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WSBF Youth Director:

Dave Bruggman
19008 78th Place West
Edmonds, WA  98026

Email

Phone:  206-919-4933

 

2017 Tournament Rules
 

TBF and FLW expect strict adherence to the following rules by all contestants. TBF and FLW also recommend the use of nonpuncturing culling clips for marking fish and livewell additives to help promote the healthy release of bass. In the event of an emergency, please call 911 first and then notify the tournament director. The tournament director should be notified as soon as possible prior to weigh-in if you use a mobile communication device for any purpose other than GPS, mapping, weather, power generation, tidal charts, personal fishing notes and related data as outlined in rule 9.

 

2017 High School Fishing State Championship, Open and Challenge Event Rules:

 

 

1.   INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT These rules will remain unchanged during 2017. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director. Decisions of the tournament director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. Each contestant, coach and boat captain agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. The violation of a tournament rule may result in, but is not limited to, weight loss, the loss of weight up to a particular time in the tournament day, the loss of weight for the entire day, the loss of the heaviest one-day catch, the loss of the heaviest bass for the day, disqualification from the entire tournament or ineligibility to participate in future tournaments. Protests are to be made in writing within 30 minutes of the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day.

2. PARTICIPATION & ELIGIBILITY Participation is open to all ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grade high school students.

Participation by one (1) seventh or eighth grade student per team is permitted. Each team will consist of two contestants. In the event of a medical or family emergency on a tournament day, a contestant may be permitted to fish alone with approval from the tournament director. If a contestant fishes multiple qualifying events with different teammates, only the first team that qualifies will advance to the National Championship. A contestant cannot qualify for the National Championship as a member of two different teams. Contestants must be Student Angler Federation members. There is no entry fee to participate for SAF members. Contestants registering onsite, however, will be charged a $20 late fee. Contestants must have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the entry form. Contestants must have in their possession a valid fishing license for the waters they fish if required by law and a current student identification card from the school they represent or other proof of grade level. Random checks will be conducted at each tournament. Failure to provide proof of a valid fishing license within a reasonable amount of time when requested by the tournament director will result in disqualification for that day and any preceding days in which the license was required for the tournament. Contestants are required to follow all applicable federal, state and local regulations and laws. Any violation of such regulations and laws may result in disqualification from the tournament. Each team will consist of two contestants and one coach. For state championships, each team must compete in the state in which their school is located. Teams from all states can participate in open tournaments and challenge events. Entries for state championships and challenge events should be made at highschoolfishing.org or by calling TBF at 580.765.9031 and entries for opens should be made at flwfishing.com or by calling FLW at 270.252.1000. Please do not make entry by more than one method. There is no limit to the number of teams accepted into a tournament from each school or club. Accepted teams will be confirmed and notified via e-mail prior to each tournament. Tournament officials reserve the right to reject any application to compete for any reason whatsoever.


 

3.  PURCHASING OF INFORMATION The purchasing of, or bartering for, information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters, including but not limited to GPS waypoints (other than through commercially available sources) and the hiring of fishing guide services is not permitted by contestants, coaches, boat captains or anyone working on a team’s behalf within 10 days of the start of any tournament. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

4.  OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE & COMPETITION There is no practice period or off-limits period prior to the start of onsite registration. There are, however, specific rules defined below that govern practice within 10 days of each tournament. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may be on tournament waters until the start of onsite registration. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may not enter tournament waters to locate bass or potential fishing waters or sightsee after the start of onsite registration except during tournament hours. Testing equipment on tournament waters after the start of onsite registration is permitted only with prior approval from the tournament director. Within 10 days of the tournament no contestant, coach or boat captain may practice with, hire, barter for, or engage in services with, for the purposes of locating or catching bass on the tournament waters, any person who has been a bass guide for hire on the tournament waters within the last 12 months unless such person is the parent or documented permanent legal guardian of a contestant on a team in the event. Written proof of permanent legal guardianship to the satisfaction of tournament officials may be required. Within 10 days of the tournament contestants may only practice with their teammate that is confirmed in the tournament, their coach, their boat captain or an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister or grandparent) who also meets the above criteria concerning guides. Nobody else, except a media representative or official approved by the tournament director, is allowed in the boat. Within 10 days of the tournament and extending through competition, contestants, coaches and boat captains may not solicit and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except contestants, coaches and boat captains confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources (quasi-public websites, blogs and/or social media pages, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram and Periscope, set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals are not publicly available sources). Within 10 days of the tournament and extending through competition, contestants, coaches and boat captains may not follow a noncontestant’s boat or participate in the placing of markers, brush or other physical fish attractors by noncontestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone. During competition days, contestants, coaches and boat captains may not place brush or other physical fish attractors, including chum of any kind, in tournament waters. Flights over tournament waters, including drones, are not permitted on competition days. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

5.    REGISTRATION & PRETOURNAMENT MEETING Unless prior approval is received from tournament officials, both contestants comprising a team and their coach or boat captain must register and check-in at the designated registration site at the times listed in the tournament confirmation. Contestants and/or coaches or boat captains who fail to notify the tournament director and are more than 15 minutes late for registration check-in may not be entered in the tournament. It is mandatory that all contestants and their coaches or boat captains attend the pretournament meeting at the time and place set forth in the tournament confirmation unless prior approval is received from the tournament director. Contestants and/or coaches or boat captains not present for the pretournament meeting may not be entered in the tournament.


 

6.  BOAT ASSIGNMENTS Takeoff order (boat number) is determined by random draw. Onsite entries may receive the last available boat numbers. Each team must be accompanied on the water by a coach who will supply a boat but is not permitted to fish.

7.  SAFETY Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant, coach and boat captain on the water is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is running from boat check until weigh-in each day of the tournament. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition-shutoff device that must be securely attached to the driver’s body whenever the combustion engine is running. All persons in a tournament boat shall remain seated in a manufacturer-recommended on-plane seating location with a driver behind the steering wheel or at the tiller in full control of the boat whenever it is on plane or the combustion engine is running and in gear. Sitting on pedestal seats while the combustion engine is in operation and in gear is not permitted. Contestants are not permitted to drive the boat when the combustion engine is running. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by contestants, coaches and boat captains. At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may leave their boat and seek shelter in bad weather or when danger is eminent. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

8.    SPORTSMANSHIP All contestants, coaches and boat captains are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, FLW, TBF, SAF, tournaments sponsors, the school the team is representing, the sport of fishing the FLW, TBF and SAF’s efforts to promote the sport. Conduct not complying with these standards includes, but is not limited to, the following:

          Violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the rules for the 2017 High School Fishing season.

          Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration, the pretournament meeting or during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.

          Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.

          Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.

          Suspension/disqualification, probation or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.

          Any other words, conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set forth in the first sentence of paragraph 8.

In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, tournament officials have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete, to disqualify a contestant or impose any penalty outlined in paragraph 1.

9.  BOAT OPERATION Coaches will supply and drive boats for their teams or arrange boat captains to supply and drive boats for their teams. To qualify as a coach or boat captain, the person or persons accompanying a team must be at least 19 years old and reside in the same state as the students comprising the team or be an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister or grandparent) that is at least 19 years old regardless of residence. Bass guides who operate or have operated for hire at any time during the previous 12 months from the tournament date on the designated tournament waters are not permitted as coaches or boat captains unless they are the parent or documented permanent legal guardian of one of the contestants on a team in the event. Written proof of permanent legal guardianship to the satisfaction


 

of the tournament director may be required. The use of a guide as defined above will result in disqualification. Contestants may operate the trolling motor. Coaches and boat captains may provide assistance, including information about locating and catching fish, but are not permitted to fish. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may not use mobile communication devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, tablets, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., to communicate with anyone about locating or catching fish on tournament waters during tournament hours. Mobile communication devices may be used during tournament hours to communicate with lockmasters about locking, to communicate with the tournament director or to communicate with TBF or FLW editors or producers. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may use smart phones and/or tablets during tournament hours for GPS, mapping, weather, power generation, tidal charts, personal fishing notes and related data. At no time during tournament hours may contestants, coaches and boat captains read or discuss social media posts from other contestants. If a special circumstance arises that inhibits a contestant’s ability to compete, the tournament director may allow the contestant to withdraw from competition and maintain the weight caught to that point.

10.  BOAT & HORSEPOWER REGULATION All boats must be propeller-driven and a minimum of 16 feet in length. No barges or similarly cumbersome craft will be permitted. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated livewell space to maintain alive a limit catch of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition shall not exceed the horsepower capacity set forth on the “Maximum Capacities” placard described below. Each boat must have a clearly legible “Maximum Capacities” (or comparably titled) placard that includes a maximum horsepower rating affixed to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the maximum horsepower capacity specified on this placard. By signing the entry form, contestants, coaches and boat captains agree to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by tournament officials. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating placard will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and may result in ineligibility to compete in future High School Fishing tournaments. Fishing platforms must be factory-installed equipment. No portable platforms may be used in tournament competition. Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel tanks or auxiliary fuel tanks that are securely strapped or otherwise fastened to the boat. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public and pumped through a hose with a nozzle. The use of generators, other than solar or wind-powered generators, is prohibited in contestant boats during tournament hours.

11. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the rod in hand. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. All lures must adhere to state regulations. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Alabama rigs and similar umbrella-type rigs are limited to a maximum of five wires with a maximum of five spinners, five lures and three hooks (single or treble) unless state regulations are more restrictive, in which case state regulations prevail. Only ONE fishing rod may be used at a time. Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. Trolling is defined as operating any combustion engine to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve or using any mechanical propulsion device to move the boat as the sole means of imparting action to the lure. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your coach or boat captain for verification.

12.  PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS & BOUNDARIES Teams may fish anywhere on tournament waters within the boundaries defined by the tournament director that are available to the public and accessible by boat except


 

areas designated as “off-limits,” “no boats,” “keep out,” “restricted,” “no trespassing” or “no fishing” (or similar language or markings intended to restrict public access) by tournament officials, commercial property owners and/or local, state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a contestant’s boat that was first anchored. An anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight or by a Power-Pole, Talon or similar shallow water anchor with the trolling motor in the up position. All fishing must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. The cutting of trees, bushes and/or logs after the start of onsite registration and/or the removal of official local, state or federal barricades at any time to make an area more accessible by boat is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification from the tournament. The use of cables, ropes, chains or any type of block and tackle system to maneuver a boat into fishing waters is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification from the tournament. Teams must leave and return to the check-in by boat. The boat must remain in the tournament waters during the tournament day. No tournament boat may be loaded on a trailer before the team using the boat presents their catch for weigh-in, except with the permission of the tournament director. In the event of equipment failure or emergency, the tournament director must be notified as soon as it is safe to do so. There are then three permitted methods of returning to the check-in: (1) by both contestants remaining in their boat and being towed by water, (2) with permission from the tournament director, by one contestant entering the boat of another team or (3) both contestants entering a rescue boat so designated by the tournament director. Under these three conditions the team’s catch may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead-fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules) provided each team’s fish are adequately marked or separated so as to provide clear distinction of each catch to the tournament director. Teams that elect to return to the check-in by any other means than cited above will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day. Abandoning a boat and leaving it adrift without proper tie-off or anchoring after a mechanical failure may result in disqualification of that day’s weight. Any team returning to the check- in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the tournament director or his designated tournament official. It is the sole responsibility of teams to locate the tournament director to request a restart. Teams must remain together at all times and within sight of their coach or boat captain until check-in. The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for restroom breaks is permitted. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

13.  CHECKPOINTS There will be only one checkpoint for boat check in the morning and one check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check and checkout in the morning or failure to check in at the check-in point will result in disqualification. All fishing must cease upon check-in.

14. LATE PENALTY Teams that are not at the designated afternoon checkpoint at the appointed time will be penalized 1 pound per minute, deducted from the total weight. Teams more than 15 minutes late will lose credit for that day’s weight.

15.  LIVE FISH Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated livewell. Eight ounces will be deducted from the total weight for each dead bass presented for weigh-in.

16.  SCORING Scoring is determined by the pounds and ounces of each team’s catch during each tournament. Only largemouth, spotted, redeye or smallmouth bass are accepted species. No regurgitated forage or other foreign matter may be placed in a bass. The daily limit will be five bass per team unless the state or lake limit is less than five, in which case the state or lake limit will prevail. Teams possessing more than the tournament limit must notify the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the infraction and reduce their catch to the tournament limit by releasing live bass. Teams


 

possessing more than the tournament limit will be penalized 2 pounds for each bass over the limit. The minimum length limit for bass will be 12 inches unless the state or lake limit is more than 12 inches, in which case, the state or lake limit will prevail. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit will be penalized at the rate of 1 pound for each short bass presented. Each team’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag. The winning team is determined by the day’s heaviest catch. The top 10 percent of teams in each state championship and open tournament advance to the High School Fishing National Championship. Tournaments held prior to June 11, 2017, will advance teams to the 2017 National Championship. Tournaments held after June 11, 2017, or later will advance teams to the 2018 National Championship. All participating teams automatically qualify for the High School Fishing World Finals.

17.  TIES Total number of fish for the tournament will break ties followed by the total number of live fish. If a tie remains, it will be broken first by earliest entry for the tournament and then by lottery.

18.  LOGO DISPLAY & MEDIA COVERAGE Contestants, coaches and boat captains may wear their own apparel. Tournament officials reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to prohibit any contestant, coach or boat captain’s apparel that is determined to be offensive.

19. ALCOHOL & TOBACCO During all days of competition any and all alcohol and tobacco logos are prohibited and may not be worn or displayed. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may not smoke or use tobacco products during tournament hours, including weigh-in, at any event.

20. TRUTH VERIFICATION TEST Each contestant and coach agrees to submit, by signature on the tournament entry form, to a polygraph or voice stress analysis examination and to abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass an examination will result in disqualification from the tournament. Truth verification tests will be used at the sole discretion of tournament officials, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by tournament officials.

21. INSURANCE Liability insurance with coverage in reasonable amounts is required on all boats used in High School Fishing tournaments. Proof of insurance must be with the boat being used and must cover all passengers in the boat. Random checks will be conducted. Failure to provide proof of insurance when requested by the tournament director may result in disqualification.

22.  CAPTIONS The captions at the beginning of each paragraph are intended to facilitate convenience in referring to the various rules. The captions are not part of the substance of the paragraph and should not be used in construction of any paragraph or of this overall set of rules.