PBR Changes Points: Time to Batten Down the Hatches and Stock up on Bread and Eggs

Written by Marcus

A lot of fans flew into conniptions on social media when PBR announced its new points system earlier this week. 

Personally, I sometimes count with my fingers. My brain isn’t exactly a calculator.  The old points system felt like going to Italy and paying 6,000 lire for a glass of Coke. 

Is that a lot? Or a deal? Who knew? Who could calculate it?  

PBR was a bit like that.

Craig Hummer would say with his patented enthusiasm “Lockwood is in lock-down mode and Jose Vitor Leme’s lead is now down to 956.86 points!”

Is that a lot?  Within striking distance? 

Who, outside of Felisko who must have scored a 1600 on his Math SATs alone, really knew?

When a round win that used to be 100 points is now 20 points, I’m already concluding I won’t need as much Real Time Pain Relief for my aching brain trying to calculate the world standings before the chute opens next. 

Second place is worth 10, third 9, fourth place eighth and so on. 

Seems very good to me. 

Just no longer dealing with the fractional decimal points will be worth it. 

The biggest change of the points system is a big simplification — points being reduced proportionately across all territories and tours, which can be viewed here.

This change will make it easier for fans who don’t work at NASA to track the points riders earn over the season – rounds points, full event finishes along with World Championship race. 

The new system also increases the points awarded across placement in rounds, increases points awarded from 5th – 11th place, expands awarding points to riders in the round to more places and increases paying places in 2020. 

Understandably, big changes can be hard for some to accept. If it ain’t broke, why fix it, right?

When PBR announced the new points system, it was as if they changed the time for a qualified ride from 8 to 16 seconds. (That was actually a very funny April Fool’s Joke joke the league once pulled off, fooling many fans.)

Many fans did what we as freaked out human beings now do when needing to vent about something: they went right to Facebook and let loose. 

On some feeds, teeth-gnashing about the new points crowded out cat videos and “Epstein Was Murdered” memes. 

A number of die-hards felt the old system simply did not need any tweaks.

Others claimed “collusion!”  PBR is tilting the odds in favor of one rider over others! 

(The rest of us waited for the Lambert Dossier to appear). 

A few fans thought the change could do more damage than good to the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour. 

We checked in with PBR’s Robert Simpson who oversees the Velocity Tour, and he assured us that pencils were worn down and numbers cranked in running historical data scenarios to ensure that the Velocity Tour remained relevant to qualifying into the UTB and overall PBR rankings.

“We wanted to make sure that after the season gets started, the top Velocity Tour riders would still get into the Unleash The Beast,” Simpson said.

In fact, PBR looked at the competition in 2019 and ran countless scenarios

The top 5 to 7 Velocity Tour riders were still ranked within the top 35 in the standings in each scenario, according to Simpson. 

“So, even though it may at first glance look lower, the points adjustments in every tour are proportional, with fixes in certain levels and events,” Simpson said. “The bottom line is Velocity Tour riders still, have the best road to the UTB; if they ride and win on the Velocity Tour, they will get a chance to ride in the Unleash the Beast tour”.

Additionally, Velocity Tour events will now always be giving points to placing in the short round.

PBR CEO Sean Gleason pointed out myriad benefits of the new points in an article on the league’s web site. 

“Among the improvements made, the enhanced system tightens the competition by rewarding points to more riders covering their bulls and slightly narrows the gap between the top between lower- and top-round finishers while keeping the emphasis on finishing high on every out. There will be more opportunities to accumulate enough points to win a paying position whereas in the past they wouldn’t have been paid,” Gleason said.

Overall, it will remain to be seen how the new points system rolls out in 2020. 

It certainly appears easier for fans to follow their favorite riders in the overall championship race from event to event across tours.

I’m eager to see examples of rewarding riders who may get qualified rides but place lower in a round and in the past went away empty-handed even when riding their bulls

Any fan rooting for these incredible athletes who are not cushioned with a big, fat guaranteed contract has to like the prospect of riders making the 8 (but placing low in the round) now earning some money for a ride that put their life on the line for our entertainment pleasure. 

As any fan who feasted on the PBR on CBS Sports Network Thanksgiving Marathon will attest, this past season was epic. 

The new points system may make the 2020 PBR season even more exciting to watch.

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