Flyball is a competitive team sport that first became popular in America and made its debut in the UK at Crufts in 1990. It's a really fun and energetic sport your dog will love!
So what is Flyball? Two teams of four dogs compete at the same time, each using a parallel 'racing lane' down which each dog in turn runs, clearing four hurdles in succession before triggering a pedal on the Flyball box. A tennis ball is then released which the dog must hold before returning over the hurdles to the start line. The first team to have its fourth dog across the finish line, with any part of the dog's body, wins the race. Each dog must cross the finish line before the next dog can start, and handlers aim to launch their dog so that it will cross with a returning dog just at the line.
If a run is not completed correctly the dog must re-run at the end of the line (for instance if the dog drops the ball, misses out a hurdle or starts too early, if the ball-loader assists the dog, or the handler crosses the start line while their dog is running). Usually the best of three runs decides which team proceeds to the next heat but five runs are also sometimes used. Each team consists of four handlers plus a 'box loader' and some reserves, although teams often also provide stewards.
Dogs can run at terrific speeds therefore require a good distance at the end of the race in order to slow down. A wide area at the end of the hurdles is also necessary to allow dogs enough room to pick up the ball and reverse direction safely!
Find out more about Flyball from the British Flyball Association Video!
TNT Flyball Team are an indoor competitive team based in the South of the UK on the Hampshire/Dorset border. The team was started in 2016 by a group of experienced flyball friends who were passionate about their dogs and performing in the sport to the best of their ability. TNT focus on training a dog and handler as an individual and believe that each team member is just as important as the next. They have spent a lot of time learning at seminars and through their own experience to ensure that they use the most up to date and safest training methods with their dogs.
TNT openly welcome new members so please don't hesitate to get in contact if you think you would like to try Flyball with your dog.
Watch the video of the Aces High Team winning the Crufts 2019 Flyball Final. (Video courtesy of Crufts