We are so lucky to have NASA as our Drug-Free powerlifting organization ! NASA the organization with a brain, which treats its members with dignity, and creates a genuine atmosphere of respect, professionalism and friendliness. NASA without a doubt is the Best ! After two days at an ipf sponsored bench press nationals in Denver, the above thoughts were never more evident to me. First of all, let me say that I do not have any real problems with the Colorado USAPL, other than meet scheduling. We never really have any crossover hard feelings about lifters from either of our organizations. When various McDermott team members from time to time have participated in one of their meets, I personally have always been treated well. I'm actually proud of NASA members who set records locally or nationally-I think it makes us look good. My comments below share my opinions more about the ipf and national organization and my personal observations/perceptions from the two-day event. Equipment check: one of my lifters is told that the wrist wraps (though perfectly legal in any rulebook by size, dimension...) are not really legal because they are not manufactured by one of the ipf approved vendors. (Keep this in mind for where they may be going with bench press shirts) Rules meeting: 9 - 10 minutes before the meet began, essentially took less than a minute, went along the lines you are here you know everything. Judging: Consistently Inconsistent ! - (The reason NASA sticks with the real historic rules for the Bench Press) - When you have the lifter holding the weight while waiting for the approval of 3 judges to "Start" down to the chest, the human error factor increases greatly. I watched numerous competitors both days in perfect bench press position holding the bar motionless get VERY SLOW "Start" commands, while others got VERY QUICK "Start" commands. On the second day in my opinion, not only did the majority of "heavy-lift" competitors get "Incredibly Fast" "Start" commands, but at least a dozen times the "Start" command was given while the bar was still in motion. As usual, in my experience of watching ipf ruled bench pressing, The Inconsistency in Judging, as to whether or not the lifter stopped motionless and/or long enough at the chest before pressing, was Incredible !!! I can't count the number of attempts that were perfect at the chest that got red lights. Nor can I count the number of attempts where the bar was still in motion when pressed that got white lights, along with attempts that were bounced and got white lights. In general I do not believe the judges were being deliberately biased in the above-mentioned things. However, the nature of the beast, i.e the ipf bench press rules, clearly allows too much emphasis on the human error factor leading to Consistently Inconsistent rulings by the judges. The really sad part of this is that it is the Bench Press competitor who is losing out. Plus in my opinion the longer you hold the bar at the top before descending to the chest with a heavy weight, the more chance you have of injury. The usapl president, while speaking to the audience mentioned something to the effect that there was appearing to be around a 25% bomb out rate in the bench press at their meets. He did not say the most obvious reason for the cause, which in my opinion is very simple. (The reason you might want to hold stock in my opinion, is that I have been part of competitive lifting for 42 years and got my first Official's card 40 years ago !) The Obvious Reason for the High Percentage of missed Bench Presses in the ipf organization is simply the Bench Press Rule(s) which never should have been changed from the traditional Bench Press Rules. The ipf apparently has some ideas or resolutions on the table to do even more harm to the Bench Press, one of which is "lifters would have to take the bar from the rack", with no assistance, no handoff ! They would like to have their approved manufacturers create a single ply shirt with less tensile strength, such that every competitor would have to buy that ipf approved shirt. And so on... It Amazes Me that the ipf just does not drop the Bench Press from competition, since it seems to be the lift that they constantly like to mess with or screw up. Besides bastardizing the Bench Press Rules, Remember this, to set an ipf world record in the Powerlifting(3-lift) Bench Press the lifter must do a "Double Bodyweight" Squat and a "Double Bodyweight" Deadlift, while on the other hand to set a world record in the Squat or Deadlift the lifter only has to do a "Bodyweight" Bench Press.
I can only guess that the BP commands were revised to make them more like squat commands. While there is a certain abstract logic to that, it ignores the fact that they are two different lifts, which the traditional rules correctly (in my opinion) take into account.
Wow, what a experience USAPL Bench Press Nationals was. I believe NASA is a great (I mean awesome) organization and should not ever go IPF like the USAPL bench press rules. The rules meeting was 10 minutes before the meet started and there was maybe at most couple sentences that were said. I think "USAPL" expects everyones to read the rules book and know everything before you lift with the organization. Needless to say, I am very happy about my dedication to lifting with NASA, and feel they are the best organization and of course all the judges are fair and friendly. Thank you RICH PETERS for running such a friendly, fun, and great powerlifting organization. Thanks Jim for you support at USAPL Bench press nationals and being the BEST COACH. I also would like to say thankyou to Brian Hughes and John Lynn for helping put on shirts and cheering me on
I was at the meet also helping with shirts and supporting my lifting partners. I am a National referee for NASA and I was having a hard time understanding there calls. Half the time I seen red lights where the lift looked good. Then when there was an noted error in the lift, such as a bounce off the chest or no pause the lifter was awarded white lights. I am not a IPF judge and they may have been different rules but it was hard for me to make any sense of the calls. I still don't understand the hand off rules or the pause at the top off the bench. There was never any consistence that I could see. I will have to say there was some very good lifter there and I seen some great competitors. Heena and Krysti did great and the both made it clear that there loyalties lay with NASA now and in the future. I know the love to compete and there has been talk about them as far as there forms, coaching and ability form some other lifters. They went and set the record strait and proved they are champion no matter what organization they lift in.
The thread is continued here.
Jim, the last USAPL Meet I watched, a couple of years ago, they bombed 25% of the lifters out. 23% were bombed out in the squat, and the other 2% were bombed out in the benchpress. I concur with most of your observations.
On the proud side, despite the conditions, Krysti Hughes set an American record taking first place, Heena Patel set a State record taking first place and making their world team. Heena said, " Thanks, but I lift for NASA and I'm dedicated to the NASA organization, so I won't be lifting on your world team." Yeah Heena !!! As I said in Part I, we are so lucky to have NASA and to be a part of the NASA family. What I found to be true of ADFPA(USAPL) national competitions in the 80's still seems to be true in 2006. That is to say there is a distinct lack of friendliness and respect for lifters on the part of some of the national officials, kind of a I am an important person and you're lucky I'm speaking to you kind of attitude. I was actually snapped at or spoken down to regarding World + American records which I was going by based on apparently the poorly and slowly updated web site records. Not once, though I did not see every lift, did I ever hear the announcer ask the crowd to get behind someone who was about to bomb out. Just generally not a lifter friendly environment at national meets, in my opinion. While speaking to the audience, the usapl president suggested that the usapl lifters should not lift in other organizations' world events as they would be banned from ipf world's. ... Saw numerous bad handoffs, again thank the heavens for NASA and the manner in which national competitions are organized and run. I did tell McDermott team members they would have to pay me $500 to coach at another usapl event.
I hope that NASA lifters continue to cross-compete and SHINE!! We can also individually encourage non-NASA lifters to try out a NASA meet if we have the opportunity. Then they will discover for themselves a well-organized event, friendly atmosphere, challenging competition, consistent judging, helpful referees, great announcers, and more!
I could not agree more with you. One of the main reasons I lift in NASA is you can talk to any Judge or lifter and you will get an honest answer and any help you might need. NASA judging is the most consistent there is. The rules are the fairest to the competitor. NASA is the best!!
For the guy who was just curious, I lifted with the ADFPA and then the USAPL in NC before I moved to Colorado and it wasn't like it is now. The people here with the USAPL are nice, but now that the IPF is in charge, I believe the new way they have of doing things is poor. If they are going to have a hand-off guy, they should at least have someone who knows what they are doing. It looked like they were just learning. especially on the first flight of women lifters. They need to find a way to make things more consistent, because there was no consistency in what I saw. And Just to lest you know the reason Heena and I went to this meet, was because it was here where we live and we were capable of setting records. And I'm sorry, but anytime I can set State, American or National records and it's close by, I'M GOING FOR IT. I'm a good lifter and a fair person and proud of it. I want as many records as I can get and that's why, Mr. Curiosity. NASA IS STILL THE BEST!!
Nasa has the best rule system around, they must keep them all just the way they are, good lifts should get credit for good lifts plain and simple!!! Just sounds like a big headache elsewhere, Nasa is the place where we look out for the lifters agenda and not the other way around if you know what I mean!!!!! This is a free world so we should be able to try new things, in Nasa you can do that without getting tar and feathered for it!!!
KEEP IN MIND: NASA lifters and officials that not having one person handoff to everyone at national competitions is another of NASA's great ideas for safety and fairness. If I could've had my own hand-off at USAPL, my Bench Press numbers would have been a lot better. Bad handoffs have never been a issue at "NASA". NASA is the best!
The procedure that the USAPL/IPF has of the same person doing the hand offs for all benches is one of the most dangerous rules that they have ever instituted. The placement, the feather touch vs the "dump" of some hand off persons can vary across a large continuum. Even the timeing of the hand off is critical as each lifter goes through their own positioning, set-up, taking their last breath, etc. The variables are almost endless. I have a very bad right shoulder and there are only two of my teammates that I trust to give me the bar just right. Otherwise an accident could happen. Also in the heavyweights and super-heavy weight classes with the large weights, it can easily become very tiring to make increasingly heavier and heaver hand offs. The hand off person could very early become exhausted as the attempts go higher and higher. The quality of the handoff would rapidly decrease to say nothing about the lack of competence that each lifters needs as discussed above. This is absolute insanity! When the accidents and failed attempts start to sky rocket, maybe they may resend this crazy rule. By the way, I though the USAPL was suppose to be a democracy. Did their membership vote in favor of this rule? Or is just another rule the IPF has forced down the USAPL's throat? Will even more lifters leave the USAPL for fairer and safer competition such as the NASA?
Not sure where to start......because I'm still not over what happened to me. My opener was 182 and the hand-off horrible. So bad that I was trying to pry the bar out of the guys hand and he still wouldn't let it go. Finally, when he let go the bar and the bar was still, the judges finally said start and I missed my first attempt. I was really shaken up from it, in training starting 182 has been really easy and JIM has had me HOLD the weight and said "START" to prepare me for the USAPL meet. So, my second attempt 182 again, I ask the hand-off guy to let go of the weight immediately and move from the platform. "I GOT IT" 182 was easy. Third attempt 193 was missed the judges, had me HOLD IT and WAIT it seemed like forever. Anyways, the 182 got a me a USAPL state record and I got invited to the compete with the WORLD TEAM in HUNGARY May2006. The best part was I "declined" the offer and let them know I was with NASA organization and my dedication and commitment is with them. This was the best feeling and the truth. I went the second day to watch the BIG BOYS lift and what a difference. As soon as the hand-off happened, the hand-off guys foot was still on the platform, the judges said start. All a lot quicker and many of the lifters were still "in MOTION and MOVING the bar" and the start command was immediate. A lesson learned! USAPL was not a fair organization, but I still got a record and KRYSTI HUGHES got a American record. This show that NASA LIFTERS are great lifters in any organization.
I agree that the uspl is pretty hard nose federation, but the fact remains it is in the i.p.f and that is the biggest federation on the planet as far as how many nations competes. the fact is it has to follow i.p.f rules. if they are overly strict then why is it that a elite total will not place in the top 3. brain siders has totaled over 2500 at the i.p.f worlds ,it is nothing to see a elite total at 6 th place at the i.p.f. worlds. just about any international sport will suspend a competitor for competing in a federation that is not a member of its international body, in body building ronnie colemen would be suspended if he competed out side of his federation, in any olyimpic sport its the same way, that keeps the sport unified.the two most highly regarded federations in the u.s.a now are the w.p.o and the u.s.p.l, only the best in ethier fed. lifts in thier nations or world meets all thier records are elite lifts.
I believe you are missing my main points of emphasis in the 2 posts + 1 reply I have made regarding the ipf bench press rules and the judging. It has nothing to do with elite lifters or totals, as I support and appreciate all drug-free competitors. It is not about hard-nosed enforcement of rules, since one would hope there would be hard-nosed officiating in every organization. The problem, in my opinion, my 42 year- 3 month coaching,officating + competing(1st meet 1.04.64) opinion, is that the Bench Press Rules have been needlessly bastardized by the ipf. The very nature of the rules leads to judging that is "Consistently Inconsistent" due to the overweighted possibility of human error. In my opinion: 1) The Judging has been as equally "Consistently Inconsistent" in judging at worlds as nationals. The ipf bench press rules, clearly allow too much emphasis on the human error factor leading to Consistently Inconsistent rulings by the judges. 2) The ipf seemingly has an agenda against the Bench Press. Just Look at the performance rules + the unlikelihood of them being enforced fairly and equally(examples below); especially clear in the rules criteria for setting a world record in the three lift "BP" vs the "Squat" or the "DeadLift"; resolutions like the lifter will remove the bar from the rack unassisted... 3) In my experience the longer overly exaggerated time that you hold the bar at the top before descending to the chest with a heavy weight, the more chance you have of injury. Examples of 1) + 2) from the usapl bp nats Mar.25,26 Denver: My Opinion + Observations: Judging: Consistently Inconsistent ! - (The reason NASA sticks with the real historic rules for the Bench Press) - When you have the lifter holding the weight while waiting for the approval of 3 judges to "Start" down to the chest, the human error factor increases greatly. I watched numerous competitors both days in perfect bench press position holding the bar motionless get VERY SLOW "Start" commands, while others got VERY QUICK "Start" commands. On the second day in my opinion, not only did the majority of "heavy-lift" competitors get "Incredibly Fast" "Start" commands, but at least a dozen times the "Start" command was given while the bar was still in motion. As usual, in my experience of watching ipf ruled bench pressing, The Inconsistency in Judging, as to whether or not the lifter stopped motionless and/or long enough at the chest before pressing, was Incredible !!! I can't count the number of attempts that were perfect at the chest that got red lights. Nor can I count the number of attempts where the bar was still in motion when pressed that got white lights, along with attempts that were bounced and got white lights. In general I do not believe the judges were being deliberately biased in the above-mentioned things. However, the nature of the beast, i.e the ipf bench press rules, clearly allows too much emphasis on the human error factor leading to Consistently Inconsistent rulings by the judges.
I'm sure that not all other meets are BAD meets. From all the Bad stories I hear I dont think I'll find out though. I was going to do a usapl meet in KC to Kill the Kansas usapl records but dont think I will now. In the past 6-8 years that I've been involved with NASA I can say this. I can go to any meet and get judged the same. No matter what part of the country its in. Thats part of the reason I became a Ref. I know the rules and we train accordingly. I lift in the gym the same way I do in a meet. BY THE RULES. Thats why for the most part I dont have problems at a meet. Thats only possible because of consistant judging. I wish I could have been there to hear Henna tell them she didnt want to be on their team. That would have been PRICELESS.
I thank God daily for NASA and the opportunity to lift in it.