The drivers compete in local or regional competitions, and those with the best scores move on to the national competition.
The International Rail Rodeo -- held last year in Boston and set this spring for Dallas -- is a long-standing arena for bus drivers and trolley operators to test their acumen against their peers. Operators are judged on operating skills, including knowledge of safety regulations, train equipment, wayside rules, regulations and procedures. An obstacle course bus drivers must navigate is a hallmark of the event.
Bus drivers in many school districts also square off, such as the California Association of School Transportation Officials' annual school Bus "roadeo."
The military is also a proponent. Infantry soldiers serving in Iraq, for example, periodically took part in Baghdad-based truck rodeos organized to foster teamwork and put a morale booting spin on training.Similar rodeos for civilian big rigs have become formalized since the 1970s. Today, even food trucks have gotten in on the action, with rodeos organized by food pantries and business organizations throughout the country. Maintenance departments are not left out. They can compete and be tested on electrical and mechanical knowledge, troubleshooting and safety procedures. Perhaps the most popular of job-based sporting events is the annual Lumberjack Olympics, a sawing and climbing competition that has been a staple of ESPN and its spin-off channels. The world of auto glass may not be as adrenaline-pumping as stump-hauling and logrolling, but its competitors take it no less seriously.