Flyball History

The North American Flyball Association, Inc. (NAFA®) was established in 1984, when 12 flyball clubs in Michigan and Ontario banded together to guide the development of flyball in North America. Today, with over 400 active clubs and 6,500 competing dogs, NAFA is recognized as the world's leading authority on flyball and the sport's top sanctioning organization. NAFA is a nonprofit organization.

Flyball got its start in the late 1960's and early 1970's, when a group of dog trainers in Southern California created scent discrimination hurdle racing, then put a guy at the end to throw tennis balls to the dogs when they finished the jump line. It didn't take long for the group to decide to build some sort of tennis ball-launching apparatus, and the first flyball box was born. Herbert Wagner is credited with developing the first flyball box, and apparently he did a flyball demo on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson that got a lot of peoples attention.

Subsequently, the new dog sport for dog enthusiasts was introduced in the Toronto-Detroit area by several dog training clubs. After a few small tournaments were held in conjunction with dog shows, the first ever flyball tournament was held in 1983.

Mike Randall wrote the first NAFA rulebook in 1985, and was also the first NAFA Executive Director. The first head judge was Dave Samuels.

Flyball races match two teams of four dogs each, racing side-by-side over a 51 foot long course. Each dog must run in relay fashion down the jumps, trigger a flyball box, releasing the ball, retrieve the ball, and return over the jumps. The next dog is released to run the course but can't cross the start/finish line until the previous dog has returned over all 4 jumps and reached the start/finish line. The first team to have all 4 dogs finish the course without error wins the heat.

Jump height is determined by the smallest dog on the team – this dog, called the "height dog", is measured at the withers, then that number is rounded down to the nearest inch and another 5" is subtracted to get the jump height (with the minimum jump height being 7"). So a 13 1/4" dog would round down to 13", minus 5", would jump 8". Maximum jump height is 14".

In the early days of flyball, there were no start lights and no passing lights. All of the starts and passes were called by the line judges, who also used hand-held stopwatches to time the races. The race was started by the head judge; the judge would do a basic "ready, set, go" and blow the whistle on the "go". Minimum jump heights were 10", and were determined by measuring the smallest dog on the team at the withers and rounding up or down to the nearest inch (so a 13 1/2" dog would jump 13", while a 13 3/4" dog would jump 14").

With the onset of the Electronic Judging System (EJS), which uses lights and infrared timing sensors, competitors were suddenly able to track their starts, passes, finishes, and individual dogs' times to the thousandth of a second. It's hard to imagine racing without an EJS in this day and age. Many teams run all 4 dogs through the course in less than 20 seconds. The NAFA World Record is now 14.768. 

NAFA tournaments are divided into divisions so that teams compete against other teams of equal abilities. All dogs including mixed breeds are eligible to compete and earn titles in NAFA sanctioned tournaments. Titles are earned via a point system based on the time it takes a dog's team to complete each heat race.

NAFA sanctions over 300 tournaments a year across North America.

2019 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

 

PSNEA will be represented at the following Events

Click on the BLUE TEXT for more information

 

 

 

 

16 Aug 2019 PSNEA Specialty Show

 

Sept 2019 All Around Dogs at the Puyallup Fair

 

5 Oct 2019 Edgewood WA Nordic Festival

 

26 Oct 2019 A Taste of Scandinavia Kennewick WA

 

  

----------  2019 PAST EVENTS  ----------

 

2019 Rose City Classic Meet The Breeds Showcase  Click For Pictures 

 

2019 The Daffodil Festival Grand Floral Parade  Click For Pictures

 

2019 Annual Olympia Norway Day  Click For Pictures

 

2019 Hillsboro OR Picnic Click For Pictures

 

2019 Fjordin Crossin in Hoodsport WA Click For Pictures

 

 

----------  2018 PAST EVENTS  ----------

 

2018 Hillsboro OR Picnic  Click For Pictures

 

2018 All Around Dogs At The Fair  Click For Pictures

2018 Edgewood WA Nordic Festival  Click For Pictures

 

2018 A Taste of Scandinavia Kennewick WA  Click For Pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURES

 

 

 

Latest issue of AKC Family Dog - Read it Here

 

Phentobarbital in Pet Food - Extract from The Bark Magazine

 

Read about GENIUS inside Your Dog; Extract from the World of Knowledge magazine.

 

Can't find anything to do with your Elkhounds except feed them; CHECK THIS OUT!

  

Read about a Guard Dog Elkhound HERE

 

Read About PSNEA Participation in Poulsbo's Midsommarfest

 

Read the HumanWatch Editorial "What I Learned At The Dog Show" 

 

Read the Reader’s Digest Special Report "Scandal Of America’s Puppy Mills"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dennis Bell and LOKI, PSNEA's most titled Elkhound