The total score possible for a bull ride is 100 points. Half of that total is based on the performance of the bull and how difficult he is to ride. 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 mark is for the bull. 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, therefore did not give the rider a fair chance to earn a high score. Only the sport's best bucking bulls are used at the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series events. PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert works with more than 20 stock contractors - the people who own and lease bulls to the PBR - to ensure that the pool of bulls used at each event are the highest caliber possible. Most Built Ford Tough Series events feature an estimated 75 bulls that are supplied by as many as six different PBR stock contractors.
The other half of the ride is determined by the rider's ability to match the moves of the bull beneath him. Judges look for constant control and good body position throughout the ride. Spurring the bull is not required but extra "style points" are awarded for doing so. 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.
The Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series consists of regular-season events and the World Finals in Las Vegas.
Riders earn points at each Built Ford Tough Series event based on three things: their ride scores, their finish in each round, and for their overall finish in the event. The first-place finisher in a round receives 100 bonus points. Riders placing second through 10th receive points on a graduated scale down to 10.
For a two-day event, the Top 10 riders following Round 1 will advance to compete with one more bull the first night. Following the long round on the second day, the riders with the 10 highest scores will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, where they will compete with one more bull.
For a three-day event, the Top 10 riders following the long round on Day 2 will advance to compete with one more bull. Following the long round on Day 3, the riders with the Top 10 highest scores will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, where they will compete with one more bull.
The overall event winner is the rider with the highest combined score on all of his bulls.
The first-place finisher in a two-day event receives 300 bonus points; riders placing second through 10th receive points on a graduated scale down to 30. The first-place finisher in a three-day event receives 400 points; riders placing second through 10th receive points on a graduated scale down to 40.
The judges who officiate events are hired based on strict and extensive qualifications maintained by the PBR Board of Directors and members. Additionally, PBR members have established a judging committee that regularly meets to discuss performance and accuracy when judging. Each Built Ford Tough Series event employs five judges. Four judges have 50 points to distribute for each ride (25 points for the bull and 25 for the rider). The total from each of the judges is added together then divided by two to get the rider and bull score. The fifth judge, positioned on the announcer stand reviews replays in the event of an infraction or when a contestant challenges a ruling. The decision of the replay judge is final.