"By the 1980's it was understood that if there were ever going to be a team roping industry, where ropers could move freely state to state and
internationally, where ropers of all handicaps could compete fairly against ropers of the same ability, something needed to happen, and someone
would need to step up. Someone or some entity would need to pay the price figuratively and literally. It could not be a one-time thing, they would
need to do it forever, and maintain it if there were ever to be hope of bringing large groups of people together from long distances for major
competitions. It was a job that would never end."
--The Team Roping Journal
It was also universally agreed that "handicapping" was necessary if local and backyard team ropings were to grow into a full-fledged hobby or sport.
A sport that ropers of all ages and abilities could enjoy from cradle to the grave. This idea was strongly opposed by the 5% of ropers that already "HAD"
serious skills. It was clear to them that the advent of handicaps would cut into their ability to control the entry fees of the other 95%.
So, the journey began... mixed ropings > century ropings > non-RCA ropings > no out of state ropers > invitationals > amateur ropings > and finally, novice
ropings. The Novice, Amateur, and Open divisions gave way to the terms A, B, and C.
Beginning in 1990, USTRC took it to the next level with a national handicap system and by 1998 had over 100,000 ropers classified. For over 30 years, this handicap
database has been the mainstay of the industry. Continuing to move forward, Global Handicaps will take the lead with a new and advanced integration of
information to continue to allow ropers of varying skill levels to compete on a fair and level playing field. Global Handicaps will continue to be the
trusted measure of a roper's ability.
The number system was the answer that had eluded all the other solutions. Prior to the number concept, "handicapping" was based on the idea of cutting
large groups of ropers into smaller segments. More importantly, it still never prevented "the best from roping with the best" in each group, thus
making a large portion of each group uncompetitive.