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2017 Tournament Rules


All competitors in the TBF OF PENNSYLVANIA are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principals shall be deemed cause for disqualification.

Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regards to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon the Society’s effort to promote fisheries, conservation, clean waters, and courtesy, shall be reason for immediate disqualification. 

Competitors deemed under the influence of any intoxicant shall be immediately disqualified from the tournament, and placed on probation for one year of active membership in the TBF of PENNSYLVANIA and no refunds will be considered.

No alcoholic beverages or illegal substances of any kind shall be used during the tournament or weigh-in. If any contestant is, in the opinion of the tournament director, (providing situation is made known) physically unable or not able to safely compete, the contestant will be disqualified due to being under the influence of controlled substances.

   Boating & Insurance Requirements

During the competition days of any TBF event, no contestant may operate a boat unless that contestant has documented proof of a policy in force, that cover the event dates, with a minimum of $300,000 boating liability insurance on that particular boat. Proof of insurance must be with the boat being used and must cover the competitor using that boat. Random checks will be conducted. Each policy must show $300,000.00 liability and a valid expiration date.

Note: statements of "no fixed expiration date" are not acceptable. 
Maximum horsepower for all outboard motors used in official practice and in tournament competition will be 250 HP. 
Where required, each boat must be equipped with a U.S. Coast Guard rating plate, which must be attached to the boat by the manufacturer. In no case may the horsepower of your outboard exceed the rating specified on the rating plate or the HP limit set by TBF. 

Tournament Pairing / Drawing:

(1) A drawing to determine pairings (owner & rider) for a "club" tournament will be conducted within six days prior to the scheduled event. The date, time, and location of the drawing will be announced during the club meeting that precedes the actual tournament. The tournament drawing schedule will also be posted on the club's website.

Prior to a club tournament pairing, a club member MUST declare the following:

    (a) Whether or not he will be participating in the scheduled event.
    (b) If participating, declare if he will be participating as an owner or a rider.

(3) Tournament participants need not be present at the tournament pairing, however, they must contact the Tournament Director, a Tournament Committee person or another club member stating that they wish to fish the tournament and declare their status as either an owner or rider.  If the member does not inform the Tournament Director, a Tournament Committee member or another club member of his intention, the Tournament Director will assume the member is NOT participating in the scheduled tournament.

(4) If a member (owner or rider) encounters an unforeseeable conflict (i.e. family emergency) that prohibits the him from participating or a change in plans now allows him to participate in that weekend’s tournament (after the pairings are completed) then the following actions must / will take place:
(a) The member must contact either the Tournament Director or a member of the Tournament    Committee by 8:00pm the evening prior to the tournament date and state the anglers’ intention (i.e. will be participating, will not be participating, and status - owner / rider). 
(b) If an owner withdraws from the event after the pairings have been made then the rider will be paired up with an alternate owner that will be selected during the official pairings.  There will be three alternate owners selected per tournament day permitting there are that many reserves available for three alternates.
(c) If a rider withdraws from the event after the pairings have been made, then the owner will fish by himself.
(d) If the member is an owner and is able to enter the event, he will automatically be given the last launch position of the event if the event is held on a “gas” lake.

(e) If the member is an owner and is able to enter the event, he will automatically be given a 5 minute delayed launch penalty if the event is held on an “electric” only lake.
(f) If the member is a rider and enters the event, he will automatically be paired up with the alternate boat owner that was selected during the official pairings.  
(g) Under no circumstances will any member (owner / rider) be allowed to fish a tournament if they have not completed Section 4(a).
(h) The Tournament Committee reserves the right to impose further restrictions, including prohibiting participation, if they deem the owner / rider is trying to manipulate the club’s pairings process. 

(5) When owner positions are selected it is conducted numerically by random draw of participants’ name.  Riders will be paired by drawing a random boat number. In a two-day event boat numbers will be reversed and riders will again draw a random boat number.  Please note the order of boat numbers will also determine the order of departure on gas lakes. The last numeric boat number will call out the numbers and allow an ample amount of time between each number determined by the Tournament Director. Electric motor only lakes will be shotgun start.

In the event there are more boat owners than riders, the remaining owners in the draw will have the option of fishing by themselves or pairing up with one of the remaining owners.

Tournament hours are pre-determined by tournament committee and based on the permit application submitted to the respected state agency.  However, the tournament may alter the tournament hours at their discretion (i.e. due to expected “severe” weather, fog, ice, snow, etc.).

Tournament Expenses

A tournament entry fee is $40.00 per person with an optional $10.00 lunker pool. 

All club fees MUST be paid (in full) by the designated date(s) to have your club fees in.
There are no “rider fees” or “suggested rider fees”. Out of courtesy and sportsmanship, expenses will be worked out between owner and rider such as a gas, parking, or launch.

Tournament Rules & Boating Regulations 

(1) It is the responsibility of each angler to abide by all club rules and state laws while fishing our tournaments. This includes, but not limited to, fishing licenses (including out of state licenses), life jackets, fire extinguishers, boat registration, flares, throwable flotation devices, etc.  All state boating laws apply.

(2) Life jackets must be worn at all times while gas motor is under power (this includes while the boat is idling).  Not wearing a life jacket while gas motor is under power will result in the disqualification of both the owner and rider. 

(3) Only artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" or "prepared bait" will be permitted, with the exception of pork rinds, strips, Gulp, etc. 

(4) Only ONE fishing rod (8-foot maximum length from butt of the handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. 

(5) All bass must be caught alive in a conventional and sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have their day's catch disqualified. When fishing for bass you can see, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner before being unhooked to be counted as a legal fish. 

(6) No gaffs OR "GRIPPERS" may be used to land bass, nor will they be permitted in boats at any time.  However, the use of nets to assist in landing fish will be permitted.

(7) Only a five fish limit per angler may be weighed in during each tournament day and must measure a minimum of 12”.  A four fish limit per angler may be weighed in during each tournament for those lakes with a 15” minimum size limit or when a tournament is held from November 1st through the closing of bass season in April.

(8) At no time shall a competitor bring more than the tournament limit to the weigh-in station. Tournament Officials will conduct checks for violations of this provision, and in the event a competitor has in their possession more than the stated “tournament” limit, shall cull, starting with the largest bass first, etc., down to the stated limit.  Please note, the Tournament Officials will decide which fish is the largest fish by weighing the fish. 

(9) Culling fish is permitted, but at no time can an angler cull out a dead fish.  No angler can continue to fish without culling down to the designated tournament limit.  The angler must cull down to the tournament limit and then can proceed to again fish.

(10) No courtesy “dink” will be allowed during tournament day.  If a short fish is brought to the scale, the angler will lose that short fish (and any subsequent short fish) and be assessed a one pound penalty for that fish and each subsequent short fish.  Please note, if the angler’s total penalty forces the angler’s total weight to go negative, then the weight for that day will be 0.00.

(11) Fish will be measured with mouth closed and tail pinched or fanned, whichever is longer.  If the fish does not make the length on the first attempt, the fish will be flipped over and measured again.  If after the second measurement the fish is still deem “under the legal length” the angler will lost that fish and be accessed a one pound penalty.  

(12) For each legal dead bass presented to weigh-in officials, the competitor shall be penalized eight (8) ounces of weight (or .50) to be deducted from their daily score. The Tournament Officials shall have sole authority for assessing penalty points. 

(13) Please note, an angler may NOT weigh-in a dead fish for lunker, however, the dead fish will be included in their total weigh and assessed the proper penalty (see rule #11 in this section).  In the event an angler only weighs in one fish, it will be not be eligible for the lunker pool.

(14) All boats (including live wells) are subject to inspection by the Tournament Director or a member of the Tournament Committee prior to the launch or commencement of the tournament. Failure to allow an inspection to take place will result in an immediately disqualification from that tournament.

(15) In case of a tie, the following tie breakers will be used in this order:

1.      The individual with the largest number of legal fish weighed in during the competition;

2.      The individual with the largest number of legal LIVE fish weighed in during the competition, and

3.      The individual with largest lunker during that day’s competition.  If the tournament is a two day tournament, then the largest lunker for the entire event will be used.  Please note that anglers will choose their own lunker during weigh-in.

In the unlikely event that the individuals remain tied after these thee tiebreakers are employed, then the anglers would both finish in that position splitting the combined two or more monies and points.

(16) Competitors who are not in the official weigh-in area at the appointed time shall be penalized at the rate of one pound per minute and will be deducted from the total weight of their catch that day including any "Big Bass Award" for each minute they are late.  Any competitors more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for that day's catch. There shall be no excuse for tardiness and in no case will a competitor be allowed to make up "lost time." 
(17) Boaters will fish from the front of the boat and riders will fish from the back of the boat.  At no time will the rider be allowed to operate the trolling motor or fish from the front of the deck without the sole consent / permission of the owner.  

(18) Also the owner will have the final decision on all fishing locations due to safety reasons.  However, we strongly encourage that both the boater and rider discuss the game plan for the day PRIOR to launch.

(19) While the boater is not obligated to allow the rider to fish from the front of the boat, any contestant who, in the judgment of the officials operates the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap their partner shall be disqualified.  

(20) Each partner shall be financially responsible for any damage caused by him or her to the owner’s boat.  If damage is done and not taken care of by the responsible party, a one-year suspension from fishing Leggett’s Creek Bassmasters events.

(21)  Contestants must not depart the boat to land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Boats must remain in tournament waters during tournament days. Contestants are allowed to exit their boat to utilize bathrooms or for other appropriate reasons.

(22) If a competitors boat is out of battery power or their trolling motor breaks down on an electric motor or limited horse power body of water the competitor(s) must notify the tournament director or another tournament committee member of their circumstance.  They may continue to fish barring they do not start their gas engine (float around, anchor, etc.).  If the gas engine is used to return to the ramp the competitors are disqualified unless rendering assistance via towing to another vessel.

(23) Contestants must leave and return to official checkpoint by boat. Both competitors must remain in boat at all times except in case of dire emergency. In such an emergency, both competitors may be removed from their boat to: A BOAT OPERATED BY OTHER COMPETITORS OR A RESCUE BOAT. 

(24) Partners must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and each other's catch under the conditions cited above, in order for their catch of that day to be counted. The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for a restroom break is permitted, however ALL FISHING MUST CEASE until partners are back together. 

(25) If a competitor must violate rules 20, 21 or 23 (to use a phone to report an emergency or breakdown), both competitors must cease fishing at this point, and their catch must be verified by a tournament official in order to be counted in the tournament. If after the emergency situation is resolved by tournament officials and enough time is left to resume fishing, a RESTART will be allowed and the competitors will continue and their catch will be counted. This applies only to dire emergency situations. 

(26) Trailering of boats during tournament hours is prohibited, except for putting your boat on early or by the direction or allowance of the Tournament Director.  If you decide to end the tournament early and go home you must contact the tournament director or committee member and make known of your intention.

(27) There will be no cut-off period for pre-fishing prior to tournament.

(28) A minimum of (4) anglers must participate to qualify as a point tournament.

(29) In the event (3) people need to fish out of one boat, all participating owner’s names will be place back into a drawing and randomly selected.  The selected owner would then be exempt from taking (2) riders in a tournament until all owners have taken their turn.

(30) All decisions / rulings will be made final by the tournament committee.

Prize Money, Point System, State Team Qualification

(1) Prize Money is as follows for each event. 1st place = $300, 2nd place = $200, 3rd place = $100, 4th place = Sponsor Prize Pack, and lunker = $ Varies on number of members in pool. (For two-day events lunker will be paid out each day as well as a $25 big bag of the day award)

(2) The top 30 finishers in each tournament will receive points based on position of finish. Any angler who fishes, however, does not catch a fish will receive 5 points.  Anglers who do NOT fish will receive zero (0) points.

(3) Each angler will receive the points for their best 8 finishes out of the scheduled club tournaments (i.e. each angler will be allowed to drop their four lowest tournaments finishes if there are 12 tournaments, three if there are 11, two if there are 10, one if there are 9, and none if there are 8).

(4) The top six anglers with the highest accumulated points at the end of each season (based on eight tournaments - reflective after the designated amount of dropped events) will be eligible for the State Team the following year. 


(5) All ties for the positions will be broken by total weight of all tournaments combined including the dropped points tournaments as dropped tournaments do not take away your participation or weight for tie breakers. If any of the top six anglers decline to fish at State team, the angler in the seventh position will be the first alternate to take the vacated spot(s).  If that person declines the position, then the eighth position (and so forth) will have the option to fill the vacant position.

(6) Trophies will be awarded to Mr. Bass (Angler Side), Co-Angler Mr. Bass (Co-Angler side), lunker of the year, and (6) state team qualifiers.  In addition, the winners of the Mr. Bass (Angler and Co-Angler) and Lunker of the Year will each receive a $30 gift card or certificate of their choice to one of the clubs selected sponsors.

(7) In the event that our club will be represented at state team, the individual angler will be responsible to pay for all other expenses (i.e. lodging, gas, meals, launch fees, etc.) except for the entry fee and rider’s fees which will be paid for by the club.  The club will conduct fundraisers to pay or offset the other expenses such as lodging for the State Team qualifiers.

(8) In the event that there are not 4 places weighed in at any club tournament, the money of the vacant spots will go into the club treasury.




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