Rules and regulations

 

Effective January 1, 2020

The following rules shall apply to all Varsity Fishing High School and College tournaments, with the following exceptions:   (i) rules for special tournaments may differ from those contained herein and (ii) these rules may be changed by Varsity Fishing immediately upon notice by Varsity Fishing to its members,  which  notice  may  be  published  on  the  Varsity Fishing  internet site.  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  a  rules  committee  may  impose  such  sanctions  as deemed appropriate by them, including without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes, and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. Subject to the appeal process set forth in paragraph 21 below, the decision of the Tournament Director, his/her designee, or the rules committee, shall be final in all matters.

 

Except for very serious rules violations, as determined by Varsity Fishing, such as the noinformation and off-limits rules and any rules that might lead to disqualification of an angler from participation in the Varsity Fishing, rules violations must be reported to tournament officials within 24 hours of the final flight check-in on the day of the alleged violation

 

Penalties for rules violations may include the following: a)  reduction of practice hours or competition hours as determined by the Tournament Director b)  loss of one or more fish in question. All such fish must be marked verified by either your partner or boat captain. If not verified the entire catch may be disqualified. c)  loss of catch for the day of the violation d)  disqualification from the tournament in question e)  disqualification from future Varsity Fishing events, which may be from a specific number of events, a specific period of time, or may be a lifetime disqualification. f)   any different or additional penalties determined by the Tournament Director.

 

1.  PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY:

 

 Participants are eligible from grades 7 through 12 in the High School Division and ages 18 through 24 for the College Division. Participants must be a full time student at their respective school at the time of the tournament. Proof of enrollment may be required.

Team tournaments require each participant to have a partner. If extenuating

circumstances exist that prohibit you from having a partner in the tournament, then a request must be submitted to Varsity Fishing in writing or email for approval. Varsity Fishing reserves the right to accept or deny such requests.

 

Each participating team in the High School Division must have a Coach (Boat Captain). Boat Captains must be of the age that would place them out of High School. Each tournament contestant will receive coaching rules. All the rules in this document and the coaching rules document must be followed. Failure to follow these rules may result in penalties as laid out in this document. 

Proof of grade or graduation date, to the satisfaction of tournament officials is the responsibility of potential competitors. 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 wellbeing of his/her partner or themselves shall not be eligible.

 

(ii)  DURING  THE  OFFICIAL  PRACTICE  AND  COMPETITION  DAYS  OF  ANY VARSITY FISHING. TOURNAMENT, NO COMPETITOR OR BOAT CAPTAIN MAY OPERATE A BOAT UNLESS THAT COMPETITOR OR BOAT CAPTAIN  HAS DOCUMENTED PROOF OF A MINIMUM OF $300,000 PER OCCURRENCE BOAT OWNERS LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERING THE BOAT BEING USED IN THE TOURNAMENT.  PROOF OF INSURANCE MUST BE WITH THE BOAT BEING USED AND MUST COVER ALL PASSENGERS IN THAT BOAT. RANDOM CHECKS WILL BE CONDUCTED AND ANY COMPETITOR WHO DOES NOT HAVE PROOF OF INFORCE INSURANCE WITH $300,000 COVERAGE MAY BE   DISQUALIFIED.   EACH   POLICY   MUST   SHOW   AN   EFFECTIVE   START   AND EXPIRATION DATE.  Tournament officials have sole authority to determine if insurance policies meet Varsity Fishing requirements.

 

2.   ANGLER CODE OF CONDUCT

 

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

 

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

 

Anglers are frequently in the public eye and are considered role models; therefore, it is imperative that tournament competitors demonstrate good sportsmanship in fishing. Sportsmanship is defined as fair play, respect for opponents and polite behavior while competing in the sport. 

 

(i.) Following are examples of unacceptable behavior by competitors in Varsity Fishing events that will be cause for penalties as outlined in this document. 

 

Heated public disagreements with Varsity Fishing officials, other competitors and fans and volunteers during an event. 

 Public attacks through media, including social media, upon the integrity of Varsity Fishing rules or officials. 

 Public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of Varsity Fishing, Varsity Fishing officials or its sponsors 

 

Displays of anger and displeasure for reasons related to fishing competition where members of the public, including other anglers, spectators and the media, are present. 

 

Publicly questioning or criticizing a tournament official or official decision, ruling or penalty except through the proper channels. 

 

Abuse (physical, verbal, threatening or slanderous) of tournament officials, volunteers, fellow competitors or others connected with a Varsity Fishing event including comments on social media.

 

Offensive or slanderous comments with racial, cultural or sexual overtones regarding event officials, event personnel or fellow anglers. 

 

Intentionally interfering with a fellow angler’s ability to compete. Any disqualification, suspension or other disciplinary action imposed by any tournament or fishing organization may result in disqualification from Varsity Fishing Tournaments.

 

 

MEDIA COMMENTS, PUBLIC ATTACKS

 

The favorable public reputation of Varsity Fishing  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 Varsity Fishing. 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 Varsity Fishing  organization. Competitors, parents and/or family members are encouraged to express themselves and have the right to question the rules officials. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with Varsity Fishing policies are encouraged as opposed to attacks upon the integrity of the rules or officials.  However, public comments that an angler, parents and/or family members knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of Varsity Fishing ,Varsity Fishing officials or sponsors shall be considered conduct unbecoming a professional and will result in disciplinary action.

 

3. PRACTICE AND COMPETITION:  

 

(i)  There will be no off limits period for any tournament unless specified by the Tournament Director. No practicing at night, defined as beginning at 30 minutes after local sunset and

ending 30 minutes before local sunrise, to include running to and from a fishing location. In practice and competition, when running in low light conditions, running lights should be in operation.

 

(ii) No competitor may buy or barter a fishing location from any other competitor for use during any competition day. Once daily cuts are announced at the post weigh in rules meeting, competitors not making the cut are no longer considered in the tournament.  Competitors making the cut may not receive information under rule 3 (iii). 

  

(iv)  During the official competition days of the tournament a competitor may not make cell calls for the purpose of locating or catching fish on tournament waters. Cell phones may be used for emergency situations.  Competitors are allowed to call lockmasters for locking purposes only.  Competitors are allowed to use smart phones for global maps, weather, notes, 

(v) 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.  

 

(vi)  Each competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director immediately any violation or infraction of any tournament rules. Failure to report violations, suggestions to another competitor that they violate these rules or false verification of weigh-in forms may be cause for disqualification. Official protests must be filed in accordance with Rule 1. All parties of interest will be provided a copy.

 

By his/her signature on the official tournament entry form, each competitor agrees to submit to a truth verification test and abide by its conclusion should he/she be accused of any rule violation.   The Varsity Fishing Tournament Director, rules committee, or such person designated by the Tournament Director, shall have the discretion to determine the need for a truth verification test. The Varsity Fishing 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 test.   The Varsity Fishing Tournament Director or his/her designee shall have sole responsibility for selecting the location, date, and time of the test. Random truth verifications tests may be administered on site during the course of a High School or College event.

 

 

4. 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 anytime the combustion engine is running. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely, and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is out of gear or shut off. Inflatable life vest indicators should be checked daily. Violation of this rule may be reason for disqualification. 

 

(ii) When boating in low visibility situations i.e. fog, heavy rain, during both practice and competition, competitors must operate their boats at a safe speed and in a safe manner as determined by tournament officials. 

 

(iii) Radar units permanently mounted in the boat, subject to approval by Varsity Fishing, 

may be approved for competition.

 

 

 It is suggested the Boater have a safety check with their partner each day prior to launch to familiarize the location of all safety equipment.

 

It is recommended each contestant successfully complete a boating safety course. Boating safety certification, or a “grandfathered” exception, may be required in certain states. Boating safety courses are available online and should carry an endorsement by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators or NASBLA.

 

(iv) 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), shall result in 

cancellation.  Full fields may be carried over to cut days.

 

(v) Varsity Fishing 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.

 

(vi) IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, COMPETITORS SHOULD CALL 911 FIRST AND ONCE SAFE THEN NOTIFIES TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  

 

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

 

5. SPORTSMANSHIP: Competitors in Varsity Fishing 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 the use of 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 Varsity Fishing tournaments.  No alcoholic beverages, other non-prescription stimulants or depressants 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, may be reason for disqualification. 

 

(iii) All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states in which they fish. Some regulations may differ from these rules resulting in fines, citations or other penalties at the discretion of law enforcement and may or may not result in tournament penalties. Competitors are responsible for research of fishing and boating regulations.

 

(iv) Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other 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 Varsity Fishing tournament, and/or disqualification from a Varsity Fishing tournament, after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director. 

 

6. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT: Use of grippers for landing bass is prohibited during tournament competition. 

 

No “live bait,” “dead 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 (10-foot maximum length from butt of handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. A hung or snagged lure that is not in or on the water is not considered in use and may be set aside while another is in use. Other rigs as specified above may be in the boat ready for use; however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. If a competitor breaks his line while setting the hook or retrieving a fish, he is allowed to make an attempt with the rod being used or with his hands to secure the visible line and land the fish for it to be counted as legal. He may NOT hook the line with another lure, rod and reel or other device. 

 

No competitor may intentionally snag or foul-hook a bass to be counted in his daily catch. Anyone guilty of intentionally snatching or snagging visible fish will have his catch

disqualified. When visually fishing for bedding bass, to be counted as a legal fish, each bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by the assigned partner or other observer before being unhooked. With the fish’s mouth closed naturally, you must not be able to see where the hook point enters the fish for it to be considered hooked inside the mouth. 

Competitors, including those who have been “cut” from competition in an event, are allowed to share baits and tackle with one another at any time.

 

7. HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS:  Maximum horsepower for all outboard motor boats 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 Varsity Fishing. Each competitor agrees to submit, by their 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 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 Varsity Fishing tournaments.  Posted speed limits and those imposed by Varsity Fishing must be observed and all boats must be operated in a safe manner.  Violations of speed limits shall result in loss of competition hours and not limited to disqualification.

 

8. BOAT AND MOTOR: These restrictions apply during official practice and competition. For the safety of all competitors, 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 and in gear. 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, and all competitors must be seated with their feet on the floor of the vessel. Fishing boats that are 16 feet or more in length may be used and must be equipped with wheel steering. No other steering device will be permitted. 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. The “LongLining” or “Strolling” technique is NOT allowed in either practice or competition and defined as intentionally using a trolling motor or outboard to mechanically extend a cast. No exceptions. 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. Jet drive engines and tunnel hull boats engines are not allowed during both official practice and competition. Any boat/hull designs other than standard mass produced units are only allowed at the discretion of tournament officials.

 9. BASIC BOAT EQUIPMENT: During official practice and competition, every boat must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment and a functional bilge pump.  During official competition, every boat must have live-well space, properly aerated, to adequately maintain alive, a limit catch of bass by both competitors using the boat. Varsity Fishing 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.  

 

10. BOAT IDENTIFICATION: Prior to each day’s start, each boat must be given an inspection check by a tournament official.  Each day, each boat may 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. 

 

11. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Tournament waters shall be established by the Tournament Director for each tournament. Each competitor must obtain this information from the Varsity Fishing Tournament Department. Any water within these boundaries that are legally and obviously posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing,” as well as the live-bass-release area established by the Tournament Director, will be off-limits to tournament competitors and will be announced at the Tournament Briefing. Only that water open to all public fishing will be considered tournament waters. Waters deemed off-limits by authorities or tournament officials should be treated like a wall. No boats or casting behind that boundary while fishing. All angling must be done from the boat. In states where landowners have the legal authority to claim private property, these areas must be posted or they will be considered tournament waters unless instructed otherwise by tournament officials at any time during the event. If forced to leave, a competitor must report the incident to tournament officials as soon as possible. Any water to which a competitor is barred access becomes off-limits to all competitors. 

Prior to 8 am local time the day before the tournament is scheduled to begin, any questionable areas must be brought to the attention of tournament officials to be considered tournament waters. Questionable areas will be off limits until a determination can be made with authorities and may be announced in the briefing or via text for all to know unless determined otherwise by tournament officials.

Tournament officials reserve the right to restrict or enhance tournament waters based on conversations with local authorities.  Competitors are not allowed to cut, remove, displace, or engage in any type structure removal from private property (dry land) during off limits, official practice or competition.  Moving structure to include sawing of logs or other obstructions in the water is only allowed if laws permit.  No competitor may place any object that may impede or cause danger to boaters.

 

12. 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. Competitors may not shift a majority of their weight outside the boat and onto a dock or other object outside the boat for the purpose of landing a bass or accessing a fishing spot. While keeping the majority of weight in the boat anglers are allowed for boat protection to push off or shove off objects while landing a fish to be counted as legal. 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. Exceptions spelled out in rules 5, 13, and 16. In such an emergency, or with permission of the Tournament Director, competitors may be removed from their boat, either to a boat operated by other competitors, or a rescue boat designated by the Tournament Director.. In the event of a needed restroom break or refueling situation at a marina gas pump, contestants are allowed to leave the boat, at which time 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, 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/her designee. Towing boats on trailers during tournament hours is prohibited, except by the direction of tournament officials. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat to retrieve a lure.  All fishing by that competitor must cease until back in the boat before making another cast.

 

13. OFFICIAL CHECKPOINTS: There shall be only one official check point for check-out in the morning, and one official check-in point in the afternoon, which points shall be designated at the tournament briefing. Failure to go through boat check and check-out in the morning or failure to check-in at the check-in point in the afternoon may result in disqualification. 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.  .  

 

 

14. 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.  At no time shall a competitor have in his or her possession more than the tournament limit.  If a competitor determines they have over the limit they must immediately reduce their catch to the tournament limit with a live bass of their choice from their catch.  Each returned bass will result in a 2 pound penalty to be deducted from their daily score.  In this case, competitors must attempt to notify tournament officials and if unsuccessful must notify officials at check in.  Once a competitor checks in they must present all legal bass to tournament officials at the verification table.  If competitors at the verification table have more than the tournament limit, the competitor will reduce with live bass to the tournament limit and each returned bass will result in a 2 pound penalty to be deducted from their daily score. If a competitor has his fish verified, weighed and upon returning to the boat discovers additional fish over the tournament limit that were not presented to officials; he then must notify tournament officials within one hour of final flight check in to receive a 2 lb. penalty for each bass discovered. Anglers who do not remove fin clips prior to fish check will be assessed a 4 ounce penalty per clip. Failure to notify officials after one hour of final flight check-in time will result in loss of day’s catch. Anglers who present fish at the verification table with fin clips attached will be assessed a 4 ounce penalty per clip. No man made or foreign object connected to a bass will be weighed and will be removed by tournament officials. 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. 

 

15. CATCH AND RELEASE: CULLING OF DEAD BASS IS PROHIBITED. For each legal dead bass presented to weigh in officials, the competitor shall be penalized 4 oz. to be deducted from their daily score The Tournament Director, or his/her designees, shall have

 

sole authority for assessing penalty points. In addition, the Tournament Director, or his/her designees, may reduce tournament hours or tournament limits for fish care purposes.  It is suggested in warm weather tournaments anglers keep extra ice for fish care.  Contestants are allowed to purchase ice on the water.  The verification table will open one hour prior to check in time of the first flight. SMALL DIP NETS FOR CULLING PURPOSES ARE ENCOURAGED.  It is recommended competitors keep all bass in live wells during the culling process.  Placing bass on the boat carpet during culling is not an advised practice.  Only non-penetrating culling clips are allowed. Only non-penetrating culling clips and culling beams are allowed for use. Any clip of device that penetrates or is designed to penetrate the skin or mouth of a fish is not allowed. Proper fizzing technique is suggested when needed. For instructions on acceptable fizzing practices please contact Varsity Fishing officials.

 

 

16. LATE PENALTY: Competitors who are not at the official check-in point, as described in Rule 14, 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 each competitor’s responsibility to confirm check-in times each day on the daily pairings.  

 

 

18. RULES VIOLATIONS AND APPEALS COMMITTEE:  An appeals committee will be established by Varsity Fishing.,   Appeals for penalties assessed under rule C1 (b), (c), (d), (e), & (f) must be presented in writing 48 hours from the time and date of ruling to the Tournament Director.  Appeals hearings shall take place within seven (7) business days, if possible from the date of receipt of the written appeal and all parties must make themselves available at prescribed time of hearing.   If competitors admit to a rules violation, they may not file an appeal of either the finding that they have violated the rules or the penalty imposed for the violation. Decisions of the appeals committee shall be final. 

 

Competitors are allowed to compete under appeal for penalties assessed under Rule C1 (e) & (f) until final ruling by Appeals Committee. 

 

 

19. PATCHES AND/OR SIGNAGE: Anglers are encouraged to wear their own clothing which may bear, logos and other signage promoting the angler’s sponsors.  Varsity Fishing may, however, restrict the use of logos, signage, etc. that promote or advertise products which are in Varsity Fishing’s sole judgment, in competition with the products or services of official Varsity Fishing’s sponsors, or which are, in Varsity Fishing's sole judgment, in poor taste. 

In signing this agreement, I hereby agree to be bound by and comply with all tournament rules, payment schedules, late fines, and regulations. I expressly assume all risks associated with the tournament series and I hereby release Varsity Fishing, its parent, affiliated and subsidiary companies, the hosts, sponsors and tournament series officials from all claims of death, injury and/or property damage incurred by me in connection with my participation in this tournament series. If using a boat in this event, including official practice, I certify that I now have or will obtain prior to the tournament series, boat owners liability insurance (including coverage for third party property damage and bodily injury) with no “tournament exclusion,” having a minimum limit of $300,000 per occurrence. The insurance must be issued by a reputable insurer rated A or better by A.M. Best and Company. Policy must include international waters, or a separate policy for international waters must be obtained if I choose to fish international waters during applicable Varsity Fishing events. At Varsity Fishing’s request, I will provide satisfactory evidence of that insurance.

 

I hereby agree to waive my rights of privacy or publicity with regard to the programs of the tournament in which I appear and consent to Varsity Fishing (and its parent, affiliated and subsidiary companies, its owners, directors, employees and agents and those acting under their permission or upon their authority), copyrighting, distributing, televising, publishing and using in any way the audio and visual portions of any television videotape, film and photographs or pictures of me or of interviews, scenes or other sequences in which I may be included, and any reproduction thereof, anywhere at any time through any medium or media for advertising, promotion, trade, television programming or other lawful purpose whatsoever; and I shall not be entitled to receive any royalties or other compensation in connection with such use. 

 

P2. CONTENT RIGHTS

Varsity Fishing holds the content rights to the tournaments it owns and operates. However, Varsity Fishing grants certain exceptions, including the following content rights, to tournament participants:

 

Anglers may use video or still images, shot by the angler during a tournament, for promotional or marketing purposes, and in social media. You may also live stream during a tournament, except when Varsity Fishing has a camera in your boat. 

 

During tournaments Varsity Fishing may ask to mount a POV streaming camera in a competitor’s boat (the footage may be used in Varsity Fishing’s web or TV coverage). Varsity Fishing may also request the Marshal operate these, or other (POV, smartphone or other) cameras. Marshals are not allowed to operate or work on the competitor’s personal cameras. A competitor is required to comply, even if he already has a personal camera mounted in his boat. Refusing to comply may result in a penalty.

 

If a competitor has a personal camera person or crew following him on the water, that person or team must not get in the way of Varsity Fishing photographers or videographers who are covering the tournament.  Off the water, they must follow the general guidelines of any media covering the tournament as set forth by Varsity Fishing. 

 

Still photos taken by an angler during a tournament may be posted to social media and the angler’s website.

 

Varsity Fishing also encourages anglers to send photos, videos and updates to Varsity Fishing for exposure on Varsity Fishing and our social media pages. 

 

Varsity Fishing reserves the right to revoke these exceptions, and the angler must remove the tournament-related content, if Varsity Fishing in its discretion believes the content is inappropriate or in any way violates other Varsity Fishing rules. 

 

Varsity Fishing wants to help promote both your brand and the sport of professional bass fishing. If there are stories written about you or by you appearing on Varsity Fishing, you are granted permission to link to these stories, and any others on our website, from your website or social media pages. You may also grab photos from Varsity Fishing to promote yourself. Please do credit Varsity Fishing. 

 

P3. CONTINGENCY PROGRAMS

Contingency programs are sponsor-funded programs developed to reward competitors based on a predefined set of criteria. Participation in contingency programs is at the anglers’ discretion.

 

P4. ADDITIONAL AGREEMENTS

I further understand and agree that the Tournament Director reserves the right to reject my application for any reason and, upon such rejection, to refund the deposit or entry fee. Refunds may not be requested within 2 weeks of the tournament in question. Membership fees can not be refunded.

I am currently a member in good standing with Varsity Fishing.

All anglers who elect to participate in Varsity Fishing-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. 

In addition to adhering to the Rules, Code of Conduct and Uniform requirements presented in this booklet, to ensure effective and timely communication between Varsity Fishing and the anglers, I understand that I am required to provide Varsity Fishing  with a current e-mail address. If I do not have my own e-mail address, I must furnish an e-mail address for a primary contact person. I agree that delivery of an e-mail to my designated contact will constitute delivery to me. I also understand I must provide my personal cell number capable of receiving text messages from Varsity Fishing. 

©2020 by Varsity Fishing.

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