INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT

These rules will remain unchanged during the 2019 -2020 season unless the GHSF board makes a unanimous ruling that an emergency rule needs to be developed or adjusted. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director. Decisions of the tournament director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. Each contestant and coach agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. The violation of a tournament rule may result in weight loss (late penalty, dead-fish penalty and short-fish penalty), the loss of weight up to a particular time in the tournament day, the loss of weight for the entire day, disqualification from the entire tournament or, in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in future High School Fishing tournaments. Protests are to be made in writing within 30 minutes of the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day.

PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY

Participation is open to all 7 th, 8th , 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade high school students. 12th graders may continue to compete after they have graduated as long as they have qualified for the event before their graduation day. Contestants must have in their possession a current student identification card from the school they are representing (our proof of grade level for those home schooled) and a valid fishing license for the waters they fish. Contestants are required to follow all applicable federal, state and local regulations and laws. Any violation of such regulations and laws may result in disqualification from the tournament. Each team will consist of two eligible contestants and one coach. There is no limit to the number of teams accepted from each school or club. Tournament officials reserve the right to reject any application to fish for any reason whatsoever. All participants will have signed a liability wavier. If the participants have failed to sign the liability wavier they may be disqualified at the tournament director’s discretion.

PERMITTED FISHING METHODS

Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the lure in the water. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Only ONE fishing rod per contestant may be used at a time. Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your coach for verification.

PURCHASING OF INFORMATION

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 or a coach is not permitted by contestants or coaches within 17 days of any tournament. Boat captains may not be a professional guide or professional tournament fisherman, unless they are the parent or legal guardian of one of the student anglers. The Tournament director will have final say on whether the captain is a professional. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification. At no time is a team allowed to pay anyone to be their captain. Teams may reimburse their captain a maximum of $125 dollars per tournament for Gas etc. If a Captain is being paid to take a team out they will be considered a professional guide and the team will be disqualified and possibly bared form all GHSF events.

REGISTRATION AND PRETOURNAMENT MEETING

Each angler and their coach must check-in at the designated registration check-in site at the times listed in the tournament confirmation. Contestants and/or coaches more than 15 minutes late for registration check-in may not be entered in the tournament. It is mandatory that all contestants and their coaches attend a pretournament meeting at the time and place set forth by tournament officials. Contestants or coaches not present for the pretournament meeting may not be allowed to participate.

BOAT ASSIGNMENTS

Takeoff order (boat number) is determined by either: order of check in at the ramp the morning of the event or by random draw as officials choose for each event. Each team must be accompanied on the water by their coach, who will supply a boat but is not permitted to fish.

SAFETY

Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant and coach is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guardapproved and state approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation from boat check until weigh-in each day of the tournament. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition-shutoff device that must be securely attached to the driver’s body whenever the combustion engine is in operation. All persons in a tournament boat shall remain seated in a manufacturer-recommended on-plane seating location when the combustion engine is in operation. Sitting on pedestal seats while the combustion engine is in operation is not permitted. Contestants are not permitted to drive the boat when the combustion engine is in operation. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by contestants and coaches. At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

SPORTSMANSHIP

All contestants and coaches 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, the sport of fishing, our sponsors, the school the team is representing, and GHSF’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, any of the rules for the 2018-2019 High School Fishing season. • Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration, the pretournament meeting or during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure. • 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 8. In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, tournament officials have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete or to disqualify a contestant.

BOAT OPERATION

Coaches must supply and drive boats for their teams. To qualify as a coach, the person accompanying a team must be at least 19 years old. Contestants may operate the trolling motor. Coaches may provide assistance, including information about locating and catching fish, but are not permitted to fish. The use of mobile communication devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc. by contestants and coaches during tournament hours is strictly prohibited except in an emergency (severe weather, breakdowns, etc.) or to communicate with lockmasters about locking or with the tournament director.

BOAT AND HORSEPOWER REGULATION

All boats must be propeller-driven and a minimum of 16 feet in length. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated livewell space to maintain alive a limit catch of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards is 250 horsepower, not to exceed the horsepower capacity set forth on the “Maximum Capacities” placard described below. Each boat must have a clearly legible “Maximum Capacities” (or comparably titled) placard that includes a maximum horsepower rating affixed to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the maximum horsepower capacity specified on this placard or the 250-horsepower maximum set by these rules. By signing the entry form, contestants and coaches agree to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by tournament officials. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating placard will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and may result in ineligibility to compete in future High School Fishing tournaments. Fishing platforms must be factory-installed equipment. No portable platforms may be used in tournament competition. Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel tanks or auxiliary fuel tanks that are securely strapped or otherwise fastened to the boat. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public and pumped through a hose with a nozzle.

PERMITTED FISHING METHODS

Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the lure in the water. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Only ONE fishing rod per contestant may be used at a time. Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your coach for verification.

OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE AND COMPETITION

There is no practice period or off-limits period. Contestants and coaches may not enter tournament waters to locate bass or potential fishing waters or sightsee after the start of the pretournament meeting except during tournament hours. Testing equipment on tournament waters after the start of the pretournament meeting is permitted only with prior approval from the tournament director. Once competition is under way, contestants and coaches may not solicit and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except contestants and coaches confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources (quasi-public websites set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals are not publicly available sources). On competition day, teams may not follow a noncontestant’s boat or participate in the placing of markers by noncontestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS AND BOUNDARIES

Teams may fish anywhere on tournament waters within the boundaries defined on Highschoolfishing.org that is available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas 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 tournament officials, local, state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a contestant’s boat that was first anchored.

An anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight or by a Power-Pole or similar shallow water anchor with the trolling motor in the up position. All fishing must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.

The use of cables, ropes, chains or any type of block and tackle system to maneuver a boat into fishing waters is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification from the tournament. Teams must leave and return to the check-in by boat. The boat must remain in the tournament waters during the tournament day. No tournament boat may be loaded on a trailer before the weigh-in except with the permission of the tournament director.

In the event of equipment failure or emergency, there are three permitted methods of returning to the check-in: (1) by both contestants remaining in their boat and being towed by water, (2) by one contestant entering the boat of another team or (3) both contestants entering a rescue boat so designated by the tournament director. Under these three conditions the team’s catch may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules).

Teams that elect to return to the check-in by any other means than cited above will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day. Any team returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the tournament director or his designated tournament official. It is the sole responsibility of teams to locate the tournament director to request a restart.

Teams must remain together at all times and within sight of their coach until check-in. The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for restroom breaks is permitted. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

CHECKPOINTS

There will be only one checkpoint for boat check in the morning and one check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check and checkout in the morning or failure to check in at the check-in point will result in disqualification. All fishing must cease upon check-in.

LATE PENALTY

Teams that are not at the designated afternoon checkpoint at the appointed time will be penalized 1 pound per minute, deducted from the total weight. Teams more than 15 minutes late will lose credit for that day’s weight.
15. LIVE FISH • Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated livewell. Eight ounces will be deducted from the total weight for each dead bass presented for weigh-in.

LIVE FISH

Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated livewell. Eight ounces will be deducted from the total weight for each dead bass presented for weigh-in.

SCORING

Scoring is determined by the final weight of each team’s catch during each tournament. Only largemouth, spotted, redeye or smallmouth bass are accepted species. The tournament limit is five bass per team unless the state or lake limit is less than five, in which case the state or lake limit prevails. Teams possessing more than the tournament limit will have their catch to that point in the day disqualified and, time permitting, are eligible for a restart from the takeoff location. The minimum length limit for bass is 12 inches unless the state or lake limit is more than 12 inches, in which case, the state or lake limit prevails. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit will be penalized at the rate of 8 oz. for each short bass presented, plus loss of that fish. Each team’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag. The winning team is determined by the day’s heaviest catch.

TIES

Total number of fish for the tournament will break ties, Then total number of fish alive. If a tie remains, it will be determined by the tournament director.

LOGO DISPLAY AND TELEVISION COVERAGE

Contestants and coaches may wear their own shirts or jerseys during GHSF events. Tournament officials reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to prohibit any contestant or coach’s shirt or jersey found to be offensive. All decisions are in GHSF and the tournament director’s sole discretion.

ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO

During all days of competition any and all alcohol and tobacco logos are prohibited and may not be worn or displayed. Contestants and coaches may not smoke or use tobacco products during tournament hours, including weigh-in, at any event.

TRUTH VERIFICATION TEST

Each contestant and coach agrees to submit, by signature on the tournament entry form, to a polygraph or voice stress analysis examination and to abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass an examination will result in disqualification from the tournament. Truth verification tests will be used at the sole discretion of tournament officials, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by tournament officials.

INSURANCE

Liability insurance with coverage in reasonable amounts is required on all boats used in High School Fishing tournaments. Proof of insurance must be with the boat being used and must cover all passengers in the boat. Random checks will be conducted. Failure to provide proof of insurance when requested by the tournament director may result in disqualification.

SEASON POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP

The season long points championship will be reflective of each teams total points throughout the season. Each team is allowed to drop their lowest tournament from their total. The points system used to decide the season long point standings will be decided by the GHSF board. Total number of fish for the entire season will break ties, Then total number of fish alive. If a tie remains, it will be determined by the tournament director. 23. CAPTIONS • The captions at the beginning of each paragraph 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