These rules will remain in effect during the year 2012. Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the Tournament Director. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions, as he deems appropriate, including, without limitation, disqualifications, forfeiture of prizes and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. Decisions of the Tournament Director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal, and are not reviewable by any court of law. The IFA reserves the right to make needed changes to these rules in order to ensure the safety, welfare of the IFA anglers, and/or the public and preserve the integrity of the IFA. Any rule changes will immediately supersede all previously published copies of rules. It is your responsibility to read and understand the rules and how you, your points and qualification for the Championship are affected by not complying with the following rules. Every Angler will be required to sign an affidavit that he/she has read, understands and accepts all rules.
1. ENTRY FEES AND PAYMENTS: An Entry Fee of $400 (includes $50 early sign up discount if registered 14 days prior to the event) is required to fish each event. A Deposit of $200 is required to hold a slot in each event, with the balance of $200 due 14 days before the event. If the entry fee or remaining balance is not paid 14 days prior to the event (if mailed must be postmarked a minimum of 14 days prior), there will be a $50 late fee accessed. To participate in the Angler’s Advantage Program, an additional $100 is due by the Captain’s Meeting prior to the event. All deposits and entry fees are NON-TRANSFERABLE and NON-REFUNDABLE NO EXCEPTIONS.
2. REGISTRATION AND CAPTAIN’S MEETING: Registration will be from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM local time the day before each event followed by the Captain’s meeting at 7:00 PM. All teams are expected to attend the Captain’s Meeting, and sign in at the designated time and location. If a team is unable to attend a Captain’s meeting due to valid emergency reasons, they may designate an alternate to draw their number and attend in their place. In addition they must contact the Tournament Director prior to the start of competition. A designated alternate may not represent more than two teams at a Captain’s Meeting. Teams agree that it is their own responsibility to find out what was discussed at the Captain’s meeting.
3. FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL LAWS: All contestants are expected to obey all applicable federal, state and local regulations and laws. Violation of such rules may result in your disqualification from the tournament. Repeated or flagrant violations will result in said contestants being banned from future participation in Inshore Fishing Association tournaments.
4. SPORTSMANSHIP: Competitors in the Inshore Fishing Association tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon the IFA’s effort to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy, shall be reason for disqualification. Evidence of chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes involving moral turpitude or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon the IFA efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship and compliance with tournament rules shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and for disqualification. Any act deemed by the Tournament Director that gives a team or angler an unfair advantage not specifically covered under this set of rules shall be grounds for disqualification. Any violation by an angler deemed intentional or preconceived by the Tournament Director to gain an unfair advantage, would be grounds for permanent disqualification.
5. PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY: Participation in the Inshore Fishing Association tournaments is by invitation and open only to members of the Inshore Fishing Association in good standing. Any person under the age of 18 must have written consent from a parent or legal guardian. The IFA reserves the right to refuse membership and participation in any or all events to any individual or team at the discretion of the Tournament Director.
6. SAFETY: Safe boating will be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened, U.S. Coast Guard approved, personal floatation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation. Tournament days may be shortened or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. The decision to shorten or to cancel will be left totally to the discretion of the Tournament Director. A 4-hour period shall constitute a day of fishing.
7. ALCOHOL AND DRUGS: The consuming or transporting of any alcoholic beverages or drugs (other than prescription or OTC drugs) during official tournament hours, on any tournament angler’s boat is prohibited, and angler or anglers will be disqualified from this and possibly all future tournaments.
8. HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS: Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition will not exceed the horsepower limitations as set by the U.S. Coast Guard horsepower rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. By registering to participate in an event, each contestant agrees to submit his or her boat and/or motor to an inspection by an inspector designated by the IFA. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating plate will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and may result in future ineligibility to enter Inshore Fishing Association tournaments.
9. BOAT AND MOTOR: All boats must be a minimum of 15 feet in length. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional bilge pump and live well space, properly aerated to adequately maintain a live limit catch of Redfish by both contestants. For competitions held in Florida, a minimum live well size of 18 gallons is required. The Tournament Director shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is “proper and adequate”. For the safety of all contestants, ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH SOME TYPE OF OPERABLE IGNITION SHUT-OFF DEVICE. This ignition SHUT-OFF device must be attached to the driver’s body anytime the combustion engine is operating. Anytime the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat. A small electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering. All bladder tanks and any other type of auxiliary gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Fuel may be carried only in factory installed (built-in) fuel tanks. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public. If participating boat was not factory equipped with a built-in tank, then participant may use up to two of the standard US Coast Guard approved portable tanks mounted at the stern in designated areas by the motor.
10. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS: All Redfish must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. Only artificial lures may be used during competition. Commercially sold pork trailers or scents may be added and used. Only one fishing rod may be used at a time per angler. A cast must be fully retrieved before an angler may pick up another rod. Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. Foul hooked fish shall not be weighed during competition. A foul hooked fish is defined as a fish that does not have at least one hook in its mouth, and it must be released. Anglers may not catch fish or weigh in fish that have been caged or confined in an area prior to the tournament.
11. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters accessible to the public by boat, except areas designated as “off limits” or “no fishing” by private ownership or local, state and federal officials. Contestants may not fish within 50 yards of a competitor’s boat, which was in a location first, and anchored. (An anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight, push pole, Power Pole, etc. with the trolling motor in the up position). If the boat does not have a trolling motor the definition of anchored still applies. Fishing within 100 yards of a boat that is chumming with live or dead bait is NOT allowed. Teams may not fish within 100 yards of a non-competitor that is chumming with either live bait, dead or ground chum. If during competition a non-competitor approaches within 100 yards and begins to chum, it is your responsibility to stop fishing. You may ask the non-competitor if he would consider leaving or not chumming. If the non-competitor fails to do so, then you must leave the area immediately.
12. INFORMATION: Tournament anglers may share information with each other up to and after competition hours. However, no communication whatsoever is allowed via cell phone, VHF radio, pager or any electronic device during competition, except for medical emergency as allowed under rule #20, or boat breakdown under rule #13.
13. CONTESTANTS MUST REMAIN IN THE BOAT: All angling must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing water. Contestants must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat. No tournament boat may be loaded on the trailer before the weigh-in except with the permission of the Tournament Director. In the event of equipment failure, anglers must call a designated number first to report their need for assistance before calling for towing assistance. 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 by water (a commercial licensed tow company may be utilized, or another team may tow a fellow competitor,) (2) by one or both anglers entering the boat of another tournament contestant (fishing by all competitors involved in the rescue must cease at this time). Anglers are responsible for colored tie wrap or suitable material for marking and distinguishing their catch. 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 to that point in time of the tournament day. Any contestant returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition only under the supervision of the Tournament Director or his designated tournament official. It is the sole responsibility of contestants to locate the Tournament Director or official to request a restart. Failure to render assistance, when requested in an emergency is cause for immediate disqualification. Teams rendering assistance must communicate to the tournament official, the boat number(s) of the assisting boat and the assisted boat at time commencing aid.
14. OFFICIAL CHECKPOINTS: 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 and checkout in the morning will result in disqualification. All fishing must cease upon check-in. Teams that experience equipment failures may have them repaired and check out late for an event. However, it is the team’s responsibility to find and notify the tournament director or tournament official in order to check out. All running lights must be in place and working at time of launch.
15. LATE PENALTY: Contestants who are not at the official check-in area at the appointed time will be penalized at one (1) pound per minute deducted from the total weight including any weight to be counted toward a big fish award. Any contestant more than fifteen (15) minutes late will not receive credit for the day’s weight.
16. TEAMS: All tournaments are team events, with all points/awards going to the team. Anglers may not fish as individuals. A team consists of two (2) anglers, one of which must be designated as the captain. Teams must fish together two of the regular REDFISH TOUR events, and at least one (1) of the season’s REGIONAL EVENTS to qualify for the Championship. Teams must fish together in two REDFISH TOUR events in one division and at least one (1) of the season’s REGIONAL EVENTS, to qualify for Team of the Year. A team may designate one alternate during the year in a REGULAR SEASON EVENT. Teams that wish not to participate in Team of the Year race or the Championship may use as many partners as desired. Should a break up of a team occur all points earned would stay with the named Captain. No exceptions. You may not use an alternate during the REGIONAL EVENTS or CHAMPIONSHIP.
17. SCORING: Tournament standings, auxiliary awards and final winners shall be determined by the total weight measured in pounds and 100th of a pound of each teams catch during the tournament. Only Redfish/Red Drum will be weighed and the limit shall be 2 fish per day per team. The prevailing rules as set forth by the Inshore Fishing Association along with federal, state and local statutes and regulations bind all competitors. Contestants will at no time have in their possession in the live well more than the tournament limit of fish. Tournament official length for Redfish will be according to the STATE LAWS in the state in which that event is being held. All Redfish will be measured with mouth closed and with pinched tail. Any fish that appears to have been penned, mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered will not be weighed at the discretion of the weigh master. Redfish must NOT be placed on a stringer at any time during the tournament.
18. BOAT AND TEAM IDENTIFICATION: Prior to tournament start, a number will be given to each boat. This number MUST remain with the boat during tournament competition.
19. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT: Only artificial lures may be used. No “live bait” or “prepared bait” will be permitted, with the exception of pork strips, or commercially sold scents, etc. Only ONE casting, spin casting, spinning rod and reel or fly rod (10-foot maximum length from butt of handle to rod tip) may be used at any one time per angler. Be prepared to show your current fishing license, at registration, from the state in which the tournament is being held.
20. COMMUNICATIONS: A VHF radio is mandatory for all tournament vessels. The VHF may be mounted or portable. The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular telephones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, pagers or any electronic device to communicate fishing information or contact with anyone (wives or girl friend included) during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. Communication among anglers is allowed on the water only by non-electronic methods. Medical emergency calls may be made and then a tournament official should be contacted.
21. LIVE FISH: Every effort must be made to keep redfish alive. An 8-ounce penalty will be deducted from the weight for one dead redfish presented for weigh-in. A 2 pound penalty will be assessed for 2 dead fish. No mutilated or iced fish shall be accepted. Any alteration of length or weight of redfish is prohibited and team will be banished from any future tournaments.
22. INSURANCE: $100,000 liability insurance is required of all contestants utilizing their boats in any Inshore Fishing Association tournament. Each team prior to competition is required to have a current copy of insurance on file at the IFA business office.
23. TIES: Ties shall be broken by the Largest Fish for the Event. The team with the heaviest single fish shall receive precedence. In the event a tie should occur for any special honors or awards, the tie will be broken by the total cumulative weight for the year. The team with the most weight will be deemed as the winner.
24. POINTS: 200 points will be awarded to the winning team of each REGULAR SEASON tournament, 199 points to 2nd, 198 points to 3rd, etc. 200 points will be awarded to the winning team of each REGIONAL EVENT, 199 points to 2nd, 198 points to 3rd, etc. Teams who fish more than one REGIONAL EVENT will be awarded points from the higher finish as their 3rd event in the Team of the Year. Team points remain with the Team Name/Captain in case of a team break up.
25. CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFICATIONS: All teams that fish at least a minimum of two events and at least one REGIONAL EVENT will qualify for the no entry fee Championship. If a team is unable to compete in one or more REGULAR SEASON events in their division, they may make up the event(s) in another division and may still qualify for the Championship. The 2012 IFA Redfish Tour Championship will be a 2-day event with no off limits prior to the event.
26. TEAM OF THE YEAR QUALIFICATIONS: Teams must fish two events and at least one REGIONAL EVENT in one division to be eligible for the Divisional Team of the Year. The Divisional Team of the Year will be awarded to the team in each division that has accrued the most points in the two divisional qualifying events, plus points from the REGIONAL EVENT of their choice. Divisional Team of the Year will receive one set of entry fees paid for one division in 2013 . If a team wins the Divisional Team of the Year for their division, they would be eligible to compete against the other divisional winners head to head at the Championship for the over-all Team of the Year. Over-all Team of the Year will receive a check from Cabela’s for $5,000.
27. POLYGRAPH: Each contestant who fishes an IFA Redfish Tour event agrees to submit to a polygraph examination at a time and location determined by the Tournament Director following the end of the competition in each tournament and abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass the polygraph will result in disqualification.
28. PROTEST AND REPORTING PROCEDURE: All protests must be submitted in writing on an IFA protest form, along with a $200 cash deposit, within fifteen (15) minutes of the last flight check-in to the tournament director or designated tournament official. The protester also agrees that if there is a question of verifying the charge of a protest that he or she also may be subject to take a polygraph and agree to testify in a court of law if necessary. If the Tournament Director, or polygraph, upholds the protest, the cash deposit shall be returned to the contestant submitting the protest