Technical Rules for Competitions
a. Power lifts & Rules of Performance
Signals and implementation of the three lifts are as follows:
Start: A visual signal consisting of a downward movement of the arm, together with the audible command “Squat”.
Completion: A visual signal consisting of a backward movement of the arm, together with the audible command “Rack”.
- After removing the bar from the racks while facing the front of the platform, the lifter may move forward or backward to establish the lifting position. The top of the bar is not more than 3cm below the top of the anterior deltoids. The bar shall be held horizontally across the shoulders with the hands and/or fingers gripping the bar, and the feet flat upon the platform with the knees locked.
- The lifter shall wait in this position for the head referee’s signal. The signal will be given as soon as the lifter is set and demonstrates control with the bar properly positioned. The head referee’s signal shall consist of a downward movement of the arm and audible command “Squat”.
- Upon receiving the head referee’s signal, the lifter must bend the knees and lower the body until the top surface of the legs at the hip joint is lower than the top of the knees.
- The lifter must recover at will, without double bouncing, to an upright position with the knees locked. The bar may stop, but there must be no downward motion during recovery. As soon as the lifter demonstrated a controlled final position, the head referee will give the signal indicating completion of the lift and to replace the bar.
- The signal to replace the bar will consist of a backward motion of the arm and the audible command “Rack”. The lifter must then make a bona fide attempt to return the bar to the racks.
- The lifter shall face the front of the platform, towards the head referee.
- The lifter shall not hold the collars or discs at any time during the performance of the lift.
however, the edge of the hands gripping the bar may be in contact with the inner surface of the collar.
- Not more than five and not less than two loaders/spotters shall be on the platform at any time.
- The lifter may enlist the help of spotters in removing the bar from the racks; however, once the bar has cleared the racks, the spotters shall not physically assist the lifter with regards to actually getting into the proper set position. The spotters may assist the lifter to maintain control should the lifter stumble or demonstrate any evident instability.
- The lifter will be allowed only one commencement signal per attempt.
- The lifter may be given an additional attempt at the same weight at the head referee’s discretion
if failure in an attempt was due to any error by one or more of the spotters.
- Once the bar has been replaced in the racks at the completion of the lift and the referees will announce their decisions by means of the lights, white for a “good lift” and red for a “no lift”.
Causes for Disqualification of a Squat:
- Failure to observe the head referee’s signals at the commencement or completion of a lift.
- Double bouncing or more than one recovery attempt at the bottom of the lift.
- Failure to assume an upright position with knees locked at the start and completion of the lift.
- Failure to bend the knees and lower the body until the surface of the legs at the hip joint is lower
than the tops of the knees.
- Any resetting of the feet after the squat signal.
- Contact with the bar by the spotters between the referee’s signals.
- Contact of elbows or upper arms with the legs.
- Failure to make a bona fide attempt to return the bar to the racks.
- Movement of the feet laterally, backward or forward that would constitute a step or stumble;
(rocking the feet between the ball and the heel is permitted).
- Any intentional dropping or dumping of the bar.
2. BENCH PRESS
Start: An audible command of “Press” given as soon as the bar is motionless on the lifters chest.
Completion: An audible command of “Rack”, when the bar has been pressed to straight-arm’s length.
- The front of the bench must be placed on the platform facing the head referee.
- The lifter must lie backward with shoulders and buttocks in contact with the flat bench surface. The elected position of the buttocks shall be maintained throughout the attempt. The lifters shoes or toes must be in solid contact with the platform or surface. The position of the head is optional.
- To achieve firm footing, a lifter of any height may use discs or blocks to build up the surface of the platform. Whichever method is chosen, the shoes must be in a solid contact with the surface. If blocks are used, they shall not exceed 45cm x 45cm.
- Not more than four and not less than two loaders/spotters shall be in attendance. The lifter may enlist the help of one or more of the designate spotters or enlist personal spotters, in removing the bar from the racks. Only designated spotters may remain on the platform during the lift.
- The lift off must be to arm’s length and not down to the chest.
- After receiving the bar at arm’s length, the lifter shall lower the bar to the chest (not below the sternum) and await the head referee’s signal.
- It is the responsibility of the lifter to inform any personally enlisted spotters to leave the platform as soon as the bar is secured at arm’s length. Such spotters shall not return to the platform upon completion or failure of the attempt.
- A designated spotter, having provided a center lift off, must immediately clear the area in front of the head referee and move to either side of the bar. If the personal spotter does not immediately leave the platform area and or in any way distracts or impedes the head referees responsibilities, the referees may determine that the lift is unacceptable, and be declared “no lift” by the referees and given three red lights. Failure of any personal spotters to leave the platform may cause disqualification of the lift.
- Failure of any personal spotters to leave the platform may cause disqualification of the lift.
- The spacing of the hands shall not exceed 81cm, measured between the forefingers. The bar shall have circumferential machine markings or tape indicating this maximum grip allowance. If the lifter should use an offset or unequal grip on the bar, whereby one hand is placed outside the marking or tape, it is the lifter’s responsibility to explain this to the head referee, and allow inspection of the intended grip prior to making an attempt. If this is not done until the lifter is on the platform for an official attempt, any necessary explanation and/or measurements will be done on the lifter’s time for that attempt.
- The reverse or underhand grip is permitted.
- The bar must be at straight arms length and motionless before the lift is commenced.
- The lifter will be allowed only one commencement signal per attempt.
- After the signal to commence the lift has been given, the bar is pressed upward. The bar shall not be allowed to sink into the chest or move downwards prior to the lifter’s attempt to press upward. The lifter will press the bar to straight arm’s length and hold motionless until the audible command “Rack” is given. Bar may move horizontally and may stop during the ascent, but may not move downward towards the chest.
- Once the bar has been replaced in the racks at the completion of the lift and the referees will announce their decisions by means of the lights, white for a “good lift” and red for a “no lift”
Causes for Disqualification of a Bench Press:
- Failure to observe the referee’s signals at the commencement or completion of the lift.
- When arms are not straightened and motionless before the lift was commenced.
- Any change in the elected lifting position or the raising of the buttocks, (as long as some
portion of the buttocks remains on the bench and a referee cannot see straight through
the lift is permissible).
- Lateral movement of the hands during the lift (between the referee’s signals).
- Any excessive movement or change of the feet during the lift.
- If the bar is resting on the stomach below the sternum.
- Bouncing the bar off the chest.
- Allowing the bar to sink into the chest after receiving the referee’s signal.
- Pronounced a major uneven extension of the bar during or at the completion of the lift as
judged by the referees.
- Any downward motion of the bar during the course of pressing out.
- Contact with the bar by the spotters between the referee’s signals.
- Any contact of the lifter’s shoes with the bench or its supports.
- Deliberate contact between the bar and the bar rest uprights during the lift to assist
the completion of the press, (contact in order to make the lift easier).
3. DEAD LIFT
Start: No signal required.
Completion: A visual signal consisting of a downward movement of the arm, together with the audible command “Down”.
- The bar must be laid horizontally in front of the lifter’s feet, gripped with an optional grip in both hands, and lifted until the lifter is standing erect. The bar may stop but there must be no downward motion of the bar.
- The lifter shall face the front of the platform.
- On completion of the lift, the knees shall be locked in a straight position and the lifter shall be standing erect, (the shoulder will not be forward or rounded. it is not necessary that they be back past the erect position. al be it is permissible).
- The head referee’s signal shall consist of a downward movement of the arm and the audible command “Down”. The signal will not be given until the bar is held motionless and the lifter is an apparent finished position.
- Any rising of the bar or any deliberate attempt to do so will count as an attempt.
- Once the bar has been replaced on the platform at the completion of the lift and the referees will announce their decisions by means of the lights, white for a “good lift” and red for a “no lift”.
Causes of Disqualification of a Dead lift:
- Any downward motion of the bar before it reaches the final position, (at the completion of the lift, if the bar settles as the shoulders come back this should not be reason to disqualify the lift).
- Failure to stand erect, (the shoulders will not be forward or rounded. It is not necessary that they be back past the erect position. All be it is permissible).
- Failure to lock the knees straight at the completion of the lift.
- Supporting the bar on the thighs in a manner that the lifter can obtain leverage or hitching.
- Movement of the feet laterally, backward or forward that would constitute a step or stumble.
- Lowering the bar before receiving the head referee’s signal.
- Allowing the bar to return to the platform without maintaining control with both hands.
b. Intentional faults
Faults that should be considered as a purposeful intention to cheat are:
- The use of more than one lifting suit or illegal lifting suits.
- The use of more than one supportive undershirt or illegal undershirt.
- The use of more than one pair of briefs.
- The use of more than one pair of wraps, or wraps substantially over regulation length.
- Any additions in excess of the prescribed costume and personal equipment rules, e.g. body wraps, towel inserts, bracing’s etc.
- Presence of oil, grease, liquids or lubricants other than powder on the thighs for the Dead lift.
- Other infractions of similar gravity.
Faults as oversight or genuine mistakes:
- Socks overlaid by, or touching, knee wraps.
- Wraps applied as to obviously exceed the width dimensions allowed for the wrist (12cm) or knee (30cm).
- Wraps slightly in excess of the prescribed regulation.
- Items forgotten to be removed that may have been worn for warm-ups or to maintain warmth, e.g. hats, rubber elbow bands, etc..,
- Other infractions of similar consequence.
- Blood or other foreign substances appear on the bar or equipment must be rectified immediately using a solution of 1 part bleach with 1 part water. The bar or equipment must be dried and verified as clean.
- No one is allowed on the platform during lifting sessions except the lifter, the designated loaders/spotters, the three referees on duty and any other meet officials as designated if the need arises. Solely these personnel will handle any cleaning, mopping, brushing or adjusting of the platform or equipment.
- Personal, non-designated spotters are not permitted on the platform for the Squat or Dead lift. Personal non-designated spotters are permitted to lift-off on the Bench press; however, once the bar has been correctly positioned at the lifter’s arms length, any personal spotter must quickly leave the platform area to a discreet position.
- Coaches shall remain back from the platform and taking place in the lifting area. The appointed GPA Contest Officials should define a coaching area.
- When the lifter prepares for an attempt, the loaders/spotters may assist in removing the bar from the racks. They may also assist in setting up for a squat should the lifter stumble or lack good control, and in replacing the bar after the attempt. However, they shall not touch the lifter or the bar during the actual attempt, i.e. during the period of time between commencement and completion signals from the head referee.
for the spotters, to this rule is if the lifter has obviously failed with the attempt, is in jeopardy of injury, or the head referee or lifter has requested intervention, then the spotters should assume control of the bar and weights and assist the lifter in replacing the bar back on the racks.
- Other than initial removal of the bar from the racks, the lifter should not receive any additional help from the spotters in establishing position for an attempt. However, should a lifter stumble or become unstable in setting up for the Squat, the spotters should assist in steadying the lifter until control has been regained.
- After the “Rack” command is given, the spotters may guide the bar back into the rack, (once the “Rack” command has been given, the lift is officially over).
- Lifters shall wrap and ready themselves for lifting off the platform. Only minor adjustments requiring no assistance may be made on the platform.
- Removing wraps, belts and costume shall be performed off the platform.
- Nothing may be purposely applied to the platform, bench or bars (oil, grease, other lubricants and liquids, rubs, oil, liquids, or sprays. Powder includes chalk, talc, resin, and magnesium carbonate.
- Items such as chalk, inhalants, talc, etc. should be utilized with propriety on and around the platform area.
- In competitions under GPA jurisdiction, including any competitions where world records are set, the weights used must be in kilograms, and the barbell must always be a multiple of 2.5kg.
Exceptions to this rule:
A World / Continental record attempt (see WORLD, CONTINENTAL & NATIONAL RECORDS).
- The weights shall be announced in kilograms and may additionally be announced in pounds,
- In all competitions the weight of the barbell shall consist of the heaviest discs available that make up a particular weight.
- The minimum increase between any attempts shall be 2.5kg. Except for men, from 1st attempt to 2nd attempt a 5kg increase must be taken, or 2nd attempt will be forfeited and will be called the 3rd attempt.
- A lifter is permitted one change of weight on the first attempt of each lift. This change may take place at any time, up to five minutes before the start of the first round of that lift. Lifters in following Flights are accorded the same privilege up to five attempts from the end of the previous Flight’s final round.
- Lifters must submit their second or third attempts within one minute of completing the preceding attempt. If no weight is submitted within the one-minute time allowance, the lifter will forfeit the next round attempt.
- Weights submitted for second and third attempts on the Squat and Bench Press could not be changed.
- In the Dead lift, changes of weight are permitted. The lifter may not change an attempt if he or she has been called to lift and the bar has been called as “ready” or “loaded”. On second attempts, the lifter shall be allowed one change in weight, and on third attempts, the lifter shall be allowed two changes in weight if he or she has been called to lift, but the bar has not been called as “ready” or “loaded”.
- In single lift meets, an opening attempt may be changed up to five minutes prior to the start of that lifter’s flight. Third attempts may be changed as many times as the lifter desires as long as his or her name has not been called to lift.
- To avoid any doubt or confusion with regards to submitting attempts, the following procedure is suggested for adoption: The chosen weights for attempts are to be given in writing, in the form of attempt cards, to the marshal/expeditor. Different colored cards will be used for each lift, 3 of the same color for the Squat, 3 of another color for the Bench Press, and 3 of a third color for the Dead Lift. The lifter of the coach will complete the appropriate attempt cards with the weight requested and sign the card. For first attempts the attempt cards will only be used when the weight given at the weigh-in is changed.
- On the completion of an attempt, the lifter shall leave the platform within thirty seconds. Failure to comply with this rule may result in disqualification of the attempt at the discretion of the referees.
- Any physical abnormality, handicap, or incapacity of a lifter that may cause, or potentially cause, an inability to fully comply with the rules should be brought to the attention of, and explained to, the appointed GPA Contest Officials. This should be in advance of the start of the lifter’s flight. The lifter, GPA Contest Officials and the platform referees for the particular lifter will then confer on the matter to best accommodate any special considerations for the lifter. Deafness, blindness, limb or joint abnormalities that prevent proper straightening or extension are examples for such special considerations.
- If, by reason of misconduct upon or near the competition platform, any lifter or coach is considered to have discredited the sport, such person or persons shall officially be warned. If the misconduct continues the appointed GPA Contest Officials together with the referees on duty, have the authority to disqualify the lifter and order the coach and the lifter to leave the venue. The team manager must be officially informed of both warning and disqualification.
- Excessive psyching up techniques (i.e. swearing, hitting) shall be limited at the referee’s discretion.
- Any lifter or coach who strikes an Official or other individual at a competition will be banned for all GPA competition indefinitely.
- All appeals against referee’s decisions or conduct, complaints regarding the progress of the competition or against the behavior of any person or persons taking part in the competition will be made to the appointed GPA Contest Officials. This must be done immediately following action of which there is a complaint or appeal. The appeal must be backed by the team manager and/or coach and presented in the presence of either or both.
- The appointed GPA Contest Officials will consider all such complaints. If deemed necessary, the appointed GPA Contest Officials may temporarily suspend the progress of the completion to consider the situation fully. After due consideration the complainant will be informed of any decision and any appropriate measures that may be taken. The verdict of the appointed GPA Contest Officials will be considered final and there will be no right or appeal to any other body.
- When athletes do three unsuccessful attempts in any lifts (squat, bench, dead lift) they will be allowed to finish the competition but they can not claim a record or a place in the results.
- The use of oil, grease or other lubricants and liquids on the body, costume or personal equipment to aid in the execution of a lift is not permitted. This does not preclude the advanced therapeutic use of liniments, or rubs. However, such items must not be in evidence during platform attempts. Only powder may be used. Powder includes chalk, talc, resin, and magnesium carbonate. Spray may be used, but only on the lifter, not on the weight equipment.
d. Errors in Loading
- If the bar is loaded to a lighter weight than originally requested and the attempt is successful, the lifter may accept the successful attempt at the weight lifted, or elect to take the attempt again at the originally requested weight. If the attempt is not successful, the lifter will be granted a further attempt at the originally requested weight.
- If the bar is loaded to a heavier weight than originally requested and the attempt is successful, the lifter will be granted the attempt at the weight lifted. The weight will be subsequently reduced if required for other lifters. If the attempt is not successful, the lifter will be granted a further attempt at the originally requested weight.
- If the weight is not the same on each side of the bar and the lift is successful, rules for overloaded and under loaded bars, as above apply. However, if the attempt is credited to the lifter, and the weight of the bar lifted is not a multiple of 2.5kg (I.e., a 1.25kg plate was on one side only) the weight will be recorded at the lower multiple of 2.5kg. If the lift was unsuccessful the lifter will be granted a further attempt at the weight originally requested.
- If any change occurs with the bar and discs during the execution of the lift and the lift is successful, provided no weight fell off the bar, the attempt will be accepted. If the attempt is unsuccessful, or weights fell off, the lifter will be granted a further attempt at the same weight.
- Should the platform or equipment become disarranged during an attempt and the attempt is successful, the attempt will be accepted. If the attempt is unsuccessful the lifter may be granted a further attempt at the same weight, at the discretion of the referees on duty.
- If the speaker makes a mistake by announcing a weight heavier or lighter than that requested by the lifter, the referees will make the same decisions as for loading errors.
- All attempts that are repeated for the above reasons will be at the end of the round in which the error occurred.
- If a lifter misses an attempt because the speaker failed to announce the lifter’s name at the appropriate time or weight, the weight will then be reduced to allow the attempt within the round. Should this discovery disrupt the anticipation of any preparing lifters, such lifters may be granted extra time in which to prepare again, this shall be at the discretion of the referee on duty.
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