General Event Information Official Rules Why BassFan Created the Top Gun Tournament

Official Practice Days: Wednesday, August 10 and Thursday, August 11
Competition Days: Friday, August 12 – Sunday, August 14


Official Practice Days: Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7
Competition Days: Monday, August 8 and Tuesday, August 9

Published on 6/21/05

Following are the rules for the 2005 Cabela's Top Gun Championship and the 2005 Skeeter BassFan Army Weekend Warrior Championship. The rules will remain unchanged UNLESS updated at least 30 days prior to the event. Updates will be published in blue.

Please read all the rules carefully. It is each participant's responsibility to know the rules, and the specific penalties spelled out herein.

Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left to the Tournament Director and BassFan officials unless specifically noted herein. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions as he alone deems appropriate, including but not limited to disqualification, forfeiture of all or part of the weight caught, forfeiture of prizes and entry fees, and prohibition from participation in subsequent BassFan tournaments. For major infractions, the Tournament Director might consult with BassFan officials before issuing a decision. The decisions of the Tournament Director and/or BassFan officials are final in all matters. No appeals.


1. Participants and Eligibility

>> Penalty -- Deliberately falsifying any information on entry or other forms is cause for immediate disqualification from the tournament.

a) Membership -- Qualification for the Weekend Warrior Championship ONLY is open only to current members in good standing of the BassFan Army.

b) Qualification

BassFan reserves the right to manage contestant entry for the fields of both events.

Top Gun Championship -- The 2005 Cabela's Top Gun Championship field will be the Top 25 anglers in the State Farm World Rankings AFTER the 2005 Bassmaster Classic (concludes July 31), along with the 2005 Bassmaster Angler of Year and the 2005 FLW Angler of the Year if those anglers aren't already in the Top 25 in the world. So the field will be a minimum of 25 anglers and a maximum of 27 anglers. Alternates, if any of the Top 25 can't attend, are the 26th- through 30th-ranked anglers in the State Farm World Rankings, taken in order from 26th through 30th.

  • This is a pro/observer event. Observers will not fish.

Weekend Warrior Championship (WWC) -- The 2005 Skeeter Weekend Warrior Championship is only open to: BassFan Army members who have qualified per the Qualification Schedule; and who have not fished as a boater or pro in more than one Bassmaster Tour or FLW Tour event per year (one per year -- not an average) in the last 7 years (the Bassmaster Classic is not considered a tour event). Qualified anglers must let BassFan headquarters know whether they intend to fish the event at least 90 days before the event occurs (some exceptions based on league finishes will occur, but those leagues will be in contact with BassFan Headquarters prior to their last event). In the event that a qualified angler chooses not to or cannot participate, BassFan will take the highest-placing finisher(s)/points leaders who is/are a BassFan Army member(s) in good standing. These alternates must let BassFan Headquarters know whether they intend to fish the event at least 60 days before the event occurs. If these alternates choose not to compete, the field will either be reduced by that number of slots or BassFan may award more wildcard slots.

  • This is a pro/co-angler event. Co-anglers will fish.

c) Age -- Participants must be at least 16 years of age. If a qualifier is a minor (under the age of 18), his/her entry into the tournament must be confirmed by a parent or guardian and he must be accompanied to the registration/briefing by an adult. Also, anyone under the age of 18 must have his/her parents' or legal guardian's signature on the entry form and be accompanied by an adult at the event. Proof of age is the responsibility of the potential competitor, and all decisions regarding that proof will be made by the Tournament Director.

d) Disability/Injury -- If any potential competitor is, in the opinion of the Tournament Director, disabled in such a manner as to endanger the safety and well-being of his partner or himself, or as to unfairly hinder his partner, he shall not be eligible to compete. Any competitor can be barred from competing in the event at any time, including during the official practice and competition days, if the Tournament Director feels that an injury or other health condition (e.g., influenza) could unfairly hinder his partner or endanger the safety and well-being of his partner or himself.

e) Conviction/Suspension -- If a potential competitor has been convicted of a crime, has demonstrated chemical substance addiction or abuse, or, in the judgment of the Tournament Director, has conducted himself in a way that reflects unfavorably upon himself or a tournament organization or tournament fishing, he will not be eligible to compete. Any disqualification, suspension or other disciplinary action received from a tournament or tournament organization also can be grounds for rejecting any potential competitor.

f) Insurance -- No competitor may operate a boat during the official practice and competition days of the tournament unless he has documented proof of a minimum of $300,000 boating liability insurance on that particular boat under a current policy. Proof of insurance must be for and with the boat being used, and must cover the competitor using that boat. Proof of insurance must be provided at the official event registration.

g) Entry Form -- For both events, a complete entry form must be presented at the official registration for the relevant event.

h) Deposits/Entry Fees -- No deposits or entry fees are required for either tournament.


2. Registration; Briefing

All competitors must register in person at the assigned place and time, and must attend the mandatory pre-tournament meeting at the assigned place and time (times and locations TBA). All boat numbers, off limits areas, take-off and weigh-in times will be announced at these meetings.

a) Attendance -- Each competitor must register in person with official event staff at the time and place prescribed in the official schedule of events. All competitors must be on time for the tournament briefing unless you have contacted the Tournament Staff at least 30 minutes prior to the briefing and received permission from the Tournament Director to arrive late.

>> Penalty -- Except in cases where late registration has been cleared by the Tournament Director, failure to register in person during the prescribed hours will result in an angler forfeiting his spot in the event.

b) Documents -- You will need a government-issued picture ID, a completed entry form and proof of insurance ($300,000 minimum – see 1.f above) at registration.

c) Fishing License -- Each competitor, regardless of age, must hold a valid fishing license for the official practice period and the event for the state and water where the tournament is being held. Each competitor must have this license in his/her possession at the registration/briefing, and must produce it if asked to do so by tournament officials. The license must be valid through the final competition day.

>> Penalty -- If a competitor can't produce a valid fishing license on any competition day within 10 minutes of being asked to do so, regardless if asked by a tournament official or state law enforcement official, his catch (weight) will be disqualified (reduced to zero) for that day(s).


3. Practice and Competition

>> Penalty -- Any competitor found violating any of the rules in this section will be disqualified/banned from the tournament.

a) Off-Limits (Waters and Information) -- The tournament waters are off-limits to all competitors 90 days prior to the first official practice day. During this off-limits periods (or upon publication of these rules, if these rules are published within 90 days of the tournaments' start dates), competitors cannot solicit, receive or gather any information via phone, electronic devices (including GPS points) or any other means about locating or catching fish on tournament waters unless such information is publicly available in some form of media (e.g., Web/Internet, print, television).

b) Official Practice Period/Help -- A 2-day official practice period will immediately precede the first day of competition tournament for each tournament. The competitor must know and observe the official practice dates. During the official practice, and during the tournament, a competitor may not have the assistance or advice of anyone for the purposes of locating or catching bass, nor enter the tournament waters with anyone who has been on the tournament waters during the off-limits period, a professional guide, state or federal wildlife agency employee, or any other person deemed an "expert" on these tournament waters by the Tournament Director, unless they are a competitor in the tournament. Competitors also cannot receive assistance or advice during this time period via phone or other non-public means.

  • NOTE: Top Gun competitors cannot solicit or receive information from Weekend Warrior competitors.

c) Competition/Help -- No competitor may buy, barter, download or otherwise receive a fishing location (e.g., map coordinate, map point or GPS point) from any other competitor or anyone else for use during any practice or competition day.

d) Hole-Sitting/Help -- No competitor may solicit any form of on-the-water help from non-competitors, including "hole-sitting" or "hole-guarding," "sticking" or hooking another competitors' fish, moving fish to a hole and other like practices.

e) Testing ("Breaking In") Engines -- Testing of engines during the off-limits period is not permitted on tournament waters. Testing of engines after competition day weigh-ins may be allowed, but only with the prior permission of the Tournament Director.

f) Diving and Fly-Overs -- During the official practice and during the tournament, a competitor may not "skin dive" or "scuba dive" in the tournament waters. Competitors also are forbidden from flying over the lake anytime within 90 days of the tournament start date. Competitors are forbidden from receiving information from anyone who dives in or flies over the tournament water during the off-limits or official practice and competition days.

g) Cellular Phone and Radio Use -- During the official competition days of the tournament, a competitor shall not use a CB radio, VHF marine-band radio, cellular phone or any other type of communication device for the purpose of locating or catching fish. Competitors are permitted to transmit by radio or telephone only in the event of an emergency. Competitors can listen to the marine-band weather information.


4. Fishing Locations

a) Tournament Waters -- The tournament waters shall be established by the Tournament Director. Each competitor must obtain this information from the tournament staff prior to the competition. Any water within these boundaries posted Off-Limits, No Fishing or the equivalent by state or federal agencies will be off-limits. Also, the bass-release area established by the Tournament Director will be off-limits and will be announced at the tournament briefing.

  • All lake rules specific to the tournament waters will apply. These specific rules will be discussed at the pre-tournament meeting. This will include off-limits areas.

>> Penalty -- Any competitor found to be fishing off-limits waters during any competition day(s) will have his catch (weight) disqualified (reduced to zero) for that day(s).

b) Habitat Changes -- Competitors shall not change fish habitat by placing any object in the tournament waters even if such action does not violate local, state or federal regulations, nor shall they pay or otherwise encourage anyone to do that. Competitors also are forbidden from using tools of any kind (e.g., chainsaws, hammers, axes, etc.) to access fishable water.

>> Penalty -- Any competitor found violating this rule will be disqualified/banned from the tournament.


5. Pairings

a) Pairings -- The Top Gun Championship is a pro-only event. Each pro will have a non-fishing observer in the boat with him during tournament hours. The Weekend Warrior Championship is a pro/co event in which boaters and non-boaters will be paired to fish together during tournament hours.

b) Assignment -- Two individuals will be assigned to each boat. Announcement of first-day fishing partners will be made at the Tournament Briefing, which MUST BE ATTENDED by each competitor. Following the first day of competition, each subsequent day's pairings will be posted the previous night by the Tournament Director. The Tournament Director reserves the right to re-pair partners before take-off.

c) Meeting Up -- On each competition day, it is the responsibility of each partner or pair to meet at a mutually agreed-upon location with sufficient time remaining to check in at the official checkpoint and start on time. Tournament officials shall have no responsibility for finding missing partners. If an observer or co-angler is late, the Tournament Director may replace that observer or co-angler for the day or tournament solely at his discretion.

d) Proximity -- When two competitors check out at the beginning of the day, they must stay together and within sight of each other and each other's catch throughout the day until the weigh-in is completed, except in case of dire emergency (see Rule 6 below).

e) Fishing/Boat Operation -- In pro-co events, pros/boaters will fish from the front deck and co-anglers/non-boaters from the rear deck. No exceptions. At no time may pro/boater competitors request that an amateur competitor not fish. Observers are explicitly forbidden from fishing. Co-anglers and observers are only allowed to drive the boat in emergency situations.

>> Penalty -- Any pro/boater who, in the judgment of tournament officials, operates the boat in such a manner as to excessively handicap or impeded the fishing of his co-angler partner shall be subject to disqualification (weight zeroed) for the day.

>> Penalty -- A co-angler who fishes from the front deck without first gaining the explicit permission of the boater/pro shall be disqualified for the day or possibly the tournament. If a co-angler is given permission to fish from the front deck, he/she must return immediately to the back deck upon being asked to do so by the pro/boater.


6. Remaining In the Boat; Emergencies; Escort

>> Penalty -- Any penalty for a violation of the rules in this section will be decided by the Tournament Director on a case-by-case basis.

All angling must be done from the boat, which must remain in tournament waters during the tournament days. Competitors must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat. During the competition, competitors are not allowed to leave their boats for any reason -- including landing fish -- except to relieve themselves or in the case of a dire emergency. In such an emergency, both partners, if applicable, must cease fishing and must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and each other's catch in order for their catch of that day to be scored in the tournament, assuming they reach check-in in time, and their catch must be verified by a tournament official in order to be counted in the tournament. In event of an emergency, competitors may be moved from their boat to a boat operated by other competitors or a rescue boat designated by the Tournament Director. If the emergency situation is resolved by tournament officials and enough time is left for the competitors to resume fishing, a restart may be permitted to allow the competitor(s) to continue fishing for the day.

a) Trailering and Escort -- Trailering of boats during tournament hours is prohibited, except by the direction of tournament officials. All boats must remain in tournament waters until check-in, then you may load your boat onto your trailer and proceed to weigh-in. You will be escorted to the weigh-in. Each competitor should do their best at staying with escort. However, if you become separated from the group, you must call a tournament official to come and get you. Cell phone numbers of the tournament director and support personnel will be given to anglers at pre-tournament meeting.

b) Breakdowns -- In case of equipment breakdown, there will be only two ways to return to the official checkpoint: 1) Remain in your boat and be towed back to the official checkpoint; or 2) Enter the boat of another competitor and return to the official checkpoint. Either of these will allow your catch to be counted, provided you have remained with your partner and in sight of your catch, and you reach the checkpoint on time. Restarts will be permitted if time allows and all rules have been followed.


7. Boat Inspection/ID; Official Checkpoint; Weighing Fish

>> Penalty -- Any penalty for a violation of the rules in this section will be decided by the Tournament Director on a case-by-case basis.

a) Boat Inspection -- Prior to each day's start, each boat will be given an inspection check by a tournament official. In addition, a designated tournament official may at any time during the official practice or competition days board any competitor's boat.

b) Boat Identification -- Each boat will receive a number, which must remain with the boat until turned in to tournament officials each day at the check-in.

c) Official Checkpoint -- The one official point for check-out and check-in will be designated at the tournament briefing, and exact starting and check-in times will be announced at the tournament briefing. It is the anglers' and observers' responsibility to confirm check-in times each day. At check-out, all competitors and their boats shall be in full conformance with all rules set forth by the Tournament Director. At check-in, all boats shall identify themselves by means of the numbers and proceed immediately to the designated weigh-in area. All fishing must stop after check-in.

d) Weighing -- After competitors check in at the official checkpoint, they must present all fish in their possession to a tournament official to be counted, measured and weighed. The competitor may not return to the boat until his catch has been weighed and recorded.

e) Weigh-In Slips -- Each angler is responsible for his weigh-in slip. You will not be allowed to weigh your fish if you do not have your weigh-in slip. Weigh-in slips must be signed by your partner/observer to be valid.


8. Fishing Equipment

>> Penalty -- Any competitor found violating any of the rules in this section will be disqualified/banned from the tournament.

a) Lures -- Competitors can only use artificial lures. Live bait or other animal products, whether dead or alive, are expressly forbidden. The only exception is pork products, such as pork chunks or strips. Commercially produced scents/fish attractants commonly available at retail are permitted.

b) Rods/Reels -- Only one casting (baitcasting), spinning or spin-casting rod (8 foot maximum length from butt of handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. Other rod/reel outfits (at those specs) may be in the boat and on the deck, ready for use.


9. Catching and Landing Fish; Culling

All angling must be done from the boat. At no time can you leave the boat to land a fish.

a) Catching Fish -- All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner on a rod and reel. No snagging, trolling or unconventional methods shall be allowed. "Bed-fishing" or "sight-fishing" is permitted. When visually fishing for bedding bass, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner or the in-boat observer before being unhooked to be counted as a legal fish. Any fish caught outside the mouth when bed-fishing or sight-fishing MUST be released immediately.

>> Penalty -- Anyone guilty of violating any of the provisions of this subsection will have their day's catch disqualified.

b) Landing Fish -- Nets of any kind are not allowed to during tournament competition. The use of grippers for landing bass is prohibited.

>> Penalty -- Any competitor found violating this rule will be disqualified/banned from the tournament.

c) Limit/Culling -- Each tournament has a five-fish limit. No more than five (5) fish per competitor can be kept in the boat. Upon catching your sixth fish, you must cull at that time. Culling of dead fish is forbidden. Fish that die in the livewell cannot be culled simply because they are dead. Competitors must make every effort to handle the fish so that they are alive at and after the weigh-in.

>> Penalty -- If at any time other than during the culling process a competitor is found to be in possession of more than the tournament limit, tournament officials will cull the limit down to the five-fish limit, starting with the largest bass.

>> Penalty -- If a competitor culls a dead fish, he will be penalized 3 pounds. This means that 3 pounds will be deducted from his daily weight for each dead fish he culls that day.

d) Size/Type of Fish -- All fish kept in the boat and eventually weighed must be at least 12 inches in length, and must be within the length limit for the tournament waters or any exception made to those limits by the state or local authorities for that water. All specifics will be detailed by the Tournament Director at the mandatory tournament briefing. Only largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass and hybrids between those species can be weighed.

>> Penalty -- There will be a one-pound (1-pound) penalty for each short fish brought to weigh-in.

e) Keeping Fish Alive -- Every effort must be taken to keep caught and culled fish alive. Bass must not be put on a stringer at any time during the tournament. At weigh-in, the Tournament Director will provide each competitor with official fish bags that are designed to increase the fish's survival rate.

>> Penalty -- There will be an 8-ounce penalty for each dead fish brought to weigh-in.


10. Scoring and Scoring Penalties

a) Scoring -- Tournament standings, event winners and any additional awards shall be determined by the tournament staff's measurement of the total cumulative pound-and-ounce weight of each competitor's catch during the competition days of the tournament, net any applicable penalties. The Tournament Director or his designated appointees shall have sole authority for assessing weight penalties.

  • 'Beat-Up' Fish -- Any bass that appears to have been mangled or is or looks otherwise "beat up" will be weighed and credited only at the discretion of tournament officials.
  • 'Mixing' Fish -- A competitors can only weigh-in and count fish he himself catches. He must not allow any bass caught by him to be counted for another competitor. >> Penalty -- If that occurs, both competitors shall be disqualified from the tournament and potentially from all future tournaments conducted by BassFan.

b) Late Check-In/Penalty -- Competitors who check in after their appointed check-in time shall be penalized at the rate of 1 pound per minute to be deducted from the total weight of his catch that day for each 1 minute he is late. 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 the tournament begins, fishing the tournament waters is prohibited except during tournament hours.

c) Tiebreakers -- In case of a tie for 1st place in the pro/boater standings at the end of the competition, the winner will be whoever had the heaviest one-day limit (it must be a limit) of fish during the competition days. If this does not resolve the tie, the winner will be determined by the heaviest one-day catch. Failing a resolution there, the winner will be determined by a fish off, the details and rules of which shall be determined by tournament officials. Ties for lesser positions, including any ties on the non-boater/co-angler side, will be resolved using the heaviest one-day catch as a tiebreaker.


11. Format

a) No Cuts -- All competitors fish every competition day. No cuts.

b) Most Weight -- The angler with the most cumulative weight of bass over the competition days wins, with 2nd place having the second-biggest weight and so on. Big-bass awards will be for the biggest bass weighed each day.

c) Hours of Competition -- Tournaments will run from 6:00 a.m., or whenever the Tournament Director determines that competitors can operate their boats safely, until 3:00 p.m. unless otherwise specified by a government agency.


12. Safety

a) Regulations -- Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. Competitors are required to obey all local and state laws pertaining to boating, including any speed limit laws. Tournament officials reserve the right to impose boat speed limits, including the actual speed limit and the area covered by the speed limit.

>> Penalty -- Any penalty for a violation of this rule will be decided by the Tournament Director on a case-by-case basis, but unsafe boating could result in a penalty as stiff as disqualification from the tournament.

b) Life Preserver -- During the official practice and competition, each competitor and observer is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver. This preserver must be worn anytime the outboard motor is operating.

>> Penalty -- If a competitor operates the outboard motor ("big motor") without both people in the boat wearing their life preservers, he will be penalized 1 pound that day.

c) Weather -- Tournament officials may delay or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that could endanger the safety of the competitors/observers.

d) Boats/Gas Tanks -- Boats must be 16 feet or more in length, and must be what are commonly referred to as "bass boats." No other craft will be permitted. Stick steering is not permitted during official practice or during the tournament by any competitor. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunwale ("gunnel") of the boat. Standing on the outboard or seats while fishing is not allowed. Any auxiliary gas tanks (including bladder-type tanks) that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options and installed by a manufacturer's authorized dealer are legal.

e) Boats/Equipment -- Every boat must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment, and all must be functioning properly. Each boat must have a functional bilge pump and aerated livewells to adequately maintain a live limit of bass by all competitors using the boat. BassFan recommends livewells be maintained at full level and aerators be left on manual.

f) Outboard Horsepower -- The maximum allowed horsepower for the official practice and competition days is 250 hp. Every boat less than 20 feet long must have a horsepower rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. A manufacturer-installed rating plate is recommended for boats 20 feet and longer, but is not required. However, if such a plate was installed on a 20-plus-foot boat, it cannot have been removed. Normal maintenance of engines is allowed during the tournament. Outboards must be completely stock.

>> Penalty -- If a competitor's boat is found to be overpowered – for reasons including but not limited to changing or altering the standard factory parts of your engine to increase the horsepower over the factory horsepower rating, and/or altering the horsepower-rating numbers on the engine -- it will result in disqualification of a competitor's catch for however many competition days that boat/motor was used. It might also result in total disqualification from the tournament, but that determination is up to the Tournament Director.

>> Penalty -- Failure to have a horsepower rating plate, when required, will result in the disqualification/loss of any day's catch (weight) in which that boat was used.

g) Boat Operation/Kill Switch -- Anytime the combustion engine (outboard) is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver's seat in full control of the boat. All boats must be equipped with an operable ignition kill switch. This ignition-kill device must be attached to the driver's personal life preserver/flotation device anytime the combustion engine (outboard) is operating.

>> Penalty --If a competitor operates the outboard motor without wearing a life jacket and without having a kill switch attached to the life preserver, he will be penalized 1 pound that day.

h) Trolling (Electric) Motor -- A small electric trolling motor may be used for maneuvering, though trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited.

i) Inspection -- Each competitor agrees, by his signature on the official entry form, to submit the boat and outboard motor used in the tournament to an inspection by tournament officials or by factory-trained personnel at any time.

>> Penalty -- Any penalty for a violation of this rule will be decided by the Tournament Director on a case-by-case basis. If a competitor's boat fails inspection, the Tournament Director may give that competitor the option of trailering his boat, fixing the issue(s) and restarting, or competing out of another boat that meets inspection requirements. Or a weight penalty may be applied, depending on the nature of the violation.


13. Sportsmanship

>> Penalty -- Any penalty for a violation of these rules will be decided by the Tournament Director on a case-by-case basis except where otherwise stated.

All anglers and observers should conduct themselves in a manner that is beneficial to the sport of bass fishing and commendable in the public eye. Competitors are expected to compete within these rules, the rules of the tournament venue and any additional rules/parameters that may be delineated by the Tournament Director at the tournament briefing. Competitors are also expected to follow high standards of safety, conservation, courtesy and sportsmanship. Competitors are required to display the utmost courtesy at all times, especially when running or fishing near non-competitors on tournament waters.

a) Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs -- No alcoholic beverages or other stimulants or depressants, prescription or otherwise, including tobacco products of any kind, are allowed in the boats during the official practice or competition days, or in the weigh-in areas. Use of alcohol or other legal or illegal 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 is expressly forbidden. If a competitor is taking a drug that may affect his ability to safely operate a boat, it is his responsibility to notify the Tournament Director of that fact before launching that day.

>> Penalty -- Any competitor found to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during the official practice or the competition, including the weigh-in area and the outdoor show, will be banned/disqualified from the tournament and may be banned from all BassFan events.

b) Laws -- All competitors are bound by the prevailing local, state and federal statutes and regulations of the tournament location. This means, among other things, that all competitors, regardless of age, must hold a valid fishing license(s) for the water where the applicable tournament is being held.

c) Reporting of Violations -- It is the duty of every competitor (whether pro/boater or co-angler/non-boater) and observer to report to the Tournament Director any suspected violation or infraction of any tournament or other rules or laws.

>> Penalty -- Failure to report rule/law violations, or giving suggestions to violate rules -- including things like false verification of weigh-in forms -- will be cause for disqualification.

d) Sponsors -- Competitors are encouraged to show respect and appreciation for event sponsors.


14. Competitor Sponsors; Signage and Contingencies

Competitors will fish out of their own boats and will utilize their own equipment during the official practice and competition days of both events.

a) Sponsors and Signage -- Anglers are free to display any sponsor logos, patches and other signage on all competition days, without restriction except in cases that might violate BassFan's or conventional standards of decency. As a measure of exclusive status, anglers are encouraged to wear the Top Gun Championship or Weekend Warrior Championship logos/patches on their tournament jerseys, but this is not required.

b) Contingencies -- Contingency programs involving various forms of signage (patches, stickers, wrapped boats, etc.) may be available for one or both events. If these are available and an angler desires to participate, he must make known his intention to do so at least 15 DAYS before the event starts unless late qualification prevents him from doing so.


15. Prizes/Awards and Taxes

a) Prizes/Awards -- All prizes/awards will be awarded after everyone has weighed in on the final competition day and a winner is announced.

b) Taxes -- All tax payments on cash or other awards will be the responsibility of competitors except in cases where state laws require income taxes be paid on cash awards to non-residents. In such cases, taxes will be automatically deducted prior to the awards being presented.


16. Protests, Rulings and Appeals

>> Penalty -- Any penalty for a violation of these rules will be decided by the Tournament Director on a case-by-case basis except where otherwise stated.

a) Protests/Reporting of Violations -- Anglers are encouraged to report suspected rule violations as quickly as possible in person to the Tournament Director. Whenever possible, all protests should be written and signed in a legible fashion, and put in the hands of the Tournament Director no later 30 minutes after the last fish is weighed for the day. The Tournament Director may choose not to rule on any violations that are reported more than 24 hours after they happened.

b) Tickets -- Tickets, summonses, etc. issued to tournament participants by government and law-enforcement agencies must be reported by the receiving angler to the Tournament Director no later than check-in the same day the ticket or summons was issued and received. Receiving such a ticket is not automatic grounds for a tournament-related penalty, but may warrant one.

c) Rulings -- The Tournament Director will endeavor to make rulings, or decline to make a ruling, as quickly as he can. However, there is no time limit or "statute of limitations" for rule-makings. If the Tournament Director and/or BassFan determines that any angler in any BassFan tournament, including the winner(s), has committed a rule violation that warrants a penalty, BassFan will take action. Action could include stripping the winner of his title, as well as of any prize(s) awarded.

d) Appeals -- No appeals. Admission to a rules violation does not warrant an appeal.

e) Tournament Director -- The Tournament Director will have the final decision in interpretation of these rules and sportsmanship questions/issues.



This MUST be signed and presented to tournament officials PRIOR TO participation in the event in which you are participating.

By signing these rules I release BassFan and/or its connecting sponsors and other participants in these events from any and all damages, claims, demands, and costs relating to injury, which may be caused by reason of participating in or in connection with this event.

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