Volume 3, Issue 3, July 1997
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 © 1997 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:

Break Out Policy Change

NAFA judges should rule in the following manner according to the policies in effect now.

After October 1st, a team "Breaking-out" for the third time in any tournament, will not be placed in their division.

Team ATeam BRuling
BODNFBoth teams get a loss, do not rerun the heat unless necessary to determine a winner for that race.
BOBOTreat as if the heat did not happen, rerun the heat, same lineups
BOFinishes the heatTeam B receives the win

NAFA Points

Just a reminder to all competitors. There is no reason to call the NAFA Statistician for your points. They are mailed out to club captains along with certificates for FD, FDX, and FDCh every three months. FM, FMX, and FMCh pins and certificates are done only twice a year at present time.

Executive Director's Corner

by Clyde Moore

I am pleased to announce that NAFA is now a registered Trademark to be followed by ® when used in a publication. Use of the symbol is only required once in a publication if the following disclaimer "NAFA® is a registered trademark of NAFA, Inc." is displayed on either the title page or at the end of an article. Please note that this treatment is no longer necessary for the word flyball as we were denied our request for a registered trademark.

I have been receiving reports from different areas that some of our judges are not stopping the heat when a handler holds up their dog for fear of a collision with an opposing teams dog that is crossing over out of its lane. For safety of our Dogs, NAFA wants the handler to hold their dogs when they feel there is the possibility of a collision. When they do so, judges are to stop the heat, award the win to the team that held their dog, and assign them an average time for the heat.

Jump Boards

NAFA recommends for safety reasons, that tournament hosts replace all 1" or 2" jump boards with those made from no more than 1/2" thick plywood. Use of boards made from "SINTAR" or similar material will also be allowed upon approval.

New Regional Director

MD, NC,VA, etc.
Eunice Morgan
31010 Benson Mills RD
Upperco MD 21155
(410) 472-2371

Words from the Chairman

by Bob Murray

Here we are with 10 months gone in the NAFA Flyball year which will end on September 30. From all reports we have; there have been more, better, bigger, well organized tournaments than ever.

I want to congratulate all our line, box, and head judges. Five years ago our main concern in some areas was just to get a judge. Now we have qualified judges across North America. Our EJS is improving all the time with one new system in use and our oldest set being converted to the new operating system.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the elected Board members of the past 5 years. Every person elected worked for the betterment of Flyball. When difficult decisions had to be made, naturally some people didn't agree, but the Board members have stood behind these decisions. Even when the decisions were not 100% right, they kept working to improve them.

Through the NAFA NEWS I want to thank all the Board members who served with me over the last five years for their complete co-operation and full support. - THANK YOU!


by John Cocking

NAFA's new EJS, (otherwise known as "the lights") seem to have been performing flawlessly. They have traveled from coast to coast now and I have not heard of any problems using them. They even survived the "twister" tournament in Irvine, California. They are pretty simple to set up, but please, use only fingers to tighten the fittings, if it is too tight, take it apart and check that it is the right fitting, then try again, it may have been cross-threaded. Some additional enhancements in the works include making the green "start" light flash in the winning lane, and aluminum frames for the sensor arrays. The flashing light only indicates the apparent winner based on elapsed time. There are a number of circumstances where the head judge may over rule this indication. For example, if one team failed to run one dog, they may have an apparently faster elapsed time, but still lose the heat. The aluminum frames are much lighter and therefore save on shipping costs and make the shipping container easier to handle. The shipping container itself is now reduced to a single plastic `Rubbermaid' storage box. When you think back to the monster wooden shipping crate that was used for the early shipments, this is a major achievement, and cost saving in itself.

Conduct on the Internet

by Alan Weiner

Communications between flyball enthusiasts had in the past been nearly non-existent with activity taking place in so many areas of the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere. The use of the internet has bridged that gap providing a forum for discussing a wide range of issues including training, tournaments, and teams as well as topics of common interest and just plain chat.

Along with all the terrific benefits this communication network provides, it sometimes is also an outlet for misinformation, controversy, conflict, and hurt feelings. At the November 1, 1996 NAFA Board of Directors meeting, charges were brought against three individuals (in three separate incidents) for comments posted on the flyball mailing list, Although NAFA certainly doesn't censor anyone on the internet, being such a public forum, it is reasonable for people to be held accountable for their comments. NAFA's Official Rules and Policies include such behavior in Section 3.4, Misconduct "...behavior...that would leave a spectator or exhibitor with an unfavorable opinion of flyball" and section 6.4, Code of Ethics "...Never conduct yourself in a manner that would bring discredit to flyball."

Many people who are new to our sport as well as the regular participants have been given a very negative impression of flyball when they read such mean spirited comments. Other less public means of communication should be used if so desired. Kathryn Hogg has done a terrific job of operating the mailing list, and maintaining the flyball home page. His efforts are appreciated by all of those who enjoy having these wonderful tools available.

If we want flyball to continue to flourish; lets be good ambassadors for our sport.

Rule Changes approved for new Rule Book

Section 1.2(b)
change "enforcement" to " enactment"- to read "The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the enactment of the rules and policies.."
Section 1.4(a)
remove "set policy for the organization" and replace with "enforcement of policy" - to read "...the administrative affairs of NAFA, the enforcement of policy, and be responsible for organizational development."
Section 2.2
change "the teams and host clubs shall present the groups views" to read "The delegates designated by the clubs and/or NAFA shall present their club's views and vote for the club when a vote is called"
Section 3.4
Change the word "alteration" to "altercation"- to read "...or any behavior or altercation that would leave a spectator or exhibitor..."
Section 5.4
Layout- Remove the entire section from the book as it duplicates section 6.13(c)
Section 6.1
remove "or demonstrations" to read "...individuals or teams that accept money or other compensation for flyball competition over the amount specified may not compete in NAFA sanctioned competition."
Section 6.2
Change section heading from "TEAMS" to "CLUBS and CLASSES of COMPETITION"
Section 6.2(a)
change "any type or breed of dog including those of mixed or unknown parentage" to " any breed of dog and/or mixed breeds" to read "the NAFA regular class of competition includes teams made up of any breed of dog and/or Mixed breeds and must be offered at any tournament."
Section 6.12(c)&(d)
remove from section 6 and place in section 6.6(g).
Section 6.14(c)
change "will" to "may" - to read "forfeiting teams that do not show just cause, may be excused..."
Section 6.15(a)
Remove entire section and replace with " The host club will designate a time period for warm-ups."
Section 6.15(d)
Section to read after removal of Halters from allowable and addition of Halter(including Haltees to the not allowed -"Electronic or electronic dummy collars are forbidden from the tournament grounds. Pinch/Prong collars and halters including "haltees") are not allowed in the racing ring. flat collars, slip collars, and harnesses are the only accepted type of equipment.

Policy Changes from June 20 Board Meeting

Section 5.5(a)
added to ...."When one team breaks out and the other team did not finish its heat, both teams will be declared the loser." In the event.....
Section 5.5(a)
added at the end of section "A team that breaks out 3 times in any tournament is ineligible for any tournament placing." (This will be effective Oct. 1, 1997)

(The NAFA Board felt that the loss of points and the heat were not enough to discourage teams from sending in improper seed times. It hopes that this tougher policy will correct this problem)

Section 6.6(g)
Add the following
"Only one (1) handler per dog be allowed in the measuring area. This measuring area to be determined by the judge."

(This will take effect Oct. 1, 1997 in order to allow teams time to train their height dogs to stand properly.)

Section 6.12(b)
Add the following sentences. " NAFA recommends that 1" and 2" jump boards be no thicker than 1/2' plywood, or made from "SINTAR" or similar approved material." (This was done as strictly a safety matter. There are still too many 3/4" jumps out there.)
Chapter 4- NAFA HALL OF FAME, Paragraph 2
Change "50" to "100 to read "Please submit a brief resume of one hundred (100) words or less.." Paragraph 3
add "no more" to read " A list of no more than five (5) finalists will be selected.... Paragraph 4
Change August 1st to May 31st to read "Please submit nominations to NAFA by May 31st of each year..."
Section 5.1(h)
Effective Jan 1, 1998, Change $15.00 to $20.00 to read -"Following the tournament the host club is to submit a recording fee of $20.00 (US Funds) per team that entered, ......
Section 7.2 (d,e,& f)
add the words "a certificate of achievement, a commemorative pin and the title" to read - "NAFA will award a certificate of achievement, a commemorative pin and the title Flyball Dog Master ......." (Retroactive certificates will be issued upon request)


John Cocking

Election Time is fast approaching.

Please give some serious consideration to making nominations to replace the members of the Board of Directors whose 3 year term expires this year. They are:

  • Noel Kujawski
  • Melanie McAvoy
  • Bob Murray

(Melanie's role as assistant to the Executive Director is independent of her position on the Board.) While there is no official requirement for Board Members to represent a particular area, it would be desirable for the Board to have broad representation from across the continent. Teams in those areas where a Board member is retiring may want to make a special effort to see that someone from their geographic area is nominated.

In addition to the Board members, Clyde Moores term as Executive Director also expires this year.

The role of Executive Director is a crucial one for the success of NAFA. The Executive Director, assisted by the Regional Directors that he or she appoints, is responsible for the day to day operation of NAFA, sanctioning of tournaments, explaining the rules and guidelines, and dealing with all the mundane problems that crop-up from time to time.

Please see the last page for more details on making nominations.

Running a Dog in two or more Classes

by Clyde Moore

Recently the old question about when you could run a dog in 2 classes at a limited tournament came up again. I am going to try to explain in simple words the intent of the Policy. The policy evolved because some dogs were allowed to run on 2 teams in a tournament when some dogs were excluded from running due to limits on the classes.

The easiest way I can explain it is, I hope, as follows. Tom and Joe are on separate clubs. Tom's club got into a limited tournament with both it's regular and 4/breed team. Joe's club was unable to enter the limited regular class because it filled before their entry was received. Therefore Tom's dog can not run on both teams.

The tournament director may decide to take all the entries received, thus negating the policy and allowing Tom to Run his dog on both teams his club entered.

Simply stated, if my dog can not run, due to limited entries in the tournament's regular class, then your dog can only compete in one class.

Any club who is planning to double run a dog at a limited tournament should let the tournament director know, and check with them at closing.


by John Cocking

Board of Directors: Three to be elected for the term 1998 to 2000.

Section 1.2
"The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the enactment of the rules and policies, promoting co-operation and good sportsmanship, discipline, setting and amending of the rules and guidelines for tournaments, addressing any protest or complaints, interpreting the rules and other special activities."
"Election of the Board of Directors officers shall be by a majority vote by the delegates.
Executive Director:
One to be elected for the term 1998 to 2000.
Section 1.4
The Executive Director shall be elected by the delegates to oversee and facilitate the activities of the Regional Directors, Board of Directors, Delegates, Special Committees, and the administrative affairs of NAFA, enforcement of policies, and be responsible for organizational development.
(see section 2.3):
Delegates are designated by the teams prior to December 15 for each upcoming year. The Board may also designate delegates with special interest in the sport of Flyball. This has usually been used to designate Judges, Regional Directors and Board Members, who are not otherwise designated as delegates by a team.

For the purposes of this election, team delegates will be those listed in the NAFA database kept by Melanie McAvoy.

Please submit nominations by September 30 to:

    NAFA Nominating Committee
    c/o John Cocking
    R.R. 2
    Fisherville, ON N0A 1G0
Be sure to indicate which position the nomination is for (Board of Directors or Executive Director). You may submit a short (1/2 page) resume of the candidate. Verify that the nominee is willing to stand for election.