OFFICIAL RULES: 2018 MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING CUP EVENTS
SUMMIT CUP & CHALLENGE CUP (UPDATED 3/7/2018)
1. The field size for the MLF CUP EVENTS will consist of twenty-six (26) MLF Cup Anglers, plus one Invitational angler, for a total field of twenty-seven (27) anglers.
2. The competition will be comprised of three rounds, covering six total days.
- Round 1 (ELIMINATION ROUND) will comprise three days (Days 1, 2 and 3);
- Round 2 (SUDDEN-DEATH ROUND) will cover two days (Days 4 and 5);
- Round 3 (CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND) will be a one-day event, held on the final day.
3. ROUND 1: ELIMINATION ROUND
- During the Elimination Round, MLF Anglers will be divided into three groups of nine (9) MLF Anglers each: Groups 1, 2 and 3.
- Group 1 will compete on Day 1, Group 2 on Day 2, and Group 3 on Day 3.
- MLF will determine which MLF Anglers compete in each round.
- On Day 1, the six (6) MLF Anglers from Group 1 with the highest weight total of “Scorable Bass” during a full day of competition will advance to the Sudden Death Round.
- The same criteria will be used during Round 1 with Groups 2 and 3 – six (6) MLF Anglers with the highest weight totals each day will advance to the Sudden Death Round.
- The total number of MLF Anglers advancing to the Sudden-Death Round will be eighteen (18).
4. ROUND 2: SUDDEN-DEATH ROUND
- During the Sudden Death Round, the eighteen (18) MLF Anglers that advanced (from Round 1) will be divided into two groups of nine(9) MLF Anglers each: Groups 1 and 2.
- Group 1 will compete on Day 4, Group 2 on Day 5.
- MLF will utilize a “seeding system” based on Elimination Round results to establish the MLF Anglers’ placement in groups 1 or 2. MLF will seed the groups based on the success (or lack of success) of MLF Anglers during the previous round.
- MLF will post a qualifying weight for the two days of Sudden Death Round competition based on the fishery and existing conditions.
- The qualifying weight will be determined by the MLF Commissioner after he consults with an MLF Angler representative and/or other consultants of his choosing.
- The qualifying weights will be set for each of the two days and will be announced no more than 12 hours prior to the start of that round’s competition.
- The first four (4) MLF Anglers from Sudden Death Round 1 and the first four (4) MLF Anglers from Sudden Death Round 2 to reach the qualifying weights set for their days of competition will advance to the Championship Round.
- Should there not be four (4) MLF Anglers to reach the qualifying weight, the MLF Angler(s) that advance will be determined by the total weight of Scorable Bass caught during a full day of competition.
- The total number of MLF Anglers advancing to the Championship Round will be eight (8).
5. ROUND 3: CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
- The field for the Championship Round will be made up of four (4) MLF Anglers advancing from each: Sudden Death Group 1 and Sudden Death Group 2.
- During the Championship Round, the MLF Angler with the highest total weight of Scorable Bass will be declared the winner.
6. COMPETITION HOURS
- During all days of competition, MLF Anglers will fish 7.5 hours that will be divided into three periods, with 30-minute intervals between the end of a period and the beginning of the following period.
- Prior to the start of the first period, MLF Anglers will convene at the edge of the zone that will be utilized for that day’s competition. MLF Anglers will be released simultaneously (shotgun start) to begin a 30-minute scouting ride-around. Fishing is NOT allowed during this ride-around.
- Period Breaks begin when the MLF Boat Official announces, "Lines Out. End of Period 1." (Or, "End of Period 2", ect.) During period breaks, no MLF Angler will be allowed to fish or try to locate bass. provided paper maps and maps on graphing units during period breaks. MLF Anglers are not allowed to mark waypoints while returning to the rendezvous location, nor at any other time MLF Anglers may look at and review during a period break.
- MLF Anglers will be required during period breaks to meet at a pre-determined Rendezvous Point.
- MLF Cup Rendezvous Point to be located at a highly centralized area of the field of competition.
- At the beginning of the second and third periods, MLF Anglers will take off according to their order in the standings.
- Round One Daily schedule is as follows. Daily times may vary and will be provided:
- 45 Minutes: Launch, Interviews and Photos (Subject to Change)
- 30 Minutes: Enter Zone for Scouting (Minimum Time)
- 2.5 Hours: Fishing Period 1
- 30 Minutes: Intermission and Rendezvous
- 2.5 Hours: Fishing Period 2
- 30 Minutes: Intermission and Rendezvous
- 2.5 Hours: Fishing Period 3
- All Daily competition times subject to change based on weather conditions.
- Round Two will follow the same schedule as the above Round One. Round Two will, however, include qualifying weight cut lines. If four (4) MLF Anglers reach the qualifying weight, competition will cease for the day.
- Round Three will follow the same procedural schedule as the above Round One.
7. MLF CUP ANGLER CUMULATIVE TWO-YEAR RANKINGS
- MLF Cup Anglers will be ranked on a cumulative points system that is set up on two-year cycles.
- Points are awarded for each MLF Cup Angler at the end of each event. The total number of points per MLF Cup Angler determines his finish position at the end of each two-year cycle.
- The MLF Cup Angler with the highest points total receives the highest ranking, No. 1. The second highest number of points receives the second-place ranking, No. 2. The third highest points total is awarded the No. 3 ranking, ect.
- Individual event point totals are based on final event place finish. At the conclusion of each event, the event champion (1st place) will receive 27 points; the angler in 2nd place will receive 26 points; the angler in 3rd place will receive 25 points, and so on down to the 27th ranked angler who will receive 1 point. The exception to this is the place finish of the Invitational Angler, who is awarded no points, nor does any other MLF Angler receive the points for the Invitational Angler’s event place finish.
- The twelve MLF Cup Anglers finishing in 1st Through 12th positions on the cumulative points ranking at the end of the two-year cycle qualify to compete in the Major League Fishing World Championship.
- The two MLF Cup Anglers finishing in 25th and 26th positions on the Major League Fishing Cup Angler Cumulative Two-Year Rankings will be eliminated from the regular MLF Cup Angler's field. The exception to this is MLF Cup Anglers who hold MLF Shareholder Exemptions.
- MLF Shareholders competing as MLF Cup Anglers have three (3) Shareholder Exemptions. Anytime an MLF Shareholder finishes in the 25th or 26th position in the Two-Year Rankings, he may use one of his Shareholder Exemptions and remain as an MLF Cup Angler the following year.
- Should an MLF Shareholder exemption be used for the 25th and/or 26th position, the next-lowest, non-exempt angler(s) in the Two-Year Points Rankings will be eliminated.
- Two-Year Ranking Tie-Breakers
- Should two (or more) MLF Cup Anglers be tied in points at the end of the two-year cycle and that tie is to result in the elimination of MLF Cup Angler status, the following tie-breaker rules will be in effect. (NOTE: MLF Cup Invitational Anglers do not accrue points, but are included in Event Finish calculations.)
- TIE-BREAKER NO. 1: Average Event Finish - The MLF Cup Angler with the best (highest) average finish position for all Major League Fishing Cup events fished during the two-year MLF Cup cycle is awarded the tie-breaker win. (Details below)
- TIE-BREAKER NO. 2: PERFORMANCE RATING - The MLF CUP Angler with the highest PERFORMANCE RATING average during Elimination Rounds of the two-year Major League Fishing cycle is awarded the tie-breaker win. (Details below)
- TIE-BREAKER NO. 3: TOTAL FISH PERCENTAGE - The MLF CUP Angler with the highest TOTAL FISH PERCENTAGE average during Elimination Rounds of the two-year Major League Fishing cycle is awarded the tie-breaker win. (Details below)
- TIE-BREAKER NO. 4: TOTAL WEIGHT PERCENTAGE - The MLF CUP Angler with the highest TOTAL WEIGHT PERCENTAGE average during Elimination Rounds of the two-year Major League Fishing cycle is awarded the tie-breaker win. (Details below)
- To determine the event finish placement, MLF Cup Anglers will be ranked at each event on a 1 through 27 finish position. The order is determined in the following manner:
- Positions 1 - 6 will be awarded to first through sixth in the Championship Round.
- Positions 7 and 8 are a tie between the fourth-place finishers of each Sudden Death Round. Performance Rating Tie-Breakers (listed below) apply to determine final placement.
- Positions 9 and 10 are a tie between the fifth-place finishers of each Sudden Death Round. Performance Rating Tie-Breakers apply to determine final placement.
- Positions 11 and 12 are a tie between the sixth-place finishers of each Sudden Death Round. Performance Rating Tie-Breakers apply to determine final placement.
- Positions 13–15 are a tie between the fifth-place finishers of each Elimination Round. Performance Rating Tie-Breakers apply to determine final placement.
- Positions 16 – 18 are a tie between the sixth-place finishers of each Elimination Round. Performance Rating Tie-Breakers apply to determine final placement.
- Positions 19 – 21 are a tie between the seventh-place finishers of each Elimination Round. Performance Rating Tie-Breakers apply to determine final placement.
- Positions 22 – 24 are a tie between the eighth-place finishers of each Elimination Round. Performance Rating Tie-Breakers apply to determine final placement.
- Positions 25 – 27 are a tie between the ninth-place finishers of each Elimination Round. Performance Rating Tie-Breakers apply to determine final placement.
- PERFORMANCE RATING CALCULATION: The MLF CUP Angler with the highest Performance Rating of the applicable round fished is awarded the tie-breaker placement. The PERFORMANCE RATING is the average of TOTAL FISH and TOTAL WEIGHT percentages of the round.
- TOTAL FISH and TOTAL WEIGHT percentages are based on the top finish of each category against only the anglers competing in the round.
Angler A: Scored the most fish and the most weight. 10 bass - 20 pounds.
Angler B: Scored 6 bass - 10 pounds.
- TOTAL FISH PERCENTAGE: TOTAL WEIGHT PERCENTAGE:
Angler A: 1.000 Angler A: 1.000
Angler B: .600 Angler B: .500
- PERFORMANCE RATING:
Angler A: 1.000
Angler B: .550
- NOTE: In Sudden Death Rounds the TOTAL FISH AND WEIGHT PERCENTAGES use the average of the top three finishers to calculate top finish of each category.
8. TIE-BREAKER RULES FOR MLF CUP EVENTS SINGLE DAY
- If two (or more) MLF Cup Anglers are tied at the end of the Championship Round – meaning they have caught the same on-the-record weight during that round – the following tie-breaking rules will be employed.
- TIE-BREAKER NO. 1: The total accumulative number of scorable bass caught during the Championship Round.
- TIE-BREAKER NO. 2: The largest single bass (highest weight) caught during the Championship Round.
- The 2nd largest single bass caught during the round and so on.
- If two (or more) MLF Cup Anglers are tied for a finishing position that determines whether that MLF Cup Angler will advance to the next competitive round– meaning they have caught the same on-the-record weight during that round – the following tie-breaking rules will be employed.
- The total accumulative number of scorable bass caught during the round.
- TIE-BREAKER NO. 2 : The largest single bass caught during the round.
- TIE-BREAKER NO. 3: The 2nd largest single bass caught during the round and so on.
- If an MLF Angler is disqualified or disqualifies himself during an event, he only receives the points earned leading up to disqualification. The MLF Angler in the next position in the event standings WILL NOT move up to replace him in the event.
COMPETITION RULES AND GENERAL ENFORCEMENT
10. PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY STANDARDS
- Participation in MLF Cup Events is open only to MLF Anglers and Invitational Anglers as determined and approved by Major League Fishing.
11. LAWS, BOATS, SAFETY, AND WEATHER
- MLF Anglers must adhere to all federal, state and local laws. MLF Boat Officials are required to contact the MLF Commissioner with any questions or concerns about an Angler’s potential action that may violate a law. An MLF Boat Official must immediately report an Angler’s violation of a law to the Commissioner. Based on the set of circumstances in connection with the violation, the Commissioner, at his discretion, will issue an immediate penalty and or disqualification.
- Boats for tournament competition will be supplied by MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING and will be fully equipped with all essentials to meet state water safety requirements.
- The MLF commissioner or his designee has the right to delay, shorten or cancel the start of an event because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Competition waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. We will be monitoring the weather at all times during the competition day and will communicate to your MLF Boat Official via SCORETRACKER© Scoring System Device messages, texts and phone.
- In the event that dangerous conditions develop, MLF will suspend the competition for all participants and instruct you to immediately take cover. If at any time you feel you are in danger, and your MLF Boat Official HAS NOT been contacted, you should take cover and immediately contact the MLF Commissioner. The MLF Commissioner or his designee will suspend the competition until the conditions have improved.
- Competitors are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any violation of the standards may be deemed cause for disqualification. (SEE Sportsmanship and Flagrant Sportsmanship Violations, definition and penalties, Rules 21 s and 21 t).
- Use of alcohol or drugs (other than drugs purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during MLF Cup Events could be cause for automatic disqualification.
- Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters
- MLF Boat Officials have the responsibility of reporting to the MLF Official in Charge an MLF Angler’s sportsmanship violation or a flagrant violation for any act that reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote Fisheries conservation and/or clean waters. The MLF Official in Charge will report the violation to the MLF Commissioner, who will assess the incident.
13. MLF COMMISSIONER’S ROLE
- The MLF Commissioner shall assess all rules violations that require penalty assessment at the MLF Commissioner’s discretion shall be done so by the MLF Commissioner (i.e. extended penalty time, disqualification and/or prohibition from participation in subsequent MLF Cup Competitions).
- Subject to appeal, the decision of the MLF Commissioner and/or his designees, or a special rules committee established by the MLF Commissioner shall be final in all matters.
14. MLF ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER’S ROLE
- Supervises the training program for all MLF Boat Officials.
- Develops and manages all MLF Boat Official duties, procedures, communications, etc. and makes additional recommendations to the MLF Commissioner.
- Evaluates and rates the performance of each member of the current MLF Boat Official Staff and reports the findings to the MLF Commissioner.
- Serves as the on-site liaison between the MLF Boat Officials and MLF Anglers as required.
15. MLF BOAT OFFICIAL IN CHARGE’S ROLE
- Stationed at the ramp throughout each day of competition.
- Serves as the main contact for all in-boat Officials.
- Communicates all information to in-boat Officials, TV Producer, Scoretracker Manager, Boat Mechanics as it pertains to the competition.
- Serves to clarify all rules with MLF Boat Officials.
16. MLF LEAD BOAT OFFICIAL’S ROLE
- Independently trains all MLF Boat Officials to meet the standards as set by the MLF.
- Serves in a supervisory capacity in directing other MLF Boat Official Staff.
17. MLF BOAT OFFICIAL’S ROLE
- A fully trained MLF Boat Official will accompany each MLF Angler throughout each day’s competition.
- Each boat will be equipped with an MLF SCORETRACKER© Scoring System Device that will be linked to a central database system. The device will provide MLF Anglers with a Leader Board that shows the status of the event’s point’s leaders.
- The duties of the MLF Boat Official will be to weigh and record the weight of each Scorable catch, update the MLF SCORETRACKER© Scoring System Device, “call the game” and communicate with the base of operation.
- The MLF Boat Official will serve as rules enforcer and the official scorekeeper.
- Specific Penalty Violations will be assessed “on the spot” by the MLF Boat Official and all other violations will be reported to the MLF Commissioner or his representative.
- Rules decisions made by an MLF Boat Official are considered final unless an MLF Angler chooses to submit a written protest to the MLF Commissioner.
18. THE WEIGHING OF BASS
- All MLF Events shall utilize the MLF term “scorable bass". A scorable bass is any bass caught that weighs one (1) pound or greater. Any bass caught that weighs less than one (1) pound shall be deemed “non-scorable.”
- Weight is now the determining factor for a bass being scorable or non-scorable. Length is no longer a factor in the scorablity of bass caught. This effectively eliminates the need and use of measuring boards in MLF events.
- There is no limit to the number of scorable bass an MLF Angler can catch and record during an MLF Cup Event competition day.
- Only the MLF Angler will handle bass caught during competition. Once a Bass is caught, the bass will be set onto the official scale by the MLF Angler.
- The MLF Boat Official will hold the official scale by the handle only with both hands and position it at eye level. The Bass must be held steady, allowing the scale to be clearly read first by the MLF Boat Official in full view of the TV camera.
- Should the bass be less than one (1) pound, the MLF Official shall announce it to be non-scorable. Should the bass be more than one (1) pound, the official will proceed to call the weight.
- The MLF Boat Official will call the weight. If the call is challenged by the MLF Angler, the MLF Boat Official will zero the scale and re-weigh the bass a maximum of two (2) additional times and then the MLF Boat Official will make the final call, “the official weight is”. The bass can’t be dipped into the water between re-weighs.
- After the official weight is announced (or after a bass is deemed non-scorable), the MLF Angler is to remove the Bass from the scale, properly release the Bass into the water and resume Fishing.
- The MLF Boat Official will immediately record the weight in writing on the MLF “Manual SCORETRACKER Sheet” and enter the weight into the official MLF SCORETRACKER© Scoring System Device.
- Should an MLF Angler catch a bass on a bait which is illegal in the waters being fished, the bass caught will be deemed a non-scorable bass. If the MLF Boat Official discovers that an illegal bait is being used, he may warn the MLF Angler that no bass caught with the illegal bait will be scored. The Boat Official may require an MLF Angler’s bait be shown to him in which case the MLF Angler must allow him to inspect the bait for its lawfulness.
18. END-OF-PERIOD SCORING
- The MLF SCORETRACKER© Scoring System Device will serve as the “Official Clock.”.
- At the ends of periods, the MLF Angler will be clearly notified by the MLF Boat Official when the period competition is coming to an end and when MLF Angler must stop Fishing. The only deviation to the scheduled ends of periods will be if all MLF Anglers receives extra minutes because of OFFICIAL MECHANICAL TIME OUT by the MLF Commissioner.
- Regarding the final cast of any period, any Bass hooked on the final cast must be “inside the boat,” visibly inside the gunnel before the time expires.
- The legality or illegality of a period-end catch will be determined by the MLF Boat Official.
19. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT
- Use of nets and grippers for landing Bass is prohibited.
- Only artificial lures can be used.
- All Bass must be caught in a conventional sporting manner.
- Any Bass caught while “visually fishing” must be hooked inside the mouth and verified by the MLF Boat Official before being unhooked. The weight of a Bass caught by the technique of “visual fishing” can only be scored once during that day.
- MLF Anglers will be permitted the use of a lure retriever; however, MLF Anglers must supply their own lure retriever.
20. SPECIFIC MLF COMPETITION RULES / PENALTIES
- NO INFORMATION RULE: MLF Anglers shall not pursue any action of any kind that may give that MLF Angler a competitive advantage during competition.
All actively competing MLF Anglers may not talk with any other MLF Angler, sponsor, locals or anyone else except for authorized MLF media personnel about any daily results or any other event information. Actively competing MLF Anglers may not talk to MLF Boat Officials about any other MLF Angler’s results or tactics used during any competition day. Eliminated MLF Anglers may discuss daily results and any other event information with other eliminated MLF Anglers only.
MLF Anglers may not use any mapping or GPS device including boat electronics, cell phones, tablets or computers to research any information about any possible fisheries in the general area of the event location.
Should an MLF Angler receive information that potentially gives him a competitive advantage, such as locations: baits, topography, conditions, etc., including unsolicited information, he is required to share that information with the MLF Commissioner. The MLF Commissioner shall determine whether this information should be subsequently shared with any or all other MLF Anglers.
The No Information Rule will be governed by a Rule Infraction Verification Test.
(Penalty – MLF Commissioner: Sharing Information, Result Disqualification)
- GPS STORED WAYPOINTS: No pre-determined, user-generated GPS waypoints will be allowed. Waypoints may only be marked during competition hours.
(Penalty – MLF Commissioner: Illegal GPS Waypoints, Disqualification)
- OFF LIMITS: Lake is off limits except for when MLF Anglers are competing in the actual MLF Cup event.
(Penalty – MLF Commissioner: Illegal Scouting, Disqualification)
- ASSESSING PENALTIES: If the MLF Boat Official calls a penalty on the MLF Angler, he must immediately stop all activities including fishing. The MLF Angler is not allowed to drop his shallow water anchors or operate the trolling motor unless the boat is in immediate danger of being damaged and the MLF Boat Official gives the MLF Angler permission to do so. ALL other activities of any kind are not allowed and additional penalty time will be added for a penalty compliance violation for each occurrence.
If a penalty results from a Bass Landing Violation the Bass must immediately be weighed and released. The MLF Boat Official is required to manually record the weight of the Bass before he starts the penalty clock on the SCORETRACKER© Scoring System Device.
MLF Boat Officials are not allowed to enter the penalty on the SCORETRACKER© Scoring System Device before the weight is first manually recorded. The MLF Angler must not request that MLF Boat Official start the penalty clock before the weight is first manually entered.
The MLF Angler must sit down on the front deck and is not allowed to do ANYTHING during his penalty time with the exception of talking to the camera operator about his fishing day up to that point or what it is that he is going to do next.
(Penalty – Official: Penalty Compliance Violation, 1 Minute Additional Penalty)
- PENALTY CARRY-OVER: If an MLF Angler is assessed a penalty at the end of Period One or Period Two, the penalty time spent will be at the “start of Fishing” in the next period. If an MLF Angler is penalized at the conclusion of Period Three in Round One or Round Two, the penalty time spent will be at the “start of Fishing” during the next Round. The beginning ride around time cannot be used for penalty time.
- LINES-IN RULE: During the countdown to begin fishing in any period and at the end of a Penalty, the MLF Cup Angler cannot cast his lure before the MLF Boat Official says “Lines In.”
(Penalty – Official: Lines-In Violation, 2 Minutes at Start of Period)
- LINES-OUT RULE: If MLF Boat Official has called "End of Period, Lines Out" or "End of Round, Lines Out" MLF Cup Angler cannot make another cast.
(Penalty – Official: Lines-Out Violation, 2 Minutes Carry-Over Penalty)
- ENCROACHMENT RULE: There is no official buoy distance rule. However, at no time is an MLF Angler allowed to interfere with another MLF Angler’s line. If an MLF Angler casts close to another MLF Angler and hooks into his line, the casting MLF Angler will be penalized.
(Penalty – Official: Hooking other’s line, 2 Min., stop fishing when line untangled)
- LANDING BASS: While landing Bass, the Bass cannot touch the carpet or any other part of the boat inside the gunnel at any time during the process. If the Bass comes unhooked from the bait and falls to the carpet or hits any other part of the inside of the boat it will be assessed as a violation.
Additionally, MLF Angler is not allowed to cradle Bass or allow Bass that he is landing to touch his body. An MLF Angler cannot allow a Bass to touch any part of his body other than his hands or forearms. A slight touch will not be penalized. If the MLF Cup Angler brings the Bass to the body deliberately to secure control of the Bass or the Bass hits the MLF Cup Angler more than slightly, then it will be a penalty. From a rules standpoint, the body is to be treated the same as the carpet.
(Penalty – Official: Bass Landing violation, 2 Minutes immediate, stop Fishing)
- RELEASING BASS: When releasing any Bass that is Scorable or non-Scorable, the MLF Angler’s hand must be at gunnel level or closer to the water. No flipping or tossing of a Bass.
(Penalty – Official: Bass release violation, 2 Minutes immediate, stop Fishing)
- BROKE OFF BASS: Breaking off a hooked Bass while fighting and landing it will result in a penalty. If a hooked fish does not reveal itself as something other than a Bass then the fish will be judged to be a Bass. A break-off on the initial hook set will not result in a broke off Bass penalty.
(Penalty – Official: Breaking off hooked Bass, 2 Minutes immediate stop Fishing)
- SECOND LINE: A MLF Angler will be allowed to utilize a second line in the water ONCE PER PERIOD. However, when utilizing the second line, an MLF Angler must employ a “cast and retrieve” method. Working bottom bait very slowly is considered a “cast and retrieve” method. If an MLF Angler casts a second line in the water more than once per period, the MLF Angler will receive a penalty. Dragging a line from a stationary rod is not permitted. Although the MLF Angler will be penalized for the second-time use of two lines, any Bass caught that is Scorable will count.
(Penalty – Official: Illegal 2nd Line, 1 Min., stop fishing when the 2nd lure is retrieved)
- LEAVING BOAT TO FISH: MLF Angler may not leave the boat for the purpose of Fishing. Leaving the boat to assist in landing a hooked Bass, as an act of Fishing, will result in a penalty. Although penalized, if an MLF Angler retrieves a Scorable Bass, the Bass will count. Leaving the boat for non-Fishing reasons is allowed without a penalty.
(Penalty – Official: Leaving Boat to Land Bass, 4 Minutes immediate stop fishing)
- OUT OF BOUNDS: On some bodies of water, MLF Anglers will compete in a pre-determined zone each day. The boat must be positioned inside the zone boundaries. Fishing outside of the boundaries is allowed as long as the boat position remains inside the boundaries. Any boat position outside the zone will result in a penalty.
(Penalty – Official: Boat out of Bounds, 5 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)
- GRAPHING: Graphing between periods in order to locate Bass is not allowed. The penalty will be called when the MLF Angler marks a waypoint between periods.
(Penalty – Official: Graphing between Periods, 5 Minutes at the start of next period)
- Round Two MLF Anglers will be required to “go neutral” immediately after they have qualified for the next round of competition. Going neutral means the MLF Angler is required to immediately stop Fishing and return to a designated Rendezvous Point.
(Penalty – Official: Failure to “Go Neutral,” 5 Minutes at the start of Championship Fishing Period. The ride around time cannot be used for 5 minute penalty time)
- PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE: Each MLF Angler must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver. MLF Angler’s life preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition any time the combustion engine is in gear. The MLF Boat Official's life preserver must be on before the boat is put on plane. Camera Operators are not required to wear the life preserver, but one must be on board for them at all times.
(Penalty - Official: Safe-boat conduct Penalty, 3 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)
- KILLSWITCH: The MLF Angler or other appointed driver must have his boat’s kill switch connected any time the combustion engine is in gear.
(Penalty – Official: Kill-switch connection, 5 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)
- SPORTSMANSHIP: A Sportsmanship Violation is defined as aggressive or hostile behavior directed at a fellow MLF Angler, MLF Boat Official, a non-competitor or any representative of MLF, including the use of profanity directed at these individuals, will not be tolerated. MLF Boat Officials are required to report violations.
(Sportsmanship Violation, Penalty will be determined by the MLF Commissioner)
- FLAGRANT VIOLATION: A flagrant violation for any act that reflects unfavorably upon the positive efforts of MLF, MLF sponsors, spectators, fisheries conservation, and clean waters will not be tolerated.
(Flagrant Sportsmanship Violation, Penalty determined by MLF Commissioner)
- MECHANICAL FAULT: If an MLF Angler experiences mechanical failure during MLF competition and the MLF Boat Official determines that the MLF Angler is at fault for the problem, no TIMEOUT will be called.
(Penalty – Boat Official: Self-inflicted Mechanical Failure, No time out for repair)
- MECHANICAL FAILURE If an MLF Angler’s boat experiences mechanical failure during competition and the problem is determined by the MLF Boat Official to be no fault of the MLF Angler, an OFFICIAL TIMEOUT will be issued. All competing MLF Anglers will be promptly notified when the OFFICIAL TIMEOUT is to begin. MLF Anglers must immediately stop Fishing when the OFFICIAL TIMEOUT is called. MLF Angler in the process of reeling in a “hooked” Bass will be allowed to count the weight of this Scorable Bass toward his daily weight total.
The OFFICIAL TIMEOUT will be employed for the duration required to replace the MLF Angler’s boat or appropriate boat part. The MLF Boat Official with the MLF Angler experiencing the boat failure will notify the MLF Commissioner and the MLF Commissioner will communicate the beginning and ending times for the OFFICIAL TIMEOUT.
- At the end of the period, MLF Anglers will be allotted extra minutes of Fishing, with the total number of minutes equaling the duration of the TIMEOUT. MLF reserves the right to alter the day’s competitive time schedule should a TIMEOUT occur.