Rally is a variation of competition obedience. In regular obedience, a judge gives the instructions that, for the most part, are in the same order, every time. You come into the ring knowing what you are doing and the exact order in which to do it.
On the other hand, rally has a specific number of exercises that you may see, but the order always varies. Instead of the judge calling out exercises, there are signs on the ground directing you through the course. Like traffic signs, they will tell you when to turn, stop, and what speed to move. The signs also ask for specific behaviors, your dog to sit in front of you, to lie down next to you, or to take a jump.
The two organizations that hold rally trials in the Columbus area are AKC (American Kennel Club) and APDT. (Association of Pet Dog Trainers). In the spring, AKC will be open to all breeds and mixes, and APDT has always been open to all breeds and mixes. APDT does allow the use of food rewards, in specific contexts, in the actual competitions.
This is a great class for dogs of all ages, and if you have an interest in attending trials or not. Rally focuses on building stronger, more reliable behaviors, and just having fun with your dog!
To find a listing of rally classes in the area, check out this list.