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 scores earned by riders for each successful ride determine their placement within the round of competition, the event and ultimately the PBR world standings.
The ride scores determine a rider's place in each round. At the conclusion of each round, points are awarded in accordance with the charts below. which count toward both the event they are competing in and the world standings.
There are multiple series in each of the five countries where PBR currently operates and/or sanctions events. The format of each event varies, but all points earned at any PBR event are counted toward the PBR world standings in accordance with the charts below.
Events consist of one or more rounds of competition with various formats.
In multi-round events, the successful ride scores from all rounds are aggregated to determine a riders standing at that event. The average (or aggregate) score earned during an event determines a riders place in the event standings. At the conclusion of each event, points are awarded to each place in accordance with the charts below which count toward both the event and the PBR world Standings.
The rider with the most PBR world standings points at the conclusion of any event is the event winner.
At the conclusion of each 8 second ride or attempt, PBR judges award scores to both the bulls and the riders.
A bull is judged on his athleticism and difficulty to ride. This takes into account spin (right or left), direction changes (movement forward and backward or side to side), kick in the back end, drop in the front 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.
A rider is judged on how in control he is during the ride. This takes into account how well he matches and counters the bull’s moves, how centered he is and how fluid his movement is during the bull ride. Extra points may be awarded for style, such as spurring (the rider lifts his leg away from the bull and returns it) which demonstrates complete control.
The combined bull score and rider score for each successful ride is the official ride score.
If the bull’s performance is sub-par or if the bull fouls the rider during the ride (the rider is rubbed against the chute or an object, the bull stumbles, the flank strap detaches, etc.) then the judges may award a re-ride which affords the rider another attempt.
All PBR events around the world lead to the Built Ford Tough Series where the Top 35 bull riders in the world compete week in and week out for the most money and points available.
Built Ford Tough Series events consist primarily of two- and three-day events with one regular round of competition on each day during which all 35 bull riders attempt at least one bull.
Built Ford Tough Series events conclude on the final day of competition with a Built Ford Tough Championship Round, in addition to a regular round, in which the Top 15 riders based on aggregate score from all rounds attempt one additional bull. Points and money are higher in each championship round.
PBR Majors offer unique formats such as Last Cowboy Standing, Iron Cowboy and knockout formats unique to each of those events.
All roads lead to the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, where the Top 40 bull riders in the world standings compete in six rounds of competition over five days to determine the winner of both the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals and the season long PBR World Champion.
The most points and dollars available in PBR competition are available at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals. Winning the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals is considered to be the second-most difficult and prestigious accomplishment in the PBR next to winning the title of PBR World Champion.
All points earned throughout the season, in every country and at every level of competition (in accordance with the charts below), count toward the world standings. The PBR World Champion is the rider who has accumulated the most PBR world standings points throughout the course of the season.
The following are the points available to PBR bull riders throughout the world across all levels of competition.
With a few exceptions, points are only awarded to the final event place at qualifying and international events and are not awarded for individual rounds.