2018 PRCA Media Guide - Circuits
The 12 RAM Circuits of the PRCA
1. COLUMBIA RIVER 2. CALIFORNIA 3. WILDERNESS 4. MONTANA 5. MOUNTAIN STATES 6. TURQUOISE 7. BADLANDS 8. PRAIRIE 9. TEXAS 10. GREAT LAKES 11. SOUTHEASTERN 12. FIRST FRONTIER
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is the premier event in rodeo, and contestants who make it there often get the majority of rodeo headlines. Yet there are many top cowboys who never make it to Las Vegas. The reasons are as varied as the contestants, but for most, the responsibilities of home, jobs or businesses keep them tied to a specific geographic region. In other words, not everyone can, or wants to, travel thousands of miles each year for a chance at a gold buckle at the NFR, but rodeo is still in their blood and they are driven to compete professionally. These contestants make up the majority of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s membership. They enter the PRCA’s regional circuit system and its championship, the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, known as the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo (DNCFR) until 2010. In 1975, the PRCA created a format that divides the United States into 12 circuits. Each circuit may include one state, such as the California, Texas and Montana Circuits, up to 13 states – the First Frontier Circuit in the northeastern part of the country. In 1987, the circuit system was incorporated, and Dodge became the title sponsor of all 12 circuit finals rodeos and the DNCFR. The newest change to the circuit system is the 2015 move of the NCFR to Kissimmee, Fla. Osceola County and tourism booster Experience Kissimmee teamed up to bring the NCFR payout to more than $1 million in cash and prizes, offering a travel stipend to offset cowboys’traveling expenses to get to Florida – especially with horses. The 10-year contract also supports the entire circuit system and the 12 RAM Circuit Finals Rodeos. As the regular season ends, top competitors from each event qualify to compete in their Circuit Finals Rodeos. The winners at those rodeos get berths at the NCFR, as do the contestants whose regular‑season earnings plus their RAM Circuit Finals Rodeo earnings put them at the top of their circuit’s standings. As long as those cowboys have competed in enough circuit rodeos to qualify, they are invited to vie for NCFR championships. The 2018 NCFR (for the 2017 season) was April 5-8. Each contestant can also compete outside of his circuit throughout the year; his earnings count toward the PRCA World Standings no matter where the rodeo is held, but only the points he earns at rodeos within the circuit are applied toward his place in the circuit standings. The tournament‑style NFCR determines the national circuit champions in each event. The competition produces exciting challenges for the athletes and vivid entertainment for the fans. All 24 qualifiers from the 12 circuits compete in the two preliminary rounds of the rodeo. The Top 8 contestants from each event advance to the semifinal round, with all previous scores and times thrown out. The Top 4 move on to the final round, which then determines the national circuit champion in each event. Because the Top 4 contestants begin that final round with a clean slate, each one has an equal opportunity to claim a NCFR title. In addition to their earnings, event winners receive a Polaris RANGER, custom Cactus saddle and a hand-crafted Montana Silversmiths buckle. The National Circuit Finals Steer Roping is a similiar event that determines the national champion in a separate event, steer roping.
CIRCUIT INFORMATION AND RECORDS
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