by Paula Johnson, Zoom! Flyball, Apprentice NAFA Judge
Drag racing lights-speed-noise-excitement-adrenaline rush-friendly competition-teammates-put that all together and add your dog and you have Flyball!
The most exciting sport you can do with your dog, Flyball is the only canine sport that you do with a team of diverse individuals all with one thing in common – a passion for playing with their dog. Everyone is welcome, and you will see all ages and backgrounds coming together in the racing lanes. Junior handlers are recognized and cheered on – they are the future of our sport…a true family affair.
You don’t need to have a Border Collie or a Jack Russell or any other ‘typical’ Flyball dog either. Any dog can play this sport (provided they are big enough to trigger the box LOL). NAFA allows for teams to race against other teams running similar times – so everyone can be competitive within their division – no matter how fast or slow.
Having done dog sports my whole life – trust me there is nothing that compares to Flyball in the dog world. It is all about working together with a group of people and their dogs to put it all out there in the lanes. When it all comes together – it is like a synchronized dance of four people and four dogs seamlessly acting almost as one.
It is also the most supportive and welcoming community. Everyone who has ever trained a Flyball dog knows that it takes a village (more on that in future blogs). There is nothing better than the moment a new dog runs its first clean heat at a tournament. Everyone cheers and shares in the moment of joy and accomplishment for that dog and handler – regardless of what team they are on.
If you have never seen Flyball live – you must try to check it out. The NAFA website has a list of all the tournaments by region – so you can see when one is coming up in your area. Go! Trust me you won’t be disappointed and everyone is welcome. Be sure to ask someone what is going on and how it all works – they will be happy to talk with you about the sport they love.
See you in the racing lanes!