Rules and General Regulations for the NCTBF Team Tournaments for 2017.
There are 9 Team Tournaments scheduled for 2017. The NCTBF expects strict adherence to the following rules by all contestants.
BFL rules will be the basis for these tournaments and any questions raised not covered by the rules below will follow the BFL rules. Any NCTBF member in good standing may fish in the Team Trail Tournaments. These tournaments will be one day tournaments and there are NO pairings. You may fish with the partner(s) of your choice. See extended team parings and points information below.

    The interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director. Decisions of the tournament director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. Questions or rules change request may be presented to the NCTBF President and the Board of Directors in writing for review and consideration for the 2018 tournament season. Each contestant 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. Protests are to be made in writing within 30 minutes of the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day.
    Payback is based on the number of paid entries for each tournament. Payout to the field will be 1 – 10 Teams. We will round up on the 6th team for an additional payout spot. Guaranteed payout to the top 3 boats regardless of the total number of boats in the field. Top 3 spots for boats 3 – 35, top 4 spots for boats 36 – 45, top 5 spots for boats 46 -55 and so on. Team Trail Tournaments are designated as NCTBF and State Team support tournaments and are geared towards funding the State Team Qualifiers that earn their position through participation in the Team Trail Tournaments. You may register and fish on the day of each tournament and you may become federated on the day of each tournament. Participation is open to all members of the NCTBF who are 16 years of age or older. Any person under the age of 18 entering a NCTBF tournament must also have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the entry form – the parent or legal guardian must also be federated for the youth to participate in any NCTBF tournaments. All contestants must have a valid fishing license for the waters they fish.
    The entry fee for each Team Trail Tournament is $180 per boat and $20 to enter the big fish/side pot. Registration and entry fees for each of the 9 tournaments will be accepted on our website or may be mailed into the NCTBF home office located at 2634 Long Shoals road Lincolnton, NC 28092. Please mail a check made payable to the NCTBF or The North Carolina Bass Federation along with the fully completed entry form available on the website. You may register for each team trail event up to the Tuesday before the tournament by 12:00 a.m. Eastern time. The blast off order will be posted on the NCTBF website no later than 12:00 a.m. on the Thursday prior to the tournament. We will accept teams to be federated and they may register for that days tournament on the day of any team trail tournament. Only cash will be accepted when you register late and late registrations will be placed last in the blastoff order for that days tournament.
    Morning registration for each tournament day:
    Each contestant must check in at the tournament trailer on the morning of the tournament. Registration hours are 4-6 a.m. local time the day of each tournament. You will receive your boat number, weigh-in information and raffle tickets. Additional raffle tickets will be available for you to purchase and we thank you for your support of the NCTBF and its projects.
    Raffle Tickets:
    Each contestant will be given a single raffle ticket when they check in at the tournament trailer as part of their entry fee for – Cabelas, Bass Pro Shops or Gander Mountain gift cards in varying denominations – $10, $25, $50 and up to $100 based on overall participation. You will have the opportunity to purchase additional raffle packages for sponsor prizes. The cost for each raffle package will be $5 for one package, $10 for three packages and $20 for eight packages. Each package will have an additional raffle ticket for the gift cards as well as a second set of raffle tickets for additional prizes – Prizes may include but are not limited to any major sponsor provided prizes to include Ranger gear, Lowrance electronics, self inflating life vest, culling systems, YETI products and more. The more participation that we have the greater the number of awards that will be provided. You may prepay for your raffle packages online and you may purchase multiple raffle packages. Winning raffle ticket numbers will be posted on a board by the tournament trailer. A Go-Pro video will be posted on the website of the raffle drawing. Please check the board and turn in your ticket to receive your prize. All prizes and prize winners will have their picture taken and posted onto the website.
    You will fish with your own partner. All participants must be NCTBF members
    Teams will receive points at each tournament based on the place that they finish. *See the point scale at the bottom of the rules. Team Trail Tournaments are scored in two categories. Team points and club points. These scores will be tracked throughout the season and used to qualify clubs and teams for year end awards and team advancements. The top 3 teams in points from their best 4 tournaments out of the 9 team trail tournaments will be guaranteed a place on the State Team and will fish in the District 2 Semi National Tournament. Additional teams may advance on to the State Team based on the total average participation rate per event for the year. The top 3 teams will advance with an average of 3 to 39 boats per event, the top 4 teams will advance with an average of 40 to 49 boats per event, the top 5 teams will advance with an average of 50 to 59 boats and top 6 teams will advance with an average of 60+ boats in the team trail tournaments. Everyone that fishes in at least 4 of the 9 Team Trail Tournaments will qualify to fish in the State Championship where the top 6 boaters and the top 6 non-boaters will qualify and advance on to the State Team and will fish in the District 2 Semi National Tournament. Anyone who qualifies to fish in the State Championship and does not have a partner will be paired with their counterparts to fill all boater and non-boater positions for the State Championship. Any open position may be filled by the tournament director with any ready, willing and available federated person to include event staff and any state directors. Fill in personnel will receive any and all prizes for which they qualify.
    To qualify for Team year end awards the same partners must have fished together in the four qualifying tournaments that rank in the top three of all team points for the 2017 season. Top team awards will be issued to the teams who’s highest teams scores in their best 4 tournaments combined are the highest for the Team Trail Season. Year end awards will be distributed at the State Meeting on November 11th 2017
    To qualify for Club year end awards you should register your team under your clubs name. Top club awards will be issued to the clubs who’s best 3 teams scores in their best 4 tournaments combined are the highest for the Team Trail Season. Your clubs teams do not have to fish together in any of the same tournaments. Clubs may have more than three teams competing in any of the tournaments. Only the best three teams scores from any single tournament will be used for year end awards. Year end awards will be distributed at the State Meeting on November 11th 2017
    Club assignments will be made to individuals and teams who choose to join the NCTBF and that do not belong to a club at the time of their first team trail tournament based on area codes and zip codes as the NCTBF grows throughout the year.
    All Team Trail Tournaments will be won by the team with the highest total weight of their combined 6 fish.
  5. PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Team Trail Tournaments
    Entry fees are due upon registration. There will be a guaranteed first place prize of $5,000 minimum with 100 paid boats in any of our Team Trail Tournaments.
    Published payouts for each Team Trail Tournament is based on 100 boat entries. Entry fees may be transferred or refunded before Tuesday at 8:00 pm before any tournament. Refunded entry fee is subject to a $25 service charge. There will be no transfer or refund of tournament entry fees after Tuesday at 8:00 pm – those fees will be paid out to the field. NCTBF Regional or Team Trail tournaments may not exceed 250 boats. Complete teams will take priority over individual fishermen. The NCTBF Open Children’s Charity Tournament shall not exceed 300 boats.
    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 within 14 days prior for each qualifying tournament. The sharing of tournament winnings with noncontestants in exchange for information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters is strictly prohibited and will be cause for disqualification from the tournament.
    All waters on the tournament lake or river are off limits Monday thru Thursday, the week of the tournament. No one will be allowed on the tournament waters for any reason starting Monday morning 12:00 am through Thursday Night at 11:59 PM. Friday before the tournament is alowed as a practice day. Off limits in coastal river systems is any water that is within 120 miles and is reachable by water from the tournament blastoff site.
    Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is running from boat check until weigh-in each day of the tournament. 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 must be seated and a driver must be behind the steering wheel in full control of the boat whenever the combustion engine is running and in gear. At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. Competitors may leave their boat and seek shelter in bad weather or when danger is eminent. They must, however, stay within sight of each other.
    All contestants 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, to the NCTBF and the NCTBF’s sponsors, the sport of fishing and NCTBF ‘s 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 2017 Bass Fishing League (BFL) which is the NCTBF guide. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration or tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure. Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months. Suspension/disqualification, probation or ban from any tournament or fishing organization to run concurrently with said issues. Any other words (profanity), conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules.
    In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, NCTBF shall have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete by returning the entry fee, to disqualify a contestant or impose any penalty outlined above.
    You must register as either a boater or a non-boater for your team when you register to fish in a team trail tournament. Your designation will determine your role in the State Championship. Either fisherman may operate both the boat and the trolling motor at any time during the tournament. Contestants 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 the tournament director or to communicate with NCTBF approved photographers or film crews. Boaters may use smart phones and/or tablets during tournament hours for GPS, mapping, weather, power generation, tidal charts, personal fishing notes and related data. At no time during tournament hours may contestants 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. Depending on the need to maintain an equal number of boaters and co-anglers the tournament director may fill a vacated spot with anyone who is ready willing and able to compete to include tournament work staff and regional directors and directors at large to complete the team. Fill in fishermen may receive any awards to which their fish weight might qualify them for.
    All boats must be propeller-driven, a minimum of 16 feet in length and have a rear deck. All boats must be equipped with wheel steering; no other steering device will be permitted. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated livewell space to maintain alive a limit catch of bass by both contestants. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition will be 250 horsepower, not to 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 or the 250-horsepower maximum set by NCTBF. By signing the entry form, contestants agree to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by NCTBF personnel. 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 NCTBF 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. 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 and an automatic shut off handle.
    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 not limited in any way for use in the NCTBF Team Trail Tournaments unless local regulations are more restrictive, in which case local regulations prevail. Only one fishing rod may be used at a time. Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. Trolling is defined as operating the combustion engine to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your boater or co-angler for verification.
    Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat except areas posted or otherwise 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 NCTBF, 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 the tournament and/or the removal of official local, state or federal barricades at any time to make an area more accessible by boat is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification from the tournament. Contestants must leave and return to the check-in by boat. The boat must remain in the tournament waters during the tournament day. No tournament boat may be loaded on a trailer before the weigh-in except with the permission of the tournamenty director. In the event of equipment failure or emergency the tournament director must be notified as soon as it is safe to do so. There are then two permitted methods of returning to the check-in: (1) by both paired anglers remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or (2) with permission from the tournament director, by one or both paired anglers entering the boat of another tournament contestant. Under these two conditions both contestants’ catches may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead-fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules) provided that the co-angler’s fish are adequately marked so as to provide clear distinction of the boater’s catch and the co-angler’s catch to the tournament director. Contestants who elect to return to the check-in by any other means than cited above without prior approval from the tournament director will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day. Any contestant returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the tournament director or his designated tournament official. It is the sole responsibility of contestants to locate the tournament director to request a restart. Partners must remain together at all times and within sight of each other until the weigh-in verification is signed. The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for restroom breaks is permitted.
    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 in the morning or failure to check in at the check-in point will result in disqualification. All fishing must cease upon check-in.
    Contestants who are not at the check-in area at the appointed time will be penalized 1 pound per minute, deducted from their total weight. Any contestant more than 15 minutes late will lose credit for that day’s weight.
    Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated livewell. Four (4) ounces will be deducted from the total weight for each dead bass presented for weigh-in. The four (4) once penalty will not be subtracted from a teams big fish but will be deducted from that teams total weight. The determination of what constitutes as a dead bass is solely at the discretion of the weigh master.
    Scoring is determined by the pounds and hundredths or ounces of each contestant’s catch during each qualifying tournament. Only largemouth, spotted, redeye, shoal, bodie, meanmouth or smallmouth bass are accepted species. No regurgitated forage or other foreign matter may be placed in a bass. A total of 6 fish may be weighed in for a team trail event. Anglers possessing more than the tournament limit of bass will be penalized with the loss of their big fish. A team that brings in a short fish will lose the short fish and one pound will be deducted from their total weight. The minimum length limit for bass will be based on State Regulations, in team format that will be 4 any size and 2 over 14 inchs, unless the lake limit will differs. A courtesy measure will not be allowed at the weigh in station. Once you turn your fish over to the weigh-master those fish belong to the NCTBF and the state and will be released back into the body of water from whence they were caught.
    Ties in tournaments will be resolved by combining and dividing the awards equally among the tied contestants.
    Ties for the last positions that will advance to the state team will be broken first by the total number of fish weighed in for the tournament(s), then by the total number of live fish weighed in for the tournament(s), then by the heaviest bass weighed for the tournament(s). Ties in the State Championship: If a tie remains between boaters after the preceding qualifications then the winner will be decided by a one hour fish off with the fisherman with the most weight in that one hour winning. If a tie remains between non-boaters the tournament director will flip a coin to determine the winner. Choice of coin flip will go to who had the earliest flight number on day 2.
    The consumption of alcohol in any form is not allowed in the boat or in the weigh-in line during all days of competition. There are no Logo restrictions other than no B.A.S.S. Logos are allowed during any tournament event. No offensive, profane words, symbols or pictures will be allowed. All decisions made by the tournament director shall be final. Some logos may be provided to our anglers and if so must be worn for any photo, televised or recording requests. You must comply with any photo, television or recording request to receive any funds to include but not limited to your tournament winnings for that tournament.
    Each contestant 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 participate in or to pass an examination will result in disqualification from the tournament, loss of all points to date and disqualification from the team trail. Truth verification tests will be used at NCTBF ‘s sole discretion, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by the NCTBF.
    Liability insurance of $300,000 coverage (minimum) is required of all boater contestants in NCTBF tournaments. A copy of this insurance must be kept in their boat at all times and be readily available upon request. The first 3 boats in the blast off order of a tournament will have to present their proof of insurance on the morning of the tournament.
    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.

Team Trail Tournaments will be scored on a 300 point scale with 1 point separation between each participants finish. 1st place = 300, 2nd place = 299 3rd place = 298 and so on until all teams have received their scores for the place that they finished. Teams with zero weight will receive a participation score of 25 points.

Fish with your own partner or partners throughout the team trail season
Your team may weigh in up to 6 fish – heaviest bag wins
You must designate who is the boater and who is the non-boater but anyone can run the boat or trolling motor. Designation is to determine who is the boater and who is the non-boater at the State Championship.
Buy a raffle ticket and help support the NCTBF
Use common sense and good judgement. If it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t
Watch your language. Cursing can get you disqualified. Treat the NCTBF officials and event staff with courtesy and respect.
Have fun

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