Rules of Bull Riding | How it is Played?

This is perhaps one of the most exciting sports to watch, only when you have never been on the receiving end. Nobody likes to even dream of being chased by a wild bull who can easily knock you out with one simple jerk of his or worst in some cases. It is a sport that can trace its roots back to ancient times when there was no such concept of safe sport – Minoans believed to be big fans of this sport.

Rules of Bull Riding

The modern version of this game roots from Mexican contest of ranching and horse skills that were particularly popular in the 16th and 17th century. Though it is a highly dangerous game and involves risk of receiving serious injuries or death in worst cases, the game is played in the USA, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and many other countries.

Object of the Game

The object of the game was going to be pretty simple, if we had a donkey or horse to sit on instead of a wild bull. Yes, you read it right. You have to mount the ball and the bull will be let free into the arena with you clinging for life over him. You have to survive 8 seconds over him and once the time period is over, you can get down and run towards a safe spot.

How to Play?

Bull riding is an ancient sport in which each participant is supposed to ride a furious bull and spend some time on his back. Every rider is given a fresh and different bull and if the rider manages to stay on its back for 8 seconds, he becomes eligible for scoring. Otherwise, he goes unscored.

Equipment required for bull and how points are calculated in bigger tournaments where multiple rounds take place to determine a winner confuses many people. If you want to have an unambiguous notion regarding the rule of the game, do give the next section a thorough read.

General Rules of Bull Riding

  • If you don’t stay on top of the bull for 8 seconds, you go unscored.
  • Judges give scores based on the rider’s performance if he manages to stay off ground and over the bull for 8 seconds.
  • The bucking chute opens when the rider indicates that he is ready for the ride.
  • The time starts the moment the bull comes out of the bucking chute.
  • In big tournaments, the rider with the highest collective score – in multiple games like qualifiers, knockout and final – is declared winner of the tournament.

Time Duration for Bull Riding

Each player sits over the bull for 8 seconds and the total duration of a bull riding game depends on the number of players participating in it.

Bull Riding Playing Field

A typical bull riding field has no measurements and is played in an open arena surrounded by a crowd. The crowd is always sitting at a fair distance and it is always ensured that the bull has no way to invade the crowd area, at least in formal bull riding games.

Casual bull riding games take place in alleyways with everything open and injuries and deaths are common in them.

Equipment in Bull Riding

Players wear a lot of protective equipment while riding on the bull.

Gloves: Ropes can burn hands and the pace at which bull runs and jerks can be excruciating. Riders wear gloves to prevent burns and enjoy better grip on the rope.

Boots: These boots help the rider to maintain balance and if they are daring enough, they can also use these boots to spurn the bull into more aggressive action and improve their point scoring.

Chaps: Bulls are powerful and they can easily throw you off with one normal jerk. These champs are worn on the legs and prevent chafing when thrown on the ground.

Helmets: Helmets are allowed during a bull ride but not everyone wears them. There are no specific guidelines regarding the helmet, because anything that protects a player during a ride has no specifications and doesn’t have to do with the object of the game.

Governing Body for Bull Riding

There are numerous governing associations in the United States which govern the game. All these members have different members and run the cruel game in their own ways.