Competition Rules

The Round System

There are three (3) competitive rounds in an IPC Powerlifting competition.

All lifters must complete each relevant round in sequential order, first by order of the lifting weight chosen and then, where the weight chosen is the same, by the order of the lot draw. The lifter with the lowest lot number drawn for the weigh-in must always lift first.

Only three lifting attempts are ever permitted within the actual competition.

The bar must be loaded progressively for each round on the principle of a rising bar where by each lifter will take his first attempt in the first round, his second attempt in the second round and his third attempt in the third round.

At no other time will the weight of the bar be lowered within a round. If unsuccessful with an attempt, the lifter does not follow them self but must wait until the next round before he/she can attempt the same weight again or make a new attempt at a heavier weight.

Having given his/her chosen starting weight at the weigh-in a lifter is then permitted one change of weight for the first attempt. If he/she is in the first or only group to lift this change can take place at any time up to within five minutes before the start of the first round. Never after the five minute call.

Having made his/her first attempt, the lifter or his/her coach must decide upon the weight required for the second attempt. This must be done before the one-minute time allowance has elapsed (timed from the athlete leaving the bench) and the same procedure is to be followed for the third attempt or subsequent changes.

The competition proper will begin two (2) hours from the actual start time of the weigh-in during which time the warm up and athletes’ presentation will take place.

From the time the athlete’s name is announced, the lifter has two (2) minutes to start the lift.

Once on the bench all lifters must always assume the following starting position, which must then be maintained throughout the entire duration of the bench press once the ‘start’ command has been given by the (head) referee.

The lifters head, shoulders, buttocks,legs (fully extended – as possible) and both heels must remain on/touching the bench for the entire duration of the lift.

The lifters’ head must never lift off the bench during the execution of the lift, from when the start signal is given until the lift is completed and arms are at full extension / lock-out.

The lifter must always grip the bar with the thumbs and all fingers being wrapped safely around the circumference of the bar.

The spacing of the lifters hands must never exceed 81 cm, as measured between the forefingers; even where there is a physiological or anatomical challenge creating an imbalance to the lifters grip distance, the inside edge of the forefingers should never be outside of the 81cm markings.

A thumb-less grip is never allowed and will always be considered a ‘No Lift’.

If a lifter cannot fully stretch his/her arms resulting from anatomical deformation of his/her elbow he/she must report/identify this fact to the 3 referees before getting onto the bench at the beginning of each attempt during the competition.

If a lifter cannot fully stretch his/her legs resulting from anatomical deformation or neurological deficiency he/she must report/identify this fact to the 3 referees before getting onto the bench at the beginning of each attempt during the competition.