For better or for worse, here are the official PBR scoring rules. I’d like to hear from all and sundry on this subject. Shannon has already sent in some good ideas for improvement. Anything you post will be incorporated into my “petition” to the PBR. (If you’d rather not use your real name, that’s fine; just let me know what part of the country you inhabit.)
I’ve put boldface where I think the main trouble spots are. What is their definition of “successfully rides” and “aboard”?
Each ride is worth up to 100 points, 50 points for the bull, and 50 points for the rider if he successfully rides the bull for eight seconds. Four judges award up to 25 points each to the rider and the bull. All four of the judges’ scores are combined and then divided by two for the official score. In the event of a tie, the two “back judge” scores are used to make the final decision. Half of the 100 points possible is based on the performance of the bull and how difficult he is to ride and the other half on how adept the rider is. Judges look for bulls with speed, power, drop in the front end, kick in the back end, directions changed, and body rolls. A body roll occurs when a bull is in the air and kicks either his hind feet or all four feet to the side. The more of these characteristics a bull displays during a ride, the higher the degree of difficulty. Judges are allowed to award a cowboy a “re-ride” if they feel the bull did not perform at the level of other bulls in the competition and did not give the rider a fair chance to earn a high score.
Judges look for constant control and good body position of the rider throughout the ride. The rider must stay aboard the bull for eight seconds. The clock begins when the bull’s shoulder or hip crosses the plane of the bucking chutes and stops when the bull rider’s hand comes out of the rope or he touches the ground. The bull rider must ride with one hand and is disqualified if he touches himself or the bull during the eight-second ride.