Region 2 Rules
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Note: It is each individual angler?s responsibility to know ALL of the rules for each event you fish. Tournament Directors will cover the "highlights" of the rules at each event as well as any local  or ?lake specific? rules prior to each event.   Anglers who have questions on the rules should address them with the Tournament Director prior to the contest start.

2012 US Anglers Choice Pro Teams Tournament rules  

(USAC Region #1 & 2 trails ? effective for 2011-2012 season team events)

1.) RULES: These rules shall remain unchanged throughout 2011-12 season unless modified by the USAC Regional Vice President in writing. Interpretation and enforcement of Angler's Choice (USAC) rules shall be left exclusively to the Regional Vice President or Tournament Director conducting the event. Federal, state, local and lake laws and rules must be obeyed at all times and shall supersede Angler's Choice rules when in conflict. Regional and local circuit rules may differ from these rules at the discretion of the tournament director or regional vice president and will be brought to the attention of the angling field prior to the event.

2.) PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY: Membership is required to participate in all Angler's Choice Pro-Team, Pro-Am, WRL and semi-pro tournaments. Tournament eligibility and entry is open to all members in good standing with at least one team member at least 18 years of age or older.  Annual Membership is $45 and covers USAC events.  Membership includes a one-year subscription to BASS WEST USA Magazine and credit card style membership card with an angler specific membership number.

3.) ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND DRUGS: During tournament hours no alcoholic beverages, narcotic or illicit drugs may be consumed or are allowed in the boat while on the water.  Prescription medications kept in their pharmacy issued container and issued to the participant in question are exempted.

4.)  LICENSES: Each contestant must have in possession a valid and current fishing license with appropriate stamps governing the fishable waters of the event. Penalty for such an offense is disqualification of the day's catch.

5.) SPORTSMANSHIP: All anglers are expected to act and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Displaying of poor sportsmanship, willful violation of rules and Local, State or Federal laws, and bringing unfavorable publicity to the sport of bass fishing shall be grounds for disqualification. If one team member is disqualified, the team shall be disqualified. USAC reserves the right to revoke membership at any time without remuneration. USAC also reserves the right to refuse service to any angler seeking to participate in sanctioned events.  USAC participants are required to cooperate with tournament official?s boat for the purposes of boat inspection, photography, sponsor and media requests

6.) BOATS & MOTORS: There is no horsepower limit, however, no engine may exceed the BIA horsepower rating for the boat in use. All boats must meet US Coast Guard and state regulations. All boats must have an emergency kill switch. All boats must have a functioning aerated livewell suitable to sustain a tournament limit in reasonable condition. Extra gas tanks are not allowed. Standing on seats, combustible motor, and or the use of ladder or raised platform for the purpose locating or fishing for bedding fish in not permitted. All boats must be in possession of and utilize USCG approved running lights prior to sunrise and after sunset on official practice and competition days.  Boats without properly working running lights will be held back and moved to the final start position on tournament days.

7.) INSURANCE AND LIABIILTY: It is the sole responsibility of all USAC boat owners to carry and maintain the mandated, state required minimum liability coverage for themselves and their passengers.  By participating in a USAC sanctioned event, all contestants by virtue of their entry agree to release, hold harmless, and absolve USAC, USAC Staff, Tournament Sponsors, Co-Sponsors, and their employees, officers, or agents from any and all responsibility for any damage or personal injury that results from their participation in the tournament or related activities.  Contestants are required to have in their possession and provide proof, upon request, of coverage to the tournament director

8.) SAFETY: Boating safety must be observed at all times during practice and competition. A US Coast Guard approved chest type life preserver must be worn and properly fastened any time the combustible engine is operative and the kill switch must be attached to the driver with a lanyard no longer than fourty-eight-48) inches.  Life vests must also be worn during official practice periods.

9.) TACKLE & EQUIPMENT: All fish must be taken in a sporting manner with the fish caught by the hook in the mouth. Intentional snagging of fish will not be allowed. Trolling with the aid of combustion or electric motors is not permitted. Only artificial lures may be used. No live bait or prepared bait permitted with the exception of pork rinds. Liquid fish attractants are allowed. Only one (1) rod may be used at any one time. Other rods may be in the boat and ready for use, however, every cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is made. Rods may not exceed nine feet in length. The use of underwater cameras is not allowed during competition.  Landing nets possessed on the tournament boat during official tournament hours may not have a handle length longer than 8 feet.  The use underwater cameras are allowed during practice periods. They are not allowed during competition. No SCUBA diving or snorkeling is allowed on tournament waters 30 days prior to the event. Use of a CB or VHF marine band radio, cellular phone, texting, or any electronic communication device for the purpose of locating or catching bass during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. Aforementioned devices may be used for emergency purposes only during tournament hours.

10.) PROTESTS: All protests must be submitted in writing no later than 15 minutes after the official close of the scales for the day in question. Protests will be ruled upon by the tournament director and all decisions of the tournament director shall be final.

11.) POLYGRAPH: All contestants regardless of tournament finish are subject to a polygraph testing. Failure to submit is grounds for disqualification. Any contestant who has failed a polygraph test for cheating in a bass tournament or whose results are found to be inconclusive shall not be eligible to compete in USAC tournaments. Polygraph and voice stress testing are performed at the discretion of the tournament director.

12.) SCORING FISH: Each team may weigh-in five (5) fish per day, a minimum of 13 inches in length unless state or lake limits are greater, measured on a flat board with mouth closed and tail compressed. Any team weighing-in a fish shorter than the legal tournament length will be assessed a one (1.00) lb. penalty plus the loss of the short fish. Any team bringing more than five (5) fish to the scales will be disqualified. Dead fish will be assessed a penalty of .20 lbs. which will be deducted from the total weight.  The weigh master and tournament director will be the sole arbiters as to whether or not a fish is considered dead.  Only Largemouth, Smallmouth and Spotted Bass will be scored. Once fish are handed to the weigh master, they become the possession of the tournament authority for the purposed of weighing and DFG scientific review.  Big Bass should be marked by a culling ball prior to bringing the fish to the scales. Any team returning to the checkpoint after their assigned check in time will disqualified.  Tournament scoring is based upon the overall cumulative weight of the fish presented for weigh-in and is ranked in descending order.  

13.) BREAKDOWNS: Contestants must leave and return to official checkpoint by boat. In the event of equipment failure, there shall be two permitted methods of returning to the check-in and weighing fish. (1) By both partners remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or (2) By one partner entering the boat of another USAC Team Tournament contestant or staff member along with the days catch. Teams fish must be kept separate and not co-mingled.

14.) CULLING FISH: It is the responsibility of each team to keep no more than a maximum of the legal tournament limit of five fish (5) in a live well during the tournament, unless lake or tournament regulations allow for a lesser or greater number. If more fish than the local laws allow are present in the live well during the event you will be subject to disqualification. Per CA DFG regulations, dead fish may not be culled. No culling is allowed in the host marina.

15)  SIGHTFISHING: This rule concerns "sight or bedding" bass and is in effect at any time either of these conditions exist, and is designed to eliminate illegal snagging of bass. Intentional snagging of fish will not be allowed. A sight or bedding fish is defined as one that can be seen and watched as it approaches the lure. Fish caught under these conditions must be caught by hook and line and by the fish ingesting the lure. Any bass caught that is either a "sight" or "bed" fish must be caught "hook in mouth with the hook point entering from the inside of the mouth" - and must be verified as a legal catch by the angler's in-boat partner. Any "sight" or "bed" fish caught by snagging or with hook starting from outside the mouth shall be deemed an illegally caught fish and must be released. This same fish may be caught again by the legal method - with the hook starting from inside the mouth. Any angler catching a fish under these conditions and not verifying the hook location with the other person in the boat may be disqualified from the tournament.  Standing on seats, or motor or the use of ladder or raised platform for the purpose locating or fishing for bedding fish in not permitted.

16)  FISH TRANSPORT: Restricting natural movement of fish by any means such as but not limited to: use of nets, tanks or dams will result in immediate disqualification. Restricting access to waters normally accessible to anglers by any means such as but not limited to: felling of trees or placement of obstructions will result in disqualification. Transporting live gamefish taken in one area and releasing them in another area for the purpose of establishing a population in the new area during the practice period, during the tournament, or 30 days prior to the tournament is strictly prohibited and grounds for disqualification. It shall be illegal to ?seed? an area with live or dead baitfish or any other type of chum for the purposes of conditioning or congregating fish populations within 14 days of a USAC sanctioned event.  It shall also be illegal to pre-fish 14 days prior to a USAC sanctioned event with live bait.  Such action by participants or third parties acting on behalf of participants shall be grounds for disqualification.

17.) PERMITTED FISHING WATERS: No fishing is allowed inside the host marina unless lake specific rules allow for such.  If fishing is allowed within the marina, no boats may fish within 100 feet of the launch ramp. No fishing is allowed within 25 yards of another anchored or tied tournament boat with trolling motor out of the water, without the anchored boat's permission. Both team partners must fish from the same boat. Unless otherwise directed by the tournament authority, only contestants may be in the boat during the tournament hours. Having anyone hole-sit for anyone shall be grounds for disqualification. Contestants cannot leave the boat to land a fish or gain access to a fishing area. Restricting natural movement of fish by any means is automatic disqualification. Navigable waters are the only waters to be fished during a tournament and restricting boating access to an area by any means shall be grounds for disqualification.

18.) GUIDES: Guides are allowed to fish in USAC sanctioned events provided they are not ?hired? by a contestant to fish the event.  Guides are not to be hired by contestants to scout or pre-fish one week prior to any USAC tournament.

19.) OFF LIMITS PERIOD: USAC does not impose an "Off limits period" however, each tournament director at their discretion may do so. Clarify this rule with your local tournament director.

20.) CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: Qualifying will be based on a points and pound format beginning with 100 points for first place and descending down by one 1) point per place. In each event "First Place" will receive 100 points plus their weight, e.g., 1st Place = 100 points + 20.50 lbs. = 120.50 points, 2nd Place = 99 points + 20.00 lbs. = 119 points. This procedure will be followed for all teams weighing fish. The lowest team having weight will be the last points given based on the point's structure. All remaining teams that fished but did not weigh fish will receive one-half (?) of the next possible points based off the point structure. Example: The last team weighing fish in a 45-boat field ended at 40th place with 2.0 lbs. They would receive 60 points + 2.0 lbs = 62 points. The remaining 5 teams without weight would receive 29.5 points each (59/2 = 29.5). No points shall be awarded to contestants that pay but do not fish.

21.) CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING: You must fish a minimum of 5 regularly scheduled team tournaments within a single trail during the year to qualify for a championship berth based on points system. You must fish a minimum of 6 regularly scheduled team to qualify for a championship berth based on the "Wild Card" system. Championship qualifiers will be determined after the last regularly scheduled tournament in each division. Angler's Choice reserves the right to allow alternate or substitute teams to participate in regional championships at the tournament director?s discretion to ensure full fields. To qualify for a "Wild Card" berth teams must fish 6 of 7 qualifying events. "Wild Card" qualifying shall be determined by their finishing position in the last tournament of the year and after points qualifiers have been removed.  For trails with less than 7 events, teams must fish a minimum of 80% of the events in that trail to qualify for a championship berth based on the points system. 

20 or less boat average will qualify 8 teams plus 2 wild cards.
21 - 25 boat average will qualify 12 teams plus 5 wild cards.
26 - 30 boat average will qualify 16 teams plus 5 wild cards.
31 - 40 boat average will qualify 18 teams plus 6 wild cards.
41 - 50 boat average will qualify 20 teams plus 7 wild cards.
51 - 60 boat average will qualify 22 teams plus 8 wild cards.
61 - 70 boat average will qualify 24 teams plus 9 wild cards.
71 - 80 boat average will qualify 26 teams plus 10 wild cards.
80 and above boat average will qualify 40% of average plus 14 wild cards.

Any team fishing 7 events in any one USAC trail will automatically qualify for the TOC.

22.) PARTNERS: A member may fish the first two events of a trail?s season solo without a designated partner.  Members accumulate points for the designate team when fishing alone providing the other team member does not participate in that same event. Either member of a team is allowed to fish up to 3 events alone and representing the team, providing that the team fishes at least 4 tournaments together. No substitution of partners will be allowed except in cases of partner death, catastrophic illness, military duty, and/or at the Regional Vice President?s discretion. . USAC Team events are just that ? team events. Once you choose your partner, you must fish with that partner throughout the season for Championship qualifying and points accumulation.

23.) CHOICE DIVISION: Teams may fish an unlimited number of tournaments within a single region in order to qualify in that region?s ? Choice Division ? and for that region?s championship but only their best 7 point events will be calculated toward a championship berth regardless of the number of tournament fished. A team that fishes in 2 or more divisions within a region automatically accumulates points in that region?s ?Choice Division?. A team can qualify for a regional championship via more than one-1 division. However, a team may not represent more than one division e.g. ?Oroville? or ?East Delta? or ?Choice?, although qualified in all three-3 at the regional championship. The division in which a team accumulates the highest ranking will be the division they represent at the championship. Choice Division championship qualifying shall be calculated by taking the total number of entries in that division during the year divided by seven - 7 to produce an average number of entries. That average shall be the number used for which qualifying shall be based as per our championship qualifying criteria. Points in the Choice Division are only for place finished. Weight is not calculated in the Choice Division Standings. For Example: A team finishing in 1st place receives 100 points, a team finishing in 2nd place receives 99 points and so on. This is new for 2005 and changed for purposes of fairness.

For scoring purposes. the ?Angler of the Year? from the Choice division can only use a total of four (4)  tournaments from one Division with the remaining three (3) tournament coming from other divisions.                   (Example Best 4 Tournaments from Lake Powell Division, Best 2 from North Lake Powell and 1 from Havasu).

The ?Choice? division affords Angler?s Choice members an additional opportunity to qualify for a regional championship they might not otherwise be able to meet the minimum qualification for. Example: If a team misses the first few regularly scheduled tournaments within a single division, which requires a minimum of 5 tournament participations for qualification, they can still meet this 5 tournament minimum requirement by fishing in other scheduled tournaments within a given region. Another example can be found in; a team that has ?Bad luck? in their first few tournaments and scored low points, thus missing the point?s requirement for qualification, can make it up by fishing and qualifying via the ?Choice Division?.

In the event a partner is unable to make the TOC for some unforeseen reason, two qualifying members can join up to fish the TOC. For Example: John Doe and Bill Smith qualify for the championship, as does Jim Jones and Jerry Wilson. If John Doe and Jim Jones are unable to make the TOC, Then Bill Smith and Jerry Wilson may team up and fish the event together. This can only take place if both teams have qualified for the championship based on the standard Angler's Choice Regional Qualifying Rules, laid out above and is approved by the Regional Director.

24.) 7 EVENT CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM: All Teams who fish Anglers Choice Pro Team Tournament Trails a minimum of 7 events and qualify for their respective Regional Championship now have a new added benefit in return for their support. You will now be eligible to fish any other Pro Team Regional Championship in the country. There are some very important restrictions on this benefit.

Any team qualifying for a regional TOC is eligible to fish all 4 TOC events across all four regions of Angler's Choice Nationally. Example: Region 1 qualifiers can fish Region 2, Region 3 and Region 4 TOC events if they choose to do so.

You must Register with Anglers Choice @ 800 360 7112 to fish this event no later 30 days prior to the event

25.) OFFICIAL PRE-FISH PERIOD FOR TOC?s: Official pre-fish for all lakes hosting TOCs begin on the Monday prior to the event. Official Pre-Fish means that no one other than your team member or a member of your immediate family is allowed on the boat with any angler wishing to participate in the event. This eliminates the use of guides for the weekdays immediately prior to the event.

All USAC rules shall apply during the official TOC pre-fish period.

26.) ANGLER OF THE YEAR CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM: At the conclusion of each division?s tournament year the team with the most points shall be deemed the Anglers of the year. This shall also include the Choice division. As Anglers of the year, those teams will then advance to the Regional championship and fish against all the other divisional Anglers of the year at the Regional Championship. The top 3 Angler of the year teams shall be awarded the following prizes.

◦1st Place $1,000.00 in Cash and Prizes plus Entry Fees for upcoming seasons Team Events
◦2nd Place $$750.00 in Cash and Prizes plus Entry Fees for upcoming seasons Team Events
◦3rd Place Entry Fees for upcoming seasons Team Events
These prizes shall be independent of the regular Regional Championship prizes and the Anglers of the year shall be fishing for both prize pools. AOY teams will be considered as those who have fished a 7 event trail.  Trails with AOY teams from trails with 5 or fewer events per season will not be eligible to participate in this program. 

What is a ?Division? or "Trail" ? A ?Division? is another term for the local tournament trail. An example of a division is Ray-Bend, Southern California, Gold City, Illinois, Alamo, or Wappapello.

What is a ?Region?? A ?Region? is a group of divisions in one of four geographical parts of the USA. The four U.S. Angler?s Choice Regions are Northwest Region, Southwest Region, Central Region, Southeast Region, North Region, and Northeast Region. Further, each ?Region? shall have its own ?Choice Division?.

27.) Tournament Director Modification ? For the integrity of the region or trail or for safety purposes, the USAC Regional Vice President(s) may modify these rules at any time without prior notification.  Rules modification which occur during the current season will appear on the USAC website listed in red text.