The Massachusetts Freedivers Spearfishing Club

Spearfishing Club for Freedivers in Massachusetts & New England



1.0 North Atlantic Championship

1.1 The North Atlantic Championship (NAC) consists of 3 open meets – 1 sponsored by each of the four regional clubs/councils (Empire State Freedivers, RI Freedive Club, the Mass Freedivers and the Tristate Skindivers).

1.2 NAC rankings for eligible divers, as defined in Rule 2.0, are determined by the total points for all three open meets.

1.3 The NAC is both an independent championship for the region and a method to determine participation at the US National Spearfishing Championships. Individual club rules may apply for the determination of Underwater Society of America (USOA) US Nationals participation.

 2.0 Eligible Divers

2.1 To be eligible for North Atlantic standings, competitors must be a member of, and have paid dues in full to, a North Atlantic USOA Club (Empire State Freedivers, RI Freedive Club, and the Mass Freedivers) prior the start of the first North Atlantic open meet of the season (July 18, 2008; Mass Open). Please note that individual clubs may have deadlinesthat precede/supersede this rule.

2.2 Any meet designed to directly determine US National Spearfishing Tournament participation (i.e. N.A. Team Meet) must be comprised of eligible divers that meet the eligibility definition by the USOA.

2.3 [RULE PENDING REVIEW OF USOA LIABILITY REQUIREMENTS] A first-time competitor can compete in open meets prior to joining a club. First time competitor or non-club members can place in open meets and can be awarded meet trophies, but cannot accumulate points towards the NAC. See Rule 13.0 for competing division options.

2.4 All competitors must fill out and sign a USOA and/or USOA Club liability waiver form at the time of registration.

 3.0 Briefing Meeting:

3.1 A briefing meeting will be held at the tournament site prior to the start of the meet toreview meet rules.

 4.0 Start of Meet:

4.1 Competitors can be on land or in water shallow enough to stand in the start area until the start signal.

 5.0 End of Meet:

 5.1 Competitors must be on land or in water shallow enough to stand in the return are prior to the end of the meet.

 6.0 Tournament Boundarie6.1 Ft. Wetherill: Beavertail Point Channel Marker to 500 feet south of the Newport/Pell Bridge. Eastern shore of Jamestown out to 80 foot depth contour.

6.1.1 BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION: Beavertail Lighthouse to the green and red "NR" bell buoy south of Beavertail Point due east approximately 2,180 feet to the 80 foot contour then northeast along the 80-foot contour to the Kettle Bottom Rock green "G7" gong buoy then to the Bull Point green "g" gong buoy to the Dumplings green "11" gong buoy then north-northwest no deeper than 80 feet to a point 500 feet south the western support for the center span of the Newport/Pell Bridge. No crossing the East Passage navigation channel.

6.2 Sakonnet Point: Church Point to Warren Point. No crossing the navigation channel (Sakonnet River entrance).

6.2.1 BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION: The western-most part of Church Point west to a northsouth line intersecting Old Bull red "4" nun, then south to the red "4" nun, then southsouthwest to the red "2A" bell buoy, then southeast to the Schuyler Ledge red "2" bell buoy, then east-northeast to the green and red Elisha Ledge can buoy, then   northwest to the eastern-most portion of Warrens Point.

6.3 Kings Beach: Ochre Point to Castle Hill Light.

6.3.1 BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION: Castle Hill Lighthouse southwest to the red Butter Ball Rock “6” bell buoy, then south-southeast to the Brenton Reef red “4” gong, then south to the Brenton Reef red “2” whistle buoy, then east to the Seal Ledge red “2A” bell buoy, then continuing due east to a north-south line intersecting the eastern-most portion of Ochre Point.

6.4 Gooseberry Neck – Westport, MA.

6.4.1 BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION: To the far west at Quicksand Point, then southeast down to the G “1” (FI G2.5s) buoy. Then back to the northeast to the tip of Barneys Joy Point.

7.0 Eligible Fish7.1 Legal fish species listed as an eligible fish in Rule 7.2 that are 2” or longer than the stateminimum size limit. This excludes sharks, skates, and rays. For any species that does not have a state-minimum size the meet minimum size is 12”

 7.2 Eligible Species List:

 Underlined species are pelagic species exempt from “Scouting” Rule 14.1. 

7.2.1 striped bass (Morone saxatilis)

7.2.2 bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix)

7.2.3 tautog (Tautoga onitis)

7.2.4 black seabass (Centropristis striata)

7.2.5 scup [porgy] (Stenotomus chrysops)

7.2.6 summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus)

7.2.7 gray triggerfish (Balistes capriscus)

7.2.8 weakfish [squeteague] (Cynoscion regalis)

7.2.9 atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

7.2.10 Atlantic tomcod (Microgadus tomcod)

7.2.11 pollock (Pollachius virens)

7.2.12 monkfish [goosefish] (Lophius americanus)

7.2.13 American conger eel (Conger oceanicus)

7.2.14 Atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda)

7.2.15 false albacore [Little tunny] (Euthynnus alletteratus)

7.2.16 jacks (Caranx sp.)

7.2.17 cobia (Rachycentron canadum)

7.2.18 Atlantic wolfish (Anarhichas lupus)

7.2.19 lesser amberjack (Seriola fasciata)

7.2.20 greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili)

7.2.21 Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus)

7.2.22 dolphin (Coryphaena hippurus)

7.2.23 white perch (Morone americanus)

7.3 Note on Tuna species: Federal regulations for Highly Migratory Species (HMS) require a permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that are only issued to a stateregistered or federally documented vessels. As such, these species are illegal to harvest from shore or a muscle-powered craft. In turn, they are not eligible species for shore/kayak-based open meets. They are eligible species for other tournaments if a motor-driven vessel is used and the vessel owner/operator has a valid HMS angling permit. Note that under all circumstances, it is illegal to spear Atlantic bluefin tuna within RI and US waters. Tunas subject to HMS regulation and therefore ineligible meet species

are:7.3.1 Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

7.3.2 bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)

7.3.3 albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga)

7.3.4 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

7.3.5 skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis)


8.0 Weigh-ins

8.1 Fish will be measured and weighed to determine the point totals. (See Meet Scoring Rule 16.0)

8.2 Fish must be presented intact in unaltered condition. The meet weigh-master has the authority to refuse any fish deemed unacceptable. The meet director has the right to inspect the stomach contents of any fish.

9.0 Required Equipment

9.1 Any equipment required by State or Federal laws or regulations including, but not limited to:

9.1.1 Personal Flotation Device (PDF) if not swimming from shore.

9.1.2 Dive flag (12” by 12” minimum)

9.2 Additional required equipment to be carried by the diver on the diver’s kayak or float:

9.2.1 Knife

9.2.2 Whistle

9.2.3 Compass (if not swimming from shore)


10.0 Travel Time

10.1 Travel time will be assigned at the discretion of the club/council.

10.2 Travel time will be assigned when the meet is scheduled.

10.3 No fishing is allowed during travel time(s).

10.4 A diver in the water with a mask on and/or holding a speargun will be considered to be fishing. 


11.0 Official Meet Time

11.1 Official time shall be based upon a GPS satellite-based time source.

11.2 The official time will be announced during the pre-meet briefing so divers can synchronize watches.


12.0 Meet Registration

12.1 Registration for a meet must be complete 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the meet.

13.0 Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

13.1 GPS will be allowed for fishing and/or safety in potentially foggy conditions at the discretion of the hosting club/council.


14.0 Scouting

14.1 No fishing for non-pelagic species within the tournament area for 14 days prior to the meet. Pelagic species include underlined in the Eligible Species List (Rule 7.2)

14.2 No pre-scouting the morning before the meet. 


15.0 Meet Minimums

15.1 There must be at least NAC-eligible 5 divers for the meet results to count for points towards the North Atlantic Championships.

15.2 A total of at least 5 fish must be landed for the meet results to count for points towards the North Atlantic Championships.


16.0 Meet Scoring

16.1 All eligible fish are scored as follows: 1 point per fish, 1 point per pound up to 15 lbs. The maximum points for any fish are 16 points.

16.2 All competitors’ point totals will be converted to a percentage of the winner’s point total. The percentage points for each qualifying competitor for each of the three qualifying open meets will be added to determine the North Atlantic Champion for 2010.


17.0 Disqualification

17.1 Any divers failing to comply with any meet rule or state or federal law or regulation will be disqualified.

17.2 Alteration of any fish to increase the length or weight will result in disqualification.

17.3 Trading, upgrading, or discarding fish during the tournament will result in disqualification.

17.4 Failure to adhere to travel time rule (Rule 10.0) will result in disqualification.

17.5 Failure to be on land or standing in shallow water in the return area prior to the end of the meet will result in disqualification.


18.0 Ties

18.1 In the case of a tie based upon point totals in the top three positions the winner(s) will be determined by total number of fish.

18.2 If a tie still exists after the number of fish are counted, the competitor with the greater number of species will be the higher place competitor.

18.3 In the event a tie still exists after considering the total number of fish and the number of species, the club will award two trophies for that particular place (1st / 2nd / 3rd)

18.4 All tied competitors will receive the same number of points towards the N. Atlantic Championship total. 


19.0 Divisions

19.1 At the discretion of the hosting club/council, there will be two competition divisions (A and B).

19.2 The A-division is for experienced spearfishers/competitors.

19.3 The B-division is for new or inexperienced spearfishers/competitors that have not previously placed in a B-division competition.

19.4 A competitor that registers in the B-division can place (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) in the A-division, but points do not count towards the North Atlantic Championships point total.

19.5 Once a competitor places in B-division, he/she is no longer eligible to compete in the B division.


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