What is a NIRA rodeo? That’s a great question! The NIRA stands for National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. They sanction college rodeos across the United States. College rodeos work a little bit differently than traditional rodeo associations work because you have to be enrolled in college and be on the college rodeo team in order to compete, but we will touch more on that below.
About the NIRA
As mentioned above, the NIRA is the sanctioning association for college rodeo. Their primary goal is and has always been to establish and maintain standards for college rodeos across the nation. In addition to conducting college rodeos, the NIRA has also set out to promote interest, understanding, appreciation, and vigilance over our Western life and culture. Unlike other The NIRA is divided into 11 regions with over 135 colleges and universities that each have their own official rodeo team on campus. This does not necessarily mean that a individual can’t compete under a school that doesn’t have a team.
To be considered for membership in the NIRA a student must be attending a college or university listed in the current publication of Accredited Institutions of Post Secondary Education.The student must be in good standing while taking at least 12 academic credit hours each term and maintaining a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) at all times. The events that students can compete in are saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying. You can find more information on membership but visiting their website.
The NIRA Rodeo Schedule is split up through the 11 regional chapters which are the Big Sky, Central Plains, Central Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon, Great Plains, Northwest, Ozark, Rocky Mountain, Southern, Southwest, and West Coast. Each of the regions hold their own rodeos throughout the year. The college rodeo season runs through September – April (roughly). There are a few rodeos that take place in early May to give contestants some additional opportunities to get into the College National Finals Rodeo at the end of the season. You can find all remaining rodeos of the season on their website.
In the national NIRA rodeo standings, colleges and universities are placed based on the amount of points earned from their rodeo team. Below are the top ten colleges and universities as they head towards the end of the season. It will be interesting to see if we see any major changes in these standings or not. Please check the NIRA website for the most recent information on standings.
|1.||University of Wyoming||UWY||7,545.00|
|2.||Missouri Valley College||MVC||7,175.00|
|3.||College of Southern Idaho||CSID||6,235.00|
|4.||Central Arizona College||CAZC||5,865.50|
|5.||Feather River College||FEATHR||5,524.50|
|7.||New Mexico State University||NMSU||4,957.50|
|8.||Utah Valley University||UVU||4,900.00|
|9.||Weber State University||WEBER||4,625.00|
|10.||University of Tennessee-Martin||UTNM||4,470.00|