Cowboys originally developed this technique on working ranches when it was necessary to capture and restrain a full-grown animal that was too large to handle by a single man.
Team roping also known as heading and heeling is a rodeo event that features a steer and two mounted cowboys or cowgirls. The first roper is referred to as the "header," the person who ropes the front of the steer, usually around the horns, but it is also legal for the rope to go around the neck, or go around one horn and the nose resulting in what they call a "half head," the second is the "heeler," who ropes the steer by its hind feet, with a five second penalty assessed to the end time if only one leg is caught. Team roping is the only rodeo event where men and women compete equally together in professionally-sanctioned competition, in both single-gender or mixed-gender teams.
The first roper, called the header, waits behind a barrier while the steer is given a head start. If the barrier breaks, the team is given a 10-second penalty.