In the 1920’s, rodeo began to organize to combat problems of the rapid expansion of the sport. The Rodeo Association of America, made up of rodeo committees and producers, was formed in 1929. World Champions were to be selected in the following events: bronc riding, bull riding, bareback riding, calf roping, steer roping, bulldogging, team roping and wild cow milking. The name was changed in 1946 to the International Rodeo Association.
By 1936, the cowboys decided to form their own organization after striking at the Boston Garden Rodeo. The organization was named the Cowboys Turtle Association because they were slow to organize, but eventually “stuck their neck out.” The organization wanted to ensure fair prize money, equality in judging and honest advertising of the sport. In 1945, the name was changed to the Rodeo Cowboys Association. By 1955, the International Rodeo Association recognized the Rodeo Cowboys Association as superior and closed down.
1974 marked the inception of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association when the Rodeo Cowboys Association added professional to the name. Today, the PRCA is the largest sanctioning organization with nearly 700 rodeos sanctioned yearly.