The object: Ten cattle numbered 0-9 and two unnumbered cattle are gathered behind a foul line. Two riders are on the other side of the line.
Sorting pens: Two pens of approximately equal size are utilized, with the riders working cattle back and forth or only one way, depending on the event rules. Two ranch sorting arenas may be placed side by side with teams alternating odd and even numbers.
Settling each herd: If cattle are to be worked back and forth then they need to be moved to the opposite pen and back before new herds entering the arena are worked.
Readable numbers: All cattle must have USTPA approved back numbers; neck numbers are not acceptable.
Recommended pen sizes: Recommended sorting areas are 50 to 60 feet in diameter with no 90 degree corners, i.e. 60-foot round or octagonal pens.
Time limits: There will be a 90-, 75-, or 60-second clock for each class, at the option of the event producer.
Stopping time: Time will continue until all cattle are sorted in the correct order or the time limit is reached, either of which becomes the official time for that team.
Bunching cattle: All cattle will be bunched on the cattle side of the gate within the designated area before the time begins. Judges will designate the need to bunch cattle.
Starting the run: The judge will raise the flag to signal when the arena is ready. The flag will drop when the nose of the first horse crosses the start/foul line and the announcer will provide the number to be sorted first. The riders will be given their number instantly. Any delay in crossing the foul line may result in a "no-time" for the team. The next team has 30 seconds to enter the area and cross the time line after the previous team
Order of sorting: The cows are sorted in order; if any part of a numbered cow crosses the start/foul line prior to its correct order, then the team receives a no time. If any part of a sorted cow re-crosses the start/foul line the team will be disqualified. If any part of any unnumbered cow crosses the foul line before the tenth cow is cleanly sorted, it will result in a no-time.
Random start number: The order of sorting is determined by the picking of a random number by the announcer/timer and then that cow must be sorted first. For instance, if five is drawn as the first number, then the six cow must be sorted, seven, eight, nine, zero, one and so on.
Cow considered sorted: A cow is considered sorted when the entire cow is completely across the start/foul line.
Discipline Association: USTPA
Information provided by the United States Team Penning Association.