Here is the 2017/2018 rules for THSBA, please read them and share with friends. These rules can also be found on the official THSBA page!2017-2018 Texas High School Bass Association
1. INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT • These rules will remain unchanged during 2017-2018 season. 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 September1st of their senior year. The entry fee for all THSBA open
tournaments is $60 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 17 or older). 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 individualschools 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.
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 wrist bands 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. Teamsfailing 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, but are eligible for prizes.
3. 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 a teammate, coach, advisor, family member or other person entered into the same event. Boat captains, team
advisors, parents and/or participating student anglers are prohibited in hiring guides 30 days prior to ANY event.
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.
4. 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. Student anglers and/or boat captains may not enter
tournament waters after the 7 pm cut off on that Friday. Other than that, there is no off-limits other than the “14 day
no information” as stated in Rule #3. 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.
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 solicit and/or 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 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
5. REGISTRATION AND PRE-TOURNAMENT MEETING • Registration deadline will be the Friday (8 days) prior to the
event. Entry fees are $60 per team if postmarked by the Friday (8 days) before the tournament. Entries received or
postmarked after the deadline will be assessed a $20 late fee. No Exceptions. All entries are prepaid and no entries will
be accepted at the 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.
6. TOURNAMENT AWARDS • The number of places awarded will be a 1 per every 5 entrants. Trophies for overall school
and plaques for 1-5th place along with Big Bass will be awarded at each tournament.
7. 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 takeoff and 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.
8. 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/orfailure to comply with, any ofthe rulesforthe THSBA 2017-2018 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
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
standardsset 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.
9. 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
10.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
Vests 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
alive a 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 platformsmay be used in tournament competition. Fuelmay be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel
tanks or auxiliary fuel tanksthat 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
11.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, aRigs, and Umbrella Rigs ARE allowed for use.
12.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. 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(with their catch) remaining in their boat and being
towed by water, (2) by one student angler(with their catch) entering the boat of another team or (3) both student
anglers(with their catch) 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.
13.CHECKPOINTS • All teams must check in previousto all events, this can be done by team advisors, team representative,
parent, boat captain,etc. At the end of the tournament, there will be one designated check-in point. Forsafety purposes,
all teams must check-in even if they have zero (0) fish to weigh. Teams that do not check-in/weigh-in by designated
time, 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.
14. LATE PENALTY • Teams that are not in line for a weigh bag, already have a THSBA weigh bag or in line with their fish
by the designated time will not be allowed to weigh-in their catch and will receive (0) points for that event. Designated
times will be posted on the tournament itineraries for each event under the corresponding division page.
15. 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 LIVEWELLS until you have a
bag from the THSBA.
16.SHORT FISH • New for 2017-2018 … the official minimum length for allspecies 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 the Texas Nameplate Company (www.nameplate.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 legal fish.
Tournament director has finalsay pertaining to the legalsize of a fish. Length limits will be outlined in each Tournaments
17.SCORING • New for 2017-2018 … the official minimum length for all species of bass will be posted in the tournament
itinerary on the THSBA website for each event. 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 plus loss of
that fish. The winning team is determined by the heaviest day’s weight. Length limits will be outlined in each
18.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 allstudentsinvolved in a tie. For example, if two (2)teamstie for 5th place, they will be awarded 5th and 6
th 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.
19. 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
officials sole discretion.
20.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
21.TRUTH VERIFICATION TEST • Student anglers, boat captains, and team advisors agree to submit, by signature on the
tournament entry 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
22.INSURANCE • Liability insurance with coverage of $300,000 is required on all boats used in THSBA 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
23.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.
24.ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY FORMS • Team advisors will be required to sign off on the Academic Eligibility Form, stating
each student angler is eligible to fish. 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 during the previous school district reporting period,
they will become eligible again at the 3-week mark when progress reports are issued. 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 Regional and THSBA Championship and be banned from future THSBA participation. The THSBA
strongly supports the “NO PASS, NO FISH” rule.
25.REGIONAL and THSBA CHAMPIONSHIP ELIGIBILITY & QUALIFICATION • The THSBA is divided into 6 divisions:
Northeast, East, North, West, Central and Houston. Schools can fish 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 40% of their division to qualify will advance to the regional tournament.
b. Team of the Year Champions from each division will advance to the regional tournament taking all eligible team
members provided the student angler(s) fished a minimum of three (3) open events in their respective division.
c. Top 40% who qualify at 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 40% cutoff will be invited.
26.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 #26(b) is if it is an immediate family member: Father, Mother, Grandfather,
Grandmother, Aunt or Uncle.
d. For a boat captain to be eligible for a THSBA divisional or THSBA championship, he/she must have captained in
at least one open tournament in any THSBA division for that current 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 all THSBA events.
j. Captains fish must keep their separate from Student angler’s creel as specified in Rule #4
27.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 for books, housing or tuition from
the registrar of the college, university, or trade school to the THSBA office. 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. Military enrollment does merit the scholarship