2012 PAA Tournament Series Rules

2012 Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series

Official Rules & Regulations

1. Rule Enforcement:

The following rules shall apply to all PAA Tournament Series 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.

Throughout these rules the:
(1) Professional Angler may be referred to as, and is synonymous with the “Pro” or Boater.
(2) Co-Angler may be referred to as, and is synonymous with the Non-Boater.
(3) Competitor, Contestant, Candidate, Partner and Angler may be referred to as, and is synonymous with both Professional Angler and Co-Angler.

2. Participation & Eligibility:

(a) “Pro” Participation is only open to current Tour level members of the PAA in good standing, who are 16 years of age or older. “Co-Angler” participation is open to current General or Advantage level members in good standing who are 16 years of age or older and Affinity level members who show proof of being a current/active college student(copy of college ID must be submitted with payment). 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) Any candidate for competition who, in the judgment of the Tournament Director, is disabled in such a manner as to unfairly hinder or potentially harm their partner, Observer, staff member or other person with them, or endanger the safety and well-being of their partner, Observer, staff member or other person with them or themselves, shall not be eligible to participate.

(c) A properly completed and signed paperwork packet that contains a Release of Liability, a W-9 Form, an Emcee Information Sheet and an Event Travel Survey must be received by the PAA prior to participation in an event. Packets including this required paperwork will be emailed out to each candidate for competition upon acceptance as a competitor in the event or upon registration. 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 $50 late fee.

Pro Entry Fee is $1,500.00 per event with a minimum of a $500 deposit due upon entry into the event.
Co-Angler Entry Fee is $250.00 per event with a minimum of a $50.00 deposit due upon entry into the event.

Balance Due Dates are as follows:

Old Hickory: Monday, April 30, 2012 (off limits begins at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Apr. 30, 2012)
Neely Henry: Monday, July 16, 2012   (off limits begins at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Jul. 16, 2012)
Arkansas River: Monday, Sept. 3, 2012(off limits begins at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Sept. 3, 2012)

(d) 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; see rule (e).

(e) Anglers will be notified of confirmation into the event. If the angler is not accepted into the event, the angler will be put on a waiting list and notified of their position on the waiting list. No payment will be collected from an Angler on the waiting list for an event until such time that a position becomes available for the event(s) in question. An Angler on the waiting list will have seven (7) days from the notification of an open position to pay his/her entry fee deposits (and entry fee balance if after the Balance Due Date) to confirm his/her participation in the available position.

Deposits – Contestants 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/Observer’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.

(f) In order to fish a PAA Tournament Series event as a Pro, a Pro angler 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.

3. Sportsmanship:
(a) Anglers participating in the PAA Tournament Series events 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 and Co-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.

4. Practice and Competition:

(a) There will be a seven day (7) off-limits period prior to the first day of Official Practice for the PAA Tournament Series events, unless otherwise specified by the Tournament Director. Off-limits includes No Information as defined in Rule 4(b).

(b) 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 each PAA Tournament Series event.

* During the “no information” period, practice, and competition days, Pros (including those on the waiting list) may not solicit and/or receive fishing information about tournament waters from anyone except confirmed Pros and through publicly available sources.

* During the no information period, practice, and competition days, Co-Anglers (including those on the waiting list) may not solicit and/or receive fishing information about tournament waters from anyone except confirmed Pros or confirmed Co-Anglers and through publicly available sources.

* During the no information period, practice, and competition days, Co-Angler Contestants who share information about catching or locating fish on tournament waters with Pro Contestants will be disqualified from the event along with the Pro requesting or using the information.

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.

(c) Beginning with the official practice and extending through competition, Contestants may not follow a non-competitor’s boat or participate in the practice of “hole sitting” or the placing of markers by anyone. Pros and Co-Anglers may practice alone, with another confirmed Contestant, or with a member of their immediate family (mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild or spouse). Contestants may also practice with approved sponsor and media representatives. Any guests not defined here will require preauthorization from the PAA Tournament Director prior to participating in practice. Practice Partners may fish but, cannot provide any information for the purpose of locating or catching bass except for another entered contestant which is outlined in Rule 4-b. Under no circumstance will anyone be allowed to operate a boat during practice including outboard motor and trolling motor other than the Pro or Co-Angler entered into the event. In addition, when Pros and Co-Anglers are practicing together in the same boat, the Co-Angler is not allowed to operate the outboard and/or trolling motor. Practice partners are allowed to operate the outboard and trolling motors for the purposes of loading and unloading the boat from/to the trailer and emergency situations. Anglers eliminated after each round of competition are considered non-competitors. No immediate family member or spouse of the Pro will be utilized or eligible as a Co-Angler in that Competitor’s boat during competition. Co-Anglers who share fishing patterns or locations with Pro competitors shall be disqualified, along with the Pro requesting and/or using the information. Additionally, Co-Anglers may be banned from participation in future PAA events for providing such information.

(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 begins          Practice       Competition
Old Hickory         Monday, April 30, 2012     Monday, Apr 30, 2012    May 7-9        May 10-l 2
Neely Henry        Monday July 16, 2012      Monday, July 16, 2012    July 23-25    July 26-28
Arkansas River    Monday, Sept. 3, 2012     Monday, Sept 3, 2012    Sept 10-12    Sept 13-15

(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) The purchasing and/or bartering of fishing information for the purposes of catching or locating fish on tournament waters from any Contestant or non-contestant for use during any competition day is strictly prohibited and will be cause for disqualification for any contestant involved.

(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) Co-Anglers will compete on days 1 & 2 only. Co-Anglers will fish for and allowed to weigh in a maximum of three (3) fish per competition day. Upon completion of competition day two, the winner and finishes for Co-Anglers will be determined by the heaviest combined weights from days 1 & 2. Length limits shall be governed by the tournament waters being fished and will be announced/ furnished at the pre-tournament meeting. Co-Angler finishes/ prizes will be awarded upon completion of the day 2 weigh-in.

(j) Pros will compete for three competition days with the field being cut upon completion of day 2. Pros will fish for and allowed to weigh in a maximum of five (5) fish per competition day. Length limits shall be governed by the tournament waters being fished and will be announced/ furnished at the pre-tournament meeting. On day 3, a maximum of the top 15 Pros based on combined weight from days 1 and 2 will 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.

(k) Pros in the final day cut positions, after the finalized standings from weigh-in on Day 2, may not solicit or receive fishing information from anyone except from other pros in the final day cut positions. It is the responsibility of the Pro to know if they are in the final day cut position after they weigh-in and standings are finalized. Money-paying positions and the number of Pros competing on the final day will be announced at the tournament registration prior to the beginning of the event.

5. Observers

At the discretion of the Tournament Director, an Observer may be placed in any Pro Anglers boat during any competition day for which that Pro does not have a Co-Angler. Observers may fish (on days 1 & 2 only) but, must immediately release their catch. Observers are permitted to assist the Pro in landing fish if requested by the Pro (on days 1 & 2 only). Observers shall be governed by and adhere to all rules pertaining to Co-Angler contestants. The Observer is not expected to share in the costs of operating the boat for the day 3. Observers will be utilized for the Pros final competition day 3. Observers cannot fish on day 3 and cannot assist the pro in any way including but, not limited to the landing of fish.

6. Communication

During official practice days, Pro 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 Pro competitors. On competition days, Competitors (Pros and Co-Anglers) are permitted to communicate by radio, telephone, e-mail, or text only in the event of any emergency.

7. Angler Check-In

Each Angler will be required to check-in 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 Competitor, 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.

8. Pairings

Pros and Co-Anglers will be paired for competition days 1 & 2 by a random drawing. Day one pairings will be announced at the Pre-Tournament Meeting. Day two competition pairings and day three observer pairings will be posted in a designated location. All Contestants must meet with or contact their assigned Partner during pairings at the Pre-Tournament Meeting and after each competition day to prepare for the next competition day. Pros and Co-Anglers (Pros and Observers on day 3) should advise each other of their lodging, phone number, and establish a meeting time and place for the next morning before take-off. Tournament officials have no responsibility for finding missing Partners/ Observers. The Tournament Director at his/her discretion may reassign Co-Anglers/ Observers prior to the morning take-off.  When the Pro and Co-Angler/ Observer check out at the beginning of the day, they must stay together and within sight of each other throughout the day until their catch has been verified by Tournament Officials except in case of emergency. In the event of a needed restroom break, Contestants are allowed to leave the boat, at which time all fishing must cease until Partners are back together in the boat.

9. Safety

(a) During the official practice and competition, Pros, Co-Anglers and Observers 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 the Pro or Co-Angler including disqualification. It is suggested that the Pro and Co-Angler/ Observer conduct a safety briefing prior to take-off each morning to familiarize the location of all safety equipment. In addition, it is suggested that the Pro brief the Co-Angler/ Observer with regards to operation of the boat in case of emergency.

(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.

10. Tackle and Equipment

Dip nets are allowed to be used by both Competitors. The Pro has the sole discretion with regards to the netting or landing of fish and should inform the Co-Angler of their preferences prior to take-off each competition day. On day 3 the Observer may not assist in the netting or landing of a fish in any way, which includes handing dip net to Pro Competitor. 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. 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 Partner/ Observer in the boat, before being unhooked.

11. Horsepower Regulations

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

13. Permitted Fishing Locations
(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. A Contestant may leave the boat to retrieve a lure at which time all fishing must cease until both Contestants are safely in the boat.

(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.

14. Equipment Failure and Emergency

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 both Partners entering the boat of another tournament contestant
• Rescue boat designated by the Tournament Director
• PAA is not responsible for providing a rescue boat

Under these three conditions, all fishing must cease for the rescued Contestants. Under these three conditions the contestant’s catch may be counted without penalty. Partners must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and the catch, under the circumstances above in order for their day’s catch to count. 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 Contestant returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the Tournament Director or his designated tournament official. It is the sole responsibility of Contestants to contact the Tournament Director to request a restart.

15. Official Checkpoints

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 their assigned boat number given to them at check-out each morning, return the boat ID tag to the check-in official at check-in and then proceed immediately to the designated weigh-in area.

16. Scoring

Tournament standings and final winners shall be determined by the pound/ounce or
pounds/hundredths weight of each competitor’s catch during the competition days of the tournament. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Redeye or Shoal bass will be weighed. The limit shall be five (5) for the Pro and three (3) for the Co-Angler of the above species and varieties per day, unless otherwise specified by tournament officials. At no time shall a Competitor have in his or her possession more than the tournament limit. Tournament officials will conduct checks for violation of this provision.

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 Competitor. 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 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. Pros and Co-Anglers must remain together until their catch has been counted and verified at the “bump station” by tournament officials. If one Partner does not have fish to weigh, they may exit the “bump station” area once their Partners catch has been counted and verified. Once the bass are bagged for weigh-in, Observers do not need to accompany their Pro through the weigh-in process.

17. Late Penalty

Competitors 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 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. Exact starting and check-in times will be announced at the Pre-Tournament Meeting. It is the Angler’s responsibility to confirm check-in times each day on the daily pairings.

18. Ties

In case of a tie for first place in the Pro division at the end of the tournament, there will be a sudden-death fish-off between the tied competitors under the direction and special rules established by the Tournament Director. Ties for merchandise and/or cash award places in the Pro division will be resolved in the following order: (1) largest number of legal fished weighed during competition; (2) if the tie is not broken, the next tiebreaker will be the largest number of legal live fish weighed during competition; (3) if the tie is not broken, the next tiebreaker will be the individual with heaviest single day catch during competition; (4) if the tie is not broken, the next tiebreaker will be the individual with the second heaviest single day catch during competition. If the tie is not broken by applying the foregoing procedures, prizes will be awarded as determined by the Tournament Director. Ties for any position in the Pro division will be resolved in the same order explained above. Ties for all Co-Angler placing including 1st place will be determined by the tie-breakers listed above beginning with (1) – largest number of legal fish weighed during competition.

19. Truth verification test

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 competitor 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 money/ merchandise paying positions 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.

20. Insurance

During official practice and competition days, no Angler (including Co-Anglers) 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 the boat being used and must cover all passengers in the boat.

21. Fishing License

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.

22. Before/After Tournament Hours

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.

23. Fish Care

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.

24. Points

At the conclusion of the tournament 200 points will be awarded to the winner in the Pro Division. Points to Pro anglers will be awarded based on the following formula:

X=Finishing Position
Y=Actual number of Pro competitors 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 Pros who participate in an event will receive points for said event. Pros who place high in the Angler of the Year Point Standings may have an opportunity to qualify for the 2012 Toyota Texas Bass Classic. 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.

25. Boat Operation and Expense

During competition, Pros will fish from the front deck of the boat only. Co-Anglers (Observers days 1 & 2) will fish from the back deck or travel-seating area only.  Pros will have complete control of the boat and waters to be fished. Pros are required to furnish a back deck seat for their Co-Angler. Pros may not request that their Co-Angler and/or Observer on day 1 & 2 not fish during the competition day. Any Pro, who in the judgment of the Tournament Director, operates the boat in such a manner that unfairly handicaps his/ her Co-Angler from fishing tournament waters and any Co-Angler that unfairly handicaps his/ her Pro Partner from fishing tournament waters may have sanctions imposed against them including disqualification from the event. Co-Anglers/Observers are only allowed to drive the boat in emergency situations during competition with the exception of loading and unloading from trailers. Due to the large expense of operating and maintaining a tournament boat, it is suggested that Co-Anglers and fishing Observers on days 1 & 2 share, at minimum, 1/2 the expense of oil & gas for the day. Observers will not be permitted to fish on day 3, no exceptions. Observers on day 3 are non-fishing partners and therefore, are not expected to share in the cost of operating the boat.  Observers on day 3 cannot assist the Pro in any way.

26. Dress Code

Official tournament uniforms, including professional tournament jerseys, must be worn across weigh-in stage by the Professional Angler. 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 Pro Competitors to wear their professional tournament jerseys at all registration activities on the day of registration.

27. Protests
Official protests must be filed in writing to the Tournament Director within fifteen (15) minutes after the weigh-in has concluded each day. All parties involved will be provided with a copy of the protest.