Competing in Young Kennel Club Flyball competitions

YKC flyball
There are various flyball competions held throughout the UK each year, a full list of these can be found on Find a Show. For competitons which qualify for either Crufts please read below.

Crufts

We host one flyball competition final at Crufts. To qualify for this final, teams must compete in Young Kennel Club flyball events held at appointed shows throughout the year, these events are listed below.

Rules for Young Kennel Club Flyball at Crufts 2023

Teams
Each team must consist of:
  • 4 handlers
  • 4 dogs
  • 1 box leader 
  • 1 team captain 
Each team may additionaly have:
  • 2 reserve handlers 
  • 2 reserve dogs
  • 1 additional person to act as runner / ball collector (aged 6 years and up to, but not including, 25th birthday. If the additional person is over 18, this will count towards the total number of 18-24 year olds
Each team must bring:
  • At least one flyball box (a spare box is advised) – spec to meet that of standard Kennel Club flyball
  • Approved balls may be of any size, colour or design and must bounce and roll – same requirements as for standard Kennel Club flyball
  • • Teams may switch the named handlers/dogs for named reserve handlers/dogs between races
Handlers
  • Members must be aged 6 years and up to, but not including, 18th birthday and one handler can be aged 18 years and up to, but not including, 25th birthday
  • All handlers must be a fully paid up member of the Young Kennel Club before entering a flyball competition
  • Please bear in mind that handler’s ages are calculated on the first day of Crufts
  • Handlers who are 25 years and above by the first day of Crufts are no longer eligible to be a Young Kennel Club member and can therefore not compete
  • Handlers may not compete for, or captain, any other Young Kennel Club flyball team
Box loaders
  • Box loaders must be aged 6 years and up to, but not including, 25th birthday. If a box loader is over 18, this will NOT count towards the total number of 18-24 year olds
  • The box loader must be a fully paid up member of the Young Kennel Club before entering a flyball competition
  • Box loaders may not compete for, or captain, any other Young Kennel Club flyball team
Reserve handlers
  • Members must be aged 6 years and up to, but not including, 18th birthday and one handler can be aged 18 years and up to but not including 25th birthday
    • If the main team already has a member who is aged 18 years and up to but not including 25th birthday then that team must only use members who are aged 6 years and up to, but not including, 18th birthday as reserves
  • Reserve handlers must be a fully paid up member of the Young Kennel Club before entering a flyball competition
  • Reserve handlers may not compete for, or captain, any other flyball team
Team captain
  • The team captain does NOT have to be a Young Kennel Club member, the team captain should be a responsible adult (18+)
  • The team must appoint a team captain to become the point of contact for the team. The team captain may assist the team in the ring
    • Assistance should be in the form of: attending judges briefing, organising the team, transferring used tennis balls back to the box loader between races, helping small or young Young Kennel Club members to restrain large dogs while not competing
    • Assistance should NOT include releasing the dog to perform a run whilst a race is in progress
  • The team captain may not compete for, or captain, any other Young Kennel Club flyball team
Dogs
  • Only dogs of eighteen (18) calendar months of age and over on the day of competition are eligible for entry
  • A dog may not be named in more than one (1) Young Kennel Club flyball (even as a reserve)
  • A Young Kennel Club handler is permitted to run a dog in the Young Kennel Club flyball final which is also being run in an adult competition
  • Unlike standard Kennel Club Flyball, there are no restrictions on breed of dog in the Young Kennel Club flyball competition
    • i.e. all dogs may be the same breed if desired

Dogs will all compete at the same height:

  1. The jumps will have an inside width of 30” 
  2. The jumps will be a total height of 9 inches  
  3. The 1” topslat will be flexible / breakable and will contain padding
Dogs entered must be registered at The Kennel Club to enter Kennel Club licenced shows.
Order of proceedings
  • The final at Crufts will be run as a ‘Single Elimination Tournament’. This means that if a team loses once, they are knocked out
  • The draw for the final at Crufts will be conducted by the Young Kennel Club management team once entries have closed. This will be adjudicated and witnessed by another member of kennel club staff unaffiliated with the Young Kennel Club
  • The team that wins the best of three (3) races will move forward to the next It is up to the judge whether all three (3) races will occur if a team wins in the first two
Competition regulations - for competitors
  • No persons shall carry out punitive correction or harsh handling of a dog at any time
  • A dog must attempt to clear every hurdle. However if a hurdle is knocked down, the dog must not be penalised, provided it clears the hurdle as if it were standing
  • A dog must re-run at the end of the line if:
    • An early start is indicated
    • It does not attempt every jump
    • It does not trigger the box
    • It does not return with the ball
    • Its handler’s feet cross the start line during its run (with the exception of resetting a jump or retrieving a lost ball)
    • It started its run before the preceding dog had reached the start/finish line
    • The box loader is faulted for assisting the dog
    • If a dog or any team member obstructs the opposing team during a race, the offending team will forfeit the race
      • A dog chasing a loose ball is not necessarily causing an obstruction
  • The first team to have its fourth dog, (or the last to be re-run) across the finish line, with any part of the dog’s body, wins the race
  • Only dogs & handlers who are members of the original team, or named as reserves on the entry form, will be permitted to compete in the final (in exceptional circumstances, replacement dogs or handlers will be considered but must have signed written approval by the Crufts working party before the final)

 

Qualifying heats for Crufts 2023

Date and venue

Closing

Host team and association

11  June, Drax

16 April

Focus and BFA

31 July, Benham Sports Hall

5 June

Northants and UKFL

3 September, Halefield Stud

9 July

Funky Fidos and BFA

Saturday 5 November, Errol

10 September

TFS and UKFL


Enter a Young Kennel Club flyball heat for Crufts 2023. 

Further information

Further information on flyball at Crufts can be found on the Crufts website.