SECTION 1: MEMBERSHIPS
1.1: MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENT
Participation at a USTRC event requires being a member of the USTRC, WSTR or Key Card holder to collect winnings. Before participating, if a roper is not a current member, he/she can submit a renewal Membership application to the National Office, purchase the membership before roping at the event office or purchase online at USTRC.com. Ropers will be permitted to purchase or renew memberships anytime during the year; that membership is valid from the time of purchase until December 31st. Membership sales for the next season will begin on October 1st for the Key Card and November 1st for standard membership. However, a USTRC Finals contestant must be a current year member before the entry is accepted, regardless of when the entry is paid. While a roper can participate on a WSTR membership, discounts to the USTRC Finals thru accumulated earnings are available to Key Card holders, USTRC members, and Jr Global Handicap holders only.
Membership Weekend Permits and/or Day Passes will be available and can be used at USTRC Signature events during the month of October only.
Participation in a USTRC event by a roper who does not have a current Key Card, USTRC or WSTR membership card or has not submitted a renewal membership application as specified, will result in disqualification of the roper and the roper's teammate even if the team has roped.
By entering a USTRC event, the roper is representing that he or she is in compliance with the membership requirements. Acceptance of an entry at an event by USTRC or its producers shall not constitute a waiver of the requirement set forth in this rule. Membership fees are not refundable and are not transferable. Membership fees will not be refunded as a result of classification or rule disagreements and/or non-participation.
1.1.2: RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE AND TEAM DRAW-OUT
USTRC reserves the right to refuse service or draw-out any roper and/or team for inappropriate conduct, conflicts with management, or any other disputes that cannot be settled prior to an event.
1.2: MEMBERSHIP CARD
Proof of membership and pictures of membership cards are provided digitally on Globalhandicaps.com. Issuance of a classification pictured on the card does not guarantee that a classification number shall remain the same for the entire year or not be changed during the year. Classification services are provided to USTRC and managed by Global Handicaps. Membership cards will be printed only upon request and are the exclusive property of USTRC.
1.2.1: JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP
Ropers who are 15 or younger (age determined based on the year of birth rule) can buy the reduced price Junior Global Card and receive full USTRC membership benefits.
1.2.2 GLOBAL HANDICAPS
Global Handicaps is an independent classification program that handles all classifications for USTRC and many other associations/arenas. Classification numbers are not printed or pictured on the USTRC membership card because a Global Handicap card is complimentary with USTRC memberships and is available to view on Globalhandicaps.com. At an event, and upon request, a roper must either log-in and show his/her membership status or (if it’s been received) produce a USTRC membership card along with the Global Handicap card.
1.3: LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP
USTRC memberships are free to renewing or past USTRC members 70 and older who have roped anytime in the prior three seasons. The rule is based on year of birth; therefore, ropers who turn 70 within the calendar year are eligible as of January 1st of the year they turn 70 years young.
1.4: MAJOR MEMBERSHIP OFFENSES
Quarreling or fighting in the arena or anywhere on the premises. Mistreatment of livestock. Misrepresenting or falsifying a classification number. Attempting to fix, threaten, bribe, influence or harass any USTRC official at any time, in or out of the arena, or talking with a Field judge/flagger at a time when an event is in progress. Engaging in, or attempting to engage in, any action threatening, berating, harassing, intimidating, assaulting or striking a roping official, a roping spectator, any official representative or employee of the USTRC or any USTRC Contestant anytime during, before or after an event.
1.5: PENALTIES FOR MEMBERS OFFENSES
Ropers attempting to fix, threaten, bribe, influence or harass any USTRC official at any time, in or out of the arena, will automatically be disqualified, forfeit entry fees, and face potential disqualification from future events at the discretion of the USTRC. If a roper uses any excuse to enter a roping advertising USTRC membership, at a number lower than his official Global Handicap, and this dishonesty results in winning a check, upon verification, the USTRC will send GH a notice to immediately upwardly adjust that individual’s official handicap for a period of not less than one year. This also applies to any roper falsifying information on another ropers behalf.
1.6: SPORTSMANSHIP OF MEMBERS
USTRC reserves the right to disqualify any roper who does not act in a sportsmanlike, reasonable, or professional manner. Disqualified ropers forfeit all fees.
1.7: MEMBERSHIP BAD DEBTS
Bad checks made payable or declined or disputed credit card charges to the USTRC, USTRC vendors, WSTR, The Team Roping Journal or USTRC producer holding an official USTRC sanctioned event will result in immediate ineligibility. Non-payment shall result in punitive action, which may include a handicap number increase, and/or legal action. Ropers who have competed on entry fees paid with a bad check or declined or disputed credit card charge are responsible for the debt, regardless of who made payment along with additional fees assessed.
SECTION 2: ROPING RULES
2.1: LEGAL CATCHES
There are only three legal head catches: 1) Around both horns; 2) Half a head (loop must be around one horn and head, one eye of the steer must look through the loop); 3) Around the neck; 4) Any heel catch behind both shoulders is legal if the rope goes up heels. Illegal Catches might include but are not limited to: If the Hondo passes over one horn and the loop over the other, the catch is illegal. If a loop crosses itself in a head catch, it is illegal. This does not include heel catches. All bridle catches are considered illegal.
2.1.1: HEELER ROPES FRONT FOOT
If the heeler ropes a front foot or feet in the heel loop, this is a foul catch. Should the front foot or feet come out of the heel loop prior to the team calling for time, the time will be counted. Field judge/flagger will not allow any extra time for a front leg to come free.
2.1.2: HEADER ROPES ANY LEG
Should a header rope any leg (horse or steer), it’s an automatic no time. Under no circumstance will the header be allowed to fish-out the leg.
Roping steers without releasing the loop will be considered no catch. A Roper is not allowed to ride up and remove the loop or put the loop over the other horn or head with his/her hands.
2.1.4: QUESTIONED CATCH
The Field judge/flagger will decide any questioned catches. If a Field judge/flagger tells the header to hold the steer so the Field judge/flagger may inspect the head catch, and the header does not do so, the team may receive a no-time.
2.2: TIME TAKEN
Time will be taken when the steer is roped, secure between both partners, both horses are facing the steer with ropes dallied and tight. Horses front feet must be on the ground and ropers must be mounted when time is taken. Steer must be standing up when roped by head or heels. Time is taken when flag is dropped, however, that time is not official until the Field judge/flagger gives indication to the timer or secretary. The flagger may flag a team out after a time is taken on a run, based on an illegal head catch or illegal heel catch, steer was not secure or any other factor that was not clear when time was taken.
2.3: TIE ON RULE
For men it is based on year of birth. Tie on age for men heelers with a classification of #5.5 or lower will be 55 years and older. Tie on age for men heelers with a classification of #6 or higher will be 60 years and older. Female ropers may tie on any time after age 13. Year of birth means that birthdays which occur anytime during the calendar year are valid on January 1st thru December 31st of the roping season. The association reserves the right to grant tie on permission in other medical or handicap circumstances.
2.4: CROSS FIRE
Cross fire will not be permitted. Animal must be in tow before the heel rope is released.
2.5: DROPPED ROPE
A dropped rope that must be recoiled is considered a thrown rope.
2.6: ARENA CLEAR
Should a team call for a steer before the arena is clear, and are subsequently interfered with by the steer or team still in the arena, this will not be recognized as interference and they shall NOT receive a rerun.
SECTION 3: USTRC COMPETITION RULES
3.1: USTRC DRESS CODE
USTRC Finals and other specified events -At the Finals and all major events where formal cowboy attire is advertised or required, ropers must wear a cowboy hat or no hat. Caps will not be permitted. Cowboy attire is defined as shirts with a sewn-on collar, buttoned front styling, with long sleeves (sleeveless shirts not permitted) and cowboy boots, or approved laced cowboy shoe with a heel. Ladies attire under formal cowboy attire is the same as men. Unless a medical exemption is made, heeled or any type tennis shoes will not be permitted. Failure to observe dress code will result in a no-time on any steer qualified.
3.2: USTRC DRESS CODE
Signature Events: Ropers must wear a cowboy hat or no hat. Caps will not be permitted. Exceptions to Caps: Ladies will be permitted to wear style caps or caps of USTRC sponsors at OUTSIDE arenas only. In addition, contractors/producers may wave the hat rule during inclement weather (excessive wind, rain). Shirts must have a collar and at least two buttons, short or long sleeve. Shirt rule is the same for men and women (sleeveless shirts and tank tops not permitted); cowboy boots, or approved laced cowboy shoe with a heel. Unless a medical exemption is made, heeled or any type tennis shoes will not be permitted. Failure to observe dress code will result in a no-time on any steer.
3.3: FAILURE TO COMPETE IN SHORT ROUND
A team who fails to compete in any short round is automatically disqualified from the aggregate and thereby forfeits all money, prizes, points and shoot-out positions related to the aggregate.
3.4: ROPING OUT OF ORDER
A team who ropes out of order in a short round will automatically receive a no time.
3.5: UP AND BACK
In ropings where ropers are allowed to enter more than once, ropers are permitted to enter “Up and Back”: (switching ends with same partner).
3.6: EMERGENCY DRAW-OUT
In the event of an emergency involving a competing roper, his family or his horse, the contractor may draw that team out and refund their money, even though they may have already competed and taken some but not all of their runs; excluding the short round.
SECTION 4: JUDGING
4.1: FIELD JUDGE/FLAGGERS PARTICIPATION
Flag passing is not permitted. Producer shall not permit flaggers to rope in a roping event he/she is flagging, unless the event is using rotations and/or more than one flagger is in use.
4.2: FIELD JUDGE/FLAGGERS CONTROL
The Field judge/flagger has an obligation to control the domain within the boundaries of the arena. That includes anyone trying to warm up, extend a waiting line, sit in the back of the arena, or in any way be in position to interfere.
4.3: FIELD JUDGE/FLAGGERS DECISION
A contestant may point out to the official an incorrect communication between the Field judge/flagger and timekeeper. In addition, if the ability of a team to compete was impaired by physical conditions in the arena or physical conditions of the steer he/she may appeal to the Field judge/flagger immediately. A contestant may also request a flagger to explain a call, however, this explanation is not a discussion or debate and the roper shall immediately exit the arena after receiving the explanation. The flagger has performed his/her function of making the call.
4.3.1: QUESTIONING A CALL
Any question or further discourse concerning the call should be addressed directly to the contractor/producer immediately. The decision of the Field judge/flagger is not final. The event contractor or association official after listening to the ropers perspective, discussing and studying all information has the right to override a call he/she believes is incorrect. If the contractor/producer’s decision overrides the Field judge/flagger, and that ultimate decision results in the awarding of purse monies, the producer is required to inform the association of that decision and the circumstances surrounding that decision. In the event that a roper decides to question a decision beyond the roping event in social media, USTRC may utilize its authority under 1.1.2: Right to Refuse Service.
4.4: SURRENDERING A RUN
If in the opinion of the Field judge/flagger one or both members of a team stops competing during the course of a run, the Field judge/flagger has the right to flag the team out.
4.5: PROBLEM HORSES/THREE STRIKE NOTICE
If a roper has had the opportunity to enter the box and can neither get the horse in the box, nor bring the horse under control while in the box, and in the opinion of the Field judge/flagger this situation has become excessive (holding up the roping) a three strike notice will be given. If the roper does not call for the steer on the 3rd attempt the Field judge/flagger has the option of declaring a no-time on the run. Should this occur on the first steer, the team will receive their entry fees back. If this occurs on the second or third steer (or on the fourth steer in a five-steer aggregate), the team may receive their fees back, only if they qualified the previous steer or steers. The refund rule is not valid for any short round.
4.6: CALLING FOR A STEER
Steer belongs to the ropers when called for by the header. Except for mechanical failure the team accepts the situation “as is” regardless of what happens.
4.7: DECLARING A STEER OR PULLING UP
During the course of a run, if the contestant or steer is visibly fouled or they can visibly see that they will be fouled, the roper must declare by pulling up or attempting to pull up and not try to go on with the contest. If the roper does not declare, he/she accepts the situation the way it is.
4.7.1: VISIBLE INJURY
If the roping stock is visibly injured as the run begins, including a broken horn, the team must declare themselves by pulling up immediately. The Field judge/flagger may stop a run at any time an injured animal is observed allowing the animal to be removed from the competition. This action will result in a rerun for that team.
4.7.2: BROKEN HORN
If in the opinion of the Field judge/flagger a non-visible broken horn existed prior to the beginning of a run, he has the option to declare a rerun. However, no rerun shall be awarded where clearly the broken horn was caused by the run itself, or if the Field judge/flagger suspects the broken horn occurred during the run. If run is completed and time taken, even though a broken horn is clearly visible, time shall stand and the Field judge/flagger will remove that animal from the competition.
4.8: QUALIFYING A STEER
If a roper believes he/she was fouled but has no visible or obvious way of knowing, for instance that a chute or barrier malfunctioned, the roper must qualify in order to get a rerun.
4.9: ANIMAL ESCAPES HEADGATE
If the gate fails to open in the first attempt, the chute operator must stop and wait for another nod from the roper. Whatever happens prior to the nod is not to be considered (horse cannot break a barrier before the roper calls for the animal). If a steer is inadvertently released or escapes the head gate, the team in the box will be rolled and given another steer (exception: in the short round, the team must rope the next available steer in the chute).
SECTION 5: LIVESTOCK
5.1: REMOVAL FROM DRAW
USTRC, or USTRC official(s), reserve the right to withdraw any steer from the herd at any time. Head duckers, draggers, stoppers, eliminators, unusually slow cattle and cattle that turn back into the corners shall be pulled from the herd immediately as they surface during the USTRC qualification roping. Removal from the draw does not automatically result in a rerun for the team roping a steer removed. However, a rerun may be awarded if, in the opinion of the Field judge/flagger, that a steer in question did not afford a team the opportunity to compete.
The right to withdraw a steer from the herd at any time is required as sorting occurs continually throughout most professionally run events. Speed sorts are occurring, and in addition some contractors sort short rounds. Occasionally, cattle begin to show wear and are sorted or pulled in anticipation, before they might foul a team in the future. Teams may not request a rerun simply because a steer is sorted from the herd. Neither are reruns automatic when the horn wraps are pulled.
Reruns will be determined by the Field judge/flagger and will be offered without a request from the roper. If a rerun is not awarded on a steer that a team feels did not afford them the opportunity to compete, they may ask for an explanation, but not argue or discuss the lack of rerun with the Field judge/flagger. They may immediately request a review by the roping Contractor/Producer who has the final decision in these matters. If a barrier penalty is assessed and the rerun is a result of a field issue, the barrier penalty carries to the rerun with a lap and tap (no additional barrier penalty assessed).
5.2: HUMANE TREATMENT OF LIVESTOCK
If a USTRC roper excessively abuses an animal by any unnecessary non-competitive or competitive action, that roper shall be disqualified and forfeit all entry fees. The Field judge/flagger shall immediately inform the announcer that the contestant has been disqualified, and announcer will immediately announce the disqualification due to unnecessary roughness of livestock.
No animal shall be treated inhumanely or prodded excessively. Standard electric prods shall be used as little as possible. Animal shall be touched only on the hip and shoulder area with prod.
5.2.2: FAILURE TO RELEASE STEER
Any roper who fails to release a steer following a run, continues to hold pressure on a steers head, resets or re-ropes a steer moving into the stripping chute, may be disqualified from the competition. This does not apply to ropers who hold up the steer to allow other teams to clear the stripping chute or alley, or headers who are assisting a steer to find the stripping alley or chute.
5.2.3: FAILURE TO HEED WARNING
Any contestant who fails to heed an initial warning from a Field judge/flagger that the roper is mistreating an animal will forfeit their entry fees in all divisions for the remainder of that event.
SECTION 6: BARRIER
6.1: BARRIER PENALTY
A 5-second penalty will be added for beating the barrier. The penalty for beating the heel barrier will always be the same as the penalty for beating the head barrier.
6.2: HEIGHT OF BARRIER
Height of barrier eyes shall be from 32 to 36 inches, measured at the center of the box. In the case of the WS steer chute barriers, offset eyes and barrier curtains are permitted.
6.3: LENGTH OF HEAD START
All score line lengths are to be set by the Producer in accordance with arena conditions and steer speed. Every effort should be made to avoid 5 second runs, and based on prevailing break out clock variances, every effort should be made to have the majority of the herd turn at the middle of the arena.
6.4: PRIEFERT (WS) BARRIER
Where possible contractors are asked to use the World Series barrier.
6.4.1: HORSE BARRIER EYE DISTANCES
Header eye distance shall be set at 9 feet from the headers butt bar, unless box construction prevents those measurements. Heeler eye distance shall be 11 feet from the heelers butt bar, unless box construction prevents that measurement.
6.4.2: STEER BARRIER EYE DISTANCE
Steer eye distance shall be set at 9 inches from the end of open chute gates. Contractor is permitted the option of setting the steer eye up to one and one-half feet from the open chute gates in some higher number divisions based on cattle speed.
6.5: ROPE BARRIER
Any roping forced to use a rope barrier will observe PRCA rules.
6.6: BARRIER/TIMER MALFUNCTION
Should a barrier/timer malfunction during the natural course of a competition either for the roper or against the roper, the Field judge/flagger may offer the option of awarding a rerun or removing the barrier penalty. (The steer need not be qualified on to receive a rerun.) However, there shall be no question or disagreement that this situation occurred.
SECTION 7: MISCELLANEOUS RULES
7.1: HOME VIDEOS
Recording for personal use will be permitted, however, in any event where commercial video services or live Internet feed is offered, public usage is strictly prohibited. Unauthorized reproductions, Internet postings or a commercial sale of home videos is strictly prohibited.
7.2: PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO RELEASE
By payment of membership in or entry into the USTRC Finals, qualification event or NFTR earnings event, ropers grant permission to the rights of their image, likeness and sound of their voices as recorded on audio or video tape without payment or any other notice or consideration. These images may be edited, copied, exhibited, published or distributed and ropers waive the right to inspect or approve the finished product wherein their likenesses appears. Additionally, ropers waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of an image or recording. Material may be used for diverse promotional and educational purposes within an unrestricted geographical area.
The USTRC prohibits any Calcutta or any other organized gambling with USTRC ropings without prior written consent.
No dogs allowed in spectator area or arena. If dogs are allowed on premises they must be leashed.
There will be no unauthorized sales conducted on roping grounds.
SECTION 8: UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE
MEMBERS ATTEST THAT THEY HAVE READ AND VOLUNTARILY AGREE TO THE RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT UPON ENTRY and/or purchase of membership, and further agrees that no oral representations, statements or inducements apart from the foregoing written agreement have been made. Equine Network, LLC, dba United Team Roping Championships has the right to refuse entry or membership to anyone for any reason it deems necessary, including but not limited to classification issues. Questions or concerns should be directed to the USTRC Office at 505-899-1870.
Each participant is fully aware, completely understands, and accepts that participation in a United States Team Roping Championships Event, whether as a contestant, independent contractor, employee, volunteer, exhibitor, sponsor or spectator, is dangerous and that the events and activities associated with, relating to, arising out of, and concerning this participation present substantial, serious, and real risks of personal injury or death to the participant, and the loss of, damage to, or destruction of the participant’s personal property including livestock.
In Consideration of being permitted to participate in the United States Team Roping Championships and its individual events or add-on events, the participant for himself/herself and all persons under his/her management and control including minor children, does acknowledge the dangers inherent in horse related events, and in the use of the facilities, fully and completely accepts and assumes these substantial, serious, and real risks whether or not apparent, known, unknown, foreseen, unforeseen, present, or contingent, and whether or not caused by any negligence of the Released Parties, or the negligence of any contestant, volunteer or spectator including but not limited to, any negligence associated with the design or designing, staging, supervising, maintaining or in any way presenting, conducting or sponsoring the Event, further does agree to use extraordinary care and prudence in his/her activities and those of charges, and does:
- HEREBY RELEASE, WAIVES, DISCHARGES AND COVENANTS NOT TO SUE the organizers or any subdivision thereof, venues, sponsors, chairmen, agents, officials, and does;
- HEREBY AGREE TO INDEMNIFY AND SAVE AND HOLD HARMLESS Equine Network, LLC, dba United States Team Roping Championships, its sponsors, its agents, its venue owners and representatives, servants, employees, and other representatives from any claim, demand, or liability for personal injuries or property damage arising from participation or use and enjoyment of the event and facilities. Parents of ropers younger than 18 who participate acknowledge the full and unconditional release for participation for their child.
PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS: Participant(s) grant permission to the United States Team Roping Championships and affiliated entities to use photographs, videos, recordings and/or words said by participants in its promotional and advertising materials without notification or compensation.
ASSURANCES: The participant fully understands and agrees that this Release is to be interpreted and applied in the broadest and most comprehensive manner in favor of the RELEASED PARTIES. The participant agrees that he/she has full power authority, capacity and right without limitation to sign, deliver and perform this Release. This release shall be and is binding upon the participants and his/her spouse, legal representatives, heirs, successors and assigns. The undersigned agrees that the laws of the State of New Mexico and/or the State of Michigan govern this Participation Release. The participant also agrees that upon entry to any event, he or she has read and understands said agreement whether the signature has been returned or not.