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USAPP

Rules of Para Powerlifting

USAPP

Rules of Para Powerlifting

The Rules

The competition begins by athletes drawing lots to determine order of weigh-in and lifts. After the athletes are categorized within the 10 different weight classes (divided between male and female), they each lift three times in their respective weight class. The heaviest “good lift” within each weight class is the lift used for final placing in the competition.

In para powerlifting, athletes assume a supine position on a specially designed bench, and after taking or receiving the bar at arms-length, the lifter waits with locked elbows and the bar under control for the Chief Referee’s signal.

After receiving the signal “start,” the lifter must lower the bar to the chest, hold it visibly motionless on the chest and then press it upwards evenly, with an even equal extension of both the arms with locked elbows.

When held motionless and controlled in this position, the audible “rack” signal is given and the bar is returned to the rack.

The three nominated international referees provide an immediate evaluation of the competitor’s attempt, using a white light to reflect a successful lift, and a red light to signify an unsuccessful lift. Two or more white lights signify a good lift and two or more red lifts reflect an unsuccessful lift.

Each athlete has three attempts, and upon discretion of the jury a fourth attempt may be allowed to achieve a new world record, but this attempt does not count towards the final competition result.

The History

Powerlifting is one of the Paralympic Movement’s fastest growing sports in terms of participants and is now practiced in nearly 100 countries.

The sport represents the ultimate test of upper body strength with athletes competing in the bench press discipline.

Competitors must lower the bar to their chest, hold it motionless on the chest and then press it upwards to arms-length with locked elbows. Athletes are given three attempts and the winner is the athlete who lifts the highest number of kilograms.

Such is the strength of athletes competing in this sport, that it is not uncommon to see a competitor lift more than three times their own body weight.

World Para Powerlifting, under the governance of the International Paralympic Committee, acts as the international federation for the sport and is based in Bonn, Germany.

Open to male and female athletes with eight eligible physical impairments, athletes compete in one sport class across 10 different weight categories per gender.

Major competitions include the Paralympic Games which take place every four years, biennial World Championships, triennial regional Championships and annual World Cup and Grand Prix events.

Competition description

•    Men compete in the 49kg, 54kg, 59kg, 65kg, 72kg, 80kg, 88kg, 97kg, 107kg and +107kg divisions.

•    Women compete in the 41kg, 45kg, 50kg, 55kg, 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 79kg, 86kg and +86kg divisions.

In powerlifting, male and female athletes assume a supine position on a specially designed bench, and after taking or receiving the bar at arms-length, the lifter shall wait with locked elbows and the bar under control for the Chief Referee’s signal.

After receiving the signal “start”, the lifter must lower the bar to the chest, hold it motionless (visible) on the chest and then press it upwards evenly, with an even equal extension of both the arms with locked elbows.

When held motionless and controlled in this position, the audible signal “rack” shall be given and the bar is returned to the rack.

Then an immediate decision shall be given by the three nominated international referees through a system of white and red lights. Two or more white lights signify a good lift and two or more red lifts reflect a no lift.

Each athlete has three attempts, and upon discretion of the jury a fourth attempt may be allowed to achieve a new world record, but this attempt does not count towards the final competition result.

Sport Equipment

Athletes compete lying on an official World Para Powerlifting approved bench which is 2.1m long. The width of the bench is 61cm wide and narrows to 30cm where the head is placed.

The height of the bench varies between 48 and 50cm from the ground.  World Para Powerlifting approved discs must conform to several standards outlined in the sport’s rules and regulations.

Paralympic History

Although weightlifting made its Paralympic debut at Tokyo 1964, it was not until the 1984 Games that powerlifting was first included as a Paralympic sport.

Initially the sport of weightlifting only catered for male athletes with a spinal cord injury, but in the years that followed the sport began to include other impairment groups too.