Volume 2, Number 2, March 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:

Important Rule Changes from Toronto Meeting

Toronto, February 4, 1996.

Among the many items on the agenda of the NAFAreg; Board of Directors at their regular meeting held in Toronto, was a new rule to replace the existing Rule 5.5, on seeding. While this is a new rule to NAFA, it represents official acceptance of a practice that has been followed in some parts of N. America for some time.

The rule is intended to prevent the perceived practice of some teams to submit low seeding times to get themselves into or out of a particular division. The new rule, as approved by the Board, reads as follows:

Replace Section 5.5 Seeding

(a) Tournaments will be seeded by the times submitted with the team's entry. After the closing date, the Tournament Director will divide the entered teams into divisions. Each division's break-out time will be one (1) second faster that the top team's seed time. Except in Division 1, a team running more than one (1) second faster than the top team's seed time will "break-out" of the division, and will be declared the loser of the heat. In the event both teams in a heat break-out, no winner will be declared, no NAFA points awarded, and the heat will be rerun. If the Electronic Judging System fails, this rule does not apply. (b) In the event the Electronic Judging System will not be used in a tournament or ring, teams will be seeded based on the best available information. Final seeding shall be approved by the Regional Director.

This rule change is effective May 1, 1996.

In addition to this rule change, the board also changed rule 5.3 as follows:

Revise Section 5.3, Format, as follows:

The tournament format shall be approved by the Regional Director. Each team participating in the tournament (and the Head Judge) shall be notified no less than 48 hours prior to competition of said format.

Please take note of these rule changes. It might be a good idea to copy this page and stick it in your rule book for future reference.

In other business, the Board announced the criteria for selection of Regional Champions. These criteria are:

"A single team (not a club) must compete in a minimum of 4 regional tournaments. Each team's top 4 placements will be awarded points as follows: First highest in region 3 points Second highest in region 2 points Third highest in region 1 point In the event of a tie, the team's best time in their 4 qualifying tournaments will be averaged. The fastest average wins. Teams from any club put on probation for misconduct will automatically be disqualified."

A qualifying tournament must consist of at least 12 competing teams (except for Region 6 - a minimum of 8 competing teams, and Region 9 - a minimum of 6 competing teams).

The Instant Replay White Team was selected as the 1995 North American Multi-breed Champion.

The Board named Committee heads and assistants to look after specific areas of interest to NAFA. The Hall of fame election results were also announced. These items are covered elsewhere in this issue.

From the Starting Line

by Dennis Wieske

Far from the seemingly chaotic activity at the start finish line, two officials appear isolated from the action taking place at the other end of the race track. The Box Judges as they are called, observe the conduct of the box loader and the dog catching the ball. A dog must trigger the box and carry the ball back over the remaining jumps. The box loader is not allowed to signal or aid the dog, other than giving verbal encouragement, and he must remain in the upright position until the outcome of the heat is determined by the head judge. If a box loader determines that his box has malfunctioned, then he must indicate to box judge that a malfunction has occurred. According to the rules, the heat must be stopped and the head judge must examine the box to determine if the box has malfunction. If so, then the heat will be restarted. The best way for a box judge to indicate to the head judge the box has malfunctioned, is to stand in the racing lane in front of the box and get the attention of the head judge. At the same time the box judge should inform the box loader not to reload or touch the box in any way. Box loaders, it is up to you to indicate a malfunction. Get the attention of the judge, and do not attempt to reload or otherwise tamper with the box unless the head judge has indicated that it is OK to do so.

The most effective way for a box judge to observe the race is to first watch the box loader while the dog is running up the track keeping an eye out for the approaching dog, then insure the dog triggers the box and then carries the ball over the jumps on the return. As the next dog crosses the start finish line then the judge should return his attention to the box loader repeating the process until the heat is completed. By focusing on the loader as the dog is approaching enables the judge to observe the box loader and any loose balls or dogs coming from the other lane. Watching the dog at the box and returning over the jumps enables the judge to see any missed jumps or balls that been dropped behind a jump. This is especially helpful when the electronic lights are not being used as the line judges must focus more attention on the passes and the finish.

A Note from Melanie

by Melanie Davidson

Please remember that the fee for a CRN is $15 in U.S. funds. I have been receiving several checks for only $10. A copy of the CRN Form is enclosed with this copy of the NAFA NEWS. Please make copies for your team members. Use of this form will help ensure that we are getting the proper information from the dogs' owners. This will help me to process your requests for CRNs more promptly. Thanks, Melanie.

The Final Word

Steve McAvoy
Chairman, Regulatory Committee

In this and the next few issues I would like to relate some examples a of what is and what is not interference.

Recently, I was questioned about an incident that occurred at a recent tournament.

During the second heat of a race between Team A and Team B, Team B's 1st and 2nd dogs had already completed their runs. While the 3rd dog was going to the box, Dog #1 got loose and followed Dog #3 down the course. Dog #3 continued on to the box, triggered the box, got the ball, and returned over all 4 jumps. Dog #1 was caught and Dog #4 successfully completed its run.

In this incident, because all 4 dogs successfully completing their runs, this is considered a legal heat for Team B, interference should not have been called on Dog 1 as long as it did not cross over and interfere with Team A.

If you have any questions regarding this or other rule interpretations, please contact me.

Hall of Fame Election Results -THE VOTES ARE IN!!!

by Noel Kujawski

We are happy to announce the new inductees to the 1995 NAFA Hall of Fame. Vesta, a black lab. owned by Marty Fulton, and Zeke, a Border Collie owned by Phyllis Askew, are the newest Hall of Fame members. Vesta runs with the Animal Inn team from Minnesota. Zeke runs with the Front Runners team from Michigan. Both dogs are Onyx award winners. Congratulations to both dogs and handlers who will join the Hall of Fame members from the past. Cisco, owned by Pam Schultz 1986. Damien owned by Nancy Little 1988., and Sapphire owned by Faye Guest 1988. We all hope both dogs enjoy another great year of racing in 1996.

NAFA Committees

Executive Director's Corner

by Clyde Moore

This month I have a couple of things to discuss with all Flyball participants and especially all tournament hosts and directors.

At the recent board meeting the board passed a new rule change to help solve one of our last remaining barriers to fair and equal competition in the lower divisions of tournament competition. Our board is to be congratulated for their effort in this matter. This new rule, if effective, should solve our age old problem that always occurs at least once at just about every tournament. This is where one or two teams, no matter how well the Regional directors know their teams and successfully seed the tournaments, always manage to run too fast for the division they are seeded in. This rule is basically designed to punish these teams on the spot, rather than the next tournament.

Now I would like to stress a few must do's regarding the use of the EJS which we all want to function properly at our tournaments.

  1. Never position the stands more than 6 feet apart.
  2. Never leave the control box positioned on the ground, always place it on a piece of wood or rubber off the ground.
  3. Always reset the timers to 0.000 when through for the day or taking long breaks.
  4. Always make sure the two connections on the control box are tightened all the way. These tend to feel tight but if you push on the plug you can usually tighten them more. You usually have to do this 3 or 4 times.
  5. When having problems aligning the stands always try to shim the stands themselves rather than shimming the sensors themselves. When you are on a non solid surface it would make alignment easier if you first leveled plywood for the stands to set on.
  6. Always clean the EJS stands and wires, tie up the individual wires, and pack the equipment the same way you received it. Remember the next tournament is just as important as yours.
  7. Always set the equipment up when you receive it to make sure it is in working order. If we know about equipment failures in time we may be able to help you get it working properly in time for your tournament.

Words from the Chairman

by Bob Murray

As of this time of the year NAFA has more tournaments sanctioned thanever before. I'm sure this will mean more dogs, more teams and many more people. This is a good time to read "Chapter 1 Section 1.1 Objective" Quote - "The objective of NAFA shall be to further the sport of Flyball and to promote co-operation and good sportsmanship in the sport of Flyball through its committees, rules and policies, tournaments and other activities". Every so often it's good to remember how much fun the dogs are having.

The teams that are hosting tournaments are to be congratulated. If it were not for their hard work, lots of dogs and handlers would have no place to race. The head table workers have already done a lot of work preparing for the tournament, and of course do a lot of work during the tournament. The judging crew work long hard days, the clean up crew, set up crew and the list goes on. Don't forget to acknowledge them.

Concerning the electronic light systems that are now 2 and 3 years old, now more than ever before need "Tender Loving Care" both during the tournament, packing and unpacking and shipping.

Good racing and be sure to have fun.