May 01

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EFL Rules – Procedures

1. Tournament Rules and Procedures.

Welcome to the Next Level in Sports Reality television. The Elite Fishing League. The EFL is not a tournament series filmed for television but is a total different venture. This is a reality sports television show about tournament fishing. There are a lot of procedures, formats and conditions that do not resemble a fishing tournament at all but rather are “made” for the reality television show that will air once again on the Discovery Channel and other networks. If you apply and are chosen to be part of the cast please keep this in mind, this is your platform to prosperity but prosperity through the exposure offered to you and your sponsors by being part of a very select group of cast members that are afforded the opportunity for self and sponsor promotion through a team effort of producers, cameramen, referees, cast members and staff.

  • The following is the rules and procedures for the 2021 Elite Fishing League (EFL) competitions and filming. Additional event location specific procedures may be added or modified due to geographic, environment and other tour concerns for location of event.

2. Health and Compliance with Applicable Law.

  • All anglers participating in a Elite Fishing League (EFL) event must be in good physical health and not be on or have prescribed for them any medication for blackouts, seizures, fainting or other serious medical conditions that could place them, their teammates, fellow competitors and/or the tour in any danger. All anglers must follow applicable federal, state and local regulations, laws and tournament rules. Any violation of such regulations and laws and/or other tournament rules may result in a penalty including but not limited to and any combination of the following. Daily weight penalty, dead fish(s) penalty, fishing time penalty, disqualification from a tournament day, disqualification from the entire tournament, points deductions, disqualification from all future series events, or any combination thereof as decided by Elite Fishing League (EFL).

3. Eligibility Requirements.

  • The Elite Fishing League (EFL) has a invitation only cast max field of 20 participants. Headturners3, LLC. and Elite Fishing League (EFL) ownership and officials reserve the right to deny entry to or remove from any event any angler, person, participant and or competitor for any reason the tour and/or it’s officials deem necessary. Anglers refusing to take or failing to take a requested truth detection test from any tournament or tournament trail or being banned from competition by another tournament or trail for cheating, unsportsmanlike conduct, public demeaning displays or similar reasons and at the tour’s discretion may be refused entry in to or be disqualified from any Elite Fishing League (EFL) event at anytime prior to or during the event at the time knowledge of same was discovered.

4. Insurance, Registration and Fishing License.

  • State required insurance, titling, registration and all other state required coverages and documents must be enforce and current prior to use in all Elite Fishing League (EFL) events. A liability insurance policy of at least $100,000.00 must be enforce for any vessel/operator prior to it’s use in a Elite Fishing League (EFL) competition. It is the angler’s responsibility to maintain insurance coverage and ensure all registrations and fishing licenses required by state, federal and local law are up to date for each competitor(s) in all Elite Fishing League (EFL) events. A vessel not complying with state, federal and local laws governing equipment, registration, decals and their proper display, cannot be used in competition. If such a boat is placed in competition either intentionally or unknowingly, the angler’s catch for the day(s) such vessel was used will be d.q.’d..
  • Competitor(s) must have a current, legal fishing license for the state in which they are fishing or transporting fish through and must show them to the referee at pre-tournament day morning meeting.

5A. Stage 1 Practice, Off limits and Qualifying Rounds Procedures.

  • In this no practice – mystery location filming adventure anglers do not have official practice times.
  • Thursday the week prior to the start of filming at 5:00 PM CDT the entire field will be notified of the host destination. 
  • Saturday, the week prior to the start of filming at 5:00 PM CDT all anglers enter the dead period and cannot attempt to gain any information pertaining to fishing, navigating, lures, locations, techniques, etc. for the upcoming stage. 
  • Saturday, the week prior to filming after 5:00 PM CDT no angler can be on any water, for any reason located within 150 miles of the official host location until their day of competition except for a brief period to  check a new repair to ensure the boat is ready for competition. Angler must notify and receive permission from the commissioner prior to launching their boat and may be required to have tour official ride along for short mechanical check. 
  • Anglers may not return to any waters after their round of competition that border or fall within official stage boundaries and can in no way offer any advice, help via in person or delivered electronically to any angler or contact any angler having not previously competed in their official round.
  • With a full field of 20 cast members…
  • With a full field of 20 anglers will be divided into 4 groups of 5. 
    • Group A checks in on Sunday afternoon, compete Monday, film Monday and possibly Tuesday AM, then travel home.
    • Group B check in on Monday afternoon, compete Tuesday, film Tuesday and possibly Wednesday AM, then travel home.
    • Group C check in on Tuesday afternoon, compete Wednesday, film Wednesday and possibly Thursday AM, then travel home.
    • Group D check in on Wednesday afternoon, compete Thursday, film Thursday and possibly Friday AM, then travel home.
  • With less than a full field, I.E.18 may be grouped into 3 groups of 6 and compete in 3 qualifying rounds M-W or other groupings of anglers, days and rounds. I.E. 4 days at 5-5-4-4.
  • Anglers will meet their cameraman and referee the morning of their fishing at the time specified to each at captain’s briefing.
    • The 3 will travel together in the angler’s vehicle to the launch location for that day’s fishing to location revealed the morning of competition.
    • 7:30 AM is the official travel/scout ending time and begins round 1. Anglers, their referee and cameraman will leave the official launch/ramp location when the entire field, referees and all cameramen are on location and prepared to leave. The exact time of releasing of the boats for ride around period will be made by head official on site. 
    • Referee will count down to “lines in” where first cast can be made at 7:30 AM or the time designated by tour officials.
  • Period 1 begins at 7:30 AM and ends at 11:30 AM under normal weather and lighting conditions but could change depending on sunrise/sunset/fog, rain, etc..
    • Anglers may keep, for filming purposes during break period, 1 legal fish according to state size limits. Referee may help angler by checking on the fish when he/she is available to.
    • All fish must be in the landing net by the time a fishing period ends. Referee will count down to period ending based on electronic clock. I.E. IPad or phone.
    • Anglers with their referee and cameramen must break for an 30 minute period 11:30-12:00 but can stay on location where they are fishing and do not have to return to launch location. 
    • As of 11:30 anglers cannot run, scout or cast during official break period but can seek a nearby bridge, calm water or shaded area to execute the break.
    • At some point during the break period, the angler will do a tips/trick, product feature, special fish release for slo mo filming or other production filming needed. Once production use of fish is completed the fish will be released.
  • Period 2 begins at 12:00 PM and ends at 4:00 PM under normal weather conditions.
    • At 12:00 anglers may navigate to their next fishing location or begin fishing where they stopped fishing at the end of period 1.
    • At conclusion of period 2 all anglers with their referees and cameramen must return to host location for post round live interviews and any additional filming, etc. producers may require prior to the end of activities for the day which may include a live press conference event.


  • Once a fishing period or stage round has ended anglers may not take part in scouting, cruising or marking GPS points for any reason.
  • Once a fishing period is over anglers must return immediately to the designated return location and may not scout for fish during their return. This term is known as graphing and a penalty will be assessed.
  • When a angler’s day of competition is completed they must remain on site until production / filming needs are met.
  • Production / filming periods will include boat launch, break between periods 1 and 2, post round live period and news press conference at the host facility. If necessary the following morning will be used to complete all production / filming needs with the angler being released to return home by no later than 11:00 AM unless they choose to stay longer to do special sponsor promos or features. 
  • Once all production / filming is completed anglers may leave to return home or stay additional days (at their own expense) to see conclusion of other rounds. Any angler staying after their round and filming remain in off limits as described above in 5A.

6. Stage 2 Elimination and Championship Round.

  • Procedures for stage 2 (elimination rounds) mirror those of stage 1 (qualifying rounds).
  • Group A fishes day 1. The winner in group A stays or returns for Championship round.
  • Non winning anglers film afternoon and possibly the next morning and then are released to travel home.
  • Group B fishes day 2. The winner in group B stays or returns for Championship round.
  • The qualifying round winners from Stage 1 will return for Championship round the afternoon prior to the competition taking place.
  • The winner of the championship round will win the upgraded 25′ Tidewater Cat w/250 Yamaha and tandem McClain trailer prize package valued at $90,000.00 dollars. All other championship competitors will receive a $10,000.00 check.
  • Non winning anglers film afternoon and possibly the next morning and then are released to travel home.

7. Referee Procedures.

  • Referees will have multiple identical scales available in case of scale failure. Should a referee make the call to return to location to retrieve back up scales, the time taken to return to fishing will be added to the angler’s time since a failing of the scales is beyond the angler’s control.
  • Referees will write down a angler’s weight immediately following the weighing of the fish on official EFL hard copy score sheet.
  • Referees will upload the weight via IPad immediately following manually recording it on fish weigh in sheet.
  • Referees will give Score-tracker live updates every 15-20 minutes throughout the day.
  • Angler may request a Score-tracker update at any time throughout the day.
  • Referees will reveal and enforce all procedures and penalties including boundaries for a day’s fishing as determined by the tour.

8. Alcoholic Beverages, Smoking and Drugs.

  • Angler(s) cannot consume or possess alcohol or drugs (other than their own current prescriptions except any medication for conditions listed in point 2 above) during competition or filming periods.
  • Competitor(s) cannot consume alcoholic beverage prior to taking a polygraph or other truth verification test on the Elite Fishing League (EFL) tour.
  • Anglers cannot smoke while casting, reeling or fighting a fish. If a angler needs a break they must take a official break and do so without cameras on.

9. Communication.

  • All communication by a angler on the Elite Fishing League (EFL) to anyone by any means not on their boat must be cleared prior with the on board tour referee.

10. Extreme Weather.

  • The commissioner, each referee and the head referee will monitor weather conditions in real time within the playing field boundaries. Should the need arise to suspend play due to lightning strikes and/or other severe weather conditions all cast members/anglers will be notified by their referee to suspend fishing and seek safe shelter immediately.
  • In the event all referees cannot be contacted by the commissioner or head referee due to poor cell signal or service, the official time of “weather delay call” will be noted by both the commissioner and head referee. Any fish recorded manually and/or online during the “weather delay call” will not count, until the all clear is given and fishing resumes.
  • Additional fishing time may or may not be added for weather delays depending on the time of day the delay takes place and the resumption of fishing can safely take place.
  • Should any day(s) of a Elite Fishing League (EFL) filming event be cancelled due to extreme weather or the eminent threat of extreme weather the next closest day allowing for completion of the event and filming will be used.

11. Mechanical and Navigational GPS Procedures.

  • For mechanical reasons only a series approved mechanic may temporarily ride along for the purpose of determining and remedying a mechanical issue, however no tournament related information outside of the problem being diagnosed can be discussed.
  • On board referee will monitor any and all break down issues as well as their remedy.

12. Anglers Must Remain in Boat. 

  • All angling must be conducted from inside the boat. No wading.
  • Any angler that leaves the boat accidentally or intentionally will incur penalty.
  • Anglers must wait until cameraman and referee are in position prior to making a cast.
  • Angler(s) may leave their boat to pull it out of an area where tides have gone out but cannot leave their boat to gain access to any area and must wait on water levels to rise enough to allow entry without dragging bottom or jumping berm.
  • Angler(s) cannot require a referee or cameraman leave the boat for the purpose of getting a boat unstuck.
  • If an angler request and the referee and/or cameraman agrees to help get a boat unstuck an additional 15 minutes will be added to any penalty time incurred by angler.
  • Angler should always seek the safest remedy for themselves, the referee and cameraman on their boat during lightning and other severe weather situations. No penalty under these conditions will be assessed but on board referee will continue to monitor.
  • If a angler operates, idles, trolls or otherwise is found to be out of bounds for any period of time a penalty will assessed.

13. Fish Catch, Weigh and Release. 

  • Angler must use 1 rod at a time. A second rod may be used 1 time per fishing period to make a single cast.
  • No multi lure rigs may be used.
  • Angler must be on the deck of the boat when boating and presenting a fish to the referee for weighing.
  • Angler must net or land by hand all fish without allowing it to touch any inside part of the boat unless it is in a net.
  • Angler deemed to be in control of his/her fish by their official and in the process of removing a hook or weighing a portion of the tail or lower area briefly touches the deck of the boat will not incur penalty.
  • Angler must hook official fish grip to fishes mouth and when asked hook the fish on the referee’s scales for weighing.
  • Fish hitting the side of the boat while being fought or landed will not incur penalty.
  • Fish failing to be hooked on the scales prior to being dropped on the inside of the boat will be a fish handling violation.
  • Fish flopping and coming off the scales once the angler has hooked it on the hook will not incur penalty.
  • Anglers can request a re-weigh of any fish. Referee will record the weight of the re-weigh only.
  • Referee will call the weight out loud for the angler.
  • After weighing angler must release the fish from a point below the gunnel of the boat and angler should stay with the fish reviving it until it swims off.
  • A fish must be caught, weighed and released prior to a angler fishing for another fish. Fish cannot lay on the bottom of the boat while another one is being fought. The only exception would be the 1 extra rod, 1 cast per fishing period when 2 fish are allowed to be hooked at one time. However, no fish can still be on the deck of the boat that is not in a net.
  • A fish broken off may incur penalty.
  • A fish being released with the fish grip still attached will incur penalty. 
  • Angler’s losing a fish grip will be given a 2nd one. If a angler loses the 2nd fish grip he/her must land and weigh all fish without the use of a fish grip (scales will be re-zeroed) with fish handling dropping penalties still in force. 

14. Scoring.

  • A score-able fish is all fish weighing at least 3 pounds 0 ounces or 3.0 and not more than 10 pounds 0 ounces or 10.0.
  • A angler can weigh as many score-able fish as they can during a fishing period.
  • The angler with the heaviest total weight as tracked on Score-tracker live at the end of the day will be the winner.
  • 1st tie breaker will be the total number of score-able fish caught during a day of fishing, 2nd tie breaker will be the heaviest fish weighed during the day, 3rd tie breaker will be 2nd heaviest score-able fish weighed during the day, etc..

15. Penalty Box.

  • During any penalty being served for navigating, fishing handling and/or any other violation that incurs a penalty angler must refrain from tying lures, adjusting tackle, re-spooling line on a reel, move or anchor the boat, etc.. I.E. If a angler receives a fish handling violation and needs to anchor or power pole his/her rig, they must do that prior to starting the penalty time. Referee will monitor.
  • Any fishing period that expires while a angler is in the penalty box the penalty will carry over and be enforced in full after the start of the next fishing period, round or stage.

16. Safe Boating.

  • Anglers must have at least 1 cooler or cooler bag (I.E. Yeti) capable of holding water and ice for cameramen and referees on board.
  • Anglers must have a safe place for both the cameraman and referee to sit. I.E. seat, cushion for deck space, cooler, etc..
  • Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times by all angler(s).
  • A 60 mph limit must be observed at all times.
  • During the 30 minute ride around and any other time, the outboard engine is operating and in gear each person on the boat must be wearing a Coast Guard-approved floatation life vest and a operational kill switch must be attached to the angler on board.
  • Boats and single outboard motor rigs normal to the fishing industry and inshore tournament fishing may be used. For the EFL no small skiffs are allowed as each vessel must be capable of safely transporting a angler, a referee, a cameraman and gear powered by a single outboard engine manufactured by companies like Yamaha, Mercury, Evinrude, Honda, Suzuki, etc may be used. No airboats, pump drive or similar may be used in the EFL.
  • All boats used in filming and competition must have engine kill switch installed and attached to the driver anytime the combustion engines on and in gear.
  • Additional fuel may be purchased from a public marina during normal business hours and open to the general public equally.
  • Additional fuel may be carried only in factory installed (built-in) fuel tanks. No portable fuel containers allowed.
  • When boating in low visibility situations i.e. fog, heavy rain, during both practice and competition, anglers must operate their boats at a safe speed and in a safe manner.
  • All marked idle and no wake zones must be observed.
  • On board referee will monitor.

17. Sportsmanship and Penalties.

  • It is prohibited and against the law to enter any fish in a saltwater fishing tournament that have had the length or weight altered, that were taken unlawfully and/or are fraudulently represented. Angler(s) doing such will be d.q.’d and could be prosecuted.
  • Angler(s) are required to display the highest level of sportsmanship to each other, recreational anglers or boaters sharing the waters, the tour and it’s staff. Referee will monitor.
  • Angler(s) proved to be displaying poor sportsmanship or violating fishing, game and/or boating regulations will be penalized.
  • Act(s) or action(s) deemed to be a intentional and unsportsmanlike toward another angler(s) is prohibited.
  • Angler’s receiving a moving violation will be disqualified from the event.
  • Failing to disclose receiving any citation or ticket to tour officials will result in immediate disqualification from the event and may include expulsion from the tour.
  • There is no official buoy distance rule. However, at no time is an angler allowed to interfere with another angler’s line. If an angler casts close to another angler and hooks their line, the casting angler will be penalized.
  • Angler(s) may not use their vessel to limit passage or access to any waters. I.E. cannot be stationed sideways in narrow canal and must yield to allow other boats in or out of the field to pass.
  • Angler(s) knowingly attempting to circumvent state, federal or local law enforcement or similar in an attempt to avoid capture or issuance of a ticket or citation will be disqualified immediately for the remainder of the season.

18. Protest and Truth Detection.

  • Angler(s) that feel they cannot take or pass a truth detection test, for any reason can not fish on the Elite Fishing League (EFL). Any angler(s) that have failed or refused to take a polygraph test on any tour or in any tournament will not be eligible to compete in a Headturners3, LLC. event. Angler(s) being prosecuted and pleading or refusing to defend in a court of law may be ineligible to compete in a Headturners3, LLC event.
  • A reported violation may be brought to the attention of tour officials at anytime during or after the conclusion of the event and penalty(s) for any violation can be levied at anytime during the season the violation is brought to the attention of tour officials.
  • Should a polygraph or other truth detection test be needed to settle a protest, the angler protesting and the angler being protested may both be required to render to the tour the fee for the polygraph test, with the winning angler being reimbursed the test fee.
  • Should no polygraph test be available the day of the protest, the event will continue as normal, under protest with the results, tournament placement, prizes, points and awards being retained by the tour until a test can be administered to settle dispute.
  • Headturners3, LLC acts as a broker when hiring the truth detection administrator and has no influence on procedures, type of test, the amount of time or the results of the testing and as such all rulings of cause are determined by the testing agent and not by anyone affiliated with Headturners3, LLC and the Elite Fishing League (EFL).
  • All truth detection results are final and not contestable by any Headturners3, LLC competitor(s).
  • Headturners3, LLC. and/or the Elite Fishing League (EFL) their parent, affiliated and subsidiary companies, the hosts, sponsors and tour officials are not involved in or in any way responsible for the results of or methods used in any truth detection test given.

19. Angler Code of Conduct.

Any angler(s) participating in any Elite Fishing League (EFL) sanctioned event shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for the specific event in which they are participating. Anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect toward fellow competitors, tournament staff and the general public and does not reflect unfavorably on Elite Fishing League (EFL), its members, officers and/or representatives and/or community and product sponsors of Elite Fishing League (EFL).

Anglers are frequently in the public eye and are considered role models by young people; therefore, it is imperative that tournament competitors demonstrate good sportsmanship in fishing. Sportsmanship is defined as fair play, respect for opponents and polite behavior while competing in the event and sport. Following are examples of unacceptable behavior by competitors in Elite Fishing League (EFL) events that will be cause for penalties as outlined in this document.

  • Heated and loud public disagreements with Elite Fishing League (EFL) officials, other competitors and fans and volunteers during an event that can be seen as a public display of unsportsmanlike and unprofessional conduct.
  • Public attacks through media, including social media, upon the integrity of Elite Fishing League (EFL) rules and/or officials.
  • Public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of Elite Fishing League (EFL) officials, ownership and/or tour sponsors.
  • Displays of anger where members of the public, including other anglers, spectators and the media are present.
  • Publicly questioning or criticizing a tournament official or official decision, ruling or penalty except through the proper channels.
  • Abuse (physical, verbal, threatening or slanderous) of tournament officials, volunteers, fellow competitors or others connected with a Elite Fishing League (EFL) event.
  • Offensive or slanderous comments with racial, cultural or sexual overtones regarding event officials, referees, event personnel or fellow anglers.
  • Intentionally interfering with a fellow angler’s ability to compete.
  • Any disqualification, suspension or other disciplinary action imposed by any tournament and/or fishing organization may result in disqualification from competition and rejection of an application for participation in a Elite Fishing League (EFL) event. (ii.) Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or crimes involving moral turpitude, may be grounds for disqualification from competition and for rejecting any application for participation.
  • Any angler(s) who violates any of the provisions of the Sportsmanship Rules or the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, reduction of points (if applicable), forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in individual Elite Fishing League (EFL) events, permanent ban from competition or any combination thereof deemed by Elite Fishing League (EFL) ownership and officials.

20. Penalties and violations.

Anglers cannot intentionally violate any rule listed above determining that the penalty for a violation is worth the advantage gained through the violation. The penalty for this offense will be up to the commissioner and depending on the violation may include any or a combination of penalties listed below.

Note: Any disqualification penalty will be handed down from the commissioner after consulting with referee(s) witnessing the violation(s).

  • Rule 5 information and on water during off limits = disqualification.
  • Rule 6 scouting after the end of a fishing period = 5 minutes at beginning of next period.
  • Rule 8 smoking on camera = 5 minutes. Alcohol and drug violation = disqualification.
  • Rule 9 communication without permission with outside source during event = 2 minutes.
  • Rule 9 sharing information with other cast members or a third party that could forward information to another cast member = disqualification from event.
  • Rule 11 approved ride around with approved mechanic = 2 minutes after mechanic has left the boat and boat is repaired and ready to continue competition. Phone call to mechanic for help over the phone, no penalty.
  • Rule 12 angler leaves boat intentionally or by accident (falls) = 5 minutes.
  • Rule 12 angler request official and or cameraman to exit boat to help unstick a stuck boat = 15 minutes once the boat is unstuck and angler is ready to continue competition.
  • Rule 12 penalty for brief stray to out of bounds no penalty failing to quickly navigate back in bounds = 5 minutes.
  • Rule 13 additional cast made with 2nd rod above the allowed 1 per fishing period = 5 minutes first violation, 10 minutes second violation, penalty doubles in time with each additional violation and any fish landed during this violation will not count.
  • Rule 13 fish landing, weighing, release or break off violation = 2 minutes per incident.
  • Rule 13 angler loses fish grip without it being attached to fish = 5 minute penalty.
  • Rule 13 angler loses fish grip still attached to fish = fish d.q.’d and 15 minute penalty.
  • Rule 15 any violation such as tying lures, spooling reels, arranging equipment, etc. = 2 minutes per offense.
  • Rule 16 kill switch and/or pdf not attached at anytime large motor is operating and in gear = 5 minutes.
  • Rule 16 unsafe boat operation i.e. too fast in fog or other dangerous conditions such as high speed maneuvers around blind corners, through tall grass areas, etc. = 15 minutes.
  • Rule 16 marked idle and no wake zones violation = 15 minutes prior to continuing to fishing area.
  • Rule 17 poor sportsmanship = 15 minutes. Angler snagging a competing angler’s line = 15 minutes.
  • Rule 17 no cooler or cooler bag on board = 15 minute penalty at the beginning of each round where cooler or bag is not present.
  • Code of Conduct violations = disqualification from the stage / event.

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