Judges ensure that all participants follow rules; determining the time for run in the timed events and scores for riding in the roughstock events; record penalties for any infractions of the rules; and inspect the arena, chutes and livestock before each competition.
Being a rodeo judge is a hard and thankless job. They’re in the arena all day, watching every single competitor, making spur of the moment calls and doing their best to give everyone a fair chance, but they are still human. At most youth events, the judges volunteer or get paid little to be out there all day. Be Thankful. Be KIND. Be PATIENT!
Two judges: One for each side of the horse or bull.
Watches to make sure the rider “marks out” the horses correctly
Determines if the horse left in a way to give the rider the best chance to succeed
Each judge scores one side. The combined points equal total score.
½ the points go to the rider (control, spurring action, free hand)
½ the points go to the animal (how well they buck, kick, move)
Makes sure the free hand doesn’t touch the horse or the bull
Line Judge: Officiates everything in the box and/or chute and timeline. They make sure the stock is loaded in order according to the draw. *
Make sure the barrier works effectively. Determines if the roper is “fouled at the line” due to barrier malfunctions
Monitors anyone assisting in the box to make sure they don’t give the roper an unfair advantage. (i.e. calf pusher “tripping the barrier”)
Coordinates with field judge when calls are contested
Drops the flag to stop the clock when the calf is tied, and the ropers hands are in the air.
Starts the clock that determines the six seconds the animal must stay tied.
Makes sure all ties are legal according to the rule book.
Drops the flag to stop the clock when the heeler is dallied on the back end and the headers horse is facing the steer with both ropes tight. (Rules can vary on when the flag is dropped. Make sure to clarify before the event.)
Determines if one or two feet were caught (one leg results in a 5 second penalty).