Rules and General Regulations for the NCTBF Team Tournaments. All rules not stated here will fall under BFL rules and regulations. There are currently 12 Team Tournaments scheduled. 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 (unless otherwise posted) will be one day tournaments and there are NO pairings. You may fish with the partner of your choice. See extended team parings and points information below. You are allowed (1) guest pass per season per team member. As the need arises for additional guest passes, the determination of counting points for the Team will be made on a case by case basis. All determinations made by the NCTBF president will be final.
INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT The interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director/ NCTBF president. 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 upcoming 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. NOTE* photos of violations will be considered as evidence against a competitor. Discovery of wrongdoing after a tournament day will be handled on a case by case basis and could include suspension, loss of winnings and/or points. All decisions are made by the NCTBF president and/or the tournament director and will be final.
PAYBACK & PARTICIPATION Payback is based on the number of paid entries for each tournament. Payout follows agreed upon PayScale adopted in February 2017 by the board of directors/VP and Presidents meeting *see meeting notes. Boats 1-5 pay one place, boats 6-9 pay 2 places, boats 9-19 pay 3 places…thereafter we pay out from boats 20-26 = 4 places then every 9 boats after that so 27-36 = 5 places and so on. A Tournament Payout Sheet is available upon request. 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 16 years of age are 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.
TEAM REGISTRATION & RAFFLE TICKETS 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 12 tournaments will be accepted on our website ncbass.org 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 morning of the tournament. Blast off order will be determined by draw when your team signs in the morning of the 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 generally 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 at weigh in and we thank you for your support of the NCTBF and its projects. Raffle Tickets: You will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for sponsor prizes. The cost for each raffle ticket will be $5 for one ticket, $10 for three tickets and $20 for eight tickets +++. 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 prizes that will be awarded. You may prepay for your raffle tickets online and you may purchase multiple raffle tickets. Winning raffle tickets will be presented at the weigh in tent and awarded immediately – You do not have to be present to win so long as you have a representative to watch over your tickets. A Go-Pro video – when available – will be posted on the website of the raffle drawing. All prizes and prize winners will have their picture taken and posted onto the website.
PAIRINGS, POINTS, SCORING & AWARDS You will fish with your own partner. All participants must be NCTBF members. A onetime allowance for perspective members may be granted to participate in our tournaments as an invitation to join our NCTBF. 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 yearend awards and team advancements. The top 3 teams in points from their best 5 tournaments out of the 12 team trail tournaments will be guaranteed a place on the State Team and will fish in the District 2 Semi National Tournament as paid for members of The North Carolina State Bass Federation Team. 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 District 2 Semi National Championship at their expense of $430. 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 five qualifying tournaments that rank their team in the top three of all team points for the 2019 season. Top team awards will be issued to the teams whose highest teams scores in their best 5 tournaments combined are the highest for the Team Trail Season. Yearend awards will be distributed at the State Meeting held in November. 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 5 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 yearend awards. Yearend awards will be distributed at the State Meeting in November 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.
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.
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.
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 within 14 days prior for each qualifying tournament. The sharing of tournament winnings with no contestants in exchange for information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters is strictly prohibited and will be cause for disqualification from the tournament.
OFF-LIMITS All waters on the tournament lake or river are off limits Monday thru Wednesday, the week of the tournament. No one will be allowed on the tournament waters for any reason starting Monday morning 12:00 am through Wednesday Night at 11:59 PM. Both Thursday and Friday before the tournament are allowed as a practice day. Off limits in coastal river systems is any water that is within 120 miles by water from the tournament blastoff site. You cannot practice within 120 miles from the blastoff location on any eastern river systems period.
SAFETY 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, canceled and/or fishing waters restricted due to unsafe weather, water conditions and/or at the tournament director’s sole discretion. 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 and the live wells may not be opened.
SPORTSMANSHIP 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 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.
BOAT OPERATION & SMARTPHONES 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 and or Divisional 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.
BOAT & HORSEPOWER REGULATION 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 live well 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 entering any NCTBF tournament, 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.
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 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 and only one fishing line maybe in the water at any time. You may NOT have two lines in the water at the same time for any reason i.e. dropping your current fishing rod with the line in the water in order to pick up another rod and cast to schooling fish. This is not permitted. 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.
PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS & RETURNING TO WEIGH IN 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/STOWED 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 either getting into or out of any fishing area. 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 tournament 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, may NOT open the live well lids until time to weigh in the fish 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.
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 in the morning or failure to check in at the check-in point will result in disqualification. All fishing must cease upon check-in.
LATE PENALTY 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.
LIVE FISH Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live well. 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 team’s 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 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, mean mouth 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 biggest 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 inches, unless the lake limit differs. A courtesy measure will NOT be allowed at the weigh in station. Once you turn your fish over to the weighmaster 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 & AWARDS 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.
LOGO DISPLAY & MEDIA COVERAGE 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.
TRUTH VERIFICATION TEST Each contestant agrees to submit, by entry into the tournament, 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 the NCTBF ‘s presidents and/or Tournament Director’s sole discretion, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by the NCTBF President and/or Tournament Director.
INSURANCE Liability insurance of $300,000 coverage (minimum) is required of all boater contestants in NCTBF tournaments. A copy of this insurance must always be kept in their boat and be readily available upon request. The first 3 boats in the blast off order of a tournament will/may have to present their proof of insurance on the morning of the tournament.
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.
POINTS SCALE Team Trail Tournaments will be scored on a 200-point scale with 1-point separation between each participants finish. 1st place = 200, 2nd place = 199 3rd place = 198 and so on until all teams have received their scores for the place that they finished. Teams with zero weight will receive the next lowest points awarded equally to all remaining Teams. QUICK RECAP: 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 and in the District 2 Semi National 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. Do not argue with the Tournament Director – his word is final. 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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