Ready, Set, Climb! Since 1984, linemen from around the world have anticipated these words. This year, the 20th Annual International Lineman's Rodeo and Expo will be held October 16-18. The three-day event kicks off with the exposition on Thursday, Oct. 16 at Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S. The expo continues on Friday, Oct. 17, but the real excitement will take place on Saturday, Oct. 18 at the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame rodeo fairgrounds in Bonner Springs, Kansas. More than 236 teams and 260 apprentices are expected to participate in the 2003 Rodeo. The goal of the Lineman Rodeo Board, Advisory Committee and Chief Judges Committee is to make the event as pleasant, fun and fair as possible for all participants and attendees.

A Few Changes

Those familiar with the Lineman's Rodeo & Expo will recognize that it usually takes place in early September, rather than mid-October. As a result of conflicts with other organizations' planned activities, alternate dates had to be negotiated for this year.

By moving the Rodeo & Expo to October, two significant changes will occur. First, the daylight hours will be decreased by about one and a half hours. Second, the average temperature will be approximately 10 degrees cooler. Taking these conditions into consideration, please note the following modification regarding the team and apprentice events:

For 2003 only, the number of team and apprentice events will be decreased by one mystery event each. Thus, the team events will include the hurtman rescue, pole climb and two mystery events. The apprentice events will consist of the hurtman rescue, pole climb, one mystery event and the apprentice written test.

Rules of Eligibility

The intention of the Lineman's Rodeo is to recognize the profession of line work as well as demonstrate the safety, skill and education of electric linemen. The event was designed for participation by everyday, practicing, working linemen. Anyone who is or ever was a qualified practicing, working lineman is entitled to compete.

A team consists of two linemen and a groundman. Both linemen must be qualified journeyman linemen. If a journeyman must drop out of the competition for any reason, the alternate who takes his place must be a qualified lineman. If an apprentice is competing on a team as a groundman, he will not be allowed to enter the apprentice competition also.

A groundman is a non-climbing participant of the team. He will be allowed to climb if one of the climbing linemen should withdraw from the competition for any reason. The groundman must be a journeyman lineman to replace a climbing member of the team. Should the groundman replace a climbing member of the team, he must be replaced by an alternate to maintain a three-person team.

A person is considered an apprentice for four years after he enters an apprenticeship and can no longer compete as an apprentice after the four years elapse. An apprentice can compete as a journeyman after serving as an apprentice for four years. However, he must provide a statement from his employer stating that he has completed his training and is performing journeyman duties while waiting for a journeyman position to become available. He will no longer be eligible for apprentice events. If a person who is classified as a journeyman with one company obtains employment with another company in an apprentice classification, he will not be allowed to enter the apprentice events.

If an apprentice makes journeyman before Aug. 1, 2003, he will not be permitted to enter the rodeo as an apprentice. If he makes journeyman after Aug. 1, 2003, he will be allowed to compete as an apprentice.

Social Opportunities

Even the most consummate couch potato can compete at the International Lineman's Rodeo & Expo by entering the T-shirt/hat contest. To participate, simply turn in shirts or hats during the expo at the registration desk. Shirts and hats submitted to the contest will not be returned.

On Friday evening, Oct. 17, attendees can join their family, friends and colleagues at the Crown Center Ice Terrace for the annual barbecue and trade night. In case of inclement weather, the barbecue will be held at the Crown Center Exhibit Hall.

The rodeo concludes on Saturday, Oct. 18, with a banquet dinner and awards presentation. This event will take place at Bartle Convention Center, Hall A. Tickets for the Friday night barbecue and Saturday night awards banquet dinner can be purchased at the registration desk at Bartle Hall.

Exhibitor List (List current as of Aug. 26, 2003)

Aircraft Dynamics 224
Alexander Publishing 209
Altec 401
American Safety Utility 523
Art on the Line 330
Bashlin 312
Bay Shore Systems 118
Buckingham Mfg. 232
Bulwark 113
Carhartt 524
Cembre 125
Communications & Electrical Supplies 318
DuPont 227
Electric Motion 415
Energy Providers Coalition 124
Estex 413
Florida Power & Light 122
Gransfors Bruks 133
GRA Services 426
Hall's Safety 320
Hastings Fiberglass 313,315
HD Electric 308
Heater Meals 331
Hill Manufacturing 424
Hilti 432
Hubbell Power Systems 101
Huskie Tools 333
Illinois Power 215
Innovative Utility Products 418
Jelco/Elk River Co. 325,327
J.L. Matthews 430
Laerdal (MPL) 321
Laminated Wood Systems 213
Larski 116
Lewis Manufacturing 420
Lug-All 326
Magid Glove & Safety 115
MDI 212
Metrotech 414
Nasco 314
Osmose Inc. 520
Par Electric 233
Plastic Techniques 406
Preformed Line Products 107
Principal Financial Group 208
Progress Energy 332
Ratcliff Hoists 307
Reliable Equipment & Service 319
Ripley 206
Salisbury 407,506
S.D.P. Mfg. Inc. 508
Sherman & Reilly 507
Stanley Hydraulics 106,108
Steel Grip 412
T&D World 128,130
Thiermann Industries 110
Tyco Electronics 207,306
Tyndale 132
Utility Pole Technologies 109
VA Wolf 521
Warren Heim 309
Westex 427
White Rubber 219,221
Wishbone Safety Inc. 324
Workrite Uniform Co. 214