Michigan High School Powerlifting Association 

Rules


The following information should be used as a guide to all rules and regulations of the MHSPLA in conjunction with the guidelines of the USAPL concerning technical aspects, judging and etc. All adapted regulations should be followed at ALL REGIONALS and the STATE MEET.

All Meets will be RAW ONLY. Raw is considered any lifter who competes free of equipment or with a belt only.

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Dress Code & Equipment

DRESS CODE

1. One pair shorts

2. One short-sleeved T-shirt or compression shirt

3. Athletic shoes, boots, or competitive powerlifting footwear.

*Lifters will be allowed to wear under armour shirts, shorts, or any type of compression gear. Any compression gear not considered an unfair advantage to the lifter will be permitted.  No jewelry permitted (Exception non-dangling earrings or a medical exception).

 

EQUIPMENT

1. BELTS

a. Lifters can use a 4-inch belt only.

b. The belt CANNOT have any padding.

c. Only a buckle or lever-locking device will be allowed. NO VELCRO

2. SOCKS

a. All lifters MUST have HIGH SOCKS for deadlifting.

b. Water can be used on the legs.

c.  NO BABY POWDER ALLOWED

3. TAPE

a.  A lifter may tape their wrist.

b.  A lifter is allowed a maximum of 2 inches of tape on the wrist

*If a lifter must wear a brace of any support due to a current or pre-existing injury, the lifter MUST have a Doctor’s note stating it is necessary. This doctor’s note should be presented at registration and approved by the regional host.

TIE BREAKERS

Any tiebreakers in placing will be decided by:

1. The lower actual body weight.

2. The lifter who lifts the weight first.

 

QUALIFYING REGULATIONS

To qualify for the State Meet lifter must compete in one of the stated Regional qualifiers and:

1. Lift a qualifying total

2. Finish in the top 2 of any weight class in their division

 

WEIGH-IN SITES

1.   All weigh-ins will take place at the  Regional Qualifiers (on site).

a. You must weigh-in with a t-shirt and shorts only (No shoes, coats, etc.)

b.  There will be check scales and official scales.  One step on the official scale is ALLOWED.  That weight will become your weight for competition that day.

c. There will be a time frame for weigh-ins.  You can check your weight on the check scale numerous times if necessary during that time only.

 

STATE MEET

1. WEIGHT CLASSES

a. You MUST lift in the weight class you qualified in. There is NO bumping up or down. For example: You are competing in the Varsity Division 165. You place first and get a total of 1025. The 1025 is the qualifying total for the Varsity Division 181 class, but you are NOT ALLOWED to compete in the Varsity Division 181 class at the State Meet. You qualified in the 165 class, that’s the class you HAVE to compete in.

b. You can qualify in MORE than one weight class by attending more than one Regional meet and making the qualifying total or placing in the top two in that class.

c.  You must be within your weight class to lift (Ex: 123 weight class -Weight must be 114.1-123.0)

d. If an individual qualifies at the JV level, he must compete at the JV level at the State Meet. If he wants to compete at the Varsity level, he MUST qualify at a Regional meet, at the Varsity level. NO EXCEPTIONS.

 2. WEIGH-IN SITES

a. The weigh-ins for the State Meet will be done on site.  Athletes will be weighed the morning of their competition.  There will be a time frame posted and it will be done exactly like a regional meet. (Please see above)

b. At the weigh-in sites, the lifter must pay $25.00 by CASH .

c. NO CHECKS will be accepted

d. All lifters must make weight on the official scale  in the class they qualified in at a Regional.  Remember you only get ONE chance to step on the official scale.  There will be check scales available at all sites.

3. TESTING

a. All lifters are expected to be Drug Free. Lifters should be aware that they might be randomly drug tested at the discretions of the meet director or committee members, at both the Regional qualifiers and State Meet.

4. AWARDS

a.Team trophies for the top 3 Teams in the JV Men’s & JV Women's and Top 3 in Varsity Men’s and Varsity Women's Divisions will be awarded.

b. Medals for the top 5 lifters in each weight class for JV Men’s & JV Women's and the top 10 lifters in each weight class for Varsity Men’s and Varsity Women's Divisions.

 5. TEAM SCORING

a. Team scoring at both Regional qualifiers and the State Meet shall be the top 10 finishers for any team. Each team may utilize only two scorers in any weight class.

6. STATE RECORDS

a. Any State Record Attempt has to be judged by members of the Exec. Committee or any other judge the committee has approved prior to the State Meet.

b. No one will be allowed to judge a lifter from his or her own school.

7. COACHING

a. No coaching of commands is permitted within the platform area. Commands from coaches and teammates can only be provided if the coach or teammates are outside of the lifting/ spotting area.
 

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Bench Rules

  1. The bench shall be placed on the platform with the head facing the front or angled up to 45 degrees.

  2. The lifter must lie on his back with head, shoulders and buttocks in contact with the bench surface.

  3. The feet must be flat on the floor (as flat as the shape of the shoe will allow). His hands and fingers must grip the bar positioned in the rack stands with a “thumbs around” grip. This position shall be maintained throughout the lift. Foot movement is permissible but must remain flat on the platform. The hair of the athlete must not hide the back of the head when lying down on the bench (ponytail is preferred). The Referees may require the lifter to affix his/her hair accordingly.

  4. To achieve firm footing the lifter may use flat surfaced plates, or blocks .

  5. Not more than five and not less than two spotters/loaders shall be on the platform at any time.  After correctly positioning himself, the lifter may enlist the help of the spotter/ loaders in removing the bar from the racks. The lift-off if assisted by the spotter/loaders must be at an arm’s length.

  6.  The spacing of the hands shall not exceed 81cm measured between the forefingers (both forefingers must be within the 81cm marks and the whole of the forefingers must be in contact with the 81cm marks if maximum grip is used). If in the case of some old injury or anatomically the lifter is unable to grip the bar equally with both hands he must inform the referees prior to lift-off for each attempt and if necessary the bar will be marked accordingly. The use of the reverse grip is forbidden.

  7. After removing the bar from the racks, with or without the help of the spotters/loaders, the lifter shall start the attempt when the lifter shows control of bar on their own [with elbows locked into the starting position].

  8.  After receiving the signal, the lifter must lower the bar to the chest or abdominal area (the bar shall not touch the belt), hold it motionless on the chest, after which the Chief referee will signal the audible command “Press”. The lifter must then return the bar to straight arms length elbows locked. When held motionless in this position the audible command “Rack” shall be given together with a backward motion of the arm. If the bar is lowered to the belt and stays on it for 5 seconds or does not touch the chest or abdominal area, the Chief Referee’s command is “replace to Rack.”

 

CAUSES FOR DISQUALIFICATION OF A BENCH PRESS:

  1. Failure to observe the Chief Referee’s signals during or completion of the lift.

  2. Any change in the elected lifting position during the lift proper (i.e., any raising movement of the head, shoulders, or buttocks, from the bench, or lateral movement of hands on the bar).  Any movement of any part of the lifter’s feet off of the ground.

  3. Heaving or sinking the bar into the chest or abdominal area after it is motionless in such a way as to make the lift easier.

  4. Any downward movement of the whole of the bar in the course of being pressed out.

  5. Bar is not lowered to the chest (i.e., not reaching the chest or abdominal area, or the bar is touching the belt).

  6. Failure to press the bar [to arms length with elbows locked into the finished position] at the completion of the lift.

  7. Contact with the bar or the lifter by the spotters or loaders between the Chief Referee’s signals in order to make the lift easier.

  8. Any contact of the lifter’s feet with the bench or its supports.

  9. Deliberate contact between the bar and the bar rests support.

  10. Failure to comply with any of the items outlined under the “Rules of Performance”.

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Squatting Rules

 1. The lifter shall face the front of the platform. The bar shall be held horizontally across the shoulders, hands and fingers gripping the bar. The hands may be positioned anywhere on the bar inside and/or in contact with the inner collars.

2. After removing the bar from the racks, (the lifter may be aided in the removal of the bar from the racks by the spotters/loaders) the lifter must move backwards to establish the starting position. When the lifter is motionless and erect (slight deviation is allowable) with knees locked the Chief Referee will give the signal to begin the lift. The signal shall consist of a downward movement of the arm and the audible command “Squat”. Before receiving the signal to “squat” the lifter may make any position adjustments within the rules, without penalty. For reasons of safety the lifter will be requested to “Replace” the bar, together with a backward movement of the arm, if after a period of five seconds he is not in the correct position to begin the lift. The Chief Referee will then convey the reason why the signal was not given.

3. Upon receiving the Chief 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. Only one descending attempt is allowed. The attempt is deemed to have commenced when the lifters knees have unlocked.

4. The lifter must recover at will to an upright position with the knees locked. Double bouncing at the bottom of the squat attempt or any downward movement is not permitted. When the lifter is motionless (in the apparent final position) the Chief Referee will give the signal to rack the bar.

5..The signal to rack the bar will consist of a backward motion of the arm and the audible command “Rack”. The lifter must then move forward and return the bar to the racks. Foot movement after the rack signal will not be cause for failure. For reasons of safety the lifter may request the aid of the spotters/loaders in returning the bar to, and replacing it in the racks. The lifter must stay with the bar during this process.

6. Not more than five and not less than two spotters/loaders shall be on the platform at any time. The Referees may decide to the number of spotters/loaders required on the platform at any time (2-5)

CAUSES FOR DISQUALIFICATION OF A SQUAT:

  1. Failure to observe the Chief Referee’s signals at the commencement or completion of a lift.

  2. Double bouncing at the bottom of the lift, or any downward movement during the ascent.

  3. Failure to assume an upright position with the knees locked at the commencement or completion of the lift.

  4. Stepping backward or forward or moving the feet laterally. Rocking the feet between the ball and heel is permitted.

  5. Failure to 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, as in the diagram (see diagram on the following page). This means breaking the line of parallel.

  6. Contact with the bar or the lifter by the spotter/loaders between the Chief Referee’s signals in order to make the lift easier.

  7. Contact of the elbows or upper arms with the legs. Slight contact is permitted if there is no supporting that might aid the lifter.

  8. Any dropping or dumping of the bar after completion of the lift.

  9. Failure to comply with any items outlined under “Rules of Performance” for the squat.

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Deadlift Rules

  1. The lifter shall face the front of the platform with the bar 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.

  2. On completion of the lift the knees shall be locked in a straight position and the shoulders back.

  3. The Chief 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 in the apparent finished position.

  4. Any rising of the bar or any deliberate attempt to do so will count as an attempt. Once the attempt has begun no downward movement is allowed until the lifter reaches the erect position with the knees locked. If the bar settles as the shoulders come back (slightly downward on completion) this should not be reason to disqualify the lift.

CAUSES FOR DISQUALIFICATION OF A DEADLIFT

  1. Any downward movement of the bar before it reaches the final position.

  2. Failure to stand erect with the shoulders back.

  3. Failure to lock the knees straight at the completion of the lift.

  4. Supporting the bar on the thighs during the performance of the lift. If the bar edges up the thigh, but is not supported this is not reason for disqualification. The lifter should benefit in all decisions of doubt made by the referee. You may not bounce bar on thighs or  walk bar up in side to side motion.

  5. Stepping backward, forward or moving the feet laterally during the lift is NOT allowed.  Rocking of the feet between ball and heel is permitted, however, the heel will not be allowed to move off the ground.. Foot movement after the command “Down” will not be cause for failure. 

  6. Lowering the bar before receiving the Chief Referee’s signal.

  7. Allowing the bar to return to the platform without maintaining control with both hands (i.e., releasing the bar from the palms of the hand).

  8. Failure to comply with any of the items outlined under “Rules of Performance”.