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MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING CHALLENGE CUP FORMAT
- The field size for the CHALLENGE CUP will consist of 24 PBTAA pro anglers.
- The competition will be comprised of three rounds, covering six total days.
- Round 1 (ELIMINATION ROUND) will comprise three days (Days 1, 2 and 3);
- Round 2 (SUDDEN-DEATH ROUND) will cover two days (Days 4 and 5);
- Round 3 (CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND) will be one day, held on the final day.
- ROUND 1: ELIMINATION ROUND
- During the Elimination Round, Anglers will be divided into three groups of eight anglers each: Groups 1, 2 and 3.
- Group 1 will compete on Day 1, Group 2 on Day 2, and Group 3 on Day 3.
- MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING will determine which anglers compete in each round.
- On Day 1, the four anglers from Group 1 with the highest weight total of “Score-able Bass” during a full day of competition will advance to the Sudden-Death Round.
- The same criteria will be used during Round 1 with Groups 2 and 3 – four anglers with the highest weight totals each day will advance to the Sudden-Death Round.
- The total number of anglers advancing to the Sudden-Death Round will be 12.
- ROUND 2: SUDDEN-DEATH ROUND
- During the Sudden-Death Round, the 12 anglers that advanced (from Round 1) will be divided into two groups of six anglers each: Groups 1 and 2.
- Group 1 will compete on Day 4, Group 2 on Day 5.
- MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING will utilize a “seeding system” based on Elimination Round results to establish the anglers’ placement in groups 1 or 2. MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING will seed the groups based on the success (or lack of success) of Anglers during the previous round.
- MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING will post a qualifying weight for the two days of Sudden-Death Round competition based on the fishery and existing conditions.
- The qualifying weight will be determined by the League Commissioner after he consults with an angler representative and/or other consultants of his choosing.
- The qualifying weights will be set for each of the two days and will be announced no more than 12 hours prior to the start of that round’s competition.
- The first three anglers from Sudden-Death Round / Group 1 and the first three anglers from Sudden-Death Round / Group 2 to reach the qualifying weights set for their days of competition will advance to the Championship Round.
- If either one or three anglers fail to reach the qualifying weight, the angler(s) that advance will be determined by the total weight of score-able bass caught during a full day of competition.
- The total number of anglers advancing to the Championship Round will be six.
- ROUND 3: CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
- The field for the Championship Round will be made up of three anglers advancing from each: Sudden-Death Group 1 and Sudden-Death Group 2.
- During the Championship Round, the angler with the highest total weight of Score-able Bass will be declared the winner.
- COMPETITION HOURS
- During all days of competition, anglers will fish 7.5 hours that will be divided into three periods, with 30-minute intervals between the end of a period and the beginning of the following period.
- Prior to the start of the first period, anglers will convene at the edge of the zone that will be utilized for that day’s competition. Anglers will be released simultaneously (shotgun start) to begin the event.
- During period breaks, no Angler will be allowed to fish or try to locate fish.
- Anglers will be required during period breaks to meet at a pre-determined Rendezvous Point.
- MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING will select the Rendezvous Point to be located at a highly centralized area of the field of competition.
- At the beginning of the second and third periods, anglers will be released according to their order in the standings.
- Round One competition day schedule is as follows:
6:00 am – 6:30 am: Launch, Interviews and Photos
6:45 am – 7:00 am: Enter Zone for Scouting
7:00 am - 9:30 am: Fishing Period 1
9:30 am - 10:00 a.m.: Intermission and Rendezvous
10:00 am - 12:30 pm: Fishing Period 2
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm: Intermission and Rendezvous
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm: Fishing Period 3
- Round Two will follow the same schedule as the above Round One. Round Two will, however, include qualifying weight cut lines. If three anglers reach the qualifying weight, competition will cease for the day.
- Round Three will follow the same procedural schedule as the above Round One.
COMPETITION RULES AND GENERAL ENFORCEMENT
- PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY STANDARDS
- Participation in MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING is open only to members of the PBTAA, unless an invitation is granted to a non-member Angler for participation on a single-tournament basis.
- BOATS, SAFETY AND WEATHER
- Boats for tournament competition will be supplied by MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING and will be fully equipped with all essentials to meet state water safety requirements.
- The MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING commissioner or his designee has the right to delay, shorten or cancel the start of an event because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors.
- Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather.
- Competitors are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any violation of the standards may be deemed cause for disqualification. (SEE Sportsmanship and Flagrant Sportsmanship Violations, definition and penalties, Rules 15 n and 15 o).
- Use of alcohol or drugs (other than drugs purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING events could be cause for automatic disqualification.
- 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.
- Boat Officials have the responsibility of reporting to the Commissioner an angler’s sportsmanship violation or a flagrant violation for any act that reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote fisheries conservation and/or clean waters.
- MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING COMMISSIONER’S ROLE
- Interpretation and enforcement of rules shall be left exclusively to the MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING League Commissioner or his assigned designee at competition.
- In the event of a rule violation, the Commissioner or his appointee may impose such sanctions as disqualification and/or prohibition from participation in subsequent MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING competitions.
- Subject to appeal, the decision of the Commissioner, his designee, or a rules committee established by MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING shall be final in all matters.
- MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING BOAT OFFICIAL’S ROLE
- A MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING Boat Official will accompany each angler throughout each day’s competition.
- Each boat will be equipped with a video and/or audio data device that will be linked to a central database system. The device will provide anglers with a Leader Board that shows the status of the event’s points leaders.
- The duties of the MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING Boat Official will be to weigh and record the weight of each score-able catch, update the real-time leader board, “call the game” and communicate with the base of operation.
- The Boat Official will serve as rules enforcer and the boat’s official scorekeeper.
- Specific Penalty Violations will be assessed “on the spot” by the Boat Official and all other violations will be reported to the league commissioner or his representative.
- Rules decisions made by a Boat Official are considered final, unless an angler chooses to submit a written protest to the commissioner.
- THE WEIGHING OF FISH
- MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING competition will utilize the term “Score-able Bass.” The parameters (size) of a Score-able Bass will be determined by MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING no less than 24 hours prior to the start of the SUMMIT CUP.
- Immediately after a catch is made, the bass will be verified as Score-able (or not Score-able) by the Boat Official. The Boat Official may request that any fish be put on the measuring board for verification.
- There is no limit to the number of score-able bass an angler can catch and record during MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING competition. The only deviation from this guideline will be competition days that include a qualifying weight cutline.
- At the beginning of the each competition day, the angler and Boat Official will agree on a consistent position within the boat for the official scale. The placement should emphasize accessibility and ease of use.
- Only the Angler will handle bass caught during competition. Once a bass is caught, placed on the measuring board and determined as score-able, the bass will be set onto the official scale by the angler, who will call “Fish On.”
- The angler will hold the official scale by the handle only and position it at eye level. The bass must be held steady, allowing the scale to be clearly read first by the Boat Official in full view of the TV camera.
- The Boat Official will “call the weight” and the Angler will immediately confirm or challenge the call. If the call is challenged by the Angler, the Boat Official will immediately review the scale and either confirm or revise his initial call. The Angler must confirm the call. The Boat Official’s decision will be final. Should the Angler refuse to confirm the call, the weight of the catch will not be recorded.
- Once the call is confirmed by the Angler, the Boat Official will immediately enter the weight into the MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING scoring system and record the weight in writing on the Boat Official’s “Daily Score Pad.”
- The Angler must maintain control of the bass until the Angler and the Boat Official have agreed upon the weight of the fish.
- After agreement is secured, the Angler is permitted to physically release the bass into the water and resume fishing.
- END-OF-PERIOD SCORING
- The on-board Scoring System will serve as the “Official Game Clock.”
- An audible alert will mark the beginnings and ends of periods.
- At the ends of periods, Anglers will be clearly notified when period competition is over and Anglers must stop fishing. The only deviation to the scheduled ends of periods will be if an individual angler receives extra minutes because of a TIME OUT.
- Regarding the final cast of any period, any bass hooked on the final cast must be “inside the boat,” visibly inside the gunnel.
- The legality or illegality of a period-end catch will be determined by the Boat Official.
- TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT
- Use of nets and grippers for landing bass is prohibited.
- Only artificial lures can be used.
- All bass must be caught in a conventional sporting manner.
- Any bass caught while “visually fishing” must be hooked inside the mouth and verified by the Boat Official before being unhooked.
- Anglers will be permitted the use of a lure retriever; however, Anglers must supply their lure retriever.
- In case of a tie for first place at the end of any round of competition, there will be a 30-minute overtime fish-off involving the deadlocked competitors.
- The winner is the competitor that catches Score-able Bass with the highest weight total at the end of this period.
- If the competitors remain tied at the conclusion of a sudden-death period, subsequent 30-minute overtime periods will ensue until a winner is declared.
- SPECIFIC MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING COMPETITION RULES / PENALTIES
- GPS STORED WAYPOINTS: No pre-determined, user-generated GPS waypoints will be allowed. Waypoints may only be marked during competition hours. (Penalty - Commissioner: Illegal GPS Waypoints, Disqualification)
- OFF LIMITS: Lake is off limits to Anglers beginning August 1, 2012. (Penalty - Commissioner: Illegal Scouting, Disqualification)
- SHARING INFO: No sharing of information among Anglers during MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING competition. (Penalty - Commissioner: Sharing Information, Disqualification)
- ENCROACHMENT RULE: There is no official buoy distance rule. However, at no time is an Angler allowed to interfere with another Angler’s line. If an Angler casts close to another Angler and hooks into his line, the casting Angler will be penalized. (Penalty – Boat Official: Hooking another’s line, 2 Min. immediate, stop fishing)
- LANDING FISH: While landing fish, the fish cannot touch the carpet at any time during the process. If the fish comes unhooked from the bait and falls to the carpet it will be assessed as a violation. Excepted from this rule will be laying the fish on the carpet to remove a deep set hook, “only after it has been properly landed without it touching the carpet”. (Penalty – Boat Official: Fish landing violation, 2 Min. immediate, stop fishing)
- RELEASING FISH: When releasing any fish that is score-able or not, the angler’s hand must be at gunnel level or closer to the water. No flipping or tossing of fish. (Penalty – Boat Official: Fish release violation, 2 Min. immediate, stop fishing)
- BROKE OFF FISH: Breaking off a hooked fish while landing will result in a penalty. (Penalty – Boat Official: Breaking off hooked fish, 2 Min. immediate, stop fishing)
- SECOND LINE: An Angler will be allowed to utilize a second line in the water ONCE PER PERIOD. However, when utilizing a second line, an Angler must employ a “cast and retrieve” method. If an Angler casts a second line in the water more than once per period, the Angler will receive a penalty. Dragging a line from a stationery rod is not permitted. Although the Angler will be penalized for the second-time use of two lines, any bass caught is considered legal. (Penalty – Boat Official: Illegal cast second Line, 2 Min. immediate, stop fishing)
- LEAVING BOAT: Leaving the boat to assist in landing a fish will result in a penalty. Although penalized, if an Angler retrieves a Score-able bass, the fish will count. (Penalty – Boat Official: Leaving the Boat, 4 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)
- OUT OF BOUNDS: Anglers will compete in a pre-determined zone each day. Fishing out of bounds will result in a penalty being assessed. Any fish caught outside the zone will be considered an illegal catch. (Penalty – Boat Official: Fishing Out of Bounds, 5 Min. immediate, stop fishing)
- GRAPHING: Graphing between periods in order to locate fish is not allowed. (Penalty – Boat Official: Graphing Between Periods, 5 Min. at start of next period)
- GOING NEUTRAL: Round Two Anglers will be required to “go neutral” immediately after they have qualified for the next round of competition. Going neutral means the Angler is required to immediately stop fishing and return to a designated Rendezvous Point. (Penalty – Boat Official: Failure to “Go Neutral,” 5 Min. at start of next round)
- PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE: Each competitor and Boat Official must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver. Camera Operators are not required to wear the PFD but one must be on board for them. Life preservers must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is taken out of gear. (Penalty - Boat Official: Safe-boat conduct Penalty, 5 Min. immediate, stop fishing)
- KILL SWITCH: The Angler or other appointed driver must have his boat’s kill switch connected any time the combustion engine is in gear. (Penalty – Boat Official: Kill-switch connection, 5 Min. immediate, stop fishing)
- SPORTSMANSHIP: A Sportsmanship Violation is defined as aggressive or hostile behavior directed at a fellow Angler, Boat Official, a non-competitor or a representative of MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING, including the use of profanity directed at these individuals, will not be tolerated. Boat Officials are required to report violations.
(Sportsmanship Violation, Penalty determined by COMMISSIONER)
- FLAGRANT VIOLATION: A flagrant violation for any act that reflects unfavorably upon the positive efforts of MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING, MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING sponsors, spectators, fisheries conservation, and clean waters will not be tolerated. (Flagrant Sportsmanship Violation, Penalty determined by COMMISSIONER)
- MECHANICAL FAULT: If an Angler experiences mechanical failure during MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING competition and the Boat Official determines that the Angler is at fault for the problem, no TIME OUT will be called. (Penalty – Boat Official: Self-inflicted Mechanical Failure, No time out for repair)
- MECHANICAL FAILURE: If an Angler’s boat experiences mechanical failure during competition and the problem is determined by the Boat Official to be no fault of the Angler, a TIME OUT will be issued. All competing Anglers will be promptly notified when a TIME OUT is to begin. Anglers must immediately stop fishing when the TIME OUT is called. Any Angler in the process of reeling in a “hooked” bass will be allowed to count the weight of this bass toward his daily weight total should he bring the bass into his boat.
The TIME OUT will be employed for the duration required to replace the Angler’s boat or appropriate boat part, unless that length of time exceeds 20 minutes. A TIME OUT will be capped at 20 minutes. The Boat Official of the Angler experiencing the boat failure will call the TIME OUT and manage the duration of the TIME OUT.
At the end of the period, Anglers will be allotted extra minutes of fishing, with the total number of minutes equaling the duration of the TIME OUT. MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING reserves the right to alter the day’s competitive time schedule should a TIME OUT occur.