Shearers are increasingly becoming polarised between Sports Shear and Quick Shear competitions.
Some in the wool industry liken the rising popularity of fast paced shearing contests to the Big Bash, One Day Cricket controversy.
Traditionalists worry the quality of the shear is lost in the race against the clock.
Industry standards are risked for the thrill of entertainment, they claim.
So what is the difference between the two and why has Quick Shear become so popular?
Mostly, it's for the same reason Big Bash has proved such a hit.
At the heart of it, Big Bash is still cricket, but it's a shorter game.
Quick Shear is incredibly fast - a short, sharp event judged purely on the speed they knock wool off a sheep, and can be all over in a few hours.
The sheep are trimmed up, in particular on their points, so every sheep is consistent.
Sport Shear, a day event, is also a competition involving watching the clock, but competitors need to be wary of the quality of the shear, otherwise points will be deducted if the shear isn't considered proper or clean enough.
Sports Shear is also recognised and run by a governing body for competition shearing and wool handling in Australia.
Shearers, through the accumulation of points over a 12-month period, have the opportunity to become national representatives of Australia.
But for the past two years Sports Shear competitions across Australia haven't come to fruition due to Covid-19 cancellations, with the last Sports Shear event taking place in early 2020.
Sports Shear National vice-chair Dayne West said the competition would restart this weekend at Glenn Innes P H and A Show, NSW.
"The issue for us was some show societies were wanting us to provide Covid safe plans. Sports Shear ourselves don't have a Covid safe plan because we work under each show society's protocols," said Mr West said who is also the NSW Sports Shear chair.
"For example, in WA, some shows are saying they won't have competitors or spectators come if they are not vaccinated, while others are allowing them to.
"We were always running, we were always going to go ahead as long as the government was allowing P H and A shows to run and those shows had their own Covid safe plan."
The objective is now for 'Open' level competitors to shear for selection to represent Australia in the World Sports Shear event in Scotland in March 2023.
Each state representatives will be vying for selection in the national team at Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show in July.
"Essentially this year is a shortened circuit. Because it only starts this weekend, there will potentially only be eight to nine shows across each state to decide the points for state finals," Mr West said.
"NSW is the strongest in the country, typically having 22 shows, but most states have between eight to 15 in a normal year, so for us to have eight or nine, that is enough there to make it happen."
At the annual Crookwell AP & H Show held this coming weekend, the traditional Sports Shear event has been replaced with a Quick Shear competition.
Event organiser and senior vice president of the Crookwell A P & H Show Society Maryellen McCormack said having the Quick Shear format allowed the committee to go ahead with a competition under current COVID protocols, but it was not their traditional choice.
"The two are very different competitions," Ms McCormack said.
"With Sports Shear you can be the quickest fella out there by a full minute or more, but that competitor that comes in two places behind you, time wise, can win the competition because it is judged on both time and quality.
"In saying that, Quick Shear is incredibly entertaining and I think every now and then it would be a good idea to throw one in to break things up a bit."
She said they won't hesitate to go back to Sports Shear when the time comes.
"Sports Shear requires a lot more hands on deck to make it happen - close to 10 to 15 judges," Ms McCormack said.
"Quick Shear we could get away with three judges with a couple of time keepers. Overall I could get away with maybe half a dozen people instead of 20 for Sports Shear.
"And there is so much money involved in Quick Shear now - $10 thousand at Oberon on Saturday for the first prize in the open. We are nothing like that, we might have a couple of grand up for grabs, but it all adds up."
Twenty-three-year-old sheep and wool producer Ella Picker of Bigga in NSW is relatively new to the shearing scene, starting the profession just over 12-months ago.
"I do a lot more of sheep farming than anything else, but I got serious about shearing after attending an AWI shearing school in Steam Plains," Ms Picker said.
"Growing up on the farm and being a part of it all shearing was always something I was interested in because it looked like a challenge.
"Then I ended up really loving it and kept wanting to do more."
She said she picked the technique fairly quickly but admitted struggled when it came to holding the sheep due to a lack of strength.
"I obviously didn't have the muscle strength there at first but it didn't take too long - they rarely get up on me these days!" she said.
"Sam, my brother, has always been involved with Sports Shear (he represented NSW at national level) and I love the aspect that they count the overall quality with time, not just the time.
"I am so keen to go in one!"
She said she was just getting ready to have her first crack at a Sports Shear competition and before Covid-19 suddenly "got in her way".
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