Flyball is a 4 dog relay race over hurdles. Each dog runs down over 4 jumps, hits the box to release their ball and runs back over the hurdles. The height of the jumps is set according to the height of the smallest dog on the team up to a max of 14".
Flyball competitions consist of single day tournaments that usually occur as a weekend event where there is a tournament each day. The racing is controled by a system of lights that start the race and then a timing system that reports the time for each dog and the overall heat time.
The heat time determines the number of points that each dog running in that heat earns towards titles: a time under 24s is 25 points, under 28s 5 points and under 32s 1 point.Titles are awarded after a certain number of points are acrued:
- 20 points - Flyball Dog (FD)
- 100 points - Flyball Dog Excellent (FDX)
- 500 points - Flyball Dog Champion (FDCH)
- 1000 points - Flyball Dog Champion Silver (FDCH-S)
- 2500 points - Flyball Dog Champion Gold (FDCH-G)
- 5000 points - Flyball Master (FM)
- 10000 points - Flyball Master Excellent (FMX)
- 15000 points - Flyball Master Champion (FMCH)
- 20000 points - ONYX
- 30000 points - Flyball Grand Champion (FGDCH)
- 100000 points - Hobbes Award
Plaques are awarded for every 10000 more points between 30000 and 100000. Titles are also awarded on the same scale for dogs running in multibreed classes - those where all the dogs on the team are different breeds (including mix).
The Iron Dog award is given to a dog earning points every year for 10 years.