The Top 8 program is founded on team participation. Each affiliated club of the Indiana BASS Nation, in good standing, is invited to enter a six (6) eight (8)  or (10) ten member team in the Top 8/State Final Tournament. Multiple teams from the same club are permitted.
    Entry is accomplished by returning a properly completed entry form which is supplied by the secretary or downloaded from website, and the entry fee, currently $380, to the state secretary prior to the published deadline.
    The tournament will be a two (2) day tournament. The location of said tournament will be determined by the IBN Board of Directors and location and dates acquired at the annual DNR lake draw.
    The pairing of partners is accomplished by an open draw where a competitor is paired with a contestant from a different club. Under no circumstances will two competitors from the same club be paired.
    The top sixteen (16) anglers, (8) eight boaters and (8) non-boaters from the Top 8 state final as determined by total weight at the conclusion of the tournament will hold positions on the State team, Additionally the IBN will reserve (4) four positions (2) two boaters and (2) two non-boaters from the BASS/IBN Team tournament trail. Combined, this will comprise the Indiana BASS Nation State Team, and go on to compete in the BASS Northern Divisional tournament. The State Team will compete in a three (3)day tournament, Pro-Am style event.The twenty (20) members of the State Team may be required to sign a contract with the Indiana BASS Nation.
   It is the responsibility of each participant to read and understand the rules pertaining to the tournament. The rules of this tournament will remain unchanged, except for special tournaments conducted by BASS at the discretion of BASS. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director and the IBN Board of Directors. In the event of a rules violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions as he or the IBN Board deems appropriate, including limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. The decision of the IBN Board shall be final in all matters.
    

PARTICIPATION
   
1.    Participants must be at least sixteen (16) years old.
2.    Participants must be a member in good standing of the Indiana BASS Nation and the National BASS Nation.
3.    Each club may send more than one (1) ten (10) member team and four (4) alternates.
4.    Alternates may participate should one or more of the original ten be unable to do so, but only in the order listed on the entry form. An alternate cannot substitute for a participant after the tournament has begun.
5.    Only persons listed on the entry form will be eligible to participate. No substitutions will be allowed after entry deadline.
6.    If an uneven number of boaters and non-boaters for a club show up at registration, that club must adjust their roster to make an even ratio. (i.e. 4 boaters and 3 non-boaters show up, the club must eliminate 1 boater)
7.    In the case of default or disqualification, the tournament entry fee shall be retained by the Indiana BASS Nation.

TOURNAMENT PARTICULARS

1.    Tournament headquarters shall be the same as take-off and weigh-in site.
2.    The fishing hours of the tournament will be announced at the registration meeting.
3.    The tournament director may alter the fishing hours if unsafe conditions warrant.
4.    Fishing is permitted anywhere on tournament waters as may be governed by lake regulations.
5.    Fishing is NOT permitted within 50 yards of another contestant's boat which is anchored or tied with trolling motor in upright position.
6.    Fishing is NOT permitted within 50 yards of a public gas dock.
7.    All contestants must remain in their boats except in case of dire emergency.
8.    All fishing must be done from assigned boat.
9.    Safety practices and precautions should be observed at all times.
10.    Morning take-off and check-in will be controlled by tournament director or his appointee.
11.    An approved life vest must be worn and fastened by all contestants at all times combustion motor is running.  Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
12.    It shall be the contestants' responsibility to familiarize themselves with lake regulations and Indiana boating laws. Violations of such will be cause for disqualification.

REGISTRATION

1.    Each contestant must register with the Tournament Director at designated time and place.
2.    Contestants must be listed on IBN club roster and Top 8 entry form to be eligible to fish.
3.    Late registration can result in disqualification.
4.    If a contestant is not present when his or her name is called for pairing, he or she may be disqualified. An eligible alternate may replace a disqualified person at this time.


BOAT PARTNERS

1.    Boat Partners will be paired by a draw conducted by the tournament committee.  Any realignment in the pairings will be made by said committee. Any contestant who refuses to fish with a contestant he or she is paired with shall be immediately disqualified from the tournament. The disqualified contestant's club shall then lose a boater or non-boater to make said club even. No alternates will be substituted in this situation.
2.    Contestants shall be paired together both days, during the tournament unless approved by 2/3 majority vote of those participating.
3.    No two contestants from the same club shall fish together during this tournament.
4.    It is the responsibility of the two partners to meet in ample time to make tournament start time.
5.    Boat partners must stay together, in sight of one another from take-off until after weigh-in.
6.    Bass caught by a contestant shall be applied to that contestant's creel only.
7.    During tournament hours, a contestant may not receive information or assistance in locating or catching bass from anyone who is not a contestant in said tournament.
8.    Each contestant agrees to report any rule infractions to the tournament director. Failure to report violations, suggestions to violate rules or false verification of weigh-in forms will be cause for disqualification.
   
BOAT OPERATION AND EXPENSES

1.    It is suggested that each club take care of boat expenses, club non-boaters pay club boaters. This way there are no misunderstandings or conflicts with boat partners. Amounts can be determined by each club.
2.    During competition, in pro-am type events, pros will fish from the front deck, co-anglers from the rear deck, NO EXCEPTIONS. Co-Anglers will no longer share the trolling motor during  competition days.
3.    Any contestant found guilty of operating a boat to the disadvantage of their partner will be disqualified from the tournament.  Any previous weight or score will be disallowed.
4.    Courtesy and respect should be displayed towards each partner and his or her equipment at all times. Any damage which occurs to equipment should be repaired by operator at time said damage occurred.

TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT

1.    Only artificial lures may be used.
2.    NO LIVE BAIT WILL BE PERMITTED.  Pork rind, Gulp, etc. are acceptable.
3.    Only casting, spinning, or spincasting rods and reels, with 8 foot maximum length may be used.
4.    Only one rod may be used at a time. At no time should more than one line be in the water.
5.    All bass must be caught in a conventional sporting matter. Anyone guilty of snagging visible fish will have that day's catch disqualified. When fishing for visibly spawning or bedding bass, all fish must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner before unhooked to be counted as a legal catch.
6.    Dip nets may be used to land fish. Grippers or other devices may not be used.

BOATS AND MOTORS
         DURING THE OFFICIAL PRACTICE AND COMPETITION DAYS OF ANY B.A.S.S.              TOURNAMENT, NO COMPETITOR MAY OPERATE A BOAT UNLESS THAT COMPETITOR HAS  DOCUMENTED PROOF OF A MINIMUM OF $300,000 PER OCCURRENCE BOAT OWNERS LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERING THE BOAT BEING USED IN THE TOURNAMENT. PROOF OF INSURANCE MUST BE WITH THE BOAT BEING USED AND MUST COVER ALL PASSENGERS IN THAT BOAT. RANDOM CHECKS WILL BE CONDUCTED AND ANY COMPETITOR WHO DOES NOT HAVE PROOF OF IN-FORCE INSURANCE WITH $300,000 COVERAGE MAY BE DISQUALIFIED. EACH POLICY MUST SHOW AN EFFECTIVE START AND EXPIRATION DATE. Tournament officials have sole authority to determine if insurance policies meet proper requirements

1.    All boats must be at least 14 feet in length.
2.    Minimum horsepower allowable is 35 hp.
3.    Trolling motors may be used to maneuver boats while fishing, however, trolling as a method of fishing is not allowed.
4.    All electric start motors must be equipped with a "Kill Switch" device.
5.    Each boat must be equipped with a livewell capable of keeping two limits of fish alive.
6.    Each club shall furnish four (5) boats. It is suggested that an extra boat be brought, in the event of mechanical failure to one of the club's boats. NOTE: It is not the responsibility of the tournament committee to provide boats for competitors.
7.    Each boat will be given an identification number which must be displayed to the check-in official upon return for weigh-in.
8.    Maximum horsepower for all boats is 250 HP. Horsepower must not exceed manufacturer recommended rating for any boat. Each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard horsepower rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower must not exceed this rating or the 250 HP maximum set by BASS. Each competitor must agree to, by signing the entry form, an inspection of their boat and motor if there is any reason to believe the horsepower is above the said rating. Changing or altering standard factory parts of a motor to enhance horsepower over the factory rating is forbidden and is reason for disqualification. Changing or altering the horsepower rating on the motor or falsifying an entry form would also be grounds for immediate disqualification from all IBN tournaments. Anyone found to be in violation of this rule will be immediately disqualified from all IBN tournaments.
9.    It has been determined that boats equipped with "stick steering" present greater than normal safety hazards, and no boat with stick steering will be allowed to be used in any IBN tournament by any competitor.

SCORING

1.    All contestants will be instructed at the pre-tournament meeting about weigh-in procedures.
2.    Each contestant must present their own catch to the weigh-in official. No other person shall handle the fish except the weigh-in officials.
3.    Only largemouth, smallmouth, spotted and shoals bass will be weighed.
4.    The limit shall be five (5) fish of the above species per day.
5.    Any contestant presenting more than the five (5) fish limit will have their creel reduced to the limit by removing the largest fish first in succession until the five (5) fish limit is reached.
6.    At no time should a contestant have more than five (5) fish in his or her possession.
7.    All fish must measure minimum length as determined by the governing body of tournament waters.
8.    Bass which are presented for weigh-in which do not meet minimum size requirements, by measuring the longest straight line with mouth closed, will be assessed a penalty of one pound for each short fish and said fish will be removed from contestants creel.
9.    Any bass that appears to be mangled, mauled, smashed or altered in any way will only be weighed at the discretion of the tournament director.
10.    For each legal fish weighed in dead, a deduction of 4 ounces or 0.25 lbs. will be assessed. Dead fish will be determined by tournament officials.

TIES - In case of ties in determining finishing order, the following tie breakers will be used in this order.

1.    The contestant with the largest number of fish weighed during tournament.
2.    The contestant with the largest number of live fish weighed during the tournament.
3.    The contestant with the heaviest single day catch during the tournament.
4.    The contestant with the second heaviest day catch during the tournament.

LATE PENALTIES AND NO SHOWS

1.    A contestant who is late at the start or end of the tournament day will be penalized 10% of the day's weight for each minute late.
2.    Any contestant who is more than 10 minutes late will lose the entire day's weight.
3.    Any registered contestant who is not at the take-off site either day or does not notify the tournament director at least one hour before scheduled take-off time will be banned from competition for one year.
4.    Any team that does not show up at take-off site either day or notify director at least one hour before take-off will be banned from competition for a period of one year.

SPORTSMANSHIP AND CONSERVATION

1.    Good sportsmanship is expected from all contestants at all times.
2.    Littering or polluting of any kind will not be tolerated.
3.    All possible courtesies will be extended towards contestants, officials and facilities at all times.
4.    Alcoholic beverages and or illegal drugs will not be allowed during the tournament, pre-tournament meetings, weigh-in or registration.
5.    Any violation of above rules can result in disqualification from this and future IBN tournaments.

Top 8 Tournament Rules 2015