Chairperson's Announcements

Juddy's Blog

The summer flyball season is now well under way and it's been great to see so many handlers and dogs back out in the lanes. 1 June has now passed and some significant changes to our sport have now come into effect; changes that may well affect team line ups and seed times, which is why we have changed the AGM and rule change dates this year. This means that rule changes will now be voted on in the Autumn and come into effect 1 Jan from 2023, rather than us continually making significant changes half way through the main season and immediately prior to team's getting stuck into their Championship preparations. This year's changes will hopefully work out for the better for everyone and improve the flyball experience for you and the dogs. Wider jumps are now a thing, and you will see these in use from the upcoming shows over the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend. We now have a working ulna measure, directions for use and a training regime in place, all done in an amazingly short timeline. The measure and measurers will be tested over the Jubilee weekend to make sure it is entirely fit-for-purpose or whether any minor tweaking in design or instructions are required before rolling out across the association for full implmentation at all BFA shows from 1 July. The good news is, with Speed Trials for everyone at both Champs events this year, it means any changes to team line-ups or team speed in July won't ruin your enjoyment of these flagship events as all teams will be placed into divisions based on the times they are able to do at the showground on the weekend of the event. The schedules will be out for the Champs in a few weeks. Please note that both the Indoor and Outdoor schedules will be released together to help us plan and budget better; it's time to get really excited as there really is something for everyone at the re-vamped BFA Champs, open teams, foundations teams, singles and pairs - a great option if you can't make the whole weekend, as well as training events on the days without open racing. We will  be including lots of new team challenges and prizes to make it interesting for everyone regardless of what division you are in - make sure you read the schedule! After our trial with the BFA Festivals last year, it will be great to have a Champs that includes options for all dogs regardless of what stage they are at and we are so looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible, it's going to be epic celebration of flyball that nobody will want to miss.

Having just returned from the FCI Flyball World Cup in Lommel, Belgium, I have to say how impressed and proud I am of how the BFA teams represented themselves and our association on the biggest of international stages with the eyes of the flyball world watching - just freakin' awesome, every single handler and dog involved. Dog technique and fitness, handling skill and race management (except perhaps me!), and sportsmanship and comraderie in and out of the ring; everyone involved made an incredible contribution to the BFA's reputation on the international flyball stage, and I would like to say thank you to all those who contributed, not just the competitors but the support both in the stadium and from back in the UK as well as you could feel the positivity right across the Channel, your messages of support and encouragement made all the difference. Congratulations to High Flyers, Aces, Lightning Strikes and Monkeys who all had to deal with challenges of some description prior to and during the event, but they all performed superbly and their efforts were duly relfected in the final team world rankings and a 2nd in the nation rankings for GB. And of course a massive congratulations to the eventual winners, Roadrunners Beep Beep who, despite their own challenges, had a flawless run to the final and lifted the trophy without dropping a single leg of flyball in 2 days of racing - awesome, and thoroughly deserved.

Finally, it has been really exciting to see so many new team registrations and so many new Tournament Organisers coming forward. It isn't easy running a team for the first time or running a show for the first time but I know our community will lean in and help as there is huge amounts of experience out there, if you have advice or something else to offer please do so, and if you need some help just please ask. I'm excited about the great summer of flyball that lies ahead, intrigued as to what the 1 June rule changes might throw up, but whatever happens, please please please have fun with your dog and then your dog will have fun too, and that, of course, is the main thing.