NYS Winter Classic Tournament
Rules & Regulations 
Updated on: 9/6/23

Rule Clarifications/Adjustments:

All registrants are encouraged to print a copy of the rules and read them in their entirety. Slight modifications may be made through November. Starting Dec. 1st any modifications will be listed here.
1. Dates: January 1 – February 29
2. Tournament Registration Options: 
  Full General Tournament = $25/angler 

**Once tourney starts, all anglers must register the day before they wish to start entering fish**

3. Cash payout based on number of anglers entered (see prize structure/payout grid on 
        website for full details, prize levels, and additional promotional awards). 
4. Additional prizes to be awarded (when available - see website for details):
    a. Grand Prize (when available): TBD
    b. Overall Prizes for largest fish caught on a specific product (picture or video may be 
         required) or during a specific time period.
    c. Monthly Prizes for overall largest fish (and/ or largest of a specific species category) 
        entered each month during the event)(when available).
    d. Weekly Cash Prizes and Awards: (when available)
                 1. Awarded to the largest fish leading in each category each week. 
                 2. Each angler can win only one Weekly Award per species.
    e. Fish Mounts & additional cash awards at higher attendance levels. Mounts may be 
        substituted with equivalent gift certificates (per sponsor allowance).
    f. Tournament Angler Achievement Awards (when available)(Pike over 42", Trout over 36", 
        Walleye over 32", Pickerel over 34", Crappie over 16", Yellow Perch over 16", and 
        Panfish over 12").
    g. Product specific awards - requires either a picture or video clearly showing the product 
        being used. Picture/video must be submitted on the same day the fish is entered.
    h. Youth Awards (ages 16 and under)(when available).
5. No minimum or maximum age, all anglers are considered equal. Youth anglers (16 & 
        under) must have an adult to sign-off and fill out a w-9 form for any award valued at 
        $600 or greater.
6. Fish from other derbies and tournaments can be entered into the Classic pending 
        other Tournament’s rules and regulations.
7. Ceremony & Awards Dinner: In March following the conclusion of the 
        Winter Classic Event at Batavia Downs Casino:
        a. All first place winners in the Tournament must be present at the awards ceremony 
            Batavia Downs by 5pm, else be disqualified. Leniency may be granted for 
            special circumstances per the tournament committee's discretion. 
        b. Door prizes will be drawn at various times from early registration through the awards 
           ceremony. Any prize won prior to the awards ceremony will be available for pick-up at 
            the awards ceremony, otherwise it will be up to the winner to arrange for pick-up. Any 
            door prizes won at ceremony must be taken that night by the winners.
        c. When overnight accommodations are offered to the Top-placing anglers in each 
            category, each angler may only receive a maximum of one room, even if they placed 
            in the Top of multiple categories. 
8. Main Categories: 7 (Trout (Lakers/Browns/Steelhead/Rainbows), Northern Pike, Walleye, 
    Pickerel, Yellow Perch, Crappie, Panfish (SunFish/BlueGill)). Additional species may be 
    included and vary year to year - see leaderboards for listings.
        a. Enter any fish caught in New York State, any place, on any waterway (ice, 
            open water, rivers, tributaries, etc.) by legal angling methods per NYS DEC 
            regulations. Each fish entered must be registered by the angler who caught the 
            fish – no sharing between anglers. 
        b. Fish must be entered using the Fish Donkey App at the time of the catch (ideally 
            within 5 minutes of landing the fish). Fish must be fresh and cannot be frozen or look 
            frozen, no freezer, ice marks, cloudy eyes, discoloration, etc. If it's extremely cold and 
            the fish freezes before it can be entered, it must be revived in a livewell or with water 
            to verify it was fresh caught. 
        c. Fish must be free from foreign objects: lures, hooks, and anything on/in it's mouth 
            or on its tail (bait, minnows, weeds, ice/snow, etc.).
        d. Fish must be measured using a manufactured bump board (no home-made boards, 
            measuring tapes or stickers) and must be touching the 90 degree bend (fish must 
            be oriented with mouth closed (except pike & pickerel) and must touch the front of the 
            board). Tail can be pinched for maximum length. 
        e. Pictures used for fish measurement and verification must be clear: i.e. the full view of 
            the fish on the bump board must clearly show the head touching the front of the board 
            and the tail making the measurement with the numbers clearly visible. Pictures of the 
            fish should be taken directly overhead and not at an angle. Multiple pictures can be 
            submitted (and are encouraged) to ensure visibility and fish entry. 
            The following (4) pictures are suggested for all fish entered:
                1) Whole fish on the bump board clearly showing the front of the fish touching the 
                    front of the board with the mouth closed and the tail making the measurement 
                    (no foreign objects may be present on or in front of the head or tail that obstructs
                     the verification of the measurement).
                2) Close-up of the entire head of the fish while on the board, taken as directly 
                    overhead as possible.
                3) Close-up of the entire tail while on the board, taken as directly overhead as 
                4) Angler holding the fish at the time of the catch and clearly including the angler's 
                    face and some indication of the waterway/ice.
                5) (optional) We highly suggest shooting a short video scanning down the fish 
                    making sure to show the front of the fish touching the board, the fish mouth 
                    closed, and the measurement at the tail.
            NOTE: If using a folding bump board, you should also submit one or more pictures 
                        (or a video) showing that the board is laying perfectly flat with the fish on top 
                        during measurement to avoid any possible DQ from the board appearing to be 
            NOTE: We must be able to verify the following for all fish:
                            1) Nose touching the zero end of the board.
                            2) Clearly see the measurement made by the tail.
                            3) The mouth is closed (except pike & pickerel).
                            4) The full fish positioned on the board verifying 1, 2, & 3 above.
                            5) The angler who caught the fish with facial recognition.
                            6) Some portion of the waterway indicating the fish was just caught.
            NOTE: Fish with an open mouth will receive a 1" penalty, with the exception of 
                        northern pike & pickerel. 
        f. Alternate Measurement Protocol w/ a Retractable Ruler:
            NO LONGER ALLOWED. All entrees must with a bump board long enough for your 
            fish, no exceptions.
        g. Anglers can place in more than one category, but can place only once in each 
            category. If an angler catches a larger fish by length in the same category, the lesser 
            of the two is verified but zeroed out.
        h. Tournament ends at 11:59pm on February 28th (29th during a leap year). 
        i. Hybrid species will be allowed and must be entered into the closest species category 
           to the fish.
        j. All fish must be entered into the correct species category otherwise it may be denied.
            (Splake and land-locked salmon can be entered into the Trout Division)
        k. Fish Donkey, the NYS Winter Classic, and all affiliates will not be liable for any 
            technical issues with regard to anglers' phones or any transmission issues including 
            but not limited to weak signals, loss of signal, etc.
9.   Length determines winner, in case of a tie the earliest entry takes the higher place.
10. Tournament recommends fishing with a witness in case of a dispute, but not required.
11.  In the event of a disqualification, all monies from the main event and any additional 
        awards will be reallocated and mailed out after all disqualifications have been verified, 
        reported, and all funds have been redeposited for distribution.
12. Any individual questioning an entry must notify tourney headquarters within 48 hours of 
      verification, else the ruling is maintained.
13. Any angler caught cheating may be disqualified at the tourney board's discretion. The 
      NYS Ice Pro-Am Corporation reserves the right to refuse entry of any individual, team, or 
      boat, in particular  those who have been found guilty of cheating in other events, offering 
      favoritism in any form, or any negativity expressed in any form regarding the NYS Classic        events before, during, or after an event concludes. Likewise, any participant who 
      harasses, posts negatively on and/or makes negative comments online or in person, or 
      sheds negative light on the event, the director, the tourney committee, any associated 
      sponsors, or any other entity associated or involved with this or any other event run by 
      the NYS Ice Pro-Am Corporation in any capacity before, during, or after the event 
      concludes, may be disqualified on grounds of poor sportsmanship/conduct and have their 
      placements, all cash, and any associated prizes or trophies not yet issued denied.
14. All pictures and videos submitted to the tournament become the sole property of the 
        tournament and can be used in any way deemed appropriate by the Tournament 
15. These rules are in coordination and compliance with those stated within the Fish Donkey 
        App for the NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament.
16. All decisions by the Tournament Officials will be final. Tournament Director reserves the 
      right to modify the tourney rules if warranted at any time.
17. All participants agree to enter at their own risk and with full knowledge of these rules 
        and agree to abide by them in their entirety, and likewise agree not to hold any entity in 
        association with the Winter Classic Tournament liable for any mishap or misfortune. 
18. Questions? Email: info@fksportfishing.com or call Tim Thomas at (585) 330-0494.