Rules can be found

on the IPC Powerlifting website please click below to get to the rules.

Please be aware that there are now new

IPC 2013-2016 rules

Although you should review the entire rule book, there are a few key points you should look at.  

Athletes Do not have to cover the power rings

The IPC has published in Appendix #3 what the MQS (minimum qualifying standards) for this quad will be. With the new body weight classes, it is important you have some idea what the IPC is expecting. That said, it is my expectation the the USA standards will be higher. However, if you can not hit the IPC standard, you have no shot.

Please note the Athlete Pathway in appendix clearly states you MUST compete in an IPC sanctioned event each calendar year, & hit the MQS's to be able to advance to 2014 World's, Pan American's etc.

Please note the age range for Juniors is now 14-19, Open is anyone over 19.

On your first attempt, if you choose to lower your attempt within the alloted time you may only go down 7kg. NOT 7.5

The 1 kg. rule will continue to be in effect again this quad. you may not go up .5 unless trying for a record.

As we advance through this quad. you should be aware of the records and make coaches aware when you want to go for one, it is impossible for us to remember all records

You still will have 2 chances of change of attempt on your 3rd lift prior to being called to the bench

General Rules

Weigh in and Kit check information

Weigh in and Kit check will begin 2 hours before competition.

Kit Check

Always present the following at the kit check table. It should never be checked while on the athlete.

  • IPC Powerlifting ID card
  • IPC Powerlifting Athlete's record book
  • Lifting Suit
  • T-shirt
  • Shoes
  • Bra
  • Bench Straps
  • Belt
  • Wrist straps

Weigh In

All lifters in the session must attend the weigh-in, which must be carried out in the presence of referees. Lifters must always be weighed in.

The weigh-in of each competitor will be carried out in a private room with only the competitor, his/her coach and the referees present.

The IPC Powerlifting ID card and IPC Powerlifting athlete’s record book must be presented at the weigh-in.

Lifters can choose to be weighed nude or in minimal underwear, no other clothing is allowed and always without any Prosthesis or Orthosis.

Where female competitors are being weighed the usual procedure can be tailored to ensure that the lifters are weighed by officials of their own gender.

Each lifter may only be weighed once. Only those lifters whose body weight is heavier or lighter than the limits of the category initially entered are allowed to return to the scales. They must return to the scales and make weight within the limit of the one and a half hours allocated for the weigh-in otherwise they will be eliminated from the competition.

Lifters trying to make weight can only be re-weighed after all other lifters in the same body weight category have been called to the scales but they can be re-weighed as often as remaining time.

During the weigh-in, the lifter or his coach must declare in confidence a starting weight and the bench rack height. 

Athletes Personal Costume and Equipment

Lifters must always appear in correct, clean and tidy dress, which must consist of a One-piece lifting suit, T-shirt, Socks, Shoes and Sports Bra.


The suit can only be made from a one-ply very limited stretch material. Lycra(maximum 20 %) or cotton-elastane – (maximum 10 % elastane), without any additional patches or padding (it cannot be a weightlifting style suit with any double stitching and or padding)

The lifting costume has to be a one-piece lifting suit with shoulder straps & must neverhave a zipper fastening.

The straps must be worn over the shoulders at all times while lifting in competition.


A plain, round neck T-Shirt of any color, or colors, must be worn under the lifting suit at all times.

The T-shirt is subject to the following conditions: It can be made exclusively of either cotton or polyester, or can also be a mixture of both. No other materials are allowed.

It must be a plain t-shirt or it can be the official T-Shirt of the IPC Powerlifting competition that the lifter is competing at. It cannot have any pockets, buttons, zippers, collar or a v-neck. It can have the badge and or inscription of the lifter’s nation, national or regional federation. Any other markings, especially those which are considered offensive or likely to bring the sport into disrepute are not allowed. It shall not have sleeves, which terminate either below the elbow or up at the deltoid Lifters are not allowed to push the sleeves of the T-Shirt up to the deltoid when competing. It cannot be made of any ribbed material. It cannot consist of any rubberised or similar stretch material. It cannot have any reinforced seams. Is not constructed so as to place seams in a position, which in the opinion of the appointed IPC Powerlifting officials who carry out the kit check, might tend to assist the lifter in Powerlifting competitions. It must fit loosely enough on the lifter’s body to ensure that it does not afford the lifterany physical support. If there is any doubt a lifter can be asked to put the t-shirt on at the kit check and it can be rejected

Shoes must be worn in all cases during IPC Powerlifting competition. 


When worn during competition, ladies must only wear a bra without any stiffening, padding or under wiring. A sports Bra is most acceptable.

It must lie totally flat when placed on the kit check table. The Bra that will be worn during the competition has to be made readily available for checking by the officials at the kit check table and it cannot be requested to have it checked while being worn by the athlete during weigh-in. Any lifter considered to be using the Bra to gain unfair advantage (i.e making too tight to unnaturally raise chest or padding out after kit check)


Competitors may choose to wear a lifting belt. If worn it must always be on the outside of the lifting suit. Material and Construction: The main body shall be made of leather, vinyl or other similar non-stretch material in one or more laminations, which may be glued and/or stitched together but cannot have a additional padding, bracing or supports of any material either on the surface or concealed within the laminations of the belt. The belt can have a buckle with one or two prongs or be a ‘quick release’ type; any type of buckle should be attached at one end of the belt by means of studs and/or stitching. A tongue loop (maximum 2) shall be attached close to the buckle by means of studs and/or stitching. The name of the lifter’s nation can appear on the outside of the belt but there cannot be any other logos, sponsors or manufacturers markings whatsoever unless due sponsor or licensing fees have been paid.Dimensions:1. Maximum width of belt should not exceed 100 mm.2. Maximum thickness of belt along its main length not to exceed 13 mm.3. Inside width of buckles maximum 110 mm.4. Outside width of buckles maximum 130 mm.5. Tongue loops maximum width 50 mm.6. Distance between end of belt and far end of tongue loop maximum 150 mm. Correct points of measurement.  

Wrist wraps

Only wraps or bandages of a one ply commercially woven elastic that is covered with polyester,cotton or a combination of both materials or medical crepes are permitted. Bandages of rubber or rubberised substitutes are strictly forbidden.Bandages and wristbands must also conform to the following: Bandages must not exceed 1 metre in length and 80 mm in width. Wristbands not exceeding 100 mm in width may be worn. A combination of wristband and bandages is not permitted. If wristbands are the wrap around style, they may have a thumb loop and Velcro patch for securing them. They cannot have any additional type of buckle, loop or other style of fastening. The thumb loop can only be used for securing the wristband when the athlete is putting it on but the loop must be taken off of the thumb during the actual lift. A wrist bandage should not extend beyond 100 mm above and 20 mm below the centreof the wrist joint and must never exceed a total covered width of 120 mm.  

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.

After taking control of the bar at arms’ length, the lifter must wait with elbows locked until the head Referee’s gives the ‘Start’ command and signal.

An audible command ‘Start’ must be given immediately, as soon as the Chief Referee considers the lifter has firm control of the bar, at arms length and with elbows locked.

After receiving the start command the lifter must, when readily composed, lower the bar to the chest in a fully controlled manner and without heaving or bouncing the bar visibly stop on the chest and then press it upwards again.

There must be a noticeable definitive break between the eccentric and concentric (down and up) movement when the bar touches the chest.After the bar touches the chest, the bar must not sink into the chest in such a way that it is considered to have assisted the lifter or made the lift easier in any way.

The bar must progress upwards in a consistent equal manner to result in an equal extension‘lock out of both arms’ to arms length. At no time must there be any staggered movement of the arms during the upward press phase. The bar can stop during the press phase. It must never move down towards the chest again during the press phase. Once the lifters arms are locked out and the bar is held firmly under control an audible command “rack“ together with a backward movement of his/her outstretched arm will be given by the referee after which the lifter can replace the bar back in the racks with or without assistance from the spotters.


In addition to failing to comply with any of the general requirements. The following will be considered a disqualification.  

  • Starting without a signal
  • Replacing the bar back into the racks prior to the signal
  • moving head, shoulders, buttocks or feet from their original points of contact during the bench press.
  • Any heaving or bouncing of the bar into, off of the chest.
  • sinking into the chest
  • Any unequal movement of the arms during the press phase
  • Any uneven extension of both arms during the final ‘lock out’ stage.
  • If the bar hits the racks in an uncontrolled manner during the execution of the lift
  • Elapsed time - ‘Timed Out’


If the bar has hit the racks during the execution of the lift and the lifter is deemed to have gainedno advantage at all then a ‘good lift’ will be recorded by the referees.