A rope barrier is placed across the front of the header's box that gives the steer an approximate 2.5 meter head start. If the header takes off too early and breaks the barrier, then the team is given a 10 second penalty, which is added to their final time.
The header is the first to rope and attempts to catch the head of the running steer. There are three types of catches that are legal in team roping and they are: around both horns, around one horn and the head or around the neck. Once the header has made a catch it's then the heeler's turn, the header turns the steer so that its hind legs are facing the heeler who then attempts to rope both hind legs. If the heeler only catches one leg than a 5-second penalty is added to the team's final time. If the heeler ropes one or both of the front legs in the catch then it is not a qualified run.
After both catches are made the run isn't complete until there is no slack in their ropes and the horses are facing each other. Fastest time wins! Females can take part in team roping.