Hello everyone, if you are reading this it is probably because you are wanting to know a bit more about rodeo judges, and the important role they play in each and every evet.
Rodeo judges have a lot to look at in a very short amount of time, and are the unsung and sometimes unappreciated heroes of the rodeo world. Judges are looking for many things, and have to make tough choices the majority of the time without any kind of replay camera. The larger events such as the televised Professional Bull Riders (PBR) have the luxury of the instant replay, where other rodeos just don’t have that, so they rely on the real time action, and the judge’s skillful eyes to make any difficult calls. The first thing the judges are having to decided is whether or not the performer made a qualified ride/run or not. If the judge deems that i t was not a qualified ride, then the reason must be due to either a disqualification or foul. The judges call on this is final.
Take rough-stock events for example. If the rider slaps the animal with their free arm, the rider is then disqualified. The judge needs to be certain that a “slap” occurred before making the call, but once the call is made, if there is no instant replay, then the call sticks. The Judge is also looking to see if the animal fouled the rider. If so, this could result in a rider getting another chance, or what’s called a re-ride. And of course, the judge must also determine whether or not a full eight second ride has occurred, and that the rider is to receive a score. If the judge determines the ride was a full qualified ride, the judge must then score not only the rider, but the animal athlete as well.
The Judge’s job does not stop there. Before the performance the judges are sometimes behind the chutes, making sure everything is legal and in accordance with the association’s, producer’s, and stock contractors bi-laws. In many rodeos there are regulations on how the bulls are kept, spurs are legal, ect.
In closing I want to thank the unsung heroes of the rodeo world. These individuals have an impossible task of making or breaking someone’s day. It is not an easy, or very appreciated job, but someone has to do it.
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