General Rules for All UFO Events

Competitor Eligibility at Events 
All UFO events are open to all competitors, regardless of their ability, race, sex, ethnicity, nationality, club or group affiliation.

Competitor's responsibility for Canines at events 
Competitors are responsible for the behavior, welfare and safety of their dogs at all times at a UFO competition. Competitors are required to read and sign the UFO registration form which contains a liability waiver at signup.

All canines at the event must have a current rabies vaccination and license at the time of registration.
Where required by local ordinance, Distemper, Parvo, bordatella, and corona virus vaccinations are also strongly recommended.
Where necessary, a preventative flea and tick medication may also be recommended.

Control of dogs 
All dogs must be leashed, in a kennel, or otherwise under the owner's control at all times. At the discretion of UFO representatives or contest officials, any dog that is perceived to be a medical or physical threat to other canine competitors will not be allowed to compete and the handler may be asked to leave the premises.

Canine Welfare
Abusive treatment of canine competitors, or any actions that may be perceived by UFO officials or spectators as such, will not be permitted. Any handler mistreating a dog will be asked to leave.

While the health and welfare of canine competitors is the responsibility of their owners/trainers, the chief UFO official at the competition or the on-site veterinarian may be called on to ultimately determine whether a canine is fit to compete. Many disc dogs will continue to play even if they are badly injured, so competitors are encouraged to be aware of the physical condition of their dog at all times.

UFO officials reserve the right to deduct points from the competitor's score, or in extreme cases disqualify a competitor altogether if they believe that the canine half of the team is being endangered unnecessarily. Examples of tricks or moves meriting point deductions could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Collision with the thrower's body, including leaps over the thrower's body, resulting in trips and/or tumbles.
  • Direct impact of the disc to the canine's face or any other part of the body in a fashion that may be harmful to the canine
  • Frequent repetition or excessive height during any trick or move that leads to reckless lack of control, collapses, crashes, tumbles, etc. by the canine half of the team
  • The human half of the disc dog team should incorporate into a Freestyle routine only tricks and moves that have been properly trained and prepared for, resulting in the display of control and safe transitions throughout the routine.

Leash, Collars, Harnesses and other canine accessories rules and guidelines
All dogs must be kept on a leash or in a kennel at all times when they are not competing or warming up.

Collars – All competing dogs must have a collar at the event. At the handler’s option, dogs may do their round with or without a collar.
Aversive training tools are prohibited at all UFO events: choke chains, prong collars, electronic shock collars, citronella collars, squirt bottles, shaker noise cans, compressed air cans, and any other tool that UFO officials deem aversive. Tools not specifically listed to be evaluated at the discretion of contest officials and the UFO Board. Electronic training aids of any kind, active or inactive, are not permitted during competition, nor are they allowed at the event. They may not be left on the dog even in a deactivated state. This includes electronic fence collars, shock collars, sound or spray training collars.
If one of these is the dog’s “main” collar that they wear day-to-day, the handler needs to invest in a completely “plain” collar for use at competition. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Dogs may wear bandanas during competition. They should be tied so they are not loose, and so they do not come off during competition.

Leashes – It is required that the competing dog be brought to the field on leash when they are called. The handler should keep the dog on leash until the current dog is safely secured and on leash themselves.
Dogs should be brought to the start line on leash.
Long lines-in the event that the dog is in training or a flight risk, a handler may use a long leash that the dog drags on the ground.

Harnesses - Harnesses are allowed for bringing the dog to the line. A Harness may remain on the dog as long as it is a style that is not a danger for entangling the dog.

Goggles – Dogs may wear goggles during their round. Goggles should be fitted so that they stay in place on the dog’s face for the duration of the entire round.

Nature Breaks and Other Disruptions
If a nature break occurs on the playing field during competition, time will continue and any clean-up necessary must be done by the human half of the team upon completion of the round. As a courtesy to others, competitors should avoid allowing their dog to take a nature break on the playing field at any time as this can cause an unnecessary distraction for other canines participating in the competition. To this end, canine competitors should be kept away from the playing field before the competition begins and should be taken for a nature walk before they are scheduled to take the field during the competition.

If an unleashed dog runs onto the field during competition, time will be suspended and the competitor will be given the choice to 1) continue with the rest of the round, 2) start the round over, 3) move to the end of the order and start the round over after their dog has rested. Time will be suspended for other unforeseen distractions or obstructions at the discretion of UFO officials, and the same three choices will be given.

In the event that there is a music malfunction during a freestyle round, the competitor has the option to continue the round or signal to the officials to stop the clock. If the clock is stopped, the music malfunction will be treated like any other obstruction, and the competitor will be given the same three choices as outlined above.

As a courtesy to other competitors, treats or food of any kind is not allowed on the playing field during competition. Food that is inadvertantly dropped on the playing field may cause an unnessesary distraction for other canines in the competition.

Abusive language, boisterous challenges of UFO officials, confrontations with other competitors, or any other unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated and will result in disqualification from competition. In extreme cases, the UFO board of representatives reserves the right to suspend an offending competitor from UFO competitions altogether for whatever time is deemed necessary.

Sponsorship and Prizes
Entry fees collected at UFO Tournaments are designed to fund a basic, bare bones competition series. Organizers of UFO Tournaments are allowed to accept sponsorship from outside sources to help cover the costs associated with running a large competition and to supplement the prize package offered to the competing teams. Regardless of the amount of sponsorship, UFO entry fees must be collected at all Major and Local Tournaments.