New Horizon Bass Anglers

Tournament Rules


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ARTICLE I - Tournaments


Section 1: Purpose
The purpose of the club tournaments shall be fun, fellowship and the sharing of knowledge and techniques with one another. Competition shall be secondary to these goals.
Section 2: Schedule
The tournament schedule shall be formulated by the Tournament Vice President, with the advice of the membership. This schedule will take into account, seasonal migrations of fish, ramp reservations, climate, tidal conditions, water levels, etc. After approval by the Board of Directors, this schedule will be presented to the club membership at the Annual Meeting.
Section 3: Number
The tournament schedule will consist of fifteen tournaments.  This number may be adjusted annually. Some of the tournaments shall be draw tournaments.  In addition, a “Classic Tournament” is planned for year’s end, incorporating a “pot fishing” format, with a tournament fee of $10.00. The resulting “pot” will be paid as follows: 50% to the 1st place winner, 30% to the 2nd place finisher and 20% to the third place finisher. In addition, members may elect to contribute to a $5.00 Lunker Pot, with the proceeds being awarded to the member weighing in the largest bass.

Section 4: Fees
Tournament fees will be $10.00 per tournament, divided as follows: $3.00 - Club Operations, $2.00 - Winner's Payback, $5.00 - Charity Donation. All prize money will be awarded at the Annual Banquet.

Section 5: Eligibility

All current members are eligible to participate. Guests over age 16, may fish up to three (3) tournaments prior to applying for membership. All rules applying to members will apply to guests. Relatives of members and previous members who have relocated out of the area are guests who are not subject to the three tournament rule.  Professional guides, will not be permitted to fish the Classic Tournament. In order to be eligible to place 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the Classic Tournament, a member must have participated in at least three club events during the tournament year.  Club events are defined as Tournaments, Kid's Derbies, Banquet Organization, Club service functions and other events as determined by the Board of Directors
Section 6: Tournament Times
Tournament times will be set by the Tournament Director at the meeting prior to the tournament. Due to local conditions at the site, tournament times may be changed by the Tournament Director. Check-in time is fifteen minutes prior to the designated start time. Weigh-in will commence as soon as possible after the tournament ending time. Any participant not in the designated checkpoint area at the appointed time will be considered late and will be penalized one pound for each minute he/she is late. Any participant more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for the tournament day. In the event of a two day tournament, forfeiture will only apply to the day participant is late.
Section 7: Fish
Legal tournament fish are: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, Kentucky or spotted bass and red-eyed bass. The creel limit will be the applicable limit for the body of water being fished. In the event of multiple jurisdictions, the smaller of the applicable limits shall apply. Minimum size limits will be set by the Tournament Director based on the regulations in effect on the tournament waters. All fish weighed-in become the property of the club and must be released if the Tournament Director determines that they will live.
Section 8: Lunker
Any legal tournament fish may qualify for the Lunker Award if it meets the minimum four pound weight. Any contestant may keep a lunker for mounting upon request, but must forfeit the bonus points.

ARTICLE II - Partners and Expenses

Section 1: Partners
In deference to the avowed purpose of tournaments, it is expected that members will rotate fishing partners throughout the schedule, thereby sharing knowledge with as many different partners as possible. Pairings for draw tournaments will take place at the meeting prior to the tournament date or by e-mail to the Tournament Director by the appointed date and time. If not registered for a draw team tournament by the appointed date, member will not be paired. Any member showing up with a guest, or fishing alone,  in a team tournament, will be allowed to fish, but will be paired with a randomly drawn non-boater for tournament standings. The Tournament Director may pair any participant whose partner fails to show up. Guests are welcome but are not eligible to place in tournaments, and are subject to the same rules as members.


Section 2: Expenses
Tournament costs are to be borne by each participant and are divided as follows:
(a) Fifty percent of transportation costs for the tow vehicle, to and from the tournament site, even though the partners may not ride together. This shall include gasoline, oil, tolls, etc.
(b) Fifty percent of cost of operation of the boat. This shall include gasoline, oil, ramp fees, parking, etc.
(c) Tournament entrance fees shall be paid by each individual member and guest.

ARTICLE III - Tournament Director

The Tournament Director shall be the Tournament Vice President or his appointed representative. The Tournament Director shall promulgate and distribute any changes dictated by local conditions to the assembled participants before the tournament start time.  Sole responsibility for conduct of the tournaments and interpretation of the Tournament Rules shall be vested in the Tournament Director.

ARTICLE IV - Safety and Sportsmanship

Section 1: Safety
The following regulations are in effect during all club tournaments:
(a) Any boat operator shall be a minimum of 18 years of age.
(b) Use of drugs or alcohol is prohibited, even during weigh-in.
(c) All participants shall render any assistance possible to disabled boaters whom they may encounter. Members providing such assistance may not be penalized for their actions.
(d) All boats must have all required Coast Guard equipment.
(e) All boat owners must have on file with the Club, a liability insurance policy in effect on the tournament date, with a limit of at least $100,000.
(f) No participant shall be in possession of firearms during tournament hours.
(g) All participants
must have on file with the Tournament Director or his designee, a Member Identification Form, including photo of member, tow vehicle and any owned boat. This form is needed by local authorities in the event of an emergency and must be updated annually before the first tournament fished by the member.

(h) All members must be wearing a USCG approved personal flotation device any time the boat

is on plane.
In addition, certain safety practices are recommended:
(a) Use of a kill switch whenever the boat motor is running.
(b) Use of stick steering should be limited to boats having 35 horsepower or less.
(c) Boats shall be operated with safety and courtesy uppermost.
Section 2: Sportsmanship
All club members are expected to demonstrate high standards of sportsmanship by conducting themselves in a manner not detrimental to other users of the resource. Any infraction of fundamental sporting principles may be grounds for tournament disqualification.

ARTICLE V - Tackle and Equipment

Section 1: Tackle
Any conventional rod or reel may be used during tournament hours, as long as only one rod is in use at a time. Only artificial lures are permitted, except in tournaments designated for live bait. The term artificial shall include artificially prepared baits such as pork rind, crayfish oils, etc.
Section 2: Methods
Trolling, netting or snagging, as methods of catching fish, are prohibited. All fish must be caught while fishing from a boat.
Section 3: Boats
All boats must be equipped with a functioning livewell system and engine interrupting "kill switch".

ARTICLE VI - Tournament Standings

Section 1: Points System
Each member will earn one point for participation in each tournament. The first place finisher will be awarded 50 points, or points equal to the number of tournament participants, whichever is higher.  Each succeeding place will receive one less point. (I.e. 2nd place - 49 points, 3rd place - 48 points)  One point will be awarded for each pound of fish weighed in.  One bonus point will also be awarded for each live fish weighed in.  Prospective members or guests may not place in tournaments.

Section 2: Catch and Release Rules
All fish will be measured and weights recorded by each Tournament Director. The official measuring device will be the Gatorgrip "Weighmaster" Golden Rule. Each fish will be measured from the closed mouth to the tip of the tail. The tail may be fanned to determine this measurement. Any member bringing a short fish to the scales will be penalized one pound for each such fish.

Section 3: Sharing of Information

To further the “education” portion of the mission of the club, each tournament participant will be required to furnish information as to type of lure, type of cover or structure, and particular technique used to catch the fish brought in during tournament competition.


ARTICLE VII - Tournament Awards

Section 1: Each Tournament
Winners of each tournament, based solely on total weight, will participate in prize money derived from tournament fees. The prize money will be split: 50% - 1st place, 30% - 2nd place, 20% - 3rd place. All prize money will be awarded at the Annual Banquet.

Section 2: Annual Awards
In an effort to recognize consistent fishing success, the following awards will be presented annually, based on the end of year standings:
(a) Club Champion (Based on best 9 tournaments).
(b) 2nd Place (Based on best tournaments).
(c) 3rd Place (Based on best 9 tournaments).

(d) 4th Place (Based on best 9 tournaments).

(e) 5th Place (Based on best 9 tournaments).
(f) Lunker Award (Largest bass caught in tournament competition)
The following awards
may be presented, at the discretion of the Board of Directors:
(g) Most Improved Angler
(h) Sportsmanship Award
(i) Black Cloud Award

(j) Participant Award

Section 3: Special Species Citations
Club Citation Certificates will be issued for the largest fish of each of the following species caught during tournament competition:
(a) Any species for which a category exists in the Virginia Freshwater Citation Program.
(b) Any species for which a category exists in the Virginia Marine Citation Program.
(c) Any species that is normally stocked in tournament waters by governmental authorities.

The certificates will be presented at the Annual Banquet.


Amended: December 6, 2012
January 14, 2016



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