Flyball is a performance dog sport that was invented in California during the 1970s, and any breed of dog can compete, including mixed breeds.

The sport matches two teams of four dogs each, racing side-by-side over a 51 foot course. Each dog must jump over four hurdles, trigger a spring-loaded box that releases a ball, retrieve the ball and return over the hurdles to the handler. When the first dog in the lineup crosses the finish line, the next dog is released to run the course. The first team to have all four dogs complete the course without error wins the race.

Teams typically have at least one “height dog” in the lineup. The height dog is a small dog that reduces the height of the jumps for the entire racing lineup. The jump height is set to five inches below the shoulder height of the height dog in the lineup. Seven inches is the minimum height of the jumps and fourteen inches is the maximum.

There are four classes of competition. Regular brings together four dogs of any combination of breeds for a team. Multibreed requires four different breeds of dogs in each race lineup, with mixed counting as one breed. Veteran class is for dogs that are seven years of age or older, while Open allows dogs from different clubs to compete together on a team.

Within each class, teams of similar racing times are seeded into divisions to provide competitive racing.  Teams earn points toward tournament placements which are used to determine the winner in each division.

Dogs are also granted points toward flyball titles. These points are awarded based upon the team’s total course time, regardless of whether or not the team won the race. The current North American Flyball Association® world record is 15.158 seconds and is held by Spring Loaded, a flyball club based in Michigan.

Go to the GCOC Class Calendar for details of flyball classes

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