PBR announces blockbuster rule change on April Fool's Day

It's going to take bull riders longer to make qualified rides. Photo: Matt Breneman/BullStockMedia.com.


  • A qualified ride in PBR competition will now require 16 seconds.
  • For the last 25 years, PBR riders have needed to reach 8 seconds to record a score.
  • PBR cowboys are ready for the challenge.

In This Article

PUEBLO, Colo. – For 25 years, the constant measure of success in PBR has been to “make the 8 seconds.”

Today, the league announced that mark for recording a score to earn prize money and World Championship points will change. Qualified rides in the world’s leading professional bull riding organization will be extended to 16 seconds. 

The change applies to all PBR tours in the five countries the sport sanctions events: the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico.

“As PBR celebrates our 25th season, the sport continues to set attendance and ratings records,” said PBR CEO Sean Gleason. “Fans clearly want more PBR. Giving them twice as much action on each qualified ride is a significant way to do that.”

In conjunction with the biggest rule change in the sport’s first quarter century, PBR’s official souvenir program, 8 Seconds, will be also renamed 16 Seconds, while the PBR mobile game, 8 to Glory, will be retitled, 16 to Glory.

While the new rule’s impact on riding percentages is to be determined, PBR’s top riders are supporting the change. 

“Don’t matter to me either way. 8, 16, 24: tell me how long I need to stay on, and I’m gonna nod my head and ride all of ‘em,” said two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney

“This puts extra strain on our bodies, but we are cowboys and can do it,” said 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, who has made the 8 seconds 626 times, the most all-time in PBR.

While the bulls weren’t available for comment, top stock contractors believe the sport’s animal athletes will quickly adjust to the monumental rules change.

“These are very smart animals,” said seven-time PBR Stock Contractor of the Year Chad Berger. “They have been trained and conditioned for that 8-second whistle, but once the bulls figure out we’re going to 16, you can bet they’ll bust out of that chute bucking even harder.”

To introduce the new competition format, 2017 World Champion Jess Lockwood will attempt the new 16-second mark in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at the First Premier Bank Premier Bankcard Invitational on the bull April Fool’s Day. 

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