Revised June 13, 2019
Members are required to be familiar with and comply with the following Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation Tournament Rules:
Printer-friendly version of rules HERE.
ARIZONA B.A.S.S. NATION TOURNAMENT RULES
- Participation and Eligibility:
- All members in good standing of the Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation sixteen (16) years of age or older are eligible to participate in Arizona B.A.S.S. Federation Nation tournaments.
- Participants must declare if they are fishing for boater or non-boater points for entire circuit prior to their first tournament.
- All members must have a sign-up partner to enter the draw of each tournament. After the draw, if a member is not able to attend that tournament they are required to notify the Tournament Director or member of the board as soon as possible. After every attempt has been made to find a replacement pairing partner, the Tournament Director will consider a special circumstance to allow the attending member to fish.
- The only way boaters can fish as non-boaters, or vice-versa is if there is uneven pairing at the draw.
- Boaters going as non-boaters get boater points but may enter non-boater options. (only permitted once per tournament season)
- Non-boaters going as boaters get non-boater points but may enter boater options. (only permitted once per tournament season)
- Members Provision: A member is only permitted to use a guest (nonmember) once per tournament year.
- Guest Provision: A guest is only permitted once per tournament year. A guest boater must have and be able to provide of insurance. ($300,000 min. liability) No points will be awarded to guest.
- !!!! All entries are non-refundable after the draw !!!!
- Entry Fees/Pay Outs/Options:
- The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation basic tournament entry fee is Sixty dollars ($60.00) per angler. The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation will retain Fifty dollars ($50.00) .This will go into the state fund for running
- tournaments and help the B.A.S.S. Nation to cover the cost of sending teams to the regional tournaments. The other ten ($10.00) will go towards the Big Fish option with a 100% pay back.
- The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation will also have an Angler and Co-angler option of Fifty ($50.00) per member with a 100% pay back. Non-boaters are fishing for non-boater option money, and boaters are fishing for boater option money. The breakdown is as follows. The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation will only pay back 10 spots no matter if there are 64 people or more in the option.
People in Option Breakdown
8-14 60%, 40%
15-21 50%, 30%, 20%
22-28 40%, 35%, 15%, 10%
29-35 40%, 25%, 20%, 10%, 5%
36-42 37%, 21%, 16%, 12%, 9%, 5%
43-49 36%, 20%, 15%, 11%, 8%, 6%, 4%
50-56 36%, 20%, 15%, 11%, 8%, 6%, 4%
57-63 34%, 20%, 15%, 10%, 7%, 5%, 4%, 3%, 2%
64 + 33%, 20%, 15%, 10%, 7%, 5%, 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%
- The Arizona B.A.S.S Nation Big Fish is an automatic ten-dollar ($10.00) option for the tournament.
- The Big Fish option pays out 100%.
- The Big Fish option pays back two places:
- 60% for First Big Fish and 40% FOR Second Big Fish.
- Team option:
- There will be an additional side pot ($20) per contestant for the heaviest combined boat weight. It will be 100% payback for the angler/ co-angler money.
- We will pay 2 places with a 60/40 split in each division.
The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation may, at its discretion, introduce other options when desired.
- Tournament Formats and Descriptions:
- The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation holds approximately 6 tournaments per fishing season.
- All Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments are a pro/am draw format.
- Participants must fish a minimum of 3 qualifiers to be eligible for the state team.
THERE WILL BE NO PAPER TOURNAMENTS.
- Individual Draw Tournaments:
- The draw for contestant pairings will be held the week prior to the tournament at a pre-scheduled meeting. The draw will be done in front of all present.
- All entries and fees must be received by tournament officials prior to the start of the meeting. (It is the responsibility of each participant to ensure their entry is received by the tournament officials)
- Boater and non-boater fish together as individuals from the same boat during the tournament hours.
- A single five (5) fish limit is allowed per contestant. All state and local rules apply.
- Boater/Non-Boaters may fish together only once per year. In the event of duplicate pairings, the previous pair drawn prior to the conflict will swap non-boaters.
- Boat expense: There is a large expense involved in operating and maintaining a tournament bass boat. It is suggested that the non-boater share, at minimum, the cost of gas and oil. Approx. ($25)
- Pairing For Tournaments:
- The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation has a two (2) anglers per boat limit during tournament competition. To facilitate this policy the Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation has adopted a “Must Pair” rule for its tournaments. Pairing, for the purpose of this rule, means that each non-boater angler is matched to a boater angler for the tournament.
- Pairing Procedures: Pairing may be accomplished at any time prior to tournament registration. However, the earlier you attempt to find a partner, the easier it is.
- Arrangements, such as transportation to the lake and cost sharing, should be worked out in advance.
- If a non-boater cannot find a partner for a given tournament, the Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation has adopted the following policy: Return of all entry and option fees and award last place finish points.
- Each contestant may pre-register and pay the designated entry fee. The registration fees must be paid prior to the draw. It is the responsibility of the contestant to ensure that his registration and entry fee reaches the Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation Treasurer, or his designee, by the deadline. If paying by mail, the contestant is responsible for timely delivery.
- You may also send your registration with your representative that will be attending the tournament draw meeting.
- Late registrations will not be accepted.
- No alcohol or illegal drugs will be allowed on tournament boats during tournament hours. In addition no person shall be under the influence of illegal drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs which impair his or her ability to operate the boat in a safe manner. Violation of this rule will result in the disqualification of all knowing persons on the boat. Person(s) disqualified, will forfeit all prizes, fees and tournament points and be banned from all future Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments.
- All U.S. Coast Guard rules apply to each contestant.
- All applicable State and Local laws and regulations will be obeyed by all contestants
- All contestants will observe applicable slot and bag limits, and lake area closures.
- Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s) must be worn properly and kill switches attached whenever the main (gasoline) boat engine is running and in gear during tournament hours. Tournament hours are from the time you leave the start boat till the time you check-in with the check-in boat.
- Tournament Boat Requirements:
- Boats sixteen (16’) feet or more is considered a minimum tournament boat.
- In Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments, there is a fifty (50 HP) minimum horsepower rating. However the maximum horsepower rating cannot exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard for the boat (Check U.S. Coast Guard horsepower rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer). Note: If fishing in a Regional and or national tournament sponsored by B.A.S.S. the maximum horsepower rating for any tournament boat must not exceed 250 (two-hundred and fifty) horsepower.
- A working kill switch is required.
- A working livewell is required. A forty (40) quart cooler rigged with aeration apparatus is considered a minimum effective livewell.
- Non-competitors are not allowed to be on board tournaments boats during tournament hours.
- No competitor may refuse to fish from another competitor’s boat he has drawn, if that boat meets minimum tournament specifications (refusal constitutes disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.)
- Boaters will be required to have boat insurance (300,000 min liability). If the boater cannot produce valid insurance coverage at the time of the tournament draw, the boater will be unable to participate.
- Tournament Practice/Off Limits:
- All competitors may fish on the designated tournament waters until Midnight prior to the tournament day.
- No fishing is allowed during tournament hours within fifty (50) yards of the day-one release site (for two-day tournaments only).
- No competitor may fish within fifty feet (50’) of another competitor’s boat, when that boat is anchored or secured in a fixed position. The competitors in the anchored/secured boat may not waive this restriction for any other competitor.
- Cell phone use including messaging is prohibited during tournament hours. Emergency situations are exempt from this rule.
- Weight is measured on an electronic scale. Weight is measured in pounds and hundredths of a pound. All fish weighed for a given tournament must be weighed on the same scale. In the event of a scale malfunction, a comparable alternate scale will be used to complete the weigh-in. If further failure occurs, the tournament will be cancelled.
- Only Largemouth and Smallmouth bass are permitted.
- Minimum size is 12 inches unless otherwise indicated by the Tournament Director. (Fish are measured on a “gator board” mouth closed and tail pinched).
- The penalty for a slot fish is automatic disqualification.
- The penalty for a short fish is loss of that fish and a one (1 lb) pound penalty.
- The penalty for a dead fish is 1/2 of a pound (.50 ) for every dead fish brought to the scale. (Competitors will be required to keep any dead fish they present at weigh-in)
- The penalty for late check in at the end of the tournament day is one pound (1 lb) per minutes. After 15 minutes, contestant(s) are disqualified.
- Final tournament position is determined by total weight of fish weighed in, less any penalties.
- Tournament Start Procedures:
- Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments will have designated start times, set by the Tournament Director, prior to each tournament. The Tournament Director may, at his discretion, begin the tournament at that time or safe light, whichever is later. The tournament director may, at his discretion, delay the tournament start due to unsafe weather or conditions.
- A tournament that is delayed over 50% of the tournament length due to unsafe weather or conditions is deemed to be cancelled.
- It is the responsibility of the competitors to launch their boats and be ready to blast off by the designated start time.
- The tournament will start at the designated time regardless of whether all contestants are present at the designated launch site.
- Pre-Tournament Live well Checks:
- Anyone who does not have their livewells checked by one half hour (30 minutes) prior to blast off will be disqualified. Therefore forfeiting any entry fees and points.
- Contestants will be launched by boat number order. There will be a minimum of twenty seconds between each boat launched.
- The Tournament Director or his designee as part of the Pre-launch procedure will conduct a livewell check. To prevent delays, each contestant should drive by the
- designated Pre-Tournament Live Well area and have the live-well(s) open for inspection before launching the boat.
- Method of Take Restriction:
- Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments are “artificial lure only” tournaments. No live bait may be used. No fresh cut or frozen once alive bait may be used. No preserved or dried baits may be used except “Pork Rind” type baits.
- Trolling is not allowed in Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments. Trolling is defined as drawing a lure or bait through the water with the primary or secondary gasoline powered engine on the boat. Using the electronic trolling/positioning motor to move a bait through the water is not considered trolling as long as the rod to which the lure or bait is attached is under direct control of the contestant.
- Any contestant may use only one rod at a time during Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments. This rod must be under direct control of the contestant while in use. A rod whose lure or bait is “snagged” is not considered “in use” for the purposes of this rule.
- During practice and competition no more than one artificial may be attached to a line at one time. One lure is defined as a single manmade device designed to attract and/or catch one fish at a 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.
- Any umbrella-type rigging, harness, or other device designed to hold more than one lure at a time – with or without hooks – is not allowed. Such rigging, harness, or device cannot be added to a single lure as described above. Traditional twin arm spinnerbaits or buzzbaits are allowed. Trailer hooks and plastic trailers must be on the main hook of the bait; only spinner blades can be affixed to the arms. The head on the main stem may be hinged. On these spinnerbaits or buzzbaits, no more than two wires, with a maximum length of six inches, may extend off the main arm or body of the lure. The “head and hook” portion of the lure must trail behind the blade or blades.
- Fishing from shore is not allowed during Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments. “Shore” is defined as the lake bank and any dock, boat or structure attached to the lake bank.
- Fishing from any floating platform or structure other than that designated tournament boat is not allowed during Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments.
- Contestants may not fish from any boat other than their own designated tournament boat during tournament hours.
- Changing boats is allowed only in the event of a breakdown of the original tournament boat.
- In the event of a Sight-Fishing (Bed) tournament, the fish caught must have the hook inside its mouth. The partner must verify this before the hook is removed. In the event that the fish is caught outside the mouth (Snagged) the fish must be returned to the water.
- Fish Handling/Culling/Number of Fish in Possession:
- All culling tags must be non-piercing.
- Big fish must be marked by a tag before its handed over to be weighed. If it is not tagged you will get a total weight only.
- The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation allows the use of the landing nets to assist in the landing of fish during tournaments.
- The number of fish allowed in possession by contestants in Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments at any given time is one (1) fish more than the daily bag limit for that tournament. This is for culling purposes only. Contestants are expected to keep only 5 fish maximum in their livewells at any given time.
- Culling must be done during tournament hours while on the lake. No culling will be allowed within 100 yards of the weigh-in. No culling will be allowed after check-in.
- Culling of a DEAD fish is PROHIBITED (State bag/possession limits still apply.)
- All fish caught, regardless of size, will be handled carefully and treated in a manner that will not bring discredit upon the Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation. Careless handling of fish will not be tolerated.
- Breakdown/Disabled Boats:
- One contestant from the disabled boat may enter the boat of another competitor or a tournament official, for the purposes of proceeding directly to the weigh-in. The other contestant may remain with the disabled boat without penalty.
- End of Tournament Procedures:
- Check-In: Each contestant will check in with the Tournament Director or designee on the water by the designated end of tournament time. This is normally done with a “check-in” boat that is designated prior to the tournament start. Contestants should approach the check in boat and announce their start number. The designated check-in official will respond with the number and “check-in on time”. If the contestant is late, the official will respond with the number and “check-in minutes late” (penalty – 1 LB. per minute). It is the responsibility of the contestant to ensure that they are properly checked in.
- Weigh-in site set up: Weigh-in will begin when the weigh-in site has been completely set up and the weigh master and assistants are ready to proceed. This generally takes from 10 to 20 minutes depending on the conditions. (While waiting for the weigh-in to begin, fish should remain in the livewell).The weigh-master will announce when he is ready to begin, and at that time weigh-in bags will be distributed to contestants.
- Weigh-in procedure: Contestants are required to use the weigh bags provided by the Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation. One contestant should approach the scale with the bag of fish and place them in the first-check basket when directed to do so by the weigh-master. The first-check official will check the fish for length, species, and whether any fish are dead. The first-check official will then place the largest fish (chosen by the angler) into the weigh basket to be weighed separately. The weigh-master will weigh the big fish and announce this weight to the recording official. The first-check official will next place the remaining fish into the basket to be weighed with the big fish. The weigh-master will weigh the total bag and announce the total weight to the recording official.
- Under no circumstances will dead or dying fish be left in the water at Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments.
- Rules Interpretation and Protest/Appeal Procedures:
- Interpretation of all tournament rules is the sole responsibility of the Tournament Director. Violation of any tournament rule(s) will result in disqualification. Disqualified contestants forfeit all fees paid, are not eligible for prizes or winnings, and do not receive points for the tournament. If a tournament participant believes that the Tournament Director has ruled in error, they may file a written protest/appeal. Written appeals will be accepted up to 30 minutes after the end of the weigh-in. The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation President, or Vice President if the President is not present, may extend the time frame for written appeal if they determine that extenuating circumstances warrant an extension. All written appeals must be signed and dated and state the specific reason for the appeal. Written appeals should also include the names of any club members who may have been witness to the event. Written appeals, received within the required time frame, will be ruled on by the governing board prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting. The final decision will be sent via phone call to all parties involved. Rulings, made on protest/appeals by the governing board, are not subject to discussion or debate by the membership at the meeting and are final.
- It is the responsibility of all Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation members who witness serious infractions to the tournament rules (i.e. cheating, illegal acts, etc.), to report such infractions to the Tournament Director immediately after the conclusion of the tournament. In any event, the member who witnesses a violation of the tournament rules should immediately report the infraction to the offending person to give them an opportunity to correct the situation if possible.
- Points System:
- The Arizona B.A.S.S Nation uses an accumulated point system to determine member ranking for the Angler and Co-Angler of the Year races.
- Points are awarded for participation in Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments. Tournament points earned are the total of their finish points.
- Finish order points are determined on a two-hundred (200) point descending scale. First (1st) place finisher(s) receive 200 points; second (2nd) place receives 199 points and so on.
- Each angler will receive points corresponding with their finish place.
- In the event of a tie for a position, ties will be broken in the following manner:
- The contestant with the most fish (IE LIMIT) will win that position.
- If this also results in a tie then the Big Fish for the contestant will break the tie.
- If contestants do not weigh in a Big Fish then those contestants will be awarded the same place points, then the next contestant will be awarded the next finish place points less one (1) point.
- Contestant A weighs in 10.00 lbs along with contestant B and ties for 5th place and both contestants weigh in a limit and both contestants do not weigh in a Big Fish – both contestants will receive 196 points. Contestant C weighs in 9.89 lbs that team will be awarded 194 points.
- All Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation members fishing in a tournament receive the tournament points that correspond to their finish order in the tournament unless they are disqualified.
- Members who do not weigh any fish are determined to have finished last, and receive points corresponding to that position.
- Final Points for the Year:
- The Arizona B.A.S.S. Angler and Co-angler of the year will be determined from total participation points from the year with no throw outs.
- In the event of a tie for either Angler or Co-angler of the year, the following rules will apply.
- The highest place finish points will then be used. If this also results in a tie.
- The heaviest bag will break the tie. If this also results in a tie.
- The angler’s big fish of the year will break the tie.
- State Team:
- The State Team will be made up of ten (10) Boaters and ten (10) Non-Boaters.
- Their place on the team will be made up of all tournaments fished with one (1) throw-out.
- State Team alternates will consist of the 11th place finisher from the boater side. The Alternate non-boater position will be filled by the High School Boat Captain.
- As a boater drops from the team, the next available boater from the point standings will move into the alternate boater position and the alternate boater will move into the top ten and will follow the same format for each member who drops from the team. The non-boaters who drop from the team will be replaced by the next available non-boater from the point standings and the board alternate will remain as alternate. The board alternate will only join the top ten non-boaters if a vacancy occurs less than two weeks from the event or a need arises at the event itself. All State team members will be required to sign a contract. The content of this agreement to be determined by the state Board and State team captain.
- For a member to be in good standing to qualify for the State team member must have participated in two (2) AZBN sanctioned activities per season. One no later than June 1st and the 2nd prior to the final qualifier. (Kids Jr. Bass, Community Service, etc.).
- Financial Responsibility:
- Non-boaters paired with boaters are expected to pay his or her fair share of the costs involved with fishing, in addition to their own entry fees. These costs at the minimum included the cost of towing the tournament boat to the lake and the cost of gas used by the tournament boat during the tournament. Other costs may be involved as well.
- It is the responsibility of the boater to explain these costs to the non-boater he is paired with and agree on an acceptable payment. The amount is agreed on is completely up to the negotiation between the boater and the non-boater. Final acceptance of any amount is the privilege of the boater. If an agreement cannot be reached the non-boater should look for another boater to pair The Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation will not mediate or become involved in any way with shared cost disputes.
- Amendment Procedures:
- Proposed amendments or changes must be submitted in writing to the tournament director.
- The governing board will review the proposed revisions.
- FINAL AUTHORITY FOR THE INTERPRETATION OF ALL ARIZONA B.A.S.S. NATION TOURNAMENT RULES SHALL REST WITH THE BASS NATION BOARD MEMBERS.
- Additional Governing Rules:
- The conduct of Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments and events are subject to B.A.S.S. and Arizona B.A.S.S. rules and regulations. Where a conflict exists, either the Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation rule or the conflicting rule of the parent organization will be deemed to supersede. The governing board will make the decision when a conflict arises.
- Local, State, tribal, and Federal law are deemed to supersede any rule in this document with which they conflict.
- Nothing in this document shall be construed to invalidate any other rules governing the conduct of Arizona B.A.S.S. tournaments or the conduct of Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation members.
- Any challenges to the Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation tournament rules will be resolved by a majority vote of the Arizona B.A.S.S. Nation Governing Board.
- IF THE ARIZONA B.A.S.S. NATION OPTS TO GO TO TWO-DAY TOURNAMENT, INFORMATION WILL BE ADDED AT THAT TIME.