1.   Participation: Tournaments are open to anyone over 18 years of age. If under 18 years of age you must be accompanied in the boat by someone over 18 years old. Individuals who have fished in a tournament in the last 24 months that required an entry fee of $1000.00 or more are not eligible to fish in any Midwest Sportsman Tournament. If you are a professional guide on the waters that Midwest Sportsman holds its local tournaments on, you are not eligible to fish our circuits on that particular water.

2. Midwest Sportsman Membership and National Classic: Membership is $60.00 per year. This entitles you to fish any Midwest Sportsman regular event. Midwest Sportsman year ends with the conclusion of our National Classic the first week in October each year. The 2006 National Classic will be held October 4-6, 2006.

3. Qualifying for the Classic: You must fish 4 out of 6 qualifying tournaments in your division and finish in the top 30% of that division in order to qualify for the National Classic. You must be a current paid-up member in Midwest Sportsman Tournament Fishing in order to qualify for the National Classic.

4. Substitutes: Each team is allowed to use only two substitutes during the regular tournament season. Substitute must pay Midwest Sportsman substitute fee of $25.00 but can substitute as many times as he wants for any number of teams. Subs cannot qualify for the Midwest Sportsman National Classic.

5. Divisions: Your $60.00 membership entitles you to fish other Midwest Sportsman divisions by paying the tournament entry fees, you are entitled to win any cash pay-out in that tournament, but you do not receive any National Classic qualifying points. If you want to receive Classic qualifying points in other divisions, you must pay a Classic Qualifying Fee of $35.00 in each division where you want to earn Classic points.

6. Classic Tournament Entry Fee: There will be a mandatory $150.00 per team classic entry fee. $20.00 will go into big bass pot, and $130.00 will be paid back in the Classic pool.

7. Scoring: A 200 point system will be used by all circuits.

8. Limit: This is a five (5)-fish-limit (Per Team or when fishing alone) tournament. Exceptions: State laws prevail when fishing on any body of water (size and limit). Anyone bringing in more than five fish will have their sack culled to the five-fish limit starting with big fish first. All culling must be done on the water -- not on the bank.

9. Catch and Release: Midwest Sportsman is 100% catch and release -- all live fish must be returned to the water that they were taken from.

10. Big Bass: Ties for big bass will split big bass pot.

11. No Live Bait: Only artificial lures can be used in all tournaments. The use of pork rine is permitted.

12. Permitted Fishing Methods: All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. Only 1 rod may be used at a time. Trolling as a method of fishing is absolutely prohibited.

13. Short Fish Penalties: You may ask your director for (1) one courtesy bump per tournament. After that you are subject to short fish penalties. All fish brought to weigh-in must be of legal size determined by state law for that body of water fished. Short fish will be culled from your sack and the large fish will also be culled from the remaining fish.

14. Dead Fish Penalty: 1/2 the weight of any dead fish will be deducted from your total weight.

15. Mangled Fish: Fish that appear to be altered or mangled will only be weighed at the discretion of the local director.

16. Late Weigh Ins: There will be deduction of 1 lb. per minute of your total weight for every minute late to weigh in. After 15 minutes past weigh-in teams are disqualified.

17. Tournament Hours: Starting and finish time of each tournament will be set by local director.

18. Registration: There will be registration at the tournament site prior to tournament, time will be set by local director.

19. Take Off: Take off position will be determined by draw or registration before start of tournament. There will be no Shot-Gun starts.

20. Boat Inspection: All live wells will be checked by the tournament director prior to start of tournament.

21. Safety: During all tournaments, contestants will wear their life jackets zipped and secured when combustion engine is in operation. During foul weather you may take closest shelter. During any emergency you must return to tournament site if possible.

22. Sportsmanship: All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation.

23. Alcoholic Beverages or Drug Use: The use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs during tournament hours (extending through close of weigh-in) will be cause for immediate disqualification.

24. Off-Limits: You may not fish closer than 50 yards to another competitor unless given permission. If permission is given to one, then all may fish the same water.

25. You May Not Leave Your Boat During Tournament Hours Except During an Emergency. Competitors must remain with their partners in their boat at all times during the tournament, except in the event of sickness or brief “rest room breaks”, severe weather or other harmful hazards. If for any reason a team must leave the water early, they must notify the tournament officials at once.

26. Cheating: Anyone caught cheating in any tournament event will be immediately barred from fishing any Midwest Sportsman Tournament event. We reserve the right to have a random truth verification test performed at any time. Refusing to take the truth verification test is grounds for immediate disqualification.

27. Protest: All protests must be submitted in writing to tournament director no later than 15 minutes after close of weigh-in. Verbal protests will not be accepted.

28 Buying Tournaments: A team may buy tournaments because of unforeseen circumstances (broken motor, family emergency, etc.) Team must pay tournament entry fee prior to or on day of tournament. Team will not share in any paybacks for that tournament, but will get minimum points for that tournament.

29. Midwest Sportsman and State Rules: All Midwest Sportsman Rules and State rules and regulations where tournament is held must be followed. Midwest Sportsman rules will apply when they are not in violation of any State rules or regulations.

30. Insurance: All members must carry liability insurance on any boat they might use during any Midwest Sportsman Tournament. Failure to do so or reporting of false information will result in disqualification. Participants must include the company name and either the policy number or the name of the agent binding the coverage on the membership form.

31. Unfavorable Conduct: Any act of a competitor which reflects unfavorably upon Midwest Sportsman’s efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy shall be reason for disqualification. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony, or other crimes, involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon Midwest Sportsman’s efforts to promote Safety, Sportsmanship and Compliance with Tournament Rules shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and for disqualification.

32. Citizen band radios, marine radios and cellular phones are allowed in the boat for emergency use only. Any transmission of information via any communicative device concerning any aspect of fishing is prohibited during tournament hours.

33. Tournament rules are subject to review and change by Midwest Sportsman Rules Committee at any time.

Midwest Sportsman for Indiana, Illinois