Event Rules
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General Information

No Pets, No Drugs & Alcohol Policies

NO Pets or Drugs and Alcohols will be permitted on LADWP Property. Any violators will be escorted off the property by uniformed security!

Judging & scoring

It is the Rodeo Committee’s objective to ensure that judging remains fair and consistent across the board. However, due to the fact that some aspects of judging are a matter of opinion, situations could arise in which teams may feel that they have been judged incorrectly or treated unfairly.

The following guidelines are for both contestants and judges, and are provided to keep the scoring as consistent as possible. While a system is in place to settle disputes, not everyone may be satisfied with the outcome. That is the nature of Rodeos. We must all remember that more important than winning or losing is to have the opportunity to showcase our skills and abilities performing with pride for friends and family in our chosen profession.

We hope everybody has a good time and we welcome any suggestions that may improve future Rodeos.


At each event station the head judges will explain the event and basic guidelines. Prior to beginning an event, each team/competitor will have 5 minutes in which to ask additional questions and prepare tools and materials for the event. At the end of the 5 minute “prep” time, the contestants will be asked to stop what they are doing immediately and prepare to start the event. Any preparations not completed in the five minutes must be done on the clock, including putting on tools. The event will start at the judge’s mark and finish after the last team member has reached the ground (or designated pole position) and a member of the team calls time.
** NOTE: If competitors forget to call time and exceed the “mean” time as a result, they will still receive a deduction even if they physically finished the event.

Contesting a Call

If a competitor’s disputed call and cannot be resolved by the event judge, they may talk to the head judge of the event. If it cannot be resolved at this level then they can present their case to the Master Judge. All decisions at this level are final and if the judgement is upheld, the team will receive the original deduction plus an additional 2-point deduction for the protest. If the judgment is overturned, the team will receive their score with no additional penalties for contesting the call.
** NOTE: All calls must be contested immediately while in the event area. Failure to do so will result in the deductions remaining and the team forfeiting their right to contest any calls. Many contested calls can be avoided by having a clear understanding of the rules prior to starting an event. Participants are encouraged to discuss any rules that are unclear or not fully understood with the head judges before starting an event. There is nothing wrong with contesting a call if the team feels the need to. It is every team’s right.

To find out more about the scoring system of the Rodeo Event, please click on Event Scoring System.


This information is provided for contestants and judges to familiarize themselves with the criteria used to score the events. The following is a list of common infractions for which LADWP/ IBEW LOCAL 18 LINEMAN’S RODEO - 12 - competitors may be penalized. This list includes specific as well as general infractions for the events. Participants are encouraged to review each of the possible deductions before competing.
** NOTE: Deductions marked under the category of ‘other,’ will be 2-point deductions for each infraction.

The list of infractions will be split into six categories listed as follows:

General Infractions - These are infractions common to all events, both journeyman and apprentice.
Clothing Infractions - These apply to the type of clothing required and the manner in which it is worn.
Working Infractions - These infractions apply to the work being performed.
Climbing Infractions - These infractions apply to methods of climbing and maneuvering on the pole.
Sticking Infractions - These infractions only apply to the hot stick events and govern the correct use of hot stick tools.
Other - Any infraction not listed but that a judge may feel is a valid deduction.

The list of infractions will be split into six categories and disqualification listed as follows:

  1. Exceeding Mean Time / Drop Dead Time - If competitors exceed the specified “mean” time for an event they will receive a 2 point deduction. If they then exceed the 5 minute “drop dead” time, an additional 2 point deduction will be charged.
  2. Poor housekeeping - This includes leaving trash at the event station or not keeping tools on the provided tarp prior to, during or after the event.
  3. Poor Communication - Arguing, yelling or lack of communication between team members.
  4. No Gaff Guards - Climbers must have gaff guards on at all times. The only exception is when tools are being set up for hurtman rescue.
  5. Checking Rubber Gloves Prior to an Event - Journeyman must visibly check rubber gloves prior to starting each event requiring them. This may be done during the 5 minute prep time.
  6. Rubber Gloves - Incorrectly stored in glove bag – cuff up.
  7. Glove Bag - Glove bag may not be used to hold or store anything other than rubber gloves
  1. Lose Hard Hat - If any member of the team loses their hard hat.
  2. Hard Hat Worn Incorrectly - The hard hat is not to be worn backwards or any way other than that which it was designed for.
  3. Long Sleeved Shirt - All team members must wear a long sleeved shirt with the sleeves down.
  4. Work Gloves - All groundwork must be performed in while wearing gloves. Leather Lineman gloves with gauntlets must be worn by all climbers.
  5. Climbing Belt - The climbing belt must be worn correctly with the strap through the buckle and the keeper.
  6. Safety Strap - The keeper must not be removed from the pole safety strap.
  7. Gaffs / Climbers - Gaff straps must be of original length and be completely buckled. Velcro pads must be completely cinched and not hanging.
  8. Safety Glasses - All competitors must wear safety glasses with side protection.
  1. Working Distance - Journeymen may not encroach upon safe working distances from energized conductors or equipment without the use of rubber gloves or adequate cover.
  2. Excessive Contact With Rubber goods - Incidental, momentary contact with rubber covering may be permitted. Extended or excessive contact such as lying on the rubber goods is an infraction.
  3. Insufficient / Incorrect Cover - Conductors that are exposed to contact after rubber covering has been applied is an infraction.
  4. Improper Handline Use - The handline must not be raised or lowered with twists in the line or while the linemen are ascending or descending the pole. Groundmen may not hold the handline by standing on it.
    ** NOTE: Competitors may make minor changes in position while the hand line is in motion, such as a step up, down or to the side.
  5. Handline Hook - All tools and materials must be sent up on an open hook or in bags hung from an open hook. Hanging the hook of a bag on the handline hook is an infraction.
  6. Conductor Movement - When an event requires the movement of a conductor two points of control must remain on the conductor while it is in motion.
  7. Dropping Of Tools Or Materials - Any tools or materials dropped off the pole.
  8. Connectors - Connectors not backed up with a wrench while loosening or tightening.
  9. Cleaning - Wire must be cleaned prior to installing connectors or jumpers.
  10. Tools And Materials - Tools and materials must be held in bags provided or secured to the handline. Tools or materials held primarily on the belt or body will result in a deduction.
  11. Exposed Blade On Knife - Skinning knifes must be “buried” in a tool pouch or ditty bag, and may only be hung from the belt if sheathed or folded closed.
  12. Improper Handline Procedure - The first journeyman to climb the pole must take the handline. The last journeyman on the pole must drop out the handline.
  1. Cutout / Slip - If a gaff slides or is out of control other than stepping in a visible crack a deduction will be given.
  2. Hot Dogging - Skip stepping, free falling or any other method of climbing in which one gaff is not in the pole at all times will be considered “hot dogging”.
  3. Unbelting - The competitors must remain belted to the pole at all times.
  1. Choking up on hotstick - If the journeymen place their hands above the “safe zone” area marked on the hotstick while in proximity there will be a deduction.
  2. Not using the stick for it’s intended purpose - Any use other than the manufacturers intended use will be a deduction.
    ** NOTE: Check with judge prior to event for any exceptions or special cases.
  3. Not maintaining positive control of hot sticks - If a journeyman rests a hotstick on his belt or uses it in any manner in which complete control of the hotstick is not maintained their will be a deduction.
    ** NOTE: A journeyman may hold a stick against or upon his body as long as primary control is maintained by his/her hand.
  4. Hanging sticks from conductor - Sticks must be stored in the bags provided and sent up or down handline on an open hook.
  1. Contact With Phases - Any physical bodily contact with uncovered phases.
  2. Falls - A fall is when after “cutting out” a competitor lands on the ground.
  3. Throwing Objects - Any time materials are deliberately thrown or dropped off the pole will receive a 10-point deduction.
  4. Working Opposite Phases - Journeymen may not work opposite phases or the neutral and a primary phase at the same time. Journeyman may install cover, connectors and jumpers simultaneously on the same phase.
  5. Losing Control Of Conductor - Dropping or losing control of the conductor to where it contacts the pole, equipment or other conductor.
  6. Improper Jumper Procedure - Failure to correctly install mechanical jumpers to the line resulting in loss off continuity.
  7. Climbing Order - The first journeyman up the pole must be stopped and the handline secured prior to the second journeyman climbing up the pole.
  1. Arguing - Continued debate after the Master judge has rendered a decision.
  2. Illegal Substitution - Any rotation of climbers or substitution without expressed permission from the master judge.
  3. Cheating - Any form of cheating or glove modification.
  4. Sabotage - Any attempt to alter or sabotage an event or tools for a successive team.
  5. Unsportsmanlike Conduct - Behavior deemed offensive threatening or otherwise unacceptable.
    ** NOTE: Any questions on other possible deductions should be asked during the five-minute preparation time prior to the start of each event.

Competitors are required to bring their own climbing tools and personnel protective equipment. All tools specific to an individual event will be provided. While there will not be a formal tool inspection, teams will be subject to deductions for all modifications or improper use of personal tools.

** NOTE: The use of battery powered tools will not be permitted.
** NOTE: Only leather lineman’s gloves with a gauntlet will be permitted for pole climbing.

While every effort has been made to make these rules and guidelines as concise and comprehensive as possible, changes and discrepancies may occur prior to the start of the rodeo. Please accept our apologies in advance and our thanks for your participation and cooperation in making this a fun day for all concerned.

Thank you, to all of the vendors, who have participated in the past, your participation is very important to the Rodeo. It gives you, the
vendors, the chance to meet with the people who use your products and at the same time it gives the users of your
products the opportunity to give you feedback on tools and products. The Rodeo is advertised and
open to the utilities in California and all those who are willing to travel; which also
gives you the opportunity to meet and make new contacts.