A PBR bull ride is an 8 second contest of strength, balance, endurance and effort between the world’s best bull riders and the world’s best bucking bulls.
A rider must ride for 8 seconds with one hand in the bull rope and one in the air in order to earn a score.
The clock starts when the bull’s shoulder or hip breaks the plane of the gate. It stops when the riders hand comes out of his rope – voluntarily or not. The clock also stops if the Rider touches himself, the bull or the ground with his free arm during the 8 second ride.
If the rider makes the 8 second buzzer, he receives a score. If he does not make the 8 second buzzer then he receives no score for that attempt.
Each ride is worth up to 100 total points: 50 points awarded to the bull and 50 points awarded to the rider if he successfully rides the bull for 8 seconds.
The bulls are competing for points and standings as well and every bull receives a score of 0 to 50 points after every ride or attempted ride whether the rider successfully made the 8 second buzzer or not.
The PBR Built Ford Tough World Champion will be the rider who has accumulated the most world standings points during the regular season and the Built Ford Tough World Finals. In 2015, the PBR unveiled a new point system that rewards bull riders who perform at the highest level both within individual events and throughout the season.
Riders earn world points at standard Built Ford Tough Series events based on where they place in a round and the event average (see below).
The event winner at a BFTS event is determined by the total number of world points accumulated via round finish, not ride scores.
Therefore, unlike previous PBR point systems, the current system places a higher emphasis on a rider’s performance in individual rounds and not just the event average. Now a rider is rewarded in the world standings for not just an exceptional performance in the event average, but also for his ability to post high ride scores in individual BFTS rounds.
The first-place finisher at a BFTS round receives 100 world points. Riders placing second through seventh receive world points on a graduated scale (60, 50, 40, 30, 15, 5).
The first-place finisher in the event average for a two-day event, which is based on a rider’s total combined ride score, will receive 400 world points. The event average winner for three-day events will receive 500 world points – a new rule change in 2016.
Riders placing second through 15th in both two- and three-day events receive world points on a graduated scale (240, 180, 105, 65, 45, 20, 15, 10, 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5).
For a two-day event, the Top 15 riders with the highest-combined ride scores following Rounds 1 & 2 will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, where they will compete with one more bull.
For a three-day event, the Top 15 riders with the highest-combined ride scores following Rounds 1, 2 & 3 will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
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.