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The group that has paid rodeo athletes more than $4.5 million since it’s launch in May of 2018 already promises to put more money in the pockets of competitors next year. In a press release today, the WCRA announced their 2020 schedule that includes $5,000,000 in prize money for competitors between four million-dollar events, and three semi-finals.
“It’s exciting because we're able to show some definition around what we’re doing,” said WCRA President, Bobby Mote. “One of the things that we're doing that is new to rodeo is that we don’t really have a year-long season, we have segments.”
Mote went on to explain that instead of the traditional rodeo season where cowboys and cowgirls compete all year or most of the year in the hopes of qualifying for a finals in the fall, the WCRA breaks the season up into several segments that all lead into $1 Million Majors (finals).
“I think its been difficult for people to date to understand how those segments work,” said Mote. “Being able to lay out the whole 2020 schedule allows people to see how the idea of the segments work.”
The 2020 Schedule:
|Jan. 8-12||WCRA Timed Events Semi-Finals||Guthrie, OK||Four|
|Feb. 7-8||Lewis Feild Bulls and Broncs WCRA Rough Stock Semi-Finals||Salt Lake City, UT||Four|
|Feb. 28||Royal City Roundup $1,000,000 Major||Kansas City, MO||Finals Four|
|May 13-17||WCRA Spring Semi-Finals (Timed Event and Rough Stock||Guthrie, OK||Five|
|May-June||TBA Announced $1,000,000 Major||TBA||Finals Five|
|July 19-24||Days of '47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo||Salt Lake City, UT||Six|
|Aug. 28||Puget Sound Showdown||Tacoma, WA||Finals Six|
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So why did the WCRA decide to format their season in this way?
Simple. For the competitors.
“There's a lot that happens within a year and to be able to stay hooked and compete at a high level and travel a lot throughout a whole year is more than a lot of people can do,” explained Mote. “But if you were able to pick out a three or four-month section of time–or a segment–to commit to trying to reach a big money, high-profile event, then all of a sudden there’s a lot more people who that fits their schedule or their lifestyle.”
The third segment has closed it's regular rodeo nominations and is awaiting it's finals - The Day Of '47 Cowboy Games And Rodeo - coming up this month in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Athletes can also start nominating events for the fourth segment of competition now that will end Kansas City, Missouri at the Royal City Roundup February 28, 2020.
The announcement also came around the same time the WCRA unveiled three key updates to their Virtual Rodeo Qualifier system:
- College Nominations: previously, the WCRA had not aligned with age-restricted events, but as of July 9 College events will be able to be used to earn virtual points.
- WCRA Nomination Points: points will now be awarded just for nominating an event with the WCRA, even if no competition or consolation points are earned. Each division will award points for nominating as follows: Division I = 1 point, Division II = 0.75 points, Division III = 0.5 points, Division IV = 0.25 points.
- Multi-Segment Nominations: In order to help competitors that may live in areas where rodeo events are only available seasonally (For example, Canada), you can now nominate events for future, or multiple segments to “store” your points for later in the season. For example, you could be competing at the Calgary Stampede in July, nominate those points for the current (fourth) segment, but also nominate those points for the fifth segment when you won’t have access to such prestigious–high-point earning–events.