Published August 4th, 2023 at 9:39 AM2 minute read
For a long time, bull riding has been considered a sport best suited for the individual. The Kansas City Outlaws, the city’s first professional bull riding team, have proven otherwise.
This year, they’ll host their second annual homestand, Outlaw Days, at the T-Mobile Center. It’s a three-day Professional Bull Riders (PBR) competition against teams across the country being held alongside the Outlaw Days Festival in partnership with the Power & Light District.
J.W. Hart, the Kansas City Outlaws’ head coach, has been with the team since its inception last year.
“Bringing in new members really isn’t that different from baseball or football,” Hart said. “We scout our guys and there’s a draft where we recruit and trade.”
This year, they brought in 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi from Brazil to be an assistant coach and help lead their team to victory.
“We’re really looking forward to giving fans that winning experience,” Hart said.
Riders on the Kansas City Outlaws roster believe being part of a team has helped them improve their skills.
“I think it can be just as much of a team sport as any other sport out there,” said rider Marcus Mast. “It’s like playing baseball, you’ve got to hit the ball on your own, but then the team is there to push you on to second or third base. That’s how I view it.”
There’s a big difference in coaching the sport individually compared to doing it as a team.
“You’ve really got to try to keep the chemistry of the team going and keep them all interested,” Hart said. “But it’s been a really good relationship so far.”
The team has been preparing for the past few months at training camps to get ready for the season. They hope to improve on last year’s performance.
“The Outlaws are definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with this season,” Mast said.
On the opening night of competition Thursday, the Outlaws earned their first win of the season over the Arizona Ridge Riders.
The homestand continues through Saturday at the T-Mobile Center, along with the Outlaw Days Festival taking over 14th Street and Grand Boulevard in downtown Kansas City.
Yasmine Ferhat is a summer reporting intern with Kansas City PBS. She is studying journalism and film at the University of Kansas.