Team roping requires close cooperation and timing between highly skilled ropers, a header and heeler. As in other timed events, the team ropers start from boxes on each side of the chute from which the steer enters the arena. The steer gets a head start depending on the length of the arena.\r\n
When the steer reaches its advantage point, the barrier is released and the header takes off in pursuit, with the heeler trailing slightly further behind. If the header breaks the barrier before the steer completes its head start, the ropers are assessed a 10-second penalty. There are three types of legal head catches; either the rope must be around both horns or one horn and the head or around the head of the steer. Once the header makes his catch he turns the steer to expose his rear legs to the heeler. The heeler then attempts to rope both hind legs. If only one is caught, there is a five second penalty. The clock is stopped when there is no slack in the ropes and the horses are facing each other.