• What: Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship.
• When: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
• Where: AT&T Field, 201 Power Alley.
• Admission: Free, but donations accepted for McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center.
• Website: www.skyhoundz.com.
More than 100 dog-handler teams from around the world will converge on AT&T Field this weekend for the Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship.
Billed as "the most talented dogs in the world," these disc-catching canines will leap, lunge, twist and turn in midair as they make their high-flying grabs to earn judges' points.
According to Jeff Perry, Hyperflite co-founder and a former world champ, dog handlers from across the United States as well as Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Argentina and the Netherlands are competing. Their canine partners represent a variety of breeds.
"Any canine is eligible to compete as long as they can fly high and bite hard," said Perry. "A number of former world champions have been animal-shelter adoptees who became addicted to the disc."
That disc is similar to a Frisbee but is actually designed specifically for this sport, he said.
"Frisbee is the registered trademark of the first flying disc designed for human play. Hyperflite flying discs were the first designed specifically for use in canine competition and are the official disc of the Skyhoundz World Championship."
Judges will score youth and adult competitors in six divisions: Sport, Pairs, Freestyle, MicroDog, Open and Youth. Perry said world champions will be crowned in each division.
In Freestyle, for example, Perry explained, 1 to 10 points are earned in each of four categories: presentation, athleticism, wow factor and success.
Perry said spectators will be able to judge for themselves which are the best teams.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to select the best teams, and most spectators usually score it the same as our experienced judges. Top teams will catch more, perform more challenging tricks and fly higher than the others."
Contact Susan Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-747-6284.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...