In team penning and team sorting the cattle have back or neck numbers - 0,1, 2 - 9. Counters have all numbers listed with usually ar sliding rivet in a piece of leather. When the judge calls a number, you move the marker on your counter so if you are the last couple of teams, you have a slight advantage in knowing which number you are looking for.
Since they are timed events, every fraction of a second counts. At the jackpot we did this weekend, the top times in the ranch sort were 25 and 27 second runs. (two man ranch sort on 8 head)