By Jacy Nelsen
A sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. Most people think of a sport as something that includes a ball, sitting on “your side” of the field or court and chanting teasing things at the opposite teams.
Rodeo fits under the sport category. It does involve physical exertion and skill through a team and an individual. This is where rodeo turns into a different kind of sport. There is no booing the other teams, there is no chanting, only cheering, there is no “sides” of the arena, and there is no hate for other teams just to name a few differences.
There are over 135 rodeo teams in the college rodeo world. Team in rodeo has multiple meanings First the rodeo team, on the college level rodeo athletes can be apart of a rodeo team. Except this team separates into two teams men’s and women’s, then again separates down to event(s) of the cowboy or cowgirl.
A second meaning of team is the horse that the cowboy or cowgirl has spent countless hours with in the practice pen only to perform for up to 30 seconds in the arena. That horse/ person relationship is the true heart of the team. The third team is the competition animal/ cowboy or cowgirl.
The animal that the person has drawn to compete against. The person has to have a mindset that they can make the best run on the animal that they drew to compete against. That this animal is their only true competitor.
No booing, no “home and away sides” and no chanting. These are all things that do not happen in the sport of rodeo. To boo or say a hateful chant to another person or team would be highly wrong and would possibly end in a money fine. In rodeo this is considered extremely rude. This is because rodeo is a different kind of sport.
Rodeo is a sport where what team you are on, what colors you wear doesn’t matter. Cowboys and cowgirls that rodeo create friendships with other based on who they are as a person not what team they are from. It is not uncommon to see teams helping other teams, cheering for other teams, and having life long friends from other teams.
There are typically 10 15 schools in the college rodeo region. Never in the history of rodeo have rodeo teams lined up to shake hands after a rodeo. This is not something that needs to be done to encourage sportsmanship.