Rules 2020

ELITE BASS ALLIANCE SERIES (EBASS) RULES 2020

GENERAL FORMAT

  1. For 2020 EBASS will host 8 qualifying events and a 2-day Ebass Classic, from where qualifying teams will progress into the annual SABAA Team Super Finals.
  2. In order for a team to qualify for the annual EBASS Final (Classic), it must have paid the full annual team entry fees, paid all required membership fees, as well as have participated in at least 5 of the 8 qualifying tournaments, (irrespective of points scored).
  3. The Team of the Year ranking will be determined by the highest points from the best seven tournament scores from the 8 qualifying tournaments, plus the two-day EBASS final tournament scores.
  4. Prize monies for the EBASS tournaments will be determined according to team participation
  5. There will be an annual team entry fee of R 6 000 that is payable in advance. Please note a “no pay no play” policy will be applied – all entry fees paid are nonrefundable.
  6. All team members must be registered SABAA members (R 100 per angler per annum), as well as Bassmaster Team Championship members (R 140 per angler per annum), payable with the series entry fees before the start of each season.
  7. A maximum of 50 teams will be allowed entry for the 2020 season (excluding any day entrants).
  8. An invitation to compete in the annual SABAA Team Super Final will be determined and based on the team of the year ranking as detailed in point 3 above.
  9. The number of teams to participate in the SABAA Team Super Final, will be based on proportional trail representation which will be dependent on the number of SABAA registered teams participating in each trail.

RULE 1: PARTICIPATION – OPEN TOURNAMENT

  1. The tournament is open to any participant, irrespective of age, creed, colour or race, however, the EBASS committee reserves the right of admission to any participant.
  2. Anglers under the age of 16 (juniors) participating in the tournament, must be accompanied by an adult/ skipper.
  3. The EBASS committee reserves all rights to change venues not less than seven days before a tournament by notifying all participants via the EBASS website, social networks and/or email.

RULE 2: STARTING POSITIONS AND PROCEDURES

  1. For a season’s opening tournament, teams starting positions will be in the order of their overall placing of the previous season.
  • 1.1 Should either the skipper or co-angler of a team be replaced for a new year, it will constitute a new team, unless either the skipper or co-angler is replaced by the previous year’s reserve angler.
  • 1.2 For starting positions, the teams described in 1.1 above, will slot in behind the previous year’s unchanged teams, but before any new team entries for a current year (in the order of their overall placing of the previous season).
  • 1.3 All new teams will be allocated a starting position based on their series entry date.
  1. For all following tournaments, teams will start in the order they finished in the previous tournament, except for the second day of the EBASS Final (Classic) tournament, of which the starting order will be reversed from the first day.
  2. The starting positions for each tournament will be displayed on the tag board at least one hour before a start.
  3. During the start of each tournament, the starting numbers and team names will be called after which a called team must idle out through the starting gates, from the no-wake waiting zone.
  4. All engines must be switched off once in the start waiting area is reached, until the boat number and team name is called to proceed with a start.

RULE 3: TEAMS, TEAM CHANGES AND RESERVE ANGLERS

  1. A team will consist of a skipper, co-angler and a reserve angler and all 3 must be nominated on the tournament entry form at the beginning of the season.
  2. The reserve angler may replace the skipper or co-angler if they cannot attend any of the 8 qualifying tournaments. A reserve angler may only participate in three of any of the 8 qualifying tournaments for the season.
  3. Under extraordinary circumstance (death, illness, disability, emigration etc ) a team may submit a request to the EBASS committee to replace either the skipper or co-angler of the team with the nominated team reserve on a permanent basis. The EBASS committee may consider such a request, but they will have sole discretion on the matter and any decision will be final. Should the committee decide in favor of such a request, the team may not replace the incoming reserve angler, with a new reserve angler.
  4. Should a team decide to make use of the reserve angler for any of the 8 qualifying tournaments, this must be communicated verbally and by Whatsapp message to the tournament director at least one hour before the start of a tournament.
  5. With the exception of a permanent team change, no reserve team member may participate in either the EBASS Final (Classic) or a SABAA Team Super Final.
  6. If both a team member and the reserve cannot fish any tournament, the remaining team member may fish alone. Should 2 different teams experience the same situation for a specific tournament, the two remaining members may fish from one boat, but as two separate teams – fish must be kept in separate live wells and weighed and scored separately for each team.
  7. A reserve team member may not fish for a team on his own.
  8. Should any member of a team (skipper, angler or reserve) be replaced at any time during a season it would constitute the start of new team requiring a new team name as well as starting from zero Kg on the log.

RULE 4: DAY ENTRANTS

  1. Teams not fishing the series as a whole may enter for any tournament they wish to compete in, provided they have honored the 5 day pre-fish cut-off period.
  2. The fee is R600 per tournament and day entrants must pay the amount and complete an entry form at the weigh station on the day of the tournament (or on our website at least 24 hours before the start of a tournament).
  3. No day entrant can qualify to participate in the EBASS Final (Classic) tournament.
  4. All day entrants will receive the usual prize monies and trophies should they qualify.
  5. A starting number for a day entrant will be given to the team one hour before the start, if the team fishes two consecutive events its starting position will be determined by his previous tournament result.

RULE 5: PRE-COMPETITION OFF-LIMIT PERIOD

  1. The pre-competition off-limit period for the series is set at 5 (five) days prior to each tournament and includes the following restrictions:
    1. Fishing on the tournament waters.
    2. Scanning and mapping of the tournament waters.
    3. Receiving any fishing information on the tournament waters from a 3rd party, provided the information received was gathered by the 3rd party during the official competition cut-off period.
    4. Flying a drone or similar device over the tournament waters.
  2. Any team who violates the pre-competition off-limit period will be disqualified from the tournament.

RULE 6: THE USE OF MOBILE PHONES DURING COMPETITION HOURS

  1. The following restrictions will be applied with regards to the use of mobile phones during fishing hours applicable only to the last 2 qualifying tournaments and the EBASS Final (Classic).
    1. Mobile phones may not be utilized to obtain, communicate or transmit any fishing information to any other competing team/s, including but not limited to details of fishing spots or invites to join in a certain fishing area or spot, fishing lures and techniques.
    2. Any transgression of the rule 1 above will lead to a 1st offence 2 point score penalty; 2nd offence disqualification from the day’s fishing, or 3rd offence series disqualification, for both transgressing teams.
    3. The use of mobile phones for any other business, family related calls are however permissible.

RULE 7: COMPETITION BRIEFING

  1. A team briefing (captain’s meeting) will be held 20 minutes before the start of every tournament, outlining the most important rules, any extraordinary situations or safety rulings.
  2. The skipper of each boat is responsible for ensuring either he/she or his/her partner is present at this team briefing. No exceptions.
  3. It is the skipper’s duty to inform his partner/co-angler of all the rules whether it is EBASS rules or the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry rules. EBASS renounces any responsibility in this regard.
  4. Failure to attend a captain’s meeting as detailed above will result in a 2 point penalty for the transgressing team

RULE 8: USE OF LIVE-WELLS

  1. Live-wells of, adequately sized to accommodate a fish limit, must be used on each boat. These must be fitted with an aerated or freshwater supply capable of ensuring the fishes live until tournament end.
  2. The organizing committee will reject live-wells not conforming to the general international bass fishing standards, which will disqualify a team from the day’s fishing.

RULE 9: LIVE-WELL INSPECTION

  1. Prior to the commencement of each tournament day, all live-wells must be empty and checked by the weigh-master.
  2. Hatches for purposes other than live-wells, coolers and other watertight containers regardless of their purpose, may also be opened for inspection.
  3. Inspections may be carried out on and off the water.
  4. It is the responsibility of each team to ensure that their live-wells have been checked by the weighmaster before the start of the captain’s meeting before each tournament, failing which, the transgressing team / boat will have to wait until the last boat has started, before their live-well will be checked.
  5. Failure to have a live-well inspected will lead to immediate disqualification of the transgressing team, from the day’s fishing.
  6. Any tournament official must be granted access to the competitor’s boat at any time during the competition days. Failure to grant such access may result in immediate disqualification.
  7. Once a live well has been satisfactory checked by the weigh-master, a weigh tag will be handed to the team, which will also serve as proof of a completed live-well check.

RULE 10: SCORING AND ELIGIBLE FISH

  1. Only Bass are allowed to be weighed. Bass are classified as Largemouth, and Smallmouth bass.
  2. An eligible fish will be classified as being a live Bass of 30cm or longer.
  3. A fish that is gilling will be deemed to be alive, with the final decision at the weigh-master’s discretion.
  4. A “bag / limit” of maximum five Bass are allowed to be weighed per team/ boat per day. Should more than five fish be presented to the weighmaster, this will result in disqualification from the day’s fishing.
  5. The points scoring system for each of the tournament days are as follows:
    1. One point per kilogram or part thereof.
    2. Any dead or undersized fish will be excluded from the bag weight and carry a one point score penalty.
  6. No fish may be swopped / traded / replaced / transferred between individual boats / teams, in order to increase a specific boat / team’s bag weight or to fill a limit. Should this take place at any stage during a tournament, it will result in disqualification of both teams involved in the transgression, from the series.
  7. The total points scored by each team, will be added together to determine the overall tournament score of each team and in case of a tie, the biggest fish caught by any of the team members involved in the tie, will be used as a tie-breaker.
  8. It remains the responsibility of each individual team to ensure that they weigh and record a big fish separately if deemed necessary. The weight of the big fish must be recorded on the official weigh/scoring sheet to be eligible as a tie-breaker fish.
  9. Fish that are presented to the weigh-master, that have partially ingested their prey will not be weighed until the protruding remains of such ingested prey are safely removed and not counted towards the weight.

The introduction of materials or devices that increase the fish’s weight/mass will be deemed willful damage and will be just cause for an immediate disqualification from the series

RULE 11: PERMITTED FISHING METHODS AND LOCATIONS

  1. Only one line per angler to be in the water at any given time.
  2. No more than one artificial lure may be attached to a line at one time.
  3. One artificial lure is defined as a single manmade device designed to attract and/or catch one fish at a time.
  4. Adding trailer hooks, plastic trailers, blades, etc., to a single lure is acceptable.
  5. If multiple fish are caught on a single manmade lure, on a single cast, all fish are considered legal and may be added to the daily catch.
  6. No “live bait,” “dead bait,” or “prepared bait” will be permitted during the competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds.
  7. Any umbrella-type rigging, harness, or other device designed to hold more than one lure at a time – with or without hooks – is not allowed.
  8. Twin arm spinnerbaits, underspins or buzzbaits are allowed.
  9. Trailer hooks and plastic trailers must be on the main hook of the bait; only spinner blades can be affixed to the arms.
  10. Trolling is not allowed. Trolling is defined as having a line in the water, while the main combustion engine is running.
  11. No feeding areas are allowed to be prepared in order to attract any fish species to a specific area on tournament waters, during the pre-fish period or tournament day.
  12. Tournament Waters shall be established by the Tournament Director. Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by provisional, conservation or any other authority, as well as areas established by the Tournament Director, will be OFF-LIMITS and will be announced at the tournament briefing.
  13. Any transgression of the rules 11.1 – 11.12 above will lead to a 1st offence 2 point score penalty; 2nd offence disqualification from the day’s fishing, or 3rd offence series disqualification.

RULE 12: BOAT AND MOTOR

  1. For the safety of all competitors, all boats must be equipped with an approved type of operable ignition kill switch and lanyard.
  2. Fishing boats that are 4 meters or more in length may be used, during any tournament.
  3. Every boat must have all required SAMSA safety equipment and a functional bilge pump.
  4. Any violation of any boat rule, will immediately disqualify a team from the day’s fishing.

RULE 13: SAFETY

  1. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by competitors.
  2. Each competitor must wear a chest-type life preserver anytime the combustion engine is in operation. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely, and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is shut off.
  3. All anglers taking part in a tournament are obliged to have their boats fitted with a safety ignition kill switch, which must be attached to the skipper’s life jacket any time the combustion engine is in operation.
  4. When boating in low visibility situations i.e. fog, heavy rain, competitors must operate their boats at a safe speed and in a safe manner as determined by tournament director.
  5. Standard safety rules pertaining to local waters, including the “rule of the road” must be observed at all times:
    1. Counter clockwise rotation on the fishing waters – shore on right hand side, resulting in counter clockwise movement of boats, will be observed at all times.
    2. When boats approach ahead, they will pass with the other boat to the left (port) at a distance and speed such that a wake will not endanger other competitors.
    3. Overtaking in the same direction will be executed with discretion and the overtaking boat will maintain its course until well clear of overtaken the boat. Generally, the overtaking boat should keep to the deep-water side of the other without endangering boats approaching head-on.
    4. Boats approaching at right angles will apply the starboard-rule. The boat with the other on the port (left) side has right of way. The other boat will alter course and/or speed to astern of the boat with right of way.
    5. Powerboats will give way to boats under sail or hand power, irrespective of the right of way.
  6. Any transgression of rules 10.1 to 10.5 will lead to disqualification of the transgressing team, from the day’s fishing.
  7. The tournament director have the right to delay, shorten or cancel the start of an official tournament day, because of bad weather, or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors.
  8. If a participant appears incapable of safely operating his/her boat, the tournament director may exercise their right to disqualify that person for the tournament.
  9. All captains must be in possession of a valid Certificate of Competence and Certificate of Fitness for their boats. Both certificates must be available for inspection at all times during a tournament. (Failure to produce these documents shall be cause for automatic disqualification from the tournament).

RULE 14: SPORTSMANSHIP

  1. Competitors 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.
  2. Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those drugs purchased over the counter or prescribed by a physician) by any competitor during the tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from the tournament.
  3. Casting distance of 40 meters shall be applied between two competing boats unless mutually agreed to maintain distance less than the prescribed casting distance.
  4. When a boat allows another team’s boat to be within casting distance, all other boats are allowed to enter that area without having to adhere to the casting distance rule.
  5. A stationary boat may not block / refuse entry / thoroughfare of another boat in a river or cove section if the entering boat has enough space to fish above / behind the stationary boat outside of the casting distance. The entering boat shall idle (no wake), in a sportsmanlike manner and with no lines in the water, past the stationary boat, which must afford them the opportunity to move pass.
  6. Any violation of rule 14.1 and 14.2 will lead to a 1st offence 2 point score penalty; 2nd offence disqualification from the days fishing, or 3rd offence series disqualification.

RULE 15: ANGLERS CONDUCT

  1. Anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect toward fellow competitors, tournament staff and the general public and does not reflect unfavorably on any EBASS tournament, committee members, participants, officers or representatives, as well as all sponsors.
  2. Anglers are frequently in the public eye, therefore it is imperative that tournament competitors demonstrate good sportsmanship in fishing. Sportsmanship is defined as fair play, respect for opponents and polite behavior while competing in the sport.
  3. Following are examples of unacceptable behavior by competitors before, during or after any EBASS tournament, which will be cause for penalties as outlined in this document.
    1. Heated public disagreements with tournament officials, other competitors and fans and volunteers during a tournament.
    2. Public attacks through media, including social media, upon the integrity of tournament rules or officials.
    3. Public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of EBASS, tournament officials, or tournament sponsors.
    4. Displays of anger and displeasure for reasons related to fishing competition where members of the public, including other anglers, spectators and the media, are present.
    5. Publicly questioning or criticizing a tournament official or official decision, ruling or penalty except through the proper channels.
    6. Abuse (physical, verbal, threatening or slanderous) of tournament officials, volunteers, fellow competitors or others connected with a EBASS tournament.
    7. Offensive or slanderous comments with racial, cultural or sexual overtones regarding tournament officials, tournament personnel or fellow anglers.
    8. Intentionally interfering with a fellow angler’s ability to compete.
  4. Any angler who violates any of the provisions of the Sportsmanship Rules or the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, reduction of points, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in individual SABAA sanctioned tournament trail tournament, permanent ban from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by the tournament committee.

RULE 16: COMPETITORS MUST REMAIN IN BOAT

  1. Both competitors must remain in boat at all times except when their boat is beached in the weigh station area.
  2. During the competition days, competitors may not depart the boat to land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.
  3. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat to retrieve a lure. All fishing by that competitor must cease until the competitor is back in the boat.
  4. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek safe shelter in bad weather where danger may be imminent.
  5. Any transgression of rules 16.1 to 16.3 will result in a 2 point score penalty.

RULE 17: WEIGH-IN AND CONSERVATION PROCEDURES

  1. The weigh station will be open the entire day during tournament hours.
  2. Should a team be required to weigh a fish during the day or at tournament closing time, they shall enter the weigh station area through the starting gate ONLY and adhere to a no wake zone rule.
  3. All fish to be weighed must be presented to the weigh master in a weigh bag with water. No fish are allowed to be transported by hand / physical contact between the team’s boat and weigh station.
  4. No culling is allowed within the weigh station area.
  5. Invasive culling systems are strictly prohibited and may not be used.
  6. All over inflated fish and fish in need of recovery must be presented to the recovery station and handed to the conservation officer for treatment, after the fish had been weighed and photographed.
  7. Any violation of a weigh-in or conservation rules will result in a 2 point score penalty for the transgressing team.

RULE 18: LATE WEIGH-IN

  1. Competitors are responsible for synchronizing their watches to the weighmaster clock.
  2. A tag board system will be utilized for the tournament and if a competitor’s numbered tag is not on the weigh station’s tag board by cut-off time, the team will be disqualified from the day’s fishing.
  3. The cut-off time will be indicated visually or audibly at the weigh station. Any team rendering emergency assistance to another team, which results in its late arrival, may have its catch weighed if the team provides satisfactory proof of such assistance given.
  4. In case of a lost tag the team must identify itself to the weighmaster and inform him of a lost tag before the dedicated cut-off time, to avoid disqualification.
  5. Emergency assistance does not allow for the following:
    1. Flat battery
    2. Running out of fuel
  6. The tournament director’s cell number will be displayed or given to all anglers at the weigh station in cases of emergency.
  7. Failure to weigh-in on time will lead to an automatic disqualification from the day’s fishing.

RULE 19: FISH CULLING

  1. No dead fish will be allowed on any boats. Dead fish are to be returned to the water as soon as it becomes evident.
  2. No culling will take place in the vicinity of the weigh station.
  3. Violation of rules 19.1 and 19.2 will result in a 2 point score penalty.

RULE 20: PROTESTS

  1. Protest forms will be available during the tournament at the weigh station.
  2. A protesting team need to fill in a protesting form and witnessed by possible witnesses not later than 30 minutes after the tag board closed.
  3. The protest form needs to be given to the tournament director and he must be made aware of the intended protest, it is the team’s responsibility to make sure he is aware of its protest.
  4. All parties of interest must be made aware of the pending protest by the tournament director or appointed designate.
  5. Once received all the parties must attend a hearing at the water’s edge and present their cases to the protest committee in an orderly fashion.
  6. The outcome will be decided and penalties / disqualifications will be given before the prize giving by the tournament committee.

RULE 21: TRUTH VERIFICATION

  1. Each competitor/team agrees to report to the tournament director, within 30 minutes of their flight weigh-in cut-off, any violation or infraction of any tournament rules. Failure to report such violations will be cause for disqualification.
  2. By his/her signature on the official tournament entry form, each competitor/team agrees to submit to a truth verification test and abide by its conclusion should he/she be accused of any rule violation. The tournament director shall have the discretion to determine the need for a truth verification test.
  3. The tournament director or his/her designee shall have sole responsibility selecting the location, date, and time of the test, with respect to all concerned parties schedules and travel cost. The competitor/team shall make themselves available at the location selected by the tournament director and shall co-operate in all respects with such test.
  4. Random truth verifications tests may be administered onsite during the course of any EBASS tournament.

RULE 22: EBASS WHATSAPP GROUP AND SOCIAL MEDIA

  1. Only fishing, tow vehicle, boat, trailer, humoristic and daily chit chat related posts will be permitted on the EBASS Whatsapp group.
  2. No posts containing foul language, swearing or pornography will be permitted.
  3. No rude, racist, sexist, political or religious statements on the group will be permitted.
  4. Any transgressions of rules 22.1 to 22.3 will lead to a 1st offence warning; 2nd offence one month group ban and 3rd offence a total group ban.
  5. No EBASS competitor will engage or react to any social media post which involve or put EBASS, the SABAA Team Tournament Trail or SABAA in a bad light or affect in a negative way.
  6. Any negative social media post or attacks must be brought under attention of the EBASS commitee for response but will not be debated heatedly by any EBASS member on social media.
  7. Any transgressions of rules 22.4 to 22.5 will lead to a 1st offence 2 point score penalty; 2nd offence a 1 tournament ban.