Some additional photos from the meet and a thank you to those that referee.

I was able to grab some additional photos of our Team, Toronto Rex Powerlifting, accepting the Best Team trophy as well as a photo of me squatting and accepting the male Best Lifter trophy.

Kinnon, Mark, Tannis, me, Trish
Big thanks to Tannis for this photo and the next photo of me accepting the male Best Lifter trophy.

male Best Lifter with only a 387 wilks, hey, someone had to win it...

photo taken by Harnek Singh Rai
The last photo was taken by Harnek Singh Rai.  Harnek is one of twelve IPF International level judges in the Canadian Powerlifting Union.  In addition to refereeing at many meets at all levels, Harnek brings his camera and when not refereeing, takes many photos of lifters and volunteers.  Many times, a lifter's best photos documenting his or her participation are the result of Harnek's work memorializing competitions.

I was not ready for my close-up.

Harnek is one of many volunteers that give time and travel, largely at their own expense so that lifters such as myself have the opportunity to compete.  While the recent influx of new competitors has vitalized provincial powerlifting associations across the country, there is a disturbing minority of new lifters with a misplaced sense of entitlement.

I recently volunteered at a competition where a lifter was red-lighted for not locking the knees at the completion of a deadlift.  Not only the lifter but the coaches for this lifter proceeded to verbally abuse the head table and then argue with an IPF Internationally certified referee.  This particular referee has refereed at numerous Provincial, National, and International meets yet this particular coach felt he knew the application of the rules better than a referee that has probably been involved in powerlifting as a top competitor and as a referee longer than this coach has been alive.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the coach via his team's facebook page then posted a rant about 'inconsistent judging' and mis-placed attention spent on policing team logos and insuring the proper underwear was worn. While I understand a coach is there to support his/her lifters, desire for a lifter to achieve a PR is not justification for bending the rules and approving a lift.

There have probably been at least a hundred powerlifting federations started, some providing a legitimate alternative to IPF affiliated lifting (multiply, non-drug tested, Bench/DL only, etc) but many are simply created because a group of lifters didn't get their way and they think they can provide a more 'lifter-friendly' competition.  To me, that's a mis-placed sense of entitlement.  "Lifter-friendly" (in my opinion) means a federation has a procedure by which its constitution and by-laws can be amended to reflect, within reason, the desires of its membership.  "Lifter-friendly" does not mean selectively enforcing the rules of competition to make people happy.

As a lifter, I want the rules of the competition to be enforced as they are written.  If that means a lifter cannot lift because he is wearing boxer style underwear or a lifter must change their shirt because it shows an unapproved logo, so be it.  The rules are available for everyone to read.  If one competes, one should know the rules.  If a lifter doesn't get their next attempt in before the 60 second time limit expires, guess what?  The rules say they either take the same weight if they missed the previous attempt or they get a 2.5 kg increase.  Don't bitch at the head table because you were late.  Know the rules and be prepared.

Enforcing the rules protects the integrity of the competition.  I don't want to lift in a federation that lets things slide because a lifter tried really hard or because the lifter is a good friend of the meet promoter.  Things like squat depth are a judgement call.  That's why there are three judges not one camera angle.  A lifter only has to satisfy 2 of the 3 referees and with all calls, if there is doubt, the referee rules in favour of the lifter.  I feel very confident that if a lifter gets 2 or 3 red lights, the lift did not pass.  In the extremely rare situation where referees did make an error, if there is no jury available to overturn, well them's the breaks.  Take it like a man and don't bitch and moan all over social media because you're butthurt about it.

It is very demanding to become a National level referee and it is extremely demanding to become an IPF International level referee.  National level referees must work a minimum of 2 provincial or national events every 3 years and maintaining International status requires a minimum of 2 national and 2 international events every 4 years.  That's a lot of travel and vacation days used at one's own expense spent volunteering for a sport they love.  Referees don't get enough respect for their commitment to the sport.  Without them, none of us would have opportunities to compete.

Popular posts from this blog

SBD Lever belt review -- TL DR; it's good, very good.

New shoes reviewed, Adidas Drehkraft to replace my Adidas Power Perfect 2's

Indochino suit review, Part I: Chronic iron overload presents a challenge for online made to measure suits.