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Here are some photos of the Silver Streaks team dogs from the flyball tournament in San Jose, CA last weekend.

Halo









Cali





Camo





Covet





Lexie



Mallory




Ninja





Psyclone





Rico





Ruckus



Spock



Voodoo



Zip



The photographer is the husband of a former Marin Running Riot teammate - he took 6000 pictures last weekend! So far his wife has posted 175 of them to Facebook, so there may be some more good shots of our dogs to come.
 

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I love the photos! Great, happy expressions on all the doggies. Its so fun to see all the different breeds, shapes and sizes competing together.
 

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Wonderful pictures!They all look so happy and intense!
 

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Great action shots, especially of Halo :wub:
I may be a tiny bit partial to Halo. ;)

Very nice!
Thanks, it's always great when we have photographers at tournaments.

Nice. You can see the effort, stretched out and full speed like that. Did he get any of the dogs passing by each other?
I don't know yet, but I'd guess not. Usually photographers focus on dogs going over the jumps or on the box. I do have some passing photos from previous tournaments, but not many.

I love the photos! Great, happy expressions on all the doggies. Its so fun to see all the different breeds, shapes and sizes competing together.
It really is a sport for any type of dog. Teams are seeded, so they're broken into divisions that compete with other teams of similar speeds. Division 1 is for the fastest teams (or in the case of MultiBreed - all 4 dogs must be different breeds and mixed counts as a breed - there are often only enough teams entered for 1 division), division 2 is for the next fastest teams, etc. Regular is any 4 dogs from the same club (MB teams must also belong to the same club), and Open can include dogs from other clubs, but doesn't have to.

The smallest dog sets the jump heights that team has to race over (7" to 14"), so most clubs will have a little dog on each team. Our club is short on height dogs, so we usually have to borrow a couple from other clubs. Halo ran on TNT, the MB team, and we placed 3rd on Saturday and 2nd on Sunday. Our Open team, Stampede, came in first both days, and both teams earned over 1000 points for the weekend.
 

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Oh, Steve - I don't think I ever posted these pics on the board before. At the tournament in Lindsay they had a new camera system set up to record passes. The cameras shot down on the start/finish line, and would capture when the dog exiting the course crossed the line, so you could see where the dog entering the course was, and make adjustments to your start for the next heat. There was a computer set up on a table at the side of each lane, so after you released your dog you got instant feedback. I had a couple scary tight passes with Halo!

Halo was running 3rd on the team and in the second image, she's passing into Rico:



The judge actually raised her hand to flag the pass as early, but the sensor didn't not go off, and she glanced over at the screen and saw that it wasn't actually early so she lowered her hand again.

This one isn't quite as tight, but it's still inches:



Camo has about a 2 foot pass into Halo in that one. These images with all three passes and the split times were shown at the end of the heat. The quality isn't that great because we just took quick cell phone pictures of the computer screen, but it was so much better than relying on a human pass caller to dial in consistent tight passes.
 

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I also have some screenshots from video of last year's San Jose tournament. This is Ninja passing into Cuda with a zero pass:



And Halo passing into Page with a zero pass:



This photo of Xena passing into Halo is a much bigger pass, they cross at the 5 foot line:



Xena and Halo from another angle, hard to tell how tight the pass was:

 

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That's the part that really amazes me, passing that close and especially like that last one. How that Jack Russell doesn't just decide to break off the run and chase Halo with the ball?
Happens ALL the time, lol! Chasing is one of the most common (and frustrating) issues in flyball. I was fortunate that it was never problem with Halo. Some people literally spend years working on chasing.

That's focus.
And training. :) We do tons of desensitization work at practice, as well as breaking down what looks to be a very simple sport into component parts, and then we work on those separately.

We start working on passing by doing opposite direction flat (no jumps) recalls. Green dogs are always paired with a solid dog, and they're fairly far apart. One dog is held until the first dog is completely past and to the handler, and then that dog is also released. The stagger is decreased gradually, until the dogs are being released at the same time, but still with a lot of space between them. Once the dog is fine with that, we gradually decrease the distance until they're just a few feet apart as they pass by each other.

If that's too much at first, we start with both dogs in the middle, facing away from each other, and they run in opposite directions, rather than towards each other. We gradually move them further and further back from the middle until they can run past each other. Then we add the jumps, we call those passing recalls. The box is removed, and one dog is at each end of the lane. The green dog is held until the other dog has run completely past, and then released. It's usually more challenging to have the solid dog at the side of the lane while the green dog runs past, but we work on it as long as we need to, and then we reduce the stagger again, like on the flat. Full runs to the box passing into a dog or with a passing dog are the last steps. If we need to, we use people to block between the lanes at practice, or we set up gates to keep the dogs who tend to run around the jumps in their lane.

Some dogs can only run first or last on a team, because they can take a pass, OR pass into a dog, but not both. Ideally, the goal is to get every dog to the point where they can run in any spot on the team, but that doesn't always happen. Halo can start, or run anchor, or in the pack - she doesn't care as long as she gets to race! She can pass into any dog and take a pass from any dog.
 
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