indeed a healthy spirit of competition, no dog that loves the sport is turned away.

The tone for the Dixie Flyers was set at our founding: Love the sport, love your dog, love your team. That tone has attracted many members over the years, seen by the fact that members, born in every decade since the 1940’s, now hail from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana and Florida, with one vagabond RVer. Dixie Flyers are truly a family and we live by our motto, “Dixie Flyers Rock!” Whether it’s for a celebration, a time of loss, or a job to be done, Dixie Flyers come together.

We welcome new members interested in the loud and fast-paced sport of flyball. Introductory lessons are given by Jeanne in her training building outside Birmingham. Her success as a trainer is a result of her experience, her creativity, persistence, and the ability to see every dog as an individual. We transform family dogs into family athletes. Optimum dog health is fairly effectively maintained by avoiding Jeanne’s dreaded pronouncement, “Your dog is fat!”

Team members gather weekly for practice sessions. Here, green dogs, Iron Dogs (newbies and 10-year+ veterans), and all levels in between, along with their handlers, hone their skills and deepen their friendships. Commitment to practicing is reflected in competing consistently. Four of our Dixie Flyer dogs have achieved the 100,000-point Hobbes Award, with several more closing in on this title. The Dixie Flyers have also regularly been Regional Regular and Multibreed Champions.

Dixie Flyers travel out of state to support other clubs hosting tournaments and host five tournaments a year locally. We try to make these tournaments fun for our competitors by having a particular theme complete with decorations, a photo booth, and of course, great southern hospitality. Recently, we have opted to provide lunch for all competitors in lieu of awards, allowing all competitors time to enjoy each other outside of the lanes.

If this article has piqued your interest, contact the Dixie Flyers on our Facebook page (Dixie Flyers Flyball) or contact Jeanne directly at the links listed above.