Roping and Penning Division

  1. General Rules(Rule 281)
  2. Steer Stopping(Rules 282-283)
  3. Roping and Daubing(Rules 284-287)
  4. Cattle Penning and Sorting(Rules 288-298)

281. General Roping and Penning Rules

  1. Barrier shall be a minimum of five feet and a maximum of fifteen feet at the management’s discretion.
  2. Barrier may be a rope or invisible line.
    1. Chute judge shall drop flag to begin time.
    2. Breaking barrier is an automatic 10 second penalty.
  3. Mule may only enter once in the Steer Stopping, Ranch Steer Stopping, Calf Roping, and Steer Daubing.
  4. Mules may enter twice in Team Roping, Cattle Penning, and Cattle Sorting, but one mule of the team must change.
    1. Points will be earned on “best go.”
  5. Refer to Timed Events, Rule 17 and Approved Bits, Rule 106.
    1. Martingales, tiedowns, and cavessons may be used.
    2. Green mules must use approved bits listed in Rule 106.
  6. Western attire: Western hat, belt, western boots, long sleeve shirt with sleeves down and fastened. Authentic suspender pants shall be worn with suspenders. Shirts must be tucked in; unless they are designed to be worn out. No bare midriffs are to show. Long pants are required.
  7. A star run may only be implemented for team roping and/or penning or sorting.
    1. A star run can be implemented when a contestant is drawn to make an extra (3rd) go/run with a paid contestant because there are not enough paid contestants to make another team. The star participant does not pay for their run nor do they get the AMA points from the star run. If the star team places in the event the non star participant will get full points/awards and the star participant receives 0 AMA points or awards, including cash awards.
    2. A star run is only acceptable if there are no other paid participants to team up with. All paid participants will be teamed up before a star run can be considered.
    3. A star participant must declare they are willing to make a star run and accept the conditions (pay and point award system for star person).
    4. A star run must be posted on the roster as an extra or star(*) run prior to the event starting.
    5. A star participant can not choose the team or team mate as to which they will participate with, an AMA or show representative will decide how to pair up the star team, they must take into account whether the paid contestant needs a heeler or header and they will be paired accordingly.
    6. A paid participant can not refuse to make a run with another paid participant because they would rather have a star run with a different partner, if so they forfeit their second run.

282. Steer Stopping – Timed event, mule may only enter once.

  1. Barrier required.
    1. Steer must cross barrier line before it can be roped.
    2. A chute judge is required.
  2. Flagger must be mounted for entire class.
  3. There shall be three legal head catches.
    1. Horns.
    2. Around neck.
    3. Half head.
  4. All other catches will be disqualified.
  5. After the steer is roped, he must be brought to a stop and faced (turned facing the mule) before the flag is dropped.
  6. Maximum of TWO LOOPS. Dally or hard and fast, optional.
  7. See General Rules, Timed Events– Rule 17.

283. Ranch Steer Stopping – This is a timed event. Mule may only enter once. Must have a legal head catch (both horns, one horn and head, or around neck).

  1. Chalk line is drawn 1/3 to 1/2 way down the arena from the release chute. Line is at the discretion of the show management. In place of chalk line, two cones or barrels may be used.
  2. Roper must be at a standing start on the opposite side of the chalk line (cones or barrels) from the release chute, and within two (2) feet of the line. A running start is disqualification.
  3. Flagger must be mounted for entire class.
  4. Flagger will drop flag to start timing clock when the roper crosses the chalk line. The steer will be released from the chute when the roper crosses the line and flagger drops the flag. Flagger should be at the chalk line with an unobstructed view of the line and roper for the start. Timer must have an unobstructed view of the flagger.
  5. Roper can rope the steer at any point but it must be a legal head catch.
  6. Maximum of two (2) loops. Dally, or hard and fast, optional.
  7. After the steer is roped, he must be turned to face the roper, then the flagger will drop the flag to stop the clock.
  8. The roper has sixty (60) seconds to complete the task or is disqualified.
  9. Any infraction of the rules is a disqualification; an illegal head catch, a running start, over on time.

284. Team Roping – Timed event, each mule may enter TWICE only, but not with the same mule more than once. Points will count on “best go.”

  1. Barrier required.
    1. Steer must cross barrier line before it can be roped.
    2. A chute judge is required.
    3. Cannot rope from behind barrier.
  2. Flagger must be mounted for entire class.
  3. There shall be three legal head catches:
    1. Horns.
    2. Around neck.
    3. Half head.
  4. All other catches will be disqualified.
  5. Maximum of THREE LOOPS. Dally or hard and fast optional for heeler.
  6. There will be a five second penalty for heeler catching only one hind foot.
  7. Each entry must include the name of the partners.

285. Calf Roping – May only enter once.

  1. Contestant must rope calf, dismount, go down rope and throw calf by hand and cross and tie any three feet.
    1. Rope must be tied hard and fast.
    2. Tie must hold and calf’s three legs must remain crossed until passed by the judge.
    3. Roper must not touch calf after giving the finish signal, until after the judge has completed his examination.
    4. If tie comes loose or calf gets to his feet before the tie has been ruled a fair one, the roper will receive a “no time”.
    5. There will be a two minute time limit.
  2. TWO LOOPS will be permitted, catch as catch can.
    1. Roping calf without releasing loop from hand is not permitted.
    2. If roper intends to use two loops, they must carry two ropes and must use second rope for second loop.
  3. The field flag judge will pass on the tie of calves through use of a stop watch, timing six (6) seconds from the time the rope mule takes his first step forward, after the roper has remounted.
  4. Ten second penalty for breaking the barrier.
  5. There shall be two or more timers, a field flag judge, and a barrier judge.
    1. Time will be taken between two flags.
    2. Arena conditions will determine the length of score.
    3. Length of score to be determined by arena director and AMA representative.
  6. Neck ropes must be tied with string. No metal snaps or hardware shall be used on neck ropes in the timed event.

286. Steer Daubing – Judged on time only.

  1. Mule may only enter once.
  2. Barrier or score line required. Time shall start when barrier is sprung, and will stop when contestant raises the lance aloft signaling that he has marked the animal.
    1. Ten second penalty for breaking the barrier.
    2. Score line to be determined by arena conditions.
  3. The rider shall use a “lance” furnished by the show management.
    1. Lance shall be approximately six feet long, padded on one end and soaked in washable paint or white wash.
  4. A broken or dropped lance is cause for disqualification.
  5. The steer should have a 16 to 20 inch circle painted on each side, starting from a point just in front of the hip bone and below the back bone toward the rib cage.
  6. The object of this event is for the rider to get the steer and daub his lance into one of the circles.
    1. Only one touch per steer allowed.
    2. If any part of the daub is inside or on the line it is considered legal.
  7. There will be a one minute time limit on this event to prevent needless chasing of the steer.
  8. Each exhibitor may daub the steer only once within the one minute time limit then must raise his lance aloft, signaling he has marked the animal.
  9. More than one mark is a NO TIME.

287. Breakaway Roping – May only enter once.

  1. This event shall be performed following the same general rules as steer stopping.
  2. Mule must start from behind a barrier. A 10-second penalty will be added to the time for breaking the barrier.
  3. Two loops will be permitted. One or two ropes are to be tied to the saddle horn by a heavy string, in such a manner as to allow the rope to be released from the horn when the calf reaches the end of the rope. A visible cloth or flag must be attached to the end of the rope tied to the horn to make it easier for the flagger to see it break free.
  4. If the roper is carrying one rope and the roper desires to use a second loop, he/she may recoil provided the rope is still tied by a string to the saddle horn. If the rope is no longer attached to the saddle horn with the string after the roper has thrown the first loop, it cannot be rebuilt for a second throw. If the roper is carrying two loops he may use the second loop provided it is still attached to the saddle horn with a string. If the second loop falls loose, it cannot be rebuilt.
  5. The contestant may free his first rope from the horn after a miss, before getting his second loop ready if he wishes.
  6. The contestant shall receive no time should he break the rope from the horn by hand or touch the rope or string after the catch is made. If the rope dallies or will not break free when the calf reaches the end of it, the contestant will receive no time.
  7. Time will be called from drop of flag at barrier to the break of rope string from the saddle horn. A legal catch is a loop that passes over the head of the calf and then holds on any part of the calf to cause the string to break away from the saddle horn. Roping the calf without releasing the loop from the hand is not permitted.
  8. The contestant shall not attempt to rope the animal until the barrier flag has been dropped. Any attempt by a contestant to position his mule behind the barrier, enabling the contestant to rope the calf without leaving the barrier or box, shall be considered a disqualification.
  9. Rope may not pass through bridle, tie-down, neck rope or any other device.
  10. A judge may, at his discretion, use the ring steward, other show officials or approved AMA judges to assist as barrier judges and to help determine legal catches or any rule infractions.
  11. Flagger shall be mounted.

288. Cattle Penning – Three Man – Team to cut three assigned cattle from herd, when herd is available. See Rule 295, Cattle Penning – Two Man Team, to be used when a herd is not available.

  1. Each team shall have a 2 1/2 minute time limit to pen three head of cattle assigned to them. The team of three must cut out from the herd and pen three head of cattle with their assigned (identical) number (or color).
    1. Numbers must be at least six (6) inches tall and colored neckbands at least six (6) inches wide.
    2. Numbers must be applied to both sides of the cow, high up on side.
    3. Working orders and numbers (or colors) shall be drawn for by the judge and show management before the start of the contest.
  2. A warning signal will be given to the team 30 seconds prior to the final time being called.
  3. Fastest time to pen three head wins.
    1. The team may choose to call time with only one or two assigned cattle penned.
    2. Teams penning three head shall place higher than teams penning only two head, and two higher than one, regardless of time.
    3. Mules may enter twice, but one mule of the team must change. Points will count on “best go”.

289. All Cattle Will Be – bunched on the cattle side of the starting line before time begins.

  1. The flagman will raise the flag to signal the arena is ready.
    1. Team will be given their assigned number (or color) to pen when the flagman drops his flag as the nose of the first mule crosses the starting line.
    2. Riders are committed once they enter the arena.
    3. Any delay will be disqualification.
  2. To call for time, one rider must stand in gate and raise one hand for flag.
    1. Flag will drop when the nose of the first mule enters the gate and the rider calls for time.
    2. All un-designated cattle must be completely on cattle side of the starting line.
    3. If team calls time with only one or two of their cattle penned, the remainder of their un-penned designated cattle do not need to be across the line.
    4. A team calling for time with any unassigned cattle in the pen or on the pen side of line will be judged a no time. (Also see Rule 290.D.)

290. The Optimum Number of Cattle – per herd is thirty, with a minimum of 21 head per herd being required, even if there are less than seven teams entered.

  1. Roping steers shall not be used in Cattle Penning.
  2. All cattle within a herd must be numbered in groups of three.
    1. There must be three head of assigned cattle (with identical numbers or colors) per team in the herd as each new team begins a run.
    2. There must always be the same number of cattle in each of the herds used in a go-round.
    3. In the event more or less than three assigned cattle are discovered within a herd, the team(s) with more or less than the three assigned cattle must have a re-run at the end of the total go-round. Time for all other teams within such a misnumbered herd shall remain the same.
    4. Cattle cannot be re-used within a go-round of a division except as specified in a re-run as above.
  3. If no fresh cattle are available for re-runs, the cattle to be used will be determined by the show management and judge.
    1. If more than one run is given in any go-round, they will be taken in order of occurrence.
    2. If cattle are to be re-used and more fresh cattle are needed the used cattle must be mixed with the fresh cattle and re-numbered or color banded.
    3. Every attempt must be made to insure each team work the same number of used and fresh cattle.
  4. In the event a team is given a number or colored neckband that has already been used within a given herd, a re-run must be given immediately, using the correct number or color within the same herd.
    1. Should the error be discovered after the herd has been removed from the arena, then the re-run will be given at the end of the total go-round using the same herd.

291. Penalties and Disqualification

  1. Touching cattle with hands, hats, ropes, bats, romal or any other equipment is a disqualification.
    1. No hazing with whips, hats or ropes allowed. Romal or reins may be swung or popped on chaps.
  2. Fall of mule and/or rider shall not eliminate the entry; however, any attempt by the dismounted rider to work cattle before remounting will result in an automatic disqualification.
  3. A team may be disqualified by the judge for any action he feels to be unnecessary roughness to the cattle or mules or unsportsmanlike conduct.
    1. If five (5) or more head of cattle are across the starting line at any time, that team will be judged a no time.
  4. If, for any reason, a team does not show after the order of go has been drawn, their cattle number will be drawn in the order the team would have run, the drawn number (or colored band) will not be used in that set of teams.
    1. This will avoid changing the order of go for the other contestants.
    2. If team fails to show when called they shall be disqualified, and may not enter later after another team has gone. See Rule 289.A.3.

292. Once Committed to the Cattle – the team is completely responsible for their animals.

  1. It is the teams’ responsibility before working the cattle to pull up and call for a judge’s decision if, in their opinion, there is an injured or unusable animal in their numbered or colored cattle.
  2. Once the cattle are worked, no excuses are accepted.
  3. If an animal leaves the arena, either over or through the fence, the team can either be disqualified for unnecessary roughness, or can be given a rerun, depending on the judge’s decision.
  4. If a rerun is given, it must be given at the end of the total go-round.

293. In the Event of a Tie – affecting the placing (s), each team will be allowed to pen one numbered (or color banded) animal. Fastest time breaks the tie.

294. There Shall be Two Flagmen – one at the entrance to the pen and one at the start/foul line.

  1. The judge must also be at the start line and may or may not actually flag the contest at his/her discretion.
  2. There shall be at least two time keepers.
    1. The first shall be the official time and the second shall be the back-up time, in the event the first timer misses the time or his watch fails.

295. The Starting and Foul Line – must be designated by markers located on the arena fence, and easily viewed by the line judge and the exhibitors.

  1. Start/foul line shall be approximately 2/3 length of the arena away from the far fence where cattle are gathered.
  2. Pen shall be set up 3/4 length of the arena from same far fence.
    1. Pen may be placed on either side of the arena, with the opening facing away from the cattle.
    2. Pen shall be set 16 feet from side fence, creating an “alley.”
    3. Pen shall have three sides and a gate. Minimum of three 16 foot sides, with a 16 foot gate open wide; optional 24 feet deep.
    4. Opening to pen shall be 18 feet wide without panel, or 10 feet wide with 8 foot panel. The 8 foot panel is optional.

296. Cattle Penning- Two Man On 3 Head – If no herd is available, the following class will be used.

  1. The same basic rules of Cattle Penning-Rules 287-294 shall be used with the following exceptions:
  2. A team shall consist of two riders.
    1. Mules may enter twice but not with the same mule.
  3. When team is called, team shall enter arena.
    1. Team must stay behind the start/foul line until flagger signals time has started.
    2. Team must call for their cattle within 30 seconds.
  4. Three head of cattle shall be released from the chute or pen into arena.
    1. Flagger will signal that time has started as soon as the tail of the last steer enters the arena.
  5. Time will end when at least one member of the team calls for time as mentioned in (Rule 288 B.)

297. Cattle Sorting – Team of Three – Mules may enter twice ; one partner (mule) must change. Points will count on “best go”.

  1. There will be ten (10) cattle in the end of the arena marked with visible numbers from 0-9.
    1. Cattle will be settled after each run to the satisfaction of next team.
    2. Starting number for each team will be drawn when team is in arena.
    3. As the “Team Captain” approaches the foul line (approximately 10 feet) “Team Captain” will signify satisfaction of settling of herd and readiness to start by raising his/her hand. At that time, the starting number will be announced.
      1. The number will be announced two (2) more times for a total of three (3) times.
  2. The team is to start with the starting number announced and continue in numerical order. For example, if your number is 8, your team must first sort out number 8, then 9, 0, 1, 2, etc.
    1. If any cattle already sorted re-enter to the herd, the team is DISQUALIFIED.
    2. If any cattle cross the foul line out of sequence the team is DISQUALIFIED.
  3. The team continues to sort until all cattle are sorted out over the foul line or until they are out of time.
    1. There will be a two minute time limit.
    2. A 30 second warning will be given.
  4. Teams are judged on the number of cattle sorted, not on the time it took to sort them.
    1. If all ten cattle are sorted, then the time will be the determining factor.
    2. The clock will be stopped when the last cow crosses the line.
    3. It is permissive to stop sorting anytime and hold cattle already sorted until the clock runs out.
  5. There will be two flaggers.
    1. The flaggers will not change after the Cattle Sorting begins.
    2. The flaggers will stay in the same position during all sorting goes. They are to be positioned outside the arena near the foul line on opposite sides of the arena.
    3. It is the show management’s responsibility to ensure that the flaggers know the AMA Cattle Sorting Rules.
  6. Decision of the flaggers is final.
    1. Appeals must be made before leaving the arena.
      1. Appeals will be resolved by the AMA Representative and the flaggers, if involving the flaggers’ decision.
    2. No hazing of cattle with hats, romals, or ropes permitted.
      1. Slapping hand to leg or romal to leg is permitted.
    3. There will be no abuse of cattle or mules.
    4. Use of foul language while participating will be cause for ejection from event without refund of entry fees.
  7. In the case where a cow goes down behind the line, any team member can stop the clock by raising their hand.
    1. Flaggers’ options are, but not limited to:
      1. Allow team to continue with the time remaining on the clock.
      2. Remove the faulty cow, replace with another cow, resettle herd, and continue with the time remaining on the clock.
      3. Remove the faulty cow, resettle the herd, and start with the time remaining on the clock.
    2. This decision shall be based in part on the time during the run that the animal went down and under what conditions.
  8. In a case where the flagger mistakenly flags a team out, the AMA Representative will consult the flagger and where the flagger indicates a mistake was made, the team will get another run at the end of that herd using the same herd and number, regardless of the team’s order of go.

298. Suggested Setup of Arena

  1. Arena must be at least 100′ by 200′.
    1. Standard foul line is 50′.
    2. Any arena over 150′ wide will use a 75′ foul line.
    3. If an arena is under the 150′ but is sloped on 2 sides, the decision will rest with the management as to whether they use a 50′ or 75′ foul line.
    4. Foul line will be chalked after each herd is worked.
    5. A designated number line will be chalked 10′ from foul line.
  2. A separate announcer and timer shall be used at all sporting (s), with the announcer being a backup timer.