The Idaho Bass Federation Qualifier Series is the method by which a weekend angler tests their skills against other weekend anglers. Those who excel in this series are rewarded with a designation to the state team. Further competition follows with participation in the TBF Northwest Division Championship. At the Northwest Division Championship the team competes against 4 other state teams as a group. Embedded within that competition is the competition among state team members to be the top angler within the team. The top two anglers on The Idaho Bass Federation team are invited to compete in the Federation National Championship. The top finisher competes as a boater and the second place finisher competes as a non-boater (co-angler).

At the Federation National Championship anglers compete against all other anglers in the event with an embedded tournament occurring among contestants from the TBF Northwest Division. Winners of each division are invited to participate in the BFL All American Championship while the overall winner is invited to compete in the FLW Outdoors Championship Tournament. In each of these events a contender competes as either an angler or co-angler. The overall winner of the Federation National Championship wins a “Living the Dream” package which includes free entry into the FLW Series or FLW Tour Tournament series and the use of a sponsor wrapped boat and tow vehicle. This package is valued at $100,000.

State Team Qualifiers are held in 3 distinct regions of Idaho, North, East and South, sometimes referred to as Southwest. Four qualifying tournaments are held in each of the three regions under the guidance and control of a Tournament Director who normally volunteers for the assignment. Each of these Directors reports to the State Tournament Director who is often times the President although he has the option to designate that responsibility to another state member. Under any circumstances the State Tournament Director relies on the Board of Directors for guidance and approval of any exceptional rule or in the case of disciplinary action against any team member.

The Idaho Bass Federation qualifier tournaments are open to all members of the state organization. A contestant must be a registered member of an Idaho affiliated club for 30 days prior to the first qualifier tournament. Included in the club membership requirement is mandatory membership to TBF (The Bass Federation) and a COMPETITOR membership to FLW Outdoors.

Contenders for qualifier events register as boater or non-boater. A boater can assure that they will have the use of their boat for each of the four events if they have recruited a designated non-boater. This designation must appear on the entry form of both the boater and non-boater. A non-boater may register without a designated boater but they are not guaranteed a position in the event if there is an excess number of non-boaters. A boater may register without a designated non-boater. If the field should fall short of non-boaters, boaters without a designated non-boater will be put into a separate draw to determine who will participate as a non-boater. It is not the responsibility of the Tournament Director to recruit non-boaters. In the event a shortage of non-boaters occurs an observer may accompany a boater. The observer will be an impartial individual and there will be no more than one observer per event. The observer will fish alongside the boater and will bring their catch to the scales as if they were a competitor. An observer may pay into options pots but may not do so without paying the entry fee. A non-boater, either designated or observer, has the right to control the boat for ½ of the days event. This right must be expressed to the boater before launch on the day of the event and an agreement must be reached as to which part of the day both will have control. A designated non-boater is obligated to share in the expense of boat operation for that day’s event and an agreement regarding the amount should be reached before launch. If an agreement cannot be reached the Tournament Director will determine a fair amount. An observer is exempt from participating in boat operation expenses. An observer will not be counted as a participant for purposes of state team configuration.

Anglers accumulate points according to their finish position in each tournament. The first place finisher in each event receives 100 points with each consecutive finisher being awarded 1 point less. A competitor bringing no fish to the scale receives ½ the points as the lowest finisher who did bring fish to the scale. At the conclusion of the final tournament in each region qualifier points are totaled and the lowest finish is thrown out. Example; an angler finishes first second third and fourth in the four events. Total points by event 1st = 100, 2nd = 99, 3rd = 98, and 4th = 97 points. In this case the 4th place finish or 97 points is eliminated and the angler completes the season with 297 points.

Once all three regions have completed their qualifying series a state team of 12 members is determined by comparing the total participation in each region to the total participation numbers for the state. Please note that the important word here is participation. Regardless of the number of people who paid an entry fee for each tournament the team is determined based on how many anglers came to the scales at the end of the day with or without fish to weigh. State team slots shall be awarded or allocated to each of the three regions based on the total participation of qualified fishermen with a minimum of one slot awarded or allocated to any region with three or more qualifying fishermen competing in the qualifier series. In no case will a region automatically receive a boater position. A qualified or qualifying fisherman is any fisherman competing in the qualifier series meeting the membership requirements and competes in no less than three qualifier tournaments.

Example 1: 20 anglers competed from each region in each of the 4 tournaments for a total participation by region of 80 anglers and for the state 240 anglers. In this case each region would place 4 members on the team for a total of 12.

Example 2: Two regions have 10 anglers compete in all four events for a total of 40 anglers while the third region has 20 at each event for a total of 80 anglers. In this case the region with 80 anglers would place 6 members on the team while the other two regions would place 3 each on the team.

In the first example each region would have 2 boaters and 2 non-boaters. In the second example the larger region would have 3 boaters and 3 non-boaters and it is likely that a coin toss would determine which of the other regions got 2 boaters leaving the third region with 1 boater. These examples are very easy to follow because the numbers are all even and easy to figure. It is doubtful that the computation will ever be this easy. Once the team is chosen should a member decline their position the next highest finisher in that region is placed on the team.

Approximately thirty days prior to the Northwest Divisional Tournament a team roster is provided to TBF. That roster will always include at least one alternate. In recent years that alternate has been listed as the president and in some cases the vice president. If an angler becomes unable to fill their position on the team after the roster is submitted to TBF, but before departure to the event, the only possible alternate anglers would be those listed on the team roster submitted to TBF. Should this occur the alternate is compensated for their expense from the funds originally allocated to the angler unable to fill their team slot. Should the alternate be called to fish at the Divisional Tournament after arrival they do so without compensation. A team member may be replaced at the Divisional Championship due to illness, injury, a family emergency or any reason deemed adequate by the Tournament Director.

At the start of the qualifier series in each region a contender pays for all four events. If a contender misses the first event they may register at any event following. Regardless of the point in which a contender enters the series they will pay $240 to fish all remaining events. This entry fee does not change and covers 1 to 4 events. Should a contender decide not to fish one or more events for which he has paid he should advise the Tournament Director of that decision and assist the director to find a stand in angler to fill the void. This action assures that the participation stays high in each division and does not put a potential team member in jeopardy of losing their position due to lack of participation. All anglers including a stand in angler may enter option pots of $25, $50 and $100 plus a $10 big fish pot. Option pots are the only pay outs made at the end of each event. These pots are based on a 1 in 5 formula. For each 5 paying into the individual option 1 person will be compensated depending on level of finish.

Each $250 entry is allocated as follows:

In addition to the above money, additional funds may be raised by conducting other events to benefit the team. Current fund raising events include Jack N Jill Tournament and Idaho Ultimate Angler Event. For a team member to benefit from these funds they must participate in some way in these events. Participation can include competing in them or helping in some way to raise funds during the event. It is the responsibility of each team member to coordinate with the tournament director for that event what their exact commitment will be. These events are conducted for the sole purpose of raising money for the team and every team member should be involved in some way.

The Divisional Tournament has no entry fee and a pay-out is made to the top finishing teams. In Idaho we split the pay-out among all team members equally. Divisional pay-outs are based on the number of members who have paid their TBF and FLW dues for the coming year prior to December 31st.

Federation National Championship Angler and co-angler receive their funds a short time prior to departing for the National Championship. In the participation examples cited above each of these anglers would receive $1200 in the first example and $800 in the second. The National Championship has no entry fee and in recent years every contender has received a pay-out regardless of their finishing position.

Amended 11-21-2010
Amended 1-13-2012
Amended 4-17-2013

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