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The PRCA Circuit System

The 12 Circuits of The RNCFR

The Circuit System, the cornerstone of the PRCA, is an integral part of the association. Every PRCA contestant belongs to a circuit and has an opportunity to advance to a national championship in the multimillion-dollar arm of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The Circuit System affords opportunities to cowboys who may not have the circumstances that allow them to be on the road for thousands of miles a year. The responsibilities of home, jobs or businesses require they spend more time in specific geographic location than they would be able to spend traveling across the country.  But make no mistake, these cowboys are as good as they come. They also make up the majority of the PRCA’s membership. 

In 1975, the PRCA created a system that breaks up the United States into 12 circuits. The circuits include as few as one state, such as the California, Texas and Montana circuits, to as many as 13 states – the First Frontier Circuit in the northeastern part of the county. In 1987, the National Circuit Finals Rodeo was incorporated, and Dodge became the title sponsor of all 12 circuit finals rodeos and the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo. In 2010, the Dodge brand rodeo initiative went to the newly formed RAM Truck division of the Chrysler Group.  RAM still has title sponsorship of all 12 U.S. PRCA Circuit Finals Rodeos and the National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

In 2018, the PRCA expanded the circuit system to 13 by welcoming Canada as the Maple Leaf Circuit. This was in cooperation with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. The Maple Leaf Circuit will debut at the 2020 NCFR.    

As the regular season ends, top competitors from each event qualify to compete in their circuit finals rodeos. Champions from those rodeos, as well as the overall year-end winners from each circuit, are then invited to Kissimmee, Fla., to vie for NCFR championships. 

Each contestant can compete in and out of his circuit throughout the year, but only the points he earns within the circuit he designates at the beginning of the season are applied toward his place in the circuit standings. However, everything he wins in and out of his chosen circuit is applied toward his world standings. So, while most circuit contestants rodeo close to home, there is still opportunity for them to earn enough money to get to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. 

The tournament-style NCFR determines the national circuit champions in each event. The competition produces exciting challenges for the athletes and vivid entertainment for the fans. All 26 qualifiers from the 13 circuits compete in the two preliminary rounds of the rodeo. The top eight contestants overall from each event advance to the semifinal round, with all previous scores and times thrown out. The top four move on to the final round – a sudden-death competition that determines the national circuit champion in each event. Because the top four contestants begin with a clean slate in the final round, each one has an equal opportunity to claim an NCFR title. 

The NCFR event winners receive a $20,000 voucher for a new RAM vehicle, a Polaris RANGER UTV, a pair of exotic boots from Justin Boots, a trophy saddle from Cactus Saddlery and a Montana Silversmiths buckle, in addition to their winnings. And the circuit winning the most money overall at the NCFR retains bragging rights for the year (and a nice bonus from RAM).

The National Circuit Finals Steer Roping is a similar event that determines the national champion in a separate event, steer roping. 

 

 
 
 
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