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2014  Berkley Big Bass on Lake Fork
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Rules
OFFICIAL 2014 BASS CHAMPS TEAM TOURNAMENT RULES - THESE RULES ARE FOR BASS CHAMPS TEAM TOURNAMENTS ONLY (THEY DO NOT PERTAIN TO FORD MEGA BASS OR BERKLEY BIG BASS).
To protect the integrity of Bass Champs and our anglers, all winners will be subject to a polygraph exam before the prizes are distributed at each event. Contestants must pass the polygraph exam at the tournament site to receive prize money, awards, and points for the event. The Tournament Director reserves the rights to waive any violation of these rules that are disclosed to him before the polygraph exam, in his sole and absolute discretion.

1.  OFFICIAL 2014 TRAIL TEAM EVENT RULES: Decisions of the Tournament Director are final and are not subject to appeal. Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the Tournament Director in his sole and absolute discretion. Each competitor agrees to report any rule violation to the Tournament Director immediately upon discovery of the violation. The violation of a tournament rule may result in weight loss, the loss of weight up to a specific time during the tournament day, total loss of weight for that particular day, the ineligibility to participate in future Bass Champs events, or any other penalty deemed appropriate by the Tournament Director in his sole discretion. Protests must be made in writing within 10 minutes of the official closing of the scales at each tournament.

2.  PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY: Participation is open to current members of Bass Champs who are 18 years old and older. Any person entering a Bass Champs Tournament under the age of 18 years must also have the signature of their parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the official entry form.
• Bass Champs Tournaments are open to all anglers except professional anglers. A professional angler is defined as:
o Any angler that has entered more than one bass tournament that required an entry fee greater than $2,500 in the immediately preceding six months prior to the date of the Bass Champs Tournament being entered.
o Any angler that has guided for Bass (as defined in Rule 14 below) on tournament waters within 30 days of the official event for any method of compensation.
•All Contestants must have a valid fishing license.

3.  TEAMS: All Bass Champs regular season events are team events. A team shall consist of no more than two anglers; although a Contestant (and official observer, if required by Bass Champs) may fish alone as a single person team (in such event Bass Champs reserves the right to place an observer in such Contestant’s boat for the tournament day). Only registered Contestants may be in the boat during official tournament days. If either partner enters tournament waters during the official five day off-limits period such partner shall be ineligible for the event and may not enter or register for the event; however, the eligible partner may enter the event. However, all previous points acquired will be forfeited and the eligible partner’s points will start from zero.

4.  INFORMATION: No fishing information may be purchased, bartered or solicited from any person who entered official tournament waters during the established off-limits period for all Bass Champs qualifying events, specifically including but not limited to an ineligible partner as described in rule 3 above.

5.  PRE-TOURNAMENT PRACTICE: All Bass Champs Qualifying Team Events have a 5-day off-limits period, which consists of the Monday-Friday prior to the tournament. No Contestant may be on designated tournament waters for any reason during the official off-limits period except for the following dates:
• Memorial Day, May 26th, 2014
• Labor Day, September 1st, 2014

6.  REGISTRATION TIMES: Registration for all Bass Champs Qualifying Team Events will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 pm the evening before the event and beginning at 5:00 am the morning of the event. Each team must register in person at the designated site during official registration. A completed and signed entry form must be received before the start of each competition day. Contestants will randomly draw flight numbers during registration hours only.

7.  SAFETY: Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each Contestant is required to wear a fastened (fully zipped and/or all clips fastened), U.S. Coast Guard approved, personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation from boat check until weigh-in. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device, which must be securely attached to the driver's body any time the combustion engine is in operation. The driver must be seated in the driver's seat anytime the combustion engine is engaged in gear. Tournament days may be shortened or canceled due to unsafe weather or any conditions that would endanger the safety of the competitors at the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek shelter in bad weather, at which time no fishing may occur.

8.  PERMITTED FISHING METHODS: Only artificial lures may be used with the exception of pork trailers and Berkley Gulp products. Only one fishing rod per angler may be used at any one time. Additional rods may be in the boat and ready for use; however, each cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is attempted or rod is used. Trolling with the combustion engine as a method of fishing is prohibited. Switching or sharing fish with other teams or individuals is a violation of these rules and will result in immediate disqualification. All Bass must be caught alive, in a conventional, sporting manner. When sight fishing for Bass, all fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as a legal fish. All angling 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.

9.  SPORTSMANSHIP AND CONDUCT: All Contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any mind-altering substance during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure;
• Any previous conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation for a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime related to, arising out of, or involving any fishing tournament or event, except with full, prior written disclosure to the Tournament Director under oath and by affidavit of all facts and circumstances surrounding such conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation at least ten (10) days before the Bass Champs event being entered, and thereafter subject to the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion that such conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation does not result in the Contestant’s honesty, integrity, character or qualifications to enter the event being unreasonably questionable.
• Actions or words which reflect unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, and fair competition;
• Chemical substance abuse or addiction;
• Disqualification from Bass Champs tournaments or other fishing organizations that resulted from unexplained rule violations that result in a Contestant’s honesty, integrity, character, and qualifications for entry into a Bass Champs event being questionable in the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion.

Upon review of the circumstances by Bass Champs and the Tournament Director, the Tournament Director shall have the right to refuse any application, or to deny a confirmed application, by returning the entry fee of a previously accepted application, or disqualifying a Contestant. Bass Champs reserves the right to place an official observer in a Contestant's boat at any time during competition hours.

10.  ASSISTANCE: During hours of competition, Contestants may not receive fishing information from non-competitors or participate in the practice of "hole sitting." The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. In the event of an emergency situation, competitors should call 911 first and then notify the Tournament Director at 817-439-3274.

11.  BOAT AND HORSEPOWER REGULATION: Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated live well space to maintain alive a limit catch of Bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition may not exceed the horsepower limitations as set by the U. S. Coast Guard in such vessel. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating plate to conceal such limitations will be cause for disqualification from the tournament. No Contestant may have a platform, raised deck, or ladder which is higher than the gunnel of the boat. Standing on the fishing seats or outboard motor will not be allowed in Bass Champs events. All boats must be propeller driven and must be equipped with wheel steering, no other steering device will be permitted. No air, jet drive, or surface drive boats will be permitted during official practice or competition days. “Official practice” days are those days, if any, designated by Bass Champs as such on its website with respect to a particular tournament. 2014 Bass Champs, Inc. championship qualifying team events (five (5) per region) do not have any official practice days.

12.  PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters accessible by boat and available to the public, except areas designated as "off limits" or "no fishing" by state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a competitor's boat which was first anchored (an anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight with the trolling motor in the up position), or within 25 yards of a non-anchored competitor's boat unless otherwise agreed upon by the other tournament angler. The act of moving Bass from one area of the lake to another confined area of the same lake at any time, whether or not during official practice days or competition days, is not permitted.

13.  OFF-LIMITS AREAS: Such areas established and announced at the registration for each Bass Champs event. Contestants may not fish inside the established “off-limits” area. Violation of the rule will result in immediately disqualification. Contestants' boats must remain in the tournament waters during the event.

14.  TRAILERING IS NOT ALLOWED: All boats must leave the official check point by boat in the order designated at registration. Contestants may launch their boat at a ramp other than the designated take-off location, but all Contestants must come through the official check point location before leaving to fish. In the event of severe weather alternate take-off instructions will be given at the registration site, at the sole discretion of the Tournament Director.

15.  OFFICIAL CHECKPOINTS: There will be only one official checkpoint for boat inspection in the morning and one official check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check-out in the morning or failure to officially check-in at the check-in point will result in disqualification from such event. During morning check-out, all teams are required to idle a minimum of 100 yards before putting the boat on plane. It is the sole responsibility of each Contestant to arrive at the designated check-in location on time. Regardless of what you are told or understand, it is the angler's responsibility to verify their provided flight card time. All fishing must cease upon check-in, or upon such other time as may be designated by the Tournament Director.

16.  SCORING: Will be determined by the pounds and ounces of each angler's catch during the tournament. Only Largemouth, Spotted, Red Eye or Smallmouth Bass (collectively, “Bass”) are accepted species. The limit will be THREE Bass per team. Any Contestant who possesses more than the tournament limit at any time will have their catch for that day disqualified. The minimum official length limit for all species for the 2014 Bass Champs Qualifying Team Event will be provided at each event. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the prescribed length limit, will result in loss of that particular fish and a half-pound penalty to the weight of the remaining fish. No regurgitated forage or other foreign matter may be placed in bass. Any artificially weighed, preserved, or altered bass will be disqualified and that contestant will be subject to prosecution under federal and state laws. Each Contestant's catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag and verified by the signature of at least one team member. The Pro-Rule Measuring Board is the official measuring board of Bass Champs. Bass will be measured with mouth closed, tail compressed and swiped to achieve overall greatest length.

17.  LIVE FISH: Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live well. The use of chemical live well additives made by Sure-Life which promote the healthy return of bass to their natural habitat are recommended. A half-pound penalty will be deducted for each dead Bass presented for weigh-in. Any team that weighs in a dead fish for the big Bass award will receive a half-pound penalty from the total big Bass weight. Culling of dead Bass is prohibited.

18.  LATE PENALTY: Contestants who are not at the official check-in point at the appointed time will be assessed a ONE pound per minute penalty from their total weight including any weight to be counted toward a big Bass award. Any Contestant more than 15 minutes late will forfeit that day's catch. In the event of a mechanical break down, a Contestant may return to the check-in location with their catch by receiving a ride from another registered Contestant or tournament official only. The Contestants must return to the official check-in location by the methods set forth above by their assigned check-in time to avoid late penalty.

19.  CLOSING OF THE SCALES: Scales will close 30 minutes after the last flight is due in. Due to certain weigh-in locations this time may be lengthened or shortened at the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion. Any change to the above stated official scale closing time will be announced during registration, during boat check-out., or during weigh-in. It is the angler’s responsibility to verify the official scale closing time and to be in the weigh-in line by such time.

20.  TIES: A tie for 1st place in all 2014 Bass Champs Team Event’s will be broken by a One Hour Fish Off. All other ties will be resolved by splitting that place and the next place's money.

21.  CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS: All teams who enter all five qualifying events in their respective region automatically qualify for the 2014 Bass Champs Championship. Additionally any team who enters a minimum of six events from any combined regions will automatically qualify for the 2014 Bass Champs Championship. Points will be accumulated in the North, South, Central, and East Team Trail divisions to determine the respective Angler of the Year (AOY) standings.

22.  POINTS: Will be awarded as follows: Total Entries = Total Points: Winner receives the exact # of points as the # of entries. Example: 200 Entries - Winner receives 200 points, 2nd place receives 199 points, 3rd place receives 198 points, etc. All teams that do not weigh in a Bass will receive ten points less than the last place team that weighed fish at that event.

23.  ANGLER(S) OF THE YEAR (AOY): The Team or Individual that accumulates the greatest amount of points for the entire season will be awarded the prestigious "ANGLER OF THE YEAR" title. Anglers of the Year will receive free entry fees the following season for the division in which the title was won and for the 2015 Bass Champs Championship.

24.  JUNIOR TEAMS: Any team that consists of one adult and one junior, 15 years old or less, will be considered a "Junior Team". Bass Champs will pay ½ of the entry fee for all Junior Teams for championship qualifying events, championships are not included. Each Junior Team is responsible for their annual 2014 membership cost. The junior angler must be present and in the boat to receive the above stated discount.

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www.basschamps.com
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