1.RULES CHANGES: Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions as he deems appropriate. Including, without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. The decision of the Tournament Director shall be final in all

2. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY: Tournaments are open to the public. Resiliency Outreach encourages participation of any and all veterans and first responders, with their family. Any candidate for competition who, in the judgment of the Tournament Director, endangers the safety and well being of themselves or others shall not be eligible.

3. PRE TOURNAMENT PRACTICE: There is no restricted practice period.

4. REGISTRATION FOR TOURNAMENTS: Registration will end in the early morning no less than 30 minutes before starting time of the tournament. This will give ample time for Tournament Director to draw for the Co-Angler pairing and all the contestants to have their boats in the water ready for the take off. Boaters (Anglers) will receive a starting position via how they sign up at the morning registration. (Example: If you are the 1st person to sign in that morning, you will receive boat position 1 and so forth). After all Anglers and Co Anglers have registered, the Tournament Official will call all Co Anglers up and they will draw a number from a bucket of random numbers. Whatever number the Co Angler draws will signify what boat he/she fishes from that day. Most tournaments have more Boaters (Anglers) then Co-Anglers fishing, therefore any Boater (Angler) who is not paired with a Co-Angler will fish alone. If there is a trend of a Boater (Angler) that shows up close to the 30 minute sign in cut off time regularly hoping to fish alone in the pairings, it will be at the Tournament Directors discretion to pair up that contestant with a Co-Angler. There are no late fees at Regional events. You must be signed in before the 30 minute cut off time in order to fish in the tournament. Interpretation of these rules will be at the Tournament Directors discretion.
**Registration prior to event (up to 24 hours) is MANDATORY. Those that register day of event will pay an additional $50 fee which does not go into winnings.

5. ENTRY FEE BREAKDOWN, PAYOUT SCHEDULES, AND AWARDS: Entry fees are non-refundable and are required at registration and are as follows:
* Entry Fee: $75 per boat
* Payout: 50/50 to 1st Place - additional places dependent on participation
* Awards: Host a veteran and be eligible for drawing

6. SAFETY: Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. During the tournament, each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved chest type life preserver. This preserver must be worn anytime the combustion engine is operating during tournament hours. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the competitor reaches his fishing location and the combustion engine is shut off. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification. The Tournament Director has the right to delay or cancel the start of an official tournament day 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.

7. SPORTSMANSHIP: Competitors in Resiliency Outreach tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the tournament, pre-tournament meeting or in the weigh in area will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future RO Events. 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. Any act of a competitor which reflects unfavorably upon RO’s effort to promote conservation, clean waters, and courtesy shall be reason for disqualification. No alcoholic beverages or other stimulants or depressants, (other than those purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) shall be allowed in the boats during competition days or in the weigh in area. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon RO’s efforts to promote SAFETY, sportsmanship and compliance with tournament rules shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and for disqualification. During the official competition days of the tournament, a competitor may not use a CB radio, a VHF marine-band radio, a 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 cellular phone only in the event of an emergency, for employment related activities, contacting lockmasters or marinas for refueling purposes. If so equipped, competitors may listen to the marine-band weather information.

8. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT: Only artificial lures may be used. No “live bait” or “prepared bait” will be permitted, with the exception of pork strips, rinds, etc. Only ONE casting, spin casting or spinning rod (8 foot maximum length from butt of handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. All other types prohibited. Other rigs as specified above may be in boat ready for use; however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging fish on spawning beds will have their day’s catch disqualified. When visually fishing for bedding bass, all bass must be hooked inside of the mouth and must be verified by your partner before being unhooked to be counted as a legal fish. No gaffs may be used to boat bass nor be permitted in boat at any time. The use of grippers in landing bass is prohibited.

9. HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS: MAXIMUM HORSEPOWER FOR ALL OUTBOARD MOTORBOATS USED IN TOURNAMENT COMPETITION WILL BE the horsepower limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard in their ruling of Nov. 1.1972. When required, each boat MUST have a U.S. Coast Guard horsepower rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must NOT exceed the rating specified on this rating plate. Any boat manufactured prior to Nov. 1. 1972 must adhere to the ratings set by the U.S. Coast Guard for similar boats. Each competitor agrees to submit, by his signature on the official entry form, the boat and outboard motor used in the tournament to an inspection by tournament officials, if there is any reason to suspect the horsepower is in excess of the rating. Normal maintenance to increase the performance of your engine is allowed. Changing or altering standard factory parts of your motor to increase the horsepower over the factory horsepower rating is forbidden, and will result in disqualification. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower rating numbers on the motor would also be cause for immediate disqualification from the tournament.

10. BOAT AND MOTOR: For the safety of all contestants, ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH SOME TYPE OF OPERABLE IGNITION KILL SWITCH. This ignition kill device must be attached to the driver’s body anytime the combustion engine is operating. When the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat. Fishing boats may be used that are 15 feet or more in length. Any raised platform or decks cannot he higher than the gunnel of the boat. A small electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering; however, trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. All BLADDER tanks and any other type of AUXILIARY gas 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. Boats that do not have factory installed gas tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in tanks that meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Gas tasks must be properly secured or strapped in a boat. No “barges” or similar cumbersome craft will be permitted. NO BOAT EQUIPPED WITH “STICK STEERING” SHALL BE PERMITTED TO BE USED DURING THE TOURNAMENT BY ANY COMPETITOR. The definition of “stick steering” shall be made by the Tournament Director.

11. BASIC BOAT EQUIPMENT: Every boat must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional bilge pump and LIVEWELL SPACE, PROPERLY AERATED, TO ADEQUATELY MAINTAIN ALIVE A LIMIT CATCH OF BASS BY BOTH FISHERMEN USING THE BOAT. The Tournament Director shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether the aeration and capacity is “proper and adequate”.

12. BOAT IDENTIFICATION: Each boat MUST be given prior to each day’s start, an inspection check if requested by a tournament official, and a numbered item which MUST remain in your boat until turned in each day at the check in point. This numbered item must be displayed upon the request of tournament officials.

13. BOAT OPERATION AND EXPENSE: Boaters will fish from the front deck of the boat only. Co-anglers will fish from the back deck of the boat only. Boaters will have complete control of boat operation and waters to be fished. Any Boater Angler who, in the judgment of the tournament director, operates the boat in a manner that unfairly handicaps their Co-Angler partner will be disqualified for that day. In multi-day tournaments, Co-Anglers who share their Boater Angler partner’s fishing locations with other competitors will be disqualified along with the person utilizing this information. Any contestant who, in the judgment of the officials, operates the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap his partner shall be disqualified. In view of the large expense involved in operating and maintaining a tournament bass boat, it is suggested that the Co-Angler partner share cost of gas and oil for the competition day. If at any time the Boater Angler becomes sick and cannot operate the trolling motor in a safe manner or continue fishing, the Boater Angler may allow the Co-Angler to operate the trolling motor and continue fishing, as long as the Boater Angler ceases all fishing at such time. Once the Boater Angler relinquishes control of the trolling motor he may not fish or run the trolling motor any more that day.

14. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Tournament waters will be established by the Tournament Director for each tournament. Fishing on the tournament waters is permitted anywhere except within 50 yards of another competitor’s boat which was first anchored or secured in a fixed position. No such boat shall permit selected competitors to fish within the 50 yard circle claimed by him, to the exclusion of any other competitor. Any water within boundaries posted Off-Limits or No Fishing by state or federal agencies will be OFF LIMITS. Also, the live-bass release area established by the Tournament Director will be OFF LIMITS and will be announced at the Tournament Briefing. Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. Any waters closed to public fishing will be closed to tournament contestants. All angling must be done from the boat. Competitors wishing to change fish habitat by placing any object in the tournament waters may do so if such action does not violate state or federal regulations. Buying or Bartering of fishing locations from any person for use during any competition day is strictly prohibited. Penalty for such occurrence shall be Disqualification from all Regional Qualifying Events during the upcoming year and that event.

15. CONTESTANTS MUST REMAIN IN BOAT. Contestants must not depart the boat to land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Boats must remain in tournament waters during tournament days. Contestants must leave and return to official checkpoint by boat. Both competitors must remain in boat at all times except in case of dire emergency. (See Rule 27) In such an emergency, competitors may be removed from their boat to: A boat operated by other competitors or a rescue boat. Partners must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and each other’s catch under the conditions cited above, in order for their catch of that day to be scored in the tournament. If a competitor must violate any of the above conditions (to contact a tournament official by phone or other means or to report an emergency or breakdown), both competitors must cease fishing at this point, and their catch must be verified by a tournament official or another competitor in order to be counted in the tournament. If after the emergency situation is resolved by the tournament officials and enough time is left for the competitors to resume fishing, a RESTART will be allowed and the competitors will continue and their catch will be counted. This applies only to dire emergency situations. Trailering of boats during tournament hours is prohibited, except by the direction of tournament officials.

16. OFFICIAL CHECKPOINTS: The end of tournament time, check in point, and check-in method will be announced by the Tournament Director for that tournament. At the time of check in all competitors and their boats shall be in full compliance with all RO Tournament Rules set forth by the Tournament Director. At the end of the tournament check in all boats shall identify themselves by means of the numbered buttons and place them in the designated bucket before the official end of tournament time. Then proceed immediately to the designated weigh in area. Partners must stay together until their fish have been weighed.
17. SCORING: Tournament standing, auxiliary awards and final winners shall be determined by the pound and hundredths weight of each competitors catch during the competition days of the tournament. Only Largemouth, Spotted, Red Eye or Smallmouth bass will be weighed. The limit shall be 5 of the above species, or a special limit is established for a particular tournament by the Tournament Director, in which case the state limit, or special limit, shall be the tournament limit. All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states within which they fish. At no time shall a competitor have reduced to possession more than the limits described above. Tournament officials will conduct checks for violation of this provision, and in the event a competitor has reduced more than the above-described limits to possession, the Tournament Director shall cull the largest bass first, down to the limit described. The official length for bass shall be determined by the Tournament Director and announced at the Tournament Briefing. In most cases it will be the LONGEST State limit covering the tournament waters. Only bass as described above which measure the official length or more on the longest straight line shall be weighed in. Bass presented for weigh in which fail to measure the official length shall, accrue penalties at the rate of 1 pound for each such bass. This penalty shall be deducted from the total score of the competitor. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered will be weighed and credited only at the discretion of the Tournament Director. After a competitor checks in at the official checkpoint he MUST present all LEGAL fish in his possession to a tournament official to be counted, measured and weighed. His catch must be certified by the signature of his partner of that day. Once a competitors catch is measured, counted and verified by a tournament official, that contestant may not return to his boat until his catch has been weighed and recorded. Weigh in bags will be furnished by the Tournament Director, and only these bags may be used for the weigh in.

18. DON’T KILL YOUR CATCH: Each competitor is expected to keep his bass alive by use of a properly aerated live-well.

19. PENALTY POINTS: For each legal dead bass presented to weigh in officials, the competitor shall be penalized 50/100’s (.50) per dead fish, (8 oz or ½ lb.) to be deducted from score. The Tournament Director and his designated appointees shall have sole authority for accessing penalty points. Bass presented for weigh in which fail to measure the official length shall, accrue penalties at the rate of 1 pound for each such bass and the bass is not weighed. A contestant must not allow any bass caught by him to be counted in the score of another contestant. In such a case, both contestants shall be disqualified from this tournament and from all future RO tournaments.
20. LATE PENALTY: Competitors who are not at the official checkpoint as described in (Rule16) at the appointed time shall be penalized at the rate of 1 pound per minute to be deducted from the total weight of their catch that day, including any weight to be counted toward a lunker award, for each one (1) minute he is late. Any competitor more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for that days catch. There shall be no excuse for tardiness and in no case shall a competitor be allowed to make up “lost time”. After proper recognition at the check in point, competitors will be allowed ample time to proceed to the weigh in site; however, all fishing must cease upon check in. After the tournament begins, fishing the tournament waters is prohibited except during the tournament hours. Exact starting and check in times will be announced at the Pre-Tournament Briefing.

21. TIES: In case of a tie the following tie breakers will be used in order: (#1) The individual with the largest number of legal fish weighed in during the competition; (#2) The individual with the largest number of legal LIVE fish weighed in during the competition; (#3) The individual with the heaviest single day’s catch during the competition; (#4) The individual with the second heaviest single day’s catch during the competition. In the unlikely event that they remain tied after these four tie-breakers are employed, then a flip of a coin will be used to determine the winner(s) and the money, if any, will be equally split. Ties for lesser positions shall be resolved by means selected by the Tournament Director.

22. Protests: All protests must be submitted in writing Prior To The Closing Of The Tournament Scales.

23. NO HOLE SITTING: The definition of Hole Sitting shall be at the discretion of the Tournament Committee.

24. Dire Emergency/Breakdown: Dire Emergency/Breakdown: In the case of a dire emergency or breakdown competitors or observers may separate from one another while either returns to the weigh-in site with all legally caught fish in another competitor’s boat. In this situation the fish must be clearly separated and verified during transfer and at the weigh-in site by the observer/non-boater of the rescue boat.

25. None of the above rules shall prohibit a properly designated Tournament Official from approaching or boarding any competitor’s boat.