SABAA NATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS – 2023 RULES

SABAA NATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS – 2023 RULES

RULE 1: PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY

1.1 Participation in this tournament is by invitation only and is only open to current SABAA affiliated trails and its members, who are registered SABAA members.
1.2 Teams may consist of either one or two anglers. Team members must fish for the same team for the duration of the tournament.
1.3 Teams must have competed at least 5 events on trial level for the year.
1.4 No reserve angler may compete in the SABAA National Team Championships, unless he /she is replacing an angler representing South Africa on an international bass fishing tournament or event , making it impossible for the replaced angler to compete in the SABAA National Team Championships.
1.5 Both team anglers must be SABAA Team Trail members in good standing and Bassmaster Team Championships registered.
1.6 A properly completed official entry list from each trail, as well as an entry fee of R 3 600 per team, must be received by the SABAA Team Trail committee, on or before the entry deadline date of Monday 16 October 2023.
1.7 Anglers under the age of 16 (juniors) participating in the tournament, must be accompanied by an adult skipper.
1.8 Failure to comply with sections 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 and 1.7 above will lead to an automatic disqualification from the tournament.

RULE 2: COMPETITION AND PRE-COMPETITION CUT-OFF

2.1 The SABAA National Team Championships will be held at Vaal Dam on Friday 03 and Saturday 04, with a practice day on Thursday 02 November 2023.
2.2 A maximum of 100 team entries will be accepted for the National Team Championships.
2.3 For the 2023 National Team Championships, six team slots will be allocated to the Western Cape Team Tournament Trail (Western Cape), Alpha Fishing Trail and the Northern Fishing League (Limpopo).
2.4 The balance required to achieve 100 team entries will be allocated proportionally between the 4 remaining trails (Gauteng, Lowveld, KZN and Mpumalanga).
2.5 The pre-competition off limit period for this tournament is set from midnight Sunday 22 October 2023 and includes the following restrictions:
2.5.1 Fishing on the tournament waters.
2.5.2 Scanning, mapping or drone footage of the tournament waters.
2.5.3 Receiving any fishing information on the tournament waters from a 3rd party, provided the information received was gathered by the 3rd party during the official competition off limit period.
2.5.4 Any team who violates any of the pre-competition off limit rules, will be disqualified from the tournament.
2.6 The National Team Championships will be managed and controlled by a tournament director, who will be supported by a tournament committee consisting of one representative from each participating province. The tournament director will be responsible for overall running and management of the tournament, but he will be supported by the tournament committee on all disciplinary matters.
2.7 Each competitor/team agrees to report to the tournament director, within 30 minutes of tag board closure, any violation or infraction of any tournament rules, observed during a day’s fishing Failure to report such violations observed, may be cause for disqualification from the day’s fishing.
2.8 By his/her signature on the official tournament entry form, each competitor/team agrees to submit to a truth verification (polygraph) test and abide by its conclusion should he/she be accused of any rule violation. The tournament director and committee shall have the discretion to determine the need for a such a truth verification test.
2.9 Tournament director or committee shall have sole responsibility selecting the location, date, and time of the test, with respect to all concerned parties’ schedules and travel cost. The competitor/team shall make themselves available at the location selected by the tournament director and shall co-operate in all respects with such test.
2.10 Random truth verifications tests may be administered onsite during the course of a National Team Championships, including, but not limited to, the top 5 teams.

RULE 3: REGISTRATION

3.1 Tournament registration will take place on Thursday 02 November 2023, From 18h30 – 19H00.

RULE 4: LIVE-WELL INSPECTION

4.1 Prior to the commencement of each tournament day, all live wells must be empty and checked by the weighmaster or his designate.
4.2 Hatches for purposes other than live-wells, coolers and other watertight containers regardless of their purpose, may also be opened for inspection.
4.3 It is the responsibility of each team to ensure that their live-wells have been checked by the weighmaster at least 30 minutes before the start of each tournament day, failing which, the transgressing team / boat will have to wait until the last boat has departed, before their live-well will be checked.
4.5 Failure to have a live well inspected will lead to immediate disqualification of the transgressing team, from the day’s fishing.
4.6 Any tournament official must be granted access to the competitor’s boat at any time during the competition days. Failure to grant such access may result in immediate disqualification, from the tournament.

RULE 5: CAPTAIN’S BRIEFING

5.1 A captain’s briefing will be held on Thursday 03 November at 19h00 at a venue to be specified in the final tournament program.
5.2 At least one member of each team must attend the captain’s briefing.
5.3 Failure to attend the captain’s briefing may lead to disqualification from the tournament.

RULE 6: STARTING ORDER AND PROCEDURES

6.1 For the first tournament day, the starting position of each team, will be determined by a draw, which will take place via Facebook live stream on the SABAA TTT page on Monday 30 October 2023 at 19h00.
6.2 For the second tournament day, the starting order will be reversed (reversed grid) from the first day.
6.3 All teams / boats must be launched 30 minutes before the start of each tournament day, after which the slipway will be closed until the last boat has departed.

RULE 7: SCORING AND ELIGIBLE FISH

7.1 Only Bass may be weighed. Bass are classified as Largemouth, Smallmouth and Spotted Bass.
7.2 There will be a 30cm size limit per fish applicable for both days of the tournament.
7.3 An eligible fish will be classified as being a live Bass of 30cm or longer.
7.4 A fish that is gilling will be deemed to be alive, with the final decision at the weighmaster’s discretion.
7.5 A “bag / limit” of maximum five Bass are allowed to be weighed per team / boat per day. Should more than five fish be presented to the weighmaster, this will result in disqualification from the day’s fishing.
7.6 The points scoring system for each of the tournament days are as follows:
7.6.1 One point per kilogram or part thereof.
7.6.2 Any dead or undersized fish will be excluded from the bag weight and carry a one point (1 kg) score penalty.
7.7 No fish may be swopped / traded / replaced / transferred between individual boats/ teams, in order to increase a specific boat / team’s bag weight or to fill a limit. Should this take place at any stage during the tournament, it will result in disqualification of both teams involved in the transgression, from the days fishing.
7.8 The total points scored for days 1 and 2 by each team, will be added together to determine the overall tournament score of each team and in the event of a tie, the biggest fish caught by any of the team members involved in the tie, will be used as a tie-breaker.
7.9 The total points for days 1 and 2 of the top scoring six teams of each respective trail, will be added together to determine the overall tournament score of each participating trail and in the event of a tie, the biggest fish caught by any of the team members of the respective trails involved in the tie, will be used as a tie-breaker.
7.10 It remains the responsibility of each individual team to ensure that they weigh and record a big fish separately if deemed necessary. The weight of the biggest fish must be recorded on a official weigh / scoring slip to be eligible as a tie-breaker fish.
7.11 Fish that have partially ingested their prey will not be weighed until the protruding remains of such ingested prey are safely removed and not counted towards the weight.
7.12 The introduction of materials or devices that increase the fish’s weight/mass will be deemed a act of fraud and will result in immediate disqualification from the tournament.

RULE 8: PERMITTED FISHING METHODS AND TOURNAMENT WATERS

8.1 Only one line per angler to be in the water at any given time.
8.2 No more than one artificial lure may be attached to a line at one time.
8.3 One artificial lure is defined as a single man-made device designed to attract and/or catch one fish at a time.
8.4 Adding trailer or treble hooks, plastic trailers, blades, etc., to a single lure is acceptable.
8.5 If multiple fish are caught on a single manmade lure, on a single cast, all fish are considered legal and may be added to the daily catch.
8.6 No “live bait,” “dead bait,” or “prepared bait” will be permitted during the competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds.
8.7 Any umbrella-type rigging, harness, or other device designed to hold more than one lure at a time – with or without hooks – is not allowed.
8.8 Twin arm spinnerbaits, underspins or buzzbaits are allowed.
8.9 Trailer hooks and plastic trailers must be on the main hook of the bait; only spinner blades can be affixed to the arms.
8.10 Trolling is not allowed. Trolling is defined as having a line in the water, while the main combustion engine is running.
8.11 No feeding areas are allowed to be prepared in order to attract any fish species to a specific area within the tournament waters.
8.12 Any violation of rule 8.1 to 8.11 will be cause for a 2-point score penalty for the transgressing team.
8.13 Tournament Waters shall be established by the tournament director. Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by provisional, conservation or any other authority, as well as areas established by the tournament director, will be OFF-LIMITS and will be announced at the tournament briefing. Fishing outside the tournament waters will result in disqualification from the day’s fishing.

RULE 9: BOAT AND MOTOR

9.1 For the safety of all competitors, all boats must be equipped with an approved type of operable ignition kill switch and lanyard.
9.2 Fishing boats that are 4 meters or more in length, may be used during the tournament.
9.3 Every boat must have all required SAMSA safety equipment and a functional bilge pump.
9.4 Every boat must have proper live-well space, properly aerated, to adequately maintain alive, a limit catch of 5 Bass.
9.5 Tournament officials shall have the sole discretion for determining whether aeration and capacity of a live well is proper and adequate.
9.6 Any violation of rules 9.1 – 9.5 will immediately disqualify a team from a day’s fishing.

RULE 10: SAFETY

10.1 Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by competitors.
10.2 Each competitor must wear a chest-type life preserver anytime the combustion engine is in operation. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely, and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is shut off.
10.3 All anglers are obliged to have their boats fitted with a safety ignition kill switch, which must be attached to the skipper’s floatation jacket any time the combustion engine is in operation.
10.4 When boating in low visibility situations i.e., fog, heavy rain, each skipper will personally take on the responsibility to operate their boats at a safe speed and in a safe manner, at all times. Failure to skipper a boat safely and in a responsible manner, will result in disqualification from the tournament
10.5 Standard safety rules pertaining to local waters, including the “rule of the road” must be observed at all times:
10.5.1 Counter clockwise rotation on the fishing waters – shore on right hand side, resulting in counter clockwise movement of boats, will be observed at all times.
10.5.2 When boats approach ahead, they will pass with the other boat to the left (port) at a distance and speed such that a wake will not endanger other competitors.
10.5.3 Overtaking in the same direction will be executed with discretion and the overtaking boat will maintain its course until well clear of overtaken boat(s). Generally, the overtaking boat should keep to the deep-water side of the other without endangering boats approaching head-on.
10.5.4 Boats approaching at right angles will apply the starboard-rule. The boat with the other on the port (left) side has right of way. The other boat will alter course and/or speed to astern of the boat with right of way.
10.5.5 Powerboats will give way to boats under sail or hand power, irrespective of the right of way.
10.6 Any transgression of rules 10.1 to 10.3 and 10.5 will lead to disqualification of the transgressing team, from the day’s fishing.
10.7 Tournament director have the right to delay, shorten or cancel the start of an official tournament day, because of bad weather, or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors.
10.8 If a participant appears incapable of safely operating his/her boat, the tournament director may exercise their right to disqualify that person for the tournament.
10.9 All captains must be in possession of a valid Certificate of Competence and Certificate of Fitness for their boat. (Failure to produce these documents on demand, shall be cause for automatic disqualification from the tournament).

RULE 11: SPORTSMANSHIP

11.1 Competitors 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 from the tournament.
11.2 Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those drugs purchased over the counter or prescribed by a physician) by any competitor during the tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for disqualification from the tournament.
11.3 A casting distance shall be maintained between two competing boats unless mutually agreed to maintain distance less than casting distance.
11.4 When a boat allows another team’s boat to be within casting distance, all other boats may enter that area without having to adhere to the casting distance rule.
11.5 In order to show that a transgressing boat has moved into casting distance of another boat, a angler my cast across the bow or stern of the transgressing boat, provided that the cast is made with the same rod and lure the casting angler was fishing with, prior to this confirming cast being made. The casting angler may not change his fishing rod or lure in order to obtain a longer casting distance, in this regard.
11.6 Under no circumstances may an angler cast a lure, fishing weight or any other object onto another boat in order to show that a casting distance has not been maintained – this is considered to be dangerous conduct and will lead to disqualification from the tournament.
11.7 A stationary boat may not block / refuse entry / thoroughfare of another boat in a river or narrow section if the entering boat has enough space to fish beyond the stationary boat outside of its casting distance. The entering boat shall idle (no wake), in a sportsmanlike manner and with no lines in the water, past the stationary boat, which must afford them the opportunity to move pass.
11.8 Any violation of rules 11.3, 11.4, 11.5 and 11.7 will result in a 2 point score penalty for the transgressing team.

RULE 12: ANGLERS CONDUCT

12.1 Anglers shall, always, conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honour and respect toward fellow competitors, tournament staff and the general public and does not reflect unfavourably on a National Team Championships event, participating trails, their members, officers or representatives, as well as all sponsors.
12.2 Anglers are frequently in the public eye, therefore it is imperative that tournament competitors demonstrate good sportsmanship in fishing. Sportsmanship is defined as fair play, respect for opponents and polite behaviour while competing in the sport.
12.3 Following are examples of unacceptable behaviour by competitors before, during or after a National Team Championships event, which will be cause for penalties as outlined in this document.
12.3.1 Heated public disagreements with tournament officials, other competitors and fans and volunteers during an event.
12.3.2 Public attacks through media, including social media, upon the integrity of tournament rules or officials.
12.3.3 Public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of SABAA, tournament officials, or trail sponsors.
12.3.4 Displays of anger and displeasure for reasons related to fishing competition where members of the public, including other anglers, spectators and the media, are present.
12.3.5 Publicly questioning or criticizing a tournament official or official decision, ruling or penalty except through the proper channels.
12.3.6 Abuse (physical, verbal, threatening or slanderous) of tournament officials, volunteers, fellow competitors or others connected with a National Team Championships event.
12.3.7 Offensive or slanderous comments with racial, cultural, or sexual overtones regarding event officials, event personnel or fellow anglers.
12.3.8 Intentionally interfering with a fellow angler’s ability to compete.
12.4 Any angler who violates any of the provisions of the Sportsmanship Rules or the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, reduction of points, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in any SABAA sanctioned tournament, permanent ban from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by the tournament committee.

RULE 13: COMPETITORS MUST REMAIN IN BOAT

13.1 Both competitors must remain in boat at all times, except when their boat is beached in the weigh station area.
13.2 During the competition days, competitors may not depart the boat to land a fish or to make their boat more accessible to fishing waters.
13.3 Competitors are allowed to leave the boat to retrieve a lure. All fishing by that competitor must cease until the competitor is back in the boat.
13.4 Competitors are allowed to leave the boat to relive themselves or to seek safe shelter in bad weather where danger may be imminent. All fishing by that competitor must cease until both competitors are back in the boat.
13.5 Any transgression of rules 13.1 to 13.4 will result in a 1-point score penalty.

RULE 14: WEIGH-IN PROCEDURES

14.1 The weigh station will be open the entire day during tournament hours.
14.2 Should a team be required to weigh a fish during the day or at tournament closing time, they shall enter the weigh station area through the starting gate ONLY and adhere to a no wake zone rule.
14.3 All fish to be weighed must be presented to the weighmaster in a weigh bag. No fish are allowed to be transported by hand / physical contact between the team’s boat and the weigh station.
14.4 All overinflated or ailing fish must be presented at the recovery tank for treatment.
14.5 Any violation of a weigh-in rules and procedures will result in a 1 point score penalty for the transgressing team.

RULE 15: LATE WEIGH-IN

15.1 Competitors are responsible for synchronizing their watches to the weighmaster clock.
15.2 A tag board system will be utilized for the tournament and if a competitor’s numbered tag is not on the weigh station’s tag board by cut-off time, the team will be disqualified from the day’s fishing. 15.3 The cut-off time will be indicated visually or audibly at the weigh station. Any team rendering emergency assistance to another team, which results in its late arrival, may have its catch weighed if the team provides satisfactory proof of such assistance given.
15.4 In case of a lost tag the team must identify itself to the weighmaster and inform him of a lost tag before the dedicated cut-off time, to avoid disqualification.
15.5 Emergency assistance does not allow for the following:
15.5.1 Flat battery
15.5.2 Running out of fuel
15.6 The tournament director’s cell number will be displayed or given to all anglers at the weigh station in cases of emergency.
15.7 Failure to weigh-in on time will lead to disqualification from the day’s fishing.
15.8 Any boat may be refuelled at any time during a tournament day.

RULE 16: FISH CULLING

16.1 No dead fish will be allowed on any boats. Dead fish are to be returned to the water as soon as it becomes evident.
16.2 No culling will take within a 100m radius of the weigh station.
16.3 Violation of rules 16.1 and 16.2 will result in a 1-point score penalty.

RULE 17: PROTESTS

17.1 Protest forms will be available during the tournament at the weigh station.
17.2 All protest will be subject to a R 300 non-refundable protest fee.
17.3 A protesting team must complete a protesting form, signed by all their witnesses.
17.4 The protest form, including the R300 protest fee must be handed in to the tournament director not later than 30 minutes after the tag board closed.
17.5 Failure by the protesting team to comply with protesting rules 17.2 – 17.3 will result in the protest to be rejected by the tournament director.
17.6 All parties of interest must be made aware of the pending protest by the tournament director or appointed designate.
17.7 Once received all the parties must attend a hearing at a place and time determined by the tournament director, who will convene the tournament committee for a protest hearing.
17.8 Once the outcome has been decided, penalties / disqualifications will be handed down ASAP by the tournament committee.