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Women’s Professional Tarpon Tournament Series (WPTTS) Rules

These rules will remain in effect during the "Professional Tarpon Tournament Series” (WPTTS). Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director.

In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions, as he deems appropriate, including, without limitation, disqualifications, forfeiture of prizes and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. By competing in the WPTTS all competitors agree that decisions of the tournament director and/or tournament committee are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal, and are not reviewable by any court of law. The tournament director and/or the tournament officials can make changes to the stated rules at any time.

By participating in the WPTTS events you agree to the previous statements, to sign a written legal release form, and to obey the rules stated below, or face expulsion without refund or compensation or any kind.

Participation & Eligibility:

Participation in the Tarpon Anglers Club tournaments is open only to members of the Tarpon Anglers Club in good standing. Competition Membership is open to men and women over the age of 18. At the discretion of the tournament director only one angler under the age of 18 may be permitted to compete on a team.

The Tarpon Anglers Club reserves the right to refuse membership and participation in any or all events to any individual or team at the discretion of the Tournament Director and/or his committee. Teams must register, pay in full or place a deposit, and complete and sign all required forms and documents to be eligible to compete in all WPTTS events.

1. Membership Fee - Membership fee in the Tarpon Anglers Club is $30.00 per tournament season. You must create an online TAC account to become a TAC member. All competitors must be members in good standing of the Tarpon Anglers Club to be eligible to compete. Disqualification and forfeiture of winnings and points will occur if a member of a team has failed to comply.

2. Entry Fees- Entry fees to participate in the WPTTS $4,000.00 for the regular series events. Entry in the Tarpon Cup Championship will be $1,500.00. Teams may secure an entry by submitting a completed registration form deposit of $500.00 and membership fees. The entry fee includes participation of one team. Entry fee(s) must be paid in full by 20 days prior to the first event. If entry is not paid in full by the deadline, the team entry may be rejected and the team could lose their entry and/or tie breaking spot.

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3. Registration: WPTTS registration will occur online. Each member of the competing team must create a FREE Tarpon Anglers Club web account, pay their individual membership fees, and electronically sign the Liability Release for a teams registration to be complete pending payment.

4. Insurance: Liability insurance is required of all contestants utilizing their boats in any Tarpon Anglers Club tournament. Each team prior to competition is required to provide proof of insurance, a copy. The copies can be, emailes, faxed or mailed. This will not affect your registration status, but must be submitted before the first event. Failure to comply will result in a team not being permitted to participate in the events. Minimum required is $100,000.00.

5. Liability Release: All WPTTS Captains, Anglers, Alternates, and Observers must agree to, and electronically sign the Liability Release.

Once accepted into the tournament, all deposits and tournament entry fees are non-refundable. In the event a team cannot fish a tournament that they have paid for, they may submit a written reason why, and the Tournament Director may elect to transfer the entry to another series event.

Teams:

A WPTTS tournament team consists of a maximum of five (5) people, one (1) designated male or female Team Captain, one (1) designated male or female Mate, and three (3) female Team Anglers. Only the three (3) designated female Anglers on the team can fish in an event. The team member driving is prohibited from fishing while acting as the boat driver.

A. Team Captain: The term "Team Captain" does not imply that he/she must be a USCG licensed captain. All points and entry spot for the events remain with the designated Team Captain. All prizes will be issued to the Team Captain. The Team Captain is solely responsible for:

1. The safety and conduct of their team.

2. Completion of the event registration, providing all required documentation, and payments.

3. The team follows all event rules and regulations.

4. Attending required Captain's Meetings.

B. Anglers: Team Anglers can switch from event to event. Team Anglers must be members of the Tarpon Anglers Club and have signed a legal release form.

C. Alternates: Alternate anglers must be members of the Tarpon Anglers Club and have signed a legal release forms. Once an event officially begins, no alternates can be used in that event.

D. Mate: The Mate can assist in all aspects of the event including rigging lines and baits, gaffing and/or leader touching/releasing a fish. The Mate cannot handle the rod and reel if the team has a fish on, and/or the bait and/or line is deployed in the water. The Mate cannot fish.


E. Captain: If the captain of the boat is a male, he cannot handle the rod and reel if the team has a fish on, and/or the bait and/or line is deployed in the water. The male captain can assist in all aspects of the event including rigging lines and baits, gaffing and/or leader touching/releasing a fish.

F. Observer: One (1) observer is permitted on a team boat during event hours. The observer must be over the age of sixteen (16) years, and have completed and signed a legal release form. The observer cannot aid the competing team in anyway. They cannot rig lines or baits, drive, handle fish, or anything else that could be construed as aiding the team in the competition. If the observer does aid the team, the team will be disqualified from that event, and the observer will be banned from observing further WPTTS events.

Events:

A. The WPTTS series consists of three (3), three (3) hour, regular series events, and one (1), five (5) hour, championship event.

B. Teams are required to compete in every WPTTS regular series event.

C. A full field will consist of a maximum of (50) fifty paid team entries.

Corporate sponsored teams in some instances are not recognized as paid teams. Teams competing in the previous years events will receive priority entry and first right of refusal to enter the next years events. Sponsor teams receive priority over all teams.

D. Event winners are decided by official tarpon measured weight, not the number of points acquired during a series event. In the event no tarpon are weighed by the stated finish time, the team that has released the most fish during the event will be named (1st) first place winner, the team with the second most releases will place (2nd) second, etc. A team is only eligible to win one prize per event.

E. Captain of the Year Race: Captains will earn points towards the Captain of the Year by competing in both PTTS and WPTTS events. In the event the named Team Captain cannot participate in an event, they can name an alternate captain for that event. An alternate captain may be used only (2) two times during the course of the series.

F. Tarpon Cup: The Top 25 teams of in the PTTS and WPTTS series will be eligible to compete in the tarpon cup Championship. This event will be a five-hour, single day event. Two (2) Tarpon entries are allowed. The winner will be decided by the aggregate weight of up to two (2) Tarpon entries.

G. Ties: In all instances, ties will be broken by the date & time the completed earliest team registration form, and deposits are received. Date and times are registered via automated computer and are accurate up to the second to ensure fairness and accuracy.

H. Protests: All protests must be submitted in writing, along with a $500 cash deposit, within fifteen (15) minutes of the end of tournament fishing time to the tournament director or tournament official. The protestor also agrees that if there is a question of verifying the charge of a protest that he or she also may be subject to take a polygraph. The cash deposit shall be returned to the contestant submitting the protest, if the protest is upheld.

Boundaries:

Fishing is restricted to Boca Grande Pass. Boca Grande Pass boundaries are defined by FWCC Administrative Rule 68B-32.005:

Begin at the westernmost edge of the Lodge Dock (26º 43.416’ North Latitude, 82º 15.433’ West Longitude) on the southeast bay side of Gasparilla Island; thence proceed due east on a straight line to the westernmost edge of the intercoastal waterway (26º 43.416’ North Latitude, 82º 14.616’ West Longitude); thence proceed in a southerly direction to the #75 Intercoastal Waterway Marker (26º 42.466’ North Latitude, 82º 14.566’ West Longitude) on the northeast bay side of Cayo Costa; thence proceed around the northern tip of Cayo Costa along the shoal to the QR test buoy (26º 42.000’ North Latitude, 82º 15.433’ West Longitude) on the northwest Gulf coast side of Cayo Costa; thence proceed northwest on a straight line to the #12 red buoy (26º 42.333’ North Latitude, 82º 16.750’ West Longitude) marking the entrance to Boca Grande Pass; thence proceed northeast on a straight line to the easternmost edge of the concrete pier (26º 43.133’ North Latitude, 82º 15.700’ West Longitude) at the lighthouse beach on the southwest Gulf side of Gasparilla Island; thence proceed along the shoal around the southern tip of Gasparilla Island to the Lodge Dock, the point of beginning.

A. The tournament director and/or committee reserve the right to change these boundaries at any time.

Code of Conduct:

The WPTTS is a professional tournament fishing series and all participants must maintain a high level of professionalism at all times. Each person competing in the WPTTS is expected to conduct her-/himself in a manner that reflects the professionalism, wholesomeness, and image of the the Silver King Entertainment LLC, organization.

While the tournaments are highly competitive in nature, good sportsmanship is required at all times. Anglers are expected to be role models, and set a positive example to the recreational angling public. Captains are responsible for the safety and conduct of their team members during the events.

Demeaning the WPTTS, PTTS sponsors, and/or another competing team will not be tolerated and can result in expulsion from the events and/or a forfeiture of points and prizes. Any member putting the welfare of the WPTTS, its’ sponsors, fans, recreational anglers, and/or other competing teams and participants at risk will, be expelled.

A. Laws: All participants are required to follow all applicable Federal, State, and Local regulations and laws. Any violation of such rules may result in disqualification from the tournament.

B. Alcohol and Drugs: The consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or non-prescription drugs is strictly prohibited during tournament hours. Anyone found to be in violation of this rule will be immediately disqualified from the event. The possession and consumption of alcohol is also NOT permitted at Gasparilla Island State Park.

C. Dress Code: All team members must be dressed in identical shirt tops. Logos and names may vary, but the color scheme should match for all four team members tops. Female team members are exempt from this rule and may wear swimwear that matches the color scheme of the rest of the members of the team.

D. VHF Radio Use: The official WPTTS tournament Channel is VHF 72 and the alternate channel is VHF 68. Anglers are asked to practice common sense and follow the FCC guidelines on VHF radio communication when using the VHF radio. Explicit language, poor sportsmanship, and the demeaning of other anglers or the WPTTS on the air can result in points not counting for that event. Frequent abuse can result in expulsion from the organization or tournament, and fines issued by the FCC.

E. Fishing Etiquette: Teams MUST “circle the pack” after they have completed their fishing drift, IE make every to effort circle the other boats actively fishing. Teams must also make every effort not to “short drift”, IE stop directly behind, another competing or recreational boat. Teams must also make every effort to allow competing teams and/or recreational anglers boat, that have a fish on, the all opportunity to land the fish and avoid doing anything that could endanger that chance. IE reeling up lines if necessary, moving out of the way, not dropping lines directly in the path of an oncoming boat with a fish on, when there is a high probability that action will result in lines becoming entangled.

F. Competing Anglers, Captains, and/or Mates may not exit their vessel for the purposes of landing, or attempting to land a fish EXCEPT, Competing Anglers, Captains, and/or Mates may board another competing teams vessel, if that competing teams' Captain agrees to the boarding of their vessel, for the purposes of landing, gaffing, or otherwise attempting to land a fish.

G. Pre-fishing: All rules governing code of conduct and fishing gear must be followed during the designated pre-fishing period, which is defined as 7 days prior to a tournament event.

H. Penalties: Violations of code of conduct rules and regulations may be penalized by a points deduction. Penalties may be assessed by tournament officials and or the governing ethics committee.

Tarpon Entries:

A. All tarpon hook ups must be reported to tournament officials immediately after the fish is hooked up.

B. Only (1) tarpon may be measured per team, except during the Tarpon Cup. Once a fish has been landed, the competing team must immediately make a decision to measure or release the fish. Failure to do so in a timely fashion will result in the disqualification of the fish. You can not measure a fish that you do not intend to enter as an official entry.

C. A leader touch/release occurs when a member of a competing team touches the leader or double line portion of the line above the water. The touch/release must be verified by a tournament official and/or a competing teams captain. The team must then report the confirmed leader touch to the scoring judge by stating their Team Number, Captain’s Name, and the name of the verifying team boat or number of the verifying judge boat. Failure to provide that information could result in a leader release not being counted. The scoring judge will provide a confirmation number of the leader touch. It is the responsibility of the team to continue to call in the leader touch until they receive the confirmation number. Failure to provide the scoring judge with a confirmation number when disputing the awarding of release points will result in no release awarded. In the event a leader touch/release cannot be verified by a competing team or committee boat, the team can still call in the touch. A release will be awarded and a polygraph examination will be used to determine the validity of the leader touch, if a tournament team elects to protest the touch.

D. Gaffing tarpon is not permitted and will result in immediate disqualification. Tarpon may only be secured by using the tournament approved liplock or similar device on the lower jaw. Once a fish has been secured it must be measured and is not eligible for release or DNA bonus points. In the event a liplocked fish is lost for any reason, the team is not eligible to enter another fish to be measured during that tournament.

NOTE: All fish must be hooked within the official WPTTS boundaries. Any fish hooked outside the boundaries at any time, will be disqualified and is not eligible for release, DNA or measured weigh points. If at anytime during the fight any part of a teams vessel crosses the official tournament boundaries, the hooked fish becomes ineligible to be measured. The team may continue to fight the fish to obtain release and DNA bonus points.

E. Ineligible fish for measure or release points will include but not limit fish that have;

1. Jumped into, and remain in a boat

2. Been brought aboard a boat

3. Been hooked outside of the mouth of the fish

4. Been bitten by a shark during the fight to the severity that the fish is unable to be released alive.

5. Been hooked by two different teams.

6. Hooked outside of the boundaries

7. Handled by the gills

F. The WPTTS is a live measure and release tournament series. Dead fish are ineligible for measure and/or release points.

Point System:

Points accrued by competing in both PTTS and WPTTS events are used to determine the Captain of the Year and the teams qualifying for entry in to the Tarpon Cup Championship. Point system is as follows:

1. First Place- 200 points

2. Second Place- 150 points

3. Third Place- 100 points

4. Fourth Place- 75 points

5. Fifth Place- 50 points

6. Tarpon Weight- 1 point per pound of the weighed fish. IE: 180 lb fish = 180 points

7. Release- 75 points per release

8. Most Releases- 100 points

A. Tarpon Weight- Weight is determined by the IGFA certified length and girth measurement formula. Measured fish are only eligible for the top (5) five finishing measured weights in the event.

B. Most Releases/Touches- The team with the most total releases, finishing outside of the Top 5 in an event, will receive 100 points.
B. Most Releases/Touches- The team with the most total releases, finishing outside of the Top 5 in an event, will receive 100 points.

Boats & Motors:

A. Boats: All competing vessels must be a minimum of (18) eighteen feet and not exceed (26) twenty-six feet in length and be seaworthy for conditions. Each vessel must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. In addition it must have a working bilge pump.

B. Motors: Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition will not exceed the horsepower limitations as set by the U.S. Coast Guard horsepower rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. By signing the registration form, each contestant agrees to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by factory trained personnel. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating plate will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and may result in future ineligibility to enter series events. Anytime the combustion engine is operating, there must be a driver in the driver's seat in full control of the boat. An electric trolling motor may be used at any time.

C. Team Number: Each competing teams boat must be numbered visibly on the hull. Numbers may range 1-99 and will be issued by the tournament. The numbers must be clearly visible from 50 feet away and must be placed on either side of the hull.

Fishing Gear:

The tournament director and/or committee members reserve the right to perform equipment checks and/or tests before and/or after any or all events. If a team refuses to allow the tournament director and/or a tournament committee member to inspect their gear, they will be immediately disqualified from the event.

A. Rods and Reels: Only manual spinning and conventional rods and reels will be permitted. Rods and reels must comply with sporting ethics and customs. Anglers may use a fighting chair and/or a harness worn by the angler. No other attachments are permitted. No more than (3) three rods may be used at one time.

B. Line: Mono filament, fluorocarbon, Dacron and hybrid mono filament lines are permitted but must have a minimum breaking strength of (40) forty pounds as stated on the manufacturers label. Braided line is not permitted.

C. Leader: Wire, mono filament, and fluorocarbon leaders are permissible. Leader size may not exceed 150 lb. breaking strength as stated on the manufacturers packaging. Leader systems may not exceed (12) twelve feet in length, including double lines.

D. Baits: Teams may use live bait, dead bait, and artificial baits at any time. Chumming is not permissible. Liquid attractants and/or pork strips are permissible but must be applied inside of the teams vessel. Dispensing of liquid attractants into the water is considered chumming and can result in disqualification.

E. Hooks: Only single “Circle” hooks are permissible for use when fishing with live and/or natural baits. The maximum allowable size circle hook is 14/0 as stated on the manufacturers packaging. Altering the circle hooks is not permissible. A circle hook is defined as a fishing hook designed and manufactured so that the point is turned perpendicularly back to the shank to form a generally circular, or oval, shape. No bait of any kind shall contain or present more than one single hook. No rod shall be fished with more than one bait. The use of treble hooks is prohibited.

F. Trolling and Anchoring: Trolling and anchoring are expressly prohibited.

G. Attachments/Attachment Materials: Any and all attachments to the main line, leader system, bait, and/or hook must be intended and rigged to remain attached. You may only use wire, wire ties, line, split rings, and/or any other material used to attach a weight to a hook or fishing line that has a minimum breaking strength of (50) fifty pounds, as stated on the manufacturers packaging. In the event you use a main line with a manufacturers stated breaking strength of over (50) fifty pound test, you must attach the weight with wire, wire ties, line, split rings, or any other material used to attach the weight, that is greater than or equal to your main line strength.

Fishing with and/or possessing gear that has a weight attached to a hook, artificial fly or lure in such a way that the weight hangs lower than the hook when the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod is prohibited.

Weather & Cancellations:

It is up to the discretion of the participating Team Captain to determine if their craft is seaworthy for the existing conditions. The Team Captain is solely responsible for the safety and conduct of their crew, both on and off the water, in conjunction with PTTS events. The captain has the choice whether or not to compete in any of the events.

A. The tournament events may be shortened, postponed, and/or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. The decision to shorten, postpone, and/or to cancel an event will be left totally to the discretion of the tournament director and/or committee, and every effort to hold the event at the scheduled date and times will be made. Announcements regarding tournament events will be disseminated via the PTTS Twitter feed. Alerts are available through the internet and via text messaging via Twitter at no cost. Visit www.Twitter.com/PTTS for additional info, to follow the PTTS and to register for text alerts.

B. A two (2)-hour period shall constitute a day of fishing for the purposes of a weather or water condition issues. If an event is stopped due to inclement or unsafe weather and two hours have been fished, the tournament director and/or committee could make the decision that the event is complete and the standings at the time the tournament stopped would be certified as complete and final. In the event a tournament is postponed, anglers will return to a designated location until it is deemed that fishing can resume. Every effort will be made to finish the tournament on the set date. If that is not possible, the official make up day will be the before the following weeks tournament, or at a date and time to be determined by the tournament director and/or committee. The official make up day for postponed events is the Saturday before the Tarpon cup Championship.

Agreements:

In consideration of being permitted to participate in the WPTTS events, conducted by the Silver King Entertainment LLC, the team as a whole, and participants as individuals, for them-selves and their personal representatives, heirs, and next of kin, releases, waives, discharges, covenants, and agrees to the following terms;

1. Not to sue Silver King Entertainment LLC, its officers and members, promoters, sponsors, advertisers, owners and lessees of the premises and each of them, their officers and employees, all referred to as releases, from all liability to the releasor, their personal representatives, assigns, heirs, and next of kin for all loss or damage, and any claim or damage therefore, on account of injury to the person or property or resulting in the death of the releasor, whether caused by the negligence of releases or otherwise while the releasor is fishing, boating, competing, working, volunteering, or for any other purpose participating in the WPTTS.

2. Not to sue Silver King Entertainment LLC, its officers and members, promoters, sponsors, advertisers, owners and lessees of the premises and each of them, their officers and employees, all referred to as releases, from all liability to the releasor, their personal representatives, assigns, heirs, and next of kin for all loss or damage, and any claim or damage therefore, on account of any decision made by the Tournament Director or Tournament Committee as it relates to the outcome of the tournament events.

3. To indemnify the releases and each of them from any loss, liability, damage or cost releasees may incur due to the presence of releasor in or on the water whether caused by the negligence of the releasee or otherwise.

4. To assume full responsibility for and risk of bodily injury, death, or property damage due to the negligence of releasees or otherwise while in or on the water, and/or while competing, officiating in, working, volunteering, or for any purpose participating in the WPTTS.

5. Agree that the rules and these terms are intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by the laws of the State of Florida and that if any portion of the agreement is held invalid, it is agreed that the balance shall, notwithstanding, continue in full legal force and effect.

6. Further states that they agree to, and have carefully read the rules, terms, conditions, and agreements and know the contents of the rules, terms, conditions, and agreements and with full understanding choose to participate by their own free act.

7. To release all officials and professional personnel from any claim whatsoever on account of first aid, treatment or service rendered them during participation in the WPTTS.

8. Grants to Silver King Entertainment LLC (and its assignees, sponsors, advertisers, promoters, licensees) the exclusive right throughout the universe and in perpetuity to include photographic, video, audio and other visual or audio portrayals of Participants taken during or in connection with the PTTS (including any images, likenesses or voices) in any medium of any nature whatsoever (including the right to edit, combine with other materials or create any type of derivative thereof) for the purpose of trade, advertising, sales, publicity, promotional, training or otherwise, without compensation to the Participants. Such grant shall include the unrestricted right to copy, revise, distribute, display and sell photographs, images, films, tapes, drawings or recordings in any type of media (including but not limited to the Internet). Participants hereby agree that all rights, title and interest therein (including all worldwide copyrights therein) shall be Silver King Entertainment LLC sole property, free from any claims by the Participants or any person deriving any rights or interest from Participants.

9. The administration and interpretation of a polygraph test and the decision to administer the test shall solely be the responsibility of the Tournament Director, tournament officials and the individual who administers such polygraph test and at their discretion select the place and time at which such polygraph test shall be administered. Should a team member refuse to take, or fail the polygraph test, their team will be disqualified from that event and forfeit all winnings and points from that event. The results of the polygraph are final and are not reviewable by any court of law.