The after shocks from the American Cowboy #10 are still bouncing around. Last season each local event averaged just 34 teams a qualifier and still paid out big money in just 6 months. Obviously with an entire year in front of us we will attempt to raise that financial bar as high as possible. Contractors are calling requesting qualifiers and ropers are inquiring about any and all changes to the program. We are tweaking the American Cowboy game as you anticipated. By the time this reaches you all the rules will be posted on the USTRC and WSTR websites. But most certainly the biggest change is going to be that, unlike last year, we will be qualifying EVERY team who draws a check. We are calculating and may even be able to stagger fees somewhat.
Last year we paid advance payments on a scale of roughly a check for every twenty to twenty five places, but actually qualified only one team per 60. This time every team who draws a check is qualified. The advance payments at the qualification level will be as it was last year challenge style, 4 or 5 times the entry fee. We are go-ing to funnel these ropers to some big events like the USTRC Finals, NTRL Finals, WSTR Finale, a location in the Northwest, and if necessary a big one in Texas). There will be direct entry into those big Rope-Offs but expect it to cost a $1000/roper. The scale of how many teams advance from the local rope-offs to The American Cowboy Matches will be set up shortly. RFD is expecting television coverage on this all year long.
The matches were very popular and we intend to keep them around and will try have Major Matches in the Dallas area prior to the American. This will afford us the opportunity to control how many teams we take to the big AT&T building. Live and learn, we certainly can't have 15 of 34 teams moving over. In addition, it will allow us to create a major Tournament ( our version of March madness)/match environment, progressive money to teams at each level, with lots of opportunity for additional money with a big spotlight on the final teams.
We haven't got all the details worked out on the American Cowboy #12 just yet but are hopeful it will be done soon. A side note, we received an invitation to include an American Cowboy division with the PBR in AT&T at a different date. Bottom line, team roping is rocking and this should be a fun season!