5 Alive Tournament Rules

PLEASE READ and UNDERSTAND our rules and regulations before committing to our tournaments

1. RULE CHANGES:  These rules & safety regulations have been “time tested” in over years of history and represent great effort, study and research in their formulation. These rules shall remain in effect and unchanged throughout the current tournament year unless superseded by law. These rules cover all events ran by divisions, they do NOT necessarily cover all DSO national events or special events conducted by DSO. In the event of a rule violation, Tournament officials may impose such sanctions, as deemed appropriate including, without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes and prohibition from participation in future events. The decisions of DSO Officials shall be final in all matters.

2. Participation/Eligibility:  At least one team member is required to be 18 years of age or older to participate.  ONE MEMBER FROM EACH TEAM MUST COMPLETE AND SIGN A MEMBERSHIP FORM AND A LIABILITY RELEASE BEFORE BEING ALLOWED TO COMPETE, NO EXCEPTIONS.  DSO does not discriminate based on race, creed, color or gender. We specifically reserve the right to refuse participation or entry to anyone for any reason. This includes any discipline or punishment from another tournament organization. All members must carry boater liability insurance of reasonable amounts on any boat they might be use during an DSO Tournament Event. Failure to do so or reporting of false information will result in disqualification. Anglers must provide proof of insurance upon request.

3. Off-Limits: Tournament waters are off limits the day of the event with pre-fishing allowed on all bodies of water until 11:59p.m. the day prior to any tournament except for special events conducted by DSO.

4. Safety: Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. Participants must abide by all local navigation laws and avoid restricted areas at all times. All participants are required and agree to wear a Coast Guard-approved type III or greater chest type personal floatation device anytime the combustion engine is running. Tournament officials have the right to delay or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of competitors. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time. In the event of a thunderstorm, lightning, severe weather or any unsafe condition, participants should remove themselves from the competition and seek safety or shelter until it is safe to continue fishing. Participants may not leave their boats during tournament hours except in case of emergency. The horsepower of the engine must not exceed the US Coast Guard rating plate for that boat. All DSO qualifying tournaments will have published days of competition, unless delayed or shortened due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. Tournament boundaries or restricted fishing zones will be announced at the rules meeting and may be further restricted if needed.

5. Sportsmanship: Participants will conduct themselves in a true sportsmanlike, courteous, safe and ethical manner at all time maintaining professional demeanor in public and in communication with tournament officials. Any unfavorable conduct, criminal behavior, speech or action by a participant in our efforts to promote sportsmanship, clean waters and conservation could be grounds for disqualification or rejection of entry application. Every competitor is expected to participate in the marshaling of the field in order to maintain the highest integrity to the competition. Use of alcohol of any kind or drugs (other than those purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the tournament or use of alcohol until after you have weighed in will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification. Any incidents observed during tournament hours should be reported to tournament officials for further investigation. Any violation of these basic sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification.

6. Tackle & Equipment:  DSO participants must possess all necessary fishing license and commit to following regulations. All state rules regarding fishing will be observed unless more stringent regulations are specified at the rules meeting. Only artificial lures may be used. No “live bait” or “prepared bait” will be permitted with the exception of bio-soft baits and pork strips, etc. Only ONE (1) fishing rod (10-foot maximum length from butt of the handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. All other types prohibited. Other rigs as specified may be in the boat ready to use, however only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional and sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have their day’s catch disqualified. When fishing for bass you can see, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as legal fish. No Gaffs or “Grippers” may be used to land bass, nets are allowed. After in and near the weigh in location, a courtesy board will be provided which will be the same as the official board used for the event.

7. Boats, Motors, Safety Equipment: All tournament boats are required to have in their possession all coast guard-required safety equipment, including but not limited to approved chest type personal flotation devises, a type IV throw cushion, fire extinguisher, distress horn/flag/whistle, a bailing device and display tournament decal/credentials.  In addition, a functioning bilge pump or bailing device is required. All tournament boats must be cleaned of all harmful exotic aquatic species prior to entering the water and upon departure from infected waters. All tournament boats must also be equipped with an emergency ignition-shutoff device that must be securely attached to the driver. Any time the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat. Tournament boats will be inspected for functioning and empty live-wells and operating emergency ignition stop switch. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnel of the boat. Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. Trolling is defined as operating any combustion engine to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve or using any mechanical propulsion device to move the boat as the sole means of imparting action to the lure. Any type of AUXILIARY gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options and installed by an authorized dealer are legal. Boats that do not have factory installed gas tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in tanks that meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Gas tanks must be properly secured or strapped in a boar. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open and available to all contenders and the public.

8. Boat identification: All angling activities must be done from a previously inspected boat. Each boat MUST be given, prior to each day’s start, a livewell and SAFETY INSPECTION check by a tournament official, also a boat board or marker MAY be given which MUST remain in or on the boat and be turned in during check-in at the end of each day. Tournament officials reserve sole discretion to assign boat numbers in any manner.

9. Permitted fishing Waters: Tournament waters shall be established by the tournament Officials. Each competitor must obtain this information from the DSO official. Fishing on Tournament water is permitted anywhere except: No fishing allowed within a 50 yard circle of another competitor’s boat which was first anchored or tied, with its trolling motor stowed out of the water. No boat may be allowed with-in 50-yard circle to the exclusion of another boat if you let one boat within your 50 yard circle you must let everyone. An anchored boat is a boat held in a fixed position by a line attached to a weight or by a power pole with the trolling motor in the up position. Absolutely no hole-setting or holding of a fishing spot, this will not be tolerated. Any water within these tournament boundaries posted “off-limits or No Fishing” by state or federal agencies will be “OFF LIMITS”. Also, any live fish released off-limits area established by the tournament Director will be Off-Limits and will be announced at the Tournament briefing. Competitors may not exit their boat in order to gain access to fishable waters. The use of cables, ropes, chains or any type of block-and-tackle to access fishing waters, other than when first launching prior to take-off, is forbidden. No contestant may “Buy” or “Barter” a fishing location. Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. Any water closed to public fishing will be closed to these tournament contestants. All angling must be done from the boat.

10. Substitutions: Each team may have one (1) substitute per person. The Director must be notified in advanced. Original team members must fish at least 3 out of the Five (5) qualifying events together. Exception to this rule may be made by the tournament officials in cases of death, disability, employment status or military duties.

11. Official Checkpoints: Teams must depart and return from a specified point by boat unless otherwise noted. In case of an emergency/breakdown a team may bring fish back in a competitor’s boat but there must be at least one member from each team present when checking in with their clearly marked fish. All fishing must cease upon checking in, disqualification will result for fishing after checking in.

12. Team Points: First place team will receive 300 points. One point will be deducted for each place finish thereafter. If a team has no fish to weigh in, they will receive last place points minus 10 points.

13. Ties: All ties will be combined and monies will be split. This includes ties for Big Fish.

14. No Wake: Boats will not pass another competitors’ boat in any no-wake zones at any time during tournament hours except for boats that may be changing course within the zone, boats which have stopped or engaged in fishing activities.

15. Scoring: Scoring shall be determined by the pound weight of each team’s catch during the tournament. Each team’s total weight will determine the final standings. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth and Spotted Bass, Red Eye or Shoal Bass will be weighed where permissible by state law. Length and bag limits of eligible fish will be set for each tournament and will be announced at each event. All fish weighed must be kept in aerated livewells to keep fish alive and as fresh as possible for release. Any fish mauled, mashed, frozen, stringered, injected with fluids, containing foreign matter to add weight or showing white gills, soft flesh or other signs of decomposition (as per DSO official) could result in disqualification. At no time shall a competitor have in possession more than the tournament stated possession limit. Tournament Officials will conduct checks for violations of this provision, and in the event a competitor has in their possession more than the stated limit, shall cull, starting with the largest fish first down to the stated limit. Fish will be measured by a tournament official with fish’s mouth closed and longest straight line. Only fish which measure the official length(s) on the longest straight line shall be weighed-in. Any fish presented for weigh-in which fails to measure the official length limits shall accrue penalties at the rate of one pound for each non-legal fish plus loss of the fish. Once a competitor’s catch has been presented to tournament officials, that team may not return to their boat until his catch has been counted, weighed and recorded. Competitors may choose only one bass out of their bag as an entry into the “big bass side pots”.

16. Protests & Truth Verification Test:  Any tournament official or participant has a right to protest another team. Directors must be notified of all protest before close of scales. Protest also, must be submitted in writing within 10 minutes of the closing of the scales. A “Protest Committee”, consisting of (3) fellow angles, randomly drawn by the tournament director will address protest. All participants agree to submit to a polygraph or voice stress analyzer, i.e. truth verification test if they are so requested. Truth verification test may be applied either for cause or randomly, interpretation of any truth verification testing shall be at the sole discretion of DSO tournament officials.  Refusal to submit to or failure to pass the truth verification test shall result in disqualification. The tournament officials will interpret these rules according to the spirit and intent of the rule and their decision in any matter of rule or conduct of the event is final.

17. Catch & Release: All DSO tournaments will be conducted as catch-and-release events. A One (1) pound deducted for each legal fish that it presented to the bump master for weighing that is determined to be dead. Every boat must have adequate livewell space, properly aerated, to sufficiently maintain, in a healthy condition a limit catch by competitors using the boat. DSO recommends the use of livewell additives to promote healthy release of all fish to their natural habitat. Further DSO recommends the use of ICE to cool livewell water, and improve oxygen levels during “warm water” months. Tournament Director shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is “proper and adequate”. Tournament officials shall also sole authority for accessing penalty points. All fish caught and weighed in at an DSO event must be released at the official weigh in location. Failing to release your fish at the official release location will result in an automatic disqualification.

18. Standings, Awards & Qualifications: Teams: Teams must be declared at the first event fished in any one division by either member of the team. If both members of the team are present for any event in a specific division that they have declared themselves as a team they must fish together for their points to count towards their total team points. Members of a team that decide to fish apart during the same event in a specific division where they have declared themselves as a team no points will be awarded to the original declared team,

19. Championship Qualification: Teams must fish at least 3 out of 4 or 4 out of 5 events together and finish in the top 10 in points will qualify for advancement to the 5 Alive Championship. We will be able to take from that list 1 out of every 25 teams that register throughout the year to the Bass Master Championship.

20. Tournament Hours: Tournament will begin at Safelight as determined by the director. Weigh-in will begin at 3:00pm. Anglers MUST Check-in at the dock before or on their designated return time or receive a 1lb penalty per minute that they are late. Anglers will be disqualified after 15 minutes past their check-in time.  Chips must be turned in when you arrive at the scale. Anglers that leave the event early and do not check-in and return their chip will be disqualified from that event and no points will be given.