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FISHERS OF MEN -

NATIONAL TOURNAMENT TRAIL

BERKLEY TEAM SERIES RULES AND REGULATIONS 2017

 

1.         PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY

Open to all individuals, male and female, except;

Any angler who has competed in a BASS Elite Series event (excluding the Bassmaster Classic and BASS BassFest) or FLW Tour event as a boater (excluding the FLW Cup) during the 12 months prior to any Fishers of Men Event, including the Fishers of Men National Championship, is not eligible to compete in that event.

Those under 18 years of age, not fishing with a parent, must have written permission from a parent or guardian. Each competitor must be a member in good standing and hold a current Stren Team Series or Gold membership. No membership required for a legal substitute, as described in rule 16, fishing one tournament as a sub. Fishers of Men reserves the right to reject any entries which we feel are not in the best interest of the tournament.

Fishers of Men division directors are eligible to compete in the division in which they are the director, provided they follow all of the guidelines set by the National Office. A copy of these guidelines will be made available, by the National Office, to anyone upon request.

 

Membership fees are as follows:

Legacy Series membership                                     $30

Berkley Series membership                               $40

Gold Membership                                                     $55

Bassmaster Team Membership (optional)              $10

 

Memberships are to be completed online or submitted to the division director prior to fishing your first tournament.

Legacy Series Membership Benefits: Membership packet and eligibility to compete in any Fishers of Men Legacy Series Tournament. A Legacy Series member may upgrade to Gold Membership at any time by paying an additional $25.

Stren Team Series Membership Benefits: Membership packet and eligibility to compete in any Fishers of Men Stren Team Series Tournament. A Stren Team Series member may upgrade to Gold Membership at any time by paying an additional $15.

Gold Membership Benefits: Membership packet and eligibility for you and any immediate family member residing in that household to compete in any Fishers of Men Stren Team series or Legacy Series Tournament.

All participants must sign the release of liability form to be eligible to compete.

 

2.         ENTRY FEES

Stren Team Series entry fees shall be $150.00 per team per tournament, which includes Big Fish . Entry fees for divisional tournaments should be mailed to the division director or paid online and must be postmarked no later than the Friday 8 days prior the tournament, or paid at the Friday night pretournament meeting. All entries received after the entry deadline, or at the Friday night meeting, may be assessed a $25.00 Late Fee.

***Any team paying an entry at the pretournament meeting must have at least one team member in attendance prior to the beginning of the inspirational message, and remaining until the conclusion of the meeting.***

Absolutely no entries will be accepted after the introduction of the main speaker at the pre-tournament meeting.

Absolutely no entries will be accepted the morning of the tournament!

There will be a fee charged on all checks returned for insufficient funds.

 

3.         PRIZE PAYOUT

Prize money will be awarded following the weigh in at each divisional tournament. One place will be paid out per five teams entered. The big bass pot will be paid to the team with the biggest bass of the tournament. Winners are responsible for any and all taxes on any moneys or prizes won. 

 

4.         BONUS BUCKS

The "Bonus Bucks" program is designed to increase tournament payout for those who wish to compete for a higher purse. This totally optional program features 100% payback of a $25 per team entry, in a 50%; 30%; 20% split, which will be paid to the three highest finishing teams who elect to enter the "Bonus Bucks" program. Bonus Bucks entries for the District Championship Tournaments and National Championships must be prepaid with the tournament entry. No bonus bucks entries will be accepted at the pretournament meeting for the District Championship Tournaments and National Championships. National Championship Bonus Bucks entry is $50.

 

5.         OFF LIMITS

In ALL Fishers of Men Divisional Tournaments, the tournament waters will be off limits from 5:30 pm Friday until the Saturday morning blast-off.

 

5a) DIVISIONAL TOURNAMENTS

Each team series division will be classified as either an “Off Limits With Practice” division, an “Off Limits With NO Practice” division, or a “No Off Limits” division. The division’s classification will be determined by the division director. Each division’s classification will remain unchanged for the entire season and will apply to all five of the regular season tournaments in that division.

 

1. “OFF LIMITS WITH PRACTICE” DIVISIONS

The tournament waters shall be off limits from 12:01am the Monday preceding the tournament until safe light on Friday morning. Friday will be an official practice day. The tournament waters will be off limits again from 5:30 pm Friday until blast-off. TEAMS MAY NOT SOLICIT INFORMATION FROM ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN ON THE TOURNAMENT WATERS DURING THE OFF-LIMITS PERIOD. Teams may not have the assistance of any non-competitor for the purpose of locating or catching fish on the official practice day or the competition day. (See exception for legal substitute in Rule 16) Any competitor found guilty of violating the off limits period will have their catch disqualified and face a disciplinary hearing before being allowed to fish any more on the Trail. If either of the team members is in violation of the off limits rule, both members of that team will be disqualified unless pre-approved as descibed below.

*-Exception-*  It is permissible for one team member to compete in a tournament, alone or with a legal sub, even if his/her partner has been on the tournament water during off limits as long as (1) no information is shared between the partners, AND (2) the team requests approval from the tournament director for one team member to compete in the tournament while the other team member will not be competing and will be on the water during off limits, AND (3) the tournament director approves the request BEFORE THE OFF LIMITS PERIOD BEGINS.

 

2. “OFF LIMITS WITH NO PRACTICE” DIVISIONS

The tournament waters shall be off limits from 12:01am the Monday preceding the tournament until the tournament blastoff. TEAMS MAY NOT SOLICIT INFORMATION FROM ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN ON THE TOURNAMENT WATERS DURING THE OFF-LIMITS PERIOD. Teams may not have the assistance of any non-competitor for the purpose of locating or catching fish on the competition day. Any competitor found guilty of violating the off limits period will have their catch disqualified and face a disciplinary hearing before being allowed to fish any more on the Trail. If either of the team members is in violation of the off limits rule, both members of that team will be disqualified unless pre-approved as descibed below.

*-Exception-*  It is permissible for one team member to compete in a tournament, alone or with a legal sub, even if his/her partner has been on the tournament water during off limits as long as (1) no information is shared between the partners, AND (2) the team requests approval from the tournament director for one team member to compete in the tournament while the other team member will not be competing and will be on the water during off limits, AND (3) the tournament director approves the request BEFORE THE OFF LIMITS PERIOD BEGINS.

 

3. “NO OFF LIMITS” DIVISIONS

In “No Off Limits” divisions there will be no off limits or official practice days for divisional events except during the pre-tournament meeting hours. Teams may not have the assistance of any non-competitor for the purpose of locating or catching fish on the competition day.

 

5b) CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENTS

The District Championship Tournaments will be 2-day tournaments. There will be 3 official practice days preceded by a 7 day off-limits period on the tournament waters. The tournament waters will be off limits again from 5:30 pm Thursday until the Friday morning blast-off. The National Championship Tournament will be a 3-day tournament  following 5 official practice days, which will be preceeded by a 12 day off limits period. The tournament waters will be off limits again from 5:30 pm Wednesday until the Thursday morning blast-off. Teams may not solicit information from anyone who has been on the tournament waters during the off limits period. Teams may not have the assistance of any non-competitor for the purpose of locating or catching fish on the official practice days or the competition days. (See exception for legal substitute in Rule 16)

 

5c) ALL TOURNAMENTS

The use of electronic communication devices for the purpose of sharing fishing information during tournament hours or practice days, is prohibited. All teams assume responsibility of finding out the time and location of the Friday night pre-tournament meeting from their respective director.

 

6.         TOURNAMENT HOURS

Tournament hours will be from safe light to 3:00 p.m. We reserve the right to assign flights and change hours if necessary.

 

7.         LAUNCH SEQUENCE

Starting positions for teams who entered before the late fee deadline will be determined by either a drawing or a random number asignment by a computer prior to the meeting. Teams that enter the tournament at the meeting may be assigned blast-off numbers in the order in which they entered. Participants not in attendance at the meeting (whether preregistered or not) will be assigned a starting position at the back of the line by the division director.

 

8.         SAFETY

Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times. Each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved personal floatation device, securely fastened, at all times while the boat is being propelled by the combustion engine. Furthermore, a kill switch must be fastened to the driver any time the combustion engine is propelling the boat. Failure to do so is grounds for disqualification of the offending team’s catch. Running lights must be operational and turned on at the blast-off of each tournament. Each competitor‘s boat must be equipped with a livewell system capable of keeping a tournament limit of bass alive. Any boat equipped with a motor that exceeds the horse power rating of the boat according to the manufacturer is prohibited from being used in a Fishers of Men Tournament. All auxiliary gas tanks and bladder 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 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 the boat. During the tournament, no portable gas tanks or containers capable of holding gasoline can be placed anywhere on the tournament waters or shoreline for use by any tournament competitor.

 

9.         SPORTSMANSHIP

Each contestant is expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and conservation. No team may fish within 50 yards of any other boat which is anchored with the trolling motor up. Furthermore, no team may fish within 25 yards of any other boat without the other boater’s permission. Permission may not be granted to any team at the exclusion of any other team. No hole sitting by a non-competitor or by another competitor, to aid a tournament participant will be allowed. Violators will have their catch disqualified.

 

10.       TACKLE AND FISHING METHODS     

Only artificial baits may be used. No live or cut bait is permitted (pork baits are permitted). All bass must be caught alive in a legal and sporting manner. No snagging. Each competitor may only use 1 rod at a time. No more than 1 line in the water at a time per angler. Trolling with the combustion motor is not permitted. No competitor may leave the boat to land or catch fish.

 

11.       STATE AND FEDERAL GAME REGULATIONS

All participants are expected to abide by all state and federal laws and game regulations. Any team who intentionally violates a law or regulation in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage will have their catch disqualified. In the case of multiple governing authorities, the strictest law is applicable.  Any participant who consumes, or is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, stimulants or depressants during any Fishers of Men function will have their catch disqualified. (prescribed medications taken per doctor’s instructions are excluded)

 

12.       SCORING

A limit of 5 bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass) may be weighed in. Minimum lengths will be set at the discretion of the division director but at no time will be less than the legal limit. Lengths will be measured with mouth closed. A short fish brought to the scales will not be weighed, and will result in a 1 pound penalty. Dead fish will be penalized .25 (1/4)  pound. The dead fish penalty will also apply to any fish weighed as a Big Fish if that fish is dead. All culling must be done at the time the 6th fish is caught; no team may continue fishing with more than the tournament limit in the livewell at any time during the tournament, with the exception of dead fish that is not included in their limit. The penalty for possessing more than 5 fish, bringing more than 5 fish to the scales, or culling at the ramp will be 3 pounds. On any water where State or local laws prohibit culling or impose limits of less than 5 fish, the state or local laws will replace the above as the rule.

 

13.       EMERGENCIES

Competitors shall remain with their partners in the boat at all times during the tournament, except in the event of sickness or brief excursions for "nature calling", severe storm or other such hazard. It is permitted for a competitor to leave the boat for marina services. On competition days, competitors may leave the boat to dislodge it, but only to return the boat in the direction it came from. Leaving the boat, on a competition day, to advance it is not permitted. (In falling water conditions, a team may leave the boat to advance it only to return from water they accessed without leaving the boat.) If for any reason either or both team members decide to leave the tournament waters early, both members shall bear full responsibility for notifying a tournament official. If one team member leaves the water early, he/she must notify the director before returning to fish and the other team member may continue fishing in his/her absence. In the event that he/she does not intend to return, his/her partner may continue fishing alone for the remainder of the tournament hours. In case of a breakdown, one partner may return with fish by another tournament boat or a Fishers of Men staff boat while the other partner is permitted to stay with the disabled boat.

 

14.       WEIGH-IN PROCEDURES

Weigh-in will be on a first come first serve basis. Once fish have been presented to a tournament official to be weighed-in all fish become the property of the F.O.M.N.T.T. and no additional fish may be brought to the scales. Bags will be limited in order to avoid a bottleneck at the weigh-in tanks.  Teams not weighing any fish are still required to check in with tournament officials in order to account for all teams. Once a team member has checked in or left the boat for the pupose of checking in, neither team member may fish or continue fishing.

 

15.       LATE PENALTY

Competitors who are not checked in by the check in deadline will be penalized at a rate of 1 pound per minute, up to 15 minutes at which time their catch will be disqualified.  The contestants will retain their participation points for their yearly total. Late penalties will be deducted from "Big Fish" weight as well as total weight.

 

16.       CHANGE OF PARTNERS & USE OF SUBS      

A permanent partner change may only be made prior to the start of the teams second

tournament within the division with all points retained. In the event of a team split where

both original partners obtain new partners to continue competing in the division, both

new teams shall be entitled to the points earned by the original team in their first

tournament. A participant may fish solo in as many tournaments as becomes necessary

and retain all points. The following may serve as a substitute in a tournament at any time

while still retaining all points:

  • Grandparent
  • Parent
  • Spouse
  • Sibling
  • Child
  • Grandchild
  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Niece
  • Nephew
  • First Cousin
  • Any in-law of the above relations
  • Any youth who has not reached his/her nineteenth birthday on or before December 31, 2017

Adult/Junior teams and Male/Female teams See rule #20 for legal substitutions.

 

Any member of your division who has competed in at least three of your division’s

regular season tournaments during the current season may serve as a legal

substitute in the Team Series National Championship tournament.

 

At any of the Team Series District Championship Tournaments, any angler who has qualified to compete in the tournament may serve as a legal substitute for any team competing in the tournament. Prior to competition, the team must declare which angler’s team they are representing for the purpose of advancing to the National Championship.

 

A legal substitute may serve as a sub in as many tournaments as needed,

however, before serving as a sub for a second time, he/she must become a Stren Team

Series member or Gold member. A substitute may not fish alone. In multiple day events a

team may use any combination of original partners and legal subs to have two anglers in

the boat each day. One of the team members must always be one of the original partners.

At least one of the original team members must compete in the tournament for the team

to recieve tournament points. No other substitutions will be allowed. Hardship cases may

be appealed to the National Office. Partner disagreements do not constitute hardship

cases.  

 

17.       PROTEST AND POLYGRAPH TEST

Any protest must be submitted in writing to the tournament director within 15 minutes of the close of the weigh-in. The Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail reserves the right to give a polygraph or other truth verification test to any participant at any time. This test does not have to be administered on site and may be set up by the tournament director at his discretion. All participants agree to abide by the results of any polygraph or other truth verification test administered. In the event of a protest and an off-site polygraph or other truth verification test the tournament director will have the option of mailing all the checks to the teams in the money pending the outcome of the test.

 

18.       CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

The team having the highest cumulative point total in each division will be declared the Division Points Champions for that division, provided they have entered at least three tournaments within that division. They will receive the Points Championship Pot, jackets, plaques and an automatic berth in the year-end National Championship Tournament. In the event a division has cancellations and has less than three tournaments, there will be no points champions for that division. All ties in the cumulative year end standings will be broken by season cumulative net weight. The winning team in each divisional tournament will receive 150 points, 2nd place149 points, 3rd place 148 points and so on. In the event of a tie in a tournament both teams will receive the points for the place they are tied at, and the subsequent place will remain vacant. (Example: A tie for 3rd place would result in both 3rd place teams receiving 148 points. The next team behind them would be the 5th place team and would receive 146 points.) Teams not weighing any fish will receive 1 less point than the last place team(s) with fish. Furthermore all teams who attend the pre-tournament meeting (whether entered in the tournament or not) will receive an additional 50 points, which will be applied to the teams cumulative point total for the year, for the purpose of qualifying for the District Championship Tournament. (At least one team member must be in attendance prior to the beginning of the inspirational message, and remain until the end of the meeting) Points will run through all 5 Tournaments within that division and may not be transferred to any other division.

 

19.       DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT ELIGIBILITY

After all 5 regular season tournaments are complete and scores are totaled, the top 80% of each division's teams (by cumulative season points) who have entered at least 3 of that division's 5 tournaments will be eligible to enter the District Championship Tournament in their district. All teams must enter at least 3 of the 5 regular season tournaments within their division to be eligible to qualify for the District Championship in their district.

All anglers who have entered at least 5 divisional tournaments in any division or combination of divisions, and attended at least 3 pre-tournament meetings, in any division or combination of divisions, will be eligible to enter any District Championship tournament anywhere in the country at the end of that season. Those anglers may enter as many District Championships as they wish.

In the event that an angler has qualified to fish a District Championship as described above, but is not on a team that has entered enough Division tournaments to qualify, that angler must have a partner that has also qualified for that championship, enter with a legal substitute as described in rule #16, or fish alone.

All Fishers of Men team series division directors are automatically eligible to enter in any District Championship Tournament except the one in their own district. A director’s tournament partner for the District Championship Tournament must be the partner he/she fished the season with, or an angler who qualifies as a legal substitute or is approved by the National Office prior to entry. Automatic eligibility for directors does not apply to "one year interim" directors. They are subject to the same District Championship Tournament eligibility rules as regular teams.

 

20.       DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT  

The District Championship Tournament will be a 2-day tournament. There will be 3 official practice days preceded by a 7 day off-limits period on the District Championship waters. All teams are required to attend the meeting to be held the evening prior to the first day of competition. (at least one team member must be in attendance prior to the beginning of the inspirational message, and remain until the end of the meeting). Those teams who do not have at least one member in attendance at the meeting will be declared ineligible to compete. Teams may practice from two boats on the official practice days. Entry fees will remain at $150.00. Deadline for entry will be posted in the tournament details section of the Fishers of Men website. Bonus Bucks entries for the District Championship must be prepaid with the tournament entry. No bonus bucks entries will be accepted at the pretournament meeting. There will be 1 Big Fish paid each day. The top 20% of the competing teams by cumulative weight in this tournament will advance to the National Championship Tournament. In addition, the highest finishing Adult/Junior team and the highest finishing Male/Female team in each District Championship will earn a berth in the National Championship Tournament. To be eligible to compete for the National Championship spots as the highest finishing Adult/Junior team and the highest finishing Male/Female team, you must compete in the District Championship with your original partner or a substitute which does not change your Adult/Junior or Male/Female team status and must have done so throughout the regular season. An Adult/Junior team is defined as a team with one member who has reached his/her nineteenth birthday on or before December 31, 2017, and another member who has not reached his/her nineteenth birthday on or before December 31, 2017.

In the event of a tie for first place in a District Championship Tournament, the team who weighed in the largest number of fish during the District Championship Tournament will be declared the winner. If all of the tying teams teams weighed in the same number of fish, then the team who had the heaviest single day weight during the event will be declared the winner. In the event there is still a tie, a fish-off will determine the winner, if possible. The details of the fish off will be arranged by the tournament director.

In the event that inclimate weather forces the cancellation of one day of competition, the standings from one day of competition will be considered the final standings for the event.

 

21.       NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT

The National Championship Tournament will be a 3-day tournament following 5 official practice days, which will be preceeded by a 12 day off limits period. Entry fee will be $150.00. Deadline for entry will be posted in the tournament details section of the Fishers of Men website. Bonus bucks entries for the National Championship must be prepaid with the tournament entry. No bonus bucks entries will be accepted at the pretournament meeting. Teams are NOT PERMITTED to practice from two boats on the official practice days. All teams are required to attend the meeting to be held the evening prior to the first day of competition. (at least one team member must be in attendance prior to the beginning of the inspirational message, and remain until the end of the meeting). Those teams who do not have at least one member in attendance at the meeting will be declared ineligible to compete. After two days of competition the field of competitors will be cut to the top 20%. All teams who make the cut and compete on day three will receive a check. There will be 1 big fish position paid each day. The winning team will earn an automatic berth in the following year’s National Championship Tournament, provided they fish at least 3 Fishers of Men divisional tournaments in that year.

In the event of a tie for first place in the National Championship Tournament, the team who weighed in the largest number of fish during the National Championship Tournament will be declared the winner. If all of the tying teams teams weighed in the same number of fish, then the team who had the heaviest single day weight during the event will be declared the winner. In the event there is still a tie, a fish-off will determine the winner, if possible. The details of the fish off will be arranged by the tournament director.

In the event that inclimate weather forces the cancellation of  day 1 and/or day 2 of competition, there will be no cut, and all teams will fish the final day. In the event that inclimate weather forces the cancellation of day 3, the standings from day 1 and/or day 2 will be considered the final standings for the event.

There will be a 1 day tournament held on Saturday for all National Championship competitors who do not make the cut to compete in the final day of the Championship.

 

22.       LIABILITY INSURANCE

All members must carry a minimum of $100,000 of liability insurance on any boat they might use during any Fishers of Men Tournament. Failure to do so, or reporting of false information will result in disqualification of catch. Participants must include the company name and either the policy number or the name of the agent binding the coverage on the entry form for each tournament

 

23.       VIOLATION OF RULES AND DISQUALIFICATION

The violation of a tournament rule by either team member may result in weight loss, the loss of weight up to a particular time in the tournament day (eligible for a restart), loss of weight for the entire day, disqualification for the entire tournament or, in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in future FOM events. If a team is diqualified from a tournament their weight will be recorded as 0 lb. However they will still receive tournament points as if they had just caught no fish. If the director feels that their violation was a willful attempt to gain an unfair advantage or to intentionally cheat, then the director has the right to refuse entry from that team or team members in the future and may inform all other Fishers of Men directors of the situation.

 

24.       RULES ENFORCEMENT

It is the tournament director’s job to enforce all of these rules as they are written. Infractions of any rule may result in a penalty or disqualification of catch.

 

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