Bass Fishing Now A Sanctioned High School Sport In Georgia
GHSA partners with FLW to offer co-ed sports with four events and a state championship.
High school bass fishing is now a sanctioned high school sport in Georgia, with a four-event season starting next January and a state championship offered to high school fishing teams during the 2020-2021 school year.
On March 4, FLW, The Bass Federation (TBF) and the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) announced that Georgia has become the fifth state to partner with FLW and TBF in offering bass fishing as a sanctioned high school sport.
Bass fishing is a co-ed sport allowing young men and women to compete side-by-side. There is no designated season, thus allowing students to compete year-round in both GHSA-sanctioned events and non-sanctioned tournaments. GHSA competition comprises four State Qualifying tournaments held in different areas of the state beginning in January of each year with the State Championship to be held in March or April. The schedule will be published every July or August of the new school year.
“We are excited to partner with FLW and TBF for the addition of bass fishing as an official activity for the Georgia High School Association,” said Kevin Giddens, Associate Director for the GHSA. “With the growth of youth bass fishing, we are proud to offer this activity for student anglers enrolled in our member schools and to provide them with the opportunity to win a Georgia High School Association State Championship. We look forward to seeing who will hoist the first championship trophy in the spring of 2021. We thank FLW and TBF for their vision and promotion of high school fishing.”
Georgia is the fifth state to partner with FLW and TBF to offer High School Fishing as a sanctioned high school sport, joining Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi.
“High School Fishing is an incredible way for schools to connect with students,” said Dave Washburn, FLW Vice President of Operations. “It instills a sense of pride and belonging that so many students are missing today. It gives students a reason to get good grades and provides a competitive outlet for those who may not have the opportunity in other sports. The positive impact it has on tens of thousands of students each year is immeasurable, and we are proud to work in partnership with TBF and GHSA to provide this opportunity to students throughout Georgia.”
A special kickoff tournament—the GHSA Cup—will be held for GHSA-member schools March 21, 2020 at Lake Oconee. The free event will be held at Sugar Creek Marina and is open to all Student Angler Federation (SAF) teams at GHSA-member schools in Georgia. All teams must register online at HighSchoolFishing.org by 7 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18.
SAF membership, which is $25 per student per year, includes both FLW and TBF membership and provides all team insurance. Every student also receives a digital subscription to FLW Bass Fishing magazine and access to online training courses from TBF.
“The Student Anglers Federation is honored that GHSA has chosen to partner with us and our partners in fishing at FLW to help conduct and promote High School Fishing to their student body as an official sport,” said Robert Cartlidge, TBF President. “History has shown us again and again that the high school fishing program can turn a young student’s grades and life around. So together with GHSA, FLW and TBF/SAF if we can do that with just one young person anywhere in Georgia, and at the same time give all Georgia students a reason to get outside into the outdoors, then the program will be a success in my opinion.”
For more information about the GHSA Cup, or for details, rules, and future schedule announcements, visit GHSA.net and the GHSA Bass Fishing homepage. For regular High School Fishing updates, photos, tournament news and more from across the country, visit HighSchoolFishing.org and follow SAF on Facebook.
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