How to Judge Flyball



Flyball consists of two racing lanes set up side by side. Between the lanes is a set of drag racing lights which signal the start of the race. Each lane is 15.5m long and consists of 4 hurdles. At the end of the lane is a flyball box which holds a tennis ball. The dog triggers the box to release the ball.


The lane consists of 4 hurdles, the first being 1.8m from the start/finish line, with each being at 3m intervals after. The hurdle height varies depending on the dogs on the team and can vary from anywhere between 7 inches up to 14 inches high. This height is determined based on the height of the smallest dog on the team.


Any dog; regardless of breed, size, shape or formal training, can participate and join in on the fun. A high level of energy and coordination are of benefit, as is agility and speed.


Flyball is fun, and the audience is encouraged to cheer on their favourite team. The noise and energy motivates the teams to go faster. The excitement and race is one that shouldn't be missed.


Each relay team consists of four dogs, with up to two reserve dogs. There can be either three or five heats in every race. When the last light turns green the dogs are off and racing (crossing the start/finish line before the light is green results in a foul). Each dog must jump the four hurdles, retrieve the ball and jump back over the hurdles to complete their lap. Missed jumps and dropped balls require the dog to rerun the course after the rest of the team has finished.

As soon as the first dog’s nose returns across the start/finish line the next dog is off! The first team to have all four of their racing dogs complete their run cleanly wins the heat.

The above judging criteria and comments have been provided for the purpose of education and do not represent the views, opinions or position of judges, officials or the RA&HS. Any resemblance to actual persons, competitors, or exhibits living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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