2018 North American Sheep Shearing Challenge

This event has passed

Please see the up to date event schedule for current events

It’s a contest of the quick and the clean.  Two shearers side by side -- who can shear sheep in the best time, but more importantly, with the most skill!  And all for over $11,000 in prize money and special awards at the 22nd annual. Calgary Stampede North American Sheep Shearing Challenge. Champions and challengers alike -- sharpen up your gear and come win your share of Canada’s richest shearing purse!

Experienced shearers from around the world compete in the Open Class.  Less experienced shearers are invited to enter the Intermediate Class.  Every shearer wins money in each go-round, in our unique head-to-head duel format.  This is a timed and judged event, based on international shearing rules and emphasizing the Calgary Stampede’s commitment to safe animal handling practices.  

The shear-off begins Saturday, July 14 with Preliminary Go-Rounds and International Team Challenge.  All shearers are invited to a special reception after the competition on Saturday evening.  The Go-Round action continues Sunday, July 15, culminating in the Finals for both divisions and the International Team Championship.

Shearers:  Your entry and accreditation forms are due by June 18, 2018. Promptness of entry helps us determine sheep numbers and prepare your competitor packages.  An official exhibitor accreditation pass is required for park entry and must be purchased with your entry.


Shearers are responsible for their own handpieces (worm drive), combs and cutters.  The Calgary Stampede Sheep Committee provides the Lister shearing motors, and flex or jointed drops.  Please check in early on Saturday morning to help with sorting and crutching. 

Event Dates and Location

Event Dates: July 14–15, 2018
Entry Closing Date: June 18, 2018 4:00 PM
Location: Ag Building/ Pavillion


North American Sheep Shearing Challenge (NASSC) - 2018 Event Schedule


Shearing Competition:  July 14th &15th 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

10:00 am                     Meeting: All NASSC Competitors, Judges, and Volunteers

11:15 - 1:15 pm           NASSC Go-Round #1 – Intermediate & Open 

2:15 - 4:15 pm             NASSC Go-Round #2 – Intermediate & Open

5:30 - 7:00 pm             International Team Shearing 


Sunday, July 15, 2018

11:15 am - 1:15 pm     NASSC Go-Round #3 – Intermediate & Open

2:15 - 4:15 pm             NASSC Go-Round #4 – Intermediate & Open 

5:30 pm                       NASSC Semi Finals - Open (Top 4) 

                                    NASSC Finals - Intermediate (Top 2) & Open (Top2)

                                    International Team Shearing Finals

6:45 pm                      NASSC Championship Presentation

Entry Fees

 The Intermediate Class entry fee is C$50 per person.

The Open Class entry fee is C$100 per person.

Entries close Monday, June 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm. NO EXCEPTIONS


Over $11,000 available in Total Purse & Special Awards

  • Open Champion - guaranteed $2500 payout.
  • Intermediate Champion - guaranteed $600 payout. 





1. A referee will be appointed.
2. A judge has the right to stop any competitor whose work or conduct on the board is detrimental to the image of the shearing competition and Calgary Stampede.
3. It is to be at the discretion of the judge, if blood from a competitor's wound is visible, to have the right to stop that competitor.
4. Approved Hand Held Counters may be used at this competition.
5. Competitor's have the right to reject any substandard sheep/fleece before shearing commences, provided the referee agrees.
6. Heats and stands will be drawn prior to the start of the event. Finalists shall draw for stands as they take the board.
7. A competitor is allowed 1 helper in the catch pen. No unauthorized persons are permitted in the catching pen and no officials are permitted to assist a competitor in any way except where safety is a concern.
8. Competitors in competition must be suitably attired and this will include footwear (i.e. sandals or open toe shoes are prohibited). The referee will administer ruling.
9. Any competitor who is not present for the presentation of prizes will not receive the prize unless reasonable grounds for being absent are presented to the Organizing Committee before the prize giving.
10. Any disputes will be taken to a disputes committee of which the referee shall be Chairman. A written protest must be lodged within 30 minutes of completion of an event. Any unresolved dispute must be forwarded in writing to the Calgary Stampede Sheep Shearing committee within 2 hours of completion of an event.
11. In any tie the highest quality points wins.
12. One spare stopwatch and timekeeper will be available to time any stoppages and if necessary these will be deducted from the competitor's total time.
13. All competitors compete at their own risk.
14. Shearers will be allowed two loaded handpieces. No time will be allotted for stoppages caused by gear, handpieces or sheep getting away from the shearer on the board. A time allowance or re-run may be considered at the referees/committees decision if any stoppage is caused through another competitor's sheep escaping or a fault occurring with the machine or downtube.
15. Each Shearer must: (a) Start and stop his/her own machine (b) Open pen door and collect his//her own sheep which shall be in a standing position (c) Put each sheep out the porthole
16. Preparation of competition sheep must be kept to a uniform standard to ensure the safety of teats, vulva and sheath on a wether.
17. Competitors may not present their own sheep for outside judges but may be required to present sheep from other heats or competitors and may be penalized if they fail to do so.
18. Each shearer will have a separate timekeeper and a stopwatch or other suitable timing device and will be taken from "GO" until the machine is switched off after completing final sheep. Where electronic timing is to be used, it is the shearer's responsibility to stop their time. Shearers must wait on the board with one hand on the closed door to wait for "GO".
Shearing Penalties
1. One penalty stroke for not throwing the belly clear
2. One penalty stroke for a cleared belly where it interferes with another competitor 3. Up to 2 strokes for obvious belly or brisket wool not removed, excluding side fringes
4. a) One penalty stroke for not breaking the neck wool b) One penalty stroke for deliberately breaking of the fleece on the first hind leg of fullwool sheep.
5. Up to four penalty strokes per leg for failing to remove socks (referees discretion) 6. Skin cuts where the flesh is exposed or broken will incur a minimum of 5 strokes
7. A competitor is automatically penalized by the addition of 3 whole points per offence added to their normal penalties on which they: a. Cut a teat and impair the breeding ability of the ewe b. Cuts and seriously damages the sheath on a wether c. Cuts a hamstring d. Cuts any sheep to the extent that it requires surgical attention. (Referee may require a minor cut to be stitched without imposing the above penalty) 8. Up to 20 penalties for rough handling sheep
9. 2 Penalty strokes per offence for: a) Plucking before and after time (applies to shearer and pen assistant) b) Not putting sheep out the porthole


General Rules

Health Regulations

IAFE code of ethics

Animal Care Codes of Practice


Judging Criteria

Shearing Points Calculation Time Points: One penalty for each 20 seconds, multiple minutes by 3, divide seconds by 20
Board Penalties: Divide judges strokes by sheep shorn
Pen: Divide averaged judges' strokes by sheep shorn
Results: Add time penalty to board and pen penalties to get total Least penalties wins



An official accreditation pass is required by all agriculture exhibitors and competitors, for purchase in addition to the event entry fee.  The accreditation pass grants Park access during the 2018 Stampede and the photo accreditation will indicate which restricted areas each person can enter based on individual requirements. Accreditation is year specific, and a new pass will be issued each year.

The Agriculture Accreditation pass gives you access to the Grandstand Rush areas for the Rodeo, Chuckwagons, and Evening Show.  The pass must be purchased on the entry application for a fee of $35.00 (G.S.T. included). These badges are a privilege of the exhibitors, and will be limited. Exhibitors are responsible for lost or forgotten badges.


Karen Jones ( Chair), Ineke Gibson (1st Vice Chair), Garth Lockwood, (Past Chair), John Third (Director Liaison), Susan Peterson (Agriculture Programming Manager), Erin Ashbacher, Pam Barker, Marlene Bruneau, Heather Campbell, Sharyn Dickson, Tim Hamm, Gwen Haynes, Kevin Hogg, Roxana Ile, Steve Jones, Leah Kemppainen, Al Lennox, Geoff Matticks, Heather Mills, Kurt Paskal, Clarence Paterson, John Pears, Gloria Williams, Paul Williamson, Terry Zajac