It is your teamís responsibility to read and have a clear understanding of these rules and regulations.
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changes made for the 2014 season are marked in yellow.

1. My participation in a Trail of Dreams (hereafter referenced as TOD), event herein releases all sponsors, officials, organizations or individuals from any and all liability in any form for any occurrence whatsoever from these events.

2. Insurance/Liability - A valid copy of the boat insurance policy, which will be valid for all the tournaments must be presented. Your payment of an entry fee, is interpreted as you and your partners agreement that you will never sue (TOD) et al, or hold TOD responsible for any damages or any injury that you or your partner may suffer, whether known now or which may develop in the future. This agreement applies to these and any tournaments promoted by TOD.

3. Photography/Video - I also understand that TOD, or itís agents, may be filming video or photographing at various events, I hereby grant to TOD, itís legal representatives and assigns, the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use and publish photographs of me, and or my boat/property in which I may be included without restriction. I hereby release TOD, itís legal representatives and assigns from all claims and liability relating to said photographs and/or video.

4. Acknowledgment - Payment of the entry to fish TOD tournaments shall be interpreted as acknowledgment that you and your partner have read and understand the conditions and guidelines set forth in these rules and regulations.

5. Rules Interpretation - The Tournament Director or Tournament Committee decisions in any and all matters pertaining to the operation, execution, and rule(s) interpretation of this tournament event is final. Interpretation of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director or Tournament Committee.

6. Safety - Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times by all tournament competitors. Each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved chest-type life preserver. This preserver must be worn at any time the combustion engine is operating, this includes while at idle. The preserver must be strapped, snapped or zipped securely and maintained in that condition until the competitor reaches his fishing location and the combustion engine is shut off. Violation of these safety rules shall be reason for immediate disqualification. Every boat MUST have all required Coast Guard safety equipment, such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, etc.. All boats must be equipped with a working kill switch, that is in use any time the combustion engine is operating, including when at idle. All boats must have working running lights, port and starboard.

7. Sportsmanship/Conduct - Competitors in this tournament are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. No alcoholic beverage or other stimulants or depressants shall be allowed in the boats or at the weigh-in. Drunkenness by any competitor during the tournament will not be tolerated. Firearms are not permitted in any boat or the weigh-in site, unless the angler is a law enforcement officer or holds a valid concealed weapons permit. 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. Any act of a competitor which reflects unfavorably upon Trail of Dreamís effort to promote fisheries conservation, clean water and courtesy shall be reason for immediate disqualification. Any form of poor conduct should be reported to the tournament director as soon as possible. "Stocking" is unsportsmanlike conduct.

8. Cell Phones - Radio communication Ė Cell phones/radios will be allowed in your procession during the tournament hours. No communication is allowed with anyone outside of the tournament or in the tournament to aid or gain fishing information about tournament waters.

9. Boat Specs - Boats will be no less than 14 feet in length and must have a minimum of a 40 horsepower rated motor. Airboats, jet boats or jet motors are not permitted. All boats must be properly registered. Motors may not exceed the B.I.A. rating of the boat. All boats must have a factory through hull aerator system and functioning kill switch. All boats must have working running lights, port and starboard. Only factory or certified dealer installed fuel tanks will be allowed. During tournament hours, you may obtain fuel at a marina, no extra fuel cans allowed in the boat or on the bank.

10. Permitted Fishing Locations - Fishing on designated tournament waters is permitted, except any water within these boundaries posted Off-Limits or No Fishing by state or federal agencies will be OFF-LIMITS. Off limit areas may be announced prior to the take off.

11. Off-limits Period - TOD will have no off limits period on the tournament waters prior to a one-day event. In a two-day event, waters go off-limits for second day, starting at the end of day one fishing period.
Tournament hours will be 6:30am-3:30pm. If safe light is after 6:30am then time will be adjusted on check-in times.Tournaments will be 9 hours plus.

12. Starting Position - Advance entries will draw for take off numbers. Entries taken at the ramp will leave in the order of registration. There will be a $10.00 late registration fee.

13. Take Off Procedure - Once tournament officials have begun the process of calling boats numbers, the boat operator must pass safely by the official, at idle speed, so the official can assure proper safety gear is being worn and lights are in working order. Boat numbers will be called in an orderly manner, if you miss your number, the official will not stop calling numbers to find you. You may be required to wait until the official can work you back in line. Once directed to leave from the official, the boat operator may leave the launch area in a safe manner. Do not pass back through the field of boats. Once clear of all boats, the operator may assume at a safe speed. No high speed take-off.

14. Partnership - Payment of the entry fee will be considered a commitment. However, partnership or boat unit changes will be permitted with proper notification being made to the Tournament Director. This may require completion and signing of a new entry form. No partner changes will be allowed once you have left the take-off area. In a two-day qualifying event no partner changes will be permitted. If in the event of an absent angler, the other angler may fish alone. Single anglers will be permitted to fish in events of $100 or less.

15. Unit Changes - In case of break down once the tournament has started, a boat change will be permitted. Tournament Director/Tournament Committee must be contacted and present for unit change. Rules 2, 6, 9, and 14 will still apply to the backup boat.

16. Tackle and Fishing Methods - All angling must be done from the boat. Only artificial lures may be used. No live bait or cut baits may be used. All bass must be caught in a legal, live conventional manner using a rod and reel. Each competitor may only have one rod in use at a time. The following methods are recognized: casting and retrieving a lure, the flipping or pitching of a jig or other bait. Length of rods cannot exceed 8 feet and fly rods are not permitted. Push poles are allowed, but you can not exit boat to assist in its movement. The trolling or strolling methods of catching bass are not allowed.

17. Nets - Landing nets are permitted.

18. Scoring - Only large-mouth, small-mouth, and spotted bass will be weighed. All bass must be 12 inches or greater in length as measured on a golden rule with the mouth closed and tail pinched and fanned.
5 fish meeting the above requirement will be considered a limit. Culling must be done at the time the 6th fish is caught, any team with more than 5 fish in their live-well will be disqualified. All fish presented for weigh-in will be released, the only exception being in the event of a possible state record. All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various sates in which they're fish. Winners will be determined by total pound and ounces of a teamís catch. In select events where 10 inch fish is minimum, the rules of scoring will be the same except in length.

19. Dead Fish & Short Fish - A penalty of 4 (four) ounces per dead fish will be assessed to a teams total weight. A penalty of 1 (one) pound will be assessed to any fish failing to measure 12 inches (10 inches in select events) on the official TOD golden rule on the weigh-in table. You can check your board against the TOD board prior to weigh-in. (NO courtesy measures).

20. Lunker - Must be presented at weigh-in ALIVE and in good condition to quality for lunker awards and monies. Lunker monies will be $300 per event (included in your team's entry fee) unless specified on entry form or at pre-tournament meeting.

21. Sight Fishing - Bedding fish must be hooked in mouth. No Snagging. Fished hooked outside the mouth while sight fishing must be released immediately back to the water. No platforms permitted.

22. Releasing Fish - All fish presented for weigh-in will be released back to tournament waters. The only exception will be in the possibility of a state record. When a fish is presented for weigh-in, the angler renders all rights to his/her catch (No Exceptions!).

23. Anchored Boats - Must have an anchor out in front and rear of boat (2 anchors). With the trolling motor out of the water to be considered anchored. Your protected area will be defined as 25 yards, 360 degrees around the boat. An anchored boat must announce to other anglers that they are anchored. Protected areas become off-limit to other tournament anglers. An anchored boat can not obstruct or impede the waterway for another boat, this includes locks, creeks, etc.. If an anchored boat allows one boat to fish his/her protected area, the protected area is then open to all anglers.

24. Lock Areas - Upon arrival at various locks you will be approaching restricted areas. Restricted areas are posted by Army Corps of Engineers with signs, buoys, markers, etc. Anglers may cast into these areas around locks, but can not take boat into this restricted area to retrieve a fish or hung-up lure. Anytime you are directed to leave an area by Lock Master, you must leave an area immediately. During locking you must tie up to a buoy or another boat and must remained tied up until lock doors are fully open, a whistle blows, or you are instructed to leave by Lock Master. Upon entering/exiting the locks you are expected to show courtesy to other boats. You are expected to idle into the restricted areas.

Click Here to view these US Army Corps of Engineers boundaries.

25. Return Times - You must check in at the launch area giving your boat number to tournament officials to be considered checked in. Once the tournament official has acknowledged your boat you may not make another cast. Late boats will be disqualified from weighing in their catch. TOD does not work with pound per minute late penalties.
                                                                                    Late = disqualified.

26. Breakdowns - Contestants must leave and return to official checkpoint by boat. Both competitors must remain in the boat at all times except in case of emergency. During the event your team has boat problems that prohibit you from returning to the weigh-in area. TOD will allow one partner to bring the teams catch in another COMPETITORS BOAT ONLY as long as the fish can be kept separated in different live-wells or by other means. Trailering of boats during tournament hours for the purpose of moving from one fishing location to another is prohibited.

27. Early weigh-in - Is permissible after 3pm in the event of a breakdown. If the tournament director is available in the weigh-in area before 3pm or has been notified, your catch can be weighed-in.

28. Ties - In the event of teams weighing the same weight of fish at the weigh-in. All monies will be divided equally between the teams involved. Trophies, plaques, etc., will be decided by the flip of a coin, by the tournament director.

29. Tournament Entry Fees/Deposits - Deposits for tournaments are nonrefundable. Late fee at ramp is $10.00. TOD has the right to refuse entries.

30. Disputes/Protests -  Any protest must be filed with-in 10 minutes of the last fish weighed. After the 10 minute time limit, the results will be final upon acceptance by the tournament director or committee. Anglers wishing to file a protest must post a $150 deposit for the examination, along with a written protest. If examiner is not onsite of event, all monies for position or positions in question will be held until results can me made final. If polygraph examiners conclude that the protest is valid, then the deposit will be refund, and TOD will bear the cost of examination. In case of disqualification, the order of finish will change and all monies will be corrected.

31. Polygraph - TOD will be polygraphing at various events. All participants agree to submit to a polygraph examination if requested by tournament director. Anglers refusing to polygraph test will be disqualified from event. Participants further agree that the results of the polygraph will be accepted without further appeal and will be final decision in said tournament. Participants hereby waive and release any and all claims and causes of action of any kind whatsoever against TOD, it's companies, officers, agents, employees, and sponsors.

Note: Information concerning rules and regulations may be added at a pre-tournament meeting. If you have any questions regarding the rules and regulations please address them at this meeting.
Tournament Rules and Regulations
Trail of Dreams Tournament Rules are available as a download

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