OFFICIAL BASS PRO US OPEN
QUALIFYING EVENT RULES

(Updated February 9, 2021)

To register you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must be an amateur. An amateur is someone who:
    • Has not competed as a boater/pro in a MLF Major or BASS Elite Series event within the last two years immediately preceding the BPO event being entered
    • Anglers have not ever paid an entry fee greater than $2,500
    • Anglers that do not have lifetime earnings greater than $100,000
  2. At least one teammate must be the registered owner of one of these world-class boat brands: Tracker, Ranger, Nitro, Mako, Sun Tracker, Triton and Tahoe. Your boat must have a properly aerated factory-installed live well.
Tracker Boats
Ranger Boats
Nitro
Triton Boats
Mako
Sun Tracker
Tahoe

When registration begins, you will need:

  1. Boat serial number
  2. Copy of Registration, Title or Bill of Sale
  3. Contact information for you and your fishin' buddy

Official Rules

The following rules shall apply to all Bass Pro U.S. Open Regional Qualifying Tournaments (“Qualifying Tournaments”).

EACH PARTICIPANT (AND ANY MINOR’S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN FOR HIMSELF OR HERSELF AND ON BEHALF OF THE MINOR) MAY BE REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN A PRIZE FULFILLMENT PROCESS AND SIGN DOCUMENTATION, SUCH AS A RELEASE, AS MORE FULLY DETAILED BELOW, AS A CONDITION OF BEING AWARDED A PRIZE.

BY PARTICIPATING, YOU (AND ANY MINOR PARTICIPANT’S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN FOR HIMSELF OR HERSELF AND ON BEHALF OF THE MINOR) AGREE TO THESE OFFICIAL RULES, WHICH ARE A CONTRACT. PARTICIPANT ALSO AGREES TO THESE RULES ON BEHALF OF ANY TEAM MEMBER PARTICIPANT AND HAS RECEIVED EXPRESS AUTHORITY TO AGREE TO THESE RULES ON THEIR BEHALF. WITHOUT LIMITATION, THIS CONTRACT INCLUDES INDEMNITIES TO THE SPONSOR (DEFINED BELOW) FROM YOU AND A LIMITATION OF YOUR RIGHTS AND REMEDIES. AS MORE FULLY DETAILED BELOW, YOU AGREE THAT ALL DISPUTES ASSOCIATED WITH BASS PRO U.S. OPEN EVENTS WILL BE DECIDED BY BINDING ARBITRATION (SEE RULE #31).

1. Event Description: BASS PRO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, LLC (“Sponsor”) is hosting a series of bass fishing tournaments (the “Qualifying Tournaments”) for eligible individuals described below (. These Official Rules set forth the requirements and method of registration.

2. Participation and Eligibility: Participation in Qualifying Tournaments is open only to teams of two Participants, at least one of whom is 18 years old or older and is the registered owner of a White River Marine Group boat (Tracker, Ranger, Nitro, Mako, Triton, Tahoe, Sun Tracker brands). The registered boat must be the boat used to compete in during the qualifying event. If there is a change in the boat or motor being used, it is the Participant’s sole responsibility to provide an update to the tournament staff by the close of the captains’ meeting prior to competing. In the event that a team uses a different boat and/or motor than identified during signup, that team will be disqualified and be ineligible to win any prize.
Any person participating a Qualifying Tournament who under the age of 18 years must be paired with a boater 18 years of age or older and have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian presented prior to the tournament staff by the close of the Captains’ meeting prior to competing.
Individuals may only participate in one (1) Qualifying Tournament for the 2021 calendar year.
In addition, teams comprising one or more individuals who meet any of the criteria below are not eligible to compete:

a. Individuals/anglers that have competed as a boater/pro in a MLF Major or BASS Elite Series event within the last two years immediately preceding the Qualifying Tournament being entered;
b. Individuals that have ever paid an entry fee greater than $2,500 in a fishing competition or tournament;
c. Individuals that have lifetime Bass fishing earnings greater than $100,000.

Sponsor reserves the right to refuse participation in any and all Qualifying Tournaments to any individual or team at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

3. Federal, State and Local Laws: All Participants must have a valid fishing license for waters being fished and are required to obey all federal, state and local laws and regulations.

4. Teams: All Qualifying Tournaments are team events. Participants may not fish as individuals. A team consists of two (2) Participants, one of which must be designated as the Boater/Captain. If a team qualifies for the Championship Tournament they must fish the championship together. No substitutions of team members will be allowed.

5. Information: No fishing information may be purchased, bartered, solicited or otherwise received from any person who enters official tournament waters during the established off-limits period for all Qualifying Tournaments.

6. Pre-Tournament Practice: All Qualifying Tournaments have a 3-day off-limits period which consists of the Monday-Wednesday prior to the tournament.
The Thursday and Friday prior to each regular season tournament will be considered official practice days. All safety rules must be followed during practice times.
During the official practice days non-competitors are not allowed to be in a Participant’s boat on the water for any reason. No Participant may be on designated tournament waters for any reason during the official off-limits period (this includes “walking” the shoreline, marinas, boat docks, etc. for the purpose of locating or catching fish).

7. Registration: All registrations will be accepted until 10:00 a.m. Central time on the cut-off date published at: https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/usopen-locations#qualifiers. At that time all teams will be placed into a drawing from which 250 teams will be randomly selected, approved and payment processed. 250 teams will be considered a full field for all Qualifying Tournaments, though Sponsor reserves the right to add additional teams at its discretion.

8. Additional Programs: At each Qualifying Tournament, Participants may also be classified in different divisions such as a family division, lady angler division and veteran/active military/hometown hero division. The existence of any divisions and the criteria for inclusion in the divisions shall be established by Sponsor at its sole discretion and is subject to change.

9. Insurance: A minimum of $100,000 liability insurance is required of all teams in any Qualifying Tournament.

10. Safety: Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each Participant is required to wear a fastened (fully zipped and/or all clips fastened), U.S. Coast Guard approved, personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation from boat check until weigh-in. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device which must be securely attached to the driver's body any time the combustion engine is in operation. The driver must be seated in the driver's seat anytime the combustion engine is engaged in gear. Qualifying Tournament days may be shortened or canceled due to unsafe weather or any conditions that would endanger the safety of the competitors at the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion. Participants are allowed to leave the boat and seek shelter in bad weather but they may not fish during the time that they are out of their boat.

11. Permitted Fishing Methods: Only artificial lures may be used with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Only one fishing rod per Participant may be used at any one time. Additional rods may be in the boat and ready for use; however, each cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is attempted or rod is used. Trolling, as a method of fishing, is prohibited. Switching or sharing fish with other teams or individuals is a violation of these rules and will result in immediate disqualification. All bass must be caught alive, in a conventional, sporting manner. When sight fishing for Bass, all fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as a legal fish (this will be a polygraph question). All angling must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a Participant leave the boat to either land a fish or make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.

12. Sportsmanship and Conduct: All Participants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for 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. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon the Sponsor’s effort to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy, shall be reason for disqualification. Other examples of conduct not complying with these standards include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any mind-altering substance during Qualifying Tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure;
b. Failure to disclose, to the satisfaction of the Tournament Director and according to criteria identified by the Tournament Director, any conviction of a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime related to, arising out of, or involving any fishing tournament or event, at least ten (10) days before the Qualifying Tournament being entered. Note that even in the event of proper disclosure, the Tournament Director may, at the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion determine that the conviction is inconsistent with participation in the tournament and disqualify an individual or team;
c. Actions or words which reflect unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, and fair competition; and/or
d. d. Disqualification from other fishing contests or tournaments that resulted from rule violations that result in a participant’s honesty, integrity, or character.

Upon review of the circumstances by the Tournament Director, the Tournament Director shall have the right to refuse or deny any confirmed application by returning the entry fee of a previously accepted application or disqualifying a Participant. Sponsor reserves the right to place an official observer in a Participant’s boat at any time during Qualifying Tournament competition hours at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

13. Assistance:During the official practice period and extending through the hours of Qualifying Tournament, Participants may not have non-competitors in their boats on the water for any reason. The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular telephones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, pagers or any electronic device to obtain and use fishing information from anyone during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. In the event of an emergency situation, competitors should call 911 first and then notify the Tournament Director when it is safe to do so.

14. Boat and Horsepower Regulation:Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated live well space to maintain alive a limit catch of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in Qualifying Tournaments may not exceed the horsepower limitations as set by the U. S. Coast Guard in such vessel. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating plate to conceal such limitations will be cause for disqualification from the tournament. No Participant may have a platform, raised deck, or ladder which is higher than the gunnel of the boat. Standing on the fishing seats or outboard motor will not be allowed in any events. No air or jet drive boats will be permitted during official practice or Qualifying Tournament competition days.
Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel tanks. Optional remote engine fuel tanks must be factory or factory authorized dealer installed and be strapped or otherwise secured. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public and pumped through a hose with a nozzle.

15. Permitted Fishing Locations: Participants may fish anywhere on tournament waters accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off limits,” “no boats,” “keep out,”, “restricted,” or “no fishing” (or similar language or markings intended to restrict public access) by local, state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of another Participant’s boat which was first anchored. An anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight or by a Power Pole or similar shallow water anchor with the trolling motor in the up position. The act of moving bass from one area of the lake to another confined area of the same lake at any time, whether or not during official practice days or competition days, is not permitted.

16. Off-Limits Areas: Such areas established by federal, state and local laws and areas announced at registration for each Qualifying Tournament. Participants may not fish inside the established “off-limits” areas. Violation of this rule will result in immediate disqualification.

17. Trailering is Not Allowed: In the event of severe weather or location limitations, alternate take-off and check-in instructions will be given at the sole discretion of the Tournament Director.
Participants must launch their boat at the designated ramp. Live well checks will take place before Participants’ boats enter the water. All Participants will be required to go through the official check-in location before leaving to fish. Participants must leave and return to the check-in by boat. Participants’ boats must remain in the tournament waters during the event.
In the event of a mechanical breakdown, there are two permitted methods of returning to the check-in with fish. (1) by remaining in boat and being towed by water, or (2) by entering the boat of another competitor. Participants with fish must return to the official check-in location by the methods set forth above by their assigned check-in time to avoid late penalty. Participants who elect to return to the check-in by any other means will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day. Any Participant returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the Tournament Director or a designee of the Tournament Director. It is the sole responsibility of Participants to locate the Tournament Director to request a restart.

18. Official Checkpoints: There will be only one official checkpoint for boat inspection in the morning and one official check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check-out in the morning or failure to officially check-in at the check-in point will result in disqualification from the event. It is the sole responsibility of each Participant to arrive at the designated check-in location on time. In all circumstances, it is the Participant’s responsibility to verify the provided flight card time. All fishing must cease upon check-in, or upon such other time as may be designated by the Tournament Director.

19. Scoring: Scoring will be determined by the official weight of each team’s catch during the tournament. Only Largemouth, spotted (Meanmouth are scored as spotted bass), Red Eye or Smallmouth Bass, (collectively, “Bass”) are accepted species. The limit will be five Bass per team. Any Participant who possesses more than the tournament limit, unless actively culling, will have the catch for that day disqualified. Culling must be done immediately. The minimum official length limit for all species for Qualifying Tournaments will be 12” unless the lake limit is more than 12”, in which case, the lake limit will prevail. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the prescribed length limit, will result in loss of daily catch. Each Participant’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag. Bass will be measured with mouth closed, tail compressed and swiped to achieve overall greatest length. A measuring board will be provided at check-in and will serve as the official measuring standard for Qualifying Tournaments. It is the Participant’s responsibility to ensure all fish presented for weigh-in are of legal length according solely to the official measuring board.

20. Live Fish: Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live well. The use of chemical livewell additives which promote the healthy return of bass to their natural habitat are recommended. A half/pound (.50) penalty will be deducted for each dead Bass presented for weigh-in. Culling of dead Bass is prohibited. No dead Bass will be eligible for big fish awards or prizes.

21. Late Penalty: Participants who are not at the official check-in point at the appointed time will be disqualified.

22. Closing of the Scales: Scales will close 30 minutes after the last flight is due in. Due to weigh-in locations this time may be lengthened or shortened at the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion. Any change to the above stated official scale closing time will be announced during registration, boat check-out, or weigh-in. It is the Participant’s responsibility to verify the official scale closing time and to be in the weigh-in line by such time.

23. Ties: In the event of a tie for first place, the Tournament Director shall designate, depending on time and safety conditions, a one-hour fish-off period to be held within 24 hours of the closing of the scales. If a Participant or team declines to compete in the fish off, the other team involved in the tie will be awarded first place. If there is a big fish tie, prize money will be split between the teams that are tied. No dead fish will be allowed to be weighed for big fish prize.

24. Prizes: The winners, once verified and after fulfilling all requirements set forth in these Official Rules, will receive the prizes as outlined on the prize page Click Here.
All expenses, fees and charges associated with prize acceptance and use not specified above as being part of the prize are solely the responsibility of the prize winner (or their parent or legal guardian if potential winner is an eligible minor). If won by an eligible minor, prize(s) may be awarded in the name of or to such minor’s parent or legal guardian in Sponsor’s sole discretion. If a potential winner is unable to accept a prize as stated, the prize may be forfeited in its entirety and awarded to an alternate winner. Prizes are non-assignable, non-transferable and will be deemed void if sold, transferred, auctioned or assigned to any third person or entity. Prize can only be transferred if approved by Sponsor (which approval can be withheld for any reason). Winner will receive a 1099 Tax Form in the amount of the selected prize and such other documents as may be required by law for the actual value of the prize, to be issued in January of the year following receipt of the prize. Winner may be required to provide Sponsor with a valid social security number or tax identification number before the prize will be awarded for tax reporting purposes. All income taxes on or connected with any prize, and the reporting consequences thereof, are solely the responsibility of that prize winner. If required by law, Sponsor reserves the right to withhold and remit to the appropriate taxing authorities the amount of any taxes due.

25. Championship Qualifiers: The top 40 teams at each Qualifying Tournament will be qualified to fish the Bass Pro Open US Championship and be eligible for the prizes awarded at that event. Qualification to fish at the Bass Pro Open U.S. Championship has no cash value and is non-transferrable.

26. Polygraph/Lie Detector: Polygraph/Lie Detector exams will be administered at each event. The first-place and second-place teams will automatically be tested as well as teams randomly drawn from within the payout. Each Participant who fishes a Qualifying Tournament also agrees to submit to a polygraph examination following the competition upon a request from the Tournament Director. The polygraph examination will be conducted at a time and location determined by the Tournament Director. Failure to pass a polygraph examination, as determined by the examination administrator, will result in disqualification. Information related to any potential fraud will be shared with appropriate law enforcement authorities for determination of whether any state or federal offenses have been committed regarding any prize winnings for these tournaments.

27. Protest and Reporting Procedure: All protests must be submitted in writing along with a $100 cash deposit within fifteen (15) minutes of the last flight check-in to the Tournament Director or designated tournament official. The protestor also agrees that, if there is a question with regards to verifying the protest charge, he or she may be subject to a polygraph exam and agrees to testify in a court of law if necessary. If the Tournament Director or polygraph upholds the protest, the cash deposit shall be returned to the Participant submitting the protest, however the at the Tournament Director’s discretion, no action other action need be taken regarding or in response to the protest.

28. Media Coverage: Participants are required to comply with all requests (included but not limited to video, still camera, access to boat and access to fishing area) made by Sponsor production crew for the purpose of gathering media coverage throughout Qualifying Tournaments and after. Failure to coordinate with and accommodate the production crew needs will result in disqualification from that Qualifying Tournament.
Photos, videos, and other materials reflecting Participants’ name, image or likeness may also be used for press and media purposes and Participants agree to waive any rights and not assert any intellectual property rights that Participants have or may have in such materials. Sponsor reserves the right to publish the name and likeness of Participants on the Contest Site or through other media for publicity purposes.

29. Interpretation and Enforcement of Rule: Interpretation and enforcement 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: disqualification, forfeiture of prizes and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. Decisions of the Tournament Director are final in all matters and will not be subject to appeal or reviewable by any court of law.

30. Governing Law: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules or the rights and obligations as between Participant and Sponsor in connection with the Contest shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of Missouri including procedural provisions without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of any other state’s or jurisdiction’s laws.

31. MANDATORY ARBITRATION: By participating in a Qualifying Tournament, each Participant agrees that: (1) any claim, dispute or controversy (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) Participant may have against the Company arising out of, relating to or connected in any way with the Contest, the awarding or redemption of the prize or the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, will be resolved exclusively by final and binding arbitration administered by JAMS and conducted before a sole arbitrator pursuant to JAMS’s Comprehensive Arbitration Rules and Procedures (“Rules and Procedures”); (2) this arbitration agreement is made pursuant to a transaction involving interstate commerce and shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16; (3) the arbitration shall be held at a location determined by JAMS pursuant to the Rules and Procedures (provided such location is reasonably convenient for Participant) or at such other location as may be mutually agreed to by the Participant and Company; (4) the arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of these Official Rules and any of the other agreements referenced herein that the Participant may have entered into in connection with the Contest; (5) the arbitrator shall apply Missouri law consistent with the FAA and applicable statutes of limitations and shall honor claims of privilege recognized at law; (6) there shall be no authority for any claims to be arbitrated on a class or representative basis as Participant and Company hereby waive the right to assert claims in any class or representative action; arbitration can thus decide only the Participant’s and/or Company’s individual claims; the arbitrator may not consolidate or join the claims of other persons or parties who may be similarly situated; (7) in the event that the administrative fees, arbitrator fees and filing fees associated with the arbitration exceed $250, Sponsor agrees to pay any such administrative, arbitrator and filing fees exceeding $250 on the Participant’s behalf, subject to ultimate allocation by the arbitrator. In addition, if the Participant is able to demonstrate that the costs of arbitration will be prohibitive as compared to the costs of litigation, Company will pay as much of the Participant’s fees in connection with the arbitration as the arbitrator deems necessary to prevent the arbitration from being cost-prohibitive; and (8) with the exception of subpart (6) above, if any part of this arbitration provision is deemed to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal, or otherwise conflicts with the Rules and Procedures established by JAMS, then the balance of this arbitration provision shall remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with its terms as if the invalid, unenforceable, illegal or conflicting provision were not contained herein. If, however, subpart (6) is found to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal, then the entirety of this Arbitration Provision shall be null and void, and neither Company nor Participant shall be entitled to arbitrate their dispute. Finally, this arbitration provision is reciprocally binding on all parties, such that both Participant and Company are required to arbitrate their claims against one another. For more information on JAMS and/or JAMS Rules and Procedures, Participants may visit the JAMS Website at http://www.jamsadr.com.

32. Privacy: Except as otherwise contemplated in these Official Rules, Participants’ contact information collected by Sponsor in connection with the Contest will be used by Sponsor in accordance with the Bass Pro’s Privacy Policy found on the Bass Pro website.

33. General Release and Conditions of Participation: In consideration for receiving permission to participate in a Qualifying Tournament, I hereby, on behalf of myself, my minor children, or minors in my care, COVENANT NOT TO SUE AND HEREBY RELEASE AND AGREE TO INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS Sponsor and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively, the “Company”) and the Company’s officers, directors, agents, servants, employees, volunteers, and other persons connected with or associated with the Company (collectively the “Releasees”) from all liability, claims, demands, actions and causes of action whatsoever arising out of or related to any loss, damage, or injury, including death, that may be sustained by me, the Company, or any third-party, or any of the property belonging to me or in my possession, custody, or control or belonging to the Company or any third-party, WHETHER CAUSED BY THE SOLE OR PARTIAL NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES, or otherwise, while traveling to or from or participating in the Activity, or while in, on or upon the premises where the Activity is being conducted. I understand that the Releases do not assess or warranty the boating, fishing or outdoors proficiency of the other Participants in the Activity, and the Releasees do not make any warranty or representation of any type, kind or character, whatsoever, as to existing conditions upon the lands I may enter for the Activity. I am participating in the Activity at my own risk, and I accept land or property in the existing conditions, and recognize that boating, fishing and other outdoor activities are inherently hazardous activities and expose me to dangerous conditions, risks and hazards. I agree and represent that I will comply with all current regulations, all laws of the State and Locality in which the Activity is held, all federal laws, and any other controlling authority’s rules and regulations while participating in the Activity. I am fully aware of the risks involved and hazards connected with participation in the Activity and I hereby elect to voluntarily participate in the activity with full knowledge that said activity may be hazardous to me and to property owned by me or my family members or in our possession, custody, or control. I VOLUNTARILY ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY RISKS OF LOSS, PROPERTY DAMAGE OR PERSONAL INJURY, INCLUDING DEATH, that may be sustained by me, or any loss or damage to property owned by me or my family members or in our possession, custody, or control, as a result of being engaged in such an activity, WHETHER CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE OF RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE. IN SIGNING THIS RELEASE, I ACKNOWLEDGE AND REPRESENT THAT I have read the foregoing General Release of Liability and Waiver of Claims, understand it and sign it voluntarily as my own free act and deed; no oral representations, statements, or inducements, apart from the foregoing written agreement, have been made; I am at least eighteen (18) years of age fully competent to execute this General Release of Liability and Waiver of Claims on my behalf; and I execute this General Release of Liability and Waiver of Claims for full, adequate and complete consideration fully intending to be bound by same.

34. Bass Pro Shops Terms of Use and Community Guidelines: Participants agree to the terms of use set forth in full at https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/terms-of-use-and-community-guidelines. In the event of any disagreement between these Event Rules and the Terms and Use and Community Guidelines, these Event Rules shall control.

35. Modification or Amendment of Rules: Sponsor reserves the right to modify these Official Rules at its discretion and any changes will take effect immediately upon announcement.


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