Ouch!!! In the MN Federation Nation Tournament of Champions, Rich Lindgren caught the fish to finish 2nd. However, Rich did a bit of "tweeting" status updates during both days and was disqualified for it.
The MN Federation Tournament Rules State:
During the official competition days of the tournament, a competitor may not use a CB radio, a VHF marine-band radio, a cellular phone, or any other type of communication device for the purpose of locating or catching fish. Contestants are permitted to transmit by radio or telephone only in the event of an emergency.
Honestly, I do not think this rule envisions, nor touches on what Rich did. To transmit by "telephone," you have to call a phone#, which is something I don't think Rich was guilty of doing. A smart phone is essentially a computer and telephone and he was to my thinking using the computer, not the phone. Sending a text message to another phone is using a telephone. Sending a message via computer to another computer is NOT using a telephone. In my mind the Tournament Director wrongfully erred to the side of caution, when neither the actual letter or spirit of the law was being broken.
That said, Rich probably should have gotten a clarification and ruling from the Tournament Director prior to Day 1 blast off.
Update: Another thing I really don't understand. Why is an infringement of a rule like this, if it was really an infringement at all, penalized with a disqualification? The degree of punishment is absurd. In my view the penalty shouldn't have been anything worse than losing a single place in the standings or losing 1lb from his total weight, taking which ever punishment is greater.