Mountain State Kayak Anglers Rules

1. Participation and Eligibility

A. By registering for any MSKA Competition, the participating angler (“Competitor”) agrees to fully and completely comply with (a.) all MSKA Rules specified in (a.) these MSKA Competition Rules Standards, and (b.) the MSKA Competition Rules Addenda.

B. Active Membership in MSKA is required for all tournaments.

C. TourneyX Registration — All MSKA Competitions are conducted using TourneyX. Each angler who wishes to participate in such an event must sign up as a TourneyX user before the competition begins.

D. Entry Fees — Entry fee amounts, registration deadlines, late fees, and refund or transfer restrictions are specified in the MSKA Competition Rules Addendum for each Competition. 

E. Pre-Tournament Check-in — Each angler  is responsible for reviewing the schedule of  events in each MSKA Competition Rules Addendum for event check-in times and location. Each Competitor must check in with official MSKA Competition staff at the time and place designated in the schedule of events for verification of eligibility, signing of waivers, and rules acknowledgement. Late check-in and registration process (if permitted), event-specific instructions, and event schedule are specified in the MSKA Competition Rules Addendum.

F. Captains Meeting Attendance — Official MSKA/TourneyX identifiers for meet-up Competitions are distributed at a Captains Meeting on the evening before the Competition Day. Competitors unable to attend the Captains Meeting must pick one up at the Late Arrival/Check-in the morning of the event. Specific details for each event are found in the MSKA Competition Rules Addendum.
2. Tournament Format — The Competition dates and hours and the number of fish scored are identified in each Event’s MSKA Competition Rules Addendum.  MSKA Tournaments are conducted in either one- or two-day formats. In two-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.
3. Eligible Species — Only “black bass” are eligible for scoring. That designation includes  (Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted or Kentucky Bass, and Rock Bass or Red Eye). 
4. Competition Period

A. Competition start and end dates and times are stated in the MSKA Competition Rules Addendum for 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.

B. Early Check-in — Competitors who could not or did not upload their photo submissions to TourneyX must be in Judges Check-in line at Tournament HQ by the time required in the MSKA Competition Rules Addendum to turn in their digital media (i.e., memory card), camera, or camera phone with USB cable in order for judges or tournament staff to download them to a computer and then manually upload them to TourneyX for subsequent evaluation and scoring.

C. 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 Group Text Messaging and will also be posted on the TourneyX 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.
5. Pre-fishing — There are no restrictions regarding areas, type of watercraft, or types of bait used in pre-fishing; however, if fish caught during pre-fishing are submitted for other Competitions (e.g., MSKA Online Challenges), Competitors must comply with those rules.
6. Competition Area

A. Competitive fishing is allowed only on public waters within the geographic area designated by the MSKA Competition Rules Addendum as “Eligible Waters.”

B. Competitors may launch from any public-access shore. Crossing private property to reach public water is not permitted.

C. Wade fishing is permitted provided the Competitor uses his kayak to access the fishing location. Bass caught while wading or walking the shoreline ARE eligible for submission; however, each Competitor must be within sight of his kayak while fishing, and the kayak must appear in every bass photo submitted. Competitors may depart the boat to catch and land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.
7. Permitted Methods of Fishing — All bass must be caught live using only equipment and legal methods that comply with all sportfishing statutes and regulations of the states and body of water.  Snatching or snagging fish is not permitted.
8. Fishing Tackle and Equipment

A. All bass must be caught on rod, reel, line and hook with artificial lures only. No Live Bait!

B. Each Competitor must have a Hawg Trough or Ketch Karbonate.

C. Each competitor must have a mobile phone with camera or a digital camera with memory card and/or download cable to submit digital photographs.

D. Nets and lip grippers may be used for landing bass during tournament competition, but grippers must not remain attached to the fish in photos.

E. Only ONE 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.

F. Competitors are allowed to share baits and tackle.
9. Watercraft & Propulsion

A. Only bass caught from kayaks or other acceptable watercraft are eligible for scoring. Acceptable watercraft is defined as any watercraft defined by the manufacturer as a kayak and sold as a kayak.

B. Mountain State Kayak Anglers must approve in advance any other craft, paddled or otherwise propelled. No gasoline-powered boats, sailboats, jon boats, float tube, pontoon boat, or similar craft will be permitted. For questionable craft that may not qualify, contact Mountain State Kayak Anglers in advance for eligibility determination.

C. Trolling is permitted as long as the Competitor adheres to the one-rod rule (8.A, above).

D. The use of motherships (i.e., transport or assistance from a powerboat in moving locations) is NOT permitted. Assistance from powerboats is permitted only in emergencies, as when pulling a kayak from a danger zone or restricted area. Fishing may resume following emergency assistance only if no appreciable relocation occurred.

E. No electric or gas powered motors!
10. Photo Standards

A. Photo must be clear enough to read identifier and judge the length accurately.

B. Official MSKA identifier must be clearly visible.

C. Competitor’s kayak clearly visible.  see Bass, as depicted below:
D.  Facing left on a Hawg Trough, left side of the fish visible, dorsal fin toward the top of the photo

E. Mouth completely closed with jaw and/or lips touching the Hawg Trough “fence.” Position camera lens directly over the center of the bass’ body to aid judges in determining that bass’ mouth is closed and in contact with the fence. 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.

F. Tail must be centered.

G. To confirm that the fish is alive, the bass’ eye must be uncovered in the photo.
H.  Approved measuring boards are the Hawg Trough and Ketch Karbonate.
11. Scoring

A. Judges will evaluate each photograph to ensure that (a) the digital file was created within the official Competition Start and End Times and that (b) it complies with Photo Criteria outlined in Rule 6, above.

B. 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).

C. Unless otherwise stipulated in the MSKA Competition Rules Addendum, in one-day tournaments the scores of the three longest bass will be combined to determine the aggregate score.
D.  Unless otherwise stipulated in the MSKA Competition Rules Addendum, in two-day tournaments, the scores of the three longest bass of Day 1 and the three longest bass on Day 2 will be combined to determine the aggregate score.

E. Exceptions to these daily creels will be stipulated

F. Bass length is determined by its tail touching or crossing a quarter-inch line on the Hawg Trough. If it falls short of a line, the length is rounded down to the nearest 1/4-inch mark that the bass’ tail actually touches or crosses.

G. In the event of an exact tie in aggregate score, ties will be broken according to the Competitors’ highest single-bass score. If both Competitors’ highest single-bass score is identical, then the second highest single-bass score of both Competitors will be compared, and so on until the tie is broken by the highest single-bass score. If all single fish scores are the same then the time that the competitors’ fish photos were officially entered into TourneyX for scoring or were checked in by the judges will break the tie.
12. Awarding of Prizes

A. Prizes and payouts are subject to change based on participation and sponsorship commitments

B. Prizes that require processing (e.g. kayaks, paddles, propulsion units) may require additional processing or delivery time.

C. All Cash payouts will be made the day of the tournament at the awards ceremony.
13. Penalties

A. A minimum 1/2-inch deduction will be enforced for a photograph of a bass with its mouth open. Maximum deduction shall be at the judges’ discretion, up to and including disqualification of the entry.

B. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director MSKA management may impose such penalties as deemed appropriate by them, including without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of entry fee and prizes, and prohibition from participation in subsequent MSKA tournaments. Subject to the appeal process set forth below, the Tournament Director’s decisions on violations are final.

C. Penalties for rules violations may include the following:

i. Reduction of score (length) as determined by the Tournament Director

ii. Disqualification from the tournament in question

iii. Disqualification from future MSKA events, which may be from a specific number of events, a specific period of time, or may be a lifetime ban or disqualification.

iv. Any different or additional penalties determined by the Tournament Director including but not limited to monetary fines and/or reduction of Competitor of Year points.

F. 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.
14. Taxes —Competitors are responsible for all applicable taxes on both cash and merchandise awards. Additional information may be required upon winning for prize verification.
15. Sale of Prizes — No prizes won participating in MSKA Events may be sold on MSKA forums or any affiliate Website, Facebook page, or event page for a period of one full year.  Violation of this rule will result in ineligibility for all future events and forfeiture of qualification status.
16. Disputes and Appeals

A. Any 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 24 hours from the time and date of the protested action. Only Competitors in the Tournament where the protested action occurred may lodge protests. Protests must be handled privately. All parties of interest will be provided a copy. The MSKA board of officers will review and make a final decision.
17. Safety

A. During pre-practice and competition, every Competitor must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment, (e.g., light source, whistle or other audible signal device, Coast Guard-approved PFD. See http:// No waist PFDs!

B. Competitors must wear PFD at all times while on the water during the hours of competition.

C. The Tournament Director has the right to postpone or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the Competitors. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. As stated in Rule 4.D., the Tournament Director has the discretion to terminate Competition early due to hazardous weather conditions.

D. In the event of an emergency situation, Competitors should call 911 first and then notify tournament officials as soon as possible.

E. Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any Competitor, during the tournament, will not be tolerated and will be cause for automatic disqualification. No alcoholic beverages or other non-prescription stimulants or depressants shall be allowed in kayaks during the official practice or competition days.
18. Competitor Conduct — Competitors participating in any MSKA 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 Mountain State Kayak Anglers, MSKA, its members, officers or representatives, tournaments or sponsors. Competitors are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, integrity, safety and conservation. Any Competitor who violates these principles or behaves in ways that reflect unfavorably up MSKA face suspension from future MSKA sanctioned events, be permanently banned from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by MSKA.
19. Public Comments

A. The favorable public reputation of MSKA as a sanctioning organization, the integrity of its officials, and the reputation of its media channels are valuable assets and tangible benefits for MSKA. 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 Mountain State Kayak Anglers.
20. Waivers and Releases

A. Name and Likeness Release — By registering for this Mountain State Kayak Anglers Event, the Competitor grants to Mountain State Kayak Anglers the right to use all photographs, likenesses, stories, accounts, details of Competitor contributions, exploits, interviews, and information pertinent to the Mountain State Kayak Anglers 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.
B. 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 Mountain State Kayak Anglers Waiver and Release of Liability Agreement.. This Agreement absolves Mountain State Kayak Anglers, 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 competition. A printed copy of the Mountain State Kayak Anglers Waiver and Release Form (below) is available at the Event HQ Check-in Table and must be signed and on file with Mountain State Kayak Anglers before a registrant is eligible to compete.