THOMASTON, Ga. – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, The Bass Federation (TBF), the nation’s largest grassroots fishing organization, and the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), announced today that Georgia has become the fifth state to partner with FLW and TBF in offering bass fishing as a sanctioned high school sport starting with the 2020-2021 school year.
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/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 at Lake Oconee in Buckhead, Georgia. 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 8 a.m. CST 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 regular High School Fishing updates, photos, tournament news and more from across the country, visit HighSchoolFishing.org and follow SAF on Facebook. You can follow the latest news from FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing at FLWFishing.com and FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
The Bass Federation (TBF) is the nation’s largest and oldest organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization and a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. TBF is owned by those it serves and dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF-affiliated state federations and member clubs conduct more than 20,000 events each year and have provided a foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for nearly 50 years. Visit BassFederation.com or HighSchoolFishing.org for more information.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).
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