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Team Roping

By Jeffrey Jackson

Team Roping is a popular rodeo event that uses a steer and two cowboys or cowgirls mounted on horses. The first cowboy uses a rodeo rope to rope the front of the steer, and the second cowboy uses a rodeo rope to rope the steer’s feet. Team roping is a unique rodeo event in which both men and women can compete with and against one another.

The “header”, or cowboy who ropes the head of the steer, uses a rodeo rope to rope the front of the steer. The rodeo rope needs to be wound around the steer’s horns or around the neck. There is also something known as a “half head” that can also be used, where the rope is wound around one of the steer’s horns and the steer’s nose.

The heeler is the person in charge of roping the steer’s hind feet. The heeler gets a better score if he ropes both of the steer’s hind feet, though he will still qualify if he gets one. If he does get one, however, there is a five second subtraction from their score time.

The header is located on one side of the chute that the steer is placed, and the heeler is located on the other side of the steer. A barrier rope is put on the steer’s neck and placed in front of the header. After the steer moves out the taut rope drops. This gives the steer a chance to have a head start.

The chute is opened to release the steer. The header has to wait until the barrier is released. Then they have to move very quickly after the steer if they want a good time and score.

Steers can be roped three ways by the header. They can do the half-head catch, where the rope is wound around the nose of the steer and one horn. It can also be around the steer’s neck or around both horns.

This cues the heeler to rope the steer’s hind legs. He throws a loop rope under the steer’s hind legs and pulls back to catch its feet. He then dailies his own rope and he and the header face each other and the steer. Together, the heeler and header back up to stretch out the steer’s hind legs. Once this is completed the competition is done and a time is given.

Once the competition is complete the steer is released. Five seconds are taken away from the event time if the heeler only roped one leg. Ten seconds are taken away if the header broke through the barrier rope.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Jackson, Jeffrey "Team Roping." Team Roping. 21 Jun. 2010. 20 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Jackson, J (2010, June 21). Team Roping. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Jackson, Jeffrey "Team Roping"

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