Professional Bull Riders Restructures World-Wide Point System

PUEBLO, Colo. – The Professional Bull Riders announced today that the world’s premier bull riding league will adopt a new points system effective for the 2015 season and beyond. The new system consolidates all PBR event activity into one comprehensive world-wide system. In addition to being much simpler and easier for PBR fans to follow, the new point system rewards bull riders who perform at the highest level both within individual events and throughout the season.

“Winning is everything in sports,” said Ty Murray, PBR co-founder and member of the sport’s competition committee. “Since founding the PBR, our goal has always been to ensure that the bull rider who wins the most in relation to his peers is the bull rider who wins events and the world championship.  This new system does that much better than the old system.”

PBR worked with statisticians to analyze the performance of bull riders over the past 10 years and the relationship between event wins, Top 3 event finishes, Top 3 15/15 Bucking Battle finishes, Top 5 event finishes and Top 10 event finishes, among numerous other factors, to ensure that the riders who perform the best are awarded the appropriate level of points. It was determined that under PBR’s old system, first adopted in 2004, riders who placed first, second and third in rounds and events were not being awarded an appropriate number of points in relation to those who finished fourth and below.

While ride scores will still determine a bull rider’s place in rounds and the aggregate to determine both event and world standings, ride scores are no longer counted in the world-standing point totals. After extensive analysis, there is a direct correlation between ride scores and world points in the new point system. Thus, there is no material effect to the standings if ride scores are counted or not.

“Ride scores are still the basis on which all bull-rider performance is judged in the PBR,” said Jay Daugherty, PBR SVP of Competition. “Given that the new point system is directly correlated to ride-score performance, there is no need to complicate the scoring system by including them in the world standings. This makes following a PBR event and season much simpler for bull riders and fans alike.”

In addition to BFTS changes, PBR has adjusted the points available throughout the qualifying event system which includes Blue Def Velocity Tour, Touring Pro events, international events and minor league events.  In 2013 the PBR modified its point system to account for the growing number of qualifying and international events.  Under the old system, a certain percentage of the points were carried forward to the world standings to reward bull riders who perform the best in PBR’s qualifying system.  In order to accommodate the changes in the qualifying event system, PBR had to adopt modifications to its worldwide point system that were cumbersome and difficult to understand.  The new point system places a little more emphasis on performance in PBR’s qualifying events but overall just simplifies the process making it easier to administer and understand.

PBR’s new point system will apply to all PBR tours and events worldwide under a tiered system that rewards competitors who perform at higher levels of competition.   PBR’s premier Built Ford Tough Series offers the most points available to bull riders, followed by the BlueDEF Velocity Tour and major international events, the Touring Pro Division and second-level international events and then minor-league sanctioned events.

Points earned in the qualification system will be counted in the world standings providing an opportunity for the best-performing bull riders to not only earn a seed among the 35 Built Ford Tough Series competitors but carry forward hard earned points in appropriate proportion to individuals who are earning their points exclusively in the BFTS.

To appropriately support the changes in points awarded at various event levels and ensure that Built Ford Tough Series competitors are given an opportunity to retain their place in the world standings, the PBR has modified the rules that determine qualification to the Built Ford Tough Series. The Top 35 bull riders in the world at the conclusion of the prior year’s Built Ford Tough World Finals will be guaranteed five Built Ford Tough Series events before they are subject to being cut from the BFTS. The Top 30 bull riders in the world will be guaranteed eight events before being subject to a cut. PBR World Champions will be guaranteed 10 BFTS events before being subject to a cut.

“The new points system works well at the top and bottom end of PBR’s world standings system,” Daugherty said. “We analyzed the performance of all riders throughout the world to ensure that those performing in the minor league system can earn the opportunity to compete on the Built Ford Tough Series. Under the new system, a rider winning in the BlueDEF Velocity Tour, major international events or at TPD events will get into the BFTS over someone who isn’t performing on the BFTS.”

In conjunction with the new point system, PBR has announced the addition of a BlueDEF Velocity Tour Finals event to the PBR’s annual schedule. All 35 seeded BFTS riders and the Top 35 BDVT riders in world standings will be eligible to compete at the BDVT Finals event in a three-day event. The BDVT Finals event will be conducted two weeks prior to the start of the PBR World Finals and will determine the final five qualifiers for the 40 seeded positions at the PBR World Finals.

Consistent with PBR’s emphasis on rewarding performance at the highest level of competition, every winner of regular season BDVT events will be given the opportunity to compete at one BFTS event throughout the season, further rewarding those riders who win.

“Since inception, the PBR has been guided by the promise of showcasing the best bull riders against the best bulls in the world,” said PBR COO Sean Gleason.  “This new point system does a significantly better job of rewarding those riders who consistently perform at the highest level and strive to win on every bull.  It also ensures that the next generation of bull riders has a clear performance based path to earn a place among the best in the world.  These changes are consistent with the original vision of, and unanimously endorsed by, the founders of the PBR.”

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