Willamette Valley Team Penning Association

Rules and Regulations

The following rules apply to all WVTPA sponsored events that are conducted for the participation of WVTPA members and their guests. Included are weekly practices, year-end penning, clinics, etc. These rules do not apply to WVTPA sponsored events that are advertised as open to the public and/or sanctioned by another team penning association such as Cascade Team Penning Association, etc. These rules are intended to provide fairness, safety and courtesy to all participants at WVTPA events.

General Team Penning Rules

  1. Time Limit. 75-second time limit, a team (consisting of three riders) must cut out from the herd and pen three head of cattle with the assigned (same) identity number. The fastest time wins. (revised 6/13/2015)
  2. Start. All cattle will be bunched on the cattle side of the starting line, at the central portion of the back wall before the time begins. The judge will raise the flag to signal when the arena is ready. Announcer will acknowledge the cattle are ready, and the riders must immediately advance to the herd. (The middle herd settler has to leave the herd, the quickest direction out of the arena, at the time the announcer acknowledges, “flagger is ready” or “cattle are ready.” The holders on either side of the herd will not leave until the announcer has called the cattle number.) Contestants will be given their randomly drawn cattle penning number when the judge drops his flag as the nose of the first horse crosses the starting line. Riders are committed once the number is called. No rider may enter the arena after the line judge drops the flag. Any delay will be a disqualification.
  3. Calling for Time.     To call for time, one rider must stand in the gate and raise a hand for the flag. Flag will drop when the nose of the first horse enters the gate and the rider calls for time. However, time continues until all unpenned cattle are on the cattle side of the starting line. In the event an animal, or any part of an animal, escapes from the pen, after time is called for, but prior to the time that any unpenned cattle are on the cattle side of the starting line, the team will be judged a “no-time.” One horse and rider must be on the pen side of the foul line before time is given.
  4. Calling for Time on Less than 3 Head. A team may call for time with only one or two assigned cattle penned. However, a team penning three head of cattle places higher than two, or one, regardless of time. In multiple go-round contests, in the event that a team pens their cattle in only one go-round, the fastest time wins, regardless of which go-round. Also, in multiple go-round contests, teams that pen in each go-round will beat teams that fail to pen in a go-round, regardless of the number of cattle penned or time. For example:

Times in 3 go-rounds, beat time in 2 go-rounds.

Times in 2 go-rounds, beat times in 1 go-round.

Times in 1 go-round, beats a no-time.


  1. Calling for Time When Wrong Cattle Number.    A team calling for time with any wrong numbered cattle in the pen will be judged a “no-time.”
  2. Too Many Cattle.   If more than four head of cattle cross the start/foul line at any one time, the team will be judged a “no-time.
    Cattle Contact.    Contact with cattle by hands, hats, ropes, bats, rommel or any other equipment is a disqualification. A team exhibiting any unnecessary roughness will be judged a “no-time.” No hazing with whips, hats, ropes, or any other equipment will be allowed. Hazing by riders with his/her arms is prohibited. Only horse-schooling equipment, such as rommels or reins, may be swung or popped on horse; or empty hands popped on chaps or leg.
  3. Rider Delay. Thirty (30) seconds after the first call by announcer, the team must be in the arena ready to ride. Any delay will be judged a disqualification, unless waived for a good cause by the board members in attendance.
  4. Re-rides.
  5. a)      Misnumbered Cattle. In the event that more or less than three identical numbers are in the arena and is the number given the team riding, a rerun must be given at the end of the set of cattle. Times for all other teams within such a misnumbered herd will remain the same.
  6. b)      Duplicate Number. In the event a team is given a number that has already been used within a given herd, a rerun must be given at the end of the set, using the correct number within the same herd. A team may better their time on the rerun. Should the error be discovered after their herd has been removed from the arena, then the rerun will be given at the end of the total go-round, using the same herd.
  7. c)      Escaping Animal.  If an animal leaves the arena either through or over the fence, the team can either be disqualified for unnecessary roughness, given time on their remaining cattle, or be given a rerun depending on the board members in attendance decision. If a rerun is given, it must be given at the end of that set of cattle. If more than one rerun is given in any go-round, they will be taken in order of occurrence.(revised 4/18/2018
  8. d)      Riders Commitment to Cattle. Once committed to the cattle, a team is completely responsible for their animals. It is the team’s responsibility before working the cattle to pull up and call for a judge if, in their opinion, there is an injured animal in their numbered cattle. Depending on results of inspection of the animal, it will be board members in attendance decision. whether the team’s decision to pull up will result in a rerun or disqualification. Once the cattle are worked, no excuses are acceptable. .(revised 4/18/2018)
  9. e)      Unworkable Cattle. Re-rides will be given for unworkable cattle ONLY on cattle in the arena for the first time each regular practice night. To be eligible for a re-ride, you must finish your go then ride over to the judge and present your case. The board members in attendance decision will make a decision. It will then be changed out and replaced with a spare cow before the re-ride. If there is no spare cow, that number will not be called for the remainder of the evening in that herd and the re-ride team will have a different number called. If the decision is in your favor you will be awarded a re-ride with no time penalty. Re-rides will not be given for cattle entering the arena the second or more times. However, the cow in question may be pulled if it is determined that it poses a danger to horse & rider. Exception: Lame, bad eyes, or any health defect will be treated the same as first time in the arena..(revised 4/18/2018
  10. f)        Progressive or Short Go Reride. In a progressive or short go where the sequence of goes is drawn, in the event of a rerun, it will be held immediately to continue sequence as drawn.
  11. g)      Mechanical/Official Errors. In the event of mechanical or official error, the participating team shall get a rerun at the end of that set of cattle with the same numbered cattle.
  12. h)      Better Time on Reride. A team cannot better their time on a rerun, unless allowed in a specific rule. (See “Duplicate Number” above.)
  13. Judge’s and/or Boardmembers Decision Final. Decisions of the judges and Board members are final.
  14. Grievances. In the case of a dispute, the team may file a grievance by informing the judge prior to leaving the arena that they wish to do so. If for some reason the team is disqualified after leaving the arena, the grievance will be accepted, providing it is filed immediately following the disqualification. A Grievance Committee shall be used to settle the dispute. The committee shall consist of the WVTPA Directors present and available. A decision shall be made before the end of that go-round.
  15. Team Disqualification’s. A team will be disqualified by the judge for any action he or she feels to be unnecessary roughness to the cattle or unsportsmanlike conduct. Unsportsmanlike conduct can include profanity and inhumane treatment to horses. Roughing includes, but is not limited to, running over cattle with horses, stepping on cattle while in pursuit, running through the herd in such a manner that the cattle are knocked down, and entering the pen with such force on the cattle causing them to collide with the pen panels.
  16. Team Substitutions. No substitution will be allowed after a team has made their first run. If one or two team members cannot complete a penning, the remaining team member(s) may elect to finish the run. A substitution of a rider after a team has made its first run may be allowed at the board members in attendance discretion for compassionate reasons. .(revised 4/18/2018)


  1. Team Scratches. If for any reason a team scratches after they have run in the first go, their cattle number will be drawn to avoid changing the order of the go for the other contestants.
  2. ADA Guidelines. WVTPA will follow ADA guidelines to provide disabled participants reasonable accommodations to allow an equal opportunity to compete.
  3. Unmounted Rider. An unmounted rider cannot help pen until mounted on their horse.


Arena Rules

  1. All participants must sign a release form prior to riding. All minor participants must have a parent or legal guardian sign their release form.
  2. Riders must wear appropriate riding boots. Other footwear such as tennis shoes, sandals, hiking boots, etc., are not permitted.
  3. Riders must stay mounted on their horses while in the penning arena.
  4. Horses must be attended to or tied safely while in the waiting area.
  5. Children must be supervised and kept under control for both their safety and the safety of horses and riders.
  6. Pets are allowed on leashes only. (Revised 4-8-09)
  7. Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the arena building.
  8. Alcohol is not permitted in the arena building unless purchased from an authorized vendor in the building.
  9. No more than one rider on a horse once settling of the cows has begun.
  10. All gates must be closed and locked once the cows are in the arena.
  11. No training of horses in the waiting area.
  12. Youth 17 years and under must wear a helmet while on horseback, (Revised 4-7-10) unless  a  parent/legal guardian has given approval and signed a liability waiver. (revised 7/2013)

Rules of Conduct

  1. All participants are required to follow the arena rules.
  2. All participants are required to conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner & refrain from:
  3. Profanity
  4. Inhumane treatment of horses
  5. Verbal or physical abuse of officials or other members
  6. Reckless or dangerous behavior when on horseback.


Failure to follow the arena rules and the rules of conduct may results in fines up to $500, expulsion from the event, or other disciplinary action. Action taken to be determined by the board of directors. All fines must be paid before participating in any other WVTPA event.


Spectators are expected to abide by all of the above rules and be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.


In addition to the above, be courteous to fellow penners and all others present.


Penning Etiquette

  1. Riders must stop their horses at the entrance to the pen when calling for time to avoid chasing the cattle into the end panel.
  2. Riders should not enter the pen to remove cattle after calling for time. Ride to the outside of the pen and allow the cattle to escape through the entrance of the pen.
  3. When returning cattle to the herd at the end of the run, riders should avoid letting the cattle go through the alley.
  4. When bunching the cattle for the next team, riders should try to place the herd in a tight bunch near the center of the back wall of the arena.
  5. When the announcer signals the cattle are ready, the center holder should exit immediately down the sides of the arena, leaving the center of the arena for the team that is riding to the herd.  When the number is called the outside holders exit immediately down the sides of the arena.  Once the number is called there will be no more settling of the cows.



  1. The WVTPA rating committee will rate all WVTPA members as a Novice, Amateur, or Open rider. .(revised 4/18/2018)


  1. Each member will be rated at the end of the WVTPA penning year for the next year with the new ratings posted on the web site by year end, or rated  within two weeks or no later than the next board meeting after his or her membership is paid. Members may appeal their rating to the WVTPA Board of Directors by completing an Appeals Form, which is available in the office or on our website. The Board of Directors will make a final determination regarding the rating of the member.(revised 7/15/15) .(revised 4/18/2018)
  2. Any 1st time member will be self rated and if their rating changes, they or any rider on the team, will not receive points for that night if the new rating is higher than the class they rode in. Subject to a rating change by the rating committee present that regular penning night. .(revised 4/18/2018)



Signing Up Teams

  1. Prior to riding at the weekly practice, riders must sign-up their teams in the office.
  2. Sign-up cards are available for the Open and AM/NOV classes. Riders must designate the team as Open or AM/NOV and Practice or Jackpot. First and last names must be used for team members. Card not completed prior to the start of the practice will be considered as practice teams. (If a person rides as a non-member and have not been previously rated by the board, they can be eligible for a check in the class they rated themselves the 1st regular penning only. All consecutive regular penning they will ride in the Open class until they join and are rated by the rating committee. (Revised 4/16/03) .(revised 4/18/2018)


  1. Sign-ups for the Drawpot, Dollar Drawpot, & the Mixer are done on a separate sheet provided in the sign-up area. (Revised 4-8-09)
  2. Sign-ups for ALL classes close at 6:45pm.


  1. If a volunteer is needed for the drawpot or the mixer, a list of riders who do not have 5 rides will be made and a person will be drawn from the list. They have the right to decline. Volunteers are not eligible for points or prizes. Does not apply to year-end drawpot. (Revised 4-8-09)




Regular Drawpot and Dollar Drawpot

  1. Regular Drawpot
  2. Riders must sign up for the Drawpot Class on the sign up sheet provided.
  3. At the close of the sign up period, the office will randomly draw the names of all riders that have entered and assign them to teams. (Revised 9/14)
  4. Ratings are not considered in the Drawpot. Novice, Amateur, and Open riders are eligible to compete and will be assigned to teams as they are drawn regardless of their rating.
  5. As volunteers are ineligible to win money, the winnings will return to the club.
  6. A member may receive points on a team with 1 or 2 non-members on it. (Revised 11/20/02)
  7. Dollar Drawpot
  8. Riders must sign up for the Dollar Drawpot on the sign up sheet provided (separate from the regular Drawpot sheet).
  9. At the close of the sign up period, the Office will randomly draw three names of riders that have entered the Dollar Drawpot. (Revised 8-14)
  10. The three riders will ride as a team at the end of the first go-round.
  11. A “time to beat” will be determined by taking the fastest time in each division (Open, AM/NOV) from the first go-round and adding five seconds to that time.
  12. If the team pens three head of cattle in less than the “time to beat”, they will win the total amount (divided three ways) in the Dollar Drawpot jackpot. If the team does not pen in less than “time to beat” the jackpot will carry over to next weeks penning and is added to any additional entries collected at that penning.
  13. Riding only in the $ Draw doesn’t count towards the 10 rides needed to qualify to ride in the drawpot at year-end.


  1. Mixer
  2. Riders must sign up for the Mixer on the sign up sheet provided (separate from the regular Drawpot or Dollar Drawpot sheet).
  3. At the close of the sign up period, the office personnel will assign the names of riders that have entered the Mixer keeping in mind the purpose which is to allow Novice to or new riders to team up with an experienced rider(s) to learn the sport.  This also helps riders to make up teams if the have no partners or come in late and have trouble putting a team together. (revised 4-8-09)
  4. Fast time
  5. When there are 35 or more teams the club will pay a fast time for the night. The team with the fastest time of the evening, 1st or 2nd go  will be awarded a check of $10 to each rider on the team regardless of the class.       (revised 2/15/2017


  1. WVTPA’s penning year runs September-June. Points run the first regular penning in September to the last regular penning before the year-end penning. At the end of each year, awards are given to the high point riders in the Open, Amateur, Novice ratings divisions. .(revised 4/18/2018)



  1. Eligibility for points:
  2. Only WVTPA members in good standing are eligible for points. Teams with a non-member will not receive points.
  3. An AM/NOV point team may consists of amateur and/or  novice rated riders.  An  Open team may consist of Open, Amateur and/ or Novice rated riders. Points will be awarded in the class ridden in.
  4. All WVTPA members riding in the Drawpot are automatically eligible for points in the Drawpot class. However, team must pen at least one cow to receive points.


  1. Point Calculation
  2. Points will be given on an individual basis, not on the whole team. For example: If you have 3 open teams, you will get points for the highest placed team. Also, if you are a novice and you ride an open team you will receive open points for that team. You will also receive AM/NOVICE points for teams that are you ride in the Am/Nov class. All teams with 3 members will be assigned points. If there are 20 open teams the first place team will get 20 points. If there are 12 AM/NOV teams the first place will get 12 points and the last place team will get 1 point. The exception to this rule would be if there were no cattle penned on both goes. Teams with non-members will not be counted in total count of teams.
  3. As volunteers are ineligible for points, any team with a volunteer will not be added to the total number of teams in the count for points.
  4. No team can ride more than once with the same riders and be eligible for points. If there are duplicate teams the team with the best time will be used for points. The other duplicate team(s) will be taken off of the total teams eligible for points. You must change at least one rider to qualify for points. (revised 1/21/2015)
  5. Any team that changes a rider for the 2nd go, for any reason, will be treated as a volunteer team and be thrown out of the total count.
  6. There are no limits on the number of teams that an individual rides on a practice night.(revised 1/21/2015)
  7. Drawpot points will be based on the number of teams for that night and no bonus points will apply. (Revised 6/07 by the board of directors).


  1. To be eligible for year-end “drawpot”, a member must ride or work at ten weekly penning/sorting and/or jackpot pennings/sortings and/or a picked team at year end. Riding in the Dollar draw only doesn’t count toward the 10 weekly pennings.(revised 5/17/2017)


  1. To be eligible to ride a pick team at the year-end penning you must be a member in good standing before the penning.(revised 2018)



Fees and Payback Schedules

  1. WVTPA Membership Dues

Single Membership                        $35.00

Family Membership                        $55.00

(Defined as those living in the same household under the same address)


  1. Weekly Penning Fees & 3 man sorting

Practice Run (2 goes)                        $13.00         Revised 11/7/2012

Jackpot Run (2 goes)                        $18.00                        ($5.00 goes to jackpot)

2 man sorting (2 goes)            $18.00          ( revised 6/18/2014)

Dollar Drawpot (1 go)                        $1.00

Arena Fee                                    $10.00

Non Member Fee                        $10.00         Waived for the first time penning.


Distribution of Weekly Penning Fees

  • Arena fees are collected to help offset the cost of renting the arena.
  • $7.50 of each person’s practice or jackpot penning fee is used to pay for the cost of the cattle.
  • The remaining $5.50 of each person’s practice or jackpot fee is used to offset the cost of the arena, the cost of paid workers such as flaggers, cattle taggers, office help, and announcers.(revised
  • The additional $5.00 collected on all jackpot teams is distributed to the winners in that division (Open, Amateur, Novice and Drawpot).
  • The $1.00 fee collected for the Dollar Drawpot is added to the special drawpot each week. If the purse is not won the balance is carried over to the next weeks Dollar Drawpot.


  1. Payback Schedule of Weekly Penning Jackpots: Teams must be designated as a Jackpot team to be eligible for payback checks with the exception of fast time checks which need not be a designated Jackpot team.
  • Jackpot and Regular Drawpot/Novice Amateur, and Open

1-5 teams            1 place                        100%

6-10 teams            2 places            60%-40%

11-15 teams            3 places            50%-30%-20%

16-20 teams            4 places            40%-30%-20%-10%

21-25 teams            5 places            35%-25%-18%-14%-8%

  • Special Dollar Drawpot

100% of the current balance in the dollar drawpot is paid to the team members selected to ride if the cattle are penned within the allotted time. Divided equally between the three riders.


  • ·        A fast time for the evening will be paid if there are 35 or more teams.  If there are under 35 teams no fast time will be paid.  The drawpot and Mixer are included in the total and the dollar draw team is excluded from the total.  (revised 3/15/2017)
  1. Fees and payback schedule (if appropriate) for other WVTPA events will be determined by the Board of Directors at the time of the event.