Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail



1. INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT • These rules will remain unchanged during 2019-2020 High School Fishing season. Enforcement of these rules as they are written will be left exclusively to the tournament director. Each contestant, coach and boat captain agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. The violation of a tournament rule may result in, but is not limited to, disqualification from the event, weight loss (in whole or in part, for part of a day or for one or more days, for a heaviest bag, single fish or largest fish, or any combination thereof) or ineligibility to participate in future tournaments. Protests and/or alleged rule violations are to be documented in writing or via text message to the tournament director by a witness or boat captain within 15 minutes of the observed violation. Tournament officials, in their sole discretion, reserve the right to consider rule violations reported or discovered at any time for any reason, by any persons, before or after a tournament has ended and assess penalties for any future events including denying entry to compete

2. PARTICIPATION & ELIGIBILITY • Participation is open to all ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grade high school students. Participation by one (1) seventh or eighth grade student per team is permitted. Each team will consist of two contestants and one coach, pursuant to federal law guidelines under the Youth Safe Sports Act of 2017 there MUST be 3 people to a boat at all times, no exceptions. For state championships, each team must compete in the state in which their school is located. A contestant cannot qualify for the National Championship as a member of two different teams. Contestants must be Student Angler Federation members. All entries must be received by close of the meeting during the Friday night meeting/message prior to the tournament. There is no entry fee to participate. Contestants must have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the entry form. Contestants must have in their possession a valid fishing license for the waters they fish if required by law and a current student identification card from the school they represent or other proof of grade level. Random checks will be conducted at each tournament. Failure to provide proof of a valid fishing license within a reasonable amount of time when requested will result in disqualification for that day and any preceding days in which the license was required for the tournament. Contestants are required to follow all applicable federal, state and local regulations and laws. Any violation of such regulations and laws may result in disqualification. There is no limit to the number of teams accepted into a tournament from each school or club. Tournament officials reserve the right to reject any application to compete for any reason whatsoever

Membership fees are as follows:

Fishers of Men High School Angler Series membership is $20 per angler.

Angles must also be a member of the Student Angler Federation

All anglers must be current SAF members. A valid SAF number is required at time of membership….

Boat captains not required to have membership

3. TOURNAMENT LOCATION• All tournament locations will be determined by the state’s high school angler series tournament director.

4. TOURNAMENT HOURS •. All tournament hours will be determined by the state’s high school angler series tournament direct.

5. PURCHASING OF INFORMATION • The purchasing of, or bartering for, information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters, including but not limited to GPS waypoints (other than through commercially available sources) and the hiring of fishing guide services is not permitted by contestants, coaches, boat captains or anyone working on a team’s behalf within 10 days of the start of any tournament. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

6. OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE & COMPETITION • There is no practice period or off-limits period prior to the start of onsite registration. There are, however, specific rules defined below that govern practice within 10 days of each tournament. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may be on tournament waters until the start of onsite registration. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may not enter tournament waters to locate bass or potential fishing waters or sightsee after the start of onsite registration except during tournament hours. Testing equipment on tournament waters after the start of onsite registration is permitted only with prior approval from the tournament director. Within 10 days of the tournament no contestant, coach or boat captain may practice with, hire, barter for, or engage in services with, for the purposes of locating or catching bass on the tournament waters, any person who has been a bass guide for hire on the tournament waters within the last 12 months unless such person is the parent or documented permanent legal guardian of a contestant on a team in the event. Written proof of permanent legal guardianship to the satisfaction of tournament officials may be required. Within 10 days of the tournament contestants may only practice with their teammate that is confirmed in the tournament, their coach, their boat captain or an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister or grandparent) who also meets the above criteria concerning guides or be a registered active participant in a another FOM sanctioned event during this time frame. Nobody else, except a media representative or official approved by the tournament director, is allowed in the boat. Within 10 days of the tournament and extending through competition, contestants, coaches and boat captains may not solicit and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except contestants, coaches and boat captains confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources (quasi-public websites, blogs and/or social media pages, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope, set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals are not publicly available sources). Within 10 days of the tournament and extending through competition, contestants, coaches and boat captains may not follow a non-contestants boat or participate in the placing of markers, brush or other physical fish attractors by non-contestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone. During competition days, contestants, coaches and boat captains may not place brush or other physical fish attractors, including chum of any kind, in tournament waters. Flights over tournament waters, including drones, are not permitted on competition days. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

7. REGISTRATION & PRETOURNAMENT MEETING • Unless prior approval is received from tournament officials, 1 contestant from the team and their coach or boat captain  or parent legal guardian must register and check-in at the designated registration site at the times listed in the tournament confirmation. Contestants and/or coaches or boat captains, legal guardian or parent who fail to notify the tournament director and are more than 15 minutes late for registration check-in may not be entered in the tournament. It is mandatory that all contestants and their coaches or boat captains, legal guardian or parent attend the pretournament meeting at the time and place set forth in the tournament confirmation unless prior approval is received from the tournament director. Contestants and/or coaches or boat captains, legal guardian or parent not present for the pretournament meeting may not be entered in the tournament.

8. BOAT ASSIGNMENTS • Blast off order (boat number) is determined by tournament officials (most events are random draw. Some events may be based on date and time of entry). Onsite entries will receive the last available boat numbers. Each team must be accompanied on the water by a coach who will supply a boat but is not permitted to fish.

9. SAFETY • Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant, coach and boat captain on the water is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved chest-type personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is running from boat check until boats are trailered. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition-shutoff device that must be securely attached to the driver’s body whenever the combustion engine is running. All persons in a tournament boat shall remain seated in a manufacturer-recommended on-plane seating location with a driver behind the steering wheel or at the tiller in full control of the boat whenever it is on plane or the combustion engine is running and in gear. Sitting on pedestal seats while the combustion engine is in operation and in gear is not permitted. Contestants are not permitted to drive the boat when the combustion engine is running with the exception of launching and loading where state laws allow.  Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by contestants, coaches and boat captains. At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may leave their boat and seek shelter in bad weather or when danger is eminent. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

10. SPORTSMANSHIP • All contestants, coaches and boat captains are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, Fishers of Men, tournaments sponsors, the school the team is representing, the sport of fishing, and our combined efforts to promote the sport. Conduct not complying with these standards includes, but is not limited to, the following:

• Violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the rules for the 2019 – 20 High School Fishing season.

• Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration, the pretournament meeting or during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure. • Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substance s.

• Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.

• Suspension/disqualification, probation or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.

• Boat operation in an unsafe or unsportsmanlike manner.

 • Publicly criticizing or questioning the integrity of Fishers of Men or their officials, including but not limited to any rules, policies and procedures.

• Dissemination of disparaging content or content that one should reasonably know would harm the reputation of Fishers of men companies, officials and sponsors.

 • Any other words, conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set forth in the first sentence of paragraph 8. In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, tournament officials have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete, to disqualify a contestant or impose any penalty outlined herein.

11. BOAT OPERATION • Coaches will supply and drive boats for their teams or arrange boat captains to supply and drive boats for their teams. To qualify as a coach or boat captain, the person or persons accompanying a team must be at least 19 years old and reside in the same state as the students comprising the team or be an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister or grandparent) that is at least 19 years old regardless of residence. For students living near state boarders, coaches or boat captains may reside in a neighboring state so long as they reside within 60 miles of one of the students comprising the team. In the event of boat or engine failure after a team is onsite for a tournament, the tournament director may, at his sole discretion, arrange for a volunteer boat captain to assist a team. Bass guides who operate or have operated for hire at any time during the previous 12 months from the tournament date on the designated tournament waters are not permitted as coaches or boat captains unless they are the parent or documented permanent legal guardian of one of the contestants on a team in the event. Written proof of permanent legal guardianship to the satisfaction of the tournament director may be required. The use of a guide as defined above will result in disqualification. Contestants may operate the trolling motor. Coaches and boat captains may provide assistance, including information about locating and catching fish, but are not permitted to fish on competition days. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may not use mobile communication devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, tablets, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., to communicate with anyone about locating or catching fish on tournament waters during tournament hours. Mobile communication devices may be used during tournament hours to communicate with lockmasters about locking, or to communicate with designated tournament officials. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may use smart phones and/or tablets during tournament hours for GPS, mapping, weather, power generation, barge traffic updates, tidal charts, personal fishing notes and related data. At no time during tournament hours may contestants, coaches and boat captains read or discuss social media posts from other contestants. If a special circumstance arises that inhibits a contestant’s ability to compete, the tournament director may allow the contestant to withdraw from competition and maintain the weight caught to that point.

12. BOAT & HORSEPOWER REGULATION • All boats must be propeller-driven and a minimum of 16 feet in length. No barges or similarly cumbersome craft will be permitted without review and permission by the tournament director. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition shall not exceed the horsepower capacity set forth on the “Maximum Capacities” placard described below. Each boat must have a clearly legible “Maximum Capacities” (or comparably titled) placard that includes a maximum horsepower rating affixed to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the maximum horsepower capacity specified on this placard. By signing the entry form, contestants, coaches and boat captains agree to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by tournament officials. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating placard will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and may result in ineligibility to compete in future High School Fishing tournaments. Fishing platforms must be factory-installed equipment. No portable platforms may be used in tournament competition. Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel tanks or auxiliary fuel tanks that are securely strapped or otherwise fastened to the boat. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public and pumped through a hose with a nozzle. The use of generators, other than solar or wind-powered generators, is prohibited in contestant boats during tournament hours.

13. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS • Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the rod in hand. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. All lures must adhere to state regulations. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Alabama rigs and similar umbrella-type rigs are permitted but must follow all state regulations. Only ONE fishing rod may be used at a time. Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. Trolling is defined as operating any combustion engine to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve or using any mechanical propulsion device to move the boat as the sole means of imparting action to the lure. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your coach or boat captain for verification. Boat captains are not allowed to run the trolling motor. Boat captains are not allowed to net fish.

14. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS & BOUNDARIES • Teams may fish anywhere on tournament waters within the boundaries defined by the tournament director that are available to the public and accessible by boat except areas designated as “off-limits,” “no boats,” “keep out,” “restricted,” “no trespassing” or “no fishing” (or similar language or markings intended to restrict public access) by tournament officials, commercial property owners and/or local, state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a contestant’s boat that was first anchored. An anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight or by a Power-Pole, Talon or similar shallow water anchor with the trolling motor in the up position. All fishing must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. The cutting of trees, bushes and/or logs after the start of onsite registration and/or the removal of official commercial, local, state or federal barricades at any time to make an area more accessible by boat or gain access for fishing is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification from the tournament. The use of cables, ropes, chains or any type of block and tackle system to maneuver a boat into fishing waters is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification from the tournament. Teams must leave and return to the check-in by boat. The boat must remain in the tournament waters during the tournament day. In the event of equipment failure or emergency, the tournament director must be notified as soon as it is safe to do so. Teams must remain together at all times and within sight of their coach or boat captain until check-in. The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for restroom breaks is permitted. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification

15. CHECKPOINTS • There will be only one checkpoint for boat check in the morning and one check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check and checkout in the morning or failure to check in at the check-in point will result in disqualification. Designated time will be set for LINES OUT and all teams must return to the designated check point within 30 minutes.

16. LATE PENALTY • Teams that are not at the designated afternoon checkpoint at the appointed time will be penalized 1 pound per minute, deducted from the total weight. Teams more than 15 minutes late will lose credit for that day’s weight.

17. SCORING • Scoring is determined by the pounds and ounces of each team’s catch during each tournament. Only largemouth, spotted, redeye or smallmouth bass are accepted species. No regurgitated forage or other foreign matter may be placed in a bass. The minimum WEIGHT limit for bass is 1 pound. There is no size limit based on inches as all fish are released back into the waters after being weighed.   The winning team is determined by the day’s heaviest catch. The top finishing team in each state championship will advance to the SAF/TBF High School National Championship Tournament held after June 10, 2019 and before June 9, 2020, will advance to that year’s National Championship. Tournaments held after June 9, 2020 will advance teams to the following years National Championship. All participating teams automatically qualify to compete in the Fishers of Men High School Fishing World Championship held in conjunction with the SAF/TBF World Finals tournament.

18. FISH WEIGHING PROCEDURES • All fish caught may be weighed at the request of the angler but only those fish weighing 1 lb or more will count as scorable bass. The weight is not official until boat captain and angler verbally agree on weight. The boat captain is not allowed to touch the fish.  All fish must be released into the water immediately after being weighed. Once the competitor and boat captain agree on the weight, the boat captain will record the fish‘s weight on the MLF app and his score sheet. All teams must furnish their own scales that are approved by Fishers of Men.  Teams must bring them to Friday night meeting for certification.

19. TIES • Total number of fish for the tournament will break ties followed by the heaviest bass of the day.  If a tie remains, it will be broken by the earliest scorable bass of the day.

20. LOGO DISPLAY & MEDIA COVERAGE • Contestants, coaches and boat captains may wear their own apparel. Tournament officials reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to prohibit any contestant, coach or boat captain’s apparel that is determined to be offensive.

21.  PROFANITY The use of profanity will not be permitted during Fishers of Men tournaments.

22. ALCOHOL & TOBACCO • During all days of competition any and all alcohol and tobacco logos are prohibited and may not be worn or displayed. Contestants, coaches and boat captains may not smoke during tournament hours at any event.

23. TRUTH VERIFICATION TEST • Each contestant and coach agrees to submit, by signature on the tournament entry form, to a polygraph or voice stress analysis examination and to abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass an examination will result in disqualification from the tournament. Truth verification tests will be used at the sole discretion of tournament officials, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by tournament officials.

24. INSURANCE • Liability insurance with coverage in reasonable amounts is required on all boats used in Fishers of Men High School Fishing tournaments. Proof of insurance must be with the boat being used and must cover all passengers in the boat. Random checks will be conducted. Failure to provide proof of insurance when requested by the tournament director may result in disqualification.

25.CAPTIONS • The captions at the beginning of each paragraph are intended to facilitate convenience in referring to the various rules. The captions are not part of the substance of the paragraph and should not be used in construction of any paragraph or of this overall set of rules.





 READ BEFORE SIGNING In consideration for permission to voluntarily participate in tournaments, events, programs, and related activities conducted by Fishers of Men either jointly or separately, I acknowledge, appreciate, and agree that: The risk of injury, disability, death, loss or damage to my person or property from the activities involved in this program is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death, and while particular rules, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist; AND, I have been advised by Fishers of Men and have had the opportunity to seek legal counsel with respect to the legal effect of this document; AND, I KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL RISKS REFERRED TO ABOVE, BOTH KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF FISHERS OF MEN , THEIR OFFICERS, OFFICIALS, DIRECTORS, SHAREHOLDERS, AGENTS, AND/OR EMPLOYEES, OTHER PARTICIPANTS, AND SPONSORING AGENCIES, SPONSORS, ADVERTISERS, THEIR PARENT AND AFFILAITE COMPANIES AND, IF APPLICABLE, OWNERS AND LESSORS OF PREMISES AND PROPERTY USED TO CONDUCT THE EVENT (“RELEASEES”) OR OTHERS, AND ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR RISKS ARISING FROM MY PARTICIPATION; AND, I willingly agree to comply with the terms and conditions for participation. If, however, I observe any unusual significant hazard during my presence or participation, I will remove myself from participation and bring such to the immediate attention of the nearest official; AND I, FOR MYSELF AND ON BEHALF OF MY HEIRS, ASSIGNS, PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND NEXT OF KIN, HEREBY RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS RELEASEES, WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY, DISABILITY, DEATH, OR LOSS OR DAMAGE TO PERSON OR PROPERTY, WHICH I SUFFER OR WHICH I AM FOUND TO HAVE CAUSED IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY MY NEGLIGENCE OR INTENTIONAL MISCONDUCT, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES, OR OTHERWISE, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. I agree to submit, by signature on this document, to a polygraph or voice stress analysis examination. Hereinafter known as a truth verification test, and abide by its conclusion. Truth verification test(s) will be used at Fishers of Men sole discretion, and administered by Fishers of Men or its agents. I understand that failure to pass the examination as determined by FISHERS OF MEN will result in disqualification. I certify that the number shown on these forms is my correct taxpayer identification number. Having fully acquainted myself with the tournament rules, I have completed this application and submit it for my entry. In signing this application, and by my presence at the event, I hereby agree to be bound by and comply with all tournament rules, participant release of liability and safety regulations. I expressly assume all risks associated with the tournament. If I am using a boat during the official practice or the event, I certify that I now have, or will obtain prior to the event, property damage\ watercraft liability insurance having a reasonable limit. Said insurance must cover injury and/or damage incurred in connection with the event. Upon request, I will provide satisfactory evidence of said insurance. I certify that training compliant with the Safe Sports Act of 2017 has been made available to me this year. I hereby wave my rights of privacy or publicity with regard to the unconditional right to use my name, voice, photographic likeness, video and biographical information and fishing tips and instructions in connection with any reproduction of same, video\audio productions and\or articles and press releases by FISHERS OF MEN their parent or affiliate companies, and those acting under their permission, anywhere at any time, through any medium or media. I shall not be entitled to receive any royalties or other compensation in connection with such use. I further understand and agree that the tournament officials reserve the right to reject my application for any reason whatsoever.

The Participant(s) signifies by their signature below that they have read and understands the foregoing provisions.


Angler A- Dated___________Age _____ Signed ____________________________________________

Angler B – Dated__________Age _____ Signed ____________________________________________

Boat Captain – Dated________Age ____ Signed ___________________________________________



FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS OF PARTICIPANTS OF MINORITY AGE (UNDER AGE 18 AT TIME OF REGISTRATION) This is to certify that I, as parent/guardian with legal responsibility for this participant, do consent and agree to his/her release as provided above of all the Releases, and, for myself, my heirs, assigns, and next of kin, I release and agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Releases from any and all liabilities incident to my minor child's involvement or participation in these programs as provided above, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES, to the fullest extent permitted by law.


 X A - PARENT/GUARDIAN'S SIGNATURE _______________________________________                  EMERG. PHONE # (s) :_______________________________ Date Signed_____________



 X B - PARENT/GUARDIAN'S SIGNATURE _________________________________________            EMERG. PHONE # (s) :_______________________________ Date Signed_______________