For a printable copy of the rules CLICK HERE.

2018-2019 Texas High School Bass Association
The Texas High School Bass Association, Board of Directors and Team Advisors expect strict adherence to the following rules by
all Student Anglers and Boat Captains. In case of an emergency, please call 911 first, and then notify the tournament director.

1. INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT • These rules will remain unchanged during 2018-2019 season.
ALL LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL LAWS MUST BE FOLLOWED, INCLDUING BOATING LAWS. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director. Decisions of the tournament director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. Each student angler, boat captain, and team advisor agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. The violation of a tournament rule will result in a disqualification from the entire tournament and/or, in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in future high school fishing tournaments. Protests are to be made in writing within 30 minutes of the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day.   On days that the THSBA deems as “Official Practice Days” all tournament rules must be followed

2. PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY • Participation is open to student teams in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade providing that the 12th grade student does not turn 19 before September 1st of their senior year. The entry fee for all THSBA open tournaments is $65 ($60 if paying by cash or check) per team represented with no more than two student anglers. Each student angler must be a THSBA member that is affiliated with a THSBA club. Student anglers must also have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the Release of Liability form which will be in the possession of your team advisor. Student anglers must have in their possession a valid fishing license for the waters they fish if required. In order to be eligible to compete in the THSBA open tournaments, student anglers must have passing grades in all subjects enrolled. Team Advisors are accountable to ensure all competing student anglers from their respective schools are meeting this requirement for eligibility. Student anglers are required to follow all applicable federal, state and local regulations and laws. Any violation of such regulations and laws will result in disqualification from the tournament. Each team will consist of one or two eligible student anglers and one boat captain. Tournament officials reserve the right to reject any application to fish for any reason whatsoever. Student angler teams can be represented by 1 angler in case the other cannot make it. In the event a team is represented by a single angler, the THSBA and/or individual schools have the right to place an Official Observer in the boat that will be appointed by the tournament director and/or the individual school’s team advisor. Student anglers can only fish with one THSBA affiliated team per year. If the school you attend currently has a team that competes within the THSBA, you must fish for that team. Declared teams entered into their respective divisional event will be awarded the appropriate points based on where they finish in that event. Teams switching partners will be declared a new team and points earned will be awarded to the new declared team and stay with that new declared team. 

3. POINTS  • Points will be awarded in the following manner: 1st – 500, 2nd – 499, 3rd – 498, etc. Teams that fail to weigh-in fish in any given event and turn in their wristbands will receive 25 points less than the last place team that weighs in fish. Points are only awarded to teams fishing in their respective division. Teams failing to weigh in fish and fail to return their wristbands will be awarded zero (0) points for that event. Teams fishing in events not in their division will not be awarded points based on their finish.  Once AOY & TOY points from a tournament have been posted to the website, teams/or team advisors must notify the CEO of Tournament Operations by email (bass@THSBA.net) to report any inaccuracies. This must be done PRIOR TO THE NEXT SCHEDULED TOURNAMENT FOR THAT DIVISION. Once the next event has begun, all prior points are locked in place.

4. PURCHASING OF INFORMATION • Boat captains, team advisors, parents and/or participating student anglers may not solicit, receive, purchase, or barter for information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters, including GPS way points 14 days prior to any THSBA tournament. In addition, during the 14 days “no information span” no competitors will be permitted to practice or gain assistance from anyone for the purpose of locating or catching fish, except for the immediate family member (father, mother, sibling, or court-appointed guardian) of the student angler entered into the tournament, the team advisor, or the boat captain. Boat captains, team advisors, parents and/or participating student anglers are prohibited in hiring guides 30 days prior to ANY event, including guides that are immediate family.  Violation of these rules will result in disqualification. This rule will be presented as a question on polygraph. The hiring of a guide as a boat captain is also not permitted, unless they have not guided in the past 30 days on tournament waters.

5. OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE AND COMPETITION • For all regular open tournaments, competitors must be off the tournament lake by 7 pm on the Friday prior to the event. Other than that, there is no off-limits other than the “14 day no information” as stated in Rule #4. This includes all student anglers, boat captains, parents, and team advisors. All bank fishing, dock fishing, and/or placement of underwater fishing cover is also prohibited during the off-limits period. Student anglers and/or boat captains may not enter tournament waters after the 7 pm cut off on that Friday. Testing equipment on tournament waters after the cut off period is permitted only with prior approval from the tournament director. Once competition is under way, student anglers and/or boat captains may not use mobile communication devices for the purposes of sharing fishing information during the tournament.  Captains may use cell phones for personal business, communication with parents, or in the case of an emergency.  On competition day, teams may not receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except student anglers, boat captains, and team advisors confirmed in the tournament via face-to-face contact only. On competition day, teams may not follow a non- contestant’s boat or participate in the placing of markers by non-contestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone. Boat captains can fish, but cannot contribute to the team’s creel. Violation of this rule will result in disqualification and boat captain and student anglers will be banned from all THSBA events. Student anglers must cast, reel and set their own hook. The boat captain can help cull fish, net fish and remove the hooks, if needed.

6. REGISTRATION AND PRE-TOURNAMENT MEETING • Registrations must be completed online and the deadline will be 11:59pm on the Sunday night (6 days) prior to each event. Late entries will be accepted up until11:59pm on Wednesday night three (3) days prior to the event. A late entry is subject to a late fee of $20/team. Absolutely no entries will be excepted after Wednesday night three (3) days prior to the event. Tournament entry fees are $65 per boat when paid online using a credit card. A $5/boat discount will be given to teams paying by cash, personal check, or school check. The entry fees, including any late fees, not paid online are due Friday night or Saturday morning at the event registration. NO EXCEPTIONS. Teams that do not bring money to a tournament will NOT BE ALLOWED TO COMPETE IN THAT TOURNAMENT. No rollovers will be allowed. If a team enters a tournament(s) but fails to fish for any reason whatsoever, either by choice or by any other scheduling conflict, that team will forfeit their entry fee for that particular tournament. Tournament Buy-ins are not allowed.

7. TOURNAMENT AWARDS • The number of places awarded will be a 1 per every 7 entrants. Trophies for overall school and plaques for 1-5th place along with Big Bass will be awarded at each tournament. Prizes awarded must be claimed at the conclusion of the day’s tournament or arrangements should be made for someone to pick up your prizes on your behalf. Any prizes not claimed prior to the next scheduled tournament for that division will be forfeited. Contact your tournament director if you need to make other plans.
8. SAFETY • Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each student angler and boat captain is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved and state approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation from boat launch until weigh-in each day of the tournament. THIS WILL BE HEAVILY MONITORED AND ENFORCED. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device that must be securely attached to the driver’s body whenever the combustion engine is in operation. All persons in a tournament boat shall remain seated in a manufacturer recommended on-plane seating location when the combustion engine is in operation. Sitting on pedestal seats while the combustion engine is in operation is not permitted. Sitting on the front or back decks while the combustion motor is in operation is not permitted.  Any team with a student(s) observed sitting in any area of the boat besides the manufacturer’s recommended seating areas while the combustion motor is in operation will be subject to disqualification immediately.  THIS WILL BE HEAVILY MONITORED AND ENFORCED. Student anglers are permitted to assist in loading and unloading the boat ONLY if they have their Boater Safety Certification.  Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by student anglers and boat captains. Boat captains must remain in the boat at all times with the students while fishing.   At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions.

9. WEATHER/MOVING EVENTS  • Tournament directors will monitor weather forecasts leading up to tournament dates. The official forecast app that the THSBA will use for this purpose is Weather Underground. Projected sustained winds of 26 MPH or more or any other weather deemed extreme will be grounds for cancellation or postponement of an event. Decisions will be made on the Thursday, two (2) days prior to the event. The tournament directors reserve the right to cancel and/or reschedule an event for other reasons. Boat captains are still responsible for keeping the safety of the student anglers and themselves at the forefront.  In the event of a tournament being postponed to another date, no other entries will be accepted for that event.

10. SPORTSMANSHIP • All student anglers, boat captains, team advisors and parents are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, the THSBA, our sponsors, the school the team is representing, the sport of fishing, and the THSBA’s efforts to promote the sport. Conduct not complying with these standards includes, but is not limited to, the following:
a. Violation of, and/or failure to comply with, any of the rules for the THSBA 2018-2019 high school fishing season.
b. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages and/or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration, the pre-tournament meeting or during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.
c. Abuse of, and/or addiction to, mind-altering substances.
d. Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.
e. Suspension/disqualification, probation or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.
f. Any other words, conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon the THSBA’s efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, and/or which fail to comply with the standards set forth in the first sentence of paragraph 8. In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, tournament officials have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete and/or to disqualify a contestant.

11. BOAT OPERATION • The THSBA does not supply boats.  Boat captains are the ONLY ones permitted to drive boats for their teams. Students can assist in loading and unloading ONLY if they have a Boaters Safety Certification. The students may operate the trolling motor. Boat captains may provide assistance, including information about locating and catching fish. The use of mobile communication devices may only be used by the boat captains, but not for the purposes of sharing fishing information during the tournament.

12. BOAT AND HORSEPOWER REGULATION • All boats must be propeller-driven and a minimum of 16 feet in length. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment:  Working Fire Extinguisher, Throw Cushion, Life Vest to cover all occupants, current registration, current insurance reflecting $300,000 liability, working navigational lights, working kill switch, and working live well. Boats must contain a properly aerated live well space able to maintain a live limit of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards must not to exceed the recommended horsepower capacity set forth on the “Maximum Capacities” placard described below. Each boat must have a clearly legible “Maximum Capacities” (or comparably titled) placard that includes a maximum horsepower rating affixed to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the maximum horsepower capacity specified on this placard. A maximum speed of boat operation shall not exceed 60 MPH during any competition day, including OFFICIAL practice days. By signing the entry form, student anglers and boat captains agree to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by tournament officials. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating placard will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and/or may result in ineligibility to compete in future high school fishing tournaments. Fishing platforms must be factory installed equipment. No portable platforms may be used in tournament competition. Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel tanks or auxiliary fuel tanks that are securely strapped or otherwise fastened to the boat. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public and pumped through a hose with a nozzle.

13. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS • Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the lure in the water. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Only ONE fishing rod per contestant may be used at a time. Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your boat captain for verification. Alabama Rigs, A-Rigs, and Umbrella Rigs ARE allowed for use.

14. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS AND BOUNDARIES • Teams may fish anywhere on tournament waters within the boundaries defined by the tournament director that is available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off-limits,” “no boats,” “keep out,” “restricted,” “no trespassing” or “no fishing” (or similar language or markings intended to restrict public access) by tournament officials, local, state or federal officials; or within 50 yards of a contestant’s boat that was first anchored. An anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight or by a Power-Pole or similar shallow water anchor with the trolling motor in the up position.  Fishing areas that are not accessible by boat from the main lake or body of water is not permitted. Teams must maintain a 25-yard distance between boats unless agreed upon by both parties. All fishing must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a student angler leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.  The use of cables, ropes, chains or any type of block and tackle system to maneuver a boat into fishing waters is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification from the tournament. ALL THSBA open tournaments will be trailering tournaments. ONLY student anglers and boat captains are allowed in the boat during tournament times, unless approved by the tournament director. In the event of equipment failure or emergency, there are three permitted methods of returning to the check-in: (1) by both student anglers remaining in their boat and being towed by water, (2) by one student angler entering the boat of another team or (3) both student anglers entering a rescue boat so designated by the tournament director. Under these three conditions, the team’s catch may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules). Teams that elect to return to the 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 team returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the tournament director or his designated tournament official. It is the sole responsibility of the team to locate the tournament director to request a restart. Teams must remain together at all times and within sight of their boat captain until check-in. The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for restroom breaks is permitted. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.

15. CHECKPOINTS • All teams must check in previous to all events, this can be done by team advisors, team representative, parent, etc. At the end of the tournament, there will be one designated check-in point. For safety purposes, all teams must check-in even if they have zero (0) fish to weigh. Teams that do not check-in/weigh-in will receive a score of zero (0) for that particular tournament. We need to know everyone is off the water and safe after the completion of the tournament. All fishing must cease upon CHECK-IN.

16. LATE PENALTY • The THSBA does not have enforce a late penalty. Teams must check in and be in line with their fish and /or in line waiting for a sponsor provided clear weigh in bag by the time listed on the itinerary for the event. If a team dose not make it by the cut off time, the team will not be allowed to weigh-in their catch.

17. LIVE FISH • Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live well. Eight ounces or 0.50 pounds will be deducted from the total weight for each dead bass presented for weigh-in. Once fish are presented to the “Bump Official” they are THSBA fish. If they are alive when he/she receives them, they will be counted alive. Fish must ONLY be brought to the weigh-in line in THSBA bags. DO NOT BRING UP FISH IN YOUR OWN BAG. YOU WILL BE SENT BACK TO WAIT. We will place 25 bags ONLY out at each event. Keep fish in LIVE WELLS until you have a bag from the THSBA.

18. SHORT FISH • The official minimum length for all species of bass will be posted in the tournament itinerary on the THSBA website for each event. Any short fish which does not meet length regulations (per lake) will not be weighed and a one pound penalty will be assessed to the contestant’s total weight. The official board for the THSBA will be boards manufactured by ProRule (https://www.prorule.com). There will be a courtesy board at all events. Once fish are presented to the “Bump Official” they are THSBA fish and are being presented as a team’s intended creel for weigh-in. Tournament director has final say pertaining to the legal size of a fish.

19. SCORING • Scoring is determined by the final weight of each team’s catch during tournament day. Only largemouth, spotted, Guadalupe or smallmouth bass are accepted species. The tournament limit is five bass per team unless the state or lake limit is less than five, in which case, the state or lake limits prevails. Teams possessing more than the tournament limit will be accessed a 5# penalty. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit will be penalized at the rate of 1 pound for each short bass presented. The winning team is determined by the day’s heaviest weight.

20. TIES • In the case of a tie (including Big Bass), the teams tied will be awarded the prizes and/or scholarships for 2 places, divided equally between all students involved in a tie. For example, if two (2) teams tie for 5th place, they will be awarded 5th and 6th place prizes and/or scholarships, divided equally between the student anglers and the next team in line will be awarded the 7th place prize and/or scholarships. ***If a tie occurs where there are also plaques and/or trophies for that place (i.e. plaques end with 5th place), then a coin flip will decide which team takes home the plaques and/or trophies.  In the event of a tie, the teams involved in a tie will receive the exact same points for the place in which the tie occurred, which will count towards those team’s AOY points totals, providing the teams involved are participating in their correct division.

21. LOGO DISPLAY AND TELEVISION COVERAGE • Student anglers and boat captains may wear their own shirts or jerseys during THSBA events. Tournament officials reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to prohibit any student angler, boat captain, team advisor, or parent shirt or jersey found to be offensive. All decisions are at the tournament director’s sole discretion.

22. ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO • During days of competition, any and all alcohol and tobacco logos are prohibited and may not be worn or displayed. Student anglers may not smoke or use tobacco products during tournament hours, including weigh-in, at any event.

23. TRUTH VERIFICATION TEST • Student anglers, boat captains, and team advisors agree to submit, by signature on the Release of Liability form or team roster form, to a polygraph or voice stress analysis examination and to abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass an examination will result in disqualification from the tournament. Truth verification tests will be used at the sole discretion of tournament officials, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by tournament officials. Randomly selected participants will be subject to testing for the 2018-2019 season.

24. INSURANCE • Liability insurance with coverage of $300,000 is required on all boats used in high school fishing tournaments. Proof of insurance must be with the boat being used and must cover all passengers in the boat. Random checks will be conducted. Failure to provide proof of insurance when requested by the tournament director will result in disqualification.

25. CAPTIONS • Captions at the beginning of each paragraph are intended to facilitate convenience in referring to the various rules. The captions are not part of the substance of the paragraph and should not be used in construction of any paragraph or of this overall set of rules.
26. ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY • Student anglers must be passing all subjects for which they are enrolled in able to enter a tournament. By checking the eligibility box on the tournament entry form, they (or the person completing the entry on their behalf) are certifying that they are academically eligible to compete just as any other UIL or extracurricular participant would be. In order to be eligible, students must be passing all classes as defined by the school district reporting period prior to the event. If the student fails a class the previous school district reporting period, they may become eligible again at the mark when progress reports are issued if their grades have reached the passing level or above. The THSBA may ask for proof of eligibility any time throughout the year. If a student is found to have fished and was ineligible, the whole school club can be disqualified from the Divisional and THSBA Championship and be banned from future THSBA participation. The THSBA strongly supports the “NO PASS, NO FISH” rule. 

27. REGIONAL and THSBA CHAMPIONSHIP ELIGIBILITY & QUALIFICATION • The THSBA is divided into 8 divisions: Northeast, East, North Texas, Central, Metroplex, West, Houston, and Hill Country. Teams may fish any/all divisions if they want to; however, a student must fish a minimum of three (3) open events from their respective division to be eligible for all Regional and Championship consideration. Eligible student angler teams can qualify by the following criteria:
a. Top 50% of their division to qualify will advance to the Regional Tournament.
b. Top 40% who qualify and enter the Regional Tournaments will advance to the THSBA Championship.
***In the event of a tie for the last place qualifiers, teams that are tied at the cutoff will be invited.

28. BOAT CAPTAINS • All boat captains must comply with these rules:
a. Cannot have been hired as a guide on the lake to which they are a boat captain on within the past 30 days.
b. Cannot have entered a tournament with more than a $5,000.00 entry fee. Tournament directors will assess captain qualifications prior to each event.
c. The only exception to the Rule #28(b) is if it is an immediate family member: Father, Mother, Granddad, Grandmother, Aunt or Uncle.
d. For a boat captain to be eligible for a THSBA Regional or Championship, he/she must have captained in at least one open tournament in any THSBA division for the current school year.
e. Boat captains CANNOT fish in ANY Regional and/or Championship event.  Violation of this rule will result in immediate disqualification of the team.
f. Boat captains must be in the boat with the students at all times. If a boat captain needs to use the bathroom, take a break for health reasons, or needs to be absent from the boat for any reason whatsoever, all fishing by the student anglers must cease. Student anglers are prohibited from fishing and/or running the trolling motor while the boat captain is not in the boat.
g. The services of any boat captain may be refused by the THSBA for any reason whatsoever. If a boat captain is deemed ineligible by the THSBA, a letter explaining the reasons of refusal will be submitted to the team advisor by the THSBA.
h. Boat captains must be 21 years of age.
i. Boat captains CANNOT contribute to the team’s creel. Violation of this rule will result in immediate disqualification of the team; and boat captain and student anglers will be banned from any and all future THSBA events.

29. SCHOLARSHIPS • A scholarship by the THSBA and its affiliated sponsors will be presented to winning students after they have enrolled in an institution of higher learning. They must submit a receipt and a list of hours from the registrar of the college, university, or trade school to the THSBA office. THSBA scholarships are to be used only for the cost of hours taken for trade, community, junior, and major universities. Scholarship winners have one year from their high school graduation date to enroll in a college or trade school. If not claimed, all monies will be returned to general THSBA fund.  If scholarship money is revoked due to student receiving a full scholarship from other sources, scholarship monies will be returned to the general THSBA fund.  Any students volunteering for Military service within the 1-year time frame of graduation will be awarded any scholarships won.

Metroplex Division: Cedar Creek Lake (state)
(Athens High School)
North Texas Division: Cedar Creek Lake (state)
(Athens High School)
West Division: Cedar Creek Lake (state)
(Athens High School)
East Division: Cedar Creek Lake (state)
(Athens High School)
Central Division: Cedar Creek Lake (state)
(Athens High School)
It is the goal of the Texas High School Bass Association to provide a venue where high school students have the opportunity to compete in organized tournaments while establishing strict guide lines and academic standards that will allow our student anglers to excel in the class room and on the lake.