(CBS Local)- Professional bull riding is normally an individual sport. It’s rider vs. bull and it all comes down to whether the rider can hang on for eight seconds or not.
But, PBR has changed up that formula with its Monster Energy Team Challenge, splitting 48 riders into 12 teams of four that competed in divisional and playoff competition leading up to the championship this weekend, July 10-12, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The tournament started in Las Vegas with divisional play over the course of four weekends June 5 through the 28 at South Point Arena in Las Vegas. The arena was closed to fans, but that will change for this weekend’s playoffs and championship round as fans will be allowed to attend with the venue capped at 50 percent capacity.
After four weekends of action, six teams have advanced to this weekend, three teams each out of Division A and B. From Division A, you have Team Cooper Tires, Team Las Vegas and Team Can-Am. From Division B, it was Team Pendleton Whiskey, Team Ariat and Team Boot Barn.
The favorites would appear to be Team Cooper Tires, which went 6-0 in divisional play, and Team Pendleton Whiskey, which won five of its six matchups. Cooper Tires is led by PBR World No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme and six-time PRCA World Champion Sage Kimzey. Pendleton Whiskey is captained by 2018 PBR World Finals event winner Marco Eguchi.
The rules of each “game” were simple. Each team got six bull “outs” with a chance to score. If the rider made the eight second count, he would be given a score for the ride. If not, no score. The team with the better score after all 12 “outs” are completed was the victor.
With fans set to be in attendance at Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, PBR has put together a list of safety measures designed to allow fans to enjoy the event while also maintaining social distancing.
- Tickets are available for only 50% of the arena’s capacity to increase physical distancing.
- Fans will be in POD seating, which increases distancing and minimizes crossover when fans enter and exit their seats.
- Complimentary face coverings will be offered to everyone entering the arena. We will encourage fans to wear their masks.
- Focusing on mobile ticketing to replace traditional printed tickets, offering prepackaged concessions and increasing our reliance on cashless and contactless concessions.
- Social distancing guidelines will be monitored at restroom and concession areas.
- Staff will be undergoing regular medical testing and screening upon arrival to the venue.
Here is the TV schedule for the weekend.
Friday, July 10
9 p.m. EST Team Can-Am vs. Team Ariat (CBS Sports Network)
9:45 p.m. EST Team Las Vegas vs. Team Boot Barn (CBS Sports Network)
10:30 p.m. EST Consolation Team #5 vs. Consolation Team #6 (CBS Sports Network)
Saturday, July 11
8:00 p.m. EST Team Cooper Tires vs. Wild Card (CBS Sports Network)
8:45 p.m. EST Team Pendleton Whiskey vs. Wild Card (CBS Sports Network)
9:30 p.m. EST Consolation Team #3 vs. Consolation Team #4
Sunday July 12
1:30 p.m. EST Championship Game (CBS)