Number Thirty-Three, December 2006    -    TECHNICAL NEWS & INFORMATION
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Robert Keller
IPF Cat I Referee
Member, IPF Tech.Comm.






Technical Report -- Powerlines #33

Dear Members of USA Powerlifting:

The year is finally winding down with Christmas and New Years just one week away. On this note, I believe it is important that we celebrate our successes, learn from our mistakes, and more importantly take time to thank those family members and friends that are near and dear to each of us for their support, as we take time away from home, so that we may take part in such a great sport, as well as to allow us to pursue our goals, dreams and aspirations!

On this note, I believe that as administrators, we should take some time to send our sincere thanks to all of the volunteers that make our state associations and national organization so great. These individuals have spent many hundreds of hours [and dollars] of their own time and expense seeing that the organization, contests, and lifters are successful - Thank you!

Speaking of success, I would like to congratulate both our Menís and Womenís Team at the IPF World Championships that took place in Norway! The Womenís Team placed first and the Menís USA Team placed a close second to Poland. Overall, both teams achieved a high level of success. My compliments and congratulations go out to all of the athletes, as well as our coaches, trainers and handlers that were instrumental in preparing our teams for such a successful year.

Each year at the World Championships, the annual IPF Congress is held. Notably, at this year's congress there were some significant technical rule changes. Along with the IPF technical rule changes, in this issue of Powerlines, I plan to address the following other issues. They are as follows: IPF Congress; International Lifting/Officiating; Raw/Unequipped Lifting Revisited; IPF Recognized Powerlifting Bar: Guideline of knurling distances; Leaving Competitions Early; Referee testing Procedures/Guidelines; IPF Doping Rule 10.11; and Referee Certification 2008.

2006 IPF Congress
As I mentioned in my last report, this year was pivotal and important in terms of rule changes that were proposed at the IPF Congress. All of the changes proposed by IPF Technical Committee were passed by one [1] "sweeping vote", except for one particular item that I shall address in depth. Beforehand, I would like to personally address the issue of having "sweeping votes" or "en bloc" votes. Personally, I find these "sweeping votes", without discussion of each item, principally disturbing and I will address this next year with the IPF Technical Committee. Key and important, one of the chief responsibilities of administering a democracy is to ensure that legislation or in this case -- technical rules changes -- are thoroughly discussed by voting members. The reason for this is to make certain the rules proposed are sound and thought out, with wide and diverse input. Of course, dialogue, debate and discussion takes time, and yes, sometimes this process is painfully difficult, but at the end of the day, whether the agenda items pass or fail, everyone has had a chance to review, speak and be a part of the process of accepting said changes.

One technical change, which stirred a spirited debate at the Congress, was the agenda item that would allow the IPF EC, in conjunction with the IPF TC, and NOT the IPF Member Federations, to create and change the IPF Technical Rules. Fortunately, several IPF EC & TC Members were made painfully aware and schooled on how the democratic process works - This motion was flatly and soundly voted down, by a clear majority, by the member federations. The consensus was that the power to make decisions - to control the IPF Technical rules, should and will remain with the congress and not in the hands of the few. Special thanks to our in house counsel - Bettina Altizer for her insightful speeches at the IPF Congress! Great job!

As I mentioned in my previous report, USA Powerlifting prides itself on being a democratic organization and some of our international colleagues have lost sight of these principles, which the organization was originally founded upon when it was created in Dallas, Texas [USA] some 36 years ago!

I must say your CONSTRUCTIVE feedback on the Unofficial USAPL Forum, as well as our discussions with numerous state chairman and lifters, was instrumental in our outlining our recommendations. Regardless of the outcome, the voice of the members of USA Powerlifting was heard!

IPF Rule Changes
To all referees, beginning January 01, 2007 the following changes to the 2006 rules will go into affect at all championships. Please take some time to review these changes. I have outlined them accordingly:

General Rules of Powerlifting
1. Deletion of fourth attempts and all reference to fourth attempts throughout the rule book.
2. Deletion of 44 kg class for Open and Masters Women
3. Deletion of 52 kg class for Open and Masters Men
4. Preliminary Team roster must be submitted to the Championship Secretary and Meet Director including that of any reserves sixty [60] days before the date of the Championship.
5. Final selections should be submitted 21 days before the date of the championship must be made from those nominated at this time, and including that of the reserves.
6. "Best lifter" to replace Champion of Champions.

Equipment and Specifications
1. Records to exceed existing by 1.0 kg minimum, and all reference to throughout the rule book.
2. Safety stands attached to the bench must be used in all events.

Personal Equipment
1. Schoolboy lifters to wear a leotard/singlet in competition.
2. Shoes or Boots as defined under item (a) to be worn at all championships.
3. Itemized inspection sheet of Personal Equipment replaced by "stamping and signing"
4. Before attempting a World Record the lifter will be inspected by the Technical Controller.

Powerlifts and Rules of Performance
Bench Press

1. Head to be in contact with the bench prior to the start signal and throughout the lift.
2. Feet to be flat on the floor (flat as the shape of the shoes will allow)
3. No foot movement.
4. "Press" - Audible signal after being held motionless at the chest.
5. Certificate to be produced if arms cannot be fully extended (Medical Committee to confirm).
6. The Chief Referee will convey to the lifter, by gesture if necessary, the reason why the start/squat signal has not been given.

Key Points on the Bench Press
More commentary by John Stephenson, IPF Technical Committee Chairman, on the new bench press rules can be found here.

The following pictorial examples of correct/incorrect positioning on the Bench Press

Order of Competition
1. There will be a fifteen [15] minute interval allowed between lift, when one flight is being contested.
2. The Technical Committee will have some control in selection of Championship Officials.
3. Technical Controller (new appointment).
4. Any record achieved to be added to individual lift and total.

Referees
1. Audible command "Press" after motionless at the chest.
2. Final round of the deadlift the bar must be cleaned before every attempt.
3. Women winter attire - Appropriate tie must be worn.

World Records
1. World Records can only be made at World, Continental, Regional and National Championships.
2. Percentages removed to attain a World Record.
a) Should a lifter exceed the single lift Bench Press record, whilst lifting in a three lift powerlifting contest, he/she may claim the single lift Bench Press record.
b) Should a lifter in a single lift Bench Press contest exceed the three lift powerlifting record, he/she cannot claim the powerlifting record.

Commentary, Observations and Annotations
In short, when new rules are introduced, it is expected that there will be a period of adjustment for everyone to become familiar with them. Therefore, I am going to request all officials to take the necessary time to review the IPF Rules, prior to sitting before your next contest. I am also going to ask that each meet director provide a thorough rules briefing, prior to the start of each contest. Finally, I am going to call for coaches as well as lifters to take some time to review the rules to become familiar with the changes. If you have questions when you arrive at the next contest, please pull one of the officials aside to address any questions you may have.

The IPF Rules can be found at the following link:
http://www.powerlifting-ipf.com/ipf_technical_rulebook.htm

Key and important, at all of the major national championships this year, I and/or a member of the USA Technical Committee will provide an in-depth rules briefing for both referees and lifters. However, in the interim, if anyone has any questions, I would respectfully request that you send your questions to either me, or one of the members of the USA Powerlifting Technical Committee. Our contact information can be found here: http://www.usapowerlifting.com/committees/technical/index.shtml

International Lifting and Officiating
All USA Powerlifting lifters and/or referee, and you would like to take part in another IPF member federation's competition [i.e. USAPL lifter competing or officiating in the CPU], you will be required to have permission from both your national federation and the national federation hosting the championship. Additionally, if a lifter from outside of the USA desires to lift in a USAPL local, state, regional and/or national championships, they are required to have permission from their national federation. A letter from the national federation's general secretary will suffice. Please route these requests through Dr. Maile, Bill Clayton or me.

Raw/Unequipped Lifting Revisited
There have been continued requests by our members toward the development of raw/unequipped lifting at our local and state championships, as well as the establishment of American records. Also, there have been questions on what exactly and how is raw lifting to be defined. Definition determined by the 2000 and 2006 resolutions reached by the USAPL NGB, allows for the following to be used when lifting raw at our championships: Singlet, belt, knee and wrist wraps. I would like to comment that this form of lifting should take part at the [local and state level] as a means of development to encourage novice and first time lifters to take part in our great sport. State chairman should encourage their meet directors to include this division on contest application forms.

IPF Recognized Powerlifting Bar: Guideline of knurling distances
Effective January 01, 2008, mandatory changes for knurling distances for all IPF approved powerlifting bars will become mandatory. These new guidelines can be found on page five [5] of the IPF Rule Book. Additionally, all USAPL National Meet directors will be required to have bars that meet the new IPF Guidelines for knurling distance. Questions - please contact me directly at: rhk@verizon.net

Leaving Competitions Early
If you decide to leave a competition early, for any reason, it is very important that before leaving that you check in with the meet director, technical secretary or doping control officer to ensure that you've not been selected for doping control. Leaving early, without notifying the competition officials and you've been selected for doping control can lead to problems. So, to be safe, check-in prior to your departure.

Referee Testing Procedures/Guidelines:
As a reminder, if you would like to test for either your State or your National referee card, please contact your state chairman first. Once you have been approved by your state chairman, your request should be sent onto Bill Clayton, the USAPL Referee Chairman. Bill can be reached at: clayton@blast.net.

All requests to test for your IPF Category I or II Referee should come to Bill Clayton and I together.
Key and important, all applications and requests should be accompanied by a resume/CV of all referee experience.

Once your nomination is approved by Bill, he will, in collaboration with your state chairman, schedule an examination for you. Key and important in the process is to come to your examination professionally prepared and dressed in the appropriate uniform. Also, to the best of your ability, come prepared to take both the practical and written examinations on the same day. Also, ensure that you have with you the most up-to-date IPF rulebook The IPF rules can be easily downloaded - free of charge mind you -- from the IPF webpage, located at: http://www.powerlifting-ipf.com

IPF Doping Rule 10.11
The IPF has downgraded the suspension time from one [1] year to six [6] months for violations of this rule. As mentioned in my Technical Report in Powerlines #32, this rule is clearly one of the most controversial and discussed by our members within USA Powerlifting, or for that matter the sport of Powerlifting as whole. Often times, these discussions lead to highly polarizing positions. I have witnessed officials resign from their posts within the IPF due in large part, over their disagreement of this rule. Recently, over the past year, there have been witnesses to numerous high profile athletes and referees that have been suspended for not adhering to this rule -- Some knowingly and some mistakenly. In short, whether you agree or disagree with the rule, it is a rule and the IPF has now moved to enforce it after being somewhat lenient over the past couple of years. So, how does this affect the ordinary member of USA Powerlifting? Currently, our federal laws prohibit USA Powerlifting from enforcing this particular IPF rule; however, this does not mean the IPF will not enforce it. Therefore, to the ordinary member, if you decide to enter, or for that matter officiate, at a championship outside of USA Powerlifting, which has a suspended lifter competing, and it is discovered that you have taken part in this championship; you may be subject to an IPF suspension -- I can not say it any more plainly than this! Therefore, again, prior to venturing outside of USA Powerlifitng, it is highly recommended that you contact both the meet director and the administration [if there is one] of the sanctioning federation that you plan to lift in, to ensure there are no suspended lifters taking part. If there is, I would select and locate another event or take a pass. If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

IPF Referee Certification 2008
As a kind and gentle reminder, if you are an IPF Category I or II referee and have not achieved the necessary four [4] National or International Powerlifting Championships as of the end of this year, 2007 will be an important year for you. So, please review the calendar of events on the USA Powerlifting homepage and make arrangements to come and referee at one or several of our National Powerlifting Championships. Please contact either Bill Clayton or myself, if you have any questions regarding recertification of your credentials.

Final Comments
My next report will be devoted solely to the current dispute concerning the restrictions attempting to be placed on the current bench press shirts by the IPF EC.

In closing, if there are ever any questions, please feel free to contact me or one of my colleagues on their USAPL Technical Committee. We are always available to answer your questions. Thank you and I would like to take this final opportunity to wish you and your respective family members a wonderful holiday season! See you next year.

All the very best:

Robert Keller
IPF Category I Referee
Chairman
USA Powerlifting Technical Committee