Potomac Bassmasters of Virginia By Laws      

Rev: 2015


[All previous versions of club by laws governing Potomac Bassmasters of Virginia are obsolete.]


Name and Purpose

Section 1. Name: This club shall be called: POTOMAC BASSMASTERS OF VIRGINIA

Section 2. Purpose:  Potomac Bassmasters of Virginia (www.potomacbassmasters.com) is a not-for-profit bass club dedicated to the advancement of bass fishing, conservation, community involvement and youth participation in angling.



Membership, Dues, and Tournament Fees

Section 1. Number of members:
  This club will not exceed thirty (30) active members and will strive to maintain a boat owner/co-angler ratio of at least 60/40 except as follows:

(a) An inactive member in good standing wishes to be activated.

(b) The ratio declines because one or more boat owners change status.

Section 2. Requirements for membership: To become a member of Potomac Bassmasters of Virginia, a person shall:

(a) Voluntarily express a genuine interest in membership.

(b) Participate in three (3) club events prior to membership vote.


(c) Receive a unanimous vote of approval from members present at a regular meeting.


(d) Agree to abide by all club by-laws and tournament rules.


(e) Be at least eighteen years of age.

Section 3. Waiting list:  A membership waiting list will be established to prioritize potential members when membership is at capacity and/or the ratio is violated. Placement on the list will be based on date of club rapprochement.

Section 4. Membership dues:

(a) The membership dues shall be determined annually and voted on by the membership. Membership dues are payable at the first scheduled meeting of the year. All members must pay their dues in full by the end of the fourth club meeting of any calendar year.

(b) Membership dues for new club members are payable after the membership vote.  The new member has up to two club meetings after club admission to pay their dues.


Section 5. Tournament entry fees:  The entry fee for each tournament shall be announced by the Treasurer at the first meeting of the year, subject to approval of the membership by simple majority vote.


Section 6. Inactive status:  A member in good standing requesting inactive or reactivation status must state his desire to the club President, who will inform the club members at the next regularly scheduled meeting. No vote is required for reactivation.



Officers, Elections, Vacancies and Eligibility

Section 1.
Officers of the club and their duties:
(a) President –
The President shall provide leadership, promote fairness, enforce and monitor compliance with club by laws and tournament rules. He shall carry out all club generated directives and decisions. He shall preside over all meetings and direct all official business, including the procurement of items on behalf of the club; appoint and direct all committee functions; supervise all club functions and represent the club at external meetings.  He shall ensure that club information distributed or posted in the public domain is timely and accurate. He shall serve as Tournament Director and facilitate the creation of the annual tournament schedule and club event schedule.  He shall keep the club by-laws and tournament rules current.  The club President has the authority to prepare disbursements, procure on behalf of the club and pay financial obligations incurred by the club.

(b) Vice President – The Vice President shall maintain tournament schedule, tournament standings and cumulative results.  In conjunction with the President and club members, he shall coordinate event activities such as Children’s Fishing Derby, annual picnic, annual awards banquet and external activities involving club participation.  He shall secure a venue for club meetings and maintain a membership log and contact lists.  When the Club President is not available or accessible, he shall perform the duties of the President; preside over club meetings and serve as Tournament Director.  The club Vice President has the authority to prepare disbursements, procure on behalf of the club and pay financial obligations incurred by the club.

(b) Treasurer – The Treasurer shall maintain club financial records; present a financial report at each meeting; identify those members delinquent in payments; recommend the amount for annual dues, tournament fees; and assist the President and Vice President as requested.

(1) At the beginning of each calendar year the President shall prepare a draft tournament and club schedule for that year. The schedule shall include a listing of club tournaments, Potomac Teams tournaments, and any other major area tournaments or club events of particular note. To the best of his ability, the President shall attempt to schedule club tournaments so they do not conflict with other major area tournaments.

(2) The President shall recommend the dates for club tournaments, tournament locations and ramp site within the first two meetings of the calendar year.


(3) Once a draft tournament schedule is completed for a particular year, it is reviewed by the general membership.  Membership input is received and incorporated into the schedule; A membership vote is taken to finalize the schedule.  A simple majority vote of club members attending the meeting is required to finalize the schedule.


(4) Club tournament schedule can be changed anytime during the year.  A motion can be brought forward at a club meeting. It must be endorsed by a second club member, then approved by a simple majority vote of the members present at a club meeting.


(5) Prior to each tournament event the President will set or reconfirm the times for launch, launch location and weigh-in, subject to approval by a majority vote of the club members attending the meeting.

(6) Club President or Officer shall conduct the draw for an upcoming tournament at a club meeting at least four days prior to the tournament(s). At each meeting, he shall announce the tournament being drawn, the location, start/finish time and conduct a participation survey. Members will declare their intention as a boater, co-angler or non participant when their name is called. A club member can participate in a tournament drawing by attending the meeting or by conveying their intended participation 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 the boaters and co-anglers who are present at the meeting, second priority is given to members who conveyed their intention but did not attend the club meeting, and third priority is given to members who did not convey their intention and are not present at the club meeting. 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. 


           I.     The names of either the boaters or co-anglers are placed into hat and partners are selected through a random draw.  Club President or Officer shall make every attempt to resolve uneven pairings whenever possible.  Adjustments can be made where mitigating circumstances occur that requires changes in the final pairings. 

          II.     If a boater and co-angler have been paired more than once during a calendar year, a request can be made by any member present at the meeting to have that pairing changed.  If the request is endorsed by a second member, the boater shall be assigned a different co-angler.

         III.     In the event there are not enough co-anglers, a boater may fish alone provided the motion is approved by at least one club member and a majority vote.  Between the time the tournament pairing is conducted and the tournament date, if there is an unintended change in the pairings or a circumstance involving either a boater or co-angler not being able to fish, a spot decision shall be made by the Club President.  Likewise if a boater or co-angler is a no-show on tournament day, a spot decision shall be made by the Club President.

       IV.     In some circumstances a member can fish with a non-member in a tournament:

a.     When there is a shortage of co-anglers

b.     When fishing with a non member does not create an uneven pairing for the tournament

c.     The non member fishing with a member must abide by all applicable club tournament rules

d.     The non member fishing with a member does not pay a tournament entry fee and thus is not eligible for a payout

e.     Club members must approve of the pairing by a simple majority vote.  If the situation emerges after a club meeting, a spot decision shall be made by the Club President


(7) Club tournament rules are an addendum to club by laws. (Club Tournament Rules 2015)


(8) Any disputes arising during a club tournament shall be addressed by the Club President.  The Club President shall keep the official time for the tournament. His decision regarding time violations concerning club members shall be final.


(9) The Club President shall have the power, to cancel, postpone, move the launch site, or adjust the start and end times of a tournament either before or during the tournament due to hazardous conditions or unforeseen circumstances.


(10) In case the Club President is absent from a tournament, the Vice President shall assume the responsibilities of Tournament Director, followed by the Treasurer should the Vice President be absent, and a designated club member if the Treasurer is absent.

(11) In the case of serious or systematic violations of the tournament rules, unsportsmanlike behavior, or failure to act responsibly as a boater or co-angler, the Club President shall refer such violation or violations to the Tournament Rules Committee at the next monthly meeting.  

(12) In the event of any minor incident not covered specifically by these rules, and which requires a ruling, the Club President shall issue a spot ruling in his best judgment. The Club President will then bring that issue before the club membership at the next scheduled meeting for discussion of the situation and final resolution as determined by the membership through a majority vote.

(e) Tournament Rules Committee: The creation and responsibility of the Tournament Rules Committee shall be as follows:

(1) The Committee shall be comprised of the Club President, Vice President, Treasurer  and one person from the club membership selected by the President. If one of these individuals is alleged to have committed a rules infraction they will excuse themselves from the Committee and the Committee will consist of three persons only. The President shall preside over the rules Committee unless he is alleged to have committed an infraction in which case the Vice President shall preside over the Committee.

(2) The Committee shall be called only upon request of any member and shall have the authority and power to consider tournament rules violations and impose sanctions. Once a particular violation is adjudicated, the Committee shall adjourn.

(3) Once a violation(s) has been referred to the Tournament Rules Committee, the Committee shall consider the seriousness of the violation, the circumstances of its occurrence, and whether the violation(s) is part of a pattern. The Committee shall then determine if a violation exists and recommend an appropriate sanction or penalty to the membership, which may include expulsion of the member(s) involved. The decision of the Committee must be unanimous. The membership shall then vote on the report of the Committee, and that report, including sanction(s), may pass by simple majority vote.

(4) The Committee shall have the power and authority to interpret the tournament rules in the event of a dispute concerning proper interpretation. In the event that a situation arises which is not covered by these rules, any member may request a convening of the Committee to discuss the situation and amend the tournament rules as is deemed necessary. If a member requests a convening of the Tournament Rules Committee, any ruling issued by the Committee supersedes any ruling made by the President as noted above.

Section 2. Elections:  Club members shall decide between the October and December club meetings if officer elections are to be held.  A decision is determined by a simple majority vote. If a decision is made to elect officers, it shall be conducted at a regular monthly meeting. Elections shall be by a simple majority vote of members present. Nominations for elected officers may be presented at any meeting. Each member in good standing is entitled to one vote per office.


(1) A special election can be held anytime during the year.  A request can be made by any club member, then must be endorsed by a second member.  The club shall then decide by a simple majority vote if a special election shall be conducted.  If passed, the election shall commence at the next scheduled club meeting.

(2) Elections are to be held by casting a ballot.  Club President will coordinate the creation of ballots and provide them at the designated club meeting. When casting a ballot at a club meeting, the process is private and a members’ selection will not be disclosed.  A member in good standing can submit a vote in writing by e-mail or ballot with a signature. In this case the e-mail and/or ballot must be viewed and verified by the members attending the meeting. Proxy votes are not permitted. Voting privacy is only observed for those members attending the meeting.  The President or designated club officer shall tally the ballots immediately after the vote while the club meeting is still in session. No votes will be accepted once the ballot count begins. Newly elected officers will be announced immediately after the vote count is completed and will assume their positions at a date agreed upon by the general membership. 

Section 3. Vacancies: In the event of an office becoming vacant, nominations shall be asked for an election held to fill the unexpired term of the person vacating the office.

Section 4. Eligibility for holding office: To be eligible for an office, a member must: have been a member for at least six months, attended at least ¾ of club functions during the past six months, and have shown an active interest in club ideals and mission.


Scoring, Awards, and Tournaments

Section 1. Scoring: The following applies to club tournaments:
(a) Individual tournaments will be scored on a pounds and ounces basis. Members will be ranked in descending order beginning with the heaviest catch as measured by recorded weight in club tournaments. The big bass for the tournament shall be determined by recorded weight.

(b) In the event of ties for particular positions, each member tying for a particular place shall be awarded that place. However, the place immediately following shall be dropped and the standings resumed after the dropped place. (Ex: Members A and B tie for second place. Third place is dropped and member C, who finished directly behind members A and B, is awarded fourth place).

(c) Members will be awarded points based on their finish in the standings for each tournament.  200 points shall be awarded for first place, 150 for second, 125 third, 110 fourth, 100 fifth, 90 sixth, 80 seventh, 75 eighth with a five point decrease per place thereafter, Big fish for a tournament, as determined by recorded weight, is awarded 20 points.  Those members participating in a tournament but not weighing a legal fish shall be awarded 30 show points. If a co-angler arrives at a tournament site the designated time, at the right location, but cannot fish because his boater is a no-show, the co-angler is awarded 30 show points.   

(d) The club year-end standings shall be determined based upon points awarded for individual tournaments. Seven club tournaments are held in one calendar year, however, only the top six tournaments results will count towards a member’s year-end final standing. The lowest tournament score will automatically be dropped.

(e) Tie breakers.

(1) Tie breakers for all end-of-year standings shall be determined by the total weight of each member's catch in all of that season's tournaments in which the tied members were both/all entered and fished head-to-head against each other.

2) In the event of a tie in total weight as determined by the paragraph above, the tie will sustain and co-champions will be declared.



Amendments to the By Laws and Tournament Rules
By laws and tournament rules may be amended at a regular meeting by a 2/3 majority vote of members present, provided notice of the proposed amendment has been presented to the membership at least one month prior to the vote. The by laws and tournament rules may be amended on an emergency basis at any regular meeting provided that a ¾ majority of members present at the meeting vote to do so.


Removal of Membership
By a simple majority of members present at a club meeting, a member shall be dropped from the membership roster for any or all the following reasons:

(a) Three (3) months in arrears for dues payment.

(b) Any action which would reflect dishonor or disgrace on the club.


(c) Due to a sanction recommended by the Tournament Rules Committee.


(d) Failure to attend 50% of meetings and club functions during a 12 month period.

(e) If a member demonstrates a pattern of being an unreliable tournament partner.

o   After committing to participate in a tournament and being paired with a partner, a member tries to back out of his participation and/or his commitment to fish the tournament.   

o   After being paired with a partner, a member cancels their tournament participation without just cause.

o   A member is a “no show” on tournament day and fails to contact his partner and/or club officer in good faith.

o   Exhibits poor sportsmanlike behavior during a tournament.

o   Failure to meet payment obligations of paying tournament fees and/or reimbursing a partner after reaching a mutually agreed upon dollar amount for expenses incurred during a tournament event.


(f) Inappropriate or hostile behavior directed towards a club member or the club.