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2017 Yak4it Tournament of Champions OFFICIAL RULES

1. INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT

Yak4it Tournament of Champions a.k.a. TOC.

All Federal, State, and Local laws, rules, markings, orders, and warnings must be followed and will supersede TOC rules at all times.  Violation of any laws will be cause for disqualification.

All violations of laws will be turned over to the proper authorities for investigation and possible prosecution.  This includes, but is not limited to, cheating, harassment, wildlife violations, illegal drug use, and any other illegal activity.

These rules will remain subject to change based on

Special Rules and amendments may be announced, added, or omitted for special circumstances or clarification at the judgement of the tournament director(s).

Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director(s).

Decisions of the tournament director(s) are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal.

Each contestant agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director(s) immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification.

The violation of a tournament rule may result in, but is not limited to, total length penalty, short fish penalty, the loss of length to a particular time in the tournament day, the loss of length for the entire day, the loss of the longest total one-day catch, the loss of the longest bass for the day, disqualification from the entire tournament and/or ineligibility to participate in future Yak4it/TOC tournaments.

“Main” Event refers to the two-day Yak4it Tournament of Champions Invitation ONLY event with Official tournament days being November 4-5, 2017

“Open” Event refers to the one-day tournament prior to the Yak4it Tournament of Champions “Main” event that does NOT require an invitation for participation. Official tournament day: November 3, 2017.

 

2. PAYBACK & PARTICIPATION

Payback (Cash and Prizes) will be a minimum value of 90% of the total entry fees and is based on the number of paid entries for each tournament. (Excluding “Open” Event, refer to caption 22.)

Participation is by INVITATION ONLY for all Main Event Contestants.

All participants must have paid the full entry fee to be considered a contestant.

Big Bass is included in the entry fee and will go to the single longest, legal, Bass of the tournament.

The number of places paid and amounts will be determined by event and number of entries.

Payback will be for a minimum of 15% of paid entries, rounded down. (i.e. 103 entries will pay back 15 places. Excluding “Open” Event, refer to caption 22.)

Yak4it Tournament of Champions reserves the right to add money and prizes to paybacks.

Participation is open only to anglers who are 16 years of age or older. Any person under the age of 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska) entering a tournament must also have permission and a signed release of a parent or legal guardian.

Any person’s participation in any tournament is at the sole discretion of TOC officials.

All contestants must have a valid fishing license for the waters they fish. Random checks will be conducted at each tournament. Failure to provide proof of a valid fishing license within a reasonable amount of time when requested by the tournament director will result in disqualification for that day and any preceding days in which the license was required for the tournament.

All competitors must sign a liability release prior to the start of the event which will be completed at the Pre-Tournament Check-in.

TOC reserves the right to designate, limit, or expand the number of open positions in the tournament field.

All entries MUST be made according to designated registration guidelines.  Entries must be paid in full for angler to be considered registered.

Any Contestant who wishes to withdraw from the event is eligible for a 90% refund of their entry fee, provided notification of cancellation is made no later than 24 hours PRIOR to the official practice period.  A 10% fee will be withheld from all cancellations. All cancellation requests MUST be made in writing via email or letter, and tournament officials must be notified immediately. Cancellations must be verified and accepted before a refund will be issued. Any forfeited entry fees will be added to the tournament payout less 10%.

 

3. INFORMATION GATHERING

The purchasing of, or bartering for, information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters, including, but not limited to, GPS waypoints (other than through commercially available sources) and the hiring of fishing guide services is not permitted during official off-limits period through the conclusion of the tournament.

During official tournament days and practice days, contestants may not solicit and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except other anglers confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources. Quasi-public websites, blogs and/or social media pages set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals are NOT publicly available sources.

During competition days and practice, anglers may not follow a non-contestant’s boat or participate in the placing of markers by non-contestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone.

The purchasing of, or bartering for, fishing locations from another contestant is strictly prohibited and will be cause for both contestants to be disqualified from the entire tournament.  This includes sharing information for the purpose of sharing or pooling winnings.

 

4. OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE AND COMPETITION

There will be a designated off-limits period and designated official practice. Specific dates, times, and rules will be announced in advance of individual tournaments and be considered part of the official rules for the specified tournament.

Contestants may not enter tournament waters for any reason during the official off-limits period, after the start of the pre-tournament meeting, and in between weigh-in and launch of multi-day events except during official tournament hours.

All practice and tournament fishing must be done in a vessel in accordance to Section 9: KAYAK REGULATION

Testing equipment on tournament waters after the start of the pre-tournament meeting is NOT permitted for any reason.

 

5. PRE-TOURNAMENT (RULES) MEETING

It is mandatory that all contestants, or their representatives, attend the pre-tournament (RULES) meeting.

Each contestant must check-in prior to the pre-tournament (RULES) meeting in person at the designated site.

In an emergency, or due to a TOC sponsor obligation, contestants may request permission from the tournament director(s) to send a person who is 18 years of age or older as representative. If permission is granted, non-contestants may represent one person.

Contestants approved by the tournament director(s) may represent themselves and one other person. This representative must attend the pre-tournament meeting to record flights, takeoff time, check-in time, off-limits areas, size and creel limits, and any other relevant tournament rule information.

Check-in hours and locations will be announced for each individual tournament.

Contestants not present, or represented, at the pre-tournament meeting will forfeit their entry fee and not be entered in the tournament.

 

6. SAFETY

Safe boating must be observed at all times.

Each contestant is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device at all times during tournament hours.

All Kayaks must be equipped with an emergency whistle and 360 degree light.

At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions.

Competitors may leave their boat and seek shelter in bad weather or when danger is eminent.

Competitors are expected to use sound judgement and are accountable for his/her own actions when faced with a potentially dangerous situation. (i.e. Lightning, excessive wind, pleasure boaters, hunters, etc.)

 

7. SPORTSMANSHIP

All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, sponsors, TOC, TOC’s sponsors, and the sport of fishing and TOC’s efforts to promote the sport. Conduct not complying with these standards includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Violation of or failure to comply with.

Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure and Truth Verification Test.

Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.

Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.

Suspension/disqualification, probation or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.

Any other words, conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set forth in the first sentence of paragraph 7.

Smoking is not allowed in the weigh-in line during any TOC competition.

In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, TOC shall have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete by returning the entry fee (less 10%), and to disqualify a contestant or impose any penalty outlined in paragraph 1.

 

8. COMMUNICATION

The use of mobile communication devices, including, but not limited to, cell phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., to communicate between contestants during tournament hours is strictly prohibited.

 

9. KAYAK REGULATION

All Kayaks must be human powered, (paddle, peddle, or flipper only) and a minimum of 10 feet in length.

No "Homemade" Kayaks will be permitted.

Each kayak must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment.

By signing the entry form, contestants agree to submit their kayak to an inspection by TOC personnel.

 

10. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS

Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the rod in hand.

All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner.

All lures must adhere to state regulations.

Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits.

Alabama rigs and similar umbrella-type rigs are considered to be one lure, and are limited to a maximum of five wires with a maximum of five spinners, five lures and five hooks (single or treble) unless state regulations are more restrictive, in which case state regulations prevail.

Only ONE fishing rod may be used at a time.

Each cast must be completed before another cast is allowed and there can never be more than one lure from one rod in the water at any time.

Trolling as a method of fishing is NOT allowed.

All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth.  Once released, if the Bass returns to the bed, it may not be caught again.

No fish are to be kept on stringers. Fish Grips are acceptable to temporarily hold fish in the water while preparing to take your photo.

 

11. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS

Restrictions, designated launch points, official tournament waters, and other location mandates may be issued for individual events.

Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by kayak except areas posted or otherwise designated as “off-limits,” “no boats,” “keep out,” “restricted,” “no trespassing” or “no fishing” (or similar language or markings intended to restrict public access) by TOC, commercial property owners and/or local, state or federal officials, or within 25 yards of a contestant’s kayak (unless given permission by that angler).

All fishing must be conducted from inside the kayak.

At no time may a contestant leave the kayak to land a fish or to make the kayak more accessible to fishing waters.

The cutting of trees, bushes and/or logs after the start of the pre-tournament meeting and/or the removal of official local, state or federal barricades at any time to make an area more accessible by kayak is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification from the tournament.

The use of cables, ropes, chains or any type of block and tackle system to maneuver a kayak into fishing waters is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification from the tournament.

In the event of equipment failure or emergency, the tournament director(s) must be notified as soon as it is safe to do so. Always contact 911, emergency services, and contacting tournament personnel after reaching safety.

 

12. TOURNAMENT DAY CHECK-IN

Designated morning check-in location(s) and designated weigh-in check-in location(s) will be announced for each day of each event.

Failure to go through kayak check-in, in the morning and check-in the afternoon for weigh-in, may result in disqualification.

All fishing must cease upon entering the weigh-in area until the official start of the next day or until Final weigh-in has concluded.

Contestants are expected to compete each day of competition; failure to do so without permission of the tournament director may result in ineligibility to compete in future Yak4it/TOC tournaments.

 

13. LATE PENALTY

Contestants who are not at the designated check-in area at the appointed time will be penalized 5 inches, deducted from the total length.  Any contestant more than 5 minutes late will lose credit for that day’s length.

 

14. SCORING

Scoring is determined by length using 1/4 inch increments of each contestant’s catch during each tournament day via the Catch, Photograph, and Release (CPR) method.

Each competitor will be provided with a unique identifier for the tournament.

The five longest verified lengths will be totaled for the anglers score.

The contestant with the highest total score after two days is the winner.

Rounding will be down and to the nearest ¼ inch.

Only largemouth, spotted, Guadalupe, or smallmouth bass are accepted species.

Best 5 (five) fish make up a daily limit, unless other specified for individual events.

All fish must measure a minimum of 14 inches, unless otherwise specified for individual events.

Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit will not be counted.

All fish entries must adhere to strict photo criteria to avoid penalties or disqualifications.

Each contestant’s catch must be presented according to the specific method designated for each individual tournament.  That being SD Card, microSD Card, Phone Application, or other method.

Anglers may only submit 1 (one) picture per fish. No more than 5 (five) fish and 5 (five) fish pictures may be submitted.  Additional fish or pictures may result in a penalty.

Any one fish may be submitted only once.

 

15. MEASURING DEVICE

The Hawg Trough is the official, mandatory, measuring device for the 2017 Yak4it Tournament of Champions.

Contestants must bring their own measuring device.

Your measuring device may be inspected by TOC staff at any time before, during, or after the tournament.

Anyone found to be using a measuring device that is determined to be not legal will be disqualified from the tournament.

Ensure the markings on your measuring device are clearly marked and can be seen by the scoring official.

Consider marking the lines on your Hawg Trough with a black marker.  However, excessive marking may result in a penalty.

 

16. PHOTO CRITERIA

Anglers must be prepared to provide whatever cables, cords, software, etc required to download photos via a USB port to the official judge’s computer.

Although a universal card reader will be used by the official judge, it is the angler’s responsibility to ensure their photos can be downloaded for tournament scoring purposes.

Each fish photo must include all of the following criteria to avoid penalties or disqualification:

The entire Bass, from the tip of the lip to the end of the tail

Laying with the tip of the lip at the beginning of the Hawg Trough

The mouth of the Bass may be open or closed

The tail of the Bass may or may not be pinched

Bass must be facing to the left, tail to the right, belly toward the angler

Measuring device markings must be clearly visible

Assigned unique identifier must be visible

One overhead photo shot frame (not shot at an angle)

Fish must be clear of any holding devices including fishing lure

Lip, eye, and tail cannot be obstructed in the photo, even by your hand

 

**All criteria above must be met or the photo may not be scored**

All camera memory cards must be cleared of all photos prior to the event or none of the Bass will be scored.

 

17. TIES

The largest one-day catch for the tournament will break ties. If a tie remains, it will be broken first by total number of fish legally submitted, then by longest fish, followed by next longest fish until all fish have been accounted.  If a tie still exists, the tournament director(s) will divide cash, prizes, and points amongst the anglers involved in the tie.

Big Bass ties will be broken by next legal largest fish over all days of the tournament, and so on, until the tie has been resolved.  In the event that a ties still exists, the winner will be determined by one single coin toss.

 

18. LOGO DISPLAY AND MEDIA COVERAGE

Anglers may wear their own apparel every day.

TOC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to prohibit any angler’s apparel determined to be offensive.

All decisions regarding logo display and media coverage are at TOC’s sole discretion.

 

19. TRUTH VERIFICATION TEST

Each contestant agrees to submit, by registering for this tournament, to a polygraph or voice stress analysis examination and to abide by its conclusion.

Refusal to participate in the polygraph or voice stress analysis examination will result in disqualification from the tournament.

Failure to pass an examination will result in disqualification from the tournament.

Truth verification tests will be used at TOC’s' sole discretion, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by TOC.

 

20. PENALTIES (for Reference Only)

Penalties are subject to change depending on individual events.

Late Penalty: 5 inches

Lip not touching board: No score

Excessive Marking of Hawg Trough: Rounded down to next ¼ inch mark (No Score if below minimum.)

 

21. PROTESTS AND REPORTING PROCEDURES

All protests must be submitted in writing on an TOC protest form, along with a $50 cash deposit, within thirty (30) minutes of the last flight check-in to the tournament director(s) or designated tournament official. The protester also agrees that if there is a question of verifying the charge of a protest that he or she also may be subject to take a polygraph and agree to testify in a court of law if necessary. If the Tournament Director, or polygraph, upholds the protest, the cash deposit shall be returned to the contestant submitting the protest.

 

22. “OPEN” Event

“Open” Event will take place the day prior to the Main Event.

Payback will be Prize and half entry fee toward the Main Event registration

Number of places paid back with prizes will be determined by tournament officials and sponsors prior to the event

Yak4it TOC reserves the right to add additional prizes not announced prior to event

Invitations to the TOC “Main Event” will be awarded to the greater of Top 10 Anglers or Top 25% finishers who have not already received an invitation to the Main Event.

Anglers receiving an invitation to the “Main” Event through the “Open” Event will be allowed to carry over the “Open” entry fee, but must pay remaining balance to honor full entry fees for the “Main” Event.

No scores, fish, pictures, measurements, etc. from the “Open” event will be allowed to carry over to the “Main” event.

Tournament Director Incentive:  Top 3 Tournament Directors fishing the Open Event will receive an invitation to the Main Event.

 

23. CAPTIONS

The captions at the beginning of each paragraph of these rules are intended to facilitate convenience in referring to the various rules. The captions are not part of the substance of the paragraph and should not be used in construction of any paragraph or of this overall set of rules