PRO/AM TOURNAMENT FORMAT AND RULES OF THE FLORIDA B.A.S.S. NATION

The Florida B.A.S.S. Nation (hereinafter referred to as FBN) Tournament format shall be Anglers vs. Anglers and Co-Anglers vs. Co-Anglers. This Pro/Am Format and the distinction and separation between these two categories shall be effective in all FBN Tournaments, including but not limited to Regional Qualifying Tournaments, and the State Championship Tournament.

REGIONAL QUALIFYING TOURNAMENTS
Each Region of the State shall conduct four (4) 1-day Regional Qualifying Tournaments to qualify FBN members for participation in the State Championship Tournament.

QUALIFYING FOR THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
All participants must compete in at least two (2) Qualifying Tournaments and finish in the top 70% of the field in the division (Angler or Co-Angler) they are fishing.

If a qualified Angler is unable to fish as an Angler in the championship tournament and has not qualified as a Co-Angler, he/she may fish as a Co-Angler providing for the following:

  1. Weight will only be considered as an Angler.
  2. Final standing will be considered as an Angler,
  3. Will not qualify for state team through the Co-Angler side.
  4. For the purpose of daily fishing, will be governed by the Co-Angler rules as set forth in paragraph 1 & 3 of “Boat Operation” rule.

If a qualified Co-Angler wishes to fish as an Angler, that person must have previously qualified as an Angler.

In the event there are not enough Anglers available for the State Championship Tournament, the Tournament Director retains the right to have a Co-Angler fish as an Angler without requiring that individual to have previously qualified as an Angler.

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
The FBN will conduct a two-day State Championship Tournament after all Qualifying Tournaments have been completed. The location and date of the State Tournament will be established by the Tournament Officials of the FBN.

A mandatory pairings meeting will be held the Friday before the two-day State Championship.

The results of the State Championship Tournament will establish the overall Angler and Co-Angler of the year for the State of Florida, and the Angler and Co-Angler State Tournament Champion. Additionally, the State Championship Tournament will determine the twenty (20) members, and two (2) alternates of Florida’s State Team that will advance to the BASS Nation Eastern Regional Tournament.

OFFICIAL PRACTICE DAYS
The FBN will recognize two Official Practice Days immediately preceding each Regional Qualifying Tournament; and the State Championship Tournament. It is the responsibility of every competitor in a FBN Tournament to know and observe the tournament rules during Official Practice Days.

PAYBACKS
There will be an 80% payback in all Regional Qualifying Tournaments, and the State Championship Tournament. Paybacks will be based on the Payback Schedule voted on by the FBN Board of Directors in 2011. A copy of the Payback Schedule is attached.

Entry Rules and Registration

All entries must be submitted on an Official Entry Form of the FBN along with the appropriate fees and a copy of current boat insurance. Official Entry Forms are available on the FBN website. Online registration is considered and Official Entry Form of the FBN.

The entry fees for all FBN Regional Qualifying Tournaments and the State Championship will be $100.00 per angler. Tournament Officials reserve the right to suspend the acceptance of Official Tournament Entry Forms prior to established deadline, as well as the right to extend the acceptance date deadline. All checks or money orders should be made payable to the Florida B.A.S.S. Nation, Inc. or FBN, Inc. Any checks returned for any reason will result in a $50.00 fee plus the amount of the original check to cover any bank fees.

All competitors must register in person with the Tournament Officials at the date, time and location prescribed, and must attend the Tournament Meeting in person, unless previously arranged with Tournament Officials.

Upon signing the Official Tournament Entry Form, a competitor agrees to submit to a polygraph examination for verification of tournament results or inquiries, if deemed necessary by Tournament Officials. The administration of the polygraph examination shall be the responsibility of the FBN, and it shall be administered at their discretion by a credible firm. The date, time, location, and the scope of the questions to be asked during the polygraph examination, will be determined by the FBN. Any competitor summonsed to take a polygraph examination agrees to be available for the examination at the selected date and time. Failure of the competitor to cooperate completely in this matter is grounds for immediate disqualification, forfeiture of all FBN Tournament winnings, and/or other sanctions or penalties determined by the FBN.

All winners will be required to fill out an IRS Form W-9 prior to receiving their check and will receive an IRS Form 1099 at the end of the year if their total winnings for the year total $600 or more.

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
All competitors operating a boat on tournament waters during the Official Practice Day(s) or during the actual competition days of an FBN Tournament must submit a current copy of their boat insurance policy as proof of insurance to the Tournament Officials. The policy must contain coverage of at least $300,000 combined limited liability boating insurance, specifically name the boater as an “insured user”, and have the expiration date printed on the policy. If entering more than one tournament, a copy of the valid insurance policy must be on file with FBN. Tournament officials at any time may randomly request a copy of a boater’s insurance policy during the tournament. Failure to produce an active policy could result in a loss of that day’s weight.

RULES AND ENTRY FEE FOR OPTIONAL SIDE POTS
All side pots of the FBN are OPTIONAL fees and are not part of the tournament fee. The FBN recognizes side pots for Big Bass and Total Boat Weight.

Big Bass Side Pot
An optional side pot of $10.00 per person is available in each division (Anglers and Co-Anglers). Only those contestants that participate in their respective division’s Big Bass side pot will be entitled to the monies and awards for the largest bass caught among the participants in the side pots.

If a tie should occur between two or more anglers for a Big Bass Award, the tie breaker will be the angler with the largest number of legal fish weighed in during the tournament. Should a tie still remain, then the angler with the largest number of legal LIVE fish weighed in during the tournament will prevail. In the event a tie still remains, the side pot will be split.

Total Boat Weight
The Total Boat Weight will consist of the combined weight of both anglers fish paired in each boat. Only those anglers that pay to participate in this side pot will be entitled to the monies for the heaviest weight of the boat. This includes anglers fishing alone. If one angler in a boat is not in the side pot, and the other angler is, he/she will be eligible to win all the monies in the side pot based on the combined weight of the two anglers.

If tie should occur between two or more boats, the tie breaker will be the boat with the largest number of legal fish weighed in during the tournament. Should a tie still remain, then the boat with the largest number of legal LIVE fish weighed in during the tournament will prevail. Should a tie still occur then the boat with the single largest fish will prevail. In the event a tie still remains, the side pot will be split.

POINTS SYSTEM

The following points system will be used to determine the Regional Angler and Co-Angler of the Year and the overall Angler and Co-Angler of the Year for the State of Florida. Separate points will be awarded to the top 100-anglers and co-anglers in all FBN Tournaments held around the State including the State Championship. The points system will start with the first place finisher in each tournament receiving 200-points and will reduce in increments of 2-points through the 100th place finisher. Table 1 below list the points an angler can expect to receive if he/she finishes within the top 100 of the Division of a Regional Qualifying Tournament or the State Championship Tournament.

Table 1 - Points System

PARTICIPATION POINTS
Every angler participating in an FBN tournament will receive 10-participation points for fishing a tournament, regardless if the angler weighs-in a fish or not.

If a tie should occur between two or more anglers, the tie breaker will be the angler with the largest number of legal fish weighed in during the tournament. Should a tie still remain, then the angler with the largest number of legal LIVE fish weighed in during the tournament will prevail. In the event a tie still exists, both anglers will receive the same points for the tied position.

TOURNAMENT RULES

GENERAL
  1. The following Tournament Rules were developed for the Florida B.A.S.S. Nation (hereinafter referred to as the “FBN”) and approved by the Board of Directors. These rules shall apply to all FBN Qualifying Tournaments, and the State Championship Tournament.
  2. The interpretation and enforcement of these rules is the responsibility of the State Tournament Director and the tournament staff (hereinafter referred to as “Tournament Officials”) of the FBN, which may impose appropriate sanctions for rules violations that may include but are not limited to disqualification, forfeiture of prizes or prize money or suspension from participation in future FBN Tournaments.
  3. Competitors are expected to obey all applicable Florida Boating or Fishing and Wildlife Statutes and Rules. Violation of such statutes or rules may result in your disqualification from tournaments and being banned from future participation in FBN Tournaments. All local, state, and federal laws supersede FBN Tournament Rules and By-laws, should there be a conflict.
  4. It is the duty and responsibility of every competitor in a FBN Tournament to report any violations or infractions of these Tournament Rules to the Tournament Officials. Failure to report violations or suggestions to violate these rules is cause for disqualification.
  5. Competitors, who wish to lodge a protest concerning a “rules violation” during an FBN Tournament, must do so within thirty (30) minutes after the tournament weigh-in has been completed, but prior to the presentation of the awards. All protest must be presented in writing to a Tournament Official.
  6. Falsifying any official weigh-in form or any other official FBN Tournament document will be cause for disqualification.
  7. The decision of the Tournament Officials shall be final in these and all tournament related matters.
SPORTSMANSHIP
  1. Competitors in FBN Tournaments are expected to follow the highest standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infractions of these basic and fundamental sporting principles may be cause for disqualification.
  2. The use of alcohol or illicit drugs by a competitor during an Official Practice Day or an FBN Tournament will not be tolerated and will be cause for automatic disqualification from the current tournament and future FBN Tournaments.
  3. It is the duty and responsibility of all FBN Tournament competitors to show extreme courtesy toward non-competitors who may be angling or boating on the tournament waters. Any actions of tournament competitors that may reflect unfavorably on the FBN’s efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, courtesy and safety are grounds for disqualification from the tournament.
  4. Any competitor registered for an FBN Tournament not showing up on tournament morning will be suspended for a period of one (1) year from the infraction date. Petitions for reconsideration of penalties may be entertained by the FBN in the event of a health issue or other emergency situations that resulted in the “no-show” by the competitor.
  5. Alcoholic beverages, illegal stimulants or depressants will not be allowed in a competitor’s boat during an Official Practice Day or an FBN Tournament. This rule shall apply to the weigh-in area as well.
  6. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of any felony, crimes involving moral turpitude, or any other conduct that may reflect unfavorably upon the FBN and its efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair and healthy competition, or inhibit compliance with these tournament rules will be grounds for rejection of an application for participation in a tournament or disqualification.
SAFETY
  1. Safe boat operation is the responsibility of all tournament competitors on an Official Practice Day and during an FBN Tournament.
  2. All competitors are required to wear a Coast Guard approved “chest-type” life jacket anytime the boat’s combustion engine is operating. The life jacket must remain securely fastened until the competitor reaches his fishing location and the combustion engine is shut off. A violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification.
  3. Tournament Officials may delay or cancel the start of an FBN Tournament for inclement weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Additionally, tournament waters may be restricted because of inclement weather or other safety reasons during the event.
PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY
  1. Participation in FBN tournaments is by invitation and is open to “members in good standing”, who are sixteen (16) years of age or older, and who are active members of an FBN affiliated club.
  2. Affiliated club members must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to participate in any FBN Tournament as an Angler. It is the responsibility of the competitor to provide Tournament Officials with the appropriate documentation to satisfy any “proof of age” concerns or discrepancies.
  3. A candidate for competition in an FBN Tournament who, in the judgment of the Tournament Officials is handicapped in such a manner as to unfairly hinder or endanger the safety and well-being of other competitors shall not be eligible to participate.
  4. Disqualification, suspension or any other disciplinary action taken against an angler by any other fishing organization shall be grounds for rejection of an application for participation in an FBN Tournament.
PAIRING OF CONTESTANTS
  1. All participants for an event must be signed up by 5:00 pm on the day before the tournament. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
  2. Two anglers will be assigned to each boat. Partner assignments will be random and done on the evening before the tournament. The announcement of your fishing partner shall be done by “Text Messaging”, no later than 7:30 pm on the day before the event.
  3. Partner Assignments: Anglers will be guaranteed to use their boats at all FBN Tournaments but will not be guaranteed a partner in every qualifying tournament. In the event there is a shortage of co-anglers, anglers will be entitled to fish qualifying tournaments alone. No contestant shall be “held out” of the parings draw for the purpose of fishing alone.
  4. Guaranteed Co-Anglers: Any co-anglers who guaranty an angler by submitting an Official Tournament Entry Form naming the guaranteed angler on it will be guaranteed to fish the tournament.
  5. A co-angler not guarantying an angler may sign-up for any event but participation will be based on boater availability and the order in which the competitor’s application was received. In the event there is a shortage of anglers, competitors not paired will be entitled to a refund of their entry fee.
  6. Partners are responsible to establish a mutually agreed-upon meeting location, with sufficient time to reach the ramp area before the tournament launch time. FBN Tournament Officials shall have no responsibility for finding “missing” partners. It is suggested that a minimum of sixty (60) minutes is required for preparation to depart to the launch area.
  7. Once a boat leaves the launch area at the start of the tournament, the two anglers must stay together and within sight of each other, and each other’s catch, throughout the day until weigh-in is completed, except for “natures call” or a credible emergency. A competitor will not allow any bass caught by him to be counted on the score (weight) of another competitor. In such case, both competitors shall be disqualified from this tournament and from all future tournaments conducted by the Florida B.A.S.S. Nation.
  8. It is suggested the Co-Anglers compensate the Angler a minimum of $30 for fuel and other expenses for each tournament day.
  9. To accommodate B.A.S.S.’s requirement of holding a “TRUE” pro/am format, at the State Championship Tournament, anglers will be required to have two people in the boat. This can be a co-angler or an observer so long as there is a second person in the boat (observers will be randomly paired during the event, similar to co-anglers).
BOAT AND MOTOR
  1. All boats must be equipped with all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment.
  2. The maximum horsepower rating for all outboard motors used in FBN Tournament competition shall be 250 hp and a minimum 40 hp. Additionally, the maximum horsepower of an outboard motor shall not exceed the rating set by the U.S. Coast Guard for the particular boat it is mounted on and listed on a “manufacturers” plate attached to the boat. At the start of an event all outboard and trolling motors must be in good operating conditions.
  3. Any boat manufactured prior to November 1, 1972 must adhere to the rating set by the U.S. Coast Guard for similar boats. Upon signing the FBN Official Tournament Entry Form, all competitors agree to submit to a boat inspection and have the outboard motor checked by factory trained personnel, if there is any reason to suspect the horsepower of the outboard motor exceeds the maximum rating (250 hp) or exceeds the listed boat manufacturer’s plate attached to the boat.
  4. Normal maintenance to increase the performance of an outboard motor is authorized, however, changing or altering standard factory parts of an outboard motor to increase the horsepower over the factory horsepower rating is forbidden, and will result in disqualification.
  5. For safety reasons, ALL boats must be equipped with an operable ignition “kill” switch that must be attached to the driver’s body anytime the combustion engine is operating.
  6. Anytime a boat is “under way” with the combustion engine running, a driver/boat operator must be in the driver’s seat and in full control of the craft.
  7. Fishing boats seventeen feet or more in length may be used in an FBN Tournament.
  8. Boats with “Raised Platforms” higher than the “gunnels” of the boat will not be allowed.
  9. An electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering. The use of the electric controlling motor or the combustion engine for trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited.
  10. Bladder tanks and other types of auxiliary gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional “factory options” gasoline tanks that are installed by a manufacturer’s authorized dealer are allowed. Boats that do not have factory installed gasoline tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in portable tanks, which must meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations, and must be properly secured in the boat.
  11. No portable tanks or containers capable of holding gasoline may be placed anywhere on the tournament waters or shoreline, for use by tournament competitors during an Official Practice Day or during an FBN Tournament.
  12. Barges or similar cumbersome water crafts are not permitted for use in an FBN Tournament. Tournament boats must be capable of reaching all tournament waters and return in a reasonable amount of time, so as not to handicap any contestant.
  13. Boats equipped with “Stick Steering” shall not be permitted to be used by any competitor during an Official Practice Day or during an FBN Tournament.
  14. No air boats may be used to fish during an Official Practice Day or during an FBN Tournament.
  15. All boats must have a functional “bilge pump” and live-well, properly aerated to adequately maintain alive, a limit catch of bass by two anglers in the boat. The Tournament Officials shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is "proper and adequate."
  16. None of the aforementioned rules shall prohibit a properly designated Tournament Official from approaching or boarding any competitor’s boat at any time during the Official Practice Day(s) or during the actual FBN Tournament competition for the purpose of inspecting the boat for violations of these rules. A Competitor who refuses to allow his/her boat to be inspected by an FBN Tournament Official shall be disqualified from the tournament and all entry fees and prizes or prize money shall be forfeited. The Tournament Director, at his discretion, may impose additional sanctions regarding future FBN Tournaments.
BOAT OPERATION
  1. During tournament hours, the Angler is in complete control of the boat, to include fishing location(s) and boat operation. Anglers may, at their discretion, choose to fish locations suggested by the co-angler. During tournament hours, anglers are to fish from the front of the boat and co-anglers are to fish from the rear of the boat however, one partner may assist the other, when requested, in landing a fish by using a net, etc.
  2. Any Angler who operates or positions the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap their co-angler will be subject to disqualification.
  3. Any co-angler sharing their angler partner’s fishing locations with other competitors will be disqualified, along with the person utilizing this information.
  4. During tournament hours, contestants may not obtain or receive assistance from non-competitors, follow a non-competitor’s boat or participate in the practice of “hole-sitting” or the placing of markers by anyone.
  5. The use of mobile communication devices, including, but not limited to, cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CB radios, etc., during tournament hours, is strictly prohibited except in an emergency (severe weather, disabled boat, etc.) or to communicate with lockmasters.
  6. Contestants are expected to remain on tournament waters and compete until the official end of the tournament, emergency situations notwithstanding. Failure to do so may result in ineligibility to compete in future FBN Tournaments.
  7. A competitor may not leave the boat to land a fish.
  8. In a credible emergency situation, such as an inoperable boat, one or both competitors may transfer to another tournament boat, or a rescue boat, for immediate return to the weigh-in site. Should one competitor elect to stay behind with the boat to await rescue, the returning competitor may transfer the catch of both partners to the rescue boat and transfer them to the weigh-in-site, under scrutiny of the rescue boat occupants.
  9. A competitor who chooses to remain with the disabled boat to await rescue, waives the right to protest or challenge the official weight of his catch. All competitors involved in the rescue must cease fishing at this point, and their catch must be verified by a Tournament Official in order to be counted in the official tournament weigh-in.
  10. If after the emergency situation is resolved by the Tournament Officials and enough time is left for the anglers to resume fishing, a “restart” will be allowed and the competitors may continue fishing and their catch will be counted. The aforementioned procedure applies only to a credible emergency.
  11. Failure of a competitor to render assistance to another competitor in a credible emergency situation, when requested, may be cause for immediate disqualification.
  12. A boat must remain in tournament waters at all times during tournament hours. Contestants must leave and return to the official check-in point by boat, and both competitors must remain in the boat at all times except in the case of “natures call” or a credible emergency.
  13. No Trailering: Loading a boat onto a trailer and driving to a ramp other than the official tournament launch site, during tournament hours, is strictly prohibited, except under the express direction and authority of the Tournament Officials.
TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT
  1. Competitors in an FBN Tournament may use only artificial lures as bait. No “live bait” or “prepared bait” will be permitted, with the exception of pork strips, rinds, etc.
  2. Only one casting, spin-casting or spinning rod (maximum length eight feet) and one reel may be used by a competitor at a time. Other similar types of rigs may be in the boat, ready for use, however only one (1) rig is permitted to be used at a time.
  3. All bass must be caught alive, and in a conventional sporting manner. A competitor who is guilty of “snatching” or “snagging” fish on spawning beds will have their day's catch disqualified. When visually fishing for “bedding bass”, all bass must be hooked inside of the mouth to be counted as a legal fish.
  4. The use of “grippers” to land a bass is prohibited.
PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS
  1. The Tournament Officials shall establish any boundaries on the tournament waters for all FBN Tournaments. It is the responsibility of each competitor to obtain this information from the Tournament Officials prior to Official Practice Day(s) and tournaments.
  2. Only that water open to all public fishing will be considered “Tournament Waters”. Fishing on the tournament waters is permitted anywhere except:
    • (a.) Within 50-yards of any marina gas pump.
    • (b.) Within 50-yards (150-feet) of another angler’s boat which is first anchored or secured in a fix position with the trolling motor up. Anchored includes shallow water anchoring systems such as Power Poles or Talons. Competitors are not permitted to allow select competitors to fish within the 100-yard circle and exclude other anglers.
    • (c.) Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “NO Fishing” by state or federal agencies will be off limits. This includes positioning boats outside areas posted “Off-Limits” or “NO Fishing” and casting into the posted areas. This action is strictly forbidden and any competitor violating this rule will be disqualified from the tournament.
    • (d.) The live bass release area established by Tournament Officials will be off limits and will be announced at the tournament briefing.
    • (e.) Any waters closed to public fishing will be closed to tournament anglers.
  3. All fishing must be done from the boat.
  4. During an Official Practice Day, or the FBN Tournament, a competitor may not "SKIN DIVE" or "SCUBA DIVE" on tournament waters during an Official Practice Day.
  5. A competitor may not buy or barter for “fishing locations” from other competitors for use during a competition day.
  6. Each competitor is responsible for keeping their fish separate from their partner’s.
OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT
  1. The Official launch site and “check-in” points will be established by the Tournament Officials for each FBN Tournament.
  2. The Tournament Officials will announce a blast off time, otherwise tournament hours are safe daylight until 3:00 p.m. Tournament hours can be increased or decreased by the Tournament Officials.
  3. Prior to launch time, all competitors’ boats will be inspected by a Tournament Official for compliance with tournament requirements.
  4. Prior to the start of an FBN Tournament, each boat operator will be assigned a boat/competitor number. At the end of the tournament day, all competitors will “check-in” with this assigned boat/competitor number before proceeding to the weigh-in area. This includes boats with no fish. Any boat that fails to “check-in” at the end of the tournament day may be subject to disqualification. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in disqualification the tournament and all future FBN Tournaments.
  5. After proper recognition at the check-in point, all fishing must cease and competitors should immediately proceed to the weigh-in area.
  6. Upon the commencement of the two-day FBN State Championship Tournament, fishing or being on the tournament waters is prohibited except during the tournament hours.
SCORING AND FISH CARE DURING TOURNAMENTS
  1. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Red Eyes, Shoal and Suwannee Bass will be weighed at FBN Tournaments.
  2. The tournament limit for each competitor shall be five (5) bass. A competitor may not have more than the tournament limit of bass in the “live well” at any given time during the tournament. Any angler bringing in more than five (5) bass will be penalized that days catch.
  3. The pound and ounce weight of each competitor’s catch during the tournament shall determine the tournament standings, auxiliary awards, and final winners of all FBN Tournaments.
  4. The Official Tournament length for bass shall be fourteen (14) inches, unless the state limit is different, in which case the state limit will prevail. Only bass described above that measure 14 inches or more in length on an "Official Golden Rule" with mouth closed will be weighed. The exception to this rule occurs when “exemption” cards have been made available by the Tournament Official to each competitor prior to the start of the tournament. A “short” fish brought to the scales for weigh-in shall result in the loss of that fish and the competitor’s big fish of that day's catch. No courtesy measurements will be permitted at the weigh-in station.
  5. Don’t Kill Your Catch! A competitor should make every effort to maintain the welfare of his catch throughout the day.
  6. (a.) Each competitor is expected to keep his bass alive by use of a properly aerated livewell. (b.) A bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered may, at the Tournament Officials discretion, not be weighed-in. (c.) The culling of a “dead” fish is strictly prohibited.
  7. Each competitor must present their catch to the weigh-in official. Partners should stay together until their fish are weighed.
  8. Penalty Points: Tournament Officials shall have the sole authority for assessing penalty points.
  9. (a.) Dead fish will be determined at the scales by the Tournament Official. For the purpose of this rule only, a “Dead Fish” will be considered any fish that is not moving. For each legal dead fish presented at weigh-in, the angler will be penalized a quarter of a pound of weight (4 ounces). (b.) Anglers will be penalized 1 pound for each minute they are late checking in at the official check point designated by Tournament Officials. After 15 minutes, the angler’s catch for that day will be disqualified.
  10. The Tournament Officials may make available special weigh-in bags that are designed to help increase the survival rate of the bass. These bags will be available to all competitors in the weigh-in area. No other bags are to be used to bring fish to the weigh-in area when these bags are in use. These weigh-in bags are the property of the FBN and must be returned. Anyone caught with a FBN weigh-in bag in their possession after a tournament is over may be disqualified from future FBN tournaments.
  11. Special Exception: If special weigh-in bags are not in use, competitors may bring their fish to the scales in their own bags and only when instructed by Tournament Officials.
  12. Ties: In case of a tie, the following measures should be employed in this order to break the tie.
    • (a.) The individual with the largest number of legal fish weighed in during the competition
    • (b.) The individual with the largest number of legal LIVE fish weighed in during the competition
    • (c.) The individual with the heaviest single day's catch during competition
    • (d.) The individual with the second heaviest single day's catch during competition
    • (e.) In the unlikely event that there is still a tie, a “coin toss” will be used to determine the winner, and the monies for first and second place shall be evenly split between the two competitors.

Awards

REGIONAL ANGLER AND CO-ANGLER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Using the point system above, the Regional Angler and Co-Angler of the Year honors will be awarded to the competitors in each division (Angler and Co-Angler) with the highest points from three of the four regional tournaments. To be eligible for the Regional Angler and Co-Angler of Year honors, anglers must meet the following requirements:

  1. May only count points received for participating in tournaments of their own Region.
  2. Must fish at least three of the four tournaments offered in the Region. Any angler that participates in all four regional tournaments will only count the best three tournaments so long as they are in the same division.

In case of a tie, the angler with the heaviest weight caught at the State Championship Tournament will serve as the tie breaker. Should a tie still occur, then the angler with the largest bass in the State Championship Tournament will be the tie breaker.

STATE ANGLER AND CO-ANGLER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Each region’s Angler and Co-Angler of the Year for the current year will have the opportunity to compete for the State Angler or Co-Angler of the Year Award. The State Angler and Co-Angler for the State of Florida will go to the Regional Angler and Co-Angler with the heaviest overall weights in the State Championship Tournament. The State Angler and Co-Angler will be the first qualifiers for the State Team.

Ties: In case of a tie, the following measures should be employed in this order to break the tie.

  1. The individual with the largest number of legal fish weighed in during the competition.
  2. The individual with the largest number of legal LIVE fish weighed in during the competition.
  3. The individual with the heaviest single day's catch during competition.
  4. The individual with the second heaviest single day's catch during competition.
  5. In the unlikely event that there is still a tie, a “coin toss” will be used to determine the winner, and the monies for first and second place shall be evenly split between the two competitors.

STATE TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
The angler and co-angler with the heaviest weights at the State Championship Tournament will be recognized as the State Tournament Champion in each Division.

QUALIFYING FOR THE FLORIDA STATE TEAM AND ALTERNATES
The State Championship Tournament will determine the twenty (20) members and two (2) alternates of Florida’s State Team that will advance to the B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Regional Tournament. The team shall be made up of a guaranteed ten (10) fishermen from the Anglers Division and a guaranteed five (5) fisherman from the Co-Angler Division. The last five (5) positions will be determined by the percentage of anglers and co-anglers participation in the State Championship Tournament. It is expected that the State Angler of the Year and the first nine (9) Anglers, will represent the state team at the B.A.S.S. Eastern Regional as boaters, the remaining positions will fish as Co-Anglers, including the State Co-Angler of the Year. The first alternate will be an angler and the second alternate will be a co-angler, as determined by their final state championship standings.

BIG BASS AWARDS OF THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
The anglers in each division catching the Big Bass each day of the State Championship Tournament will be recognized and awarded.