flyball, NAFA, Opinion, Policies & Procedures, PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS, Rules

Agenda for 5/19/12 NAFA Board Meeting‏

This Is A Public Service Announcement

The agenda for the 5/19/12 Board of Directors meeting in New Orleans, LA has been posted on the NAFA web page.  The agenda also includes the recommendations from the Rules Committee.

NAFA® Board of Directors Meeting, May 19, 2012, New Orleans Louisiana- Agenda:

Officers’ Reports

Chair’s Comments:

Executive Director’s Comments

Treasurer’s Report

Secretary’s Report

Standing Committee Reports

Election Committee:

Nominating Committee:

Judges Committee:

Bob Atol, Richfield MN – Apprentice to Provisional

• Peter Guidolin, Schomberg ON – Provisional to Approved

• Anchor Dog Re-runs

Rules Committee:

Listing additional dogs on multibreed teams

• Using compressed air in a flyball box

• Changing regional affiliation

• Wearing appropriate clothing/footwear

• Using a vibrating collar before a tourney starts

• Submitting entries for open from multiple clubs in a limited tournament

Marketing Committee:


Disciplinary Committee:

Cheyenne – 060881- Request to remove excusal

Review Panel:

Dobby – 080286, 10/15/2011 – Upheld on Appeal

• Ally – 060559, 02/04/2012

• Tux – 100191, 03/31/2012

• Fable – 100179, 04/14/2012

Special Committee Reports

Technology Committee:

NAFA/Flyball History Committee:

Old Business:

Training Column

New Business:

Customized Awards

• Mini American/Australian Shepherd

• In Memoriam Recognition of Flyball Dogs

NAFA Rules Committee Recommendations

May 19, 2012 Board Meeting

1. Listing additional dogs on multibreed teams — Maureen Setter

2. Using compressed air in a flyball box — Michael Stoyer

3. Changing regional affiliation — Chris VanWert

4. Wearing appropriate clothing/footwear — Jennifer Strong

5. Using a vibrating collar before a tourney starts — Elizabeth Currin

6. Submitting entries for open from multiple clubs in a limited tournament — Leerie Jenkins

1. Listing additional dogs on multibreed teams — Maureen Setter

First forwarded to the board by Leerie on 1/17/12:

> I’ve spoken to both Leerie & Lee regarding my solution for multi teams and I might have mentioned this to Sam. Giving extra points just doesn’t seem fair.

I know what would help our multi team would be to be able to list 8 dogs. Many teams barely have 4 different breeds of their team, much less 6 to attend a tournament all at the same time. If we could list 8 dogs, then we have a better chance of replacing a dog that can’t run. Many times our 2 back-up dogs are of the same breeds that are running and they can only replace their breed on the team. Not a good solution for back-up dogs on your multi team.

What do I have to do to get the Board to look at this possible solution for increasing multi team participation.

I personally love racing on our multi team but getting 6 different breeds to attend a tournament can be difficult




The committee was split with regard to the level of support for this proposal. Some members thought adopting the proposal may be the least intrusive way to help encourage multibreed. The option of listing additional dogs on the time sheet would allow for more flexibility since the team would less likely need to withdraw or go FEO if any one dog was suddenly unable to run. The committee discussed several practical concerns including modifications that would need to be made to the C.2 form, the NAFA scoring program, and the NAFA database (although, Dale Smith indicated it would likely not be too difficult to make the necessary changes). Adopting the proposal would also perhaps adversely affect various third party software programs that are used by some clubs to assist 2

with hosting tournaments. Thus, the administrative heartache associated with implementing the proposal may outweigh the potential benefits. On the other hand, the proposal may provide the extra boost needed for those regions on the cusp of being able to run multibreed on a regular basis.

The committee mentioned (without discussion) additional options the board may want to consider such as splitting mixes into different “breeds” based on some specified criteria (e.g., weight) or allowing a multibreed team to run with a minimum of three different breeds instead of four. In any case, the committee looks forward to further discussion with the rest of the board and to hearing any comments or ideas that NAFA competitors may have on the subject.

2. Using compressed air in a flyball box — Michael Stoyer

Subject: Flyball Box Regulations

Date: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 6:01 pm


I’m looking to build a flyball box, and I had a question regarding regulations:

Under section 1.1, it states that

(b) All boxes are to have a mechanical (not electrical) mechanism.

Would this exclude the use of compressed air? I would be using a compressed air tank filled prior to the competition, and it wouldn’t be filled or switched out during the competition. There would be no electronic components on the tank being used or otherwise on the flyball box. It would also, of course, adhere to all other regulations.

I only ask because in all likelihood I would probably use an electrical device to fill the tank beforehand, and while no electrical mechanism would be used during the competition, I wanted to make sure I didn’t run afoul of regulations before building the box rather than finding out later.




There was no consensus regarding whether the current rules allow for compressed air. However, some committee members agreed that in principle, the rules should allow for a box to harnesses energy from compressed air instead of a spring. Furthermore, some committee members would also like the board to consider allowing the option of using electricity perhaps in the form of a self-contained battery. However, there was some concern that new technologies may make it difficult to readily discern whether a box poses any potential hazards (e.g., the possibility of a malfunction that results in an unsafe and overly powerful thrust). One member suggested that for the time being, boxes with compressed air be approved on a case by case basis. The committee also briefly discussed how one would deal with situations when the compressed air runs out or a battery dies during a race; although, perhaps such scenarios could be dealt with the same way as any other box malfunctions that occur nowadays. 3

So as not to stifle innovation and creativity, the committee decided it would be instructive for the board to consider a rewrite of Section 1.1(b) from the Rules of Racing that includes a detailed description of “what” a box needs to do (e.g., hold ball, dog triggers box, ball shoots certain distance) without addressing the “how.” Sam Ford and Dale Smith will try to have a proposed draft for the board to consider at the upcoming meeting.

If the board were to approve any changes to the rules with regard to box design, the committee recommends that the issue be open to some additional input from the public, and that any concerns raised during the comment period be thoroughly considered and dealt with before the changes take effect on October 1, 2012.

3. Changing regional affiliation — Chris VanWert


Fri, 2 Mar 2012 09:32:06 -0500


May Agenda Item: Proposed Change to CP P Section 8.3(c) “Changing Regional Affiliation”

[ref. Corporate Policies & Procedures, Section 8.3 (c)]

[ref. NAFA BoD Abridged Minutes, Detroit, MI, April 16-17, 2011]

To: Leerie Jenkins

Chairman of the NAFA Board of Directors

Dana Nichols

Rules Committee Chair

NAFA Board of Directors,

I propose that a change to the Corporate Policies and Procedures, Section 8.3 (c) be considered and adopted to be included as part of the agenda for the May 2012 Meeting.

Specifically, change(s) that would allow a club owner with a legitimate residence change and/or other reasonable request for an exception to the current rule which requires that a club must wait until the beginning of the next racing year (October 1) before being allowed to change regions or to opt-in/prefer into an adjacent region.

This rule reads in part: “A Club may change regional affiliation by written request to NAFA.” This statement is currently being interpreted as beginning it’s application at the following year’s racing season (October 1).

First, a club that has chosen to opt-in/prefer into an adjacent region is not actually located there, by definition. They are a club that prefers to travel to a region outside of their place of residence. 

The Board has demonstrated that they are willing to grant exceptions to this rule.The minutes show that an exception was granted even though Section

8.3(c) has no exceptions written, or published by NAFA. There was no “reason” presented to the Board at the time the request for an exception was made and, the Board did not ask for a reason. In pursuit of

fairness, this is an option that should be available to ALL clubs equally.

Secondly, a club owner may have moved their residence which subsequently changes their regional location, yet they are being treated under the rule the same as a club which is choosing to travel “outside” their residence.

Under the current interpretation and application of Section 8.3(c), the only way a club owner may change residence and, therefore, compete immediately in the region where they now reside is to “dissolve” their club, re-register their club on NAFA Form C.11 using a new club name and paying an additional fee.

I can understand the incentive to collect a fee and therefore, create another source of income for NAFA however, a club should not be required to disband or to incur other excessive costs in order to compete in the region where they reside. If NAFA can put a club in its proper region as a new club at any time during the racing year, then it can move an existing club to its proper region any time as well. It did this for Spring Loaded.

Overall, the current interpretation and application of Section 8.3(c) is not customer driven. Please, think this issue through from an organizational and leadership perspective.

What I propose is that the Board regulate or otherwise specify language and incorporate in Section 8.3(c) the exact situations in which an allowance for a residence change or other exception/exemption to Section 8.3 (c) may be applied for. As an example, a change in your place of residence which is more than 200 miles from your club’s current address as listed on NAFA Form C.11 is a “reasonable” cause to apply for and be granted an

immediate change of region.

There may be other reasonable causes that the Board wishes to include such as a change in residence to a region “beyond” an adjacent region or, it may leave that option open to allow other clubs to plead their case before the Board.

I am proposing this revision to allow both legitimate residence changes as well as other reasonable exceptions since:

1.) There is a precedent that was set last year for Spring Loaded, the Executive Director’s club.

2.) The rule itself currently has NO provision for any legitimate residence change nor for any other exceptions listed.

3.) The current wording seems to limit the application of this rule to changes involving an “adjacent” region. How should this rule apply to a club that moves beyond an “adjacent” region? Would the Board consider that a reasonable request for an exception to Section 8.3(c)?

4.) In pursuit of fairness, this is an option that should be available to ALL clubs equally who change their residence or who desire to opt-in/prefer to a region, just as it was made available to the Executive Director’s club (Spring Loaded) without any reason recorded in the minutes.

As in all rules where there are exceptions listed or not listed, the Board retains all rights to review requests for exceptions and has the final determination whether or not it is “reasonable”.

All sections of the Board meeting minutes or the NAFA Rulebook referenced are included for easy reference below.


Christine Van Wert,

The Wooferines Flyball Club, NAFA #455

North American Flyball Association®, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting Detroit, MI

Abridged Minutes, April 16-17, 2011

New Business

Lee asked that his club (Spring Loaded, a Region 1 team) prefer Region 2. Dave moved that Spring Loaded be granted an exception to prefer Region 2. They can not earn regional championship points this racing year but, should they host a tournament, it would be a Region 2 event. Kris seconded. There was no discussion. No one was opposed. The motion passed unanimously.


– Regional Champions

(c) All points and tie-break times for Regional Championships must be earned in the Club’s home region, i.e., an “in-region” team. A Club’s home region, absent a written request for change, is the place of residence of the Club owner shown on NAFA®. Form C.11. A Club may change regional affiliation by written request to NAFA®. Requests to change regional affiliation to an adjacent region must be received before the start of the racing year to take effect that year. A host club’s regional affiliation shall determine the region in which regional points accrue for tournaments hosted by that club, except when the tournament is hosted more than 200 road miles away from the opted-in regional border, in which case the regional points will accrue for the region where the tournament is geographically located.


After discussion, the committee agreed that exceptions should rarely be granted. The committee believes the board should handle any requests on a case by case basis and should grant them only under the most unusual circumstances. Where club owners move mid-year, most issues regarding regional affiliation of tournaments are now addressed by geographic limitations imposed by Section 8.3(c) [page 42 of the current rulebook]. Therefore, the committee recommends the board not adopt the changes requested in the proposal. 6

4. Wearing appropriate clothing/footwear — Jennifer Strong

Date: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Subject: [] <rules> Footwear Rule

I would ask that the rules committee consider adopting a rule that handlers must wear appropriate clothing/footwear in the lanes. I’ve noticed people who will run dogs in flip flops or barefooted. While this may be more comfortable, I believe it poses a safety hazard, and could potentially be a liability issue for hosting clubs. If you do not wish to specifically address it as a rule, could we include a section in the rules that gives the judges discretion to address safety concerns such as these? Thank you!



The committee does not feel it is inherently wrong for a handler to be barefooted regardless of whether the venue is indoors on mats or outdoors on grass. If a running surface were deemed unsafe for barefooted handlers, then it would likely also be unsafe for dogs to run on. At this time, there are too many situational factors to consider if the committee were to attempt to devise a rule along these lines. For example, if bare feet were disallowed, would flip flops or Vibram FiveFingers be OK? The committee did, however, agree that head judges always have the right to address situations they deem unsafe (e.g., handlers with metal cleats/spikes or high heels).

5. Using a vibrating collar before a tourney starts — Elizabeth Currin

Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 12:11:53 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Rule Question


Got a NAFA rule question for you pertaining to the use of a “vibrating collar”. I believe this is the applicable section of the rule book that will apply to this question:

Section 1.3 – Collars and leads

Competitors are forbidden to use electronic, electronic dummy collars, and pinch/prong collars on the tournament grounds. The tournament grounds include racing lanes, spectator areas, and the crating area. Head halters, including Haltees or Gentle Leaders are permitted in the ring, but may not be used in navigating the course during racing or warm-ups. Flat collars, slip collars and harnesses are the only accepted type of collar. Retractable leads shall not be used in the ring during racing or warm-ups. It is noted that it is impossible to control spectators with prong collars or other unapproved devices on their dogs who are not part of the tournament.


And here’s my question: Does this rule apply before the tournament starts? Specifically, could a person use a vibrating collar to train a dog during mat time the night before the tournament starts? (i.e. Friday night or Saturday night if it is 2/1-day tournaments on Saturday and Sunday.)

Thank you,

Elizabeth Currin

Region 5


The committee unanimously agreed that based on Section 1.3 – Collars and leads (from the Rules of Racing), one cannot use forbidden collars at any time when in conjunction with a NAFA event, including mat time and single/dual dog racing the night before a tournament.


6. Submitting entries for open from multiple clubs in a limited tournament — Leerie Jenkins

If there is any way I could add an item to this agenda, I would like for us to discuss limited tournament draws, and people submitting multiple clubs for open.



The purpose of a random draw for a limited class is to give each team a fair and equal chance at getting a team entry into the class. The draw also ensures that each club will get one team entry into the class before any club gets a second team entry into the same class. Members of the committee believe that submitting entries from “ghost clubs” for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage in a draw is against the spirit and intent of the rules and consequently unsportsmanlike conduct. When situations such as this arise, the committee recommends the board defer to the Executive Director for additional review and possible punitive action.


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