Anglers who successfully apply for tickets in this year’s Fish 0’ Mania qualifiers but fail to show up have been warned that they could now face expulsion from the event.
The £30,000 competition is heavily oversubscribed every year, but a number of heats went ahead without a full field in 2014 after a series of entrants, who successfully obtained qualifying places, failed to show up.
Hundreds of reserves who could have filled the remaining spots were left outraged and organisers have now taken a ‘zero tollerence’ approach to ensure that the same doesn’t happen again in 2015.
The Angling Trust and Matchroom Sport have released a joint statement revealing that anyone not turning up will be added to a ‘blacklist, with further action such as disqualification from entering next year’s tournament being taken.
Maver-backed Jamie Hughes took the title in 2013 and has welcomed the decision and he told Angling Times: “This is definitely the right thing to do. There are hundreds of people that would be willing to travel long distances to get on a qualifier and it isn’t fair on them when somebody shows without reason.”
“The new system will discourage people from not turning up and should lead to every peg that is available being used,” he added.
Angling Trust Competition and Events Manager Sandra Drew played a part in implementing the rule and said: “Anyone who cannot fish any of the qualifiers for whatever reason should contact our head office as well as the organiser on the day.”
“This will enable their tickets to be re-allocated to anglers on the reserve list, making sure there is a full field on each of the 16 heats in 2015.”
Anglers who decide not to fish a heat do have the option of sending tickets back, with the Trust set to reveal their refund policy in the coming weeks.