Rodeo Talk: Judge's Hand Signals
Friday, 27 April 2012 03:55

Rodeo Judge Signals Rodeo Judge Signals

Often times at Rodeos and Bull Ridings, the rodeo officials and arena directors resort to hand signals to relay scores and stock to other personnel.  Many people starting out find these signals intimidating, and often times, when signing numbers, get confused or often hesitate.

Fans also find the signals confusing, mainly as they aren't necessarily as self explanitory as "Charging" or "Offside" calls in Football or Hockey.

Rodeo scores are in the double-digits, and a judge's score on a roughstock ride will anywhere from zero to fifty, with the score being half attributed to a rider's performance and half being attributed to the stock's performance.  Being as such, it would be a lot of "fives" to try and add up to a 49-point ride, and with live animals running rampid, only one hand is available while the other may hold a fence or clipboard.

The number sign system used is also referred to as "Sale Barn Numbers", and when used correctly, is an efficient and effective way to relay important information across a Rodeo Arena.

Here are some diagrams of Rodeo Judge Signals.

Judge's Signal - Slapped Horse Judge's Signal - Slapped Horse

Rider Touched

Judge taps the back of one hand with the other signalling that the rider made contact with himself, animal or other object before the 8-second time limit, resulting in disqualification.

Judge's Signal - Missed Out Judge's Signal - Missed Out

Missed Out

Judge taps the heel of their boot, signalling that the rider failed to keep their feet over the point of the horse's shoulder as the horse's front feet hit the ground in a Bronc Riding Event, resulting in disqualification.

Judge's Signal - ReRide Judge's Signal - ReRide

Re-Ride

Judge circles their finger in the air to signal a re-ride option is being awarded for either being fouled or inferior animal performance.

Judge's Signal - The Number 1 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 1 - Sale Barn Number Style

Judge's Score #1

One finger outstretched to signal a number 1 as part of a double digit score.

Judge's Signal - The Number 2 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 2 - Sale Barn Number Style

Judge's Score #2

Two fingers outstretched to signal a number 2 as part of a double digit score.

Judge's Signal - The Number 3 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 3 - Sale Barn Number Style

Judge's Score #3

Three fingers outstretched to signal a number 3 as part of a double digit score.

 

Judge's Signal - The Number 4 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 4 - Sale Barn Number Style

 

Judge's Score #4

Four fingers outstretched to signal a number 4 as part of a double digit score.

 

Judge's Signal - The Number 5 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 5 - Sale Barn Number Style

Judge's Score #5

Four fingers and Thumb outstretched to signal a number 5 as part of a double digit score.

Judge's Signal - The Number 6 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 6 - Sale Barn Number Style

Judge's Score #6

A Thumbs-Up, palm towards judge, to signal a number 6 as part of a double digit score.

Hint: the viewer can trace a 6

Judge's Signal - The Number 6 - Sale Barn Number Style - TRACE IT Judge's Signal - The Number 6 - Sale Barn Number Style - TRACE IT
Judge's Signal - The Number 7 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 7 - Sale Barn Number Style

Judge's Score #7

Index Finger Bent, palm away from judge, to signal a number 7 as part of a double digit score.

Hint: the viewer can trace a 7

Judge's Signal - The Number 7 - Sale Barn Number Style - TRACE IT Judge's Signal - The Number 7 - Sale Barn Number Style - TRACE IT

Judge's Signal - The Number 8 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 8 - Sale Barn Number Style

Judge's Score #8

Index and Middle Finger Crossed, palm away from judge, to signal a number 8 as part of a double digit score.

Hint: the viewer can trace a 8

Judge's Signal - The Number 8 - Sale Barn Number Style - TRACE IT Judge's Signal - The Number 8 - Sale Barn Number Style - TRACE IT

Judge's Signal - The Number 9 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 9 - Sale Barn Number Style

Judge's Score #9

Thumbs down, palm towards judge, to signal a number 9 as part of a double digit score.

Hint: the viewer can trace a 9

Judge's Signal - The Number 9 - Sale Barn Number Style - TRACE IT Judge's Signal - The Number 9 - Sale Barn Number Style - TRACE IT

Judge's Signal - The Number 0 - Sale Barn Number Style Judge's Signal - The Number 0 - Sale Barn Number Style

Judge's Score #0

A Fist in the Air, to signal a number 0 (zero) as part of a double digit score. (i.e. 2-0, 3-0, etc.)

 

Just remember, the numbers above 5, the viewer can trace... they're "little numbers".

Thumbs up!

 

Comments  

 
#4 Scully Joe 2012-09-02 22:39
Quoting Bill Mauws:
what is the sign for a free roll?

Good question. During the competition the judge is to yell that out to competitor, and following, it's usually the re-ride signal horizontally.
It's rare that a judge would signal this as if they start scoring a ride, it's supposed to be obvious to the other officials or competitor.
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#3 Bill Mauws 2012-09-02 21:42
what is the sign for a free roll?
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#2 Joe Scully, MC 2012-04-27 13:33
Hey John,
Thanks for your question. The math and theory is so first nature to me that I may have skipped over it too fast, I apologize.
Each judge scores the rider 0-25 and the animal 0-25. They share that score out of 50 with the other personnel.
There traditionally are 2 judges so, that's where the 100-point score comes from. If there are more judges, they total their scores and then divide by half of the total by the number of judges. So, if there were 4, their combined score would be out of 200, divided by 2 for a traditional out of 100 score.
So, each Judge shares their combined rider-animal score.
Examples:
Horse-19 , Rider-17 = 36 (signed 3, signed 6)
Horse-20 , Rider-21 = 41 (signed 4, signed 1)
Horse-15 , Rider-15 = 30 (signed 3, signed 0/zero)
Hopefully that answers your question, John!
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#1 John 2012-04-27 11:21
I don't understand when you say a number -- say 6 -- above the double digit score. Does that mean if the rider scores a 70, for example, the judge is asking to add another 6 to the score?

And thanks for these little stories. I find them great info and I think if more people understand the rodeo and the treatment of animals by those involved there would be less complaining or attention to those complaining by the public.

John
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