Team Roping Terminology

Team Roping Terminology

Is team roping your style of horseback riding? Then you'll want to know these terms from the USTRC.

team roping heeling

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In 2014, AQHA and the United States Team Roping Championships created an alliance that gives USTRC members competing on American Quarter Horses the opportunity to take home an even bigger check with the American Quarter Horse Performance Bonus Program.

The USTRC glossary of roping terms gives you an A to Z guide to the sport of team roping.

Added Money - Money added to the purse that was not derived from entry fees.

Affiliate - Refers to USTRC-approved ropings around the country, where USTRC members can compete and acquire personal earnings that can be used toward the acquisition of Regional and National Finals Shoot-Out positions.

Cap - Refers to the maximum handicap classification number that a roper can have in a particular roping. Example: If a roping is capped at a #3, no roper with a handicap greater than #3 is eligible to compete in the roping.

Classification Committee - These are the state and regional committees made up of appointed members and members voted on by USTRC membership that vote on the classifications of ropers across the United States.

Bridle Catch - A catch where the rope hangs in the steer’s mouth.

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Corriente - Breed of cattle originating in Mexico especially suited for team roping.

Double Numbers - A classification whereby a roper has a different classification for heading and heeling.

Dragger - A steer that drags his hind legs and will not hop.

Eliminator - A steer that is nearly impossible to rope and eliminates a roper from the average of a roping.

Floor - Refers to the minimum classification number a roper must have in order to participate in a specific roping. Example: If a roping has a #6 floor, no roper who has a classification less than a #6 is eligible to compete.

Full Go-Rounds - A full go-round is a round where every roper entered gets the opportunity to rope.

Ground Money - Is a term that originally meant competitors received their entry fees back as a prize consideration. Has in recent years been interpreted to mean multiples of the entry fee.

Incentive - As it relates to team roping, an incentive is a roping within a roping. A separate pool of money is set aside from the regular payout pool of money in a roping. This money can only be won by those ropers who meet the stated incentive criteria of a roping. A typical incentive would be a case where a #10 roping is stated to have a #8 incentive. In this case, a portion of the fees from all the #8 teams entered is set aside and can only be won by those teams which are classified as #8 or less. While these teams (#8) are the only ones eligible to win the incentive pool of money, they are eligible to win money in the overall payout as well.

Lap-and Tap start - The term means roping without a barrier.

Limited Entry - Refers to enter one-time and enter-twice ropings, as opposed to more traditional multiple-entry ropings where ropers have numerous partners.

Personal Earnings - Earnings that a roper acquires as a result of competing at either a USTRC affiliate event, or a USTRC-sanctioned event that does not come in addition to the awarding of a Regional or National Finals Shoot-Out position.

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Pigtail - The short part of a rope barrier that breaks away when the barrier is broken.

Progressive - Another term for sudden death that means when you miss, you are eliminated. Progressive after one means that from the very beginning of the roping, when you miss, you are eliminated. Another example would be progressive after two, which means that a roper is guaranteed to rope two steers, however, anything beyond two steers is sudden death.

Pull Barrier - Refers to a rope barrier that must be "pulled" or stretched across the opening of the box.

Rotation - Another term for heat. This would be a set number of ropers that rope all rounds prior to the short round, before the next "rotation/heat" has the opportunity to compete.

Scoreline Lengths - This term refers to how much of head start the steer is given before the roper is allowed to the leave the box.

TBA - An abbreviation for the term "To Be Announced." Many ropers who do not have partners before the draw have the option to pay for both sides and put "TBA" in the vacant position.

Tie On - Refers to practice of tying the heeling rope to the saddle horn, versus dallying.

Up and Back - This is the practice of two ropers entering with "A" heading and "B" heeling, then entering again in the same roping with "B" heading and "A" heeling.