Payson To Host Town's First Flyball Tournament

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Payson's first flyball tournament will be held on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 at Rumsey Park, with racing ongoing both days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Local resident Jonnie Geen and her flyball dog racing team, INXS, will host this North American Flyball Association (NAFA) sanctioned tournament. The event is free and will be held at Rumsey Park, in the ball field across from the library.

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Cody races through a flyball course, much like the one that will be set up in Payson.

Payson's first flyball tournament will feature some of the fastest racing teams in the Southwest. 2006 regional champion teams from California and Arizona will be racing, as will teams anxious to claim the 2007 champion titles. Flyball is the fastest-growing dog sport in the world.

Flyball races match two teams of four dogs each, racing side-by-side over a 51-foot course. Each dog must run in relay fashion down the lane, over the jumps, trigger a flyball box, releasing the ball, retrieve the ball and return over the jumps. The next dog is released to run the course, but can't cross the start/finish line until the previous dog has returned over all four jumps and reached the start-finish line. The first team to have all four dogs finish the course without error wins the heat.

Racing will be ongoing both days, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be a raffle benefiting the Payson Humane Society Building Fund. In addition, PAWS in the Park will be offering free T-shirts, sweatshirts and

other quality outerwear for sale; proceeds also benefit the Humane Society Building Fund. The Payson Humane Society will also be there, selling raffle tickets for a great quilt called "Doggone Fun," as well as several other dog-related items. Spectators are welcome to bring their dogs, but they must be leashed and will be required to stay outside of the fenced racing area.

Volunteers are needed for helping with judging. If you are interested in helping out, or have any other questions about the event, call Jonnie Geen at 472-6555.

Come out and watch some of the most highly trained canine athletes in the country, as they have the time of their lives. The beauty of these dogs, as they fly through the air, will bring tears to your eyes. It will be a fun time for all.

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