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As we prepare to flip the page and move to Month 2 of the 2019 KBF competition season, it’s a good time to review KBF’s dispute process.

WHY A DISPUTE PROCESS? To keep KBF competition officiating fair, honest, and accurate. To provide a process whereby KBF Members receive the recognition and awards merited by their competitive performance. To provide a positive, constructive process for handling disagreements and questions over event results.

KBF recognizes that when it comes to judging events, its Members, especially those engaged in a competition, are our best allies in approaching zero percent error rates. Our officiating team—judges, reviewers, tournament director, all of them KBF Members and competitors—are very diligent to consistently, fairly, accurately evaluate each of the thousands of photos submitted each month. Doing so has earned them an impressive accuracy rating. Still, every now and then a second photo of the same fish by the same competitor may slip by a judge, or one misses a flapping tail fin, or another simply mis-scores a photo. When a missed or bad call gets past the officiating team, we count on our members to alert us.

WHEN? For 2019, the dispute window following competition was cut from 48 to 24 hours. The clock starts ticking when the judging is complete, but if you’re aware of an infraction or error that requires review, don’t wait until after the event ends—a dispute may be initiated at any time. For January KBF State Challenges and KBF Redfish Challenges, figure on submitting disputes by 12:00 a.m. CST, February 2. If the judging runs over a bit, that pushes the deadline back, too, but in general, figure “one day after competition ends” on the short side.

WHO? Disputes may be submitted by competitors directly involved in the outcome of the dispute. That includes, first of all, those participating in the competition and, second, to those whose ranking and/or prize eligibility would be affected by the ruling.

HOW? Follow the procedure outlined in Rule 17.A. of the KBF Competition Rules Standard. In brief, it’s an email to the TD (his email is at the top of each Rules Addendum page) with:
• Event title, location, and date
• Description of the penalty, condition, or situation
• Citation of relevant rule
• Request: what outcome is desired

WHAT? If I’m not a competitor or am not directly affected, of I just happen to be scrolling through the leader board and see a missed infraction? What can I do to help?

You may not be in a position to lodge a formal dispute, but we still welcome your input. While there’s still time for it to make a difference—before the 24-hour dispute window closes—email the TD with the details, enough to quickly find and assess the situation. When an error is made, we want to remedy it, and we appreciate all our members having our back.