BASS Makes Changes to Scoring System


First it was the BASS Opens. Now, it’s been confirmed that the Elite Series is following suit with an adjustment to the point system by which it determines its Angler of the Year.

According to the 2012 BASS Elite Series and BASS Opens rulebooks, gone are the days of top-heavy point distribution and bonus points to single day leaders. Instead, points for each event will be determined by the number of boats in the field at the conclusion of the tournament briefing pairings. The winner shall receive one point for each official boat in the tournament, with points then decreasing by one per place of the angler. So a winning angler in a 98-boat field would earn 98 points. Second place would then receive 97. And the last place angler, having weighed a legal bass, shall receive one point.

Competitors must weigh a legal bass during competition to receive points. In the case where one or more competitors do not weigh a legal bass, points will end at the place of competitors weighing legal bass. Year end points and AOY tiebreakers will be broken by total weight from the full field days of the entire season (pre cut days).

This is a notable change, as it represents a shift toward an emphasis on consistency over wins.

In years past, an angler who won a tournament quickly escalated up the standings, where as an angler who was more consistent suffered. Now, the tables will be turned, with one successful tournament being just that: one successful tournament. Along those lines, one bad tournament no longer dooms an angler as it did in the past.

To further illustrate the effect of the new points system, we looked back at the previous two seasons to see how the Angler of the Year races would have played out under this new system.

You can view those results here.

Not surprisingly, Kevin VanDam still would have won by a landslide in 2011, and the rest of the top 20 would remain relatively unchanged, with some anglers moving up or down a few places.

Where it gets interesting is when we look at 2010. There were still bonus points and a postseason playoff system in place to determine the Angler of the Year, and VanDam used them both to his advantage en route to the crown. Yet, under the new system, his late-season surge would only get him to 6th in the standings.

Meanwhile, Skeet Reese’s hot start made him the AOY in many fans’ eyes. We hate to break it to you, but he would have come up just short again in 2010 under the new system.

Instead, Edwin Evers would have been crowned Angler of the Year by a mere seven points. These were the findings Bass Rankings wrote about in an article posted on Oct. 27, titled “The True AOYs.” In the article, Bass Rankings used a Custom Search to determine who should have been the Angler of the Year in 2009 and 2010.

As with most changes, only time will tell how or if the new system will affect the Angler of the Year race as compared to the past. However, based on the looks back at how the points system would have affect the last two seasons, we feel this is a positive step. After all, the angler who beats the majority of the field the majority of the time should be crowned the best angler, and that’s what this system will do.



About Author

Sean cut his teeth in the journalist world as an award-winning sports reporter, editor and freelancer for various Chicagoland newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and Daily Herald, eventually crossing over into editing and freelance writing in the Outdoor industry. In addition to his position as Editor for, he is also a freelance outdoor writer and lure designer. He resides in the Chicago suburb of Lockport. An avid Bass and Muskie fisherman, his fishing influence began on ponds and lakes in northeast Illinois and has since expanded to a multitude of species across North and Central America. His passion for the sport is rivaled only by his love for building fishing lures, with a number of his designs being used by top professional anglers and produced by various lure companies today. Google+

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