Tournament Official Rules
The following rules shall apply to all New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation. (NJBN) tournaments except that (i) rules for special tournaments may differ from those contained herein and (ii) These rules may be changed by New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation immediately upon notice by the New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation to its members which notice may be published on the internet site at http://www.njbassnation.org Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director or his designee at a tournament. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions, as he deems appropriate, including, without limitation, disqualification, and forfeiture of prizes, entry fee and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. The decision of the Tournament Director or his designee shall be final in all matters. Rules violations must be reported to the Tournament Director on site within 15 minutes after the last fish is weighed. There will be at the official weigh in location a form for filing a protest available for any angler wishing to do so.
1. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY:
(i) This tournament is open only to current members of the NJBN who are 16 years of age or older. Proof of age to the satisfaction of tournament officials is the responsibility of potential competitor. Any candidate for competition who, in the judgment of the Tournament Director, is disabled in such a manner as to unfairly hinder his partner or endanger the safety and well-being of his partner or himself shall not be eligible.
(ii) DURING THE OFFICIAL PRACTICE AND COMPETITION DAYS OF ANY NJBN TOURNAMENT, NO COMPETITOR MAY OPERATE A BOAT UNLESS THAT CONTESTANT HAS DOCUMENTED PROOF OF A MINIMUM OF $300,000 BOATING LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERING THE BOAT BEING USED IN THE TOURNAMENT. PROOF OF INSURANCE MUST BE WITH THE BOAT BEING USED AND MUST COVER THE COMPETITORS USING THAT BOAT. RANDOM CHECKS WILL BE CONDUCTED AND ANY COMPETITOR WHO DOES NOT HAVE PROOF OF IN-FORCE INSURANCE WITH $300,000.00 COVERAGE MAY BE DISQUALIFIED.
(iii) A properly completed and signed official entry form and the entry fee must be received by the New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation Tournament Director on or before the entry fee deadline date. The Tournament Director reserves the right to discontinue acceptance of applications prior to deadline and also the right to extend the acceptance date. ENTRY FEES WILL ONLY BE REFUNDED IF PROPER NOTIFICATION IS MADE TO THE NJBN TOURNAMENT DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO THE ENTRY FEE DEADLINE DATE. ENTRY FEE DEADLINE DATE FOR EACH TOURNAMENT SHALL BE 14 DAYS PRIOR TO THE FIRST COMPETITION DAY OF EACH TOURNAMENT While a sponsor may pay the entry fee, competitors agree to use any and all official products provided by the NJBN.
2. PRACTICE AND COMPETITION: During regular season events, the Tournament director will at each event make it known what specific areas are considered to be off limits. There shall be no off limits period before a trail or Team event . The days of the Team event shall be Friday and Saturday.
(i) During the tournament and any official practice days, a competitor may not have the assistance or advice of anyone for the purposes of locating or catching bass, nor enter the tournament waters with anyone who has been on the tournament waters during the off-limits period including, but not limited to, a professional guide, state or federal wildlife agency employee, or any other person deemed an "expert" on these tournament waters by the Tournament Director, unless they are a competitor in the tournament.
(iii) No competitor may buy or barter a fishing location from any other competitor for use during any competition day.
(iv) During the official competition days of the tournament, a competitor may not use a CB radio, a VHF marine-band radio, or any other type of communication device for the purpose of locating or catching fish. Competitors are permitted to transmit by radio only in the event of an emergency. If so equipped, competitors may listen to the marine-band weather information.
(v) During the official competition days of the tournament a competitor may not make cell calls for the purpose of locating or catching fish on tournament waters. Cell phones may be used for emergency situations to contact Tournament Director. Competitors are allowed to call lockmasters for locking purposes only. Competitors are allowed to use smart phones for global maps, weather, notes, etc., however, using smart phones during competition to log into daily tournament blogs is not permitted.Cell phone are not to be use for texting. Competitors are not allowed to call another competetitor.
(vi) A designated tournament official must be granted access to the competitor's boat at any time during the official practice or competition days. Failure to grant such access may result in immediate disqualification.
(vii) Each competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director any violation or infraction of any Tournament Rules. Failure to report violations, or suggestions to another competitor that he or she violate these Rules, or false verification of weigh-in forms will be cause for disqualification. See above.
3. REGISTRATION: Each competitor must register by mail with official NJBN staff by the time and place designated. Failure to register during the prescribed deadlines shall result in being disqualified from participating in the tournament. Deadline will be 2 weeks and 2 days prior to the event, NO EXCEPTIONS. Application date will be printed on all forms.
In the event there are more riders than boaters the riders that applied on the same application of a boater are guaranteed a spot. Riders whose applications are recieved on the tail end of the due date may be turned away from the event. An boater designated to fish solo shall not fish solo more than one (1) time per Tournament Trail season. If more non-boaters enter than boaters, non-boaters may elect to change to a boater and pay appropriate entry fees or elect to have money refunded or transferred to a future tournament. Selection of these anglers will be determined by date and time of entry and decisions of the Tournament Director are final. A non-boater or boater is designated on the initial member roster for the year. If their status changes during the year the points go to the category that they fished in most during the year. If a tie in category, deciding factor will be what they designated on clubs application. You would be given points from the boaters division and counted as non-boaters points and vice versa.
(i) Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by competitors. During the official practice and competition, each competitor must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver. This preserver must be worn at all times the combustion engine is operating. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is shut off. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification.
(ii) Tournament officials have the right to delay, shorten 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.
(iii) New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation 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. In the event a Boater is summonsed by either the State Police or Coast guard agents on the water, that person shall be disqualified from the event The non-boater will not.
(iv) IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, COMPETITORS SHOULD CALL 911 FIRST AND THEN NOTIFY TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS. COMPETITORS. ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE BOAT AND SEEK SAFE SHELTER IN BAD WEATHER WHERE DANGER MAY BE IMMINENT.
5. SPORTSMANSHIP: Competitors in New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification.
(i) Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the official practice or during the tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation tournaments. No alcoholic beverages or other stimulants or depressants, prescription or otherwise, shall be allowed in the boats during the official practice or competition days, or in the weigh-in area.
(ii) 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 a competitor which reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters and courtesy, shall be reason for disqualification.
(iii) All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states within which they fish.
(iv) 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/or for disqualification. Any disqualification suspension from, or other disciplinary action regarding any tournament or fishing organization shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation in a New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation tournament and/or for disqualification from a New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation event.
6. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT: The use of grippers in landing bass is prohibited. Only artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" or "prepared bait" will be permitted during official practice and competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds. Only ONE casting, spin casting or spinning rod (8 foot maximum length from butt of handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. Other rigs as specified above may be in 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 his or her catch disqualified. When visually fishing 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.
7. HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS: MAXIMUM HORSEPOWER FOR ALL OUTBOARD MOTORBOATS USED IN OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT PRACTICE AND IN TOURNAMENT COMPETITION WILL BE 250 HP. Horsepower cannot exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard. When required, each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard horsepower-rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must NOT exceed the rating specified on this plate nor the horsepower maximum set by NJBN. Each competitor agrees to submit, by his signature on the official entry form, the boat and outboard motor used in the tournament, to an inspection by factory-trained personnel, if there is any reason to suspect the horsepower is in excess of the rating. Normal maintenance of engines is allowed. Changing or altering standard factory parts of a competitor's engine 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 engine is also cause for immediate disqualification from NJBN tournaments. Posted speed limits must be observed and all boats must be operated in a safe manner.
8. BOAT AND MOTOR: For the safety of all competitors, ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH AN APPROVED TYPE OF OPERABLE IGNITION KILL SWITCH. This ignition-kill device must be attached to the driver's body any time the combustion engine is operating. Any time 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 that are 16 feet or more in length may be used. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnel of the boat. Standing on the outboard or seats while fishing is not allowed. An electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering. However, trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. All BLADDER tanks and any other 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 a manufacturer's authorized dealer are permitted. 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.
9. BASIC BOAT EQUIPMENT: Every boat must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment as well as a functional bilge pump and LIVEWELL SPACE, PROPERLY AERATED, TO ADEQUATELY MAINTAIN ALIVE A LIMIT CATCH OF BASS BY BOTH COMPETITORS USING THE BOAT. NJBN recommends live-wells be maintained at full level and aerators on manual. Tournament officials shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is proper and adequate. Boaters must make a back seat available for non-boaters each competition day.
10. BOAT IDENTIFICATION: Prior to each day's start, each boat MUST be given an inspection check by a tournament official. Each day, each boat will be given a number, which MUST remain with the boat until turned in each day at the check-in. This number must be displayed upon the request of tournament officials, and turned in to the officials at each check-in.
11. BOAT OPERATION AND EXPENSE: B.A.S.S. Weekend Series rules are in effect for the points trail. In boater-non boater type events, boaters will fish from the front deck, non boaters from the rear deck, no exceptions. Non boaters are only allowed to drive the boat in emergency situations in competition with the exception of loading and unloading from trailers. Any boater, who, in the judgment of the officials, operates the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap their non boater partner shall be disqualified. At no time may a boater competitor request that the non boater competitor not fish. In view of the large expense involved in operating and maintaining a tournament bass boat, it is suggested that the non boater partner share, at minimum, the cost of gas and oil for the competition day.
12. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Tournament waters shall be established by the Tournament Director for each tournament. Each competitor must obtain this information from the NJBN Tournament Director. Any water within these boundaries posted "Off-Limits" or "No Fishing" by state or federal agencies as well as the live-bass-release area established by the Tournament Director will be OFF-LIMITS and will be announced at the Tournament Briefing. Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. All angling must be done from the boat.No fishing is permitted within twenty five (25) yards of any other contestant that is anchored (power pole or conventional anchor) that has there trolling motor up.
13. COMPETITORS MUST REMAIN IN BOAT: During the competition days, competitors 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. Competitors must leave from and return to official checkpoints by boat. Both competitors must remain in the boat at all times except in case of dire emergency. In such an emergency, competitors may be removed from their boat to either A BOAT OPERATED BY OTHER COMPETITORS OR A RESCUE BOAT DESIGNATED BY THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR. 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 scored in the tournament. In the event of a needed restroom break, contestants are allowed to leave the boat upon which all fishing must cease until partners are back together in the boat. If a competitor violates any of the above conditions to contact a tournament official by phone or other means or 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 for the competitors 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 as determined by the Tournament Director or his designee. Towing boats on trailers during tournament hours is prohibited, except by the direction of tournament officials.
14. OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT: There shall be only one official point for check-out in the morning and check-in in the afternoon, which points shall be designated at the Tournament Briefing. At the time of check-out, all competitors and their boats shall be in full conformity with all rules set forth by the Tournament Director. At check-in, all boats shall identify themselves by means of the numbers described in Rule 10 and proceed immediately to the designated weigh-in area. Partners must stay together, and numbers must be turned in at check-in. Each Tournament may be different and you will be advised of any change the morning of the event.
15. SCORING: Tournament standings, auxiliary awards and final winners shall be determined by the pound-and-ounce weight of each competitor's catch during the competition days of the tournament. Only Largemouth and Smallmouth bass will be weighed. All contestants shall request that their big fish be weighed in the event there is a tie in weight. The limit for boaters shall be a combination of 5 of the above species and varieties per day, unless otherwise specified by tournament officials. The limit for non-boaters shall be a combination of 5 of the above species and varieties per day. At no time shall a competitor have in his or her possession more than the tournament limit. Tournament officials will conduct checks for violations of this provision, and in the event a competitor has in his possession more than the above-described limits, Tournament officials shall cull down to the limit described, beginning with the largest bass. The official length for bass shall be determined by the Tournament Director and announced at the Tournament Briefing. In most cases it will be the longest state limit covering the tournament waters. Only bass as described above which measure the official length or more on the longest straight line, shall be weighed. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the official length, shall result in a penalty of 1 pound for each such bass if the minimum length is 12" and 2 lbs for each fish with a 15" limit, which 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 competitors check in at the official checkpoint they MUST present all LEGAL fish in their possession to a tournament official to be counted, measured and weighed. Once a competitor's catch is measured, counted and verified by a tournament official, that competitor may not return to the boat until their catch has been weighed and recorded. Bass must not be on stringer at any time during the tournament.
16. POINTS: Points will be awarded to NJBN members in the Boater and Non-Boater categories for their respective finish among NJBN members from the tournaments that they fish. 200 points will be awarded to the 1st place finisher in each category. The 2nd place finisher will be awarded 199 points with each position there after dropping by one point. A 100-point show up bonus will be awarded to any angler who competes, reports to the weigh in with his weigh in slip, has no fish to weigh in and who has not been disqualified from that event. If the weigh in slip is not turned in, there will be no show up points given, you will be considered a non-participant and receive zero points. You must be affiliated with a club in good standing with the New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation prior to the tournament in order to receive points.
17. CATCH AND RELEASE: For each legal, dead bass, presented to weigh-in officials, the competitor shall be penalized the following, to be deducted from their daily score: 1 dead fish – .25 lb., 2 dead fish – .75 lb, 3 dead fish – 1.5 lb, 4 dead fish – 2.5 lb, 5 dead fish – 3.75 lb. The Tournament Director or his designees shall have sole authority for assessing penalty points.
18. LATE PENALTY: Competitors who are not in the official checkpoint area (designated the morning of the event) as described in Rule 14 at the appointed time shall be penalized at the rate of one pound per minute late to be deducted from the total weight of his catch that day, including any weight to be counted toward a "big bass award". Any competitor more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for that day's catch. There shall be no excuse for tardiness, and in no case shall 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 cease upon check-in. After the tournament begins, fishing the tournament waters is prohibited except during tournament hours. Exact starting and check-in times will be announced at the Tournament Briefing. It is the angler's responsibility to confirm check-in times each day on the daily pairings.
19. Club Team Invitational: (Amended 4/2012) A Club may be invited to the Team Tournament providing they are in good standing.A member will only get funded for the regional event if your club or angler has 12 participation points and/or fish three out of five tour events the year you qualify. There will be no funding for any angler that did not fish 3 of our 5 events of the qualifying year. Funding will be the responsibility of the qualifier himself beginning 2013. For the Team Tournament, the rider may request the front of the boat and fishing location for half of the day. That person must have a valid Boater Safety Certificate. If location and control of the boat is not allowed by the boater, shall be cause for disqualification of that angler. A non boater, if found abusing the boat or attempting to put the boat or boater in a dangerous position can be asked by the boater to take the back seat but the rider can still fish his water unless that water may present a hazard to the boat or it's equipment. Tournament director shall depending on the circumstances enforce that rule. Any decision by the tournament director or committee will be final. A decision may not be made instantly, as a result of said complaint, no final results will be made until the decision has been rendered.
20. PAYOUTS: Payouts will go to the top five anglers from the Boater division and the top five from the non-boater division. This will be based on a 50 boat field. Respectively payout field will increase and decrease upon reaching that next level number. Example: <50 entrants paid out to four, <60 entrants five, <70 entrants six etc.. The Federation Nation of New Jersey shall pay back to the winners 80% of the net collected minus any expenses. Tournament fees shall be set by the board. Monies collected for each respected division shall be paid out to that division. Lunker for the boater side shall be 10% of the entry fee collected and 10% from the non-boater side of the entry fee collected and paid back at 100%. Each angler will be competing against their division. Before receiving payouts you must provide your social security number, boaters safety certificate (unless on file), both your current B.A.S.S Nation and B.A.S.S. membership cards.
Payouts for the Team Tournament will go to the top teams and heaviest weights of individual anglers.
21. DIVISIONAL WINNERS:
Points Trail: will be selected by the top three places at the end of the year from both divisions. The top three points leaders from the boaters division and the top three points leaders from the non-boaters division shall move on to the Divisional Tournament. The two alternates will be selected from the boater side of the points trail.
Team: The top six from the Team Tournament shall advance to the Divisional. The top points leader of the points trail shall be the team captain.
Bass Club World Championship: The winning Club(s) of the Team Tournament in their order of finish shall qualify for the Bass World Club Championship. Financing for their trek (if funds are available) shall go to the top team. In order of their finish, down to six clubs would qualify for the Bass Club World Championship. The rule set forth by B.A.S.S. Nation is that we can send up to six teams provided 12 teams participate. Basically 50% of the entered teams qualify to advance. If 10 teams enter, 5 teams go etc.
22. PAIRING OF COMPETITORS: Two competitors will be assigned to each boat (see rule 3 for entry). Announcement of your fishing partner shall be posted on the internet. All competitors will be given a member contact sheet. It shall be the responsibility of both partners to make reasonable contact prior to the event and make the necessary arrangements. It shall be the responsibility of each partner to appear at a mutually agreed upon location with sufficient time remaining to check out at the official checkpoint and start on time. Tournament officials shall have no responsibility for finding missing partners. The Tournament Director, at his sole discretion, may reassign partners prior to the morning take-off. It is suggested that a minimum of 30 minutes is required for preparation to depart to the check-out point. When two competitors check out at the beginning of the day, they must stay together and within sight of each other and each other's catch throughout the day until the weigh-in is completed except in case of dire emergency (see Rule 13). A competitor must not allow any bass caught by him to be counted on the score of another competitor. No culling down to the other angler. In such a case, both competitors shall be disqualified from this tournament and from all future tournaments conducted by New Jersey B.A.S.S Nation.
note: The category you selected when your club signed you up is the category you will fish for the year. In the event a boater is paired with a boater, the boater who signed up with a guaranteed rider shall be considered the boater. Unless the two partners agree to use the others boat would be the only reason that could take place. They together should decide on fishing locations, shared expense and operation of the boat from the front deck.
(i) First Place Boater Division: Heaviest weight of legal fished weighed • official weight of largest fish (if largest fish was weighed) • the number of fish weighed • by means of the tournament director
(ii) First Place Non Boater Division: Heaviest weight of legal fished weighed • official weight of largest fish (if largest fish was weighed) • the number of fish weighed • by means of the tournament director
(iii) Ties for positions in both divisions shall be resolved by means of the sequence set forth from the above and enacted by the by tournament officials
(v) If the tie is not broken by applying the foregoing procedures, an absolute tie shall be the outcome and points and prizes awarded accordingly. Both shall receive equal highest points and divide any monies the same. If the decision involves a money place and a non money place, the prize is equally split from that.
23. WAIVER AND RELEASE: As a condition of participation in each tournament, each competitor must execute a waiver and release of liability, complete application, and a name and likeness release.
24. PROTEST PROCEDURES: Anyone who feels that he/she has witnessed an infraction of any tournament rule and any rider that feels his fishing opportunity has been compromised may submit protest. There will be at the official weigh in location a form for filing a protest available for any angler wishing to do so. The protest will then comply with the following outline for action:
1...The person wishing to make protest should immediately notify the Tournament Director upon arrival at weigh-in. The protest must be submitted within 15 minutes of the official end of the tournament weigh-in procedure.
2…The Tournament Director will then make a determination of the validity of the protest.
3…All such valid protest shall then be considered. The Tournament Director after consultation with the Rules Committee shall determine possible action. If no conclusion can be made at that time, the protested angler shall not receive monies if this is the case until the matter is resolved.
4…The use of a polygraph test will be made available and put to use if deemed necessary. The protester shall be responsible for the cost of the test if the result of the tested person is negative.
5…THE DECISION OF THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR SHALL BE FINAL IN ALL MATTERS.