2012 PAA Tour Team Rules

2012  PAA Team Tournament Rules & Regulations

The following rules shall apply to all PAA Team Tournament events. It is the intention of the PAA that these rules remain unchanged for 2012. However, the Tournament Director and PAA Board of Directors may make a rule change during the 2012 season, if that rule change is in the best interest of the PAA and/or its members. Immediate notice will be given to the PAA members in the event of a rule change. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director. The Tournament Director may impose such sanctions as deemed appropriate, including without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes, Angler of the Year points, entry fee, reduction of tournament hours, loss of catch for day of the violation, and disqualification from future PAA Events, which may be from a specific number of events, a specific period of time, or may be a lifetime disqualification. All decisions are final and not subject to appeal. Any protest must be made in writing to the Tournament Director within 15 minutes of the completion of the same day weigh-in. Each competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director any infraction or violation of any tournament rules. Failure to report a known rules violation is itself a violation of these rules. Failure to report a violation shall be grounds for disqualification.

(a) Participation is only open to current members of the PAA in good standing who are 16 years of age or older. Each team (2 anglers) in the 2012 PAA Team event must consist of at least one Tour Level member. The second team member must consist of a Tour Level or Advantage member. Any person attempting to enter a tournament under the age of 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska) also must have the signature of their parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the Release of Liability Form. By signing this document in the “Angler Signature” line, the competitor gives the PAA permission to use his/her name and likeness without compensation.

(b) A properly completed and signed paperwork packet that contains a Release of Liability, a W-9 Form and an Event Travel Survey must be received by the PAA office on, or postmarked no later than, the Balance Due deadline or before. Packets including this required paperwork will be mailed out to each candidate for competition in the first week of January or upon registration whichever is later. Confirmed entries are contingent upon balance being paid by the balance deadline date. Balances and any assigned penalties shall be paid prior to the practice period, no exceptions. Balances for confirmed entries will not be refunded at any time unless there is extreme circumstance; see rule (e). Any balances or new entries received, or postmarked, after the balance due date will be subject to a $175.00 late fee.

Balance Due Date is as follows:
Lake Toho: Monday, January 9, 2012 (off limits begins at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16, 2012)

In the event the field is not full, PAA will accept balance payments up to the last business day prior to the start of official practice (5pm Friday, January 20, 2012). PAA shall reserve the right to increase the field size.

(c) In extreme circumstances, entry fees (minus the deposit amount) may be transferred if PAA is notified prior to the balance deadline date. The balance of Entry fees will not be transferred or refunded after the balance deadline date unless there is extreme circumstance.

(d) Anglers will be notified of confirmation into the event.

Deposits – Team deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable regardless of date of cancellation, with no exceptions.

Balances – Are non-refundable with the following exception: if a contestant or observer suffers a serious personal emergency. The emergency situation must be presented in written format to the PAA to the attention of Lisa Bell either via email or by U.S. Mail. All emergency situations must be presented for consideration before the first official practice day of the tournament in question. Extreme cases that occur during the practice period of the tournament in question may be presented during that practice period. However, no evaluation by the PAA Board of Directors will take place prior to the conclusion of the tournament. Should the PAA Board of Directors deem the situation, as presented, a true emergency then a contestant’s balances may be transferred one time in the course of a PAA fishing season at the discretion and authority of the PAA Board of Directors. The PAA Board of Directors will make the final decision in regard to all requests. There will be no appeal.

(e) Team Member Changes – In the occurrence where a team member is unable to participate in the event after the team has paid their deposit or entry, one (1) team member may be substituted. Teams are still required to maintain a minimum of one Tour Level member. In addition, all team substitutions are required to have at minimum – an Advantage Level membership. No substitutions are allowed after the commencement of the first official practice day without approval of the Tournament Director. Only anglers (team members) who physically participate in the event will receive points for the Team event.

(f) In order to fish a PAA Team Tournament event, at least one Team member must have a PAA Tour membership. New PAA Tour level memberships are available only to those anglers who compete in a minimum of four events on the B.A.S.S. Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW Tour Majors, FLW Tour Opens, and/or a minimum of one PAA Tournament Series event(s). Memberships are available online at www.fishpaa.com or by contacting the PAA office at (270) 527-2030. Membership dues are non-refundable and non-transferable, no exceptions.

(a) Anglers participating in the PAA Team Tournament 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 the PAA, 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 events, permanent ban from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by the Tournament Director or PAA Board of Directors.

(b) Competitors in PAA 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 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 PAA 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 in the weigh-in area. All medications, prescribed and over-the-counter, must be used for the purpose they were intended and dosage prescribed and/or listed on the label. Abuse of any medications may result in disqualification.
(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 that 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 in which they are competing in PAA-sanctioned events. Competitors are responsible for knowing the fishing and boating regulations of the states in which they are competing in PAA-sanctioned events.
(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 PAA tournament, and/or disqualification from a PAA tournament, after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director.

(a) The PAA Team Tournament event will be held on the Kissimmee Chain with Lake Toho as the official tournament and launch site. Teams are permitted to lock through into Kissimmee. However, no teams are permitted to lock below Kissimmee.

(b) There will be a seven day (7) off-limits period prior to the first day of Official Practice for the PAA Team Tournament event. Off-limits includes No Information as defined in Rule 4(b). During the official practice, Team Partners can practice together or in separate boats. Team Partners must fish together during all competition days.

(c) No Information Rule: There will be a seven day (7) no-information rule prior to the start of the first day of Official Practice in the PAA Team Tournament event. During the no information period, practice, and competition days, Competitors may not solicit and/or receive fishing information about tournament waters from anyone except confirmed Team Competitors and through publicly available sources. Contestants found guilty by the Tournament Director of receiving information from sources deemed non-public, including but not limited to the use of internet, email, electronic communication, verbal, and written communications, to gain an unfair advantage shall be disqualified from the event in question. In addition, the contestant shall forfeit their entry fee, prizes, and prize monies related to the event.
(Example: Having knowledge that someone is going to post information on an internet destination that will only reside at that destination for a short period of time before being removed. Also, any internet destination that (1) is not available to the general public or (2) not available to the general public and requires a membership, password or permission will be presumed to contain non-public information.).

Contestants may not speak or communicate with, or fish with, anyone considered an expert on the tournament waters, about locating or catching fish on tournament waters, during the 7-day no information period, official practice, or competition.

THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS! For a first time offense, the competitor may be disqualified from the tournament. For a second offense, the competitor shall lose his eligibility to compete in future PAA events for a period deemed appropriate by the Tournament Director.

Beginning with the no information period and extending through competition, Competitors may not obtain fishing patterns, locations or fishing information from non-competitors or follow a non-competitor’s boat or participate in the practice of “hole sitting” or the placing of markers by anyone. During the official practice, and extending through competition, Competitors confirmed in the event will be allowed to have in their boat immediate family members including mother, father, son, daughter, spouse, approved media, approved sponsor, or tournament officials; however, said guest may not fish or provide information for the purpose of locating or catching bass. Any guests not defined here will require preauthorization from the PAA Tournament Director prior to participating in practice.  

Under no circumstance will anyone be allowed to operate a boat during practice including outboard motor and trolling motor other than the Team Members entered in the event – except for loading and unloading of trailers and emergency situations. Teams eliminated after each round of competition are considered non-competitors.

(d) There will be an official practice period prior to the first day of competition. The three official practice days will begin at 12:01 a.m. the Monday prior to the start of competition. Unless otherwise specified, all official times are time zone specific to local host community.
The competitor must know and observe these dates. Flying over tournament waters during official practice days and competition days is not allowed.

Event               Balance Due             Off-limits                             Practice          Competition
Lake Toho     *January 9, 2012         Monday, Jan.16, 2012        Jan.  23-25    Jan. 26 – 28

(e) No competitors will be allowed on Tournament waters after sunset at the conclusion of the official practice, except under rule 4(f).

(f) 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.

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

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

(i) On day 3, the top(TBD) Teams based on combined weight from days 1 and 2 compete. Regardless of final day catch, all final day competitors must return to Bass Pro Shops and participate in the weigh-in. The winner is determined by the heaviest combined weight from days 1, 2, and 3.  Anglers must remain onsite until released by the Tournament Director.

(j) Teams in the Top (TBD) positions, after the finalized standings from weigh-in on Day 2, may not solicit or receive fishing information from anyone except other pros in Top (TBD) positions. It is the responsibility of each competitor to know if they are in a Top (TBD) position after they weigh-in and standings are finalized. Money-paying positions will be announced at the tournament registration prior to the beginning of the event.

During official practice days, Competitors are not allowed to use radios, cellular phones, a PDA capable of sending email or text messages or any type of communication device for the purpose of locating or catching fish, with the exception of other Competitors. On competition days, Competitors are permitted to communicate by radio, telephone, e-mail, or text only in the event of any emergency.

Each Team Member will be required to register in person at the designated location and time. Failure to register in person during the prescribed hours shall result in a $50 fine. NO EXCEPTIONS. Any Team, who has not contacted the Tournament Director 30 minutes prior to the tournament meeting, may be disqualified from participating in the tournament. NO EXCEPTIONS.
It is each Competitor’s responsibility to check the schedule of events for registration time and location. It is mandatory that all contestants attend the pre-tournament meeting and scheduled social events at tournament headquarters.

(a) During the official practice and competition, All Competitors must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type III PFD. The PFD must be worn at all times while the combustion engine is operating. The preserver must be strapped, snapped or zipped securely and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is shut off. Violation of this rule may be reason for sanctions to both Team Members including disqualification.

(b) Tournament officials have the right to delay, shorten or cancel the start of an official tournament day due to 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 cancellations. In the event of a lost day of full field competition, the full field may be carried over to the normal final cut day.

(c) PAA reserves the right to impose boat speed limits during any or all tournaments. The decision is left exclusively to the discretion of the Tournament Director.

(d) In the event of an emergency situation, competitors should call 911 first and then notify tournament officials.

(e) Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek safe shelter in bad weather where danger may be imminent.

Dip nets are allowed to be used. 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 products. 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 by each competitor. Other rigs as specified above may be in boat ready for use: however, each cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is attempted or rod is used. All bass must be caught alive and in a conventional sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have his or her catch disqualified. When visually fishing for bass, to be counted as legal fish, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by the Team Partner before being unhooked.

Maximum horsepower for all outboard motorboats used in official tournament practice and in tournament will be 250 HP. Horsepower cannot exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard horsepower-rating plate attached to the boat by the Manufacturer. Each boat must have a clearly legible “Maximum Capacities” plate that includes a maximum horsepower rating affixed to the boat by the Manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the rating specified on the boat’s horsepower-rating plate.

12. BOAT AND MOTOR (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. This ignition-kill device must be attached to the driver’s body any time the combustion engine is operating. Any time the combustion engine is in operation and in gear there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat. By signing the Release of Liability Form, each contestant agrees to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by tournament officials. Falsifying information on any PAA event paperwork or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating plate will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and may result in ineligibility to compete in future PAA events.

*All boats must be propeller driven
*All boats must be equipped with wheel steering
*Each boat must have all required local, state and federal U.S. Coast Guard Safety equipment
*Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnels of the boat
*No portable platforms or ladders may be used
*Standing on the outboard engine or seats while fishing is not allowed
*Fishing boats that are 16 feet or more in length may be used
*An electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering
*Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited
*Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed gas tanks
*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.

*Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility    
open to the public and pumped through a nozzle at the retail facility
*Livewells must be properly aerated to adequately maintain alive, a limit catch of bass by any
competitor using the boat

(a) Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off limits” or “no fishing” by local, state or federal officials, and/or the PAA Tournament Director. Off limit/no fishing areas will be treated like a brick wall when fishing, the competitors artificial bait cannot enter the water in an off-limits area. Only water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters.  
(b) All angling must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.
(c) Contestants must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat. The boat must remain in the tournament waters during the tournament day. No tournament boat may be loaded on a trailer
before the weigh-in except with the permission of the tournament director.
(d) The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for restroom breaks is permitted, at which time all fishing must cease until both partners are back together and within sight of each other.
(e) 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. The placement of objects in water cannot in any way hinder the access by other anglers.
(f) The altering of tournament waters and/or habitat which changes, restricts, or limits access to those waters by other anglers is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to the falling of trees.

In the event of equipment failure or emergency, there will be only three permitted methods of returning to the official check in:
*By both partners remaining in their boat and being towed by water
*By at least one Team Member entering the boat of another tournament contestant with their  
catch and returning to the check-in site ( fishing must cease for the rescued anglers)
*Rescue boat designated by the Tournament Director
*PAA is not responsible for providing a rescue boat

Under these three conditions the Team’s catch may be counted without penalty. Contestants who elect to return to the official check-in by any other means other than cited above will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day. Any Team returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the Tournament Director or his designated tournament official provided both team members are together on-site for the re-start . It is the sole responsibility of contestants to contact the Tournament Director to request a restart.

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. Failure to go through boat check and check-out in the morning or failure to check in at the check-in point will 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 given to them at check-out in the morning, and then proceed immediately to the designated weigh-in area.

Tournament standings and final winners shall be determined by the pound/ounce or
pounds/hundredths weight of each Team’s catch during the competition days of the tournament. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Redeye or Shoal bass will be weighed. The limit shall be five (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. Once a team catches their sixth (6th) keeper bass, both team members must cease fishing until a legal five (5) bass limit is obtained in the boat. Tournament officials will conduct checks for violation of this provision. In the event a competitor has more than the above-described limits in possession, Tournament Officials 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 Pre-Tournament Meeting. 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 that 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 Team. Culling of dead fish is not allowed. A dead fish is described as one that is no longer showing any movement of any kind.  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 Teams 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 Team’s catch is measured, counted and verified by a tournament official, the Team Member presenting their catch 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.

Teams who are not in the official checkpoint area at the appointed time shall be penalized at the rate of one (1) 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 Team 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. Exact starting and check-in times will be announced at the Pre-Tournament Meeting. It is each angler’s responsibility to confirm check-in times each day.

18. TIES:
In case of a tie for first place in the Team Event 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 the Tournament Director. Ties for merchandise and/or cash award places 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 Team with heaviest single day catch during competition;
(4) if the tie is not broken, the next tiebreaker will be the Team 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 the Tournament Director. Ties for any position in the Team Event will be resolved in the same order explained above.

Each contestant agrees to submit, by signature on the Release of Liability Form, to a polygraph examination or voice stress analysis examination and to abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass an examination will result in penalty deemed appropriate by the Tournament Director. Truth verification tests will be used at PAA’s sole discretion and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by the Polygraph Examiner administering the test. The results will be presented to PAA Tournament Officials. PAA Tournament Officials shall have the exclusive responsibility and rights in determining what penalties, if any, should be imposed on the Team Competitors in question, including but not limited to disqualification from the event. Any competitor disqualified from an event will forfeit all prizes, prize monies and entry fees for the event in question and may be subject to additional sanctions.  The judgment made and/or penalties imposed as a result of the Truth Verification Tests are final and may not be appealed. There will be random Truth Verification Tests given at each event to competitors.
There will be random selections of competitors who finish in the top 10 of each event to take a Truth Verification Test. Failure to pass an examination may result in disqualification. The “no-info” rule (see rule 4(b) & 4(c)) will be one of the questions on the examination.

During official practice and competition days, no angler may operate a boat unless that angler has documented proof of a minimum of $300,000 per occurrence boat owner’s liability insurance covering the boat being used in the tournament. Proof of insurance must be with boat being used and must cover the anglers using that boat.

Each angler participating in the event must have a valid resident or non-resident fishing license for the tournament water while on the tournament waters. A competitor must be able to provide proof to the Tournament Director of a valid fishing license for the tournament waters, while on the tournament waters, and must be able to immediately produce it to the Tournament Director.

After the tournament begins, fishing the tournament waters, being on the water (including “walking” marinas), or walking the shoreline for the purpose of locating or catching bass is prohibited except during tournament hours. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated livewell. For each legal dead bass presented to weigh-in officials, the competitor shall be penalized 4 ounces per dead fish. The culling of dead fish is not allowed. The Tournament Director/weigh-in official shall have sole authority for assessing penalty points. It is suggested that anglers use ice and fish care products to help keep their catch alive. Contestants are allowed to purchase ice on the water from a retail store. Partners must stay together during this process. However they are not allowed to receive ice from non-competitors.

At the conclusion of the tournament 200 points will be awarded to each participating member of the winning Team. Both participating Team members for each finishing place will be awarded the same points for their finish in the event. Points awarded for the PAA Team event will be added to the PAA Tournament Series points for each Angler. The cumulative total of points for each Angler’s best three (3) finishes during the year (1 team event & 3 Tournament Series events) will be the formula in determining “Angler of the Year” standings.  Team Anglers will be awarded points based on the following formula:

X=Finishing Position
Y=Actual number of Teams in event
Formula: ((Y+1)-X)*(200/Y)

This formula equally distributes a given number of points based on ACTUAL field size per event. All anglers who participate in an event will receive points for said event.
Anglers who place high in the “Angler of the Year” Point Standings may have an opportunity to qualify for a special “end of the year” event. The top 100 pros will receive priority entry for the 2013 season.  Any ties in the Angler of the Year Point Standings will be resolved by the total weight for all full-field competition days of the season.

In the event an angler, who has participated during the competition days and with the approval of the Tournament Director, must leave the event, he/she may earn the same number of points as the remaining team members earns at the completion of competition.

Official tournament uniforms, including professional tournament jerseys, must be worn across weigh-in stage. The PAA reserves the right to disallow a contestant to weigh his fish if not displaying appropriate attire as determined by the Tournament Director. If it is actually raining at the time of the weigh-in, a rain suit would be appropriate attire. No do-rags or bandanas are allowed during weigh-in.  The PAA strongly urges and encourages all competitors to wear their professional tournament jerseys at all registration activities on the day of registration.