IGFA To End Running Of Annual Inshore,
Offshore World Championship Tournaments
DANIA BEACH, Fla. — After almost a decade since the creation and steady growth of its two world championship tournaments, the International Game Fish Association will end its direct participation and management of the competitive events concluding with its 2008 events
At a recent meeting, the IGFA Board of Trustees voted to discontinue the organization’s direct involvement with running or sponsoring fishing tournaments. Beginning Dec. 31, 2007, the IGFA will no longer accept qualifying events for the IGFA Inshore and Offshore World Championship tournaments; furthermore, no tournaments held after Dec. 31, 2007 will qualify for the final championships.
“The 2008 Championships will take place, and all associated commitments to sponsors will be honored,” said Mike Myatt, the IGFA’s Corporate Relations director who also served as the tournament director of both global events.
The decision comes after months of discussions concerning the benefit of these tournaments and their relevance to the IGFA’s overall mission. The IGFA’s involvement with education and conservation initiatives around the world has increased significantly over the last few years. By continuing to direct its efforts to these important areas, the IGFA will increase its effectiveness.
“There are many great individuals and organizations around the world conducting fishing tournaments,” stated Rob Kramer, IGFA’s president. “The IGFA wants to use its extensive international reach to ensure these tournaments have fish to catch.”
Focusing on conservation and education are the main reasons for discontinuing these events. The increased liability associated with tournaments is another factor in the IGFA’s decision.
The potential for financial loss is a risk that would diminish the IGFA’s ability to accomplish its other goals. “Tournaments are big businesses requiring extensive resources and commitments these days,” stated Chairman George Matthews.
“Although these tournaments are very popular with the world’s anglers, staff time and resources freed to focus on game fish conservation and education will be more consistent with the organization’s mission.”
Most tournaments use the angling rules and ethics created by the IGFA as the basis for their competitions. The IGFA will continue to remain engaged with tournaments from an educational and conservation perspective.
“Tournaments and the anglers who fish them are an important part of our industry,” stated Kramer. “We are more committed than ever to provide the necessary information and services for this segment of the fishing community to grow.
“A great deal of publicity has been generated from these competitions for both the IGFA and the tournament sponsors,” Myatt added. He said the IGFA has begun preliminary talks with several persons and organizations who have expressed an interest in continuing the high level of international competition the two world championships represent.
The IGFA Offshore World Championship began in 2000 and in recent years drew over 60 teams from more than 30 countries. A year later, the IGFA Inshore World Championship began in Islamorada, Fla. attracting the winners of nearly 60 qualifying light tackle and fly tournaments on four continents.
The IGFA is a not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rule making and record keeping. It was founded in 1939 and has members in over 125 countries.
The association welcomes visitors to its 60,000-square-foot IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Fla. The IGFA Web site is igfa.org. For more information on the tournaments, contact Myatt at (954) 924-4350.