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AMERICAS ICE FISHING TOURNAMENT RULES

Americas Ice Fishing Tournament presented virtually by the Brainerd Jaycees

2023 Contest Rules

The following rules shall apply to the 2023 America’s Ice Fishing Tournament presented virtually by the Brainerd Jaycees (hereinafter the “Event”), scheduled for 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. February 4, 2023.

Section 1: Rules and Regulations.

The rules and regulations set forth herein are the Official Rules (“Rules”) of the Event.

1.1 Participants shall be subject to all applicable licensing requirements, as well as any local, state, and federal laws.

1.2 These rules may be changed by Brainerd Jaycees, Inc., a Minnesota non-profit corporation, or by its delegated agent (hereinafter, the “Jaycees”), at any time with or without notice to the participants. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the Event Director.  In the event of a discrepancy between the printed version and any digital version of the Rules, the Rules posted on the official website (virtualicefishing.org) at the time of the Event shall prevail.

1.3 By purchasing a ticket, and participating in the event, all participants acknowledge and agree that they have reviewed, understood, and will abide by the Rules as posted on our official website. Participants willingly agree to comply with the Rules for participation in the Event.

Section 2: Event Participation, Eligibility, and Measurement.

2.1 The contest is scheduled for 8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. local standard time February 4, 2023.

2.2 Entry fee for the contest is $40.00. No refunds and exchanges will be given for any reason. Discounts may apply for early bird purchases and other promotions.

2.3 Each participant must purchase a tournament entry through our partner app FishDonkey.

2.4 Eligible species for the tournament are Walleye/Sauger, Northern Pike, and Crappie, Perch, and Sunfish.

2.5 All fish must be caught through a naturally formed sheet of ice on a public body of water. If it is not clear you are ice fishing, a separate photo of you outside your shelter on ice should be submitted with your fish photo, to prove the fish was caught while ice fishing.

2.6 All photos must be taken through the FishDonkey app and measurements must be on a commercially-produced bump board to 1/4 inch measurements with the mouth of the fish closed and touching the 90-degree angle of the bump board while the tail is pinched towards the measuring unit. Failure to comply will result in the entrant being assessed a 1-inch penalty, applied before the conversion to points (as described in rule 3.4). Additional measurement rules are as follows:

Fish should be recorded immediately, and measurements noted by length.

All submissions must include at least two photographs: 

1) A pic of you holding the fish

2) A pic of the fish on a legal measuring board. 

Close the fish’s mouth. The nose should touch the bump of the measuring board (the belly is facing you). The measurement photo needs to include the entire fish on the board. 

If the fish tail is touching the graduation line on the board then that is the exact measurement.  If the tail crosses a graduation line, round up ¼”.

Extra Large fish that exceed the length of a bump board or small fish that don’t reach the beginning of the graduation lines on the commercially-produced bump board should show a measuring tape that begins at the tip of the fish’s nose bumped against a hard stop (like a wall or a cooler) and the tail pushed down to the tape measure.  A video showing the length from tip to tail is required.  Tape measure should be on the ground.

2.7 We guarantee to verify all registered fish through the last prize spot. It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure your fish was entered, with media, correctly. The judges are not responsible for correcting errors in uploading fish below the lowest prize spot. For example but not as a limitation, if you enter a 28” Northern Pike as 2.8”, you should contact the tournament director to correct the measurement.  

2.8 Each contestant may register as many fish as the contestant wants, but only the highest points fish (as defined in rule 3.4) per contestant will be entered to qualify for a contest prize.

2.9 All fish entered into the contest must be caught during contest hours.  All fish entered into the contest must be entered by using the FishDonkey App. Dead or frozen fish are ineligible. Judges shall have the right to verify all fish are legally caught. The decision of the judge is final. All prize winners may be required to take a polygraph exam as part of the contest requirements. In the event deception is detected or the contestant refuses to take the exam, his/her prize will be forfeited. Participants are responsible for verification of length of the fish at time of submission via the FishDonkey App.

2.10 Only fish personally caught by the contestant are eligible to be entered in the contest by that contestant.  Fish caught by one individual and given to another person are not eligible.  Any contestant who enters a fish caught by another individual will be immediately disqualified.

2.11 Heaters, chairs, bait pails, depth finders and underwater cameras are allowed.

2.12 All fish registrations must be uploaded by 3:15pm on the day of the contest. All fish must be photographed between 8:00am and 3:00pm. No fish registrations that finish uploading after 3:15pm will be eligible to win a prize. If you catch a fish outside of an area with internet service, you must return to an area that has reception to complete uploading your fish before 3:15.

2.13 Any Participant attempting to manipulate the outcome of the Event or defraud the Jaycees will be disqualified and may be subject to prosecution.

2.14 Contest results remain unofficial until verified by the head judge. Unofficial results will be posted on our website at www.virtualicefishing.org and on the FishDonkey App. Official results will only be posted at virtualicefishing.org and are only official when listed as “Final Results” on the website. Efforts will be made to keep the leaderboard as up-to-date and accurate as possible. 

SECTION 3: Prizes and Awards

3.1 There are two categories of winners: Prizes and Big Fish Awards.

3.2 “Prizes” are the cash and merchandise prizes listed at virtualicefishing.org scattered throughout the top 350 spots on the leaderboard.

3.3 Prizes will be awarded as follows: Each eligible participant’s highest point fish will be entered into the contest. Upon certification of the final results, 350 spots on the leaderboard will be filled with the highest point fish. The prizes will be scattered on the leaderboard. Fish entered into the contest will range from 1 to 350 (1 being the highest point fish and 350 being the 350th highest point fish). Only one prize per eligible participant.

3.4 “COMMON SIZING” of tournament fish and computation of points: Fish length will be entered into the app by the ¼” increment (as defined in rule 2.6). The tournament officials will verify and approve the contestant’s measurement, then convert that length to the corresponding point value for that species. For example, a 15 inch walleye/sauger is worth 25 points, while a 21 inch northern or a 7.5 inch crappie are worth approximately 25 points each. The full chart for length to point conversions is available at virtualicefishing.org.

3.5 “Big Fish Awards” are given to the top length fish of each species of Walleye/Sauger, Northern Pike, Crappie, Perch, and Sunfish.

3.6 Big Fish Awards will consist of a plaque and a free entry to the 2024 Americas Ice Fishing Tournament presented by the Brainerd Jaycees.

3.7 To receive a Big Fish Award, the participant must measure the length of the fish on a commercially-produced bump board to 1/4 inch measurements with the mouth of the fish closed and touching the 90-degree angle of the bump board while the tail is pinched towards the measuring unit. Failure to comply will result in the entrant being assessed a 1-inch penalty.

3.8 For the Big Fish Awards, Fishing Contest Prizes, and the Catch of the Day package the FishDonkey photograph timestamp will be used as a tiebreaker. The earliest registered fish will place before the later registered fish. 

3.9 TIEBREAKER: In the event 2 fish of the same point value are caught, the earlier-submitted fish will place above the later-submitted fish on the leaderboard.

3.10 All prizes will be mailed to the address of the contestant as entered to register for the tournament through the app FishDonkey.

3.11 All “Cash” prizes will be paid in the form of a check.

3.12 Prize and award winners are responsible for all tax, title, and other fees associated with their prize.

3.13 In the event that all 350 spots on the leaderboard are not represented, only the spots on the leaderboard that consist of a prize and are represented will be distributed.

Section 4: Interpretation and Discipline.

4.1 Participants agree to abide by the Rules and any decisions of the Event Director and/or Event Staff.

4.2 Interpretation and enforcement of the Rules shall be left to the sole and exclusive discretion of the Event Director and/or his/her designee at the Event.  In the event a Participant violates any rule set forth in the Rules, as determined in the discretion of the Event Director, the Event Director may impose a penalty and/or sanction on the Participant (including but not limited to disqualification from the Event and future events and/or forfeiture of Event winnings and/or prizes).

4.3 Each Participant agrees to report to the Event Director immediately any violation or infraction of the Rules.

Section 5: Safety.

5.1 Contestants are responsible for their own safety, and actions at all times.

5.2 Participants understand and are aware that the weather in the ice belt can be severe.  Participants are responsible for their own wellbeing, monitoring the weather and ice conditions.

5.3 Participants are aware they are participating in a physical activity in the sport of fishing on ice, which may be dangerous and can cause injury, especially if the participant is consuming alcoholic beverages.  Participants understand and acknowledge the consumption of alcohol impairs a person’s ability to walk on all surfaces, including those that are especially slippery, like ice. Consuming alcohol and walking on ice subjects the participant to certain risks including, but not limited to, death, serious neck and spinal injuries resulting in complete or partial paralysis, brain damage, and/or serious injury to virtually all bones, joints, muscles and internal organs, and property damage. Although particular Rules, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce the risks associated with participating in the Event, the risk of serious injury does exist and cannot be completely eliminated.

Section 6: Polygraph Examination / Disputes.

6.1 At the sole discretion of the Event Director or his/her designee, random third-party administered polygraph examinations may be administered before the Event, during the Event, or at any time after the Event.  All Participants agree to submit to any such third-party administered polygraph examination upon the request of the Event Director and further agree to provide truthful and honest responses as to be determined by the third-party polygraph examiner.

6.2 Any Participant determined by the polygraph examination and/or other Event Staff to be intoxicated and/or under the influence of any type of illegal drug(s) at the time said Participant is required to take the polygraph examination, may, in the discretion of the Event Director, be asked to submit to a subsequent third-party administered polygraph examination, or, in the sole discretion of the Event Director, may be disqualified from the Event.

6.3 Refusing to take a polygraph examination, or the failure to do so for any reason, whether requested during or after the Event, will result in immediate disqualification and/or forfeiture of any prize won at the Event.

6.4 By participating in the Event, each Participant agrees to submit for a third-party administered polygraph examination. Each participant shall abide by the conclusion reached by the third-party administrator administering the polygraph examination and, specifically, whether the Participant provided honest and truthful responses.

6.5 Participants acknowledge and agree that Event directors may disclose the results of the polygraph exam.  Whether disclosure occurs is at the sole discretion of the Jaycees.

Section 7: Protests and Disputes.

7.1 All protests or disputes relating to any matter involving the Rules and/or the Event must be registered in writing via email with the Event Director (registration@icefishing.org) no later than 3:30 p.m. the day of the Event. Protests made after the deadline will be disregarded.  This section does not apply to reporting suspected cheating.

7.2 Any protest filed by a Participant shall be heard by the Event Director or a delegate of the Event Director.  After reviewing the protest submitted, the Event Director shall inform the protesting Participant of the Event Director’s decision.  The Event Director’s decision is final and not subject to further appeal.

7.3 The interpretation and enforcement of the Rules will be the sole responsibility of the Event Director.

Section 8: Miscellaneous.

8.1 The Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the United States of America, the participants state, county, and other locality, in all respects, including matters of construction, interpretation, validity, and enforcement.

8.2 The favorable public reputation of the Jaycees and the Event, the integrity of its members, officers, and directors, and the reputation of its media properties are valuable assets and tangible benefits for Jaycees.  Accordingly, all participants agree to refrain from comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow anglers or the Jaycees organization.  Competitors are encouraged to express themselves and have the right to question the application of the Rules and are obligated to report suspected violations of the Rules.  Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with Jaycees policies are not prohibited, but attacks upon the integrity of the Rules or Event Staff or the Jaycees will harm the reputation of Jaycees, the Event, and Event Staff, may result in legal action.

8.3 Event officials reserve the right to refuse participation to anyone or disqualify any fish in their sole discretion.

8.4 Members of the Brainerd Jaycees are ineligible to fish the contest or be eligible for a contest prize or Big Fish Award.

8.5 All contestants and other spectators hereby consent to the use of any names, photographs or likenesses of themselves to be used in the promotion of our contest, including but not limited to print, radio, television or any other media.

8.6 The Brainerd Jaycees thank you for supporting our efforts to protect the environment and request that you remove garbage—including cigarette butts— from the ice when you leave.

8.7 Failure to comply with any contest rules subjects contestants to disqualification and removal from the contest as determined by contest officials. Contest officials reserve the right to refuse sale and/or revoke a contest entry to anyone.

8.8 Participants may only ice fish on frozen public waters in the United States of America.

8.9 Fish must be caught using a fishing hook and line, or equivalent, and returned to the water.

8.10 No Spear Fishing or netting will be allowed.

8.11 The event officials have final say in the determination of the length of a fish. If the uploaded photo is not clear, the officials will use their best judgment to determine the length. 

8.12 Release videos submitted through the FishDonkey application are encouraged.

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