How to Organize a Tournament
Step 1: Determine the scope of the tournament. Who do you want to attend your tournament (multiple schools, just your team)? Where will the tournament location be?
Step 2: Work with the Bass Booster club with its parents and community partners to help develop and organize your tournament. Divide tournament planning duties among the Bass Booster Members. Appoint a coordinator to oversee the efforts of all of the people assigned to tasks.
Tournament planning may include:
- Contacting SCDNR Boating Safety Office, Francis Mitchum at 843-953-9383 to check all state fishing regulations, make sure all the necessary permits are required for a tournament on a state public fishing lake, river or reservoir and schedule boat safety checks if possible for boat fishing tournaments. Only tournaments with 20 or more boats require the permit.
- Recruiting amongst neighboring schools in your own school district and other school districts in the vicinity. Get tournament details to these schools such as tournament location and date, contest rules and entry forms.
- Providing food for all the anglers to take with them from the landing as they will probably spending their lunch hour on the water fishing. Lunch can be a simple sandwich, chips and drink.
- Contacting local organizations and fishing equipment manufacturers to be sponsors and to provide prizes for the event.
- Deciding who will be the officials at your tournament weigh in, take off from the landing, etc. to make sure all rules are followed.
- Purchasing weigh in equipment or borrowing equipment from other clubs.
- Developing safety guidelines such as eye protection required, personal flotation devices (PFDs) required, cell phone contact lists for all boat drivers, emergency contact lists, etc.
- Collecting all teams’ rosters, assigning individuals to boats and compiling a list of who is in whose boat.
- Contacting the local media for press coverage of tournament weigh in and awards.
- Securing an area to formally present awards to students and teams.
- Designating a person to monitor weather conditions during the tournament for the participants’ safety.
Step 3: Finalize your tournament date and location.
Step 4: Check all state fishing regulations if you choose to hold the tournament on a public fishing lake, river or reservoir. Create a regulation overview for all anglers fishing in this tournament. Check with SCDNR to make sure that all necessary fishing tournament permits are received.
Step 5: Create the contest rules and distribute them to all anglers involved via a website, email attachment or hard copy. See tournament rules template for help on contest rules. Rules should cover entry fees and prize structure, scoring methods (total weight or point system), limits on number and size of fish (especially if more restrictive than state regulations), and rules on the handling of fish.