OFFICIAL HIGH SCHOOL TOURNAMENT RULES
ALABAMA B.A.S.S. NATION, INC.
Revised 11/01/2018 1.
TOURNAMENT RULES: The following rules shall apply to all tournaments, and remain unchanged unless (i) changed by the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting and notice being given to the members, which notice may be published on the ABN internet site: www.albassnation.org; and (ii) except for special tournaments conducted by the Alabama B.A.S.S Nation High School (hereinafter referred to as “ABN HS” for convenience). Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director or his/her designee at the tournament. Subject to the appeal process noted below, the decision of the Tournament Director or his/her designee shall be final in all matters. Penalties for rules violations may include, but not be limited to, the following: (i) Loss of catch for the day of the violation. (ii) Forfeiture of prizes and entry fees (iii) Disqualification from the tournament in question. (iv) Disqualification from future ABN HS events, which disqualification may be from a specific number of events or for a specific period of time, or may be a lifetime disqualification. (v) Any other different or additional penalties determined by the Tournament Director or his/her designee. Any person wanting to file a complaint must notify the Tournament Director immediately and submit the complaint in writing, prior to the scales being closed. The Tournament Director or his/her designee shall render a decision on the complaint filed before awards for the tournament are made, subject to the appeal process noted below.
Tournament Rule Violation Appeal Process: The decision of the Tournament Director for a Tournament Rule violation may be appealed, at the tournament, or if determined by the Tournament Committee that more time is needed to resolve the complaint appeal – within a time period not to exceed (7) calendar days, to the Tournament Appeals Committee, appointed by the President or his/her designee. The Appeals Committee shall consist of the President or his/her designee, two on-site Directors other than the Tournament Director, and two anglers from the tournament other than the competitor making the appeal, his or her partner in the tournament, or any anglers from the competitor’s Chapter Club. The competitor must state his/her appeal clearly.. If the competitor admits to the rule violation, he/she may not file an appeal of either the finding that he/she violated the rules or the penalty imposed for the violation. The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be final.
2. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY: (i) Participation is by invitation only. All Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation affiliated high school clubs and members are eligible. The President/Tournament Director may set limits on the number of teams that a high school club may enter. The President may grant permission for non-affiliated clubs to participate with the understanding that the club will become affiliated. No team may advance unless it is an official Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation club. We will accept entries from student anglers that have begun 8th grade through 12th Grade and have not began their freshman year of college or be more than four months past their senior year graduation date for the 2018 season. Note:7th Grade students are not allowed to compete in ABN HS but they may fish as Junior/Youth at all participating events throughout the season (see schedule)High Schools that allow 8th Graders to compete in Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation High School tournaments must submit a letter with a faculty’s member signature stating this permission. Competitor’s will be considered an “incoming student” into the next grade once they have completed their final exams in their current grade. This is a team event. You must register with a partner and coach to compete unless approved by the State Director or Tournament Director. Proof of age to the satisfaction of tournament officials is the responsibility of potential competitor. (ii) DURING THE OFFICIAL PRACTICE AND COMPETITION DAYS OF ANY ABN HS TOURNAMENT, NO BOAT CAPTAINS MAY OPERATE A BOAT UNLESS BOAT CAPTAIN HAS PROOF OF A MINIMUM OF $100,000 CURRENT BOATING LIABILITY INSURANCE 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. THE DOCUMENTED PROOF MUST SHOW AN EFFECTIVE DATE AND EXPIRATION DATE AND SHOULD BE AVAILABLE ON OR BEFORE THE APPLICATION DEADLINE DATE. RANDOM CHECKS WILL BE CONDUCTED AND ANY COMPETITOR WHO DOES NOT HAVE PROOF OF IN-FORCE INSURANCE WITH A MINIMUM OF $100,000 COVERAGE WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. (iii) Any candidate for competition who, in the judgment of the Tournament Director or his/her designee, is handicapped in such a manner as to unfairly hinder his/her partner or endanger the safety and well being of his/her partner or himself/herself shall not be eligible to participate in the tournament.(iv) 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) resulting from the hiring of fishing guide services is NOT permitted by contestants or coaches during official practice period and tournament day. Anyone who guides on tournament waters cannot participate or boat captain any Junior or High School anglers as any violations of this rule may result in disqualification.
(v) REGISTRATION: Each competitor must register with ABN HS BY SUBMITTING A PROPERLY COMPLETED OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM AND SIGNED WAIVER NOT LATER THAN THE DESIGNATED POSTMARK DATE PRIOR TO SCHEDULED TOURNAMENT. COMPETITORS NOT REGISTERED BY THE REGISTRATION CUT-OFF DATE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO COMPETE IN THAT SPECIFIC TOURNAMENT, EXCEPT LATE REGISTRATION MAY BE GRANTED IF CANCELLATIONS OCCUR TO MAKE THE TOURNAMENT FIELD EVEN FOR NUMBER OF ANGLERS COMPETING THEREIN.
3. ANGLER CODE OF CONDUCT: (i) Anglers/Coaches participating in any ABN HS event shall observe the Angler 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 of anglers that will not reflect unfavorably on ABN HS, 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 high school fishing. Any angler/coach who violates any of the provisions of the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to any of the penalties noted in #1 above. (ii) The favorable reputation of ABN HS as an umbrella organization for Chapter Clubs in Alabama, the integrity of its officials, and its reputation before the general public are valuable assets and tangible benefits for ABN. Therefore, it is an obligation of competitors to refrain from comments to the media or general public that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow anglers or the ABN HS organization. Competitors are encouraged to express themselves and have the right to question the rules officials. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with ABN HS rules, procedures, or policies are encouraged as opposed to attacks upon the integrity of the rules or the officials. Public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of ABN HS, ABN officials, or sponsors shall be considered conduct unbecoming an ABN HS angler/coach and will result in disciplinary action.
Penalties for rules violations may include the following:a) reduction of competition hours as determined by the Tournament Directorb) 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 violationd) disqualification from the tournament in questione) disqualification from future B.A.S.S. events, which may be from a specific number of events, a specific period of time, or may be a lifetime disqualification. any different or additional penalties determined by the Tournament Director.
4. TOURNAMENT/PRACTICE: (i) Official practice days will begin at 12:01 am the Monday prior to the start of competition. No competitors will be allowed on Tournament waters after registration until the first day of competition, except under rule 3(ii). Unless otherwise specified, all official times are time zone specific to local host community. The competitor must know and observe these dates. During practice and competition, anglers cannot solicit, gather or intentionally receive any information from anyone other than another competitor in the tournament. NO EXCEPTIONS. Competitors may only fish with other competitors during official practice and competition. (iii) During the official practice, coaches may teach by example, give advice, fish, run the trolling motor, land fish with or without a net and physically assist student anglers. During 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, unless he/she is a competitor or boat captain in the tournament. It is the responsibility of the competitor to know the dates of practice and competition. (iii) During the official practice and during the tournament, a competitor may not “SKIN DIVE” or “SCUBA DIVE” on the tournament waters, or buy, barter, or exchange by agreement a fishing location from any other competitor or individual fisherman for use during the competition day. The use of drones for the purposes of locating or catching fish or to gain a competitive advantage is prohibited in both official practice and competition. During the official practice competitors are not allowed to keep fish in live well or keep any bass for eating purposes unless they have permission from tournament officials. (iv) During the tournament, the boat captain cannot fish, teach by example or tie knots. fish The boat captain is part of the “Team”. He/she may give advice or make suggestions on location, techniques for catching, landing and handling of fish. Competitors may not use a CB radio, a VHF marine-brand radio, a cellular phone, or any other type of communication device for the purpose of locating or catching fish. Exceptions-Smart phones may be used for maps, weather and power generating only! They may not be used to access fishing information from blogs or text message. Boat captains may communicate with tournament officials for B.A.S.S. media updates .Competitors are permitted to transmit by radio or telephone only in the event of an emergency. If so equipped, contestants may listen to the marine-band weather information. (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 or his/her designee any violation or infraction of these Tournament Rules. The failure to report violations or suggestions to another competitor to violate rules or false verification of weigh-in forms will be cause for disqualification. OFFICIAL PROTEST MUST BE FILED IN WRITING AND ALL PARTIES OF INTEREST WILL BE PROVIDED A COPY. Protest from anyone other than official competitors will not be accepted (vii) By his/her signature on the Official Tournament 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 Tournament Director or his/her designee shall have the discretion to determine the need for a polygraph examination. The Tournament Director or such person designated by the Tournament Director 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 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 his own expense, at the location selected by the Tournament Director or his/her designee and shall cooperate in all respects with such examination. The final determination of the results of the examination shall be the sole responsibility of the Tournament Director or his/her designee.
5. REGISTRATION: Entries must be submitted by the Friday a week before an upcoming ABN HS event. Any competitor who fails to register before this deadline may result in late fees or other penalties for a late registration. If your registration is going to be late please contact ABN HS Tournament Director so we will know it is coming. Friday night meetings are mandatory for all contestants in “OPEN” type events (see BASS Nation HS Rules). Alabama B.A.S.S.Nation High School will make allowances for a representative of the High School Team but we will prefer to have your entire team and boat captains at registration to go over specific Lake rules and coach/boat captain rules and other guidelines. Exception: ABN HS State Championship registration must be attended by student anglers/coaches unless allowance is agreed upon by Tournament Director.
6. SAFETY: (i) Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. During the official practice and the tournament, each competitor and Boat Captain is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver any time the combustion engine is running. Personal flotation devices (PFD) must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is shut off. Inflatable life vests may only be worn if you are 16 years of age or older and weigh more than 80lbs. Inflatable life vest indicators should be checked daily. Violation of this rule may be reason for disqualification. All Coast Guard and state regulations as to age, weight and type of PFDs, must be observed. 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. Once competition is under way, it is the responsibility of the Boat Captain to take appropriate actions that involve hazardous weather conditions. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. (iii) ABN reserves the right to impose boat speed limits and the area covered by the speed limit in 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 or his/her designee. It is suggested boat captain have a safety check with the anglers each day prior to launch to familiarize the location of all safety equipment.
7. SPORTSMANSHIP: Competitors in ABN 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, during the tournament, or at the weigh-in will not be tolerated and shall be cause for disqualification from this and all future ABN tournaments. (ii) Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regards to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on the 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) The prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states within which they fish ABN tournaments bind all competitors. (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 for disqualification for any ABN tournament or event. (v) Any disqualification or suspension from, or other disciplinary action regarding any tournament or fishing organization, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation in an ABN tournament or event, and for disqualification from an ABN tournament based on the sole judgment of the Tournament Director or his/her designee.
8. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT: The use of grippers or gaffs in landing bass is prohibited. The use of a landing net for caught fish is permitted. Only artificial lures may be used. No “live bait” or “prepared bait” will be permitted during practice and competition, with the exception of pork strips, rinds, etc. 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. 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, another rod and reel or other device All other types are prohibited. All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner Currently Multi-hook or “Umbrella Rigs will be allowed in practice and tournament competition. 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. If multiple fish are caught on a single manmade lure, on a single cast, all fish are considered legal and may be added to the daily catch subject to scoring rules (C17). Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have their day’s catch disqualified. When visually fishing for bedding bass, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner before removing hook to be counted as a legal fish. Beginning in 2019 cull tags with metal clips will not be allowed
9. HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS: Maximum horsepower for all outboard motorboats used in official tournament practice and in tournament competition will be 250 HP. Each boat used in the tournament MUST have a U.S. Coast Guard horsepower rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower rating of the outboard engine must NOT exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard specified on this rating plate. 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. 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 ABN tournaments. Posted speed limits must be observed and all boats must be operated in a safe manner.
10. BOAT, MOTOR and EQUIPMENT: ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH A FUNCTIONAL BILGE PUMP, AERATED LIVE WELL SPACE ADEQUATE FOR TWO CONTESTANTS TO MAINTAIN ALIVE A LIMIT CATCH OF BASS BY BOTH COMPETITORS USING THE BOAT, AND AN APPROVED TYPE OF OPERABLE IGNITION KILL SWITCH. ABN RECOMMENDS LIVEWELLS BE MAINTAINED AT FULL LEVEL AND RECIRCULATORS ON MANUAL (i) The ignition-kill device must be attached to the driver’s body any time the combustion engine is operating. Anytime the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat. (ii) Fishing boats may be used that are 16 feet or more in length. Any boat otherwise allowed and not modified by the owner to gain a competitive advantage can fish our tournaments. Standing on the outboard or seats while fishing is not allowed. (iii)An electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering; however, trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. (iv) 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 legal. 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. During the official practice and during the tournament, 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. (v) No “barges” or similar cumbersome craft will be permitted. NO BOAT EQUIPPED WITH “STICK STEERING” WILL BE ALLOWED DURING THE OFFICIAL PRACTICE OR DURING THE TOURNAMENT BY ANY COMPETITOR. (vi) Every boat must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment on board. (vii) The Tournament Director or his/her designee shall have the sole responsibility and authority in determining the legal qualification of a boat, motor, and equipment to be used in a tournament and for determining whether aeration and capacity is proper and adequate.
11. BOAT OPERATIONAL EXPENSE: In view of the large expense involved in operating and maintaining a tournament bass boat, the Boat Captain and student anglers should make arrangements prior to the start of the tournament for sharing the cost of gas and oil for the competition day.
12. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: The Tournament Director and Tournament Committee will designate tournament waters for each tournament. Each competitor is responsible for obtaining this information from ABN or visit the ABN website at www.albassnation.org Fishing on the tournament waters is permitted on all public waters legal to fish with an Alabama Fishing License. Waters posted by State, Federal or local agencies as off limits or No Fishing will be considered as off limits to ABN tournament anglers. Off limits means you may not fish or make casts into areas posted as off limits. The Tournament Director may establish other off limits. Any waters within 50 yards of ABN designated live release area will be considered off limits.
13. COMPETITORS MUST REMAIN IN BOAT: (i) All angling must be accomplished from the tournament boat, (ii) 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 and return to official checkpoint by boat. Both competitors must remain in boat at all times except in case of dire emergency or with permission of the Tournament Director. In such an emergency, or with permission of 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. Allowance will be made of a needed restroom break, competitors are allowed to leave the boat at which time all fishing must cease until the partners are back together again. (iii) If a competitor must violate any of the above conditions, contact must be established with a tournament official by phone or other means or to report an emergency or breakdown; both competitors must cease fishing at this point; and a tournament official must verify their catch 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 fishing, and their catch will be counted. This rule applies only to emergency situations as determined by the Tournament Director or his/her designee. (iv) Towing boats on trailers during competition tournament hours is prohibited, except by the direction of tournament officials. COMPETITORS ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE BOAT AND SEEK SAFE SHELTER IN BAD WEATHER WHERE DANGER MAY BE IMMINENT.
14. OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT: (i) Partners must remain together at all times from the check-in point through the weigh-in with or without any fish. There shall be only one official point for check-out in the morning and check-in in the afternoon and this point shall be designated at the Tournament Briefing. At the time of check-out, all competitors and their boats shall be in full compliance with all rules as set forth above and by the Tournament
Director or his/her designee. At check-in, all boats shall identify themselves to the check-in person (who will note the official check-in time) and proceed immediately to the designated weigh-in area. (ii) Competitors not at check-in at the appointed time shall be penalized at the rate of 1 pound per minute, to be deducted from the total weight of his/her catch that day. The 1 pound per minute late penalty shall also be deducted from the weight of any fish to be counted toward a “BIG FISH award.” Competitors more than 15 minutes late shall lose that day’s catch. (iii) Checkout time and determination of check-in times of boats shall be at the sole judgment of the Tournament Director or his/her designee.
15. SCORING: (i) Tournament standings, auxiliary awards and final winners will be determined by the pound and hundredths weight of each competitor catch during the competition days of the tournament. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted or Redeye will be weighed. The tournament limit shall be 5 per boat of the above species and varieties per day, or a special limit which is established for a particular tournament by the tournament officials. At no time shall a competitor have in his/her possession more than the tournament limit. Culling of any fish must take place immediately upon catch of any qualifying fish that exceeds 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, the competitor shall cull down to the limit described and be penalized 2 pounds for every fish over the tournament limit; (ii) The official length for bass shall be determined by the Tournament Director or his/her designee and announced at the Tournament Briefing. In most cases it will be the state limit covering the tournament waters. Only bass as described above which measure the official length (including legal slot lengths) on the longest straight line, shall be weighed. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the official length (including legal slot lengths) shall result in a penalty 1 pound for each such bass, in addition to the loss of weight for each illegal (short or over the slot limit for the lake) fish, which penalty shall be deducted from the total score of the competitor; (iii) 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; (iv) After a competitor 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. 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 – .25 lb.; (2) Dead Fish – .75 lb.; (3) Dead Fish – 1.25 lb.; (4) Dead Fish – 1.75 lb.; (5) Dead Fish – 2.25 lb. The Tournament Director or his/her designee shall have the sole authority for accessing penalty points; (v) When a team’s catch is measured, counted and verified by a tournament official, contestants may not return to their boat until their catch has been weighed and recorded; (vi) ABN will furnish specially designed bags which increase survival rate for use during the weigh-in; (vii) The competitor must sign his/her weigh-in sheet to certify the competitor’s catch.
16. TIES: (i) At any ABN tournament, in case of a tie involving first or second place at the end of the tournament, the following tie breakers will be used in the following order: (1) heaviest single day catch during the competition (2) the largest number of legal live fish weighed during the competition (3) the largest number of legal bass weighed during the completion (4) if the tie is not broken, the biggest bass weighed in the competition. Ties for lesser positions shall be resolved by means selected by the Tournament Director or his/her designee. (ii) Ties for lesser positions shall combine the award for the placement position and the subsequent placement position and be equally divided between the competitors.
17. TEAMS: (i) All teams registering for the ABN High School tournaments will consist of two competitors from the same high school club and their registered Boat Captain. It will be the responsibility of each partner to appear at a mutually agreed location with allowing sufficient time to check out at the official check point and start on time. Tournament officials have no responsibility for finding missing partners. It is suggested that a minimum of thirty minutes is required for preparation to depart the check out point.The President/Tournament Director may allow a single team member and Boat Captain to participate only under special circumstances. A signed waiver by parent or guardian of each competitor must be submitted with entry form to be eligible to participate.
18. WAIVER, RELEASE, AND ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION AGREEMENT: As a condition for participation as a competitor in an AFN tournament or event, and by signature of the competitor on the ABN Official Tournament Entry Form, the competitor shall have agreed to the following Waiver, Release, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Agreement: “(i) I agree to be bound by and comply with all tournament rules and regulations. (ii) I expressly assume all risks associated with the ABN Tournament or event and I hereby release ABN, the host, sponsors, tournament officials, officers, directors, and tournament site operators from all claims or injury and/or damage incurred in or with the tournament or event.. (iii) I hereby grant ABN the unconditional right to use my name, voice, photographic likeness and biographical information and fishing tips and instructions in connection with ABN video/audio production and/or articles and press releases, including Web site postings, and I shall not be entitled to receive any royalties or other compensation from ABN or sponsors in connection with such use. (iv) I and ABN agree that any and all disputes, claims, or controversies, not resolved by the above rule procedures or incidents occurring in any ABN tournament, of any kind or nature between us arising out of or relating to any tournament or event will be resolved through mandatory, binding arbitration. This agreement to arbitrate covers claims that (a) arise out of or relate to the current tournament in question; (b) arise out of or relate to any past ABN tournaments or events; (c) arise out of or relate to any future ABN tournaments or events; and (d) disputes about whether claims, controversies, or disputes between us are subject to arbitration. Because I and ABN have agreed to arbitration, neither of us will be deemed to have waived our right to arbitrate by filing a claim in such a court that is within that court’s jurisdiction. (v) The arbitration between us will be conducted by any nationally recognized arbitration forum mutually agreed to by the parties, under its rules and procedures in effect at the time of arbitration, except to the extent that the above Official Tournament Rules modifies our agreement to arbitrate. (vi) If I initiate the arbitration proceeding, I will pay the costs of arbitration, and if ABN initiates the arbitration proceeding, ABN shall bear the costs of the arbitration. (vii) The arbitrator shall be required to follow all substantive law applicable to any dispute, including the statute of limitations. The arbitrator shall be bound by the Federal Rules of Evidence, and must respect any applicable attorney-client privilege, or any other privilege. (viii) I agree that I cannot serve as a class representative or participate as a class member in an arbitration proceeding, that only my claims may be addressed in the arbitration proceeding, and that no other parties may be added to the arbitration proceeding. (ix) If it is ever determined that some portion of this Waiver, Release, and Alternate Dispute resolution is void, voidable, or unenforceable, or if the inclusion of some provision in this agreement would render the agreement unenforceable, we agree that the void, voidable, or unenforceable provision will be severed from the remainder of the agreement, leaving the remainder of the agreement enforceable.
19. RULES VIOLATIONS COMMITTEE: An committee will be established by Ala B.A.S.S. Nation, which shall be comprised of 4 Directors affiliated with the Tournament , Appeals for penalties assessed under rule 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.
20. PATCHES AND/OR SIGNAGE: 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 B.A.S.S.’ sole judgment, in competition with the products or services of official BASS sponsors, or which are, in B.A.S.S.’ sole judgment, in poor taste. B.A.S.S. will provide as much advance notice as possible to the competitors in such instances. By signing this document, each angler agrees to wear an official B.A.S.S. patch (2 ¼” X 2 ¾”) on either left/right chest, with the top of the patch hitting the left/right collarbone during competition, including the weigh-in. This patch may be embroidered. In addition, if B.A.S.S. provides any ancillary clothing or products (such as life vests) bearing the logos of B.A.S.S. or the official sponsors of B.A.S.S., each competitor shall wear such clothing or utilize such products in a manner requested by B.A.S.S.