Armed forces championship: From a referee's perspective.

Create: 09/18/2010 - 11:15
It's hard to post video of powerlifting contests in general these days without a great deal of negativity. And I don't for one second believe that this footage is perfect, but I do feel that most of it matches what we look at as judges in a powerlifting contest. Have I missed calls before? Of course. In almost 20 years of judging and being in the sport my entire life, I realize that judging is still subjective despite having an objective set of rules. I've been called too strict, not strict enough, and I'm sure a great deal more descriptives that I won't type out in this post (some by my own father). If you ask me to judge a lift, I won't hesitate to tell you my opinion be it good or bad, whether you are a 10 time world champion, or a 12 year old just learning the sport. In my opinion, the footage shows one meet director's trust in his organization and his judges to hold to the rules that were set forth. Basically the same set of rules that all federations have in their respective rule books. Debate all you want about whether the lifts were good or bad, the fact of the matter is, I don't think we can question that the rules of powerlifting were being followed at this contest and that fractions of a inch can sometimes determine a call, but it should not be inches. I'm not sure what role video can have in powerlifting in real time, if any, but I do like seeing the squats at these angles during a contest. Contact me at with any questions. For the competitors or anyone interested, I posted full size still images here, feel free to grab what you want.


Submitted by Internet Judge on
I did the same thing the last meet I was judging. Except I was the head judge.

Submitted by Luke Corcoran on
Interesting. I think those two examples were perfect examples of the difficulties of judging depth via your average meet video. The difference in depth between the two was probably within centimeteres but was called out (correctly) and the other was called in (correctly). From this depth (similar to where a judge would sit) you can tell that. Could you tell that from the first row? Maybe not.

Submitted by Jim McDonald on
I looked at one of these cameras, in part to shoot squats, but I wouldn't recommend it for that. It has an ultra wide angle lens that's designed to make you feel like you're in the middle of the action when it's used to shoot extreme sports like BMX, surfing, etc. While the lens captures more of the surroundings, the view is pretty distorted. It's almost a fish-eye lens. That's not the view that judges have. Even the floor doesn't appear flat.

Submitted by jdgaynor on
As with any wide angle lens, it will distort the outer edges of the viewing angle. The field of view as seen in the center, ie. where you need to watch for depth has very little distortion. A simple flat port addition eliminates the distortion around the edges if anyone were to actually use it for a live view (not what I had in mind when making this video). There are multiple other cameras that can take this view and are very close in size. The type of camera is irrelevant, I have 3 of these cameras and never intended to use them for powerlifting. The point was I'd like to see other meet directors or federations use this type of footage/angle in their meets. Show us some close ups of squats from this angle. Regardless of the optics, no one is going to argue if I posted all the flights of squats at this contest, that squat depth was called by the book even if you don't agree with all 60+ decisions. It's an inexpensive way for anyone who wants to show that their particular meet or organization is following the rules that their respective rule books dictate.

Submitted by ironchick63 on
I competed in the Bench at this meet and the judges did a great job and were following the rules consistantly,and the camera does not bother me in the least,that said,I just bench but when I did squat,I knew when I broke parallel and when I didnt.If you have competed enough you know how far down you should go,now at times a judge may not see what the others see,and the 1 0r 2 red lights is just part of their view at the angle or position they have,but when you get all 3 reds then you have to ask yourself,ok better go a bit deeper.I like the fact that I can see what I need to work on whenits filmed and as sports become more of a technical aspect,we will see more video and technology in Powerlifting as well.To get back to my point,the judges were right on and fair and what I could see after a red light on the squats here and there,you saw lifters going deeper,which in turn gave way to the white lights.