Fishing and Other Sporting Tournaments

Fishing and Other Sporting Polygraph

GPN examiners are available to provide testing for all tournaments and contests where participants have an opportunity to violate the rules or otherwise cheat in an attempt to win a prize. These will be properly conducted polygraph exams, done to industry standards, and not “short tests” used only to deter cheating. Our examiners have conducted hundreds of tests for contests awarding many millions of dollars in prize money. Make sure sufficient time is given for each exam (generally one hour each – see notes below).

In general, polygraph exams can be used in the following ways:

Fishing Tournaments – determine whether the winning anglers have followed the tournament rules, caught the winning fish personally (ie. hook and hand violations) and during tournament hours, used unapproved lures, or weighted or altered the fish

Bodybuilding Tournaments – verify the participants have not used illegal drugs or any other compounds prohibited by the tournament rules

Golf Tournaments – determine whether the winners violated any contest rules, cheated in any way, and hit the winning shots personally and legitimately.

Track & Field – verify the participants have not used illegal drugs or prohibited substances prior to competition.

Cost of Testing

We understand that cost is an important consideration for many of these tournaments, but saving money by using short-cut polygraph procedures is a complete waste of money. If you are spending less than $100 per test, it is very likely the exams are not being conducted properly. Instead, we recommend spending the same money to have less tests done and only on the larger prize winners. At least this way the tests will be accurate. Daily and volume rates are available upon request. Write for special quotes

 Accuracy of Polygraph Testing

Lie Detector testing using the polygraph is the most accurate and reliable method of determining truth or deception, boasting accuracy rates of 95% or better when conducted properly. However, a polygraph done incorrectly will allow cheaters to pass the exam and forever lose the deterrent effect of the process. We know of many tournament participants who laugh at the thought of polygraph testing because of short or improper testing techniques and the fact that they have already beaten the test many times.

Recommendations for Fishing Tournament Directors

It is important that published tournament rules reflect the likelihood of polygraph testing and that each angler agrees to the rules before fishing. We recommend the following wording: “Prior to the distribution of any awards, any angler or registered crew member, at the discretion of the tournament director, may be required to take and pass a polygraph exam. The time and place for the polygraph testing will be determined by the tournament director. If any angler wishes to dispute an unfavorable polygraph result, the angler may have a second polygraph conducted within 10 days by a polygraph examiner approved by the tournament director at the angler’s expense. This ‘tiebreaker’ polygraph must be administered to ASTM standards. The director may decide which test result to apply when making the final decision.

We recommend that prize moneys be withheld until the polygraph exams have been completed. We strongly discourage the administration of any polygraph exams on a fishing day since testing is less reliable when a person is fatigued. We recommend the exams be conducted on the next available day after the tournament ends. We recommend scheduling exam dates at least 60 days prior to the tournament to avoid scheduling conflicts. Since a properly-conducted tournament exam takes about one hour, you may need to hire more than one examiner if you anticipate the need for more than 5 or 6 exams.

There is no such thing as a 20 minute polygraph !!

Any examiner who says that an effective polygraph can be run in 15-20 minutes is not providing exams to any acceptable standard of practice, and can not be providing reliable results. Some clients feel that the mere presence of a polygraph will encourage confessions and deter unlawful acts (ie. cheating in a fishing tournament). This may be true for a short time until a few contestants learn that such an exam can be easily beaten, and then the test becomes counterproductive. A properly conducted exam must include the following steps. If any step is left out of the process, the results may be unreliable.

  • Introduction and explanation of procedure and equipment (requires 10-15 minutes)
  • Collect background information and medical history (requires 5-10 minutes)
  • Discussion of case facts and obtaining of statement (requires 10-20 minutes)
  • Examiner designs questions and reviews with subject (requires 5-10 minutes)
  • Run polygraph charts (3-4 charts @ 5 minutes each) (requires 15-30 minutes)
  • Chart analysis by examiner (requires 5-10 minutes)


If you are considering a 15-20 minute polygraph exam, we recommend you save your money and flip a coin. The resulting accuracy will be about the same.


Established in 1987, Global Polygraph Network ® is the world’s largest and most trusted polygraph (lie detector) company with services available at hundreds of locations by highly-trained experts all over the world. Avoid “discount” polygraph frauds and “over the phone” testing scams. We only provide real polygraphs by real examiners. Trust our A+ BBB rating, up-front pricing, and written guarantee.