Ariat WSTR Finale Roping Information

WSTR Qualification Events

Qualification Ropings - WSTR sets the guidelines for independent contractors to produce qualification ropings throughout the year giving members an opportunity to win their way to the Grand Finale in Las Vegas. Contractors producing qualifiers are limited to a 20% stock charge. They are NOT required to provide prizes, although many do. The 80% payback, provides ropers with the means to acquire prizes through the association prize program where none are provided by the qualification roping. Qualification ropings are on-site cash payment entry ropings, where ropers may enter at the event, prior to the start of the roping they wish to enter. Contractors do require "cash only" at on-site entry ropings, and is advertised in advance, some accept credit card payments.

Divisions – There are nine divisions at a WS qualification roping, the Gold Buckle Beer Open, #14.5, #13.5, #12.5, #11.5, #10.5, #9.5, #8.5 and #7. The #11 is capped at a #7 heeler, the #10.5 division is capped at a #6 for heelers, the #9.5 is capped at a #5.5 heeler, and the #8.5 is capped at 4.5 on either end, the #7 is capped at a 4 either end. The Open and #14.5 divisions have no age caps, but all other divisions have a 21 year-old age minimum.

Formats – Formats for all qualification ropings will be enter twice, four head aggregates, progressive after one. Format for the #8.5 roping will be pick or draw format enter three times, the #7 will be pick or draw format enter twice. After winning, any TEAM winning a minimum of $4000 is qualified to enter that particular Finale division. Although individual ropers will be allowed to enter twice at qualifiers with different partners, no roper may enter a single division at any Finale more than ONCE. Qualification ropings will be progressive ropings occurring at local arenas. Ropers placing together are allowed to split creating two teams at the Finale, however, the guest are entry fee is based on his/her circumstance. However, if one of the team members receives a handicap increase during the year and has no choice but to split the replacement partner is eligible for the discount provided the entry fee is received within 30 days of the handicap change. If one member of a qualified team receives a handicap increase, the team may move up a division or both partners my select a replacement partner. If one member of a qualification team decides not to attend the Finale, the remaining partner may select a replacement partner, provided that partner has attended a qualification roping during the year or attended a previous Finale the prior year. Any qualification exceptions for special fees ropings will be announced in advertisements, example, "all teams placing in a Heartland, including consolation, excluding go-rounds, will be qualified".

Qualification Positions Reserved - At times during the year you may see announcements that certain divisions at the Finale are full and late entries are waitlisted. This means that all positions reserved for Legacy teams, or direct entry (waiting list teams) are full. This does not mean that entries are closed for qualified teams. World Series reserves Finale positions for winners at the qualification ropings, and in fact we reserve positions in every division for every qualification roping on our schedule.

Qualification Payoff - Payoffs will be paid on straight calculations, 20% commission, (exception #8) which may allow draw-in


# of TeamsAvg ChecksPayoff Percentages
1 - 201 place100%
21 - 402 places60, 40
41 - 603 places50, 30, 20
61 - 904 places40, 30, 20, 10
91 - 1205 places35, 25, 19, 14, 7
121 - 1506 places33, 23, 17, 12, 9, 6
151 - 1807 places30, 21, 16, 12, 9, 7, 5
181 - 2008 places28, 19, 15, 11, 9, 8, 6, 4
201 - 2259 places26, 18, 14, 11, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4
226 - 25010 places24, 18, 13, 11, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3
251 - 27511 places23, 17, 12, 10, 9, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 3
276 - Up12 places22, 17, 12, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3
301 and up will pay an additional place for each 30 team increment, not to exceed 15 places.

Go Round Money in Short Round - A fast time check of $1,000 will be paid to the fastest time in the short round of any short round of a qualifier that has 101 or more teams. Fast time in a short round of 100 or less will receive $300. The winner of this fast time check shall not be a team who places in the aggregate unless there are no teams who caught a steer and did not place in the aggregate. In that instance the Fast time check would go to the fastest time of the teams that DID place in the aggregate. Under NO circumstances will this short-round check be paid to the fastest on three head, or a team that did not catch in the short round.

Declaring Finale Entry - During the time of payoff, teams who have placed in the aggregate and won a minimum of $4000 should be given an entry form to enter the Finale or may download a form at the website By earning a qualification spot the team is eligible to receive a discounted entry (entry fees at the Finale are *$2500, discounted entry fees are $2000). In order to exercise this option your entry fee must be postmarked within 30 days of winning. Qualification entries are not generic and must be used in the division won, unless there is a number change or you are a Key Card or Key Card Max Member. If you miss the discount entry deadline those qualification winnings no longer count and DO NOT turn into accumulated earnings. Qualification ropings occurring in October, November and December will qualify for the following roping year. They can enter at the discount provided their fees are paid no later than January 30th of the following year. Under no circumstances will winnings from a qualified team be counted as accumulated earnings. The thirty-day limit shall not be bypassed for accumulated earnings. Incomplete entries are drawn out and refunded the first week of November.

Questions relating to this are:
Q: What if my partner is already entered or we want to rope with someone else?
A: Qualification entries and direct entries are based on you as an individual. If you want to split and select a replacement partner, that roper's fees are based on his/her situation. You may pick a replacement partner who has or will rope at the current year's WSTR qualifier or who has roped the the preceding year WSTR Finale event. If we your entry is received within the 30 days, and your partner is not paid, your partner or replacement partner will need to be paid as announced the first week of October.

Q: What if I miss the 30-day discount entry window? A: Your discount period expires and the entry status changes to a direct entry and the entry fee is $2500. Your winnings do not become accumulated earnings.

Q: What if my classification or my partner's classification changes? A: In this case, we will allow you to move up to another division or split and find a new partner. If you pay your entry within 30 days, you will have an additional 30 days to find a replacement partner at the discounted rate of $2000, beyond the 30 days the replacement partner fees are the direct entry price of $2500. The partner must have roped at a qualification event during the current season or the prior WSTR Finale Event and if paid within 30 days of the number change.

Finale Information

WSTR Roping Finale Formats - The WSTR finale will be a four head aggregate with three full go-rounds, and a short round. The top 8 teams in each of the rotations will advance to the short round, In addition to those teams, the fastest team overall per every 100 teams in the division, who miss the cut will also advance. Every team who makes the short round will be guaranteed a check. The short round will determine which check each team receives.

CONSOLATION: A roping within a roping - Teams who miss a steer, break a barrier, or roper a leg, don’t be discouraged, you still have a chance. In each rotation, after the third round, each team who does not advance to the Four-Steer short round has the potential to qualify for the Consolation Short Round.

Who qualifies for the Consolation Short Round : The fastest top 8* teams on "two times" in each rotation:

  • The team missed at least one steer in any round
  • The team roped all three steers but missed the aggregate cutoff time will have the slowest time of the three steers roped dropped.

*The number of teams qualifying to short round in each division may vary depending on team count and number of rotations.

Consolation Short Round Changes For 2023:
In previous years there has been a consolation short round following each rotation in most cases paying out $35,000 per rotation. With the new Farnam Arena allowing us to have a 3 arena set up we have found the consolation short round congesting the flow of the rotation to follow. Instead of eliminating the consolation short round and paying on two-head, new in 2023 we will conduct a Consolation Short Round, mirroring the Aggregate Short Round in both the number of teams advancing and running the short round at the end of the event. Meaning the Consolation Short Round will run in the Priefert arena at the end of the last rotation, simultaneously with the Aggregate Short Round.

With this change there is the opportunity for a much bigger pay day. With that being said, let us explain further.

With each rotation you will still only be competing against the fastest two times/teams in your rotation, culminating in one consolation short go at the completion of the last rotation running simultaneous along with the aggregate short go in the Priefert Pavilion.

For example: in the #10.5 if there are six rotations, 8 teams from each rotation will advance to the main aggregate short round and 8 teams from each rotation will advance to the Consolation Short Round.

The 8 fastest teams on two steers will advance to the consolation short round from each rotation. "At-Large" teams in the aggregate are always a moving target with the completion of each rotation. As the "At-Large" cut changes so could the cut for the Consolation depending on which rotation the "At-Large" teams were coming out of. If an "At-Large" team gets bumped from the aggregate short round they will still have the opportunity, if they are faster on 2, to make the cut for either a top 8 consolation spot in their rotation or a potential "At-Large" consolation spot. Knowing this, THE CONSOLATION POSITIONS ARE NOT OFFICIAL UNTIL THE LAST ROTATION IS COMPLETE.

GO ROUNDS - A fast time check is paid in each rotation. Only teams who are not advancing to the short round are eligible for fast time rotation checks. Because all teams progressing to the aggregate are guaranteed a check, there is no fast time paid in the short round.

FINALE ENTRIES - There are several ways to "ENTER" the World Series of Team Roping Finale.

  • Qualification: Ropers may qualify at a qualification roping, by winning $4,000 as a team and entering within 30 days of their win. Legacy ropers are the grandfathered-in ropers who directly entered the first year of World Series of Team Roping (2006).
  • Legacy: Legacy ropers have priority and are eligible for one discounted entry or unlimited discounted entries if they are a Key Card/Key Card Max member provided they meet the postmark deadline of May 31st.
  • Silver Legacy status, for 70+ ropers, may be kept by entering within the last three years. Silver Legacy ropers have unlimited discounts if paid and entered by May 31st. The direct entry fee for Silver Legacy ropers is $2250 instead of the standard $2500.
  • Direct entries are members who directly mail in an entry to replace qualified and Legacy teams who fail to fully complete their entry, (TBA or one side unpaid) or to replace draw out teams. These entries are date stamped as they arrive, and replace teams based on the priority of that date stamp. WSTR Members, USTRC members, CTRA members entering with legacies or as a direct entry MUST HAVE COMPETED AT A WSTR QUALIFIER sometime during the roping season or at one of the three prior WSTR Finales. There will be no draw out fee up to one week prior to the event. Drawouts occurring than one week after announcement of the draw, will be accessed at $250 drawout fee for each partner.

ACCUMULATED EARNINGS – Are entries from earnings a roper acquires as a result of placing at qualification ropings. Earnings are tabulated by request only and ropers may be asked to provide proof of winnings in some instances. To be eligible for Accumulated Earnings the roper must be a World Series Member, or Key Card Member in good standing at the time of the win. Accumulated Earnings are another way for a WSTR member to win a guaranteed spot to the Las Vegas Finale. The Accumulated Earnings benefit is available to WSTR members and Key Card Members who attend qualification events, win money, but not enough to count toward a full qualification spot. Earnings are counted during the roping season anytime after a WSTR membership is purchased. The earnings can be accumulated and applied to a generic discounted entry if received by September 30th. To take advantage of the discounted entry fee of $2000 an individual must accumulate winnings of $2500 individually or $5000 as a team to get the discount. This can be done with both partners adding their winnings together or if a roper has enough on his/her own ($2500), they can invite another roper who would pay the standard entry fee (assuming the invited roper has attended at least one qualification event during the season). Special Fees Event winnings that do not earn the roper a direct qualification spot also count. Here are a couple of ways qualification entries can be applied as accumulated entries:

  1. A roper is already entered in the Finale and qualifies in that same division again, the qualification goes to the roper who is not entered, however, the roper already entered can apply those earnings to accumulated earnings.
  2. A team is already entered in the Finale and the same team qualifies in the same division again. If they don't choose to move up and rope together in a higher division, each can use their winnings as accumulated earnings. (Please note if a roper misses his/her qualification entry deadline, those winnings do not count toward accumulated earnings.)

Double Accumulated Earnings are applied to Key Card Max members.

DEADLINES -Books open for All Legacy teams immediately following the December Finale in Vegas and close on May 31st each year. Other direct entries are accepted following the December Finale and are date stamped. The roping is closed as announced in October each year. All scheduled qualifiers will be honored and anyone who qualifies and meets the entry deadlines is guaranteed entry. All partial paid entries and incomplete entries must be completed by October 15th. Incomplete entries will be refunded in early November.

QUALIFYING FOR SHORT ROUNDS BY ROTATIONS - Qualification by rotation is a tool that WSTR has used for many years to prevent each of the large Finales from becoming super-fast mega ropings. This also guards against rotations that for some reason become disproportionately faster than other rotations. The top eight fastest teams in each rotation will advance to the aggregate short round and are guaranteed a check. This means a team is only roping against roughly 100 teams for a shot at the big money. Normal WS qualification ropings pay on a 5% formula on four head and the Finales pay on an 8% formula. An additional 1%, is paid to At-Large-Teams, for a total of 9% payback. The odds of winning at the Finales are vastly improved because of these two features.

"At-Large-Teams" are the fastest over all who don't make the cut (top 8): this is another added feature of qualification by rotation. Teams that had faster qualifying times than other rotation qualifiers, one "At-Large" team for each 100 in a division, advance to the short round of each Finale. These "At-Large" teams are the fastest times on three steers from the entire roping that did NOT advance from their rotation. If the "At-Large" does not "cover" all the teams that were faster than teams making the short round, then those teams will receive $4500 ground money (provided they did not win a consolation check).

Any team in contention for an "At-Large" spot will still have their longest time dropped and rope in the Cons Mulligan Round of each rotation. If their "At-Large" time doesn't hold and they are one of the top five in the Cons Mulligan Round in their rotation, they will win in the consolation. The Consolation in each rotation will NOT be paid until the "At-Large" teams are identified. This provision is in place so that no team is later bumped out of the Cons payout. "At-Large" teams are in an excellent position as they may be in the running for the main average on their original three steers, but if not, are competing for the Rotation Consolation money if their "At-Large" time doesn't hold.

Team counts vary from draw-outs and other issues in the final weeks prior to a roping. The divisions will vary in the number of rotations and vary with the number of teams per rotation. At large teams are based on 1 per 100, example would be 5 extra for a division with five rotations.

FINALE PAYOFFS – The qualified teams from each rotation and At-Large teams comprise the short round and all short round teams are guaranteed a winning check. Payoffs are calculated backward at WSTR. The total payoff is calculated, then rotation fast times are subtracted, consolation payoff is subtracted, aggregate flat payoff 31st to last place are subtracted, aggregate flat payoff 21st to 30th are subtracted, staggered aggregate payoff 11th to 20th are subtracted, then the balance of the pot goes to the aggregate 1st thru 10th. The percentages for the final 10 places are paid on the same percentage scale as the qualification ropings.

FINALE RERUNS – In addition to the flagger, WSTR will have an additional field judge stationed in the arena or arena area reviewing every run. The flagger will make the call and in the meantime the field judges are looking for anything out of the ordinary, borderline calls or any potential objections.

The flagger may call for a rerun, or the flagger and/or the field officials may call for a video replay of the run. If the flagger or a field official requests instant replay, a replay official will analyze the video and make the final determination on the run. This decision is final. No explanations are owed to a contestant, and the replay official will offer none. The position of WSTR is that if none of the three people observing the run detect anything out of the ordinary, then most probably a rerun wasn't warranted. Ropers will be notified if they receive a rerun.

The official HD video and angle provided from the arena to the replay official will be the only recordings used by the replay official to make final determinations. Publicly arguing (includes social media) the matter beyond the final decision may be grounds for disqualification from the current division, future divisions or future events. WSTR believes that higher stakes should only afford a higher degree of review, not higher degree of discretion. In all instances the underlying standard in granting reruns will be based on "the ability to compete" on the animal drawn (in the opinion of field judges). The Farm Tek break out barrier will be used to determine any question concerning excessive steer speed.