The AAU Powerlifting Executive Committee met on July 30-31, 2011 at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in New Orleans, LA. The Committee spent many hours discussing the past, present and future of the sport of powerlifting and the AAU program. Some of the highlights of the meeting included a plan for refreshing our powerlifting program by assuring the organization provides more consistency, better communications, decreasing the politics and a renewed enthusiasm for assuring the original intent of the sport by simply providing good meets that are competitive, fun and fair. The Committee is dedicated to making a few changes that we hope will increase participation and assure we are consistent with the national and international standards that have been adopted by many federations. Basically, we will be listening to the athletes, coaches, officials and meet directors to help make the sport grow and prosper.
The Committee reviewed the Rulebook and made several changes that allow more flexibility, without compromising the original intent of competition. Two major objectives were observed during all discussions. The first objective was to assure safety will always be the first and foremost consideration in all decisions. The second objective was to assure all changes to the rules maintained what we believe to be the blueprint established by the individuals that created the sport. With that in mind, the Committee was also acutely aware of advances in technology and changes that have been made throughout the years that have provided more consistency and greater opportunities to attract more participants. An overview of the rule changes that take effect September 1, 2011 are listed below. For more detailed information, please go to the Powerlifting page found ataaupowerlifting.org and click on rules. All new rules are highlighted to make it easy to find the changes.
Additional items addressed included: 1) The creation of a marketing plan to attract more Meet Directors; 2) Assuring our officials and athletes have the most current information about rule changes and direction of the organization; 3) Update, simplify and provide a more "user friendly" program to record and publish records; 4) Explore ways to provide a greater impact and education through our Substance Abuse initiative; and, 5) To increase our relationship with other federations to decrease the fragmentation that we feel, has had an impact on the growth of the sport.
The Committee understand that we cannot implement all the changes listed above overnight so, we developed a plan for changes that will occur over the next 3 – 5 years with emphasis on changes that will have an immediate impact on strengthening AAU Powerlifting and providing consistent competition throughout the country. We are looking for a few individuals that are dedicated to helping us achieve these goals. We will be soliciting leaders and individuals with the same love of the sport to assist us in our efforts. We understand that many people are simply interested in good, clean, fair competition and that is what AAU Powerlifting will be focusing on now and in the future.
AAU Powerlifting Rule Changes (effective September 1, 2011)
Click Here for 2011-2012 AAU Powerlifting Rule Book
1) Wrist wraps: Wraps will be optional for lifters competing in the "Raw" Division. They may be used for all three lifts; the thumb loop must be taken off the thumb during the lift. Wrist wraps shall not exceed 1 meter in length and 8 cm in width. Any sleeves or Velcro patches/tabs for securing must be incorporated within the one meter length. A loop may be attached as an aid to securing but may not be over the thumb or fingers during a lift. Wrist covering shall not exceed 10 cm above and 2 cm below the center of the wrist joint and shall not exceed a covering width of 12 cm.
2) Knee sleeves: Knee sleeves will be optional for lifters competing in the "Raw" Division. They may be used for the Squat or Deadlift. Sleeves will be single ply neoprene without any attaching or tightening mechanisms such as Velcro (or similar material), clips, or straps. Knee sleeves may not exceed 30cm in length or ¼” in thickness.
3) Start command: AAU will be adding the "Start" command for Bench Press. After receiving the bar at arm’s length the lifter shall await the referee’s “Start” command. The lifter shall then lower the bar to the chest and await the “Press” command. The "Press" command shall be given when the bar is motionless on the chest. The signal by the Chief referee to return the bar to the rack shall be the audible "Rack" command.
4) Use of digital scales for weight-ins: We have clarified the acceptable weights when using digital scales based on using scales that are accurate to within .2 pound increments. Details may be found in the AAU Rulebook.
5) Fourth Attempt: Fourth attempts will only be allowed for records after successful completion of the 3rd attempt, with permission of the Chief Referee.
6) Suspension Lists: The AAU Powerlifting Committee will honor all other federation's substance abuse suspension lists that are published.
7) Lightweight lifting bar: For children registered in the "Youth" age classes, when lifting less than 35 KGs, lifters may use a commercially made 6' or 6.5’' bar combined with collars that equal 7.5 KG, 10 KG, 12.5 KG, 15 KG, 17.5 KG, 20 KG or 22.5 KG. The bar and collars must be weighed by the Meet Director or Head Referee prior to the start of the meet on calibrated scales. The bar with collars must weight within 2.5% of the intended weight.
Thank you for the opportunity to share the changes in the AAU Powerlifting Program and update you on the vision of the AAU Powerlifting Executive Committee.
Be Safe, be Smart and work hard to meet your goals!
2011 AAU Powerlifting Executive Committee