COMPETITION RULES, INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT

Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to ILF. Decisions of the tournament Commissioner are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. Each Angler agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. The violation of a tournament rule may result in, but is not limited to, weight loss, the loss of weight up to a specific time in the tournament day, the loss of weight for the entire day and or disqualification from the entire tournament.

See Select Series Format Details

1. LAWS, BOATS, SAFETY AND WEATHER

  • ILF Anglers must adhere to all federal, state and local laws. ILF Boat Officials are required to contact the ILF Commissioner in Charge with any questions or concerns about an Angler’s potential action that may violate a law. An ILF Boat Official must immediately report an Angler’s violation of a law to the ILF Commissioner in Charge. Based on the set of circumstances in connection with the violation, the Commissioner in Charge who, at his discretion, will issue an immediate penalty and or disqualification.
  • Each Angler will be permitted to use their boat for tournament competition and should be fully equipped with all essentials to meet state water safety requirements including proper insurance.
  • The ILF Angler or other appointed driver must have his boat’s Kill Switch connected any time the combustion engine is in gear. If the ILF Angler does not comply with the Kill Switch rule the boat must be shut down until ILF Angler or other appointed drive attaches the Kill Switch.
  • Personal floatation device. Each Angler must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver and must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition any time the combustion engine is in gear. If the ILF Angler does not comply with the above the boat must be shut down until all passengers have met the Flotation Device rule.
  • The ILF Commissioner or his designee has the right to delay, shorten or cancel the start of an event because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Competition waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. ILF monitor the weather during the competition day and will communicate to your ILF Boat Official via text message and phone.
  • In the event dangerous conditions develop, ILF will suspend the competition for all participants and instruct you to immediately take cover. If at any time you feel you are in danger, and your ILF Boat Official HAS NOT been contacted, you should take cover and immediately contact the ILF Commissioner in Charge. The ILF Commissioner in Charge will suspend the competition until the conditions have improved.

2. SPORTSMANSHIP

  • ILF Competitors are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any violation of the standards may be deemed cause for disqualification. (SEE Sportsmanship and Flagrant Sportsmanship Violations, definition and penalties, Rules 10o and 10p).
  • Use of alcohol or drugs (other than drugs purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during ILF Events could be cause for automatic disqualification.
  • Maximum courtesy must always be practiced, especially regarding boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters.
  • ILF Boat Officials have the responsibility of reporting to the Commissioner an ILF Angler’s sportsmanship violation or a flagrant violation for any act that reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote fisheries conservation and/or clean waters.

3. ILF COMMISSIONER’S ROLE

  • Interpretation and enforcement of rules shall be left exclusively to the ILF Commissioner and/or his assigned designees at the competition.
  • In the event of a rule violation, the ILF Commissioner and/or his designees may impose such sanctions as disqualification and/or prohibition from participation in subsequent ILF Competitions.
  • Subject to appeal, the decision of the ILF Commissioner and/or his designees, or a special rules committee established by the ILF Commissioner shall be final in all matters.
  • Supervises the training program for all ILF Boat Officials.
  • Develops and manages all ILF Boat Official duties, procedures, communications, etc.
  • Evaluates the performance of each member of the current ILF Boat Official Staff.
  • Serves as the on-site liaison between the ILF Boat Officials and ILF Anglers as required.

4. ILF VOLUNTEER BOAT OFFICIAL’S ROLE

  • A volunteer ILF Boat Official is required to watch the ILF Boat Official training video and become familiar with ILF Competition Rules and General Enforcement document.
  • A trained volunteer ILF Boat Official will accompany each ILF Angler throughout each day’s competition.
  • Each ILF Boat Official is required to have a SmartPhone scoring device with internet and texting ability. ILF Boat Officials are also required to supply their own personal flotation device that’s is Coast-Guard approved and must always be worn while the combustion engine is engaged or in gear.
  • ILF will supply each volunteer Boat Official with the following: An approved ILF scale, ILF event log book, pens, extra batteries and a Boat Official Jersey. Boat Official are required to turn in all supplied items at the end of their event.
  • The ILF Boat Official will serve as rules enforcer, the official scorekeeper and the official time keeper.
  • The duties of the ILF Boat Official will be to weigh and record the weight of each scorable catch in the log book as well as update the ILF Scoring System using their Smartphone.
  • ILF Boat Officials are also responsible as “time keepers” throughout day notifying Anglers as to when “lines are in” and “lines are out”. See 8e SPECIFIC ILF COMPETITION RULES / PENALTIES
  • Specific Penalty Violations will be assessed “on the spot” by the ILF Boat Official and all other violations will be reported to the ILF Commissioner or his representative.
  • Rules decisions made by an ILF Boat Official are considered final, unless an ILF Angler chooses to submit a written protest to the ILF Commissioner.

5. THE WEIGHING OF BASS

  • All ILF Events shall utilize the ILF term “scorable bass". A scorable bass is any bass caught that weighs one (1) pound or greater. Any bass caught that weighs less than one (1) pound shall be deemed “un-scorable.” Weight is the only determining factor for a bass being scorable or un-scorable.
  • There is no limit to the number of scorable bass an ILF Angler can catch and record during ILF Event competition.
  • Only the ILF Angler will handle bass caught during competition. Once a bass is caught, the bass will be set onto the official scale by the ILF Angler.
  • The ILF Boat Official will hold the official scale by the handle only with both hands and position it at eye level. The bass must be steady, allowing the scale to be clearly read first by the MLF Boat Official.
  • Should the bass be less than one (1) pound, the ILF Boat Official shall announce it to be un-scorable. Should the bass be more than one (1) pound, the ILF Boat Official will proceed to call the weight.
  • The ILF Boat Official will call the weight. If the call is challenged by the ILF Angler, the ILF Boat Official will zero the scale and re-weigh the bass a maximum of two (2) additional times and then the ILF Boat Official will make the final call, “the official weight is”. The bass cannot be dipped into the water between re-weighs.
  • After the official weight is announced (or after a bass is deemed un-scorable) the ILF Angler is to remove the bass from the scale, properly release the bass into the water and resume fishing.
  • The ILF Boat Official will immediately record the weight in writing in the ILF “Log Book Scoring Sheet” and then enter the weight into the official ILF Electronic Scoring System being used.
  • Should an ILF Angler catch a bass on a bait which is illegal in the waters being fished, the bass caught will be deemed a non-scorable bass. If the ILF Boat Official discovers that an illegal bait is being used, he may warn the ILF Angler that no bass caught with the illegal bait will be scored. The ILF Boat Official may require an ILF Angler’s bait be shown to him in which case the ILF Angler must allow him to inspect the bait for its lawfulness. If the ILF Boat Official is in doubt about the bait the Official should contact the Commissioner.

6. END-OF-PERIOD SCORING

  • Both the Angler and the ILF Boat Official are responsible for knowing the when a period starts and ends. ILF Boat Official being the “time keeper” will inform the ILF Angler that the period is about to end providing a count down.
  • At the ends of periods, the ILF Angler will be clearly notified by the ILF Boat Official when the period competition is coming to an end and when ILF Angler must stop fishing. The only deviations to the scheduled ends of periods will be if all ILF Anglers receive extra competition time because of an Official Time Out due to a Mechanical Failure, Medical Emergency or Weather, as called by the ILF Commissioner’s in Charge.
  • Regarding the final cast of any period, any bass hooked on the final cast must be “inside the boat” - visibly inside the gunnel - before the time expires.
  • The legality or illegality of a period-end catch will be determined by the ILF Boat Official.

7. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT

  • Use of nets and grippers for landing bass is prohibited.
  • b. Only artificial lures can be used and must follow state guidelines.
  • All bass must be caught in a conventional sporting manner.
  • Any bass caught while “visually fishing” must be hooked inside the mouth and verified by the ILF Boat Official before being unhooked. The weight of a bass caught by the technique of “visual fishing” can only be scored once during that day.
  • ILF Anglers will be permitted the use of a lure retriever; however, ILF Anglers must supply their own lure retriever.

8. CELL PHONE USAGE

  • Anglers are not allowed to use their Cell Phones at any time during an Event to place a call or send a text. If an Angler receives a call or a text the Angler must show his phone to the Boat Official to verify that there has been no fishing information obtained or received. If it is determined that information was received the Boat Official will notify the Commissioner. Any information that was received that would give the Angler an advantage will then be shared with all Anglers.

9. ALCOHOL, DRUGS and DRESS CODE

  • Use of alcohol or drugs (other than drugs purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any Angler or Boat Official during ILF Events including the award presentation after the event is not permitted and could be cause for automatic disqualification.
  • Anglers and Boat Officials must be clothed with photo or video appropiate apperal during the entire event and cannot go shirtless.

Specific ILF Competition Rules / Penalties

10. COMPETITION RULES / PENALTIES

  • NO INFORMATION RULE: An ILF Angler shall not pursue any action of any kind that may give that ILF Angler a competitive advantage during competition.

    All ILF Anglers, including eliminated ILF Anglers, may not talk with any other ILF Angler, sponsor, locals or anyone else, except for authorized ILF media personnel about any daily results or any other event information. ILF Anglers may not talk to ILF Boat Officials about any other ILF Angler’s lake positions or tactics used during any competition day.

    Once the lake or body of water is announced at the pre-tournament meeting the ILF Anglers may use any mapping or GPS device including boat electronics, cell phones, tablets or computers to research any information about the event location. The ILF Angler is prohibited from using is cell phone device to place call, text or email to gain lake information at any time after the specific lake has been announced.

    Should an ILF Angler receive information that potentially gives him/her a competitive advantage, such as locations: baits, topography, conditions, etc., including unsolicited information, he is required to share that information with the ILF Commissioner. The ILF Commissioner shall determine whether this information should be subsequently shared with any or all other ILF Anglers.

    (Penalty – MLF Commissioner: Sharing Information, Result: 10 min stop fishing and/or disqualification)

  • ASSESSING PENALTIES: If the ILF Boat Official calls a penalty on the ILF Angler, he/she is not allowed to drop shallow water anchors or operate the trolling motor unless the boat is in immediate danger of being damaged and the ILF Boat Official gives the ILF Angler permission to do so.

    For example, if a penalty results from a bass Landing Violation the bass must immediately be weighed and released. The ILF Boat Official is required to manually record the weight of the bass in the Official Log Book before he starts the penalty clock. The ILF Angler must not request that ILF Boat Official start the penalty clock before the weight is first manually entered.

    Once the penalty clock starts the ILF Angler is not allowed to do any FISHING MOVE or Activity (such as: retie, change baits, etc.) during a penalty time. The only exception is moving the boat to the nearest safe water. If the ILF Angler fails to stop doing fishing activities an additional penalty time will be added for a penalty compliance violation for each occurrence.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Penalty Compliance Violation, 1 Minute Additional Penalty)

  • PENALTY CARRY-OVER: If an ILF Angler is assessed a penalty at the end of Period One or Period Two, the penalty time will begin at the “Lines IN” in the next period. The beginning ride around time prior to "Lines IN" cannot be used for the penalty minutes.

  • LINES-IN LINES-OUT RULE: Both the ILF Angler and ILF Boat Official are given the starting and ending time of each period by the ILF Commissioner. It is the responsibility of each to be aware of these “times”. Any casting that is done outside of the start (LINES-IN) and ending (LINES-OUT) times will result in a penalty plus loose of any fish caught.

    This includes the time between periods, ILF Anglers are not allowed to test or tune lures by casting or entering the water.

    (Penalty – Boat Official or Commissioner: Penalty Lines-In Lines-Out, 10 Minute Stop Fishing Penalty)

  • ENCROACHMENT RULE: There is no official buoy distance rule. However, at no time is an ILF Angler allowed to interfere with another ILF Angler’s line. If an ILF Angler casts close to another ILF Angler and hooks into or crosses over his/her line, the casting ILF Angler will be penalized. ILF Anglers approaching another Anglers area are expected express their intentions and follow ILF Sportsmanship rules.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Hooking or Cross over other line, 2 Min., stop fishing when lines are untangled)

  • LANDING BASS: While landing Bass, the Bass cannot touch anything within the gunnel rail of the Boat including the carpet. If the bass comes unhooked from the bait and falls to the carpet or hits any other part of the inside of the Boat, it will be assessed as a violation. The only exception to this is a “deep-set hook or bait” that needs to be removed to protect the fish. The ILF Angler should first ask the ILF Boat Official for permission to lay the Bass on the carpet to remove the hook.

    Additionally, the ILF Angler is not allowed to cradle or secure control of the Bass against the body while landing the Bass. The ILF Angler cannot allow a Bass to touch any part of his body other than his hands or forearms. The only exception is slight tail flicks or touches are not counted as an infraction.

    Should an IFL Angler hook multiple Bass on one bait, a penalty will be assessed for each bass that touches anything inside the boat or touches the angler as described above.

    A landing penalty can be assessed from the time the Bass is inside the gunnel rail to when the bass is placed on the scale clip. A Bass that is not properly clipped to the scale and fall to the carpet is also considered a penalty. Angers can be assessed multiple Landing penalties.

    The Landing violation only applies to the Bass species.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Fish Landing violation, 2 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)

  • RELEASING of CATCH: When releasing any species of fish that is scorable or un-scorable, the ILF Angler’s hand must be at gunnel level or closer to the water. No flipping or tossing of any fish species.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Fish release violation, 2 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)

  • BROKE OFF FISH: ILF does not have a Broke Off Fish penalty.

  • SECOND LINE: An ILF Angler will be allowed to utilize a second line in the water ONCE PER PERIOD. However, when utilizing a second line, an ILF Angler must employ a “cast and retrieve” method. Working bottom bait very slowly is considered a “cast and retrieve” method. If an ILF Angler casts a second line in the water more than once per period, the ILF Angler will receive a penalty. Dragging a line from a stationery rod is not permitted. Although the ILF Angler will be penalized for the second-time use of two lines, any bass caught that is scorable will count.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Illegal 2nd Line, 1 Min., stop fishing when 2nd lure is retrieved)

  • LEAVING BOAT TO FISH: ILF Angler may not leave the boat for the purpose of fishing. Leaving the boat to assist in landing a hooked bass, as an act of fishing, will result in a penalty. Although penalized, if an ILF Angler retrieves a scorable bass, the fish will count. Leaving the boat for non-fishing reasons is allowed without a penalty.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Leaving Boat to Land fish, 4 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)

  • OUT OF BOUNDS: On some bodies of water, ILF Anglers will compete in a pre-determined zone each day. The boat must be positioned inside the zone boundaries. Fishing outside of the boundaries is allowed if the boat position remains inside the boundaries. Any boat position outside the zone will result in a penalty.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Boat out of Bounds, 5 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)

  • GRAPHING: Graphing between periods in order to locate bass is not allowed. Penalty will be called when the ILF Angler marks a waypoint between periods.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Graphing between Periods, 5 Minutes at start of next period)

  • PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE: Each ILF Angler must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver. ILF Angler’s life preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition any time the combustion engine is in gear. The ILF Boat Official's life preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition any time the combustion engine is in gear. If the ILF Angler or ILF Boat Official does not comply with the above the boat must be shut down until all passengers have met the Flotation Device rule.

    (Penalty - Boat Official: Safe-boat conduct Penalty, 3 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)

  • KILL SWITCH: The ILF Angler or other appointed driver must have his boat’s kill switch connected any time the combustion engine is in gear. If the ILF Boat Official observes that the ILF Angler does not comply with the above the boat must be shut down until ILF Angler or other appointed drive attaches the Kill Switch.

    (Penalty – Official: Kill-switch connection, 5 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)

  • SPORTSMANSHIP: A Sportsmanship Violation is defined as aggressive or hostile behavior directed at a fellow ILF Angler, ILF Boat Official, a non-competitor or any representative of ILF, including the use of profanity directed at these individuals, will not be tolerated. ILF Boat Officials are required to report violations to the ILF Commissioner.

    (Sportsmanship Violation, Penalty will be determined by the ILF Commissioner)

  • FLAGRANT VIOLATION: A flagrant violation for any act that reflects unfavorably upon the positive efforts of ILF, ILF sponsors, spectators, fisheries conservation, and clean waters will not be tolerated.

    (Sportsmanship Violation, Penalty will be determined by the ILF Commissioner)

  • MECHANICAL FAULT: If an ILF Angler experiences mechanical failure during ILF competition and the ILF Boat Official determines that the ILF Angler is at fault for the problem, no TIME OUT will be called.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Self-inflicted Mechanical Failure, No time out for repair)

  • MECHANICAL FAILURE: If an ILF Angler’s boat experiences mechanical failure during competition and the problem is determined by the ILF Boat Official to be no fault of the ILF Angler, an OFFICIAL TIME OUT will be issued. All competing ILF Anglers will be promptly notified when the OFFICIAL TIME OUT is to begin. ILF Anglers must immediately stop fishing when the OFFICIAL TIME OUT is called. ILF Angler in the process of landing in a “hooked” bass it will be allowed to count as a scorable bass toward his daily weight total.

    The OFFICIAL TIME OUT will be employed for the duration required to replace the ILF Angler’s boat or appropriate boat part. The ILF Boat Official with the ILF Angler experiencing the boat failure will notify the ILF Commissioner in Charge who will then communicate the beginning and ending times for the OFFICIAL TIME OUT.

    If it is determined the repair is not fixable the ILF Anger will have to finish the competition in the best means possible.

    At the end of the period, ILF Anglers will be allotted extra minutes of fishing, with the total number of minutes equaling the duration of the OFFFICIAL TIME OUT. ILF reserves the right to alter the day’s competitive time schedule should a TIME OUT occur.

  • IMBEDDED HOOK IN ANGLERS BODY: If an Angler has an imbedded hook in any part of his body, NO TIME OUT will be called.

  • Litter and Smoking: No littering in the lake including plastic baits, line and cigarette butts.

    (Penalty – Boat Official: Litter and Smoking, 2-minute penalty)