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International Gay Rodeo Association
Rodeo Production Guidebook

Managing Contestant Registration

Coordinator Checklist, Contestant Regestration (PDF)

Rodeo contestant registration is actually a logical sequence of activities and, if properly followed, the process does not have to be complicated and should flow smoothly.

Preliminary Work By The Contestant Regestration Coordinator

It is advisable for the Rodeo Director or a representative from the Hosting Association to contact the Rodeo Secretary at least a couple of weeks before the rodeo. The purpose of this contact should be to review the forms needed for registration, to verify that all secretarial supplies are available, and that a sufficient number of volunteers will be available at registration. A copy of each form and the Secretarial Checklist are mailed to the Rodeo Director several weeks prior to the rodeo from the IGRA. The number of copies needed of each form should be confirmed with the Secretary. It is helpful to tell the Secretary the total number of pre-registered contestants as well as the number of pre-registered contestants in each event. Confirm with the Secretary if s/he has an Assistant; if not, try to identify an individual to work in this capacity. The individual should be available until the entire registration process is completed and throughout the rodeo on Saturday and Sunday. Assign at least one person to work under the direction of the Secretary as a "Secretarial Runner"; this person should be available throughout the rodeo on Saturday and Sunday. It is a tremendous help if one person (two people is preferable) is assigned the responsibility of working under the direction of the Secretary to place labels on ribbons and to assist in preparing the tables for the awards ceremony on Sunday evening. The individual(s) assigned the task of preparing the ribbons will generally not be needed until approximately noon on Sunday, and then following the end of the last event on Sunday

All entry forms should be placed in notebooks. NOTE: Staple the envelope in which the entry form was received to the back of the entry form if it was not postmarked by a government postal service between the rodeo entry opening date and fifteen (15) days prior to the rodeo first performance, for rodeos held in the United States. For rodeos held outside the United States, the postmark must be between the rodeo entry opening date and twenty-two (22) days prior to the rodeo first performance. The forms can be placed in one notebook, or in three separate notebooks as identified below. Be sure the original of each form are given to the Rodeo Secretary. Contestant packets should be completed before the beginning of registration and available before registration begins. Be sure your vet information is in each contestant packet as well and the "Blue Medical sheet" (these 2 items are required by IGRA rule)

The Hosting Association should prepare the following signs for registration and have one (1) table with two (2) chairs available for each area:

  1. New Contestants
  2. Pre-Registered Contestants
              A - F
  3. Pre-Registered Contestants
              G - M
  4. Pre-Registered Contestants
              N - Z
  5. Cashier
  6. Contestant Numbers & Badges
  7. Announcer
  8. Contestant Packets
  9. Grand Entry
At least one person should be assigned for each task; however, if a small number of contestants is anticipated, some of these tasks can be combined; e.g., Pre-Registered Contestants A-M; Pre-Registered Contestants N-Z. A separate table should be set up for the Rodeo Auditor; this table should not be in the general registration line, but should be in the background away from contestants. For larger rodeos, it helps if two people are assigned to work at each table to allow time for breaks. Also, the Rodeo Secretary should be available to observe all registration activities and to answer questions.

Ensure that two (2) reams of white 20 lb. laser (or multipurpose) paper are available for the Rodeo Auditor at registration.

The Rodeo Director should talk to the Arena Director prior to the beginning of registration and determine a time for the New Contestant Meeting. At least one sign should be prepared listing the time and location for the meeting, and given to the Secretary for posting in the registration area. Signs should be prepared for any changes, such as rodeo start time, and given to the Secretary prior to the beginning of registration and posted in the registration area.

The Rodeo Director should identify an individual to sell buddy passes during registration, and a table should be set up for this purpose. An individual should also be identified to ensure that officials and staff complete all required forms and to issue appropriate badges to them. Required forms are:

  1. IGRA Liability Waiver (BYLAWS EXHIBIT K)
  2. Staff/Volunteer Medical Form (BYLAWS EXHIBIT M)
  3. Any local waiver required for your rodeo (i.e. Arena, hotel, local sponsors)
An individual should also be identified to collect any stall fees; this is not a responsibility of the Rodeo Secretary!

Registration should be set up in a quiet room, if possible, and no other activities should take place in the room during registration. However, if the room is large enough to provide adequate space, other tables may be set up for Volunteer Registration, Entertainment Registration, etc. It is a good idea for the Rodeo Director to assign one (1) person to be responsible for ensuring that all secretarial supplies are obtained and to be the single point of contact regarding registration issues. The Secretary should be instructed to contact this person upon arrival. All entry forms, other required forms, and secretarial supplies should be given to the Secretary. The Secretary may request specific supplies for registration, and ask if someone else can deliver the rest of the supplies to the secretarial area at the rodeo facility.

Confirm the time for the officials meeting (within 30 minutes of close of registration) to be held under the direction of the Rodeo Secretary, and instruct the person issuing credentials to officials and staff to tell them the time of the meeting. Judges, Scorekeepers, Timers, Announcers, Arena Director, Chute Coordinator, Rodeo Director, and the Rodeo Checklist Trustee are required to attend the meeting. It is also suggested that the Arena Set-Up Coordinator and Assistants in any capacity attend the meeting.

Prior to the rodeo weekend, the Rodeo Director or Designee should confirm the nearest location of a 24-hour Kinko's (or other 24-hour copy center) and give the address and phone number in writing to the Secretary. It is recommended that written directions from the registration site to the copy center are provided for the Secretary. Make sure it is still a 24 hour location.


The Secretary should review the entry forms and make any notes to identify additional information that must be obtained. All events in which a contestant has pre registered should be highlighted; this will help in determining if a late registration fee is required. As soon as the Association Membership Lists are received from the Rodeo Auditor, the Secretary should also verify membership for each pre-registered contestant. Using the IGRA Master List, the Secretary will initial the appropriate places on the entry form to that membership has been verified and that identification has been seen previously. The Secretary should check all supplies, and notify the Hosting Association representative if additional supplies are needed.


Tables should be set up early in the order they are listed. It really helps if the tables can be set up in a "horseshoe" or "U" formation. It also helps if there is a separate entry door and exit door for registration. ENTRANCE ONLY and EXIT ONLY signs should be posted on the appropriate door.

All staff should be instructed to be in the registration area at least 15-30 minutes PRIOR to the start of registration so the Secretary can review the registration process. Even experienced people sometimes need a "refresher" on the registration process. All staff should be available to work until close of registration. NOTE: It is very considerate if one or two people will stay after registration closes to assist the secretary in the required follow up work.


A sufficient number of the "Shared Rigging/Horse Form" will be placed on each table. Contestant sharing equipment or horses must complete a form at registration. The owner of the equipment or horse should state this on the form. All shared rigging/horse forms are retained and given to the rodeo secretary at the close of registration. A "Partners Needed Form" will also be placed on each table so contestants needing a partner(s) can complete the information on the form. Any contestant completing the partners need form will be told s/he must fill the team(s) before registration closes, and that entry fees for incomplete teams will not be collected. It is the contestant's responsibility to fill the team and return to the registration area to complete the entry before registration closes.


The person working at this table will ask if the contestant if s/he has ever competed in an IGRA Rodeo and then check the master list of people who have previously assigned an IGRA Contestant Number. This list is provided by the IGRA Office. If the contestant's name is on the list, s/he is not a new contestant, and will be required to pay the late fee, if appropriate, in order to compete in the rodeo. If the contestant's name is not on the list, s/he may register to compete as a new or first-time contestant. The contestant's membership will also be verified, and if the contestant is not a member of any IGRA Member/Recognized Association, s/he will be required to join an Association in order to compete in the rodeo. The contestant will be asked to complete the entry form in its entirety.

The contestant will be required to show a photo ID so her/his age can be verified. Alternately, the contestant's association trustee can vouch for the person's identity. A Rodeo Rules Book will be given to each new contestant. The contestant will be told when and where the new contestant meeting will be held, and that it is mandatory to attend the meeting in order to compete in the rodeo. When all forms are completed, the contestant will be given her/his entry form and directed to the Cashier table. The IGRA Contestant Liaison may be present and able to assist and answer New Contestant questions. It is suggested that the Association check with the Contestant Liaison Committee chair(s) a few weeks in advance to see if a Contestant Liaison is assigned to the rodeo.


The contestant will be given the entry form and asked to review it for accuracy and to make any changes, such as adding or deleting events. The contestant will be instructed to complete any additional information noted on the form. When finished, the contestant will be given his/her entry form and directed to the Cashier table. Only contestants winning $600 or more must complete a W-9 (not required for Canadian contestants) prior to receiving their winnings.

Cashier Table:
The Cashier will review the entry form and collect the appropriate amount of money for entry fees and appropriate late fee. On the entry form, the Cashier will write the total amount for entry fees, any late fee required, and the amount of money collected. Remember: Entry fees for incomplete teams should not be collected. Entry fees paid at registration are to be paid with cash, money order, cashier's check, or credit card (if available); no personal checks are to be accepted. The cashier will give the entry form to the contestant and instruct the contestant to proceed to the Contestant Numbers/Badges Table. Be prepared to provide receipts for contestant. Horse stall deposits are refunded at registration and may be applied to entry fees. Late fees cannot be waived. Record entry fees received at registration on the form.

Contestant Numbers/Badges Table:
The person working at this table will accept the contestant's entry form, assign the contestant a rodeo number, and write that number on the entry form. The contestant will be instructed to complete the medical information on the back of the contestant number or a contestant medical form if it's not on the back of the contestant numbers. The contestant's printed name and signature on the medical form will be considered as a completed form. A laminated badge with the same number as the contestant's rodeo number will be given to the contestant. The person working at this table will keep the entry form and direct the contestant to the Announcer Table.

Announcer Table:
The Announcer or staff will ask each contestant for her/his assigned rodeo number and ask the contestant to complete an "Announcer's Card". The Announcer then instructs the contestant to the Contestant Packets Table.

Contestant Packets Table:
The person working at this table is only required to give each contestant a packet, and then direct them to the Grand Entry Sign-Up Table.


The Secretary should be observant and available to answer any questions from contestants, officials, staff, and volunteers. Throughout the registration time, the Secretary will pick up entry forms from the Contestant Numbers/Badges Table and give to the Rodeo Auditor. The Secretary will also have the "Authorization to Receive Check" form (EXHIBIT S) available for contestants to complete if they will not be at the Sunday Awards Ceremony and are authorizing another person to pick up their check.


When registration has closed, the Secretary collects all of the Shared Rigging and Horse Forms. After the running order for each event is printed by the Rodeo Auditor, they are reviewed, and if necessary, contestants are manually reassigned a different place in the running order so those sharing equipment or horses are spaced far enough part to not interfere with the smooth running of the event. All of these pages are returned to the Rodeo Auditor.

The Rodeo Auditor then prints the event control sheets and score sheets incorporating all changes the Secretary has noted. The Secretary compares the event control sheets with the running order to ensure that all contestants are listed in the event and all changes were made. Forms are alphabetized and filed.

The Secretary prepares the event control sheets to take to the 24-hour copy center for copying. And, the final step for the evening is to pack up and load all of the secretarial supplies.

Registration volunteers can assist the Secretary with all of these activities. All of the work done after registration closes can take anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours to complete.


Starting in 2006, Registration time no longer has to be Friday evenings 6-9, depending on how your rodeo is scheduled (such as a night time rodeo). Not all contestants have to fill out a W-9 at registration. Only contestants who win $600 or more have to complete this before awards on Sunday evening. Added money into rodeo events must be in whole dollars.

We are all volunteers and like to visit with other people in the registration area. However, it helps if everyone is encouraged to leave the registration area when they have completed their registration. When several people congregate in a confined area, such as the registration area, it becomes quite noisy and more difficult for others to proceed through the registration process.

Contestant regerstration managers are encouraged to ask the Rodeo Secretary any questions they might have or to request any information they might need.

Be sure you deposit the pre-registration checks received in the mail in a timely manner (before rodeo weekend).

With preliminary planning and cooperation among all staff, the entire registration process can be a very smooth and efficient activity.

First posted May 16, 2015
Last update Jan 1, 2016