TOURNAMENT RULES

POTOMAC BASSMASTERS OF VIRGINIA

Effective: 2015

(All previous versions are obsolete)

A. GENERAL

1.      No drinking of alcoholic beverages or use of illegal drugs is permitted before or during tournament hours.

2.      All fish must be legally caught by rod and reel casting. Only artificial and biodegradable artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" or "prepared bait" will be permitted during competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds. Only one casting, spin casting or spinning rod and reel may be used at any one time. Other rigs, as specified above, may be in the boat ready for use; however, only one is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have their catch disqualified. When visually fishing a bed or for bedding bass, to be counted as a legal fish all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner before being unhooked. Violation of applicable state or federal regulations by contestants is grounds for disqualification and/or other penalty judged to be appropriate by the tournament director(s).

3.      Tournament director(s) for a given event is the club president or a club member designated as the tournament director by the membership.

        Two Division Format: In club tournaments, boaters compete against boaters and co-anglers compete against co-anglers.

        Tournament results and cumulative standings for each division will be recorded and posted on the club web site.

        At the start of the season, each club member will declare their intention to compete as either a boater or co-angler. They will remain in that division until the end of the season

        If for whatever reason a boater has to fish a tournament as a co-angler, he still competes in the boater division. If a co-angler is asked by the club membership to fish as a boater, (To even out the tourney field so theres an equal number of boaters and non-boaters) he will still compete as a co-angler.  If a co-angler chooses to fish a tournament as a boater (without being asked), he will then automatically be recorded and ranked in the boater division for the remainder of the season.

        When a prospective member participates in a club event, they will be placed in the boater division if they own a boat.  If they do not own a boat, they will compete in the co-angler division. NOTE: All prospective members are required to participate in three club tournaments prior to being admitted into the club. During these three events, all prospective members participate as a co-angler.  If he owns a boat, the three club tournament results are registered in the boater division. If he does not own a boat, the three tournament results are registered in the co-angler division.

        A big fish award payment is given to one angler at each tournament for the largest/heaviest bass caught –REGARDLESS OF THE DIVISION

        Big fish points will be awarded to the anglers who caught largest/heaviest bass in each division

4.      Boat-owners and co-anglers for a given tournament are paired by open-draw format at the monthly meeting. A club member can participate in a tournament drawing by attending the meeting or by conveying their desire to participate via phone, e-mail or any other method of correspondence. In the event there is an uneven number of boaters and co-anglers, first priority is given to club members who are present at the meeting; second priority is given to club members who conveyed their desire to attend but were unable to make the meeting, third priority is given to non-members who are present at the meeting and to active club members who are not present at the meeting but did not convey their intention to attend or fish an upcoming tournament.  If two boaters are paired for a tournament, they can decide who will be the boater and co-angler or a decision can be rendered at the club meeting via a coin toss by a club officer.  Club officers will make any and all reasonable attempts to pair tournament participants. This includes but not limited to, boaters who do not attend the club meeting but participate in the tournament draw, can be designated as a co-angler in an effort to even out the tournament pairing.  To facilitate open competition and fishing experience, drawing the same partner twice in a row is avoided whenever possible.

5.      During competition, the boater will fish from the front deck and the co-angler from the rear deck.  Exceptions are allowed if mutually agreed upon by the boater and co-angler.

6.      In view of the large expense involved in operating and maintaining a bass boat, the co-angler partner will share, at minimum, the cost of gas and oil, park entrance and/or launch fees for the competition day.  If the tournament site is not on the Potomac River, the co-angler partner is also expected to share the cost of gas for towing the boat to/from the launch site.  The amount paid is a personal issue between the boater and co-angler and does not involve the club or its tournament rules.

7.      Tournament date, launch site, start time, weigh-in time, the inclusion of a deviation rule or a ruling made to address an emerging issue, will be reviewed and agreed upon by a majority-vote of meeting attendees taken at the previous club meeting or prior to tournament launch.

8.      All boats must be equipped with an inboard method of sustaining a two-person limit of fish.

9.      Tournament blast off spot is also the official check-in point.  One half pound per person will be deducted from total weight for each minute late at check in.  Any boat 15 minutes late loses all credit.  Live-well and boat checks will be conducted during registration, and at the sole discretion of the tournament director(s).

10.   Fish may by transferred from one boat to another in case of break down, provided an owner is with the fish at all times.

11.   Contestant's boat must return to weigh-in site without removal from tournament waters.  All boats will depart from the same location and at the same approximate time, unless agreed to and voted by meeting attendees at previous club meeting.

12.   Departure will be, with a safe distance between boats.

13.   All spot rulings on interpretation of tournament rules, potential violations and safety matters, including cancellation due to weather or water conditions, are at the sole discretion of the tournament director. Any member can appeal the ruling via the tournament rules committee as described in the club by laws.

14.   Contestants are responsible for paying their own launch fee and have valid fishing licenses.

15.   Bolling AFB Marina (inside of gas pumps) is off limits. No other specific area on the Tidal Potomac is designated off limits—provided that a team is considered off limits if it is cited or served in writing (e.g., ticketed) by enforcement officials during tournament hours because of fishing in an area illegally. Other restrictions or off limits may be announced at the briefing prior to each tournament.

16.   An anchored boat, including the use of shallow water anchors, has the right to deny other contestants fishing rights within 50 yards, provided its trolling motor is out of the water.

17.   It is unsportsmanlike to pull in front of another contestant's boat fishing in a given direction or to move into a limited area being fished constantly by another boat.  Any person who repeatedly demonstrates bad manners by customary tournament standards or so violates tournament rules will not be allowed to register for tournaments at the judgment of the director(s).

18.   Violation of tournament rules is grounds for disqualification or other penalty as judged appropriate by tournament director(s).

19.   Potomac Bassmasters of Virginia club by laws are an addendum to the tournament rules.

B.  WEIGH-IN PROCEDURES

1.      Places resulting from the tournament will be based on net pounds per person.

2.      The Tidal Potomac has a fifteen inch minimum size requirement for fish weighed in tournaments held from March 1 to June 15 and twelve inch minimum during the rest of the year.  Fish are measured with mouth closed; tail may be fanned or squeezed.

3.      No culling of dead fish

4.      A six-ounce penalty will be assessed for each dead fish weighted in.  All live fish must be released; exception is made for trophy fish which may be kept if appropriate.

5.      A penalty weight of two pounds for any fish weighed in under the legal length will be deducted from the total weight of the remaining legal fish.  A flat board will be used to measure fish.

6.      Largemouth, smallmouth, Kentucky/Spotted black bass only will be weighed in.

7.      No culling, sorting or handling of fish after boat is off plane in area of marina for weigh in, other than to put fish in bags and present for weighing.

C.  SAFETY, BOAT AND MOTOR

      It is the contestants' responsibility that boats meet horsepower and other Coast Guard requirements for their class and particular boat.

      A Coast Guard approved flotation device must be worn when the combustion engine is running and boat is underway over 6 mph.

      Boating and water safety training courses by the Coast Guard or Power Squadrons are recommended for all contestants.  Completion of such course is required by D.C. law when operating a boat in D.C. water.

      Tournament boats equipped with engines smaller than 35 HP will not be allowed. No maximum horsepower limit is imposed.  Any boat which appears to be unsafe will not be allowed.

      It is highly recommended that each boat have two-way electronic communications equipment for use in case of emergency.

D.  INSURANCE

      Boat owners are required to present proof of current insurance showing water craft liability coverage not less than $300,000 bodily injury and property damage.

Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated by Potomac Bassmasters of Virginia. Bad tournament conduct or poor behavior could result in tournament disqualification and/or ejection from the club.