Roper Classification System A Real Head-Scratcher


There is expected to be plenty of rodeo rookies and newbies in the audience at the Pleasant Valley Days Ted Meredith Memorial Roping that begins today, Friday, and continues through Sunday in Young.

Which means, those novices might be scratching their noggins trying to figure out the parlance of the sport that can include a number of roping groupings, draws, picks and over and unders.

For the sake of clarity, let’s see what all those roping terms actually mean in the roper classification system.

The United States Team Roping Championships (USTRC) issues and maintains number classifications of almost 127,000 team ropers from across North America.

The number system handicaps member ropers on a TRIAD system. In it, USTRC officials assign all ropers a competition number, one through 10 based on rodeo performance profiles and online balloting in which ropers have the opportunity to rate their fellow competitors from within their own area.

Factors the USTRC takes in assigning numbers are money won, how often a roper competes, consistency, who a roper ropes with, how fast they rope and what others think.

Then through a complex system of weights and standards, those factors are analyzed and the roper’s ability is assigned a number classification.

In entering an event, the roper competes in an assigned division against others with his or her same ability.

USTRC officials say the TRIAD system provides everyone, regardless of age or ability, the fair and equal opportunity to compete.

A No. 1 roper is a true beginner and No. 9 and higher are world-class ropers. No. 5 is a low level amateur and No. 6 is a mid level amateur.

In some ropings, “overs and unders” are used, meaning a roper can compete in a classification over his TRIAD number and sometimes under his TRIAD number.

As for “draw or pick,” it simply means in some ropings competitors can either draw their partner from a pool of contestants or pick a personal choice.

For the Eighth Annual Ted Meredith Memorial Roping, Saturday events will include:

No. 8, Pick 1, Draw 2

No. 10, Pick 1, Draw 2

No. 12, Pick 1, Draw 2

No. 14, Pick 1, draw 2

On Sunday beginning at 9 a.m., a No. 11 and a No. 9 Over and Under Roping will be held as will the Marsha Marcanti all-girls event and the open draw.


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