IPF Cat I Referee
Member, IPF Tech.Comm.
Dear friends and colleagues:
I hope and trust that this report finds everyone doing well. In this month's technical report, I shall discuss several different topics that will include referee certifications and renewals, standards of conduct (on/off the platform) for lifters, coaches, and officials, and shall conclude with some points from John Stephenson's most recent IPF Technical Committee Newsletter.
I will begin this report by congratulating the Robb Graham of Colorado, Gerry Chidester of Louisiana, as well as Curt Romain and Lanette of Texas for passing their IPF Category II referee examinations. Robb, Gerry, and Curt passed their examinations at the 2005 USAPL Men's Nationals in Killeen, Texas and Lanette at the Master's Nationals Palms Springs, California. I would like to point out that Curt St. Romain's examination was a retake from last year, and he did quite well. Moreover, I would like to welcome back both Bill Ennis and Ron Scott as certified IPF Category II officials - both recertified their credentials at the 2005 USAPL Master's Nationals. On a positive note, both will be assisting Lance Slaughter with future state, regional, national and international championships for USAPL California. I would also like to extend our best wishes to both Jack Marcus and Mike Hartle, who have requested to take their IPF Category I examinations at the World Junior Championships, during September, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
On another note, this past month, I reviewed our list of international referees located on the IPF webpage, and there are several officials that have not attended any national and/or international championships in the past 3-4 years, which is concern of mine. One of the responsibilities a person accepts, when becoming an IPF Category I or II referee, is the willingness to travel either nationally and/or internationally to championships. Key and important, most of our national and international championship directors are willing to pay for hotel rooms and a small daily stipend for meals for officials. So, I would encourage those international referees that are sitting home, to go to their closets, pull out your blazers, and rulebooks, blow the dust off of them, and get to work. The organization values your contributions, knowledge, and years of service to the sport. Needless to say, we look forward to seeing you at one of our next championships. In a nutshell, if we do not hear from you, you will be hearing from us, to see if you wish to continue your service. In the meantime, I can be contacted at: email@example.com or at my cell: 954.790.2249. On a final note, I look forward to your call and/or e-mail messages to schedule you for the upcoming championships posted on our calendar.
Standards of Behavior and Conduct
This particular section of my message points out one of my [deepest concerns] as the organization's technical committee chairman. Most recently, members as well as non-members of the organization have taken it upon themselves to chastise and selectively harass and target both members and some of our elected leaders of the organization on public internet forums. Personally and professionally speaking, regardless of the reasons, this means of communication and [destructive behavior] serves no purpose whatsoever, and places not only USA Powerlifting, but the sport of powerlifting in an appalling and dreadful light. I would like to also comment that ultimately this form of behavior undermines one's public, professional and personal credibility in how they choice to resolve their disputes. On a constructive and positive note, I would like to point out that if a disagreement or difference of opinion presents itself to any member or non-member of USA Powerlifting, I would respectfully request that you contact your state chairperson, athlete's representative, or an USAPL Executive Committee member. Two athlete representatives that come to mind that I have worked with in the past to resolve disputes are Wade Hooper and Shawn Cain. Both are exemplary in their work as representatives to assist in the resolution of grievances. Moreover, as a reminder, I would like to point out that both the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), the North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF), and USA Powerlifting (USAPL) have mechanisms in place to discipline members that continue to violate standards and codes of professional conduct that are not befitting of an athlete/coach/referee. On a final note, depending on the extreme circumstances of the situation taking place, individuals may, in fact, be subject to state and federal [Cyberstalking] laws that are in place to protect individuals from harassing behavior. I will end hear with this matter, and request that members as well as non-members of USA Powerlifting use their best judgment and conduct in presenting themselves both on and off of the platform, when attempting to resolve their disputes with an organization officials or with other individuals.
Overall, like the WADA and IPF rules for doping control, it is the responsibility for each athlete to know the standards and guidelines and behavior of USA Powerlifting, and their respective affiliates. Violations of these standards of behavior and conduct may result in the loss of your eligibility to lift or become a member of USA Powerlifting and the International Powerlifting Federation.
I will end my section of this month's report with on a positive and constructive note. The first half of the year, I have the distinct pleasure in serving as the technical chairman for the Women's, Men's, Collegiate and Master's National Powerlifting Championships, as well as the technical advisor for the Women's National Team to Finland. In light of this, I would like to thank and congratulate the respective meet directors Harold Gaines, Johnny Graham, Paul Fletcher, and Lance Slaughter for directing literally four  outstanding championships. I would also like to thank and acknowledge the coaches and lifters of the USA Women's National Team for a super job at this year's Women's World Championships that took place in Ylitornio, Finland. More importantly, without listing all of the names, I would like to personally and professionally thank the countless volunteers, and the officials that took the time and effort (as their own expense) to assist in the direction of the four national competitions. Their respective work resulted in the success of these championships - Great job all around. In addition, I would encourage other referees to volunteer for our national teams in the role of technical advisor. An important aspect that we have overlooked as of late, which is now be reconstituted. As the technical advisor on the staff of the coaching committee, I am going to recommend that one official be assigned to each team to fulfill this particular role. So, again, as a referee, there are opportunities to volunteer and assist not only at championships, but with some our international teams.
In closing, as always, if you have any specific comments, concerns and/or questions, please forward them to me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org Otherwise, I wish everyone the very best of success this year, and enjoy your respective summer vacations. See you at the next championship.
Kind and sincere regards,
Robert H. Keller
IPF Category I Referee
Member, IPF Technical Committee
Member, IPF Doping Commission
Interim Technical Chair - USA Powerlifting
TECHNICAL COMMITTEE NEWSLETTER NO 3 2005
IPF Approvals ( supportive wear )
Under instruction from the IPF Executive Committee no further approvals of supportive equipment i.e. suits, shirts and wraps will be considered up until at least a meeting has been held in Germany at the time of the World Games in July. Our licensees have been given notice!
At the " request " of the Technical Committee to all manufacturers of supportive suits and shirts registered with the IPF, Titan Support Systems Inc, are now printing the IPF logo on all of their suits and shirts that have received IPF approval. We thank them for heeding this request, as yet, not a demand. It is in the interest of lifters, examining referees and producers.
Pro Wrist Straps
The T.C. welcome Al Thomas ( USA ) onto the list of approved suppliers of wrist and knee wraps.
His products are namely:-
"APT'S Pro Wrist Straps"
"ZRV Pro Wraps Wrist and Knees"
He can be found on the IPF Website or e:mail ProWristStraps@aol.com
Incidentally, his wraps were approved before the "moratorium"
A question has arisen as to whether or not a weightlifting costume ( non supportive ) with sleeves is legal with a T. Shirt
or, supportive shirt beneath.
Under IPF Rules, a T. Shirt or support shirt must be worn under the lifting suit during the performance of the squat and bench press, but is optional for the men in the deadlift.
The rule does not change because the weighlifting costume may have sleeves. Double sleeves? How can this be illegal when two thirds of a support shirt may be covered with a supportive lifting suit ! ! !
All that is asked is that the sleeves of the T. Shirt or support shirt do not protrude beyond those of the weightlifting costume.
New Rule in W/L
As from May the IWF will apparently change the rule on increments ( rising bar ), lowering to one kg. This will no doubt make for closer competition. Especially womens lighter classes. The IPF are not proposing change as has been rumoured. At this point in time the status quo remains.
The T.C. are in receipt of an interesting letter from Joe Marksteiner (USA) concerning discrepencies in World Records which may occur when discs showing slight percentage differences are totalled. His theory amounted to a lifter having to take up to one and a half kg's to break a World Record. The Executive Committee received a copy and decided that there was no need for change.
On the same theme -
Now that only discs that are IPF Approved may be used for the setting of World Records i.e. Eleiko - Leoko - Ivanko - Pallini -
Uesaka, there is much less chance of divergence. At the recent World Master's Bench Press Championships I weighed every disc to be used on platform ( Ivanko ). The certified scales showed each and every disc perfectly true.
The importance of lot numbers cannot be over emphasised.
At a recent IPF Championships an error by the speaker calling lifter A with lot number 5 with 157.5 kg's to preceed lifter B lot number 2 with the same weight made for both to finish bench pressing. The lighter lifter B was awarded the bronze medal.
Common sense eventually prevailed and both were awarded third place. Of course, the jury could have awarded lifter A a fourth attempt with 160 kg's Apparently it was well within his capability.
Complaint to Jury
Should coaches wish the Jury to follow up on complaints made to them against opposing lifters, they must produce the said fee with a written protest.
Recently, a coach asked the Jury to look at a shirt ( passed by the examining referees ) which he thought was illegal, because of a presumed seam across the pec area. He produced the fee eventually and the Jury studied the shirt. In their opinion the extra stitching was due to a repair. The complaint was not deemed frivolous, and the whole of the fee returned.
World Masters Bench Press Championships
Congratulations to Meet Director Vladimir Matti and Technical Director Jiri Hofirek and the Czech Powerlifting Federation for producing one of the most well organised competitions that I have had the privilege to attend in over 27 years officiating on the International Circuit. This will feature in my top ten. The success of the meet can be gauged by the fact that not one complaint
was made to the Technical Committee. Three hundred satisfied lifters. Must be a first !
Over 60 / Over 70 . Medals
The first of the IPF medals for the best overall lifter - Women over 60 years of age and Men over 70 years of age, were presented at the prize giving held along with the banquet at the World Master's Bench Press Championships.
One question that arose was, were the medals to be awarded to class winners only, as in rule 12 GENERAL RULES OF POWERLIFTING. No, overall best lifter 1-2-3 on the Wilks Formula.
The Committee at this time of writing are awaiting a catalogue containing details of the Combo Rack - Steve Howard USA
who wishes to acquire T.C. approval for its use in International events. Look for it on the approved list should it meet our standards.
Failure Card System
After twelve years now that the scheme has been in operation some referees are still having difficulty in raising the correct card.
This must be overcome. As has been said previously, unless the correct card is raised, the scheme is of no help at all!
Peter Fiore ( Director of Powerlifting GB ) tells me that there has been a good response for the inaugural meet to be held in September in Northampton England. Fred McKenzie Meet Director will be accepting entries up until 21 days, (as per IPF Rules ), prior to the Technical Meeting.
Nominated referees who continually fail to show, depleting the list of options is becoming an increasing problem. The Technical Committee are considering asking the Executive Committee if some form of penalty should be imposed on the defaulters!
Prime reason as always - Too heavy X 3.
Mention was made by Alan Ferguson IPF representative at the World Master's Bench Press Championships at the closing ceremony, of his concern at the amount of bombers there were, especially at a one lift meet, seven, in one weight/age category alone. Perhaps it is considered more embarrassing to take an easy opener than attempt almost maximum. What some lifters do in the gym has little bearing when confronted by IPF referees. Some of the reasons for failure by technicalities maybe lessened
if the Rule Interpretation was studied.
Although it is often heard said that one must be slightly deranged to lift weights, it is totally untrue that the IPF will restrict anyone with a mental affliction from competing with the "able" minded, as has been questioned by an Icelandic Coach. The IPF would be scorned upon if this type of discrimination occured and possibly subject the federation to litigation.
CHAIRMAN IPF TECHNICAL COMMITTEE