FORNEY BASS CLUB

RULES FOR 2017 SEASON

Article I  - Name and Purpose
The name of this club will be the Forney Bass Club and will hereinafter be referred to as the "club". The club is a non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to promote conservation and to improve the fishing skills of its membership through the fellowship of friendly exchange of bass fishing techniques and ideas, and to promote and encourage young fishermen to become involved in the sport of tournament fishing.

Article II - Membership
Membership is open to everyone who is interested in meeting our club's objectives and goals. Membership is on an individual or family basis. No one will be allowed to join at the ramp and must pre-register prior to fishing any tournament. Previous year members may have their partners bring membership fees and completed forms to the meeting prior to fishing in a club tournament. There will be no limit set as to the number of memberships available. All membership applications must be approved by the officers. Individual Membership will be $35.00 per year. A family membership consisting of primary member, spouse and children / step-children under the age of 21 will be $55 per year. Family members will fish no more than 2 at a time out of one boat and will compete as one team. The primary member will sign up all anticipated family members at the time of the initial membership or may add them later with approval of the officers. The portion of the membership that applies towards year-end Big Bass is $5.00 per individual membership and $10 per family membership. An annual facility fee of $10.00 per individual and $20 per family is included in the membership to cover cost of meeting facilities. At the October meeting an estimate of the remaining facility fees needed for the end of the year will be made. The remaining balance of the facility fee will be added to the Classic Fund. The remainder of the membership fee is applied to the general fund for the Forney Bass Club. Forney Bass Club discourages jack potters. Members joining after the fourth tournament of the year must pay applicable membership fees AND must pre-pay for three tournaments in advance prior to being able to fish their first tournament. In addition, the officers may impose this rule prior to the fourth tournament of the year if they believe the contestant is joining the club in order to jackpot a tournament. The officers retain the right to waive or deviate from this rule if they deem necessary. The ruling of the officers is final.

Article III  - Meetings
The regular monthly meeting will be held on the Tuesday prior to the tournament date. The meeting will begin at 7:00pm, at a sight to be determined by the club president. All meetings will be conducted by Parliamentary Law. Members must be present at meeting to vote. No votes by proxy will be allowed. Family memberships are restricted to a maximum of two votes per issue as long as at least two family members are present at the meeting.

Article IV  - Officers
Only members may hold office in the club. Each officer of the club must be elected by a majority vote. At the last meeting of the year, an election will be held for the new officers for the upcoming year. The officers-elect will assume duties at the next regular meeting. All officers are elected for a term of one year and no term limits will be imposed. Any officer may be voted out by an 80% majority vote of all paid members present at the next regularly scheduled meeting. All outgoing officers must relinquish all properties of the club to the current or acting president. The duties of each officer are as follows:

President: The president shall preside at all meetings. The president shall act as the tie-breaker in any vote. The president shall have the authority to disperse club funds up to $50.00 with verbal approval of another officer without a second signature or approval of the club and will assist other club officers to settle disputes and enforce rules.

Vice President: The Vice President shall assume the role of president in the president's absence. The Vice President will serve as Second Assistant Tournament Director in the absence of the Tournament Director or Assistant Tournament Director. The Vice President shall assist the president in sending news releases to local newspapers, magazines and assist other club officers to settle disputes and enforce rules.

Secretary/Treasurer: Shall keep accurate records of all club activities and minutes of all meetings. Shall prepare and maintain an up to date roster and maintain the point's records. Shall prepare and make available the results of each tournament. Is the custodian of all club funds and is responsible for collection of annual membership dues and facility fees. The officer shall have the authority to dispense club funds up to $50.00 with verbal approval of another officer without a second signature or without approval of the club. Shall prepare and make available a detailed financial report and present the report at each meeting and assist other club officers to settle disputes and enforce rules.

Tournament Director: Responsible for collection of the tournament entry fees and dispenses payouts at club tournaments. Shall make all necessary arrangements for each tournament, including permits.

Tournament Director / Assistant will be responsible for the measuring and weighing of all fish (except their own) and will assist other officers responsible to settle all disputes and enforce rules.
Assistant Tournament Director: Shall assist the tournament director in all tournament activities and in the absence of the tournament director shall assume the role of Tournament Director and assist other officers to settle disputes and enforce rules.

Article V - Finances   
All Club funds are the responsibility of the Secretary/Treasurer. All transactions of less than $50.00 shall require the approval of two officers. No disbursement of funds shall be made in excess of $50.00 without the approval of a majority vote of the members present at a regular meeting. At such time as this club is abolished then all remaining funds, after all debts are paid, shall be divided equally among the active members.

Article VI - Expulsion
Any member may be expelled for misconduct or violation of the clubs By-Laws or Tournament Rules. All members must be expelled by an 80% majority vote of all paid members present at the next regularly scheduled meeting. Any expelled member must relinquish all properties of the club to the current or acting president.

Article VII - By-Law Changes
All By-Law changes must be made by a majority of all paid members present at the November meeting. By-Law changes may be proposed prior to the November meeting. Proposals will be voted on at the November meeting. Emergency changes may be made at any regularly scheduled meeting or tournament. An emergency By-Law change requires an 80% majority of all paid members attending the next regularly scheduled meeting or tournament.

Article VIII - Lake Selection
Lake selection and the month each lake will be fished for next year including the classic lake will be done at the November meeting. Lake selection for each month will be determined by the members in attendance. There will be two alternate lakes chosen at lake selection time. Lake A and Lake B these two lakes will be used when a regularly schedule lake is closed or declared to be unsafe as determined by the tournament director with consultation with the other officers. Lake A will be used 1st Lake B will be used 2nd and then we repeat Lake A then Lake B if necessary. The alternate lake use will be determined at the regularly scheduled meeting a month in advance. If the regularly scheduled lake is closed at the time of this meeting (month in advance) we will use an alternate lake and will not fluctuate back to the regularly scheduled lake in the event that it reopen. If a lake closes between meetings we will use the alternate lake. A LAKE IS CONSIDERED CLOSED WHEN THERE ARE NO AVAILABLE RAMPS or declared to be unsafe as determined by the tournament director with consultation with the other officers. If a member is unsure of the lake it is the responsibility of the member to contact an officer for clarification.

Article IX - Tournament Format and Dates
All tournaments will be team events and will follow the official rules of the club. All tournaments will be held on the third Saturday (and following Sunday for the classic or two-day tournaments) of each month unless amended via the guidelines established in Article VII above. All monthly tournaments except the classic will count toward year end point totals. A Two Day Saturday / Sunday Club Classic Tournament will be held on the date of the October Tournament. The Top 6 teams, and all other members who have actually fished (for any length of time) a minimum of six (6) of the nine (9) club tournaments will be eligible to fish the Club Classic tournament. In the case of family memberships the primary member qualifies if the member has fished 6 tournaments and an individual family member can fish as the partner as long as that member has fished at least one of the tournaments during the year. The takeoff position for both days of the classic will be determined by club points. The highest ranking person in the boat takes precedence. All participants must pay entry fee for Classic except for the top six in final standings. Start, Weigh-in times and ramp location for this event will be voted on during the August meeting. A team may 'buy" into one or more tournament (s) during the year so as to become eligible for the classic. This may be done on any tourney during the year. Two day tournaments will have separate big bass awards for each day. Entrants pay an extra $5 per person for second day payout. March tournament is always a 2 day tournament.

Article X - Club Awards
The team with the most accumulated points for the year will be awarded the Angler of the Year Award. Second through sixth place will receive place awards. The individual member with the largest bass caught during the year will be awarded Big Bass (this is a cash and trophy award.) The team with the largest stringer for the year will also receive a trophy award. The Anglers of the year will receive free membership in the club for the next year. The top six teams including Anglers of the year will receive free entry fee into the Club Classic Tournament during the current tournament year.

Article XI - Teams & Points
Points will be awarded as follows:

100 Points will be awarded for finishing first place in a tournament. 99 points for 2nd, 98 for 3rd, 97 for 4th, 96 for 5th, 95 for 6th, etc. until all entrants who weighed fish have received points. Participants who enter and fish the tournament but do not weigh fish will be given 15 points less than the last weighing position or one point less than the lowest team weighing fish if more than 50 teams in a tournament. Members who do not fish will receive 0 points. Any team that "buys" into any tournament, will get the same amount of points as if they had not weighed in any fish. 2 points will be awarded for Big Bass in each tournament and 1 point for 2nd Big Bass (both can be from the same team). Members who attend the club meeting immediately prior to the tournament will receive a maximum of 1 point for each team present.  If a team loses or changes a partner during the tournament year, a replacement partner from outside the club may join the club, and assume the team's points for the remainder of the year. That person must fish six tournaments to qualify for the classic. If a team replaces a partner during the year with a current club member then the team members will retain their own individual points and will be judged on an individual basis for the remainder of the year. This judging on an individual basis will include all points based awards such as Top-Six and Angler of the Year.

Article XII - 7 pound pot
This is an optional big bass side pot. Entry is not required to fish in a club tournament. The entry fee for this side pot is $5.00 per team. To win you must have paid your $5.00 entry and weigh a 7 pound bass or larger in one of the clubs official tournaments. This bass must be presented alive at weigh-in. If two or more qualifying fish are presented the heaviest will prevail. In the event of a tie the money will be split evenly between the winners. If no one catches a bass 7 pounds or larger the pot will roll over to the next official tournament. To be eligible in the next tournament for this pot you must re-enter and pay the $5.00 again. This pot will continue to grow until someone wins. This pot will close at the end of the year to new participants and only those who have contributed in prior tournaments can win. A new pot will begin in the new season and everyone is invited to participate. To win last years pot you must have participated in last years pot, be entered in the current pot and present a winning fish at weigh-in. The ruling from the Tournament Director is final.

Article XIII  - Liability
By participating in any Forney Bass Club event you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to the terms and conditions stated in the Club Liability Form. Each member must agree to and sign a Liability form when applying for membership.

Tournament Rules

1. Rule Enforcement: Interpretation and enforcement of Club rules shall be left exclusively to the Club Officers. In the event of a rule violation, the Officers may impose such sanctions as they deem appropriate, including, without limitation, disqualification, and forfeiture of prizes, entry fee and prohibition from participation in subsequent Forney Bass Club tournaments. The decision of the Officers shall be final in all matters.

2. Participation and Eligibility: Participation in the tournaments is open to members in good standing of the Forney Bass Club and guests. Any person entering a tournament under the age of majority must also have the signature of his/her parent or legal guardian in the space provided on the entry form. Guests may fish only two (2) tournaments per calendar year, after which they must become a member to fish in a Club Tournament. A guest must fish with a current Club member and must be approved by the officers and will be at the solely at the officers discretion. Each team is allowed no more than two guest per year.

3. Pre-Tournament Practice: There will be no official practice period or off limits prior to the monthly tournaments, In addition, the classic lake will have no off limits period. There will be no Black Bass\Largemouth, Smallmouth or Spotted guide trips allowed on the tournament lake 30 days prior to the tournament and no Black Bass/Largemouth, Smallmouth or Spotted guides allowed to fish the tournament.

4. Registration: Each contestant must register in person at the designated site prior to the official start time and have their live well checked by a tournament official. All entry fee's must be made before the tournament, there will be NO PAYING AT THE RAMP. All entries must be paid no later than the Thursday before the tournament. Any of the officers will be willing to accept the payment from any team that may not be able to make it prior to the tournament but no later than the Thursday before the tournament. NO EXCEPTIONS! Any team showing up at the ramp attempting to pay will not be allowed to fish with FBC that day. No refunds, credits, transfers or buy-in's will be allowed after Thursday prior to the tournament.

5. Safety: Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. During the tournament each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard Approved chest type life preserver. This preserver must be worn anytime the boat is on plane. This preserver must be strapped, snapped, or zipped securely and maintained in that condition until the competitor reaches his/her fishing location and the boat comes off plane. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification. If a competitor's boat is equipped with a kill switch it must be attached to the driver when the boat is on plane.
Tournament officials have the right to, change lakes, change launch & weigh in sites, delay, shorten or cancel the start or weigh in time of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. This decision is final and is not subject to a club vote. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time for safety reasons.

6. Sportsmanship: All contestants are required to follow a high standard of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation. Drunkenness shall be cause for immediate disqualification. No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs shall be allowed in the boats during the tournament hours extending through the completion of weigh-in. No fishing is allowed within twenty-five (25) yards of another tournament boat without mutual consent. During the competition, contestants may not obtain or receive assistance, follow a non-competitor's boat or participate in the practice of "hole-setting" or the placing of markers by anyone. During the tournament (but not prior) marker buoys may be placed by tournament competitors for their own use. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnels of the boat.

7. Pairings: All events, unless otherwise changed via Article VII guidelines, shall be team events. Team make-up shall be at the discretion of the individual members.

8. Boat and Horsepower Regulation: Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition shall not exceed the horsepower limitations set by the U.S. Coastguard in their ruling of November 1, 1972. When required, each boat shall have a U.S. Coastguard horsepower rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the engine must not exceed the rating specified on the rating plate. Tournament contestants and boats must have all applicable licenses and safety equipment required by law. (I.e. fire extinguisher, throw cushion, running lights, insurance, etc.) If a member receives a citation during a tournament the team will be disqualified. Proof of Liability Insurance must be provided by each member operating a boat.

9. Tackle and Equipment: Only artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" or "prepared bait" will be permitted with the exception of pork strips, rinds, etc. Only one casting, spin casting, or spinning rod and reel may be used at one time. All other types are prohibited. Other rigs as specified above may be in the boat, ready to use; however, only one is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught live, in a conventional sporting manner. No trolling by use of outboard motor. No bait or lure may be in the water when the outboard motor is running or otherwise in use. Snagging or snatching bass on spawning beds prohibited. Gaffs may not be used to boat bass nor be permitted in the boat at any time. The use of grippers in landing bass is prohibited.

10. Tournament teams can launch at ramp and go to their fishing spot one hour prior to tournament start time (or time designated by the Tournament Director). Tournament teams may not start fishing until designated Tournament Start Time. Tournament Teams can fish up to Tournament Ending Time and must stop fishing. Tournament teams have 30 minutes to make it to weight in line or be disqualified. Each team must be checked in to Tournament Director or Assistant Tournament Director prior to the designated weigh-in time. There will be no exceptions to this rule and no grace period. If you are not checked in on time then you will not weigh team fish.

Special Tournaments - where the starting time and ending time are on two different days. (I.e. a night tournament with a Saturday start and Sunday morning weigh in) - will be voted on at the November meeting and will not be changed unless by a 80% vote of the club by all members present at a regular meeting or altered by Tournament Director for safety reasons (#5 above). Specific start and finish times for these tournaments will be voted on by the club at the meeting at least one month prior to the tournament.

If a team cannot make the meeting they may designate another person to pay their full entry.   

11. Permitted Fishing Locations: Contestants may fish anywhere accessible by boat, except areas designated as 'off limits" or 'no fishing" by local, state or federal officials. All angling must be conducted from the boat. NO BOAT/KEEP OUT buoys, do not mean you can not fish into or past the buoys, just cannot allow boat to travel into restricted area. NO FISHING buoys means no casting of fishing of any kind beyond the restricted line. Any team violating these state rules will be disqualified.

12. Scoring: Scoring shall be determined by the pounds and ounces of each contestant's catch during the tournament. Only Largemouth, Spotted (Kentucky) or Smallmouth (Redeye) are accepted species. Largemouth or Smallmouth fish must measure a minimum of 14 inches an a flat board (unless the state or lake limit differs i.e. slot lakes). Spotted (Kentucky) bass must adhere to state law or lake limit. Official measuring stick is the golden rule. The limit shall be five (5) unless the state or lake limit is less than five, in which case the state or lake limit shall prevail. State law will apply to all possession limits. (example: most slot lakes allow one over per person so we would allow two per team if each individual caught one). Any short fish brought to the scales will not be weighed and a penalty of one pound (1 lb) will be deducted from the fisherman's total weight for the day. (Exception: Prior to being weighed a fish may be declared as a questionable fish. A request for measuring will be granted with no penalty assessed if the fish is short) A half pound (0.5 lb) penalty will be assessed for each dead fish brought to the scales. The deduction counts against the dead fish including its big bass weight if applicable. Contestants should practice reasonable conservation efforts and make every effort to keep their fish alive.

13. Ties: In case of ties, positions shall be resolved by combining the awards and dividing the awards and dividing the money equally among the tied contestants.

14. Entry Fee and Payback: Each team must pay $60.00 entry fee before fishing any tournament. $10.00 of this fee will go toward the classic tournament and $10.00 towards a mandatory big bass for the tournament. Individual members fishing alone must pay $50.00. This includes a mandatory big bass entry of $5.00 per contestant and $5.00 for club classic fee. If all contestants fail to weigh fish, tournament money will be forwarded to the club classic tournament. If all places are not filled, the unfilled place money will be evenly divided among the teams that placed. The payback will be structured at a 100% payback. (See payout sheet)

15. Protest: Any protest of a rule violation must be made to the Tournament Director, Assistant Tournament Director or Club President prior to the payment of any prize money. That officer will council with all other attending officers present and make a ruling.


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