One show I always wanted to watch was a Professional Bull Riding show. I used to thing
that this was only done in Spain, where bull-fighting originates from, but the World
Final is actually in Las Vegas. Bull riding is actually a rodeo sport and the aim
of the game is to stay on the bull for a complete 8 seconds. Now I know that 8 seconds
might not sound like a long time, but when you have a kicking struggling beast under
you, it can feel like an eternity.
So how does the scoring work when one rides a bull as a sport? Both the bull and the
rider are awarded points from 0 to 50, totaling 100 between them. It’s possible to
get 0 as lots of riders get thrown off almost immediately. Experienced professionals
can get scores of 75 or more; above 80 is excellent – 90 is considered outstanding.
To be given points the rider must stay on at least eight seconds. Points are deducted
if a rider is constantly off-balance. If a rider can control a bull well, he can receive
extra “style” points. If the rider touches the bull with his free arm, he is disqualified.
When looking at the bull, judges consider overall agility, speed and power, back end
kicks and front end drops. If the bull gives the rider a hard ride, more points are
awarded. The bull still receives points if the rider does not last eight seconds.
It doesn’t sound like a sport I could really take to, as I don’t really fancy falling
off a bull, but it sounds pretty exciting to watch. Who knows, I might get some Professional
Bull Riders tickets for Christmas!