Last month, McKendree University was crowned the 2018-2019 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia, joining Bethel University, Bryan College, University of North Alabama, and a long list of other teams in the exclusive club of Bass Pro Shops School of the Year winners.
2017 – 2018: Bethel University
2016 – 2017: Bryan College
2015 – 2016: University of Alabama
2014 – 2015: University of North Alabama
2013 – 2014: University of North Alabama
Immediately following the conclusion of the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops on May 24th, the 2019-2020 tournament season began. With a new season now underway, the ACA is introducing several new rule changes for the upcoming year to help crown a champion in one of the most challenging races in college fishing.
“We’re excited to see this program grow, not only to recognize the top college bass fishing team in the nation for the past 12 months, but also to help identify and recognize the teams ranked in the top 25 in the nation based upon their on-the-water performance. I’ve said it for years, ‘This isn’t a popularity contest.’ It’s not about one trail or event, it’s about a season long grind, fishing bodies of water all over the nation at various levels. The teams that win and end up ranked in the top 25 should be proud of their finishes,” says Wade Middleton, Director of the Association of Collegiate Anglers.
The 2019-2020 event locations for the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, run by the Association of Collegiate Anglers, has been set and these nationally televised major events will provide a wide range of points earning opportunities. *Dates and locations subject to change.
- Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley – Kentucky Lake
- AFTCO Collegiate Bass Fishing Open – Lake Dardanelle
- Texas Lunker Challenge presented by Mossy Oak Elements – Sam Rayburn
- BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops – Pickwick Lake
With the increased growth in college fishing, the ACA has decided to tweak the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year points system to better suit the current fishing scene for both large and small events. This season, ACA major events such as the Big Bass Bash, the Open and Texas Lunker Challenge, along with the FLW and B.A.S.S Championships, will each be worth 1,000 points to the winning school. Points at each event will then decrease incrementally by 10 points for each team, all the way to 125th place for their place in the standings. For schools with more than two teams participating in the above ACA events, the two highest finishing teams in the final standings will earn points towards the SOY race. For the FLW and B.A.S.S Championships, only the highest finishing team from every school will earn points at any of these events.
The ACA ran BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops event will award 1,500 points to the winning school, and after that the top 125 teams will be awarded points accordingly. For schools with more than two teams participating, the two highest finishing teams in the final standings will earn points towards the SOY race.
All FLW and B.A.S.S. regional events will once again count towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year point totals. For the 2019-2020 season, first place in all major FLW and B.A.S.S. regional tournaments will be worth 750 points regardless of field size. Points will decrease incrementally by five points for each team, all the way to the last team earning points for their place in the standings. Only the highest finishing team from every school will earn points at any of these events.
Outside of major national events, B.A.S.S also runs numerous state qualifying events. Schools will be able to earn points in the state qualifier for the state that their school is located in. First place will earn 100 points at each event and the standings will decrease in five-point increments. Any school participating in a B.A.S.S. state-run event may provide these results to the ACA. If results are not provided to the ACA, they will not be included in the School of the Year program. Only one team from each school will earn points at these events.
Another way of earning points towards the race for Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia is through school-run sanctioned events. Universities and colleges will be allowed to host up to three sanctioned events for this upcoming season upon approval from ACA staff. This year, schools interested in hosting a school-run sanctioned event must submit their tournament request and details one month prior to the tournament date. All questions and information should be directed to Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org. The host school will earn points as part of a hosting bonus based upon the following criteria:
- School-Run Events with 50 or more boats earn a 100-point bonus
- School-Run Events with 40-49 boats earn a 75-point bonus
- School-Run Events with 30-39 boats earn a 50-point bonus
- School-Run Events with 20-29 boats earn a 40-point bonus
- School-Run Events with 10-19 boats earn a 30-point bonus
“We feel these school run events are such an integral part of college fishing as many clubs use these as fundraisers to help travel to the national level events and we want to both reward and incentivize schools and groups to support these events,” says Wade Middleton, Director of the Association of Collegiate Anglers.
In addition to the above points earning opportunities, the ACA is looking at several other ways to add points to the School of the Year program, and college anglers should expect to learn more about those soon. Prizes for top finishing teams in the 2019-2020 season will also be announced shortly.
For a complete look at the rules for the 2019-2020 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia, click here.