• Oct. 6 - 8
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2008 Championship Wrap-Up

Thirty-six teams representing 16 states and two Canadian provinces descended on Memphis October 10 through 12th to compete in the 2008 U-FLI Championship, hosted by Memphis’ own Fetchin’ Frenzi flyball club. The event was the culmination of a series of competitions that began in April in Tulsa with the first of five national qualifiers. Participation in this year’s event marked a more than 50 percent increase over the 2007 championship event.

Racing kicked off on Friday with the inaugural running of the Dream Team Challenge and the Singles & Pairs Championships. The Dream Team Challenge was just as it sounds – a chance for everyone to put together boundary-less teams, teams assembled without regard to club affiliation and that sometimes ignored the traditional thought processes that competition teams are built on.

“The stuff that dreams are made of” meant different things to different people. Yes, there were some dream teams not unlike our US basketball team that took gold in the ’92 Olympics, teams assembled with the belief that they were the best of the best . . . teams that could outperform all others. Still, other teams were founded on dreams where perhaps speed was secondary to, or at least no more important than, other considerations – teams with names like Better Red than Dead, Dash Hounds, Dogz from Down Undr’, Gold Rush and We are Family.

Twenty-four teams participated in the Challenge. Placing first in their respective divisions of the Dream Team Challenge were All BS, Division 1; Leap N River, Division 2; Gold Rush, Division 3; Endless Pawsibilities, Division 4; and Anythings Pawssible, Division 5.

The Singles & Pairs Championships drew 23 and six entries, respectively. Singles stayed true to form. It was about setting personal and breed-best times, but this year’s event included the added reward of divisional placement. Divisions were tight, with the spread generally being less than 2/10 of a second from the top to bottom seeds in each. Placing first in each of the divisions of the Singles Championship were Riff, Division 1; Impulse, Division 2; Krypto, Division 3; Rage, Division 4; and Lady, Division 5. Fastest time of the singles event was 3.645 posted by Jack Jack from Instant Replay. The winners of pairs divisions 1 and 2 were DGW – Alpha/Omega and Droolin Dragsters Cruisers, respectively. The fastest pairs time posted belonged to Hawkeye – Moxie/Shiner at 7.971.

Shortly after 7 a.m. Saturday, October 11, the first of the teams competing in the U-FLI Championship 2008 took to the lanes. Championship racing would continue for just over two hours, after which the 42 standard teams that entered Saturday’s regular tournament, Barkin’ in Memphis, took to the lanes for their first block of racing. It, too, would run for more than two hours, after which the two events would begin their second rotations. At the end of the day placement for the round robin portion of the championship was posted, and the division winners of Saturday’s regular tournament were announced.

Throughout the weekend, there were reminders of where the future of flyball lies: Moments such as when the Dawged Forces Kids R Us P/U team took to the lanes Saturday in Standard 3 and moments such as Saturday evening when Melanie McAvoy presented Katlyn Stay of Dogs Gone Wild with the Advanced Junior Handler Award, the highest level of achievement awarded to junior handlers.

When Sunday rolled around, the race schedule became just a bit heavier. With championship racing scheduled to conclude mid-day on Sunday, eight more standard teams entered the regular tournament mix, for a total of 85 teams competing throughout the day. (The divisions 7 championship team completed its racing after Saturday’s round robins.)

In anticipation of the heavy race schedules, this year’s event included the addition of a third ring of competition. While there were some references to a 3-ring circus here and there throughout the weekend, those were more references of convenience than commentary on how things were run. This event was a huge undertaking for both the U-FLI organizers and Fetchin’ Frenzi, beginning with the race schedules that were painstakingly worked and re-worked and continuing with the ring control and volunteer management that was necessitated throughout. Both organizations delivered top-notch performances.

When the last dog crossed the finish line, these were the winners in their respective championship divisions:Division 1: Instant Replay
Division 2: Stampede
Division 3: Too Hot To Handle
Division 4: Double Dog Dare
Division 5: Woof Pack Flyball
Division 6: Weapons of Mat Destruction
Division 7: Droolin’ Dragsters

The U-FLI Championship 2008 and Barkin’ in Memphis were part of Showcase of Dogs, the most comprehensive and successful dog-related event in the Mid-South. Net proceeds from the event benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Last Updated Wednesday, May 31, 2023 - 06:31 PM.
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