FLW RSA Championship
TOURNAMENT RULES for 2019
Only fully paid FLW members in good standing before 30 June 2019 are allowed to participate, irrespective of creed, colour or race. However, the management of SA BASS and FLW South Africa reserve the right of admission to any participant.
FLW RSA Championship 2019
Venue: Witbank Dam
Date: 29, 30, 31 August 2019 - It is a three day tournament and participation is by invitation only.
Witbank Dam is off limits to all participants effective seven days from sunset on Wednesday, 21 August 2019.
These rules supersede any previously published set of rules for this event and intended to further the best interests of bass fishing in general and not to benefit any individual, team or competitor. Please make sure you understand the rules and regulations.
1. INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT
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 agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament organiser immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. Any complaint is to be submitted in writing, or by providing video footage, to the tournament organiser within 15 minutes of the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day.
All anglers enter the FLW RSA Championship voluntarily and at their own risk. FLW South Africa, SA BASS, the Cast-for-Cash tournament organisers, tournament sponsors and its proprietors and all resort proprietors and their employees at all levels, are indemnified from any personal liabilities whatsoever that may be incurred by any person while travelling to, or from, or during the tournament. The emphasis is on team, rather than individual, competition. Only one team per boat is allowed and a team consists of maximum two persons on one boat. (A team may however consist of just one person.) Anglers are not allowed to keep the official weigh-bags, tags or boat flags used at the championship.
The FLW RSA Championship is compiled pro rata from each Cast-for-Cash region (minimum top 30% of the region’s end season point standings); and
only if both team members have fished, in person, at least six Cast-for-Cash events during the season, can they qualify for the Costa FLW Series Championship slots.
Teams who’s “skipper” or “co-angler” cannot attend the FLW RSA Championship can participate on these two conditions:
(1) Only when one team member fishes alone will the Costa FLW Series slot be reserved for his regular partner for the season who has fished, in person, at least six events (according the team’s original entry positions (skipper or co-angler) and only if the team is in the winnings), or
(2) if the team do decide to take on a new partner who has fished, in person, at least six events during the season in any Cast-for-Cash region, will the Costa FLW Series slots be allocated to each team member competing in the FLW RSA Championship according their nominations (skipper or co-angler) during the championship and not be reserved for their regular partner(s) who didn’t participate.
In case of the new partner not having fished at least 6 events in person during the season, will that slot be awarded to the next winning team.
In case members from two different teams fish together from one boat they will have to fish under one of the original team names as one team and only they can qualify for Costa FLW Series slots if they have fished, in person, at least six events during the season.
Any angler under the age of 16 entering must have written permission and be signed by a parent or legal guardian. (Forms are available on request).
Any person who, in the judgment of the tournament organiser is disabled or handicapped in such a manner as to unfairly hinder his or her skipper or co-angler partner or compromise his or her safety or the safety of his or her skipper or co-angler partner may not be eligible to participate. Safe boating must be observed at all times and remains the responsibility of every skipper. Any angler may be ordered off the water by the tournament organisers for safety reasons. Any information regarding possible dangers of a venue or problems with safety should be reported to officials immediately. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is running 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 running. All persons must be seated and a driver must be behind the steering wheel in full control of the boat whenever it is on plane or the combustion engine is running and in gear. At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or cancelled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. Competitors may leave their boat and seek shelter in bad weather or when danger is eminent. However, teams must stay within sight of each other.
5. 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 is not permitted within FIVE days prior each tournament. The sharing of tournament winnings with non-contestants in exchange for information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters is strictly prohibited and will be cause for disqualification from the entire tournament. The purchasing of, or bartering for, fishing locations from another contestant is strictly prohibited and will be cause for both contestants to be disqualified from the entire tournament.
Contestants may not solicit and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except anglers confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources (quasi-public websites, blogs and/or social media pages, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram and Periscope, set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals are NOT publicly available sources).
Flights over tournament waters, including drones, are not permitted beginning with the start of the off-limits period, extending through practice and competition days.
6. TOURNAMENT PRIZES
Each angler has to be at the prize giving ceremony to receive his prize. No prizes will be kept for collection and non attendance will result in a forfeiting the prize. Advancement to the Costa FLW Series Championship will be based on each team’s nominations and be awarded accordingly when the team is in the final top two positions at the FLW RSA Championships. Advancement to the Costa FLW Series Championship in the USA will be allocated as follows:
The nominated “skipper” of each team finishing in the top two positions will be awarded a “pro-angler” spot at the Costa FLW Series Championship. The nominated “co-angler” of each team finishing in the top two positions will be awarded a “co-angler” spot at the Costa FLW Series Championship.
In the event of a tie concerning the Costa slots, the team who had the heaviest bag on day three will have the benefit. If there is still a tie, the team who had the heaviest cumulative weight from days 1 and 2.
If any “skipper” in the final top two positions cannot attend the Costa FLW Series Championship then the “skipper” of the team finished in third position will be awarded the “pro-angler” position without any compensation to the angler who didn’t accept.
If any “co-angler” in the final top two positions cannot attend the Costa FLW Series Championship then the “co-angler” of the team finished in third position will be awarded the “co-angler” position without any compensation to the angler who didn’t accept.
If no such an agreement can be reached among the winning team members immediately after the FLW South Africa Championship prize giving, the Costa FLW Series Championship “pro-angler” and “co-angler” entries for that specific winning position in dispute will be awarded to the next following winning team, without any compensation.
Full details of the anglers representing FLW RSA at the Costa Series Championship in November will be relayed to FLW USA within 24-hours after their qualification. By accepting any slot to officially represent FLW South Africa, the angler agrees to abide by all the Terms, Conditions and Code of Conduct as set by FLW South Africa. These Terms, Conditions and Code of Conduct will be a written agreement (contract) between the angler and FLW South Africa.
FLW will provide boats for use by pro-qualifiers from the Republic of South Africa during the Costa FLW Series Championship and the Forrest Wood Cup. (Boats can be hired from FLW for practice.) Anglers are personally responsible for any damage caused to FLW boats during practice and competition. If you will be driving an FLW boat, please complete the Boat U.S. Foundation boating safety course for Kentucky and send your certificate of completion to firstname.lastname@example.org
The highest finishing pro from the FLW Series International division, and the highest overall co-angler, based on final results at the 2019 FLW Series Championship qualify for the 2020 Forrest Wood Cup.
7. PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
Registration: WEDNESDAY – 28 August 2019; Venue: The Ridge Casino
Day-one: THURSDAY – 29 August 2019; Venue: Witbank Yacht and Aquatic Club
Day-two: FRIDAY – 30 August 2019; Venue: Witbank Yacht and Aquatic Club
Day-three: SATURDAY – 31 August 2019; Venue: Witbank Yacht and Aquatic Club
Prize giving: SATURDAY – 31 August 2019; Venue: The Ridge Casino
For a detailed programme of events click here
8. REGISTRATION & PRE-TOURNAMENT MEETING
The tournament entry fee (per team) must be paid upfront before 31 July 2019. (The entry fee exclude launching and accommodation fees.)
Entries must be made on the official entry form, which will be available at the registration point, and on our web site. (Please write clearly!) By filling in the entry form, submitting and participating in the FLW RSA Championship, contestants agree to abide by all the rules and have acknowledged and have accepted the indemnity at the bottom of the entry form.
Each contestant must register in person at the designated site. In an emergency or due to an FLW sponsor obligation, contestants may request permission from the tournament director to send a person who is 16 years of age or older to represent them.
If permission is granted, non-contestants can represent one person; contestants can represent themselves and one other person. This representative must attend the pretournament meeting to record flights, takeoff time, check-in time, off-limits areas, size and limits, and any other relevant tournament rule information. Non-attendance at a briefing will not be accepted as an excuse for ignorance of the arrangements and/or rules in the event of a complaint or objection being raised.
9. STARTING POSITIONS
All team numbers will be randomly drawn out of a hat on a first come first serve basis during registration. Only Cast-for-Cash teams who have pre-registered for the 2018/2019 season will be allowed to draw two numbers at once and choose the better number. The number drawn will be valid for the duration of the tournament.
No contestant may be on tournament waters for the purpose of locating fish or testing boats or equipment or be on potential fishing waters after the opening of registration except during tournament hours.
Each day there will be three flights and starting positions during each flight will be according team numbers. Every registered team must collect their corresponding boat flag number for display when boats are lining up for the start. Skippers must separate themselves on the water and each co-angler must display his team’s starting number so that all skippers can arrange themselves for a single boat start. Teams will only be allowed to set off once the team number is called and a GREEN flag has been raised. No team may set off whilst the RED flag is raised. Teams failing to comply with the starting procedure will be disqualified immediately and no tournament entry fees will be refunded. When a team’s number is called out, the team must idle out and is only allowed to go on the plane from the point the organiser has appointed.
There will be only one official checkpoint for boat check in the morning and one official check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check in and checkout in the morning or failure to check-in at the check-in point will result in disqualification.
10. BOAT & HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS
All boats participating must be fitted with a minimum of 15hp (fifteen horsepower) outboard engine, must be propeller driven and be a minimum of three meter (10ft) in length. No kayaks, jet skis, barges or similarly cumbersome craft will be permitted. Each boat must have all required safety equipment and must be equipped to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live-well of some sort. All vessels should be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device that should be securely attached to the driver's body whenever the combustion engine is in operation.
The use of generators, other than solar or wind-powered generators, is prohibited in contestant boats during tournament hours on all competition days.
11. BOAT OPERATION
In the event of an emergency, please call the tournament director. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Contestants must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat. Please contact the tournament organiser in the event of equipment failure or emergency. There will be only two permitted methods of returning to the official check-in: (1) By both partners remaining in their boat and being towed, or (2) By one partner boarding the boat of another tournament contestant with their entire catch kept in a weigh bag.
Under these two conditions the contestant’s catches may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead-fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules). Contestants who elect to return to the official check-in by any other means than cited above will forfeit their day’s catch. A 100 meter radius from the weigh station must be treated as a no-wake zone. Boats are not allowed to beach directly at the release point. There is a “No Fishing Zone” at the weigh station as indicated by the tournament organiser. Tournament officials reserve the right to board any participating boat before, during or after the tournament. A 1000 gram penalty will be deducted from a team’s bag weight, for teams who do not comply.
12. LIVE FISH
The target fish are largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass only. The FLW RSA Championship is a catch, weigh and release event. Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live-well of some sort. FLW South Africa and all its sponsors recommend the use of live-well additives that promote the healthy return of bass to their natural habitat. (No stringers, keep nets or fish nets are allowed). Any fish presented to the weigh master with a white circle in the eye or obviously dead fish, will be regarded as “dead” and therefore be penalised and a 1000 gram will be deducted from the total bag weight for each “dead fish” as decided upon by the weigh master alone. FLW South Africa also recommends the use of non-puncturing culling clips like the new T-H Marine G Force Conservation Cull for marking fish and live-well additives like G-Juice to help promote the healthy release of bass. Intentional damaging of fish (fin clipping, illegal tagging, or disfiguration of any kind) will lead to instant disqualification.
All live-wells must be empty prior to commencement of any fishing session. The daily bag limit is FIVE bass per team, on the boat at any one time. Anglers possessing more than the tournament limit of five fish per team per day will be disqualified. There is minimum length limit of 300mm (12 inches) per fish to be weighed.
The measurement is to be from the outer extremities of the closed mouth to the outer tip of the tail, with the fish placed on a flat surface. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit will be penalized at the rate of 500 gram for each short bass presented.
14. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS
Any team can only start to fish after he has gone through the starting gate. Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the rod in hand. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. All fishing must be conducted from the boat and only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Only one wet rod with one main line and one lure / bait per angler at any given time is allowed. The rod must be hand held (no rod holder may be used).
Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. Trolling is defined as operating the combustion engine or using the trolling motor to extend a cast, or lengthen a retrieve, or give action to a lure. All bass caught must be hooked inside the mouth. Creating feeding spots by dumping bait either artificial or natural, or any other attractant in order to attract fish to a specific location is prohibited. Tournament ethics, courtesy and good conduct are unwritten “golden rules” and core responsibilities of all anglers on all levels. No live-baiting is permitted.
15. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS
Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off limits” or “no fishing” by local, provincial or tournament officials, or within 45 metres of a competitor’s boat.
Anglers may be disqualified if encroachment is made on out-of-bounds areas, which have been declared as such at the competition briefing. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. The cutting of trees, bushes and/or logs after the start of registration to make an area more accessible by boat is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification from the tournament. Contestants must leave and return to the check-in by boat.
Marker buoys are permitted by anglers but if an angler allows any one angler into his casting distance radius, they are then obliged to allow other anglers into this area.
16. OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE & COMPETITION
Contestants may not enter tournament waters to locate bass or potential fishing waters or sightsee after registration has opened, except during tournament hours. No testing of equipment on tournament waters after registration is permitted.
During competition days contestants may not place brush or other physical fish attractors, including chum or holding nets with bait fish of any kind, in tournament waters. During competition days teams may not follow a non-contestant’s boat or participate in the placing of markers, brush or other fish attractors including holding nets by non-contestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone. Disqualification will be enforced if there is a breach of this rule.
17. CHECK-IN and WEIGH-IN SPECIFICATIONS
Check-in: All tags must be returned and be back at the weigh station, on the board with 30 minutes between flights. Even though a team’s bag could have been weighed but their tag is not on the board at the time, the team will be deemed late and their catch for the day will be disqualified. Any team who is late solely due to them rendering emergency assistance to another team may, at the discretion of the tournament organiser, have their catch weighed if they provide satisfactory proof of such assistance given.
Weigh-in: The weigh-station will be open through the day, but once the flights start to come in - then only teams in that particular flight may weigh their bags.
Weight will be measured in kilogram. Any fish presented for weigh-in must be brought in a weigh bag filled with water. Any fish brought lip-landed to the scale will NOT be weighed. No culling of fish at the weigh station is allowed.
Only a team member may handle his team’s catch to be weighed and presented for scoring by an FLW official. No angler may allow any fish caught by him to be added to the score of any other team. In such an event both teams shall be disqualified and subject to disciplinary procedures. Each team’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag and verified by the signature of a team member. Failure to have a verified signature may result in disqualification of that day’s catch. The team’s boat flag must be weighed along with their fish. All fish are weighed together to determine the total bag weight. (No points per fish.) FLW members are encouraged to nominate, weigh-in and claim record size bass during tournaments and apply for official FLW record recognition.
Any fish weighed before the weigh-in time will be noted on the team’s score card and once it has been noted it cannot be removed for any reason whatsoever.
The intentional introduction of materials that cause an increase in weight/mass of a fish by any angler shall be deemed just cause for the disqualification of the team concerned. Any foreign object protruding in any way from the fish must be safely removed and not count towards the weight. For the avoidance of doubt such foreign objects will include partially swallowed or regurgitated prey / food and any fishing tackle. Winners are determined by the heaviest cumulative weight from days 1, 2 and 3.
18. PENALTIES & DISQUALIFICATIONS
Penalties: Short fish presented for weigh-in will be penalized at the rate of 500 gram each
A 1000 gram penalty will be deducted from a team’s bag weight, for teams who do not comply to the following:
* A 100 meter radius from the weigh station must be treated as a no-wake zone.
* Boats are not allowed to beach directly at the release point.
* Fishing in a “No Fishing Zone” at the weigh station
* For each “dead fish” presented at weigh-in.
* Disqualification will be enforced if participants were on the water during the cut-off period.
* Teams possessing more than the tournament limit of five fish per team per day will be disqualified.
* The intentional introduction of materials that cause an increase in weight/mass of a fish by an angler shall be deemed just cause for the disqualification of the team concerned.
* Intentional damaging of fish (fin clipping, illegal tagging, or disfiguration of any kind) will lead to instant disqualification.
* Failure to wear an approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is running: warning for first offense but instant disqualification for 2nd offense.
* Fishing in an off limits area will be a DQ (disqualification).
In the event that any angler is found guilty of cheating, both team members will immediately be banned from all FLW, SA BASS, Cast-for-Cash tournaments and legal action will be taken against the person.
All contestants 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, to FLW South Africa, our sponsors, the sport of fishing and FLW’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 championship rules
No angler may hand to, or exchange, any article with any other boat and, excepting in an emergency situation, may not leave the boat during the fishing session.
Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration or tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure and prize giving.
Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.
Smoking is not allowed in the weigh-in line.
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 unfavourably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set in this rules.
In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, FLW South Africa shall have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete by returning the entry fee, to disqualify a contestant or impose any penalty outlined in these rules. All disputes will be handled and finalised immediately after each leg. The organisers may at their discretion co-opt persons to assist in settling disputes.
20. COMMUNICATION and SOCIAL MEDIA
Contestants may not use mobile communication devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, tablets, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., to communicate with anyone about locating or catching fish on tournament waters during tournament hours. Mobile communication devices may be used during tournament hours to communicate with the regional tournament organiser. At no time during tournament hours may contestants read or discuss social media posts from other contestants.
21. MEDIA COMMENTS, PUBLIC ATTACKS
The favourable public reputation of FLW South Africa as a sanctioning organization in the sport of fishing, the integrity of its officials, and the reputation of its media properties are valuable assets and tangible benefits for SA BASS and FLW South Africa. Accordingly, it is an obligation of competitors to refrain from comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow anglers, Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) or SA BASS. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with FLW South Africa and/or SA BASS policies are encouraged as opposed to attacks upon the integrity of the rules or officials. However, public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of FLW South Africa, SA BASS, its officials or sponsors shall be considered conduct unbecoming an angler and will result in disciplinary action.
22. RIGHT OF ADMISSION
Right of admission is reserved: the FLW South Africa tournament is a showcase for bass angling! All contestants 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, to FLW South Africa, SA Bass, sponsors, the sport of fishing and FLW’s efforts to promote the sport examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following: violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the official rules for the FLW RSA Championship.
23. LOGO DISPLAY & MEDIA COVERAGE
During all days of competition any and all tobacco logos are prohibited and may not be worn or displayed. Anglers may wear their own apparel every day, except when anglers represent FLW South Africa in any event. FLW South Africa reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to prohibit any angler’s apparel that it finds to be offensive. All decisions are in tournament organisers’ sole discretion.
Only official FLW South Africa sponsors and benefit providers are entitled to publicity at the championship as jointly agreed. No competitor may offer publicity, guaranteed or incidental, on behalf of SA Bass magazine or FLW South Africa in exchange for sponsorship.
In the event of any television coverage of any sort, SA BASS owns the rights to all camera footage. SA BASS and FLW South Africa are under no obligation to remunerate, whether it be cash or any other means, what so ever, to any competitors should they appear in the production.
24. TRUTH VERIFICATION
Each contestant 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 FLW South Africa’s sole discretion and the decision based on the findings will be made solely by FLW South Africa. All costs for such a polygraph test will be for the competitor’s account, despite the outcome.
25. POWER OF DISQUALIFICATION
Under any of the above rules, tournament organisers are empowered to disqualify any competitor, after due consideration of the facts, deemed to have broken these rules at their level and/or apply disciplinary measures as defined in the FLW RSA Championship rules. The tournament organiser may recommend the banning of any angler for serious breach of rules. In the event of a dispute FLW South Africa may make use of a polygraph test for both anglers on the boat.
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 of any paragraph or of this overall set of rules
Copyright: FLW South Africa, 2019