Texas B.A.S.S. Nation
Operating Policies and Procedures
Revised December 28, 2012
I promise to create among my fellow anglers, and the public in general, an awareness of my Chapter’s and Society’s contributions to angling, conservation and outdoor recreation.
I will encourage and instruct the youth of my community in the art of bass fishing.
I pledge myself to full adherence to all conservation codes and to detect and report any polluter of our nation’s waters.
FOUNDING PRINCIPLES OF THE BASS ANGLERS SPORTSMAN SOCIETY (B.A.S.S.)
- To organize the bass anglers of America.
- To stimulate public awareness of bass fishing as a major participation sport and elevate it to a place of prominence.
- To improve our skills as bass anglers through the exchange of expert bass catching techniques and ideas.
- To offer our state conservation departments our organized moral and political support and encouragement. To promote full adherence to all conservation codes.
- To demand adequate water standards and legal enforcement of existing regulatory standards. To detect and report any polluter and call public and political attention to the crime.
- To encourage private and governmental study necessary to maintain quality fishing and fish habitat and to ensure quality fisheries for ourselves and future generations.
- To promote and encourage youth fishing. Kids don’t just go fishing — they are taken fishing. We must instill in our youth an interest in and love for this great sport.
- To present national championship bass fishing tournaments. These tournaments will bring together the nation’s most dedicated bass fishermen, and the publicity derived from them will stimulate public interest in bass angling.
For more than 30 years, the B.A.S.S. Nation has been more than a name. It has been a community united by a sense of camaraderie and a spirit of belonging to something unique that carries from generation to generation.[i] Over the years, members have decided to join the B.A.S.S. Nation for many reasons other than exciting tournament fishing. The vision of true pioneers in our history — Ray Scott, Don Butler and many others — established conservation and a focus on building youth programs in addition to fishing competitions as areas critical to the viability of the sport and our lifestyle. B.A.S.S. Nation members, as well as B.A.S.S. employees and sponsors, have given tirelessly to the sport and the vision of these pioneers.
1.1 B.A.S.S. NATION PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP
- A subscription to B.A.S.S. Times, the official magazine of the B.A.S.S. Nation
- Eligibility to compete in state and divisional tournaments and the prestigious B.A.S.S. Nation Championship
- An insurance program that provides $1 million liability coverage for sanctioned club events
- Sponsorship programs from premier partners available exclusively to members of the B.A.S.S. Nation
- Monthly coverage of B.A.S.S. Nation events, programs, achievements and initiatives in B.A.S.S. publications (more than 4 million readers)
- Six Bassmaster Classic berths (one from each B.A.S.S. Nation Division)
- Early entry opportunities on B.A.S.S.-sanctioned tournaments
- Membership for the B.A.S.S. Nation is just $30 a year
1.2 THE ROAD TO THE BASSMASTER CLASSIC
Rising through the ranks of the B.A.S.S. Nation to compete in bass fishing’s most prestigious tournament takes dedication and perseverance, but the rewards for advancing to the next level are great. The steps from local club/chapter to Classic are presented below:
CLUBS AND STATE CHAPTERS: Anglers qualify through their local clubs for the State Team Qualifier Tournaments. Local clubs along with the State Chapter determine the qualifying format on the state level. The State Chapters of the B.A.S.S. Nation hold State Team Qualifier(s) to qualify a 12-person team plus two juniors and two alternates, one qualifying through the tournament(s) and the State President or his/ her representative. States determine the qualifier format for their state.
DIVISIONALS: B.A.S.S. invites each B.A.S.S. Nation state chapter to bring a 12-person team plus two juniors and two alternates to one of 6 (six) B.A.S.S. Nation Divisionals. Format of the divisional is determined by B.A.S.S. The purpose of the divisional is to qualify one person from each state for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. The divisional is a “team” tournament. Prizes are awarded to the teams only. The highest finishing person from each team will qualify for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.
B.A.S.S. NATION CHAMPIONSHIP: Currently 47 B.A.S.S. State Nations and six B.A.S.S. International Nations compete within one of the 6 (six) divisions to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. The anglers compete individually in this tournament to determine a champion, however, the highest finishing angler within each of the 6 (six) divisions will earn a berth into the Bassmaster Classic.
BASSMASTER CLASSIC: Six (6) anglers qualify through the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship to fish the Bassmaster Classic.
1.2 A PARTNER IN CONSERVATION
Belonging to B.A.S.S., the “Worldwide Leader in Bass Fishing,” means much more than membership in a global club of bass anglers. Since the early 1970s, B.A.S.S. has taken a proactive response to addressing the nation’s vital aquatic resource issues. In the early years, it meant taking legal action against industries making a toxic soup of the nation’s waterways. Today, the agenda has grown more complex, and B.A.S.S. follows a parallel path in dealing with the issues through its Conservation program.
The backbone of the organization is founded on a grass-roots core of members whose passion extends beyond bass fishing. These men and women, young and old, belong to B.A.S.S. Nation clubs nationwide. They are environmental stewards always on the lookout for issues that have local and even national significance.
The B.A.S.S. Conservation program works a “top down” to “bottom up” approach in dealing with six key, fundamental issues vital to the future health of the nation’s aquatic resources. From local bass clubs to the national level, where B.A.S.S. works cooperatively with government to develop sound management policy, the protection and enhancement of aquatic resources will remain a top priority.
HABITAT: Simply put, habitat is disappearing at an alarming rate. And without habitat the future of recreational angling and a vital link to the aquatic food chain will be lost. The issues are complex: erosion, sedimentation and reservoir aging. Yet, there is hope and B.A.S.S. Conservation has taken a leadership role in the federal government’s National Fish Habitat Initiative. At the national level, B.A.S.S. is proactively involved with federal and state government to enact laws to end the losses while making room for habitat restoration and growth. The habitat agenda is pushed up from the local level through the grass-roots network of B.A.S.S. Nation clubs.
AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES: An aquarium owner dumps unwanted fish and plants into the local river, no harm intended. A freighter from overseas pumps ballast water into the Great Lakes, unknowingly setting free harmful fish and organisms. Both scenarios are very real and threaten to destroy or imperil the balance of aquatic ecosystems the size of the Great Lakes, Mississippi River and beyond. As the problem spreads, B.A.S.S. Conservation has joined a growing coalition of concerned policy makers, government agencies and scientists to regulate importation of exotics and stop their illegal introduction to the nation’s waters.
AQUATIC VEGETATION MANAGEMENT: Hydrilla and milfoil are unjustly perceived by many sportsmen as ideal habitat for fish and waterfowl. In moderate quantities the plants indeed provide habitat, however when overabundant they become a nuisance to other water users, from boaters to lakeshore homeowners and even municipal drinking water suppliers. B.A.S.S. Conservation advocates and facilitates mediation between all user groups while encouraging stakeholders to establish diverse native plant communities. Ideally, striking the balance will benefit ecosystems and users alike.
ANGLER ACCESS: A fishing trip begins with a place to launch the boat or shoreline to cast a line. Yet access to public waterways has suffered. And finding a boat ramp is the least of the problems. Demands on water supplies, restrictive fishery management regulations on fishing seasons, and horsepower limitations merely scratch the surface of why anglers can’t rightfully gain access to public waters. Through a grass-roots approach with bass clubs affiliated with the B.A.S.S. Nation, angler and boater rights are being heard. The cause is ongoing, with the B.A.S.S. Nation and B.A.S.S. Conservation collectively uniting to open more access areas through improvement and construction programs at public access areas nationwide.
FISH HEALTH: At the first outbreak of the Largemouth Bass Virus, B.A.S.S. Conservation adopted a leadership role to face the issue. The result is an annual summit attended by leading researchers, state fishery biologists and anglers to exchange developments and implement plans of action. B.A.S.S. and its coalition continue making strides to deal with LMBV while identifying other diseases or health problems, among those outbreaks of harmful algae and bacteria that can spark significant fish kills. B.A.S.S. Conservation is an active participant in American Fisheries Society committees and other professional associations whose interests focus on fishery health.
TOURNAMENT FISH CARE: Early on, B.A.S.S. recognized that bass are a renewable resource and concurrently, developed the catch-and-release ethic that is standard with tournaments. B.A.S.S. Conservation continues raising the bar on the practice by supporting scientific research studies focusing on care of tournament-caught bass. The latest practices and improvements are rolled out through the B.A.S.S. Nation while educating anglers about how to better handle fish they intend to release. B.A.S.S. Conservation extends its outreach to the general angling public to ensure a positive perception of bass fishing and tournament angling.
B.A.S.S. IS MORE: When you join B.A.S.S., you get more than just a magazine and a membership card. You are supporting over thirty years of natural resource conservation. Devoted to the challenges that lie ahead, B.A.S.S. continues to work on behalf of our members and the aquatic resources we all value.
1.3 A PARTNER IN YOUTH PROGRAMS
B.A.S.S. was formed in 1968 to promote and encourage fishing. Recognizing that youngsters are the future of this great sport, B.A.S.S. took the lead of introducing and educating youth about conservation and the sport of fishing. Your membership in the B.A.S.S. Nation helps support the next generation of responsible sportsmen and women through mentoring, volunteerism and education.
Additionally, the national B.A.S.S. office works to provide youth programs that collaborate with partners and agencies on the local, state and national level to further enhance or develop new outdoor youth programs nationwide and when/where possible, with the six International B.A.S.S. Nations.
Whether youth are learning conservation or fundamental fishing skills through the Junior Bassmaster Chapters or are enjoying spirited competition from club, state, divisional or Bassmaster Junior World Championship competition — it all leads to a healthier B.A.S.S. Nation future for years to come.
The Texas B.A.S.S. Nation is operated in a continuing evaluation environment by the Board of Directors and the President. Operating under the guidance of the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Bylaws, the challenge of the Board of Directors is to evolve the Bylaws and the Operating Policies and Procedures to further enhance the future of our organization. The Operation Policies and Procedures manual serves as guiding principles—in complement to the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Bylaws – for its Members to review and understand the vision of the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation.
Annual membership fees are subject to change by notification from B.A.S.S., the B.A.S.S. Nation, and/or the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation. Table 1 shows membership fees current as of December 2012.
Table 1. Membership Fees
As determined by B.A.S.S.
Texas B.A.S.S. Nation
Texas B.A.S.S. Nation
B.A.S.S. Chapter (Club)
Determined by Club
3.2 Membership Procedures
Refer to the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Web site http://www.texasbass.org/ for information and instructions for new individual and Chapter memberships or existing Chapter renewals.
4.0 CODE OF CONDUCT
Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Directors, Officers, and Members shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules outlined in the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Bylaws and Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Operating Policies and Procedures. Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Directors, Officers, and Members shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner that will not reflect unfavorably on B.A.S.S., the B.A.S.S. Nation, the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation, and its tournaments or sponsors.
To this end, Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Directors, Officers, and Members shall use their best efforts to demonstrate professionalism and integrity in support of this organization. Any Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Director, Officer, or Member who violates any of the provisions of the Code of Conduct may be subject to reduction of Regional tournament trail points, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in individual Texas B.A.S.S. Nation sanctioned events, permanent ban from competition, suspension or revocation of membership, removal from office, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Board of Directors.
4.1 Social Media
This policy governs the publication of and commentary on social media by Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Directors, Officers, and Members. For the purposes of this policy, social media means any facility for online publication and commentary, including without limitation blogs, wiki’s, social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. This policy is in addition to and complements any existing or future policies regarding the use of technology, computers, e-mail and the internet.
Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Directors, Officers, and Members are free to publish or comment via social media in accordance with this policy. Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Directors, Officers, and Members are subject to this policy to the extent they identify themselves as a Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Director, Officer, or Member (other than as an incidental mention of the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation in a personal blog on topics unrelated to Texas B.A.S.S. Nation).
Notwithstanding the previous section, this policy applies to all uses of social media, including personal, by Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Directors, Officers, and Members who are as their position with the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation would be well known within the community.
Publication and commentary on social media carries similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary.
All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards that Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Directors, Officers, and Members must otherwise follow.
Don’t Tell Secrets: It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about your work and have a dialog with the community, but it’s not okay to publish confidential information. Confidential information includes things such as unpublished details of current projects and financial information.
Protect Your Own Privacy: Privacy settings that might allow others to post information or see information that is personal or relates to the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation should be set to limit access. Be mindful of posting information that you would not want the public to see.
Be Honest: Do not blog anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names. We believe in transparency and honesty. Use your real name, be clear who you are, and identify that you are a Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Director, Officer, or Member. Nothing gains you notice in social media more than honesty – or dishonesty. Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out. But also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be cautious about disclosing personal details.
Respect Copyright Laws: It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including the B.A.S.S., the B.A.S.S. Nation, and the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation own copyrights and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else’s work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it.
Respect Your Audience, The Texas B.A.S.S. Nation, And Your Peers: The public in general, and Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Directors, Officers, or Members, reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Don’t say anything contradictory or in conflict with the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Bylaws, Operating Policies and Procedures, and Web site. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, offensive comments, defamatory comments, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory – such as politics and religion. Use your best judgment and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of the B.A.S.S., the B.A.S.S. Nation, and the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation.
Controversial Issues: If you see misrepresentations made about the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation in the media, you may point that out. Always do so with respect and with the facts. If you speak about others, make sure what you say is factual and that it does not disparage that party. Avoid arguments. Brawls may earn traffic, but nobody wins in the end. Don’t try to settle scores or goad competitors or others into inflammatory debates. Make sure what you are saying is factually correct.
Be The First To Respond To Your Own Mistakes: If you make an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses you of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them), deal with it quickly – better to remove it immediately to lessen the possibility of a legal action.
Think About Consequences: Once again, it’s all about judgment: using your blog to trash or embarrass the B.A.S.S., the B.A.S.S. Nation, the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation and its Directors, Officers, and Members is dangerous and ill-advised.
Disclaimers: Many social media users include a prominent disclaimer saying who they work for or represent, etc., but that they’re not speaking officially. This is good practice and is encouraged, but don’t count on it to avoid trouble – it may not have much legal effect. The Communications Director can provide you with applicable disclaimer language and assist with determining where and how to use that.
Social Media Tips: The following tips are not mandatory, but will contribute to successful use of social media. The best way to be interesting, stay out of trouble, and have fun is to write about what you know. There is a good chance of being embarrassed by a real expert, or of being boring if you write about topics you are not knowledgeable about. Quality matters. Use a spell-checker. If you’re not design-oriented, ask someone who is whether your blog looks decent, and take their advice on how to improve it. The speed of being able to publish your thoughts is both a great feature and a great downfall of social media. The time to edit or reflect must be self-imposed. If in doubt over a post, or if something does not feel right, either let it sit and look at it again before publishing it, or ask someone else to look at it first.
Enforcement: Policy violations will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal from office or revocation of membership for cause.
4.2 Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Team or “State Team”
Good sportsmanship is demanded at the Central Divisional Tournament while representing the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation. There is no tolerance for any display of unsportsmanlike conduct. By decision of the President or vote of the Board of Directors the Member will be removed from the “State Team”. Removal from the “State Team” for unsportsmanlike conduct will exclude a Member from participating in any future Texas B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments.
5.0 TEXAS B.A.S.S. NATION REGIONS
5.1 Regular Region Meetings
The Regional Director shall call all Region meetings. Region meetings may be held in the form of a conference call in order to facilitate a meeting where Regional Chapter Representatives would not be able to otherwise attend. The purpose of Region meetings is to inform Regional Chapters of current initiatives or business of the B.A.S.S., the B.A.S.S. Nation, and the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation; plan, organize, and conduct the Regional Tournament Qualification tournaments or a Region-wide tournament; facilitate interaction between Region Chapters; and conduct general business of the Region.
5.2 Associate Directors
Associate Directors are elected by the Regional Chapter Representatives and serve a one (1)-year term. The Associate Directors assist Regional Directors in the duties of Region business. The Associate Director is challenged to familiarize his or herself with the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Bylaws, Operating Policies and Procedures, and Official Tournament rules and any business conducted in the Region.
5.2 Tournament Trail
The primary goals of the Regional Tournament Trails are to:
- Generate money to pay any expenses incurred by the Regional Director conducting the Region’s business;
- Exposure on a region level to promote growth of the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation;
- Provide a Member an opportunity to earn a position on the “State Team”;
- Qualify a six (6) Member team to represent the Region at the State Championship Tournament; and
- Striving to ensure the future of fishing while protecting our environment through conservation and public awareness and promoting youth activities.
6.0 TEXAS B.A.S.S. NATION CHAPTERS
6.1 Chapter Representatives
Each Chapter or “Club” shall send at least one individual to represent their Chapter at all Region Meetings. Each Chapter within the Region shall have one (1) vote on behalf of the Chapter they represent for all Region business that requires decision by vote.
All correspondence from or issues at the “Club” level must be communicated through the Regional Director to the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation.
7.0 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT “TOP SIX”
The Board of Directors will schedule, plan, organize, conduct, and oversee the State Championship Tournament. The location is determined through a bid process. Each Regional Director is challenged to seek bids from area Chamber of Commerce and/or Lake Associations, submit those bids to the President and fellow Directors for evaluation by a pre-determined date. The bids are reviewed and a decision is made based on merit by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors makes every effort to take the State Championship Tournament to a site that offers the best arrangements and benefits to the Members.
The State Championship Tournament is an invitation only tournament as defined in the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Bylaws. Invitations are extended to Chapters that accumulate at least 50 points based on their organization of community service projects, conservation projects, and youth activities and Chapter participation in Texas B.A.S.S. Nation approved activities.
7.2 Duties of the Board of Directors
Each Regional Director must assist with duties of the State Championship Tournament and forgo fishing the State Championship Tournament. If a Regional Director qualifies to fish the State Championship Tournament through their Chapter or “Club”, and provided that the said Director furnishes a suitable representative to fulfill their obligations of assisting with duties of the State Championship Tournament, the President may allow said Director to fish the State Championship Tournament.
7.3 Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Team or “State Team”
7.3.1 Sponsor Agreements
Due to the nature of Texas B.A.S.S. Nation sponsor agreements each Member of the “State Team” is required to wear specified apparel during the Divisional Tournament. This is not negotiable and each Member of the “State Team” must determine if there is a conflict at the time they qualify for the Divisional Tournament. If a qualified Member of the “State Team” is unable to wear the apparel specified by the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation, then the next highest finisher in the State Championship Tournament from his/her Region will be selected to represent the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation at the Divisional Tournament.
7.3.2 Financial Assistance
The financial assistance for the “State Team” is provided through 20% of the entry fees of the State Championship Tournament and the proceeds from the raffle held at the State Championship Tournament. Assistance is provided to the “State Team” Member only. If a “State Team” Member’s family chooses to accompany them to the Divisional Tournament, they do so at their own expense.
7.3.3 Alternate Member Selection
The alternate Member is selected from the Board of Directors or Officers and is approved by a vote of the Board of Directors.
7.3.4 “State Team” Captain
The President is the “State Team” Captain. The “State Team” Captain is responsible for coordinating all activities of the “State Team” including, but not limited to reserving lodging and conducting team meetings. The “State Team” Captain will distribute all “State Team” uniforms and sponsor products.
[i] Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society (B.A.S.S.). B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Overview. Available: http://www.bassmaster.com/nation (January 7, 2012).