The Road to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee
Perhaps you are wondering how contestants from across the US, Mexico and Canada actually make it here to Kissimmee, Florida to compete at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo? The path for rodeo contestants to compete at the RAM NCFR is slightly different than how contestants simply enter most local rodeos. It can be a little challenging to understand the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit rodeo system. Here’s a little look at the road the contestants take to get to the RAM NCFR in Kissimmee!
The Circuit System
In 1975, the PRCA created a format that divided the United States into 12 circuits, and in 1987, the circuit system was incorporated. The circuit system is a way for the weekend warrior cowboys and cowgirls or those who rodeo full-time to have the means to get to a national championship event, in addition to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. In 2015, the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo was moved to Kissimmee, Florida, and is now hosted every spring at the Silver Spurs Arena. Between 2018 and 2020 the PRCA added a 13th circuit, the Maple Leaf Circuit, and the Mexican Rodeo Federation.
The 13 Circuits and the Mexican Rodeo Federation
Below are the 13 circuits and the regions or states they encompass, so you can see which circuits cover which regions of the US, Canada and Mexico.
Contestants will compete within their respective regions throughout the year based on where they reside in the US, Canada or Mexico. Each of the thirteen regional circuits and Mexico (outlined above) have many rodeos during a year that contestants must enter, attend and compete in. For the most part, contestants must compete in approximately 15 PRCA rodeos in their region to be eligible to advance to their regional circuit finals rodeo. Required participation counts vary per circuit and per year based on the PRCA Rulebook. (PRCA Rule B18.104.22.168)
The Circuit Rodeo Calendar Season
The PRCA circuit season, generally speaking, runs September or October through September of the following year. All of the circuit finals for each region are concluded by January, and the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo is held a few months later in March. Currently, some of the circuit rodeos are delayed or postponed due to COVID-19. Please check ProRodeo.com for up-to-date information on the latest rodeo schedule.
The Circuit Final Rodeos
From September through January of the following calendar year, each of the 13 circuits plus the Mexican Rodeo Federation will host their regional circuit final rodeo. Contestants will enter, participate in their rodeo event and must either win the average or simply win the event to be given a chance to advance to the RAM NCFR. At the end of each circuit final rodeo, the top two contestants in each of the seven traditional rodeo events will be able to advance to the RAM NCFR. Approximately 200+ circuit champions will be heading to Kissimmee!
Five Performances, Four Days
During the RAM NCFR, we host five action-packed performances over four days. Currently, our rodeo has been postponed for 2020. However, please continue to visit our website for our future performance schedule and theme performances.
Tournament Style Rodeo
The RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo is hosted tournament-style. Each contestant who comes to Kissimmee will get the opportunity to compete in two preliminary rounds or performances. From there the top eight contestants advance to the semifinal round with all previous times and scores thrown out. Then, the top four will move on to the final round which turns into a sudden death competition that will determine the national circuit champion in each event. Sound intense? With each passing performance, the competition certainly heats up!
Most contestants have one goal to achieve when they make it to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, and that is to WIN! The money that contestants win at the RAM NCFR now counts towards the RAM PRCA World Standings. Contestants come to Kissimmee vying for the $1 million in cash and prizes hoping to be the next to make history.
We hope this helps explain the uniqueness of how contestants get to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo. Still confused or have questions? Don’t be afraid to chat with us on our live chat feature on our website. We are always happy to educate our rodeo fans!
We hope this helps explain the uniqueness of how contestants get to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo a little bit more in depth.
Still confused or have questions? Don’t be afraid to chat with us on our live chat feature on our website. We are always happy to educate our rodeo fans!