In previous years, FLW Outdoors, like many tournament organizations, assigned competitors coming through boat check a device with a boat number. Due to the high number of boats passing through a relatively small check-in area, however, this method was subject to human error. With RF Code, each boat will be given a Mantis Tag, a small chip that sends out radio waves. Each Mantis Tag is assigned an individual code that is picked up by the Mantis Reader when a boat passes within a defined area. The Mantis Reader can then automatically determine exactly what time each boat checks in during a tournament.
“Anytime tournament operations can be streamlined and automated, it’s good for the anglers,” said Charlie Evans, executive vice president of FLW Outdoors. “RF Code will allow our tournaments to run more quickly and smoothly, giving anglers more productive fishing time on the water and eliminating any boat-check confusion associated with manual check-in.”
According to Rob Ufford, vice president of business development at RF Code, each boat will be given a float with a transponder that will be kept in the boat’s livewell. These transponders will emit a radio-frequency tracking signal that will automatically be detected when the boat gets within a certain number of yards of the Mantis Reader, with the parameters determined by the tournament director. This data can also automatically be tied in to the tournament’s scoring system, so that if a boat is late for check-in, penalties can automatically be deducted.
“The advantage of this besides accuracy is the ability to handle all boats simultaneously,” Ufford said. “It’s faster than manual check-in because rather than checking them one by one, they check in automatically, which completely eliminates errors. We’re honored to have been selected as the tracking technology for FLW Outdoors, and we look forward to supporting each of the tournament circuits.”
RF Code will make its Wal-Mart FLW Tour debut Jan. 21-24 during the tour’s season opener on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Fla.
PC Week Magazine named RF Code “Best of COMDEX” at Las Vegas in 1999. For more information on RF Code, visit rfcode.com or call (877) 969-2828. For more information about ACC Systems, visit ACCSystems.com or call (301) 972-6141. For more information on FLW Outdoors, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.