NIRA – National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association

What is the NIRA?

The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association is the governing body of college rodeo. One of its primary goals is to establish and maintain standards for conducting intercollegiate rodeo competition. The NIRA seeks to promote intercollegiate rodeo on a national scale by bringing national recognition as an organized and standard collegiate sport.  It also looks to promote interest, understanding, appreciation and vigilance over Western lifestyle and culture. Students are offered the opportunity to bring national recognition to their respective schools through rodeo competition.

The NIRA is divided into 11 different regions with 135+ colleges and universities having a rodeo organization on campus. Many other schools who do not have rodeo clubs are also represented by independent members. Those members compete in approximately 10 rodeos a year attempting to earn a trip to the College National Finals Rodeo (CFNR) each June.

College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR)

The CNFR is where all collegiate rodeo champions are crowned.  The event is held each June in Casper, WY.  Schools and athletes compete for scholarships, saddles, buckles and national titles.

What is RAWHIDE?

RAWHIDE is a program of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. The goal of RAWHIDE is to challenge athletes to make positive choices inside and out of the rodeo arena.

Created in 1994, RAWHIDE is dedicated to encouraging fitness, goal-setting, education and generally making positive choices regarding the use of drugs and alcohol among NIRA members.


To be eligible for membership in the NIRA, a student must be attending a college or university listed in the current publication of Accredited Institutions of Post Secondary Education. Students must be in good standing while taking at least 12 academic credit hours (9 of which are passed credits) each term and maintain a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) at all times.

Students have 6 years of eligibility from the date of high school graduation to purchase 4 NIRA membership cards. In the case of GED certification, the student’s 18th birthday is used as the beginning eligibility date.

Participants compete in saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying.

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