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Everything You Need To Know About the PBR Team Series

PBR Team Series 101

by Chris Dize
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Q. What is the PBR Team Series?

The PBR Team Series is an elite new league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing on teams in 5-on-5 bull riding games during an 11-event season beginning 25-26 at Cheyenne Frontier Days and culminating in a team championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas November 4-6.

Q. How many teams are in the PBR Team Series?

The PBR Team Series has eight founding teams. The list of teams can be found here.

Q. How many games are in the PBR Team Series regular-season schedule?

During the 2022 season, there will be ten regular-season events. Each of the eight teams will host a three-day regular-season event in their home city. Additionally, there will be two regular-season neutral site games in Cheyenne and Anaheim. Each team would play a total of twenty eight games during the regular season. The 2022 PBR Team Series schedule can be found here.

Q. Will there be a Playoff or a Championship event? If so, where?

The 2022 season will culminate with a PBR Team Series Championship in Las Vegas Nov 4-6 at T-Mobile Arena. The event will consist of an elimination tournament format with all teams participating. The top two teams in the regular season will receive first-round byes.

Q. Are the rules the same?

The Team Series features the same basic rules for judging and scoring qualified 8-second bull rides.

Q. How does a team win a game?

All eight teams will compete in head-to-head, 5-on-5 games against a different opponent each day. The team with the highest aggregate score from the respective matchup will win that game.

Q. What does a team win at a “PBR Team Series event (e.g., Outlaw Days)”?

The Team Series events will consist of three nightly performances featuring four games each night and twelve games per event. The only exception is Cheyenne and Anaheim, consisting of two nights (eight games total).

Q. How does a team win an event?

The team with the highest aggregate score of qualified rides will be declared the winner of each game. The event winner will be the team with the most game wins across an event, with a special bonus round designed as a tiebreaker to determine the final event standings.

As with other team sports leagues, game wins, and losses are crucial. Following the 10-event regular season will determine the playoff seeding going into the PBR Team Series Championship, held Nov. 4-6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Q. How will teams be scored and judged?

Most events will feature three games per team, plus a bonus round. The team with the best game record across an event, plus bonus round points, will be declared the winning team. Rider and Team event payouts will be based on team performance for a given event. Season standings will be based on win/loss record and bonus round points throughout the entire season. Events will recognize team performance rather than individual performance.

Q. How are teams building their rosters?

Teams will construct a roster of seven “protected roster” riders and up to five “practice squad” riders via a two-phase draft process:  a five-round Initial Draft (May 23) and a two-round supplemental draft (June 2) plus free agency, which follows both draft phases.

Teams chose their five core riders on May 23, immediately following PBR World Finals. For a complete list of current rosters click here.

Teams will have seven protected riders on their active rosters – five starters and two alternates. These riders can be subbed in/out of games throughout a weekend, giving teams flexibility for optimal performance. Every team plays at least one game per competition night. The team that posts the highest aggregate score is deemed the game winner.

The eight teams will designate their final seven-man protected roster on July 18.

Q. How will riders be matched against bulls in the games and bonus rounds? Will team coaches be able to pick bulls as in Global Cup?

Bulls will be drawn to Teams. Coaches will work with their Riders to determine bull assignments, which may change from game to game within an event.

Q. Will there be any individual championship within the team format?

There will be a League MVP based on the highest individual aggregate score total across all outs in the season.

Q. Supposed a rider gets hurt in Round 1 of an event: does the team call up another rider?

All Teams will bring at least 6 riders (with a 7th rider optional) to each regular season event. Each game features 5 riders, designated by the Coach. Throughout an event, Coaches may rotate their roster among their 6 (or 7) riders. There are also up to five riders on the Practice Squad who may be called up to compete.

Q. Can Riders ride more than once in a game?

No, Riders cannot ride twice in a given game or round. If a team doesn’t have 5 available riders for a game, they forfeit the ride(s).

Q. Can teams make trades?

Teams may negotiate trades at any time for current riders to whom they hold the rights. Assets available for trade include future draft picks, players already drafted in the 2022 draft, contracted players, cash and/or future considerations. The 2022 PBR Team Series trade deadline is October 4, 2022.

Q. Other sports have an “IR” – is there an “injured reserve”?

During the regular season, teams may designate to Injured Reserve any rider who is deemed unfit to ride by a consulting medical professional. Riders must be designated to IR for a minimum of two events. Riders injured in any sanctioned PBR events may be eligible for Injured Reserve pay based on League guidelines.

Q. If this season runs during the traditional “second half,” what happens to the Velocity Tour and Touring Pro Division during the PBR Team Series season?

In late May 2022, PBR launched the PBR Challenger Series, a new competition series consisting of more than 60 events traveling to 27 states across the United States, running in conjunction with the PBR Team Series. The PBR Challenger Series serves as a proving ground giving additional competitive opportunities to bull riders who are both affiliated and unaffiliated with a PBR Team Series Team. Select Challenger Series events will be carried on RidePass on Pluto TV (Channel 720).

At the conclusion of the PBR Challenger Series regular season, the Top 40 riders in the Series standings will qualify for the Challenger Championship, which will be held on November 3, 2022, in Las Vegas at South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in conjunction with the PBR Team Championship (November 4-6). A select number of top-finishing riders in the final Challenger Series standings will automatically qualify for 2023 Unleash The Beast season events.

Q. Will PBR’s tours in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico be adopting the team format?

Not at present.

Q. PBR is very successful – why change the format?

For nearly three decades, PBR has grown consistently and is now a franchise property on CBS (and carried now on RidePass on PlutoTV as well), packing arenas coast to coast and operating tours in three countries outside the U.S. We now have an opportunity for the sport to become even more exciting and reach new levels of organic growth with fans, sponsors, and the next generation of PBR athletes by adding team competition to the (individual) Unleash The Beast tour. This is truly a transformational addition to the PBR competition fans have known and loved.

Riders competing on teams debuted with the 2017 PBR Global Cup. They continued with the 2021 Monster Energy Team Challenge last June at South Point Las Vegas, with the METC Finals in Sioux Falls in July (the first event during COVID-19 to bring fans back into an indoor arena). In addition, PBR has staged multiple Air Force Reserve Cowboys for a Cause team charity events. Those who witnessed these team events saw even more rider passion and better competition within an electric atmosphere. We anticipate the new PBR Team Series will continue to raise the level of competition and professionalism in PBR while giving fans new rooting interests and creating additional excitement and value for everyone. For the first time, PBR will also have “home teams,” which will help the sport grow.

Q. What do riders think about all this?

Riders are very excited about the new league, as evidenced by 269 Riders declaring for the inaugural PBR Team Series draft. They like the idea of having teammates, a greater support system including coaching, and additional earning opportunities. The news has been called a transformational change for our sport, as well as a victory for cowboys in offering them new money, professional coaching, and the incomparable camaraderie understood by anyone who has ever played team sports.

Article Courtesy of PBR

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