KBF Competition Rules Standards

Revised July 31, 2016

Rules Revision Log


  • Rule 10.D.iii. Tip of tail must be in contact with the Hawg Trough for the fish to be scored. If the tail is lifted off the Hawg Trough, the photo will be disqualified.
    KBF does not allow fish to be entered when the fish’s tail isn’t clearly lying in a natural position. “Curled up” isn’t a natural lay. Every photo of a fish with its tail off the board will be disqualified. Make it your habit to snap multiple photos before releasing a fish, then review them an upload the clearest one that complies with rules.


  • Rules Change Notifications: Process has been expanded to include announcements on the KBF Company Facebook Page and the KBF Advisory Committee Facebook Page. Also, changes will be listed in this revision log and most recent revisions highlighted in red in the body of the rules, below.
  • Rule 1.E.: Eliminate rule pertaining to KBF requirement that competitor provide proof of personal liability insurance coverage.
  • Rule 4.C.: Competitors who could not or did not upload their photo submissions to TourneyX are no longer required to be in Judges Check-in line at Tournament HQ one hour prior to the Competition End Time, unless otherwise stipulated in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum for a specific event.
  • Rule 6.: Edited and notes added (in an expandable box) to clarify that to be considered ” eligible,” a body of water must be publicly-accessible, regardless if it is owned or regulated privately, corporately, or by a government or regulatory agency, during the hours of competition. Ingress to and egress from the water may not be across access-restricted property. Usage fees are irrelevant, provided that anyone willing to pay the user fee has equal access to the water. Basically, if everyone doesn’t have the right to get to and fish the water, then no one does.
  • Rule 5: Prefishing end time will be specified, if applicable, in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum. If not stipulated in the Addendum, then the pre-fishing deadline is six hours prior to competition start time.
  • Rule 8.B.: Hawg Troughs may be shortened only by removing inches from the upper end opposite the fence. For instance, one may be shortened by cutting it off at the 26 inch mark in order to fit crossways between the kayak gunwales. However, it may not be broken, snapped, or cut apart and then reassembled at any point between the two ends. A crack that does not separate the Hawg Trough into pieces and does not affect the accuracy of the Hawg Trough may be repaired and reinforced for use.
  • Rule 10.A.: Clarified that the identifier with the required ID Codes and marks must be visible and legible in the photo.
  • Rule 10.D.v.: Added that no restraining device, clip, or band may be used to secure the fish being photographed, and that securing the fish with any portion of a hand under the fish’s operculum (the hard flap covering the gills) is prohibited. (NOTE: this “gill flap” rule went into effect in September.)
  • Rule 11.E.: Ties are broken according to the time the last fish photo contributing to a competitor’s score is uploaded by the competitor to TourneyX or received by a judge, if the photo is to be manually uploaded.
  • Rule 11.F.: According to Rule 10.D.ii, a fish’s jaw and/or lips must be touching the Hawg Trough Fence. If a judge can ascertain with certainty that the fish is not in contact with the fence (for example, when the joint of the fence and measuring surface is visible in front of the fish’s jaw), the photo will be disqualified. If a judge is unable to determine with certainty whether the fish is in contact with the fence due to a photo’s lighting, focus or other condition, he may approve the photo but impose a one (1) inch penalty.
    Affix a decal, tape, or sticker to the fence to block back-lighting and make it easier for a judge to recognize that the fish’s lip or jaw is in contact with the fence.
  • Rule 11.F: Added that any portion of a hand under the fish’s operculum (hard gill flap) will result in disqualification of the photo.
  • Rule 13.B.: “Open Mouth” rule was modified to be consistent with scoring criteria in Rule 11.F.

September 14, 2016

  • Rule 10.A. Regarding clarity and legibility of a photo and the identifier, the phrase “…positioned in the photo and…” is being deleted and the following sentence added: “After carefully examining photo details and cross-referencing other photos submitted for scoring by the same angler in the same event, if the event judge is NOT able to verify with 100% confidence that the KBF Identifier Form and ID Codes or Marks in the photo are valid for both the competitive event and the competitor, then the photo will be denied.”

(End of Revision Log)

KBF Competition Rules Standards
Revision Date: July 31, 2016

Each Kayak Bass Fishing (“KBF”) Challenge, Tournament, or Big Bass Brawl (referred to herein as “Competition”) is conducted according to Competition Rules found in two documents:

  1. KBF Competition Rules Standards (stipulated below and available for download in PDF form) cover about 85% of the Rules.
  2. KBF Competition Rules Addendum deal with the remaining 15% of the rules and cover event-specific details such as dates, locations, times, fishable waters, and local restrictions. The may be found on each Competition Event page on this Website.

Together, these two documents comprise the KBF Competition Rules for each Competition. For each Competition, the Tournament Director has responsibility for interpretation and enforcement of the Competition Rules and may amplify or clarify them to make them more relevant or complete. KBF management will review the TD’s action and, if appropriate, incorporate the revisions in the KBF Competition Rules Standards or Addenda. Competition Rules changes will be summarized in a Revisions Log (above) and highlighted in red in the body of the rules standards. Announcement of the rule changes will also be posted fifteen (15) days prior to implementation in the Kayak Bass Fishing Forum, the Kayak Bass Fishing Facebook Group Pagethe KBF Advisory Group Facebook Page, and the Kayak Bass Fishing Facebook Company Page.

Table of Contents

  1. Participation and Eligibility
  2. Tournament Format
  3. Eligible Species
  4. Competition Period
  5. Pre-fishing
  6. Competition Area
  7. Permitted Methods of Catching Fish
  8. Fishing Tackle and Equipment
  9. Watercraft & Propulsion
  10. Photo Standards
  11. Scoring
  12. Awarding of Prizes
  13. Penalties
  14. Taxes
  15. Sale of Prizes
  16. Disputes and Appeals
  17. Safety
  18. Competitor Conduct
  19. Public Comment
  20. Waiver and Release

1. Participation and Eligibility

A. KBF Membership

i. By registering for any KBF Competition, the participating angler (“Competitor”) agrees to fully and completely comply with (a.) all KBF Rules specified in (a.) these KBF Competition Rules Standards, (b.) the KBF Competition Rules Addenda, and (c.) the KBF Event Participation Terms and Conditions.

ii. Active Membership in KBF is a prerequisite for participation in KBF TRAIL Tournaments, KBF National Championship Tournaments, and KBF Online Challenges (except Challenges in which the KBF Membership Requirement is specifically waived).

iii. KBF OPEN Series Tournaments and KBF HOW Big Bass Brawls are open to both KBF Members and non-members who meet all other requirements specified in the Competition Rules.

B. TourneyX® Registration — All KBF Competitions are conducted using TourneyX®. Each angler who wishes to participate in such an event must sign up as a TourneyX user before the first day of competition.

i. Anglers who desire to compete in a KBF Online Challenge are required to sign up for the event and pay the entry fee on TourneyX.

ii. For all meet-up KBF Competitions (e.g., KBF TRAIL, KBF OPEN, KBF National Championship Tournaments, KBF HOW Big Bass Brawls), TourneyX registration and use is strongly recommended but not absolutely required. If an angler does not have Internet access, he may register and pay the Entry Fee for at the Tournament HQ Check-in Station, and the TD will have his name added to the TourneyX roster.

C. Entry Fees — Entry fee amounts, registration deadlines, late fees, and refund or transfer restrictions are specified in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum for each Competition.

KBF Members pay no tournament late fees…ever.

D. Pre-Tournament Check-in — Each angler participating (“Competitor”) in a meet-up Tournament is responsible for reviewing the schedule of events in each KBF Competition Rules Addendum for pre-event check-in times and location. Each Competitor must check in with official KBF Competition staff at the time and place designated in the schedule of events for verification of eligibility, signing of waivers, and rules acknowledgement. Late check-in and registration process (if permitted), event-specific instructions, and event schedule are specified in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum.

F. Captains Meeting Attendance — Official KBF/TourneyX identifiers for meet-up Competitions are distributed at a Captains Meeting on the evening before the Competition Day. Competitors unable to attend the Captains Meeting must download and print the unique identifier from the Competition’s tourneyx.com dashboard or pick one up at the Late Arrival/Check-in Desk. Specific details for each event are found in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum.

2. Tournament Format — The Competition dates and hours and the number of fish scored are identified in each Event’s KBF Competition Rules Addendum. KBF Challenges may be just a few hours, a day, a few days, or a period of weeks. KBF Meet-up Tournaments are conducted in either one- or two-day formats. In two-day tournaments, the number of fish scored each day is specified in the Addendum, and each Competitor’s final score is the aggregate score from both days.

3. Eligible Species — For “Bass” KBF Competitions, only “black bass” are eligible for scoring. That designation includes the three most common species (Largemouth Bass – Micropterus salmoides, Smallmouth Bass – Micropterus dolomineu, and Spotted or Kentucky Bass – Micropterus punctulatus). Other less well-known species or varieties may be eligible if abundant in the Competition Area:

A. Shoal Bass – Micropterus cataactae
B. Redeye Bass – Micropterus coosae
C. Suwannee Bass – Micropterus notius
D. Guadalupe Bass- Micropterus treculi
E. Bartram’s Bass – Micropterus bartrami
F. Mean Mouth Bass – hybrid offspring of M. dolomieau and M. punctulatus

For Competitions involving other species (e.g,, Hybrid Striped Bass, Striped Bass, Sea Trout, Flounder, Redfish, Walleye, Catfish, Musky, Pike) the species of fish permitted for scoring will be specified in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum.

4. Competition Period

A. Competition start and end dates and times are stated in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum for each event. No Competitor may begin fishing before the official Competition Start Time on any day of competition or submit fish photographed after the official Competition End Time. Under no circumstance will a fish photographed outside of the official Competition Start and End times be considered for scoring.

B. Check-in — Competitors at meet-up Tournaments (e.g., KBF OPEN Series, KBF TRAIL Series, KBF National Championship, Partner tournaments) who have already submitted digital photos by upload to TourneyX, must be in the Judges Check-in Line at Tournament HQ by the Competition End Time.

C. Early Check-in — Competitors who could not or did not upload their photo submissions to TourneyX must turn in their digital media (i.e., memory card), camera, or camera phone with USB cable in order for judges or tournament staff to download them to a computer and then manually upload them to TourneyX for subsequent evaluation and scoring. If, for any tournament, they are required to report in earlier than the Competition End Time, that will be stipulated in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum.

D. Emergency Competition Termination — In the event of emergencies, such as weather conditions that pose an imminent threat to Competitors, the Tournament Director may terminate Competition before the scheduled Competition End Time. An Early Termination Announcement with an Adjusted End Time will be broadcast to Competitors via Email and Group Text Messaging and will also be posted on the TourneyX site and media sites, The Announcement will specify a report-in time and location. If safe to do so, upon receiving the Announcement, Competitors should make their way to the specified location at the time identified.

Competitors are required to stop fishing as soon as they receive the Early Termination Announcement. No fish caught after the Adjusted End Time time may be submitted for scoring; however, to accommodate those seeking shelter immediately, Competitors have up to 15 minutes after the Adjusted End Time to take a photo of the fish caught before the Adjusted End Time. Only photos with time stamps 15 minutes or less after the Adjusted End Time, verified by the photo time stamp on the Competitor’s camera or camera phone, will be eligible for scoring regardless whether the Competitor was in cell range and received the Announcement at the Adjusted End Time.

Continuing to fish when bad weather rolls in can be hazardous. It’s up to the Tournament Director to decide whether to let the Competitors “tough it out” or pull the plug early. If the TD shuts down the competition early, he will send emails and texts announcing an “early quit time” to all competitors. No fish caught after the TD’s early quit time is eligible for scoring.

What if you catch a nice fish just seconds before the “early quit time” text; can you high-tail it to shelter before taking a photo? Yep, that’s fine. You have 15 minutes to get to safety and take the photo. THIS DOES NOT MEAN, HOWEVER, THAT YOU CAN KEEP FISHING FOR FIFTEEN MORE MINUTES.

Okay, but what if an angler is out of cell range and doesn’t get the “early quit time” message until much later? It doesn’t matter whether the angler gets the word immediately or hours afterwards; the TD’s official “early quit time” is what counts. Some anglers will choose to fish in areas with no or poor cell reception, and they may not get the text or email until they’re on their way back to HQ at the originally planned time. If they fish through the storm and catch some decent fish after the “early quit time” they are going to be disappointed. Those fish don’t count. Competitors who choose to fish in areas with poor cell reception must understand this is one of the risks they’re taking and decide for themselves if the rewards outweigh the risks.

5. Pre-fishing — Practice in Eligible Waters is permitted until the time specified in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum on the day prior to Competition. If no pre-fishing deadline is stated in the Addendum, then practice may continue up until six hours prior to competition start time. There are no restrictions regarding areas, type of watercraft, or types of bait used in pre-fishing; however, if fish caught during pre-fishing are submitted for other Competitions (e.g., KBF HOW Big Bass Brawls), Competitors must comply with those rules.

6. Competition Area

A. Competitive fishing is allowed only on publicly accessible waters within the geographic area designated by the KBF Competition Rules Addendum as “Eligible Waters.”

B. Competitors may launch from any public-access shore. Crossing restricted property to reach eligible water is not permitted.

C. Areas posted continuously or during set hours as “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by state or federal agencies are excluded from “Eligible Waters.”

D. Competitors are not restricted to fishing where they start out each day but are permitted to paddle, pedal, motor, drag, carry, or transport boats on vehicles or trailers to other eligible water area during tournament hours. “Mothershipping” or towing by powerboats is prohibited. See Rule 9.D.

E. Kayaks must not be anchored in such a position as to prevent or block access for other kayaks or powerboats.

F. Wade fishing is permitted provided the Competitor uses his kayak to access the fishing location. Bass caught while wading or walking the shoreline ARE eligible for submission; however, each Competitor must be within sight of his kayak while fishing, and the kayak must appear in every bass photo submitted. Competitors may depart the boat to catch and land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. If a Competitor must go out of sight of his kayak for any reason (e.g., for a restroom break or to contact a tournament official by phone or other means, or to report an emergency), he must cease fishing until he returns to his kayak, at which time he may resume fishing.

Click for more about what makes a body of water eligible for competition

a.) Photos that competitors submit for scoring in every KBF Challenge or tournament must be of fish caught from eligible water. To be “eligible,” the body of water must be inside the competition area boundary, during public-access hours, be accessible to the public, and be where fishing is permitted by regulations. b.) If a community pond is posted and reserved for residents only so that unauthorized use would be trespassing, even if you can drive right up to a ramp and launch, that water is ineligible Permission to use private lakes or ponds or cross private property does not make that water eligible. If a community lake provides public access, though, even though it’s otherwise surrounded by private property, it’s eligible. Whether the water is under the jurisdiction of any level of government (municipal, county, state, federal) or privately-owned, with or without a user fee requirement, the criteria for eligibility are (i.) public access and (ii.) regulatory approval for public fishing. A competitor must be able to access the water from or across publicly-accessible areas or right-of-ways. He may NOT cross property where egress is not permitted to all. c.) If a pay-to-fish lake does not discriminate so that any member of the public may pay the user fee to fish it, that’s a public-access water and is eligible. d.) If a lake has posted use times, it is eligible only during the hours permitted by the owner or the regulatory body. For example, Montgomery Bell State Park allows fishing from sunrise to sunset. Even if a competitor is able to reach the lake across publicly-accessible property, the lake is eligible only during the posted hours.

7. Permitted Methods of Capturing Fish — All bass must be caught live, the Competitor using only equipment and legal methods that comply with all sportfishing statutes and regulations of the states and body of water in which they are taken. Competitors are responsible for research of fishing and boating regulations. Snatching or snagging fish is not permitted. When visually fishing a bed for spawning bass, to be admissible all bass must be hooked inside the mouth.

8. Fishing Tackle and Equipment

A. All bass must be caught on rod, reel, line and hook with artificial lures only. No traps, snares, set lines or other methods of fishing other than rod, reel and line are permissible, even if level under state game laws.

B. Each Competitor must have a Hawg Trough, the only acceptable measuring device. “Hawg Trough” is a specific brand of measuring device manufactured by Hagen’s. It does not refer to any other rounded or flat measuring board. Hawg Troughs may be shortened only by removing inches from the upper end opposite the fence. For instance, one may be shortened by cutting it off at the 26 inch mark in order to fit crossways between the kayak gunwales. However, it may not be broken, snapped, or cut apart and then reassembled at any point between the two ends. A crack that does not separate the Hawg Trough into pieces and does not affect the accuracy of the Hawg Trough may be repaired and reinforced for useHawg Trough

C. Each competitor must have a mobile phone with camera or a digital camera with memory card and/or download cable to submit digital photographs.

D. Nets and grippers (e.g., Fish Grip, Boga-Grip) may be used for landing bass during tournament competition, but grippers must not remain attached to the fish in photos.

E. Only artificial lures and biodegradable artificial lures may be used. No live bait, preserved bait, or prepared bait will be permitted during competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds.

F. Only ONE casting, spin-casting, spinning, or fly rod and reel may be in use at any one time. A hung lure that is not in or on the water is not considered in use and may be set aside while another is in use. Other rigs as specified above may be in boat ready for use; however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time.

G. If a Competitor breaks his line while setting the hook or retrieving a fish, he is allowed to make an attempt with the rod being used or by hand to secure the line and land the fish to be counted as legal. He may NOT hook the line with another lure, rod and reel, or other device. If a Competitor loses his rod and reel while landing a bass he MAY use another rod and reel to retrieve the lost outfit. If that rod and reel is verified to be the lost outfit that and the bass is still hooked, it may be landed, photographed, and submitted as a legal fish.

H. Competitors are allowed to share baits and tackle at all times.

9. Watercraft & Propulsion

A. Only bass caught from kayaks or other acceptable watercraft are eligible for scoring. Acceptable watercraft is defined as any watercraft defined by the manufacturer as a kayak and sold as a kayak.

B. Kayak Bass Fishing must approve in advance any other craft, paddled or otherwise propelled. No gasoline-powered boats, sailboats, jon boats, float tube, pontoon boat, or similar craft will be permitted. For questionable craft that may not qualify, contact Kayak Bass Fishing in advance for eligibility determination.

C. Trolling is permitted as long as the Competitor adheres to the one-rod rule (8.A, above).

D. The use of motherships (i.e., transport or assistance from a powerboat in moving locations) is NOT permitted. Assistance from powerboats is permitted only in emergencies, as when pulling a kayak from a danger zone or restricted area. Fishing may resume following emergency assistance only if no appreciable relocation occurred.

E. Competitors may not fish from watercraft operating with gasoline or other petroleum power propulsion. Watercraft permitted for use during competition are limited to those propelled by paddle, pedal, or electric motor.  (See electric motor restrictions, below.)

F. Unless specifically prohibited for certain events at the discretion of a Tournament Director, Kayak Bass Fishing permits the use of electric motors during competition in KBF-affiliated series and events with the following restrictions:

i. Motors must be attached to the kayak in a safe manner for operation.

ii. Electric motors ONLY. No fuel powered or hybrid motors allowed.

iii. Motorized kayaks may not exceed manufacturers recommendation or established Coast Guard limitations for each craft, and for KBF competition may not exceed 3 HP or 155 foot-pound thrust rating.

iv. Competitors are solely responsible for compliance with all established laws pertaining to registration, use, and operating restrictions for kayak motors and electric-propulsion watercraft for the designated fishing area.

v. No more than one motor may be attached to a kayak regardless of combined horsepower/thrust/power rating. Motors with dual props operated by a single power source are permissible as long as the unit is manufactured and sold as a unit.

10. Photo Standards Digital photographs of bass submitted to judges for scoring must meet these criteria:

A. Legible. Photo must be clear enough to read identifier, including required ID codes and marks, and judge the length accurately. After carefully examining photo details and cross-referencing other photos submitted for scoring by the same angler in the same event, if the event judge is NOT able to verify with 100% confidence that the KBF Identifier Form and ID Codes or Marks in the photo are valid for both the competitive event and the competitor, then the photo will be denied.

B. Official KBF/TourneyX Identifier Form placed where it does not cover the bass’ eye or prevent measurement verification. An image of the unique identifier on a smart phone is not acceptable.

C. Competitor’s kayak clearly visible

D. Bass, as depicted below:Acceptable Photo Criteria

i. Facing left on a Hawg Trough, left side of the fish visible, dorsal fin toward the top of the photo

ii. Mouth completely closed with jaw and/or lips touching the Hawg Trough “fence.” Position camera lens directly over the center of the bass’ body to aid judges in determining that bass’ mouth is closed and in contact with the fence. Photos judged to have been taken deliberately at an angle in order to make the fish appear longer may be disqualified at the Tournament Director’s discretion.

iii. Tail centered and in a relaxed, un-pinched condition and its tip in contact with the Hawg Trough.  Regardless whether or not fingers are squeezing the tail, if the tip is less than 50% as wide as the base, or the longer lobe of the tail is compressed over 50%, that tail will be considered “pinched” and should be spread before photographing to avoid a point deduction.

iv. To confirm that the fish is alive, the bass’ eye must be uncovered in the photo. Photos of bass that appear to be dead, mutilated, frozen or similarly damaged will be disqualified without scoring. Photos of bass that appear to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered in ways that increase their length will be disqualified or approved for scoring at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

v. No restraining device, clip, or band may be used to secure the fish being photographed. Securing the fish with any portion of a hand under the fish’s gill flap is prohibited.

11. Scoring

A. Judges will evaluate each photograph to ensure that (a) the digital file was created within the official Competition Start and End Times and that (b) it complies with Photo Criteria outlined in Rule 10, above.

B. Tournament standings, contingency awards and final winners shall be determined by the aggregate length of each Competitor’s catch during the tournament competition day(s).

C. In a CPR tournament, unless a bass is hooked to a restraint device, they are not considered “in possession” by Competitors, so minimum length requirement do not apply for photo submissions, and Competitors may submit as many photos as they wish.

i. Unless otherwise stipulated in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum, in one-day tournaments the scores of the five longest bass will be combined to determine the aggregate score.

ii. Unless otherwise stipulated in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum, in two-day tournaments, the scores of the five longest bass of Day 1 and the five longest bass on Day 2 will be combined to determine the aggregate score.

iii. Exceptions to these daily creels will be stipulated in the KBF Competition Rules Addendum for each event.

D. Bass length is determined by its tail touching or crossing a quarter-inch line on the Hawg Trough. If it falls short of a line, the length is rounded down to the nearest 1/4-inch mark that the bass’ tail actually touches or crosses. Pinching the tail or angling the fish to achieve additional length will not result in a higher score and may result in deduction in length, as described in Section 11.F, below.

E. In the event of an exact tie in aggregate score, ties will be broken according to the time that the competitors’ last fish photo was officially entered into TourneyX for scoring or was checked in by the Judges. Should the last fish photo submission times be identical, then both Competitors’ highest single-bass score will be compared, and the higher score will be determine the outcome. If both Competitors’ highest single-bass score, too, is identical, then the second highest single-bass score of both Competitors will be compared, and so on until the tie is broken by the highest single-bass score.

F. At every KBF tournament and challenge, judges strive to be fair, consistent and objective, applying the following standards in approving or disqualifying photos, and in accepting or adjusting lengths.

Item Criteria  Penalty
Photo Blurry photos will be scored at the highest mark of which there is no doubt n/a
Photo Photo that is too blurry to judge at all DQ
Photo Photo appears to be second-generation (photo of a photo)  DQ
Photo Photo submitted before or after event date and time limits  DQ
Photo GPS photo tag or other evidence indicates photo was uploaded out of tournament “permitted waters” zone  DQ
Photo Multiple digital photos unintentionally submitted of the same bass  DQ
Photo Multiple digital photos intentionally submitted of the same bass; fraud  Ban
Orientation Bass is positioned with the head pointing to the right  DQ
Orientation Bass is positioned with dorsal fin at bottom of photo, pelvic and anal fins upward  DQ
Identifier Tournament Identifier missing, counterfeit, or incorrect for the event or competitor  DQ
Kayak Competitor’s kayak not visible in photo  DQ
Mouth Fish lip or mouth clearly not touching Hawg Trough fence (the upright end plate)  DQ
Mouth Unable to ascertain with certainty that fish lip or mouth is touching Hawg Trough fence  1″
Mouth Mouth slightly open, but less than 1/8 inch  0″
Mouth Mouth open 1/8 to 1/4 inch, even if it appears to be structurally unable to close completely.  0.5″
Mouth Mouth open 1/4 to 1/2 inch, even if it appears to be structurally unable to close completely.  1.0″
Mouth Mouth open wider than 1/2 inch, even if it appears to be structurally unable to close completely.  1.5″
Body Restraining device, stringer, tape, or clip of any kind is attached to bass or being used to secure it.  1″
Body Any portion of a hand or fingers under the fish’s operculum (hard gill flap)  DQ
Body Body off-center or curved so that one lobe of the tail extends 1/2 inch or more past the other lobe  1″
Tail Fingers are pinching the tail lobes together, or even without being constrained by fingers or a restraint the tail tip is 40% or less as wide as the tail base. 1″
Tail Tail lifted off the Hawg Trough; fish flapping tail so its tip is not in contact with the board DQ
Fish Any other fish than the species or varieties approved for the Competition  DQ
Fish Fish appears to have been snagged, snatched, or hooked in the body rather than mouth  DQ
Fish Fish appears to be dead, mutilated, frozen, mangled, or otherwise damaged so that it may not to have been taken according to the rules, or eye is covered so the condition of the fish cannot be ascertained.  DQ
Fish Bass appears to have been mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered to increase its length  DQ

12. Awarding of Prizes

A. Prizes and payouts are subject to change based on participation (lower value for less entries and higher value for more entries). The cash awards and product prizes shown below are based on 200 entries. Final payout will be adjusted based on entries and sponsorship commitments

B. Prizes will be processed as quickly as possible.

C. Prizes that require processing (e.g. kayaks, paddles, propulsion units) may require additional processing or delivery time. This is done to allow contestants some flexibility in picking the prize they want rather than win an awesome prize and be dissatisfied with the model, color or style. There will be some limitations on picking specific features and model availability, but this method is much better for the overall return on investment for sponsors and contestant satisfaction.

13. Penalties

A. Failure of digital photos to conform to photo requirements will result in deductions of one inch or more in length for each infraction. Multiple violations may result in disqualification of the entry altogether.

B. A minimum 1/2-inch deduction will be enforced for a photograph of a bass with its mouth open 1/8-inch or more.

C. Competitors who have not already submitted their digital photos and are not in the Judges Check-in line by the Early Check-in deadline, as described in Rule 12, shall be penalized at the rate of four inches per minute late; to be deducted from the total length of his catch that day. Any Competitor more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for that day’s catch. There shall be no excuse for tardiness, and in no case, shall a Competitor be allowed to make up “lost time.” After proper recognition at the Judges Station line, Competitors will be allowed ample time to submit their photos; however, all fishing must cease at the official Competition End Time.

D. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director or a rules committee may impose such penalties as deemed appropriate by them, including without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of entry fee and prizes, and prohibition from participation in subsequent KBF tournaments. Subject to the appeal process set forth below, the Tournament Director’s decisions on violations are final.

E. Penalties for rules violations may include the following:

i. Reduction of score (length) as determined by the Tournament Director

ii. Loss of catch for the day of the violation

iii. Disqualification from the tournament in question

iv. Disqualification from future KBF events, which may be from a specific number of events, a specific period of time, or may be a lifetime ban or disqualification.

v. Any different or additional penalties determined by the Tournament Director including but not limited to monetary fines and/or reduction of Competitor of Year points.

F. Each Competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director immediately any violation or infraction of any tournament rules. Failure to report violations, or suggestions to another Competitor that they violate these rules, or false verification of weigh-in forms, may be cause for disqualification.

G. Following review, a determination by KBF Management or conviction of cheating or fraud will result in permanent revocation of KBF Membership, suspension from all Kayak Bass Fishing competition and KBF-affiliated events, tours, and series, and banning from all KBF Forum privileges, and the findings will be publicized via social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), all participating kayak fishing forums and any other channel available for dissemination of such information.

H. All participants acknowledge that the use of polygraphs may be necessary to settle disputes and entry constitutes acceptance of this requirement and agreement to abide by its conclusion. Any Competitor refusing a polygraph will be immediately disqualified from all future challenges and banned from any future participation in any KBF-affiliated event.

I. The Tournament Director, rules committee, or such person designated by the Tournament Director, shall have the discretion to determine the need for a truth verification test. The Tournament Director or his designee shall be responsible for selecting an independent expert to administer and interpret the results and establishing, in consultation with the expert administrator, the scope of the questions which may be asked during the test. The Tournament Director or his designee shall have sole responsibility selecting the location, date, and time of the test nearest KBF headquarters with respect to all concerned parties schedule and travel cost. The Competitor shall make himself/herself available at the location selected by the Tournament Director and shall cooperate in all respects with such test. Competitors taking a truth verification test may be responsible for any and all costs incurred.

J. Random truth verification tests may be administered on site during the course of a KBF OPEN Series Event.

14. Taxes — Where and when state laws require income taxes be paid on cash awards to non-residents, the taxes will be automatically deducted prior to the awards being presented to the winners. Competitors are responsible for all applicable taxes on both cash and merchandise awards. Various States require withholding tax on merchandise be paid upon the awarding of certificates, and Competitors awarded merchandise certificates in these States are responsible for remitting their tax to KBF. Failure to meet those obligations may result in disqualification from all future KBF events All prize recipients must complete a W-9 and, when required a Form 590, or W-8 BEN, provided by KBF (one time). Member must provide name, email, phone number and city and state of residence. Additional information may be required upon winning for prize verification.

15. Sale of Prizes — No prizes won participating in KBF OPEN Series Events may be sold on KBF forums or any affiliate Website, Facebook page, or event page for a period of one full year. After one year, challenge prizes may only be sold in kayakbassfishing.com Bassifieds after receiving permission from Kayak Bass Fishing administration. Violation of this rule will result in ineligibility for all future events and forfeiture of qualification status.

16. Disputes and Appeals

A. Any Competitor who wishes to dispute or protest a rules violation penalty, a judge’s scoring decision, or other action that materially affected the Competitor’s ranking or prize eligibility must file a protest with the Tournament Director in writing or via email within 24 hours from the time and date of the protested action. Only Competitors in the Tournament where the protested action occurred may lodge protests. Protests must be handled privately. All parties of interest will be provided a copy. The Tournament Director will review the Competitor’s claims, thoroughly investigate the disputed decision, and issue a ruling.

B. The Competitor who filed the protest may appeal the Tournament Director’s ruling. Appeals of rulings must be presented to KBF Management in writing or via email 48 hours from the time and date of ruling. The Appeals Processing Fee is $100, which may be paid to KBF via cash, check, or PayPal Funds Transfer. KBF will impanel an appeals committee comprised of one KBF staff member not involved directly in directing or judging the Tournament, and two KBF Members who were not Competitors in the Tournament. Appeals hearings shall take place within seven (7) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal, and all parties must make themselves available at prescribed time of hearing. Decisions of the appeals committee are final. If the appeals committee rules in the Competitor favor and reverses or nullifies the ruling, then the entire Appeal Processing Fee will be refunded; however, if the ruling stands, then the Fee is forfeited.

17. Safety

A. During pre-practice and competition, every Competitor must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment, (e.g., light source, whistle or other audible signal device, Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver [PFD]). See http:// www.uscgboating.org/.

B. Competitors must wear PFD at all times while on the water during the hours of competition.

Read Crystal Keill’s article on wearing of PFDs.

C. The Tournament Director has the right to postpone or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the Competitors. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. As stated in Rule 4.D., the Tournament Director has the discretion to terminate Competition early due to hazardous weather conditions.

D. In the event of an emergency situation, Competitors should call 911 first and then notify tournament officials as soon as possible.

E. Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any Competitor, during the official practice or during the tournament, will not be tolerated and will be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future KBF tournaments. No alcoholic beverages or other non-prescription stimulants or depressants shall be allowed in kayaks during the official practice or competition days. vi. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and/or for disqualification after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director. Any disqualification, suspension from, or other disciplinary action regarding any tournament or fishing organization, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation in a KBF tournament, and/or disqualification from a KBF tournament, after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director.

18. Competitor Conduct — Competitors participating in any KBF sanctioned event must observe the applicable rules for the specific event in which they are participating and must conduct themselves at all times in a manner that reflects favorably on the sport of kayak bass fishing, KBF, its members, officers or representatives, tournaments or sponsors. Competitors are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, integrity, safety and conservation in support of the sport of kayak bass fishing, especially when in the vicinity of non-Competitors who may be on or beside eligible waters. Any Competitor who violates these principles or behaves in ways the reflect unfavorably up KBF efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters and courtesy, may forfeit tournament winnings, face suspension from future KBF sanctioned events, be permanently banned from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by KBF. 19. Public Comments

A. The favorable public reputation of KBF as a sanctioning organization in the sport of kayak bass fishing, the integrity of its officials, and the reputation of its media channels are valuable assets and tangible benefits for KBF. Accordingly, it is an obligation of Competitors to refrain from comments in public forums and social media or to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of Kayak Bass Fishing tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow Competitors or the KBF organization. Competitors are encouraged to express themselves and have the right to question the rules officials. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with KBF policies are encouraged, as opposed to attacks upon the integrity of the rules or officials. However, public comments that a Competitor knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of Kayak Bass Fishing LLC, KBF officials, KBF members or sponsors, may result in disciplinary action.

B. Sponsor contributions will not be devalued by disputes or disagreements in public forums or social media platforms.

C. Publicly disputing any judgment decisions by Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament Directors or judges will result in participants receiving one warning followed by permanent disqualification for repeated offenses. Any public dispute of final rulings, ongoing determination by judges or judging panel is grounds for immediate disqualification from the current event and termination of any eligibility for future events, even if previously qualified. This is not in place to prevent any disputes; it is done to ensure that a fair and unbiased approach is used and the approved challenge and appeals processes are followed in determining the best possible outcome.

20. Waivers and Releases

A. Name and Likeness Release — By registering for this Kayak Bass Fishing Event, the Competitor grants to Kayak Bass Fishing, LLC and Kayak Bassin TV the right to use all photographs, likenesses, stories, accounts, details of Competitor contributions, exploits, interviews, bloopers, and information pertinent to the Kayak Bass Fishing Event, as well as any video footage, photographs gathered at the Event, for marketing and promotional purposes. This release is granted without expectation for additional compensation upon submission of Event Registration.

B. Waiver and Release of Liability — As a condition of participation in a Competition, and by virtue of registering for the Competition, each Competitor agrees to accept the terms and condition of the Kayak Bass Fishing Waiver and Release of Liability Agreement (below). This Agreement absolves Kayak Bass Fishing, LLC, its officers, staff, and volunteers from responsibility and threat of litigation in the case of injury, loss, or death sustained by a Competitor in the Event. Registrants under the age of 18 must have their waiver/release form signed by the parent or adult guardian who will accompany them throughout competition. A printed copy of the Kayak Bass Fishing Waiver and Release Form (below) is available at the Event HQ Check-in Table and must be signed and on file with Kayak Bass Fishing, LLC before a registrant is eligible to compete.

Attachment A

In consideration of being allowed to participate in any way in the Kayak Bass Fishing, LLC’s Event and its related competition and activities, I, the undersigned (or registrant), being at least 18 years of age, acknowledge, appreciate, and agree that:

  1. I affirm that my participation in any KBF Event is voluntary and declare that I am physically fit and capable to participate in such; and
  2. I acknowledge that kayak fishing participation and competition involves certain inherent dangers, and hazards; that the risk of injury from the activities involved in this event is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death, and while particular skills, physical fitness, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist; and,
  3. I KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISKS, both known and unknown, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES or others, and assume full responsibility for my participation; and,
  4. I willingly agree to comply with the stated and customary Terms and Conditions for Participation. If, however, I observe any unusual significant hazard during my presence or participation, I will remove myself from participation and immediately bring such to the attention of KBF Officers or Tournament Directors; and,
  5. in full recognition and appreciation of the dangers and risks inherent in such activities, I, for myself and on behalf of my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS KAYAK BASS FISHING, LLC and its owners, officers, managers, officials, volunteer event staff, agents and/or employees, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, advertisers, event service and technology providers (including but not limited to TourneyX), and, if applicable, owners and lessors of premises used for the activity (“Releasees”), with respect to any and all injury, disability, death, or loss or damage to person or property, whether arising from the negligence of the releasees or otherwise, to the fullest extent permitted by law, and I hereby waive, release, and forever discharge Releasees from and against any and all claims, demands, actions, or causes of action, for costs, loss, expenses, or damages to personal property, or personal injury, or death, which may result from my participation in the KBF Event.


_____________________________________        x___________________________________________
Participant’s Name (Print)                                          Participant’s Signature

_____________________________________         ___________
Date of Signing                                                           Participant’s Age
(If Participant is under 18 years of age, Parent or Guardian must sign below)

_____________________________________        x___________________________________________
Parent’s or Guardian’s Name (Print)                          Parent’s or Guardian’s Signature