Fatsack Tournament Rules

Fatsack Tournament Rules

Length Based

  1. Participation and Eligibility
    1. Fatsack Outdoors Membership
      1. Active Account on The Fatsack Outdoors mobile application is a prerequisite for participation in tournaments and Online Challenges
    2. Entry Fees— Entry Fee amounts, administrative surcharges, registration deadlines, late fee exceptions, and refund or transfer restrictions are specified in the Event Rules for each Competition.
      1. Competitor understands and agrees that payment for the Event does not secure a guarantee or promise of satisfaction.
      2. Competitor’s failure or inability, for any reason except as otherwise provided herein, to participate in any or all of the activities of the Event does not relieve or suspend the Competitor’s obligation to make all payments required by FSO Rules on a timely basis, nor entitle the Customer to a refund or credit, except as provided below.
  • Payment— Competitor agrees that once an Event Registration is submitted, this Agreement is a legally binding and enforceable obligation of Competitor.
    1. Fatsack Outdoors Event Entry Fee payments are processed using Stripe, unless otherwise stated in the Event Description Web Page or Documentation. Competitor (or Third Party who is paying on behalf of the Competitor) knowingly and irrevocably authorizes FSO to charge electronically Competitor‘s (or Third Party Payer’s) Stripe account, bank account and/or credit card for any and all amounts due for Competitor’s registration, attendance, and participation in the Event.
  1. Competitor’s Right to Cancel— Any competitor who wishes to cancel an Event Registration may do so by emailing FSO (info@fatsackoutdoors.com).
    1. For Tournaments, if cancellation email is dated more than 15 days prior to the Event, no administrative fee will be charged. Any cancellation dated 15 days or fewer before the Event shall result in a per person administrative fee equal to the lesser of $25 or 30% of the Event Registration Fee.
    2. Once an Event has started, no cancellations will be accepted and no refunds will be provided.
  • FSO is not responsible for any refunds of expenses related to travel or lodging reservations or other payments involving third parties.
  1. Pre-Tournament Check-in—Each Competitor must join the virtual tournament through the Fatsack Outdoors mobile application. Late check-in and registration process (if permitted), event-specific instructions, and event schedule are specified in the Event Rules.
  1. Tournament Format— The Competition dates and hours and the number of fish scored are identified in each Event’s Rules section. FSO Events may be just a few hours, a day, a few days, or a period of weeks. In multi-day tournaments, the number of fish scored each day is specified in the Addendum, and each Competitor’s final score is the aggregate score from both days.
  2. Eligible Species— For “Bass” Competitions, only “black bass” are eligible for scoring. That designation includes the three most common species (Largemouth Bass – Micropterus salmoides, Smallmouth Bass – Micropterus dolomineu, and Spotted or Kentucky Bass – Micropterus punctulatus) as well as other less well-known species or varieties:
    1. Shoal Bass – Micropterus cataactae
    2. Redeye Bass – Micropterus coosae
  • Suwannee Bass – Micropterus notius
  1. Guadalupe Bass- Micropterus treculi
  2. Bartram’s Bass – Micropterus bartrami
  3. Alabama Spotted Bass – Micropterus punctulatus henshalli
  • Mean Mouth Bass – hybrid offspring of M. dolomieauand M. punctulatus
  • For Competitions involving other species (e.g, Hybrid Striped Bass, Striped Bass, Sea Trout, Flounder, Redfish, Walleye, Catfish, Musky, Pike) the species of fish permitted for scoring will be specified in the FSO Event Rules Section.
  1. Competition Period
    1. Competition start and end dates and times are stated in the FSO Event Rules Addendumfor each event. No Competitor may begin fishing before the official Competition Start Time on any day of competition or submit fish photographed after the official Competition End Time. Under no circumstance will a fish photographed outside of the official Competition Start and End times be considered for scoring.
    2. Early Check-in— Competitors who could not or did not upload their photo submissions to Fatsack Outdoors must email their submissions in order for judges or tournament staff to download them to a computer and then manually upload them to Fatsack Outdoors for subsequent evaluation and scoring. If, for any tournament, they are required to report in earlier than the Competition End Time, that will be stipulated in the Event Rules Addendum.
  • Emergency Competition Termination— In the event of emergencies, such as weather conditions that pose an imminent threat to Competitors, the Tournament Director may terminate Competition before the scheduled Competition End Time. An Early Termination Announcement with an Adjusted End Time will be broadcast to Competitors via Email and Tournament Chat and will also be posted on the Fatsack outdoors site and media sites, The Announcement will specify a report-in time and location. If safe to do so, upon receiving the Announcement, Competitors should make their way to the specified location at the time identified.
  1. Competitors are required to stop fishing as soon as they receive the Early Termination Announcement. No fish caughtafter the Adjusted End Time time may be submitted for scoring; however, to accommodate those seeking shelter immediately, Competitors have up to 15 minutes after the Adjusted End Time to take a photo of the fish caught before the Adjusted End Time. Only photos with time stamps 15 minutes or less after the Adjusted End Time, verified by the photo time stamp on the Competitor’s camera or camera phone, will be eligible for scoring regardless whether the Competitor was in cell range and received the Announcement at the Adjusted End Time.
  1. Pre-fishing— Practice in Eligible Waters is permitted until the time specified in the FSO Event Rules Addendum on the day prior to Competition. If no pre-fishing deadline is stated in the Addendum, then practice may continue up until six hours prior to competition start time. There are no restrictions regarding areas, type of watercraft, or types of bait used in pre-fishing.
  2. Competition Area
    1. Competitive fishing is allowed only on publicly accessible waters within the geographic area designated by the FSO Event Rules Addendumas “Eligible Waters.” If no area is specified any public water is eligible.
      1. Public Waters means:
        1. Water basins assigned a shoreline management classification by the commissioner.
        2. The waters have a designated name recorded with the state.
        3. Waters of the state which have been finally determined to be public waters or navigable waters by a court of competent jurisdiction; water basins previously designated by the commissioner for management for a specific purpose such as trout lakes and game lakes pursuant to applicable laws; water basins located within and totally surrounded by publicly owned lands.
  1. Competitors may launch from any public-access shore.
  • Areas posted continuously as “Off Limits” or “No Fishing” by regulatory authorities or owners do not qualify as “Eligible Waters.” Areas that have restricted fishing hours or dates are eligible water only during the times and days when boating and fishing are permitted.
  1. Certain events will allow pond fishing and noted in the event rules.
  2. Wade or bank fishing is permitted provided the Competitor is on “Public Water. Bass caught while wading or walking the shoreline ARE eligible for submission unless noted otherwise in the rules. Competitors may depart the boat to catch and land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.
  1. Permitted Methods of Capturing Fish— All bass must be caught live. The Competitor may only use equipment and legal methods that comply with all sportfishing statutes and regulations of the states and body of water in which they are taken. Competitors are responsible for research of fishing and boating regulations. Snatching or snagging fish is not permitted. When visually fishing a bed for spawning bass, to be admissible all bass must be hooked inside the mouth.
  2. Cooperation and Assistance: Up until the end of the established pre-fishing period, competitors may fish with and receive direct assistance from other anglers and professional guides on the eligible waters. Before and during this event, competitors may (a.) share gear, tackle, and equipment, (b.) assist in photographing a fish for submission, and (c.) may communicate with and fish in proximity to other people, including competitors; however, they may not receive assistance in catching fish, including boat positioning, casting, retrieving, hooking, playing, or landing a fish.
  3. Fishing Tackle and Equipment
    1. All bass must be caught on rod, reel, line and hook with artificial lures only. No traps, snares, set lines or other methods of fishing other than a rod, reel and line are permissible, even if legal under state game laws.
    2. Each Competitor must have a measuring device containing a bump piece unless a specific branded device is noted in the tournament rules for that specific event. The device may not be broken, snapped, or cut apart and then reassembled at any point between the two ends.
  • Each competitor must have a mobile phone with a camera or a digital camera with memory card and/or download cable to submit digital photographs.
  1. Nets and grippers (e.g., Fish Grip, Boga-Grip) may be used for landing bass during tournament competition, but grippers must not remain attached to the fish in photos.
  2. Only artificial lures and biodegradable artificial lures may be used. No live bait, preserved bait, or prepared bait will be permitted during a competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds.
  3. Only ONE casting, spin-casting, spinning, or fly rod and reel may be in use at any one time. A hung lure that is not in or on the water is not considered in use and may be set aside while another is in use. Other rigs as specified above may be in boat ready for use; however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time.
  • If a Competitor breaks his line while setting the hook or retrieving a fish, he is allowed to make an attempt with the rod being used or by hand to secure the line and land the fish to be counted as legal. He may NOT hook the line with another lure, rod, and reel, or other devices. If a Competitor loses his rod and reel while landing a bass he MAY use another rod and reel to retrieve the lost outfit. If that rod and reel are verified to be the lost outfit that and the bass is still hooked, it may be landed, photographed, and submitted as a legal fish.
  1. Photo StandardsDigital photographs of each bass submitted to judges for scoring must meet these criteria:
    1. Unique. Each digital photo submitted by the same Competitor in each Competition must be a different bass. Subsequent digital photos submitted by the Competitor of the same bass will be culled and, if determined to have been deliberately submitted with intent to defraud, will result in disqualification of Competitor and banishment from future FSO Competition.
    2. Legible. Photo must be clear enough to read identifier, including required ID codes, and judge the length accurately. After carefully examining photo details and cross-referencing other photos submitted for scoring by the same angler in the same event, if the event judge is NOT able to verify with 100% confidence that the Tournament Code or Marks in the photo are valid for both the competitive event and the competitor, then the photo will be denied.
  • Eligible. Each digital photo must be a first-generation image (not a photo or screen-shot of another photo) that was taken on or beside eligible waters within the official Competition Start and End Times.
  1. Official Tournament Identifier placed where it does not cover the bass’ eye or prevent measurement verification.
  2. Bass as depicted below:
    1. Fish facing left on measuring device, head to the left, tail to the right, left side of the fish visible, with dorsal fin toward the top of the photo
    2. Mouth completely closed with jaw and/or lip in contact with the “Bump Piece.”
  • Camera lens positioned directly over the center of the bass’ body, which contributes to accurate measurement by judges. Photos judged to have been taken deliberately at an angle in order to make the fish appear longer may be disqualified at the Tournament Director’s discretion.
  1. Tail centered and in a relaxed, un-pinched condition and its tip in contact with the device.  Regardless whether or not fingers are squeezing the tail, if the tip is less than 50% as wide as the base, or the longer lobe of the tail is compressed over 50%, that tail will be considered “pinched” and should be spread before photographing to avoid a deduction.
  2. To confirm that the fish is alive, the bass’ eye must be uncovered in the photo. Photos of bass that appear to be dead, mutilated, frozen or similarly damaged will be disqualified without scoring. Photos of bass that appear to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered in ways that increase their length will be disqualified or approved for scoring at the discretion of the Tournament Director.
  3. No restraining device, clip, or band may be used to secure the fish being photographed. Securing the fish with any portion of a hand under the fish’s gill flap is prohibited.
  1. Scoring
    1. Tournament standings, contingency awards, and final winners shall be determined by the aggregate length of each Competitor’s catch during the tournament competition day(s).
    2. Unless a bass is hooked to a restraint device, it is not considered “in possession” by Competitors, so minimum length regulations do not apply to photo submissions.
  • Unless otherwise noted in the FSO Event Rules Addendum, in one-day tournaments the scores of the five longest bass on the Leader Board when judging is complete will be combined to determine the aggregate score.
  1. Unless otherwise stipulated in the FSO Event Rules Addendum, in two-day tournaments, the scores of the five longest bass of Day 1 and the five longest bass on Day 2 on the Leader Board when judging is complete will be combined to determine the aggregate score.
  2. Bass length is determined by its tail touching or crossing the quarter-inch line on the device. If it falls short of a line, the length is rounded down to the next lower 1/4 inch mark that the bass’ tail actually touches or crosses. Pinching the tail or angling the fish to achieve additional length may result in a reduction in the score, as described in Section 12.F, below.
  3. In the event of a tie, the tied competitors’ longest (highest-scored) bass are compared, and the tie-breaks in favor of the competitor with the longest (highest-scoring) bass. If the longest two bass are equal, the second-longest bass are compared and determine which competitor wins the tie. If the second-longest are identical, the third bass is compared, and if they, too, are identical, then the fourth bass breaks the tie. If all four of the tied competitors’ highest-scoring bass are identical, then the tie-breaks in favor of the competitor whose last Leader Board photo was uploaded earliest.
  • Each Fatsack Outdoors tournament and challenge, judges strive to be fair, consistent and objective, applying the following standards in approving or disqualifying photos, and in accepting or adjusting lengths.
  1. Penalties
    1. Failure of digital photos to conform to photo requirements will result in deductions of one-half inch or more in length for each infraction. Multiple violations may result in disqualification of the entry altogether.
    2. Competitors must have uploaded their digital photos or be in an event’s check-in line by the time stipulated in the Event Rules Addendum. Competitors may be allowed time to submit photos or may submit them to the event staff for manual upload; however, all fishing must cease at the official Competition End Time.
  • In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director or a rules committee may impose such penalties as they deem appropriate, including without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of entry fee and prizes, and prohibition from participation in subsequent Fatsack Outdoors tournaments. Subject to the appeal process set forth below, the Tournament Director’s decisions on violations are final.
  1. Penalties for rules violations may include the following:
    1. Reduction of score (length) as described above or determined by the Tournament Director
    2. Loss of catch for the day of or up until the violation has been remedied
  • Disqualification from the tournament in question
  1. Disqualification from future FSO events, which may be from a specific number of events, a specific period of time, or maybe a lifetime ban or disqualification.
  2. Any additional penalties determined by the Tournament Director including but not limited to monetary fines and/or reduction of Competitor of Year points.
  3. Each Competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director immediately any violation or infraction of any tournament rules. Failure to report violations or suggestions to another Competitor that they violate these rules, or false verification of weigh-in forms, may be cause for disqualification.
  • Following review, a determination by FSO Management or conviction of cheating or fraud will result in permanent revocation of FSO Membership, suspension from all FSO competition and FSO-affiliated events, tours, and series, and banning from all FSO Chat privileges, and the findings will be publicized via social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), and any other channel available for dissemination of such information.
  • All participants acknowledge that the use of polygraphs may be necessary to settle disputes and entry constitutes acceptance of this requirement and agreement to abide by its conclusion. Any Competitor refusing a polygraph will be immediately disqualified from all future challenges and banned from any future participation in any FSO-affiliated event.
  1. The Tournament Director, rules committee, or such person designated by the Tournament Director, shall have the discretion to determine the need for a truth verification test. The Tournament Director or his designee shall be responsible for selecting an independent expert to administer and interpret the results and establishing, in consultation with the expert administrator, the scope of the questions which may be asked during the test. The Tournament Director or his designee shall have sole responsibility selecting the location, date, and time of the test with respect to all concerned parties schedule and travel cost. The Competitor shall make himself/herself available at the location selected by the Tournament Director and shall cooperate in all respects with such test. Competitors taking a truth verification test may be responsible for any and all costs incurred.
  2. Random polygraph tests may be required during or following FSO competitive events.
  1. Awarding of Prizes
    1. Prizes and numbers of positions paid out are addressed in the Event Rules Addendum. Amounts paid per rank are subject to change based on participation (lower value for fewer entries and higher value for more entries) and sponsor provision.
    2. Prizes will be processed after all fish submitted for scoring have been judges, the results reviewed by a separate panel, and disputes and challenges have been resolved.
  • Product prizes may require additional processing or delivery time. This allows competitors some flexibility in selection of model, color or style. Product selection may be limited to specific features and models.
  1. Taxes— Where and when state laws require income taxes be paid on cash awards to non-residents, the taxes will be automatically deducted prior to the awards being presented to the winners. Competitors are responsible for all applicable taxes on both cash and merchandise awards. Various states require withholding tax on merchandise be paid upon the awarding of certificates, and Competitors awarded merchandise certificates in these States are responsible for remitting their tax to FSO. Failure to meet those obligations may result in disqualification from all future FSO events All prize recipients must complete a W-9 and, when required a Form 590, or W-8 BEN, provided by FSO (one time). Member must provide name, email, phone number and city and state of residence. Additional information may be required upon winning for prize verification.
  2. Competitor Conduct— Competitors participating in any FSO sanctioned event must observe the applicable rules for the specific event in which they are participating and must conduct themselves at all times in a manner that reflects favorably on the sport of bass fishing, FSO, its members, officers or representatives, tournaments or sponsors. Competitors are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, integrity, safety and conservation in support of the sport of bass fishing, especially when in the vicinity of non-Competitors who may be on or beside eligible waters. Any Competitor who violates these principles or behaves in ways the reflect unfavorably up FSO efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy, may forfeit tournament winnings, face suspension from future FSO sanctioned events, be permanently banned from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by FSO
  3. Disputes and Appeals
    1. A Competitor who wishes to dispute or protest a rules violation penalty, a judge’s scoring decision, or other action that materially affected the Competitor’s ranking or prize eligibility must file a protest with the Tournament Director in writing or via email within the following time limits:
      • 24 Hours (1 full day) following the close of an FSO TRAIL Series Tournament or Special Members-Only Competition
    2. Except for situations involving fraud or other law violation, any protests submitted after the deadline will be reviewed without affecting the outcome of an event. No change in rank or reward will result from protests submitted after the deadline. Only Competitors in the Tournament where the protested action occurred may submit protests. Protests must be handled privately. All parties directly involved will be provided a copy of the protest. The Tournament Director will review the Competitor’s claims, thoroughly investigate the disputed decision, and issue a ruling.
  • The Competitor who filed the protest may appeal the Tournament Director’s ruling. Appeals of rulings must be presented to FSO Management in writing or via email 48 hours from the time and date of ruling. The Appeals Processing Fee is $100, which may be paid to FSO via cash, check, or PayPal Funds Transfer. FSO will impanel an appeals committee comprised of one FSO staff member not involved directly in directing or judging the Tournament, and two FSO Members who were not Competitors in the Tournament. Appeals hearings shall take place within seven (7) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal, and all parties must make themselves available at the prescribed time of the hearing. Decisions of the appeals committee are final. If the appeals committee rules in the Competitor favor and reverses or nullifies the ruling, then the entire Appeal Processing Fee will be refunded; however, if the ruling stands, then the Fee is forfeited.
  1. Public Comments
    1. The favorable public reputation of FSO in the sport of bass fishing, the integrity of its officials, and the reputation of its media channels are valuable assets and tangible benefits for FSO. Accordingly, it is an obligation of Competitors to refrain from comments in public forums and social media or to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of Fatsack Outdoors Fishing tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow Competitors or the FSO organization. Competitors are encouraged to express themselves and have the right to question the rules officials. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with FSO policies are encouraged, as opposed to attacks upon the integrity of the rules or officials. However, public comments that a Competitor knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of Fatsack Outdoors Inc, FSO officials, FSO members or sponsors, may result in disciplinary action.
    2. Sponsor contributions will not be devalued by disputes or disagreements in public forums or social media platforms.
  • Publicly disputing any judgment decisions by Fatsack Outdoors Tournament Directors or judges will result in participants receiving one warning followed by permanent disqualification for repeated offenses. Any public dispute of final rulings, an ongoing determination by judges or judging panel is grounds for immediate disqualification from the current event and termination of any eligibility for future events, even if previously qualified. This is not in place to prevent any disputes; it is done to ensure that a fair and unbiased approach is used and the approved challenge and appeals processes are followed in determining the best possible outcome.
  1. Compliance with Laws
    1. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Nevada. All rights and obligations of the FSO and the Competitor under this Agreement are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. These terms and conditions shall be deemed revised to conform to applicable statutes, rules, and regulations. FSO may modify the terms and conditions stated herein at any time in its sole and absolute discretion. The competitor shall be bound by the modified Agreement and agree that no other modifications shall be enforceable. This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties and supersedes all prior agreements between the parties, whether written or oral. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision hereof shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. The waiver of any breach shall not constitute a waiver of any subsequent breach.
  2. Waivers and Releases
    1. Name and Likeness Release— By registering for this Fatsack Outdoors Event, the Competitor grants to Fatsack Outdoors Inc, the right to use all photographs, likenesses, stories, accounts, details of Competitor contributions, exploits, interviews, bloopers, and information pertinent to Event, as well as any video footage, photographs gathered at the Event, for marketing and promotional purposes. This release is granted without expectation for additional compensation upon submission of Event Registration.
    2. Waiver and Release of Liability— As a condition of participation in a Competition, and by virtue of registering for the Competition, each Competitor agrees to accept the terms and condition of the Fatsack Outdoors Waiver and Release of Liability Agreement (below). This Agreement absolves Fatsack Outdoors Inc, its officers, staff, and volunteers from responsibility and threat of litigation in the case of injury, loss, or death sustained by a Competitor in the Event. Registrants under the age of 18 must have their waiver/release form signed by the parent or adult guardian who will accompany them throughout the competition.