Time Line Of Events
Steve Pitt writes as AFA President in the AFA Newsletter, Flying Times:
"First I would like to remind the AFA members that under my stewardship the AFA does not recognise state boundaries. For our sport to flourish we need to recognise that we are all members of the club (Australian Flyball Association Inc.). It is only with this in mind that we can realise we all have a common goal that is to have fun and make the sport of Flyball Racing popular" - Page 4- Steve Pitt 2004 Flying Times
2006 - Branch of Leaps and Bounds Flyball club (Bankstown, NSW) operates in Noosa, QLD. Members of both groups travel back and forth competing and combining over several years. This example is blog post from 2006. Bankstown Web 37
2006 - Further blog posts from Bankstown - Leaps and Bounds combined members of Sydney and Qld branches. Includes running in "State of Origin" in QLD. Bankstown Web 39.
2006 - Bankstown announce a new team name for the Qld branch. The Weekly Wag Newsletter 41
2007 - Bankstown Leaps and Bounds combine NSW and QLD branches to compete at the 2007 AFA Nationals (note Steve Pitt is President of the AFA at this time and organiser of this event). 2007 Nationals Combined Teams
April 2015 - Letter from Bankstown Re-branch structured club Bankstown sends a letter to 4PR confirming they ran as branch structure club with the full knowledge of the AFA. BCSD Flyball Letter
March 2012 - 4PR is Affiliated and starts competing with members from Vic and NSW - Team 4PR - 4PR
April 2013 - Members from Milton and ACT join 4PR. These new members sit out the 90 days as required under rule 2.4.
April 2013 - Committee meeting minutes in full. April2013AFAMinutes.doc
April 2013 - 4PR receives a letter from AFA secretary reiterating that they are operating within all the rules and policies of the AFA and the committee sees no issue with what they are doing. However they were requested to refrain from the use of the term "franchise" and instead use "branches". 4PR has no issue with this complies with this request. Four Paws Racing - Single tEam with multiple branches
November 2013 - 4PR enters its first nationals. Enters 3 team and win divisions 2, 5 & 10 http://www.flyball.org.au/…/2013-nationals-dandenong-s…/510/
April 2014 - 4PR enters its second Nationals. 2 teams entered, 4PR wins Division 2 and comes last in Division 3. http://www.flyball.org.au/…/supercoat-australian-natio…/526/
October 2014 - 4PR gains members from QLD for the first time. All new members sit out the 90 days as per rule 2.4.
November 2014 - Steve Pitt issues letter to some AFA clubs and the committee requesting they rescind their decision from April 2013. Super Teams 17 November 2013.docx
November 2014 - First ever AFA survey held. Almost 300 members responded. Only 6 respondents mention "branches" or "superteams" as an issue in Australian Flyball.
December 2014 - Special committee meeting called to address Steve's submission and subsequent member submissions both for and against branch structured teams. Issue was sent to the rules sub-committee for review and recommendations. Issue referred to rules subcommittee to review points in Steves submission. December 2014 Special AFA Minutes.doc
December 2014 - Letter sent to all clubs and committee members by 4PR correcting mis-information provided by Steve Pitt's first letter. Response To Superteams
January 2015 - Rules sub committee meets to discuss "branch structured clubs". Attached are the full minutes which were edited before being included in the February 2015 AFA Committee meeting minutes. The sub-committee concludes: "that Branch teams have not demonstrated any real advantage in racing to date and that the potential effects stated in Steve’s letter did not bear out based on what has been evidenced in the last three years. The AFA should not be considering rule changes based on what some future club may or may not do. If at some point in the future a club is considered and has shown to have an unfair advantage, then rule changes could be considered at that point in time. Meeting Rules Sub 14 Jan 2015
February 2015 - Rules sub-committee findings are presented to the full committee. Committee members denied a vote on the findings by a few members. Direction is made to hold over any further discussion until "we see what happens at Nationals". Item was deferred to April 2015 meeting. February 2015 AFA Minutes
February 2015 - FDA is launched claiming to have branches in all states of Australia. Steve Pitt issues a letter to AFA clubs on behalf of "a small group of concerned AFA members" reiterating that FDA has been launched to make the committee take action at what he sees as an unfair advantage and that FDA is a protest against the current rules. FDA Expressions of Interest. FDA Information
February 2015 - 4PR enters its third nationals with 5 teams competing. 4PR wins one title in Division 3. http://www.flyball.org.au/event/supercoat-australian-nationals-titles-2015/576/
March 2015 - 6 Committee members issue a proposal to add a definition to rule 2.7 that will alter how Rule 2.4 may be applied. - Open letter from Tim Slade seeking further clarification and justification of this proposed rule change. Open Letter to Commitee - Prposed Rule Amendment.
April 2015 - Following the open letter to the authors of the rule amendment, 5 of the original authors submit a revised proposal seeking to add undefined regional boundaries to the AFA. Amendment submitted by 5 members of committee for consideration at next meeting introducing some unspecified "regional" boundary around clubs. April 2015 - Submission to Committee Re Rule Change Introducing Regions
April 2015 - AFA committee meeting is held. The previous decision to review rules sub committee findings on branch structured teams carried over from the February meeting and to review the results of the recent Nationals are dropped from the agenda. Instead the proposed rule change is voted on. Many of the questions raised regarding this rule change are not addressed by the authors of the proposal. Due to the committee putting this on trial with a vote to be via postal ballet prior to the 2015 AGM, those opposing this amendment are denied the right to state their case in an open forum at the next AGM. Instead members will only have AFA committee minutes and notification 52 on which to base a decision. Amended proposed rule submitted with all questions on justification, lack of evidence of the "advantage" this rule amendment claimed to rectify to support such a rule change and confirm its benefits to the sport were ignored. Amendment passed as on trial rule to be enforced from July 1st, 2015. Minutes of April Meeting
April 2015 - 4PR requests the AFA modify their website listing. In reply the AFA secretary issues an email accusing 4PR of attempting to circumvent the rules by simplying changing their website listing and states the committee will decide if this is allowed. The first time in AFA history a vote has been called for on a website change. Email from Brian Lindsay
April 30th 2015 - Presidents Message re Rule Notification 52
In his Message the president states: The role of the Committee in dealing with any Rule change is to ensure that members are given factual information as to the intent and application of the proposal so that they can make an informed decision whether to accept or reject the Rule change. Presidents Message
May 2015 Committee Minutes - From the Minutes: The view was expressed that currently only Four Paws Racing appeared to be operating under a branch structure as they were competing as 3 separate groups of dogs in Victoria; Queensland and a combined NSW/ACT group. May 2015 Minutes
May 2015 “Special” Meeting of the Committee - From the Minutes: The Committee noted the draft of the Clarification Statement, which included a Question and Answer Section, developed by the appointed Sub Committee. The Sub Committee had attempted to provide clarification answers to all of the Questions submitted by members to date. The draft also contained a small number of “posed” questions designed to clarify key issues in the branch structured clubs discussion. The Committee proceeded to review the document ,section by section, with the objective of attempting to provide a clear indication of the intent and application of the On Trial Rule related to Rule 2.4 (the 90 Day rule) to all clubs. May Special Meeting 2015
June 2015 Response to AFA Q&A on 90 Day Rule Amendment - The committee has issued an explanation document and Q&A regarding the on trial rule amendment issued in Notification 52. However, all the information and definitions contained in this document will not form part of the new rule, hence the rule amendment is still open to interpretation by any current or future committee as they see fit. The document is quite long but we encourage all members to consider taking the time to read through this to be fully informed before voting on this amendment. Q&A Response