FISHERS OF MEN
NATIONAL TOURNAMENT TRAIL
SHAKESPEARE LEGACY SERIES RULES AND REGULATIONS 2022
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 Bass-Fest),
an FLW Tour event (excluding the FLW Cup), or
an MLF Bass Pro Tour event during the 12 months prior to any Fishers of Men regular season or championship event, is not eligible to compete in that FOM event.
Each Legacy team must consist of one adult and one or more juniors with only two members fishing at one time. No solo fishing in Legacy Tournaments. An Adult/Junior team is defined as a team with one member who has reached his/her nineteenth birthday before January 1 of the current year and at least one other member who has not reached his/her nineteenth birthday on or before January 1, of the current year. Those under 18 years of age, not fishing with a parent, must have written permission from a parent or guardian. Each competitor in each tournament, including championships, must be a current Fishers of Men member in good standing. No membership is 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 two-day events 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:
Individual membership $40 per person
Family Membership $60 per family
Memberships are to be completed online or submitted to the division director prior to fishing your first tournament.
Individual Membership Benefits: Eligibility to compete in any Fishers of Men Tournament.
Family Membership Benefits: Eligibility for the member and any immediate family member residing in the same household to compete in any Fishers of Men Tournament. **Any junior partner can be included in a family membership, whether that junior is an immediate family member residing in the same household or not.
2. ENTRY FEES
Shakespeare Legacy Series regular season tournament entry fees shall be $80.00 per team per tournament, which includes Big Fish. Entry fees for divisional tournaments should be mailed to the division director, paid to the director in person, or paid online by the late fee deadline to avoid the $25 late fee. The late fee deadline for divisional tournaments will be the Friday 8 days prior the tournament, unless otherwise specified by the director.
***In two day events, any team paying an entry at the pretournament meeting must have at least one competing team member in attendance prior to the beginning of the inspirational message, and remain until the end of the meeting. A non-competing substitute can NOT represent a team for the purpose of obtaining the 50 meeting points.
In two day events, no entries will be accepted after the introduction of the main speaker at the pre-tournament meeting.
In two day events, 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 two day divisional event, and following the meeting at each one day divisional event. One place will be paid out per three 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. In the event of a tie, prize money for the place tied for and the subsequent place will be combined and evenly split between the tying teams.
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 National Championships must be prepaid with the tournament entry. No bonus bucks entries will be accepted at the pretournament meeting at the National Championships. National Championship Bonus Bucks entry is $50.
5. OFF LIMITS
There will be no off limits or official practice days for Legacy 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. The use of electronic communication devices for the purpose of sharing fishing information during tournament hours is also prohibited.
All teams assume responsibility of finding out the time and location of the tournament meeting from their respective director.
6. 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 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. Contestants, parents, or anyone acting on a team’s behalf may not buy or barter a fishing location from anyone.
7. TOURNAMENT HOURS
Tournament hours will be from safe light to 1:00 p.m. We reserve the right to assign flights and change hours if necessary.
8. LAUNCH SEQUENCE
Starting positions for teams who entered before the late fee deadline will be determined by either a drawing or a random number assignment 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. In two day divisional tournaments, 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.
Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times. All competitors are required to wear Coast Guard approved personal floatation devices, securely fastened at all times while the boat is being propelled by the combustion engine.
***A “chest type” Life vest must be worn by all junior anglers. Inflatable life preservers are NOT allowed for junior anglers. ***
Inflatable devices may only be worn by adult member of the team, and a “chest type” life vest of the correct size MUST be on board for the adult member. 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.
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. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by all contestants.
Running lights must be operational and turned on at the blast off of each tournament.
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.
11. 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.
12. 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. Bringing short fish or slot fish to the scales will be penalized as described in rule 12. 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)
A limit of 5 (or 3, in some cases) bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass) may be weighed in. The tournament director may reduce the limit from 5 fish to 3 fish in cases where he/she deems necessary. 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 or slot 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 (or 4th, if the limit is 3) 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 a limit of fish, bringing more than a limit of fish to the scales, or culling at the ramp will be 1 pound. That 1 pound will be deducted from the total weight of the team’s best limit of fish. 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. The tournament director may reduce the limit from 5 fish to 3 fish in cases where he/she deems necessary.
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 boat designated by FOM tournament staff while the other partner is permitted to stay with the disabled boat.
15. 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 purpose of checking in, neither team member may fish or continue fishing.
16. AFTERNOON CHECK AND LATE PENALTIES
All teams must be back and checked in by their appointed time. Competitors who are not checked in by their 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. The check in procedure may be a staff person with a check in list, a check in board with numbered chips, or other process as deemed necessary by the director. It is each competitor’s responsibility to know their check in time and the check in procedure.
17. CHANGE OF PARTNERS & USE OF SUBS
Substitutes, in Legacy Series events, are permitted as long as the team's adult/junior status is maintained. A permanent partner change may only be made prior to the start of the team’s 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. There will be no solo fishing in Legacy. The following may serve as sub at any time while retaining all points:
- First Cousin
- Any in-law of the above relations
- Any youth who has not reached his/her nineteenth birthday on or before December 31 of the current year
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 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 receive tournament points. No other substitutions will be allowed. Hardship cases may be appealed to the National Office. Partner disagreements do not constitute hardship cases.
18. 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. In any case when a written protest is filed with the director, it is required that the director must contact the National Office before making a ruling. 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.
19. CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
In each divisional tournament, the winning team 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. To earn these points, at least one competing team member must be in attendance prior to the beginning of the inspirational message, and remain until the end of the meeting. A non-competing substitute can NOT represent a team for the purpose of obtaining the 50 meeting points. Tournament points and meeting points will run through all regularly scheduled tournaments, excluding “Open” tournaments, within that division and may not be transferred to any other division. There will be a maximum of 150 meeting points that a team can accumulate per season, per division. All ties in the year-end standings will be broken by the cumulative weight of fish caught during the season.
20. LEGACY SERIES NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
The Legacy Championship Tournament will be a two-day event. Any team who enters and actually competes in any “Legacy Series” tournament is eligible to compete in a Legacy Series Championship Tournament There will be no off limits or official practice days for Legacy Championships. Exception: "See Rule #5" All teams are required to attend the meeting to be held the evening prior to the first day of competition. Those teams who do not have at least one member in attendance at the meeting will be declared ineligible to compete. Substitutions are allowed in the Legacy Championship. "See Rule #16". National Championship entries fees will be $100.00. This entry includes big bass. One big bass award will be paid each day. Deadline for entry will be set by the National Office and will be announced at a later date. 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 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 bad 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.
Teams finishing in the top 15% or top 10, whichever is greater, in a Legacy Championship will be qualified to fish in the Team Series National Championship for that year. Teams that have earned their birth into the National Championship as one of the top teams in the Legacy Series Championship must compete in the Team series National Championship with their original partner or a substitute that doesn't change their Adult/Junior team status.
Teams that compete in Legacy Series divisional tournaments that take place during the calendar year but after the Legacy Series Championship will qualify for the next Legacy Series Championship.
21. LIABILITY INSURANCE
All boaters must carry a minimum of $100,000 of liability insurance on any boat they 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.
22. 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 disqualified 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.
23. RULES ENFORCEMENT
It is the tournament director’s responsibility to enforce all of these rules as they are written. Infractions of any rule may result in a penalty or disqualification of catch. In any issue not specifically covered in these rules the director must contact the National Office before making a ruling.