Volume 2, Number 4, July 1996
The Official Newsletter of the North American Flyball Association
The NAFA News is published by North American Flyball Association (NAFA) as a means of formal communication between the Board and the individual competitors. It is published bi-monthly and distributed free of charge to all registered Delegates, Team Captains, and Officials. The information contained is intended for all competitors to see. Delegates are urged to copy or post the NAFA News for all their team members to read.

Articles of a broader interest to Flyball enthusiasts are published in The Finish Line.

Copyright © 1996 by NAFA. Contents may be reproduced for use by members of teams associated with NAFA. Others may reproduce providing credit is given to NAFA.

NAFA and the NAFA logo are registered trademarks of the North American Flyball Association, Inc.

In this Issue:

Executive Director's Corner

by Clyde Moore

I would like to thank everyone who co-operated with NAFA in its attempt to trade mark "Flyball". Unfortunatly our appeal was rejected a second time and we have chosen not to appeal further. This means we can once again refer to Flyball as a sport Our application for "NAFA" and our "logo" are proceeding and everything looks positive.

The EJS has been working flawlessly (knock on wood), shipping the system via air seems to cut down on the wear and tear, and surprisingly is cheaper and faster than other methods.

Melanie Davidson asked me to relay the following message. NAFA needs notification in writing when there is a change in dog ownership. We need the complete address of the new owner. You should also notify NAFA in writing when you change clubs with a dog.

After 3 months of the breakout rule, I still have heard no major complaints and most comments are still positive. How would you feel about cutting it back from 1 sec. to a 1/2 sec.

In closing, don't forget that there are three seats coming open on the Board this fall.

Oh, by the way, how many of you know what Hog Fuel is??

(No responses from BC please.)

Tournament Directors: NAFA EJS transportation box lock combinations: Green (Canadian) box (from left): 3228. Red (U.S.) box: 173.

Words from the Chairman

by Bob Murray

One of the main topics at the Board Meeting was the number of new teams and tournaments this year. Western Canada and Washington State in particular are growing rapidly. More tournaments are having to resort to using two rings and two sets of EJS. With all these added demands for the EJS, it is becoming very apparent that we require another EJS as soon as possible.

In travelling around to tournaments and demos, I find that one of the main features when explaining Flyball to new people, is the fact that in almost all Divisions in a tournament are now very well balanced. Teams are finding that there is only 0.5 to 0.75 seconds from first seed to last seed within their division. This makes for great racing, no matter what division the newcomers are watching.

I hope that wherever you live, the summer weather is co-operating and everyone enjoys a great summer.

A Question:

How do people feel about NAFA making its mailing list available to members of NAFA? Contact Melanie if you have an opinion on this.

Productive Board Meeting in Detroit

This July issue of the NAFA NEWS is being typed in August. This is partly because there was a large number items that the Board wanted brought to the member teams' attention following the July 13 Board Meeting in Detroit.

Items from the Board Meeting

Flyers: NAFA® would like to get more promotional brochures printed. The Board is wondering if there are any Flyball Enthusiasts with contacts in the printing business who would be interested in taking on this task. Contact Clyde Moore for all the details.

NAFA Fees: The Board has decided that they will start accepting the equivalent in Canadian currency as payment for NAFA fees. Teams making payments in Canadian dollars should check the exchange rate and calculate the Canadian dollar equivalent.

Extra sets of Electronic Judging Systems at tournaments: Some of the larger tournaments are run in double rings which require two sets of EJS. The Board has decided to charge a flat fee of $100 for extra lights, NAFA will pay the shipping charges. This is subject to the second set of EJS being available.

Policy Changes

Effective immediately.

Judge Ages: Amend Sec. 6.5(h): The minimum age for judges is 18 years old. Line or Box judges under the age of 18 must have prior approval from the Regional Director. Sec 6.6(c): This section has been strengthened. It will now read: "A judge is not to engage in conversation with a disgruntled exhibitor. The Head Judge may excuse any person for breach of the Code of Ethics (Sec 6.4)

Sec 1.3(d) The Regional Director shall: (v) have the authority.... prejudicial to the sport of Flyball. The Regional Director may excuse any person from a tournament for breach of 6.4 - Code of Ethics; Clarification of 6.16(b): This rule will now read: ....If the handler or object crosses the start/finish line during his/her dog's run, the dog must run again.... This change makes the rule consistent with the line judges guidelines in section E.7.

Effective September 1, 1996.

Change to Break-out Rule 5.5 (a): .... will be declared the loser of the heat and will not be awarded NAFA Points... NOTE: Tournament Time Sheets should be marked BO, show no time, and indicate a loss.

NAFA has also developed a new design for the Time Sheet that it is hoped will be easier for everyone to use.

New Judges: Four apprentice judges have completed their provisional assignments and are fully qualified. Congratulations to:


For the Board of Directors: Three positions come open this year for the three year term 1997 to 1999.

Send your nominations to:

By: September 30, 1996.

You may include a half page (about 500 word) resume for the candidate.

Next Board Meeting

Las Vegas NV, Friday November 1.

NAFA Annual Meeting

Las Vegas NV, Saturday November 2 (evening).

From the Starting Line

by Dennis Weiske

While many teams are setting up camp for a full day of racing, one person has already started their job. The Head Judge, also known as the Starting Judge, has already inspected the racing lanes, met with the judging crew and has also tested the Electronic Judging System. This is generally the slowest part of their day. Measurement of dogs requesting jump height verification is normally done at this time. The head judge will have you stand your dog, then check to see that your dog is standing properly. When satisfied with the stance, the dog is measured from the withers to the ground. The withers is the point where the backbone meets the neck. This is also where the tops of the shoulder blades meet. Upon completion of the measurements, racing can begin. From here the pace quickens.

Start the two minute timer and we're on the way. Up to seven races an hour. Over fifty races a day. The head judge is about to take on a very aerobic day. Blow the whistle to signal the end of warm-ups, and let the racing begin. The head judge checks to see that the judges and the time keeper are ready, then checks for the starting dogs. It is very important that the leadoff handlers make sure their box has a ball loaded and the rest of their team is ready before indicating to the judge that they are ready. Once the handlers say they are ready the head judge throws the switch and the heat is underway. Then the head judge should position himself between the approach lanes about twenty to thirty feet from the start line. As the first dogs cross the start line the judge watches the bottom red lights for a false start, then check the top red lights to verify the EJS is working. If the top lights do not turn on, the EJS is not working. The head judge must stop the race, check the lights and then restart. The same dogs that started the heat must also run in the restart. This is also true for false starts or any other repeated starts. Through out the heat the judge should remain in position until completion of the heat. This is the best place to view the activity in both lanes. The time keeper will record the winner from the clocks of the EJS, and indicate to the judge if the race is close, which lane won. The line judges will call the finish if one or both of the timers fail. So line judges, watch closely at all the finishes because you may have to decide the outcome.

Personally I think a head judge has the best seat in the house to view Flyball. It is worth all the hard work to get this view. The head judge is there to insure that every competitor at every level of play has an equal chance to perform at their best. They are also looking out for the safety of all the dogs competing. Listen for their whistles and follow their instructions. They have a race to run, and it's your race.

The Final Word

by Steve McAvoy

Since my last article a situation has come to my attention that I feel needs to be addressed.

Team "A" and Team "B" were racing when a ball from Team "B" rolled across to the edge of Team "A's" lane next to a jump. Two dogs from Team "A" ran by the ball without incident, the third dog however stopped and picked up the ball.

The proper call in this situation would be interference on Team "B" because the ball was from their lane. Even though the first two dogs ran past the ball, the ball was not supposed to be there and by its presence it prevented Team "A" from completing it's run.