Contest Rules

The following contest rules apply only to competitions run by the Association. Clubs holding contests on BAA water are not obliged to adhere to these rules, and may add to them or amend them as they see fit. (subject always to the bye-laws of the Association and The Environment Agency)

1. No competitor shall buy more than one entry ticket for themselves, from which it follows that all competitors must be strictly restricted to one draw.

2. No competitor may move their peg, or exchange their peg, or draw card with another without the organiser's official consent.

3. Each competitor, on drawing their number, shall proceed to the corresponding number on the bank and this will be considered their fishing ground where they will fish. The peg must remain in position until the weigh-in is completed.

4. Every competitor must fish from within one yard of an imaginary line between their peg number and the water. This position must be not more than one yard either side of their stake. On flowing water, the competitor may fish in the direction of the flow as far as the next peg. On still water, they may fish as far as half the distance between their peg and the pegs on either side. Where competitors are drawn on opposite banks, the limit of the swim is the line midway between each bank.

Competitors must restrict their activities strictly to these boundaries. Neither their person, their tackle, their hookbaits or groundbaits shall intrude into their neighbour's swim. A competitor must not cause annoyance or seek to interfere with any other competitor during the course of the match.

5. Competitors MUST use a keepnet meeting the requirements of the Bye-Laws currently in force.

6. Competitors must take every practicable step to keep their fish alive, and after weighing them, must ensure their careful return to the water. If, for any reason, fish are seen to be in distress, a competitor or match official has the right to demand that they be weighed immediately and returned to the water during the course of the match.

7. A competitor must use only one rod and line at any one time, but may have other rods and tackles assembled for use provided such other tackles are not baited. On the tackle in use, the angler must not have more than one single hook.

8. Any bait can be used except live or dead fish, frogs, spinning baits, artificial lures, wasp grub, bloodworm or jokers.

9. No competitor shall have live or dead fish in their possession before a match. All competitors must submit to a search if requested by a contest official.

10. No competitor may groundbait or loose feed the swim, or disturb the water, in any way before the starting signal, other than to wet groundbait, clear their fishing ground of weed or obstructions, to position their keepnet(s) or to plumb the depth of water.

11. All groundbait (including loose feed) must be thrown in by hand or by the use of catapults, throwing sticks, swim feeders, pole cups or bait droppers. No other mechanical means of introducing groundbait is permitted. Feeding using a pole cup or similar, attached to a separate pole or rod whilst continuing to fish is not allowed.

12. A competitor must strike, play and land their own fish.

13. Any competitor who abandons their peg, having decided to cease taking part in the match, but who decides to continue to fish, must do so outside the confines of the lengths being used for the match - (having first ensured their fishing area is cleared of all litter, including their peg number).

14. All competitors shall, as far as possible, prevent any persons, other than match officials, from entering the fishing ground.

15. An angler can wade, other than for the purpose of positioning their keepnet(s), provided they remain within one yard of the water's edge.

16. No competitor shall leave their peg at any time during the course of the match, other than to answer the call of nature, and then they must not leave their baited hook in the water. At the end of the match, a competitor must remain at their peg until their catch has been weighed, unless they have been detailed for weighing duties. Any competitor so detailed must have a witness to the weighing of their own catch.

17. A competitor must cease fishing at the finishing signal. Should they still be playing a fish hooked before the signal is given, they will be permitted no more than 15 minutes after time has been called to land the fish.

18. All freshwater fish in season are eligible for weighing. Not eligible are game fish and crustaceans. Any fish suspected of being weighted, or any fish considered suspicious by the weighers, must be laid before the match organisers and the angler's weight be not confirmed until a ruling has been obtained. If stewards recommend the disqualification of a competitor, they will weigh the fish in case their ruling is not upheld.

19. All catches will be weighed to the nearest quarter of an ounce, or 4 drams rounded up.

20. All fish must be weighed at the competitor's peg. Unless the bankside terrain renders it impossible, no catch shall be carried more than 10 yards to the scales.

21. Competitors are responsible for ensuring that their pegs are cleared of litter, and no competitor may have their catch weighed in who has litter lying on the banks of their swim.

22. Any objection to an angler's conduct, for whatever reason, must be lodged in writing with a match official or weigher-in within two hours of the end of the match. In all cases, the objector shall inform the offender of their intentions at the time in order that they may speak in their own defence. Should an offender, after receiving such a warning, leave the match scene, the objections shall be deemed to have been sustained and the match organisers must inform the person of their findings and punishments (if any) within seven days.

23. All the foregoing rules are subject to the Bye-Laws of the Environment Agency in whose area the competition is being fished.

24. Any angler proved to have been in contravention of these rules will be disqualified.

25. The Match Committee's decision on any matter not provided for in these Rules shall be final.

September 2000