In 1984, 12 teams of linemen from Kansas and Missouri competed in the first Lineman's Rodeo. The event has grown steadily since 1984, and this year, more than 220 teams and 240 apprentices are expected to attend. The Lineman's Rodeo Board, Advisory Committee, and Master & Chief Judges Committees are looking forward to a fun, fair event.
The 21st Annual Lineman's Rodeo and Expo will be held Sept. 9-11, 2004. The expo will be held on Sept. 9th and 10th at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas, U.S., a suburb of Kansas City. The main event, the International Lineman's Rodeo, will be held at the National Agriculture Center and Hall of Fame rodeo grounds in Bonner Springs, Kansas, on Sept. 11th, allowing lineman from all over the world to compete in different events. Kansas City Power & Light and Westar Energy are sponsoring this year's activities.
Changes in Competition
Because of last year's scheduling conflicts, the date of the rodeo was pushed into October. This year, the event has been moved back to September, but some of last year's changes will remain in effect. Last year, because of dwindling daylight hours, the event schedule was changed from 10 events to eight. This year, a survey was sent out to participants and companies, asking if they would prefer an eight- or 10-event schedule. Of the 40% that responded, 90% said they would rather have an eight-event schedule. So again this year, there will be eight events for journeymen and linemen instead of 10. Team events will include the hurtman rescue, pole climb and two mystery events. The apprentice events will be the hurtman rescue, pole climb, one mystery event and the apprentice written test.
The goal of the rodeo is to recognize the profession of line work and demonstrate the safety, skill and education of electric linemen. Anyone who is or has ever been a qualified, practicing lineman is eligible for the competitions.
Each team consists of three members: a ground man and two linemen. Both linemen must be qualified journeyman linemen. The ground man is the nonclimbing member of the team. If one of the linemen must drop out, he will be allowed to climb as long as he is a qualified journeyman lineman. There also must be an alternate if this scenario takes place.
Apprentice linemen are defined as those who have been in an apprenticeship for less than four years. An apprentice can qualify to be a journeyman after four years of apprentice work, as well as meeting the following criteria: he must have 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. If he qualifies as a journeyman, he is no longer eligible for apprentice events. If a person is a journeyman for one company, and is then hired by another company as an apprentice, he will not be able to compete as an apprentice. If an apprentice makes journeyman before Aug. 1, 2004, he will not be allowed to enter this year's rodeo as an apprentice. Anyone who makes journeyman after Aug. 1, 2004, is eligible to compete as an apprentice. In addition, if an apprentice is competing on a team as a groundsman, he cannot participate in the apprentice competitions.
Events and the Expo
Just about everyone can participate in the rodeo and expo. The annual T-shirt/hat design contest will be held during the event. To participate, turn in your shirt or hat during the expo at the registration desk. Remember, submitted shirts and hats will not be returned to you.
There are also several other ways to join in on the fun. On Friday, Sept. 10th, the annual barbecue and trade night will take place at Founders Park at Corporate Woods in Overland Park, starting at 6 p.m. All attendees, along with their families, friends and colleagues, are invited to attend.
To conclude the event, an awards ceremony and banquet dinner for the rodeo competition will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11th, at the Overland Park Convention Center. This event begins at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the registration desk at the expo. For more information on the rodeo and expo, visit www.linemansrodeokc.com.
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