Official Tournament Entry Form and Rules Effective Jan 1, 2013




These rules & safety regulations have been “time tested” in over 40 years of federation history and represent great effort, study and research in their formulation. The following rules of this tournament will remain unchanged, except for special tournaments conducted by The Bass Federation, Inc., herein after (TBF). Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director. In the event of a rules violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions, as deemed appropriate including, without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. The decisions of the Tournament Director and Maryland TBF Tournament Officials shall be final in all matters.


 

 

  1. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY: This tournament is open only to members of TBF and FLW Outdoors who are 16 years of age or older and who are active members in good standing of their home State TBF affiliated Federation. Proof of age to the satisfaction of Tournament Officials is the responsibility of the potential competitor. All participants must have in their possession a valid fishing license covering the waters to be fished. DURING COMPETITION DAYS OF ANY TBF EVENT NO CONTESTANT MAY OPERATE A BOAT UNLESS THAT CONTESTANT HAS DOCUMENTED PROOF OF AN INSURANCE POLICY IN FORCE, THAT COVER THE EVENT DATES WITH A MINIMUM OF $300,000 BOATING LIABILITY COVERAGE 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. As a participant in a TBF tournament you agree, if you qualify and are invited to be a member of the "STATE TEAM", to be bound by and adhere to, all conditions set out in any "STATE TEAM CONTRACTS”. And to use while representing the TBF any and all official products and equipment so specified and provided by TBF.

 

 

2.   ENTRY FEES & PAYOUTS: Entry fees are $150 for each qualifying tournament and the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). All entries must be completely filled out and postmarked by the cut-off date listed for each tournament.  Payouts will be as follows: 1st Place: $500, 2nd Place: $300, 3rd Place: $150. There will be an optional Lunker pot and Calcutta at each tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

3.   DURING THE TOURNAMENT, A COMPETITOR MAY NOT SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OR ADVICE OF ANYONE FOR THE PURPOSES OF LOCATING OR CATCHING BASS, NOR ENTER THE TOURNAMENT WATERS WITH ANYONE WHO IS DEEMED AN “EXPERT” ON THE TOURNAMENT WATERS BY TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS, UNLESS THEY ARE A CONTESTANT IN THE TOURNAMENT during the tournament, a competitor may not "SKIN DIVE” or "SCUBA DIVE" on the tournament waters. During the tournament a competitor may not use a CB radio, a VHF marine band radio, a cellular phone, or any other type of communication device for the purpose of locating or catching fish. Contestants are permitted to transmit by radio or telephone only in an emergency. If so equipped, contestants may listen to marine band weather information. EACH CONTESTANT AGREES TO REPORT TO THE TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS ANY VIOLATION OR INFRACTION OF THESE TOURNAMENT RULES. THE FAILURE TO REPORT VIOLATIONS OR SUGGESTIONS TO VIOLATE THESE RULES OR FALSE VERIFICATION OF WEIGH-IN SLIPS WILL BE CAUSE FOR DISQUALIFICATION. EACH COMPETITOR AGREES, BY THEIR SIGNATURE ON THIS DOCUMENT, TO SUBMIT TO ATRUTH VERIFICATION TEST OR POLYGRAPH TEST SHOULD THEY BE ASKED TO FOR ANY REASON and abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass the examination will result in disqualification. The administration and interpretation of the truth verification test shall be the sole responsibility of the Tournament Director, and his agent(s), and shall be used (or not used) at the discretion of Tournament Officials. Without limiting anything herein, the Tournament Director shall have sole discretion to select the place at which such a truth verification test shall be administered, the individual who administers such a truth verification test, and the scope of the questions which may be asked during such test. The participant shall be available, at their own expense, at the location selected by the Tournament Director and shall cooperate in all respects with the examination.

 

 

  4.   SAFETY: Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. During the tournament, each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved, Type III, chest-type life preserver. This preserver must be worn anytime the combustion engine is operating. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the competitor reaches their fishing location and the combustion engine is shut off. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification. Tournament Officials have the right to delay or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. TBF further reserves the right to impose boat speed limits on any or all tournaments. Whether or not to impose a speed limit, the area covered by the speed limit and/or the actual speed limit imposed shall be left exclusively to the discretion of the Tournament Director. TBF will announce emergency contact numbers and instructions at the pre tournament briefing.  The decision to limit tournament water will be made by the Tournament Committee members: Tx. Director, MD. TBF President and 1st VP.

 

 

5.   SPORTSMANSHIP: Competitors in a TBF tournament are expected to follow the very highest standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any violation of these basic sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those drugs purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the official practice, during the tournament or during the weigh-in will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future TBF tournaments. The “Federation” is the “grassroots ambassadors” of fishing, maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of any competitor which reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy shall be reason for disqualification. All competitors are bound by prevailing state statutes and regulations of the various states within which they fish. No alcoholic beverages or other stimulants or depressants, prescription or otherwise, shall be allowed in the boats during official practice, competition days or when in the weigh-in area. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and for disqualification. Any disqualification or suspension from, or other disciplinary action regarding, any tournament or fishing organization, may be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and for disqualification.

 

6.   TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT: Only artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" or "prepared bait" will be permitted, with the exception of pork rinds, strips, etc. Only ONE (1) fishing rod (8-foot maximum length from butt of the handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. All other types prohibited. Other rigs as specified may be in the boat ready to use, however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. 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. No gaffs OR “GRIPPERS” may be used to land bass nor be permitted in boat at any time.

 

7.    HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS: Maximum horsepower for all outboard motors used in official practice and in tournament competition will be 300hp for Maryland State Qualifying tournaments and 250hp for any TBF Divisional or higher tournament. 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 horsepower limit set by TBF. Each competitor agrees to submit, by their signature on the official entry form and wavier, the boat and motor used in the tournament to an inspection by factory-trained personal, if there is any reason to suspect the horsepower is in excess of the rating. Normal maintenance to increase the performance of your engine is allowed. Changing or altering standard factory parts of your motor to INCREASE THE HORSEPOWER OVER THE FACTORY HORSEPOWER RATING IS FORBIDDEN, and will result in disqualification. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower rating numbers on the motor or ratings plate also would be cause for immediate disqualification from TBF Sanctioned Events.

 

8.   BOAT AND MOTOR: For the safety of all contestants, ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH SOME TYPE OF OPERABLE IGNITION KILL SWITCH SAFETY DEVICE. This engine stop device must be attached to the driver's body any time the combustion engine is operating.

Anytime the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver's seat in full control of the boat. Fishing boats may be used that are 17 feet in length or longer and must have a rear deck. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnel of the boat. Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. Any type of AUXILIARY gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options and installed by an authorized dealer are legal. Boats that do not have factory installed gas tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in tanks that meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Gas tanks must be properly secured or strapped in a boat. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to all contenders and\or the public. No "barges" or similar cumbersome craft will be permitted. NO BOAT EQUIPPED WITH "STICK STEERING" SHALL BE PERMITTED TO BE USED DURING THE TOURNAMENT BY ANYCOMPETITOR. The definition of "stick steering" shall be made by the Tournament Director. It shall be the responsibility of the fishing partners to mutually agree on a meeting location, and the basis for sharing expenses. If partners are unable to agree, the Tournament Director shall make such determination, which shall be binding upon the partners. 


9.   BASIC BOAT & SAFETY EQUIPMENT: Every boat must have all the required Coast Guard safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional bilge pump and livewell space, properly aerated, to sufficiently maintain, in a healthy condition a limit catch by BOTH competitors using the boat. TBF recommends the use of livewell additives to promote the healthy release of all fish to their natural habitat. Further TBF recommends the use of ICE to cool livewell water and improve oxygen levels during “summer” months. The Tournament Director shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is "proper and adequate".

 

10.   BOAT IDENTIFICATION: Each boat MUST be given, prior to each day's start, a livewell and SAFETY INSPECTION check by a tournament official and a boat marker which MUST remain in the boat and be turned in during check-in at the end of each day.

 

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 the combustion engine to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth.

 

12.   PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Tournament waters shall be established by the Tournament Director for each tournament. Each competitor must obtain this information from TBF. Fishing on tournament waters is permitted anywhere except water within tournament boundaries posted "off-limits or no fishing" by state or federal agencies which will be OFF-LIMITS. Also, the live-bass release area established by the Tournament Director will be OFF-LIMITS and will be announced at the tournament briefing. No contestant may “Buy” or “Barter” a fishing location. Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. Any water closed to public fishing will be closed to tournament contestants. All angling must be done from the boat.

 

13.   CONTESTANTS MUST REMAIN TOGETHER IN THE BOAT: 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 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. 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. If a competitor must violate any of the above conditions (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. Trailering of boats during tournament hours is prohibited, except by the direction of the Tournament Director.

 

14.   OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT: There shall be an official safety checkpoint for checkout in the morning and check-in in the afternoon and this point shall be designated at the tournament briefing. At the time of check-out all competitors and their boats shall be in full conformance with all safety and tournament rules set forth by the Tournament Director. At check-in all boats shall identify themselves, and proceed immediately to the designated weigh-in area. Partners must stay together, through check-in and weigh-in, until weigh-in slips have been signed. YOU MUST CHECK-IN EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY FISH.

 

15.   PROTESTS: All protests must be in writing and turned into the Tournament Director. Verbal notice must be given prior to final standings are announced and must be followed up by a written protest within 30 minutes of weigh in and before you leave the tournament location. All teams must present all legal fish for weigh in regardless of being protested or not. Weight will be deemed not official until all protests have been settled by the Tournament Director.

 

16.   SCORING: Tournament standing, awards and final standings shall be determined by a method of scoring set forth, and announced in the pre-tournament briefing. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Red Eye or Shoal Bass will be weighed. The limit shall be five (5) of the above species and varieties per day, unless the prevailing state limit is less than five (5), or a special limit is established for a particular tournament by the Tournament Director, in which case the state limit, or special limit shall be the tournament limit. At no time shall a competitor have in possession more than the tournament limit. Tournament Officials will conduct checks for violations of this provision, and in the event a competitor has in their possession more than the stated limit, shall cull, starting with the largest bass first, down to the stated limit. The official length for bass shall be decided by Tournament Officials and announced at the tournament briefing. In most cases it will be the longest state limit covering the tournament waters. Only bass which measure the official length or more on the longest straight line, shall be weighed-in. Bass presented for weigh-in which fail to measure the official length shall accrue penalties at the rate of one pound for each non-legal bass. This penalty shall be deducted from the total score of the competitor. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered will be weighed and credited only at the discretion of Tournament Officials. After a competitor checks in at the official checkpoint he MUST present all LEGAL fish in his possession to a Tournament Official to be counted, measured and weighed. Once a competitor’s catch has been measured, counted or verified by a Tournament Official, that contestant may not return to his boat until his catch has been weighed and recorded. Bass must not be stringered at any time during the tournament. This restriction includes livewell stringer systems used for culling, which are also prohibited. Each contestants catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag, specially designed and controlled to increase survival rate, which will be furnished by the Tournament Officials.

 

 

17.   CATCH AND RELEASE: For each legal dead bass presented to weigh-in officials, the competitor shall be penalized eight (8) ounces of weight, to be deducted from their daily score. Tournament Officials shall have sole authority for accessing penalty points.

 

18.   LATE PENALTY: Competitors who are not in the official safety checkpoint area as described in rule 14 at the appointed time shall be penalized at the rate of one pound per minute to be deducted from the total weight of their catch that day, including any "Big Bass Award". Any competitors more than fifteen (15) minutes late shall lose all credit for that days catch. There shall be no excuse for tardiness and in no case will a competitor be allowed to make up "lost time". After proper recognition at the check-in point, competitors will be allowed ample time to proceed to the weigh-in site; however, all fishing must stop upon check-in. After the pre-tournament briefing begins, fishing the tournament waters is prohibited except during tournament hours. Exact starting and check-in times will be announced at the tournament briefing by the Tx. Director or the President in the TX. Director’s absence.


19.   TIES: In case of a tie for first place team or team champion, the following tie breakers will be used in this order: 1.) The team or individual with the largest number of legal fish weighed-in during the competition; 2.) The team or individual with the largest number of legal LIVE fish weighed-in during the competition; 3.) The team or individual with the heaviest single days catch during competition; 4.) The team or individual with the second heaviest single days catch during competition. In the unlikely event a tie remains after these four tiebreakers are employed; a flip of a coin will be used to determine the winner(s) and the money, if any will be equally split. Ties for lesser positions shall be resolved by means selected by the Tournament Director. 

 

20.   PATCHES AND\OR SIGNAGE: TBF encourages the use of patches, logos and other signage to promote various sponsors. Realizing we are in a television media\sponsorship field that MAY sometimes restrict the use of such signage, etc. that promote or advertise products, TBF reserves the right to RESTRICT THE USE OF SUCH SIGNAGE, with as much advance notice as possible.

 

21.   STANDINGS & STATE TEAM QUALIFICATION: Standing will be based on your official weight of the team’s best 4 tournament weights out of the 5 state qualifying tournaments (Best 4 out of 5). The top five (5) teams based on the previous statement will qualify for the State Team. The sixth (6th) place team will be the State Team Alternates. To qualify for the State Team you must fish 4 out of the 5 state qualifying tournaments. All ties will be settled utilizing rules from Section 18 (TIES). Under no circumstances shall an individual be allowed to attempt to qualify for a state team in more than one state in the same qualifying year. Anyone qualifying or attempting to qualify through more than one state for the same Federation National Championship shall be removed from this and possibly all future state teams. Because this is a TBF national rule not a STATE rule, you can also be removed from another state's team. Participants may only use a substitution at one (1) tournament during the year (5 Qualifying TX’s) Substitutions must be a FLW/MD-TBF Member and approved by the TX. Director. You may fish solo with the approval of the TX. Director


22.    LAST CHANCE QUALIFIER (LCQ): ENTRY FEE is $150.  Any team that has fished at least four (4) of the five (5) State Qualifying tournaments and did not make the State Team are eligible to fish the LCQ to earn the sixth (6th) and final spot on the Maryland State Team. This tournament has no payout. The team with the highest weight for 5 fish after any deductions for penalties (If applicable)Ties will be settled as stated in Section 18 (TIES)

If the State Team Alternates based on the five (5) state qualifying tournaments fish the LCQ and win, the seventh (7th) place team from the State Qualifying tournaments becomes the State Team alternates as long as they have met the requirements in Section 21.

No substitutions will be allowed for the LCQ