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2014 NHC Tour Official Rules

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2014 Daily Racing Form/NTRA

National Handicapping Championship  TOUR

                                                               OFFICIAL RULES

(As of January 21, 2014)

These are the Official Tour Rules ("Official Rules") for the 2014 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship Tour ("NHC Tour"). By signing up and paying the NHC Tour registration fee, participants (“Player”) hereby agree to and acknowledge compliance with all Official Rules.

Noteworthy Changes:

  • Section 4. Each NTRA-sanctioned NHC Tour qualifying tournament (“Tournament”) offering NHC Tour points must offer a minimum of two (2) seats to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (“NHC”) and consist of a minimum of 25 individuals. No Tour points will be awarded in Tournaments consisting of fewer than 25 individuals.
  • Section 5. All individuals (not entries) participating in each qualifying Tournament will receive 50 points for participating in an online Tournament and 150 points for participating in an on-track Tournament. Participation points will be capped at 1,500 points for the 2014 Tour regardless of the way they are accumulated. Players are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of their participation points.
  • Additional Tour points are earned by finishing above the 90th percentile in any qualifying Tournament and are awarded to a maximum of 30 positions.  For example, a Tournament with 50 individuals will award points to the top five (5) scores; a Tournament with 250 individuals will award points to the top 25 scores; a Tournament with 500 individuals will award points to the top 30 scores.
  • Section 6. With the exception of participation points, Tour points awarded in Tournaments with 25 or more individuals will be limited to those individuals finishing above the 90th percentile and to the top 30 individuals in Tournaments consisting of more than 300 individuals. No Tour points will be awarded in Tournaments consisting of fewer than 25 individuals.
  • Section 8. Bonus points based on the number of entries or individuals in any single Tournament have been eliminated.
  • Section 9. Tour prize money is being increased to $200,000, however, there have been adjustments to the Tour prize money pay structure and bonuses for winning multiple Tournaments have been eliminated.
  1. ELIGIBILITY

Tour Membership (“Membership”) is mandatory when competing in paid entry Tournaments in order to be eligible to win a berth in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (“NHC”) in January 2015.

The Tour Membership fee is $50 per individual annually and is limited to one (1) membership per person. All Tour Members are required to provide their name, mailing address, e-mail address and phone number. Tour Membership is good for calendar year 2014. Tour Members will receive the following:

  • Eligibility to compete for a seat at the January 2015 NHC;
  • $200,000 in prize money to Tour point leaders;
  • Special offers and discounts from Daily Racing Form; Racetrack Television Network and other NHC sponsors;
  • Eligibility to participate in free online tourneys offering 20 seats to the 2015 NHC;
  • Individuals finishing among the top 150 points leaders on the year-end NHC Tour Leader Board, who have not already qualified to the 2015 NHC at an onsite or online NTRA-sanctioned Tournament, will automatically qualify for the 2015 NHC;
  • Season-ending points leader will be eligible for $2 million bonus* should he or she win the January 2015 NHC;
  • Weekly e-newsletter featuring recaps of previously held tourneys, player profiles, schedules and links to upcoming Tournaments, etc.;
  • Eligibility to receive benefits and discounts from NTRA Advantage partners.

*The 2014 NHC Tour winner will be eligible for a $2 million bonus if he/she wins the 2015 NHC. The bonus will be paid in the form of an annuity and is subject to the terms and conditions set forth by the insurance carrier.

  1. REGISTRATION

Individuals must register to become an official NHC Tour Member at the following link: /en/nhc/become-a-member/

Each individual member must have his/her own e-mail address. No sharing of e-mail addresses is permitted. Name, mailing address, e-mail address and phone number are required.

Members must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age to compete in the NHC.

Upon registration, each NHC Tour Member will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN). It is the NHC Tour Member's sole responsibility to notify Tournament officials that he or she is a Tour Member when entering and participating in an NTRA-sanctioned handicapping event offering Tour points and/or a berth in the NHC.

Officers, board members and employees of the NTRA and Daily Racing Form, Sovereign Stable and Racetrack Television Network, and their immediate family members, are ineligible to participate in the NHC Tour or NHC.

NTRA reserves the right to deny any person membership in the NHC Tour for any reason whatsoever in its sole and absolute discretion.

  1. NHC TOUR ONLINE TOURNAMENTS AT NTRA.COM

All NHC Tour Members will be eligible to play in free (i.e. no entry fee required beyond Tour membership) NHC Tour online Tournaments at NTRA.com. There will be no entry fee for these Tournaments and a total of 20 seats at the NHC will be offered as prizes during the course of 2014. Tournament dates will be posted on the official NHC Tour schedule.  These online Tournaments are for Tour members only.

  1. TOUR EVENTS

All Tour events will be held during calendar year 2014. The 2014 NHC Tour will consist of live onsite and live online Tournaments approved by the NTRA and offering qualifying seats to the 2015 NHC. Each Tournament offering NHC Tour points must offer a minimum of two (2) seats to the 2015 NHC and consist of a minimum of 25 individuals. No Tour points will be awarded in Tournaments consisting of fewer than 25 individuals. No venue (onsite or online) may host more than one qualifying Tournament per day.

Each individual Tournament held online or onsite is governed by its own rules, state laws and regulations. The rules and Tournament dates must be approved by the NTRA, which will record points earned based on Tournament placings and participation in such qualifying Tournaments (see Tour Scoring).

  1. TOUR SCHEDULE AND SCORING                                        

NHC Tour Points will be awarded only at Tournaments that offer at least two qualifying spots to the NHC.

  • For scoring purposes, the Tour season will be from January 27, 2014 – December 31, 2014.

NHC First Half-Year Tour Prize Money and Full-Year Overall Tour Prize Money

A total of $50,000 in prize money will be paid out to Tour Points Leaders as of July 31, 2014. A total of $150,000 will be paid out to Tour Points Leaders as of December 31, 2014.

A participant’s top four scores accumulated from January 27, 2014, through July 31, 2014, will count toward the NHC Tour First-Half-Year Bonuses. A participant’s top six scores overall will count toward the NHC Tour Overall Leader Board.

Importantly, one of the four scores posted to the First-Half Year Leader Board must come from a live, onsite Tournament. Similarly, one of the six scores posted on the Overall Leader Board at the end-of-year must come from a live, onsite Tournament. An individual who does not score any points in any onsite Tournaments (beyond Participation points) will receive a zero for his/her fourth half-year score and sixth year-end score.

For example, during the first half year, an individual with five online scores but no onsite scores will be credited for his/her top three scores.  If an individual registers five online scores and one onsite score, then the top three online scores and the one onsite score will count toward Tour prize money, no matter what the onsite score.

Tour Points

Individuals finishing among the top 150 points leaders on the year-end NHC Tour Leader Board, who have not already qualified to the 2015 NHC at an onsite or online NTRA-sanctioned Tournament, will automatically qualify for the 2015 NHC.

NHC Tour points accumulated pursuant to the NHC Tour Points Structure will be based on the following:

  • All individuals (not entries) participating in each qualifying Tournament will receive 50 points for participating in an online Tournament and 150 points for participating in an on-track Tournament. Participation points will be capped at 1500 points for the 2014 Tour regardless of the way they are accumulated. Players are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of their participation points.
  • Additional Tour points are earned by finishing above the 90th percentile in any qualifying Tournament and are awarded to a maximum of 30 positions.  For example, a Tournament with 50 individuals (not entries) will award points to the top five (5) scores; a Tournament with 250 individuals (not entries) will award points to the top 25 scores; a Tournament with 500 individuals (not entries) will award points to the top 30 scores.
  • The winner of an online contest with 300 or more individuals competing will be awarded 3000 tour points (3750 points for contests held at a local venue). The tour points awarded gradually decreases for contests with less than 300 contestants down to 1788 points for the winner of an online contest with 25 contestants and 2234 points for the same size contest held at a local venue. No contest points are awarded for contests with fewer than 25 individuals entered. Refer to the new NHC Tour points calculator to find out exactly how many points are awarded for any given contest size and type (online or local venue).
  • Individuals with more than one entry in a particular Tournament who finish above the 90th percentile with more than one entry will earn points ONLY for their highest finish. In the event this occurs, all other participants accumulating points shall retain their original points total for the Tournament. For example, in the event the same individual finishes fifth and seventh, respectively, in the same Tournament, only the individual’s highest point total will receive Tour points. For the purposes of tabulating Tour points, the individual finishing in eighth place (and all others receiving points) will not advance one position for scoring purposes. 
  • In the case of Tournaments offering multiple rounds of play leading to a final in which there are no buy-ins, the total number of points awarded at the final will be based on the total number of individuals entered in all rounds. If buy-ins or other means of “late entry” ARE permitted in the final round, then points will be based on the number of individuals entered in just the final round.

6.    NHC Tour Scoring System

SEE ATTACHED EXCEL SPREADSHEET.

  1. QUALIFYING TO THE NHC

A player may qualify to the NHC twice, but only once in any single NHC qualifying Tournament. A player that qualifies via an onsite or online Tournament is not eligible to qualify a second time via his or her standing on the NHC Tour Leader Board. An individual who wins an NHC seat through Tour points or through a victory or high placing in a Tournament may compete to earn a second seat at the  ‘Last Chance’ Tournament in Las Vegas. Any ‘Last Chance’ Tourney will not award Tour points for 2013, 2014 or 2015.

A participant who qualifies for the NHC accepts his or her seat(s) to the NHC at the time the Tournament is declared official, and he or she may not trade those seats for another seat (and prize) should he/she qualify to the NHC three or more times over the course of the Tour season. Should a player qualify a second time for the NHC, and should he or she have already received travel and hotel awards for the first qualification, the second qualification will earn a complimentary hotel upgrade and resort fee credit for four nights stay in lieu of additional travel and hotel awards. NHC seats may not be transferred.

  1. TIEBREAKER 

If, on December 31, 2014, two (2) or more NHC Tour Members are tied for first place in the point standings, the following tiebreaker will go into effect: The NHC Tour Member with the highest number of top ten (10) finishes over the course of the entire calendar year will be declared the winner. For all other ties, prize money will be divided equally.

Local Tournament directors will be required to turn in official scores and a list of all Tournament participants following each Tournament.

*The 2014 NHC Tour winner will be eligible for a $2 million bonus if he/she wins the 2015 NHC. The bonus will be paid in the form of an annuity and is subject to the terms and conditions set forth by the insurance carrier.

Tour Members qualifying to the 2015 NHC based on Tour points or through winning a seat through one of the NHC Tour’s NTRA sanctioned free online Tournaments will receive an airfare reimbursement of up to $400 and host hotel room expenses for a minimum of four nights, excluding incidentals. No substitution(s) are permitted. Airfare reimbursement must be submitted to the NTRA along with a W-9 and receipt by March 1, 2015.

It is anticipated that the final NHC Tour results will be announced within seven (7) days of the completion of the 2014 Tour and that the top five (5) prizes will be paid (by cash, check or casino chips in cooperation with the host NHC property, at the sole discretion of the NTRA) at the January 2015 NHC.

NHC Tour Members receive automatic enrollment in the Horseplayers' Coalition, which offers interested players an opportunity to support NTRA's ongoing efforts to advance federal tax and other legislative issues which have a direct impact on pari-mutuel customers and racetracks. A link on NTRA.com will include an explanation of such issues, suggested legislative and regulatory solutions, and details regarding how interested players can support NTRA's efforts on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

NHC Tour Members receive automatic membership in NTRA Advantage and become eligible for discounts from brands that include John Deere, Sherwin-Williams OfficeMax, and Valvoline, among others. For more information about NTRA Advantage, visit NTRAadvantage.com or call (866) 678-4289.  NTRA Advantage partners are subject to change.

  1. 9.    PRIZE MONEY

A total of $200,000 in Tour Prize Money will be awarded in the following manner:

Overall 2014 Tour Leaders ($150,000 total)

Position/2014 Payout

1st      $75,000

2nd     $15,000

3rd      $10,000

4th      $5,400

5th      $5,000

6th      $4,600

7th      $4,300

8th      $4,000

9th      $3,700

10th    $3,400

11th    $3,100

12nd   $2,800

13th    $2,500

14th    $2,200

15th    $2,000

16th    $1,800

17th    $1,600

18th    $1,400

19th    $1,200

20th    $1,000

Total   $150,000

First-half Tour Prize Money ($50,000 total)

1st – 5th - $10,000

  1. LEADER BOARD AND RESULTS

Standings, including the names of the NHC Tour Members and their total accumulated points, will be posted each week on NTRA.com and can be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: ATTN: NTRA TOUR, NTRA, 2525 Harrodsburg Road, Suite 510, Lexington, Kentucky 40504.

Tour Members must notify NTRA officials of any error in standings within ten (10) days of an NTRA-sanctioned Tournament.

Failure to comply with any of the Official Rules shall result in disqualification from the NHC Tour at the sole and absolute discretion of the NTRA. All standings and results are unofficial, pending audit and verification. All winners shall be required to sign an affidavit confirming compliance with the Official Rules.

In the event any potential prize winner is disqualified or determined not to be eligible, the NTRA, in its sole and absolute discretion, may award the prize in question, to the NHC Tour Member with the next highest point total, and each successively placed NHC Tour Member will be advanced in the standings accordingly.

  1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

The NTRA shall not be responsible for any lost, interrupted, incomplete, inaccurate or incorrect capture of betting information or for computer, telephone, cable, network, electronic or Internet hardware or software malfunctions, failures, connections, availability or jumbled transmissions, service provider accessibility or availability, or unauthorized human intervention.

NHC Tour Members are responsible for the payment of all local, state and/or federal taxes on monetary and other prizes won. NHC Tour members who are not United States citizens or Permanent Resident Aliens may be subject to federal withholding tax.

All trademarks used in connection with the NHC Tour and the promotion thereof are the property of their respective trademark owners.

By registering for the NHC Tour, and participating in Tour events, each Member expressly agrees to the use of his or her name, photograph, voice and likeness for the purpose of advertising and promotion in connection with the NHC Tour, the NHC and the NTRA, Daily Racing Form, Treasure Island Casino, and their respective partners and affiliates, without further compensation, except where prohibited.

By registering for the NHC Tour, and participating in NHC Tour events, each member agrees to release NTRA, Daily Racing Form, Treasure Island Casino, and their respective partners and affiliates, as well as the directors, employees and agents of each, from any and all liability, loss or damage, including but not limited to any liability, loss or damage incurred as a result of the use, misuse or acceptance of the monetary or other prize.

The validity, interpretation and performance of this Agreement shall be controlled and construed under the laws of the state of Kentucky. No provision of this Agreement shall be construed against or interpreted to the disadvantage of any party by any court or other governmental or judicial authority or mediator or arbitrator by reason of any party having or being deemed to have structured or dictated such provision.

All decisions as to the Official Rules and interpretations thereof are exclusively within the sole and absolute discretion of the NTRA and may be changed from time-to-time without notice.

The NTRA reserves the right to cancel or modify the NHC Tour and/or the Official Rules without notice.

In the event of inconsistency between these Official Rules and any other document provided in connection with the NHC Tour, the terms of these Official Rules shall be controlling.

  1. PRIVACY POLICY

Information submitted on the Registration Form and any information provided in connection with the Tour will be retained by the NTRA and may be used for marketing, research or other commercial and noncommercial purposes. In addition, the NTRA and its partners and affiliates may send NHC Tour members promotions or announcements unless the Member specifically requests that the NTRA not do so in the manner provided in the Registration Form.

  1. ARBITRATION

NTRA and NHC Tour Member (the "Parties") agree that any disputes arising out of or in connection with this NHC Tour that the Parties cannot resolve between themselves shall be addressed in the following manner:

Any dispute or question arising as to the interpretation of any clause of, or the rights and liabilities of the Parties under, in any manner relating to, this Agreement, if not resolved by mediation, shall be referred to binding arbitration before a single arbitrator in Lexington, Kentucky, or at another location as mutually agreed by the Parties, under the rules and procedures of the AAA relating to the selection of arbitrators for the determination of issues. This agreement to arbitrate is supported by adequate consideration, receipt of which is acknowledged. The decision of the arbitrator will be binding, final and conclusive on the parties, and judgment on the arbitrator's decision may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. This agreement to arbitrate is binding upon the respective successors, heirs, legal representatives, assigns and transferees of the parties. The arbitrator, sua sponte or upon the written request of a Party, may issue written directions as to the scope and timetable for discovery. In the event that the arbitrator should determine that the matter(s) in dispute may be resolved by a review of a written record, and that a hearing is not necessary, each Party waives the right to a hearing. The arbitrator shall be charged to render a written opinion reciting the facts as determined and the applicable law as applied. The arbitrator may award injunctive and other equitable relief, as well as an award of monetary damages. No claim of fraud, duress or other basis for revocation of contract made with respect to the NHC Tour shall limit or preclude the enforcement of this agreement to arbitrate except as such fraud, duress or other basis for revocation shall arise with particularity to this agreement to arbitrate.

*NHC Tour rules are subject to change. Not valid where prohibited.