Activities Sports & Athletics The Crossfire Penalty in Rodeo's Team Roping Event Share PINTEREST Email Print ImagesbyTrista / Getty Images Sports & Athletics Other Activities Cigars Collecting Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Learn More By Ralph Clark Ralph Clark is a writer and former rodeo cowboy. As a member of the Western Writers of America, he has written about the Western lifestyle since 2002. our editorial process Ralph Clark Updated October 11, 2017 A crossfire penalty is used in the rodeo team roping event. As with rodeo's other penalties, it is critical for the cowboy to avoid application of this penalty in order to stay competitive in the event. How the Crossfire Penalty Works In the team roping event, the heeler can only throw his loop after the steer changes direction (basically, after the header turns the steer). If the heeler throws the loop too early, a crossfire penalty can be called by the judges. Impact of the Crossfire Penalty If the penalty is called, a devastating 30 seconds is added to the time of the run. The crossfire penalty exists to make team roping event more difficult and to prevent both ropers from throwing their loops almost simultaneously. For example, Garrett Tonozzi and Brady Minor were called for a crossfire penalty in round four of the National Finals Rodeo.