2007 Elite Series, Majors and Classic Official rules

2007 Elite Series, Majors and Classic Official rules

OFFICIAL RULES

The following rules shall apply to all Elite Series, Bassmaster Major, and Bassmaster Classic events except that (i) rules for special tournaments (or Majors) may differ from those contained herein and (ii) these rules may be changed by BASS immediately upon notice by BASS to its members which notice may be published on the BASS Internet site at www.bassmaster.com. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director or his/her designee at a tournament. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director or rules committee may impose such sanctions, as deemed appropriate by them, including, without limitation, disqualification, and forfeiture of prizes, entry fee and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. Subject to the appeal process set forth in paragraph 22, below, the decision of the Tournament Director, his/her designee, or the rules committee shall be final in all matters.

Penalties for rules violations may include the following:

(a) reduction of competition hours as determined by the Tournament Director
 

(b) loss of catch for the day of the violation

(c) disqualification from the tournament in question

(d) disqualification from future BASS events which may be from a specific number of events or for a specific period of time or may be a lifetime disqualification

(e) any different or additional penalties determined by the Tournament Director including but not limited to monetary fines

1. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY:

(i) This tournament is open only to current members of BASS who are 16 years of age or older. However, employees, officers and directors of BASS or its parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies and members of their immediate families (spouse, parents, children and siblings, regardless of where they live) are ineligible. Proof of age to the satisfaction of tournament officials is the responsibility of the potential competitor. Any candidate for competition who, in the judgment of the Tournament Director, is disabled in such a manner as to unfairly hinder his/her partner or endanger the safety and well-being of their partner or themselves shall not be eligible. To be eligible for the 2007 Bassmaster Majors, 2008 Bassmaster Classic and Majors, Elite Pro anglers must participate in all 2007 and 2008 Elite Series events in which they are eligible unless approved by the Tournament Director.

(ii) DURING THE OFFICIAL PRACTICE AND COMPETITION DAYS OF ANY BASS TOURNAMENT, NO COMPETITOR MAY OPERATE A BOAT UNLESS THAT CONTESTANT HAS DOCUMENTED PROOF OF A MINIMUM OF $300,000 PER OCCURRENCE BOAT OWNERS LIABILITY INSURANCE (SEE PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT FOR FULL DETAILS) COVERING THE BOAT BEING USED IN THE TOURNAMENT. PROOF OF INSURANCE MUST BE WITH THE BOAT BEING USED AND MUST COVER THE COMPETITORS USING THAT BOAT. RANDOM CHECKS WILL BE CONDUCTED AND ANY COMPETITOR WHO DOES NOT HAVE PROOF OF IN-FORCE INSURANCE WITH $300,000 COVERAGE MAY BE DISQUALIFIED.

(iii) ELITE Pros will be provided a payment schedule. Co-Anglers must provide a properly completed and signed official entry form and the entry fee must be received by the BASS Tournament Department on or before the entry deadline date. CO- ANGLER, BALANCE DUE DATE WILL BE 30 DAYS PRIOR TO THE FIRST OFFICIAL COMPETITION DAY. Any balances or new entries received after the balance due date will be subject to a $50 late fee. Only participants with a current annual membership in the Association of BASS Professionals® are eligible to fish the pro side of any BASS tournament. The Tournament Director reserves the right to discontinue acceptance of applications prior to deadline and also the right to extend the acceptance date. DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE AND NON-TRANSFERABLE REGARDLESS OF DATE OF CANCELLATION. While a sponsor may pay the entry fees, competitors agree to use any and all official equipment provided by BASS in Elite Series and the Bassmaster Classic®. Competitors may miss an event in cases of dire emergency only on approval from the Tournament Director. Elite Pro Angler entry fees for the Elite Series are paid for the entire series, not on an event-by-event basis. While a competitor may miss an Elite Series event in case of a dire emergency, fees for the Elite Series have to be paid on schedule in full and there will be no refund for a missed event.

(iv) The preferred method for Co-Angler tournament registration is online at www.bassmaster.com.

2. 2007 ANGLER CODE OF CONDUCT:

Anglers participating in any BASS sanctioned event shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for the specific event in which they are participating. Anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a manner becoming professional anglers that will not reflect unfavorably on BASS, its members, officers or representatives, tournaments or sponsors.

To this end, anglers shall use their best efforts to demonstrate professionalism and integrity in support of the sport of professional fishing. Any angler who violates any of the provisions of the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in individual BASS sanctioned events, permanent ban from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by BASS.

MEDIA COMMENTS, PUBLIC ATTACKS

The favorable public reputation of BASS as a sanctioning organization in the sport of fishing, the integrity of its officials, and the reputation of its media properties are valuable assets and tangible benefits for BASS. Accordingly, it is an obligation of competitors to refrain from comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow anglers or the BASS organization. Competitors are encouraged to express themselves and have the right to question the rules officials. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with BASS policies are encouraged as opposed to attacks upon the integrity of the rules or officials. However, public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of BASS, BASS officials or sponsors shall be considered conduct unbecoming a professional and will result in disciplinary action.

All anglers who elect to participate in BASS sanctioned tournaments will be required to execute a Participation Agreement containing the rules and regulations, code of conduct and tournament series specific content such as wrapped boat and uniform guidelines.

3. PRACTICE AND COMPETITION:

(i) The tournament waters shall be off-limits to all Pro contestants 30 days prior to the first practice day in all Elite Series, Bassmaster Majors, and Bassmaster Classic events unless otherwise notified by BASS. During the 30 day off limits periods, other than using publicly-available information (e.g. newspaper and Internet reports) Pro competitors cannot solicit, receive, or gather any information via phone, electronic devices, or any other means about locating or catching fish on tournament waters. THERE SHALL BE NO EXCEPTIONS. For a first offense, the competitor will be disqualified from the tournament. For a second offense, the competitor will lose his eligibility for the following year's Elite Series events. During practice and competition Pro anglers cannot solicit, receive, or gather any information from co-angler contestants in the tournament. NO EXCEPTIONS. There will be no off-limits for co-anglers.

(ii) There will be an official practice period immediately preceding the first competition day of the tournament. Bassmaster ELITE SERIES Official practice will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday prior to the first competition day. Bassmaster Major Official Practice will be Monday and Tuesday prior to the first competition day. No competitors will be allowed on Tournament waters after registration until the first day of competition, except under rule 3(iii). Unless otherwise specified, all official times are specific to local host community. The competitor must know and observe these dates. During both the official practice and the tournament, a competitor may not have the assistance or advice of anyone for the purposes of locating or catching bass, nor enter the tournament waters with anyone who has been on the tournament waters during the off-limits period including, but not limited to, a professional guide, state or federal wildlife agency employee, or any other person deemed an "expert" on these tournament waters by the Tournament Director, unless they are a competitor in the tournament. Co-anglers are not allowed to share information with Pro contestants. NO EXCEPTIONS. Flying over tournament waters during official competition is not allowed.

(iii) Anglers renting boat slips may launch boats and proceed immediately to slip location. Testing of engines during off-limits period is not permitted on tournament waters. Testing of engines after the weigh-in is only allowed with permission from the Tournament Director. No Exceptions. During the official practice and during the tournament, a competitor may not "SKIN DIVE" OR "SCUBA DIVE" in the tournament waters.

(iv) No competitor may buy or barter a fishing location from any other competitor for use during any competition day.

(v) During the official competition days of the tournament, a competitor may not use a CB radio, a VHF marine-band radio, a cellular phone, or any other type of communication device for the purpose of locating or catching fish. Competitors are permitted to transmit by radio or telephone only in the event of an emergency. If so equipped, competitors may listen to the marine-band weather information.

(vi) A designated tournament official must be granted access to the competitor's boat at any time during the official practice or competition days. Failure to grant such access may result in immediate disqualification.

(vii) Each competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director any violation or infraction of any Tournament Rules. Failure to report violations, or suggestions to another competitor that they violate these Rules, or false verification of weigh-in forms will be cause for disqualification.

By signature on the Elite Series participation agreement or the official entry form, each competitor agrees to submit to a polygraph examination and abide by its conclusion should he/she be accused of any rule violation. The BASS Tournament Director or rules committee or such person designated by the Tournament Director shall have the discretion to determine the need for a polygraph examination. The BASS Tournament Director or his/her designee shall be responsible for selecting an independent expert to administer and interpret the results and establishing, in consultation with the expert administrator, the scope of the questions which may be asked during the polygraph examination. The BASS Tournament Director or his/her designee shall attempt to have the location of such polygraph examination as close in proximity to the angler's permanent address or such other mutually convenient location as possible. The competitor shall make himself/herself available at the location selected by the Tournament Director and shall cooperate in all respects with such examination. Anglers taking a polygraph examination may be responsible for any and all cost incurred.

4. REGISTRATION:

Each competitor must register in person with official BASS staff at the time and place designated in the schedule of events. Failure to register in person during the prescribed hours shall result in a $50 fine. NO EXCEPTIONS. Any competitor who has not contacted the BASS Tournament Staff 30 minutes prior to the Tournament Briefing, may be disqualified from participating in the tournament. NO EXCEPTIONS. IT SHALL BE EACH COMPETITOR'S RESPONSIBILITY TO EITHER CHECK THE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR REGISTRATION TIME AND LOCATION OR OBTAIN TIMES FROM THE BASS TOURNAMENT DEPARTMENT.

5. SAFETY:

(i) Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by competitors. During the official practice and competition, each competitor must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver. This preserver must be worn at all times the combustion engine is operating. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is shut off. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification.

(ii) Tournament officials have the right to delay, shorten or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. Weather delays on full field days resulting in half of the tournament day being lost (first flight take-off and check in) may result in cancellation. Full fields may be carried over to cut days.

(iii) BASS reserves the right to impose boat speed limits during any or all tournaments. Whether or not to impose a speed limit, the area covered by the speed limit and/or the actual speed limit imposed, shall be left exclusively to the discretion of the Tournament Director.

(iv) IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, COMPETITORS SHOULD CALL 911 FIRST AND THEN NOTIFY TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS.

(v) COMPETITORS ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE BOAT AND SEEK SAFE SHELTER IN BAD WEATHER WHERE DANGER MAY BE IMMINENT.

6. SPORTSMANSHIP:

Competitors in BASS tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification.

(i) Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the official practice or during the tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future BASS tournaments. No alcoholic beverages, other stimulants or depressants, prescription or otherwise, shall be allowed in the boats during the official practice or competition days, or when in the weigh-in area.

(ii) Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of a competitor which reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters and courtesy, shall be reason for disqualification.

(iii) All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states within which they fish.

(iv) Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or crimes involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and/or for disqualification after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director. Any disqualification suspension from, or other disciplinary action regarding any tournament or fishing organization shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation in a BASS tournament and/or disqualification from a BASS tournament after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director.

7. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT:

Use of dip nets is prohibited during tournament competition. The use of grippers in landing bass is prohibited. Only artificial lures and biodegradable artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" or "prepared bait" will be permitted during official practice and competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds. Only ONE casting, spin casting or spinning rod (8 foot maximum length from butt of handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. Other rigs as specified above may be in boat ready for use; however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have their catch disqualified. When visually fishing a bed or for bedding bass, to be counted as a legal fish, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner before being unhooked.

8. HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS:

MAXIMUM HORSEPOWER FOR ALL OUTBOARD MOTORBOATS USED IN OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT PRACTICE AND IN TOURNAMENT COMPETITION WILL BE 250 HP. Horsepower cannot exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard. When required, each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard horsepower-rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must NOT exceed the rating specified on this plate nor the horsepower maximum set by BASS. Each competitor agrees to submit, by his signature on the official entry form, the boat and outboard motor used in the tournament, to an inspection by factory-trained personnel, if there is any reason to suspect the horsepower is in excess of the rating. Normal maintenance of engines is allowed. Changing or altering standard factory parts of a competitor's engine to increase the horsepower over the factory horsepower rating is forbidden, and will result in disqualification. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower-rating numbers on the engine is also cause for immediate disqualification from BASS tournaments. Posted speed limits must be observed and all boats must be operated in a safe manner.

9. BOAT AND MOTOR (during official practice and competition):

For the safety of all competitors during official practice and competition, ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH AN APPROVED TYPE OF OPERABLE IGNITION KILL SWITCH AND LANYARD. Only one manufacturer's lanyard may be used and must be attached to the driver's body any time the combustion engine is operating. Any time the combustion engine is operating and in gear there must be a driver in the driver's seat in full control of the boat. Fishing boats that are 16 feet or more in length may be used. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnels of the boat. Standing on the outboard engine or seats while fishing is not allowed. An electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering. However, trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. All BLADDER tanks and any other type of AUXILIARY gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options and installed by a manufacturer's authorized dealer are permitted. Boats that do not have factory-installed gas tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in tanks that meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Gas tanks must be properly secured or strapped in a boat. No portable gas tanks or containers capable of holding gasoline can be placed anywhere on the tournament waters or shoreline for use by any tournament competitor. No "barges" or similar craft will be permitted. NO BOAT EQUIPPED WITH "STICK STEERING" SHALL BE PERMITTED. "Stick steering" shall be as defined by the Tournament Director.

10. BASIC BOAT EQUIPMENT:

During official practice and competition, every boat must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment as well as a functional bilge pump. During official competition every boat must have LIVEWELL SPACE, PROPERLY AERATED, TO ADEQUATELY MAINTAIN ALIVE A LIMIT CATCH OF BASS BY BOTH COMPETITORS USING THE BOAT. BASS recommends live wells be maintained at full level and aerators/re-circulators on manual. Tournament officials shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is proper and adequate. Pros must make a back seat available for co-anglers each competition day.

11. BOAT IDENTIFICATION:

Prior to each day's start, each boat MUST be given an inspection check by a tournament official. Each day, each boat will be given a number, which MUST remain with the boat. This number must be displayed upon the request of tournament officials and at each check-in.

12. BOAT OPERATION AND EXPENSE:

During competition in Pro-Am type events, pros will fish from the front deck, co-anglers from the rear deck, no exceptions. Co-anglers are only allowed to drive the boat in emergency situations in both practice and competition with the exception of loading and unloading from trailers. Any pro, who in the judgment of the officials, operates the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap his/her co-angler partner shall be disqualified. At no time may a pro competitor request that the co-angler competitor not fish. In view of the large expense involved in operating and maintaining a tournament bass boat, it is suggested that the co-angler partner share, at minimum, the cost of gas and oil for the competition day. In BASS events where observers replace co-anglers as the official rider, observers cannot assist the pro in any way. Observers are NOT required to pay for gas and oil expenses.

13. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS:

Tournament waters shall be established by the Tournament Director for each tournament. Each competitor must obtain this information from the BASS Tournament Department. Any water within these boundaries posted "Off-Limits" or "No Fishing" by state or federal agencies as well as the live-bass-release area established by the Tournament Director will be OFF-LIMITS and will be announced at the Tournament Briefing. Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. All angling must be done from the boat. Competitors wishing to change fish habitat by placing any object in the tournament waters may do so if such action does not violate state or federal regulations.

14. COMPETITORS MUST REMAIN IN BOAT:

During the competition days, competitors must not depart the boat to land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Boats must remain in tournament waters during tournament days. Competitors must leave from and return to official checkpoints by boat. Both competitors must remain in the boat at all times except in case of dire emergency or with permission from the Tournament Director. In such an emergency, or with permission from the Tournament Director, competitors may be removed from their boat to either A BOAT OPERATED BY OTHER COMPETITORS OR A RESCUE BOAT DESIGNATED BY THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR. Partners must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and each other's catch, under the conditions cited above, in order for their catch of that day to be scored in the tournament. In the event of a needed restroom break, contestants are allowed to leave the boat upon which all fishing must cease until partners are back together in the boat. If a competitor violates any of the above conditions (to contact a tournament official by phone or other means or to report an emergency or breakdown), both competitors must cease fishing at this point, and their catch must be verified by a tournament official in order to be counted in the tournament. If after the emergency situation is resolved by tournament officials and enough time is left for the competitors to resume fishing, a RESTART will be allowed and the competitors will continue and their catch will be counted. This applies only to dire emergency situations as determined by the Tournament Director or his designee. Towing boats on trailers during tournament hours is prohibited, except by the direction of tournament officials.

15. OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT:

There shall be only one official point for check-out in the morning and check-in in the afternoon, which points shall be designated at the Tournament Briefing. At the time of check-out, all competitors and their boats shall be in full conformity with all rules set forth by the Tournament Director. At check-in, all boats shall identify themselves by means of the numbers described in Rule 11 and proceed immediately to the designated weigh-in area. Partners must stay together through the weigh-in process if both are weighing bass. Once the bass are bagged for weigh-in, anglers that are not weighing bass do not need to accompany their partner through the weigh-in process.

16. SCORING:

Tournament standings, contingency awards and final winners shall be determined by the pound-and-ounce weight of each competitor's catch during the competition days of the tournament. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Redeye or Shoal bass will be weighed. The limit shall be 5 of the above species and varieties per day, unless otherwise specified by tournament officials. At no time shall a competitor have in his or her possession more than the tournament limit. Tournament officials will conduct checks for violation of this provision, and in the event a competitor has more than the above-described limits in possession, shall cull down to the limit described, beginning with the largest bass first. The official length for bass shall be determined by the Tournament Director and announced at the Tournament Briefing. In most cases it will be the longest state limit covering the tournament waters. Only bass as described above which measure the official length or more on the longest straight line, shall be weighed. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the official length, shall result in a penalty of 1 pound for each such bass, which penalty shall be deducted from the total score of the competitor. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered will be weighed and credited only at the discretion of tournament officials. After competitors check in at the official checkpoint they MUST present all LEGAL fish in their possession to a tournament official to be counted, measured and weighed. Once a competitor's catch is measured, counted and verified by a tournament official, that competitor may not return to the boat until their catch has been weighed and recorded. Bass must not be stringered at any time during the tournament. Culling tags or clips are allowed. Specially designed bags which increase survival rate will be furnished by the Tournament Director and must be used for the weigh-in.

17. CATCH AND RELEASE

CULLING OF DEAD BASS IS PROHIBITED. For each legal dead bass presented to weigh-in officials, the competitor shall be penalized the following, to be deducted from their daily score: 1 dead fish — 4 oz., 2 dead fish — 10 oz., 3 dead fish — 18 oz., 4 dead fish — 28 oz., 5 dead fish — 40 oz. The Tournament Director or his/her designees shall have sole authority for assessing penalty points. It is suggested in warm weather tournaments anglers keep extra ice for fish care. Contestants are allowed to purchase ice on the water from a retail store. However, they are not allowed to receive ice from non contestants. Upon mutual consent of both pro and co angler paired together for fish care concerns, the verification table will open one hour before first flight.

18. LATE PENALTY:

Competitors who are not in the official checkpoint area as described in Rule 15 at the appointed time shall be penalized at the rate of one pound per minute late to be deducted from the total weight of his/her catch that day, including any weight to be counted toward a "big bass award." Any competitor more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for that day's catch. There shall be no excuse for tardiness, and in no case shall a competitor be allowed to make up "lost time." After proper recognition at the check-in point, competitors will be allowed ample time to proceed to the weigh-in site; however, all fishing must cease upon check-in. After the tournament begins, fishing the tournament waters is prohibited except during tournament hours. Exact starting and check-in times will be announced at the Tournament Briefing. It is the angler's responsibility to confirm check-in times each day on the daily pairings.

19. 300 POINT SYSTEM FOR ALL BASS SERIES:

At the conclusion of the tournament points will be awarded to competitors as follows:

· 1st - 5th five point increments

· 6th - 10th four point increments

· 11th - 15th three point increments

· 16th - 99th two point increments

· 100th - balance of field, one point each until end of field or points run out

· Bonus points – 5 per day for tournament leader

· Must weigh a fish in the tournament to receive points for that event

· Ties – Points added together and divided among tied anglers.

Standings will reflect ties starting at place closest to first.

· End of year point tiebreakers shall be total weights from full field days for season.

20. TIES:

In case of a tie for first place in the Pro division at the end of the tournament, there will be a sudden-death fish-off between the tied competitors under the direction and special rules established by tournament officials. Ties for merchandise award places in the co-angler division will be resolved in the following order: (1) largest number of legal fished weighed during competition; (2) if the tie is not broken, the next tiebreaker will be the largest number of legal live fish weighed during competition; (3) if the tie is not broken, the next tiebreaker will be the individual with heaviest single day catch during competition; (4) if the tie is not broken, the next tiebreaker will be the individual with the second heaviest single day catch during competition. If the tie is not broken by applying the foregoing procedures, prizes will be awarded as determined by tournament officials. Ties for any cut in the pro and co-angler division will be resolved in the same order explained above. In BASS Major Events where weights are zeroed, ties for cuts going into the final round shall be broken by Angler of the Year standings following most recent concluded Elite Series Event.

21. PAIRING OF COMPETITORS:

Two competitors will be assigned to each boat. Announcement of your first-day fishing partner shall be made at the Tournament Briefing, which MUST BE ATTENDED by each competitor. It shall be the responsibility of each partner to appear at a mutually agreed upon location with sufficient time remaining to check out at the official checkpoint and start on time. Tournament officials shall have no responsibility for finding missing partners. The Tournament Director, at his/her sole discretion, may reassign partners prior to the morning take-off. It is suggested that a minimum of 30 minutes is required for preparation to depart to the check-out point. When two competitors check out at the beginning of the day, they must stay together and within sight of each other and each other's catch throughout the day until the weigh-in is completed except in case of dire emergency (see Rules 14 & 15). A competitor must not allow any bass caught by him/her to be counted on the score of another competitor. In such a case, both competitors shall be disqualified from this tournament and from all future tournaments conducted by BASS.

22. RULES VIOLATIONS AND APPEALS COMMITTEE:

An appeals committee will be established by BASS, which shall be comprised of one BASS employee not affiliated with the Tournament Department, and two anglers who are not competitors in the event in question. Appeals must be presented in writing seven days from the date of ruling to the Tournament Director. If a competitor admits to a rule violation, he/she may not file an appeal of either the finding that he/ she has violated the rules or the penalty imposed for the violation. Decisions of the appeals committee shall be final.

Appeals of non competition rulings must be presented in writing to BASS Angler Relations within 7 days of ruling for review and final decision to be determined by BASS.

23. CONTINGENCY PROGRAMS:

Contingency programs are sponsor based programs developed to reward competitors based on a predefined set of criteria i.e. the CITGO Angler of the Year program rewards overall season performance. Participation in Contingency programs is at the anglers' discretion. Should an angler elect not to participate in a BASS' contingency program. BASS will provide a BASS brand identity decal and patch for BASS areas defined on the boat wrap and uniform, and the angler will be excluded from any benefits such as prize purse or qualification for supplemental tournament competitions associated with the respective contingency program.

24. UNIFORMS, WRAPPED BOATS, ETC.:

Elite Series anglers will be supplied with special rules relating to wrapped boats, Tech Inspection, Fan Experience, BASS patch placement, contingency program patch placements, uniforms and any other special rules relating to those events.

Anglers are encouraged to wear their own clothing which may bear patches, logos and other signage promoting the angler's sponsors. BASS may, however, restrict the use of patches, logos, signage etc. that promote or advertise products which are, in BASS' sole judgment, in poor taste. BASS will provide as much advance notice as possible to the competitors in such instances. No competitive tournament trail logos or identity will be allowed on uniforms, rain suits, pfd's, etc. and or complete boat packages. Pros are required to wear uniforms during all competition hours and official functions as determined by BASS.

Co-anglers agree to wear a BASS patch on their hat or front of their garment during competition, including the weigh-in.

25. BASS SPONSOR BOATS:

When using BASS sponsor boats, anglers are responsible for physical care of the boat. Damage to the boat which is determined by the Tournament Director to be excessive or wanton shall result in the angler being responsible for all costs of repair.

26. TAXES:

Where and when state laws require income taxes be paid on cash awards to non-residents, the taxes will be automatically deducted prior to the awards being presented to the winners. Anglers and observers are responsible for all applicable taxes and rules on both cash and merchandise awards.

27. WAIVER AND RELEASE:

As a condition of participation in each tournament, each competitor must execute a waiver and release of liability and a name and likeness release.

©2007 BASS

All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any material in these rules prohibited except by written permission of BASS.

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