Anytime you go to a new association ask for a rule book. If the association doesn’t have their own rulebook, ask what rulebook they operate from. Many associations reference larger associations rule books like the PRCA or NHSRA rule book. Little changes from one association to the next can make or break your run. You are responsible for knowing the rules, even if you are new.
All rules are subject to change per event, association and organization.
It is your responsibility to know the rules that apply to the event you are at.
It is your responsibility to ask what set of rules/rule book the judges will be officiating from.
Rules that aren’t followed can result in penalties, fines and disqualifications.
If your hat falls off before you enter the arena, you may have a penalty or disqualification.
If you aren’t competing, but you want to be in the arena, you may have to wear official dress (a.k.a. western attire).
It is the competitor’s (not parent’s or announcers) responsibility to know the order in which they are to compete. Competing out of order can result in automatic disqualification.
Three-call: If the judge has the announcer call your name three times and you haven’t entered the arena, it results in automatic disqualification in any event.
If you are present, but cannot get your horse to enter the arena, it can still result in an automatic disqualification.
Time Limits: in the box or chute, if the stock you have drawn is cooperating but you aren’t nodding your head or your horse is acting up in the box excessively, the 60 second time limit can be enforced, resulting in an automatic disqualification.
It is the competitor’s responsibility to know the name/number of the stock they’ve drawn and the position they’ve drawn the stock in. The draw will be posted somewhere for everyone to see prior to each event. The draw will post the order in which you are to compete and the stock name or number you have drawn. The judge and livestock sorters will also have a list to cross-check. Before a competitor nods or enters the arena, it is his/her responsibility to check that the number/name of the stock loaded is the same listed on the draw. If you run in the wrong order, take the wrong steer or calf, or ride the wrong horse or bull, you will be disqualified. It is NOT the judge’s or the announcer’s responsibility to know your draw.
Contesting a Judge's Call
First, know you’re rule book.
Second, be kind.
If a judge makes a call you don’t agree with you can contest the call. After you’ve asked about the call, listen to their response. They will do their best to handle it.
If you still don’t agree with their call, walk away. Remember, you will see the same judges over and over again. One day the call might not land in your favor, but the next time it might. It all comes out in the wash.