Tournament of Champions Thank You!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Football has the Super Bowl, golf has the Masters, tennis has Wimbledon, and U-FLITM flyball has the Tournament of Champions. Held in the world-class Purina Event Center in Grays Summit, MO, an 84,000-square-foot state-of-the-art indoor facility, the Tournament of Champions welcomed 45 clubs from across the country in November for three days of close, clean, and most definitely fun competition.
The Tournament of Champions brought teams from every corner of the map, including clubs like Ball Haulers who travelled over 2,000 miles from Modesto, California, Burnin Rubber who travelled 1,000 miles from Ottawa, Canada, and Rude Dogs West who drove 1,500 miles straight through from Las Vegas, Nevada. It was an event not to be missed. And by the comments posted on Facebook for weeks after, the Tournament of Champions did not disappoint.
"I received so much positive feedback during and after the event from the competitors who said they liked the close racing due to the new division changes," said Connie Croley, Committee Chair. "People also really appreciated the organization of the racing schedule because it allowed teams to finish early enough to enjoy dinner with friends and a full night's rest." Even with more than 200 races each day, racing was completed by 5:30pm.
Flyball Geek, expertly run by Dale Smith, the tournament Pit Boss, helped keep racing in three lanes running without any major delays. And with over half a dozen clubs co-hosting the event and providing volunteers to man each box judge and line judge chair, competitors only had to worry about racing at their very best.
With racing being mostly a 3/5 format, racing often came down to a gut-wrenching fifth heat. The final showdown between Division 1 teams Hyper Flight and Burnin Rubber was a crowd pleaser with low 15-second times and neck-and-neck finishes.
In addition to the two-day Tournament of Champions, the extended weekend event also played home to Friday's Dream Team Challenge as well as the Singles and Pairs Championship Tournament. And, in conjunction with the tournament itself, a regular U-FLITM tournament was held on Saturday and Sunday. It was a packed three-day weekend with judges Brian Kauk (Ontario), Paul Ferlitto (Alabama), Todd Morningstar (Michigan) and Randy Kenzie (British Columbia) expertly commanding all three rings.
With Flyball Geek keeping everyone on top of their team's race schedule, taking time to shop at the vendor mall, grabbing a bite at the Checkerboard Café, fitting in a chiropractic adjustment, or making a contribution at the raffle table wasn't difficult.
"The generosity of the flyball community never ceases to amaze me," said Stephanie Smith, Committee Chair. "A.D.O.P.T. made over $1,200 on the raffle they held. That money will go a long way in helping them achieve their goals to build a new animal adoption shelter in Jefferson County, Missouri."
The road to the 2012 Tournament of Champions being held August 24 - 26 in Kearney, Nebraska is paved with six qualifying tournaments beginning in March 10, 2012 in Chattanooga, Tennessee and ending July 14, 2012 in Amana, Iowa. Updated information on the qualifying tournaments and the Tournament of Champions will be available on the U-FLITM website throughout the year and tournament information will be available the website on the Tournament List.
Our sincere thanks goes to the following individuals, teams and companies for their
help and support of the 2011 Tournament of Champions!
Organized by Mary Fuller Donated by Purina
Val Rogalla, Christine Davis, Danielle Beauregard,
Paul Ferlitto, Doug May, Stephanie Smith, Connie Skalski
Paul Ferlitto, Todd Morningstar, Brian Kauk, Randy Kenzie
Ring Judging Chairs:
K9 Racers, Reeking Havoc, Rude Dogs West, Rude Dogs, Competitive Dog Sports,
Bordering on Insanity, High Velocity, Synergy
Mats provided by:
Slammers and K9 Racers
Championship Event Articles:
Terri May and Chris Davis
Kim Toepfer and Stan Eskridge
2012 Championship Flyer: