By Brian Matsumoto, Ballistic Racers Team Captain

Often people ask me, “What is so fun about flyball?” I give them many reasons for the enjoyment we get from flyball. When watching this game, one can’t help but notice that all the dogs are having a great time. They are not quiet, but are instead enthusiastically barking their heads off as if to say, “Look, it’s my turn!”

Flyball is definitely a sport for the dogs. Handlers are important too, but remember once you send your dog, he is running and jumping by himself on his way to catching a ball from a machine that is at least fifty-one feet away from him, and in most cases, even farther. Once your dog crosses the start line, he uses everything he has learned from practice to make the right choices as he races back to you. Your dog’s confidence will increase in many areas, not just flyball; it will transfer over to other dog sports such as agility (greater speed and drive) and to everyday life (calmer, with more self-assurance).

One of the best things about flyball is that some dogs can learn it in a matter of months. At this point, your dog is obviously still a beginner and won’t be the best dog on the team, but he will have enough skills to race at tournaments. As he competes with the team, he earns points toward his titles. Team members work together to learn and support each other, as earning points can only be done with everyone’s cooperation.

A tournament is quite an event, lasting an entire weekend. Our team member Linda calls it “flyball camping.” We do in fact, set up a camp consisting of several EZ Ups, which provide shade for our dogs. Dogs rest in crates (often with fans), and there are chairs and tables for people. Everyone brings a potluck dish to share, so we have a nice breakfast and a fantastic noontime barbecue. At the end of the day, winning teams usually receive dog toys for placing first, second or third, and points have been accrued towards that next title.

As you can see, flyball tournaments are a blast! Our dogs go home tired and relaxed after a weekend of non-stop fun. As team members, we get to eat like kings and spend time with our flyball family of friends. Whether we are teaching a new dog to jump over his first hurdle, competing in a nose to nose race, or enjoying a delicious barbecue, we are always having fun with our dogs!

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As Captains, we are extremely proud of our team, Ballistic Racers. Flyball is a sport which requires dedication on the part of the handler as well as the dog. Coming to weekly practice, setting aside time for racing, and preparing for tournaments are chores we all have to face as members of a flyball team. Some members have even been coming to practice twice a week!

Ballistic Racers is less than two years old, and we already have two teams racing, with a third in the making. We have been competing against teams which have been established for a decade or more, and have been able to place first, second or third. Some of our dogs have only been practicing for a few months, and are already good solid dogs, receiving titles and medals. Of course some dogs take longer than others, but dedication is the name of the game. Those repetitions imprint the knowledge in the dog’s memory so they will remember for extended periods of time.

Even though we spend hours training, our team goal is to have fun. We have great times at practice, doing demos, and at tournaments. Whether we are enjoying one of our fabulous barbecues, practicing box turns, or helping new dogs learn the jumps, we want everyone to have fun. As you can see from our newsletter, website, and videos, we and our dogs have fun!

Brian and Joanne Matsumoto

Ballistic Racers Flyball Captains

Go Ballistic!!


Hello fellow team members and guest readers! We’d like to welcome all of you to the official newsletter and blog of the Ballistic Racers Flyball Team. Here is where you will find everything you need keep up to date in the flyball world. We will be bringing you lots of exciting photos of our team dogs in action, great shots of our fun-loving members, home practice tips, professional articles from experts in the field of dog sports and dog health, and much more! Subscribe to The Ballistic Times via our RSS feed and get instant e-mail notification whenever something new is posted in The Ballistic Times. Love the photos? Want to share your enthusiasm? We encourage you to let us know you visited us at The Ballistic Times and leave a comment! We look forward to hearing from you.

Below is a video from the NAFA Sweetwater Tournament. Photos to follow soon!!

Go Team, Go!!