2017 KBF Partner Program

Strength in Numbers

Will 2017 be the year your kayak fishing club, event, or circuit affiliates with KBF (Kayak Bass Fishing, LLC)? Through the KBF Partner Program, kayak fishing organizations can tap into KBF’s resources and enjoy benefits.


  • To engage with kayak fishing clubs and tournament tours that share KBF’s mission to (a.) increase the numbers of people engaged in kayak fishing, (b.) be a reliable source of information on the sport, and (c.) conduct well-organized, expertly-run, and highly-rewarding kayak fishing competition.
  • To standardize competition through consistent, fair, objective, and thorough rules, standards, and practices.
  • To increase KBF Partner funding from a greater number and more diverse sponsors and venue hosts.
  • To increase tournament and KBF Challenge participation levels, which not only raises the level of competition but also increases the payouts and attracts more sponsors, spectators, and publicity.
  • Through competition, to drive innovation that introduces new materials, gear, and techniques that benefit not only competitors but recreational kayak anglers, too.
  • To support, recognize, and reward the contributions of tournament directors and organizers.

KBF Partner Benefits

  • KBF Liability Insurance — KBF is a member of North America Tournament Association, the world’s largest fishing organization. As a member, KBF and its affiliated Partners and members are covered by KBF’s NATA 2017 Event Liability Insurance Policy [See also NATA 2017 Certificate of Membership]. Through NATA, KBF can also obtain insurance riders for venues that request or require them (municipal parks, for instance, that make liability insurance a condition of use). Individual competitors liability coverage is usually part of each competitor’s homeowner’s insurance policy. The policy that provides coverage for KBF Partners and members would be secondary to those primary liability coverages.
  • BONUS BUCKS — Distribution  to partner organization of funds to award according to KFB BONUS BUCKS guidelines (i.e., supplemental bonuses or awards on top of entry-fee-based cash prizes)
  • KBF TRAIL Series Hosting Opportunities — Organize and participate in running KBF TRAIL Series or KBF OPEN Series Tournaments.
    • Coordinating with KBF to secure Vendor Host Agreement that make Host Fees available to Partner to defray event expenses.
    • Increased visibility and prestige as the host club for a high-profile KBF tournament, which helps grow the club
    • Opportunity for Partner Club members to participate on a higher competition level without having to drive out of the region
  • KBF Promotional Apparel Program.
    • KBF supports clubs in developing cool graphics and logo-wear, including hats, t-shirts, and patches.
    • KBF handles the manufacturing, merchandising, promotion, order processing and fulfillment
    • Partner club tap into KBF’s vendor relationships to purchase gear for their own organization at deep discounts
    • Partner club receives a percentage of all sales of their club-branded gear, both to club members and to the general public
  • Qualifying Slots in the 2018 KBF National Championship. each KBF Partner will be authorized to award five (5) qualifying slots to active participants in their organization who became KBF Members on or before July 31, 2017. One additional slot is authorized for a KBF Member who serves as the tournament director for his group. Groups not partnering with KBF will NOT have slots to award. The objective is to bring together the top kayak fishermen from across the entire US who fish in the KBF system.
    • Each KBF Partner has an opportunity to award an additional 5 to 10 Qualifying Slots to KBF TRAIL Series Tournament competitors.
    • All slots are to be awarded to KBF Members only. (In 2016, slots could be awarded to non-members, with their retention contingent on becoming a KBF Member within a set period of time. We learned not to do that again.)
  • KBF Advisory Role: One TD from each KBF Partner will be invited to serve on the KBF Advisory Panel, a Facebook private group that considers and advises on issues regarding program benefits, guidelines, and competition rules. Assuming the TD serves in his capacity for the entire season, that TD will also be awarded a Qualifying Slot at the next KBF National Championship to recognize and reward him for his contributions to the sport of kayak bass fishing.kbf_kw_coin-partner

 KBF Partner Requirements

  • KBF Membership: There is no minimum requirement for KBF Membership among club members, though we hope the benefits of membership will induce many of your participants to join KBF.
  • KBF-NC Slot Awards: KBF Partner organizers/directors ensure that all KBF National Championship Qualifying Slots are awarded on the basis of performance to its members or active participants who became KBF Members before or by July 1, 2017
  • Group Rosters: KBF Partner Club must provide a roster of its participants or event registrants to KBF in order that the KBF Membership and KBF BONUS BUCKS participation levels can be verified. This is required by the liability insurance provider, too.
  • Standardized Rules: KBF Partner Club adopts KBF Competition Rules Standards as the foundation for its own rules. In this way. the scoring criteria will be consistent for anglers wishing to enter each fish for multiple concurrent competitions (e.g., club tournament and two different Challenges). We recommend that each Partner link to the KBF Competition Rules Standards and then includes its own group- or event-specific Rules Addendum. KBF Partners may add restrictions but may not relax or eliminate any of the rules in KBF’s Standards.
  • KBF Identification:
    • KBF Partners are required to show affiliation with KBF by displaying the KBF Largemouth Bass icon or the KBF Partner Logo (shown below) on their website, on event banners, and on Facebook header images. (Obtain graphic files from the KBF Graphics Resources Page.)
    • KBF Partner members and participants are encouraged, though not required, to display KBF logo decals on their kayaks, apparel, gear, and vehicles.

How To Become a 2017 KBF Partner

To get the ball rolling, fill out a KBF Partner Profile Form. We’ll ask for the organizer’s name and contact info and a description of the event or series, and we’ll provide space for you to describe your particular objectives, issues, or requirements.

Next we’ll meet in person or by phone to review the program expectations and benefits, and answer any questions. If the club is satisfied with the answers and agreement terms, then a club officer or representative will sign up the club and will be given access to KBF Partner resources in a password-protected area of this Website. We’ll also request more info on your group, like officers’ or directors’ names, website, schedule, and your roster (for insurance, decals, and KBF BONUS BUCKS sharing).


KBF Partner Q&A

Why is KBF trying to get all kayak fishing groups to adopts its Competition Rules Standards?

KBF is not trying to impose control over the clubs but, rather, to be a voice for a reasonable degree of standardization of rules, practices, technology, judging criteria, and tools. Our intent is for an angler who catches a fish to be able to count that in one, two, three or more concurrent competitions. To do that, all of those competitions should be using the same measuring board, applying the same scoring criteria, and using the same online app for uploading, scoring, and displaying results. Also, kayak anglers who fish in events run by different organizations will have a fairly consistent experience and go in with a more accurate set of expectations on how it’s going to go.

Will KBF Partners need to designate judges for all tourneys?

For use of TourneyX, yes, you would set up the event on TourneyX and assign a TD and a judge, who could be the same person.

Does a KBF Partner pay KBF anything?

No. KBF covers its operational and administrative costs through membership fees, sales of merchandise, sponsorship admin fees, and venue host fees. Funds that come in through KBF BONUS BUCKS all go back out to participants in that program, as do the lion’s share of sponsorship funds. KBF Partners do not pay anything to KBF, but we expect KBF Partner leaders to promote KBF membership among their members.

What does it cost a KBF Partner to use Tourney X, and is TourneyX use mandatory?

KBF doesn’t own or control TourneyX and has little influence on whether it implements a membership fee. At this time there is no membership fee, though there are individual and/or event user fees. Use of TourneyX will be mandatory for all KBF Challenges, TRAIL Series, OPEN Series, KBF HOW Big Bass Brawls, and KBF National Championships. For consistency, use of TourneyX is not required but is recommended.

Must KBF Partner's members or participants still supply their own liability insurance?

In today’s litigious climate, it’s a good idea to be covered by a liabiity insurance policy. The individual insurance mandate for bass tournament participants grew out of bassboat competition and out of whitewater kayaking competition. Some venues require that all organizing groups present proof of liability insurance coverage and that they be included as a Rider on the policy.

If an angler gets injured or killed in a club-sponsored event, the venue host, club, its organizers, the TD, and KBF will, in all likelihood, be named in a lawsuit brought by the injured party or the surviving family members. By being a KBF Partner, the club, itself, and each of the club’s officers, directors, and/or organizers is covered by NATA’s Event Liability Insurance policy.

The coverage pays for legal defense and of any judgment, up to one million dollars per claim with no aggregate limit.

NATA’s liability insurance policy covers KBF, KBF Partner organizations and their officers and directors against claims by third parties arising out of loss or injuries at any event, not limited to competitive events. Every homeowner’s or Renter’s policy has a liability insurance component that provides liability protection, which covers individuals within the organization.

Can KBF Partners use the KBF Identifier Form for their own events?

Yes, you may. KBF provides links to a single form or 8 to a page. Both as PDF files, so you can print off and cut out several before you need them. KBF will also have them pre-printed on card stock for KBF tournaments and will make them available to KBF Partners, too.

Must a KBF Partner use the KBF Rules Standards for special competitive events?

KBF rules are primarily for bass tournaments, so the judging criteria might not fit one of those specialty events. When Partners run a crappie or sunfish tournament, a Barbie-pole event, a kids’ fishing derby, use the parts that are relevant and, in your Rules Addendum, replace the ones that aren’t. The purpose of using the KBF Competition Rules Standards is to create a consistent set of expectations and judging criteria, and there are going to be situations where it doesn’t fit exactly. That’s where the second part of the rules for each event, the Addendum, comes in.

At what point must one join KBF to be eligible for a 2018 KBF-NC Qualifying Slot?

At the very least, one must join KBF before being awarded a KBF National Championship Slot, but we hope that those who earn the slots will have been active in KBF for weeks, months, or years ahead of that. In consideration of valuable services rendered, we’d like our Partner’s directors and directors to champion KBF’s cause–communicating our vision, advocating KBF membership and encouraging club members and participants to sign up for and compete all season long in KBF Member-only TRAIL Tournaments and KBF Challenges.

Can we hold a drawing or raffle for sponsor products at KBF-sanctioned events?

At none of its events does KBF allow contests, random drawings, raffles or promotional product give-aways that include all three elements of a sweepstake: chance, consideration, and a prize.

Eliminate any one of the three, and you’re on safe ground. If you have all three, you’re in violation of the law—though charitable institutions may operate under an exemption. Whether your give-away or raffle is considered an illegal sweepstakes or is exempted under your state’s gaming laws is a question for a competent attorney.

Affiliating with KBF elevates your profile. When you become a KBF Partner, you are less likely to fly under your state Attorney General’s radar. Whereas an informal fruit-jar tournament might avoid detection when it holds a random drawing among event competitors in order to give away a sponsor’s product in the parking lot after awarding tournament prizes, “undetectable” does not equal “legal.” By the same token, trespassing across a farmer’s wood lot or breaking and entering a back-country barn is unlikely to be noticed by sheriff’s patrols; but they are still violations of the law.

So, how can KBF and KBF Partners legally promote their sponsors that supply products and gift certificates? We can’t (a.) drop the prize, so we have to either (b.) remove consideration or (c.) eliminate the element of chance. Removing consideration (entry fee, payment for a raffle ticket, even attendance) is difficult to manage. Usually it’s accomplished by publicizing the give-away and providing a way for non-attendees and non-participants to enter the drawing for free. That option rarely works for our Partners, so that leaves the last element: chance. Make every product a prize that can only be won by skill, and you’ve turned the event from a gambling event into a legal skills contest. In the awards section of your rules, state in advance the skills criteria, accomplishment that must be achieved, or performance that must be demonstrated to merit the prize. Also define a skills-based process for breaking ties (not a coin-toss, which makes it a game of chance again), and you’ll be in compliance with gaming laws.

For more information, refer to this law review article (PDF format) from Chicago Law Partners. Do your own research. Consult an attorney, and make sure you are in compliance with your state’s gaming laws.

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