Info. for clarification/justification of new cross federation judging advance approval requirements

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Info. for clarification/justification of new cross federation judging advance approval requirements

Post  Mike McDaniel on Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:57 pm

Today I responded to a couple of excellent questions from a fellow APF lifter pertinent to the new advance approval requirement for cross federation judging. The fellow lifter suggested having some explanatory info. available broadly would serve us well. The APF EC reviewed my response and supported it as appropriate to post in hopes of improving understanding and support. The info. is first being posted on the WPC-APF forum, and will subsequently be on the Powerlifting Watch forum.

Improving judging pertinent to the APF perspective has multiple improvement definitions.

Part of the basis for change was intent to improve "on-platform" judging performance pertinent to consistency versus our rules. I'll use me, my wife Beverly, and a couple of other judges I know well as examples. My and Beverly's experience progression as judges was THSPA, then THSPA and THSWPA combined (both Texas high-school), USPF, APF, then WPC. We've also attended, coached, or lifted at NASA and IPA meets. The THSPA and THSWPA aren't affiliated with an open sanctioning organization but were initially based on the USPF then later were somewhat influenced by the USAPL. We've judged no fewer than 2 and as many as 12 THSPA/THSWPA meets per year dating back to 1985. USPF involvement as judges was 3-5 meets/year for 3 years. When Beverly and I transitioned from the USPF to APF, in addition to a signal change difference on bench, we also had to adjust our perspective of what was considered legal definition/expectation of depth versus the rules (similar on a "press" command as soon as the bar was motionless on the chest for the APF versus an expectation of a pause if I recall correctly in the USPF). There were also adjustments required pertinent to positioning ourselves to consistently make proper depth calls on squats. At the time of our judging transition to the APF, single ply poly suits used in the USPF resulted in mostly narrow stance squatters doing rebound squats versus the ultra-wide stance that's common in the more supportive gear used in the APF. Consistently making the correct depth call on squats quite often requires relocation of the side judge in response to lifter stance. I think we made the transition quickly and reasonably well, but during the transition I expect we required more on some attempts than defined by our rules. The other judges I know well that have transitioned to the APF as examples came from some USPF experience (judging and lifting), some USAPL experience (lifting and coaching), and THSPA/THSWPA (judging). They do an outstanding job and are working hard to get their judging to consistently match our rule requirements, but from my perspective they are still periodically requiring slightly more on squat depth from lifters than defined in our rules. My opinion is that if folks consistently and perhaps exclusively judge in the APF they have a better chance of getting their calls to consistently match our expectations versus also judging in some other federation that may have similar wording on depth definition as example in their rulebook but but perhaps requires performance beyond written definition. The counter to this (the one that gets us significant negative attention for gift lifts) are folks that officiate in more lenient federations than the APF then don't adjust to our rule requirements on depth calls, motionless on bench prior to the press command, elbows locked, disallowing downward movement on deadlift, etc.. Lift integrity will eventually make or break us. We have to do everything we can to try and improve it. This change will have minor influence on helping improve judging performance relative to calls on the platform, but through time in some instances it will result in improvement.

There's also an interest in improving performance of our judges pertinent to minimizing the contribution of our officials to the fragmentation of powerlifting through the proliferation of new federations. There's somewhat common agreement that powerlifting fragmentation is killing the competitive aspect of the sport. The federation proliferation is also compromising earnings of the larger more established federations. These earnings are required to support the structures needed to maintain national and global representation. In some instances, APF and/or WPC officials participating as officials in new federations contributes to the credibility of the new federation, helps sustain their existence and growth, and perpetuates new federation proliferation. In some instances, APF and/or WPC officials participating as officials in federations other than ours results in a reduced customer base for ours.

We also need to ensure our officials aren't participating in an official capacity for another organization that from their involvement there's a reasonable chance there could be subsequent negative fallout to the perspective of integrity for our organization.

Pertinent to this change I believe all interested parties will eventually (reasonably soon) see that disallowing cross-federation judging will be the exception versus the norm.. Getting a written request to do so though supplies significant info. to the APF EC that's potentially useful pertinent to having interactions with some folks they may not routinely or perhaps never have dealt with (relationship building). The info. may also be additive in determining areas of opportunity for increased APF presence or a need for improved APF performance. No doubt there will be times where cross federation judging wouldn't in any way be a risk to any aspect of our federation at all. No doubt also there are times where cross federation sharing of resources benefits all involved. I know of a state where the APF and WABDL State Chairmen share equipment and resources to the mutual benefit of their respective organizations, themselves, and their lifters. I can't imagine that changing. I would expect the written advance request for approval to do so though.

Respectfully submitted by Mike McDaniel/APF V.P representing the Garry Frank/APF Pres., and the APF EC

Best to all,
mike mcd

Mike McDaniel

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Re: Info. for clarification/justification of new cross federation judging advance approval requirements

Post  Buddy McKee on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:06 am

The above logic make sense to me. I can see the merit of each point. I think overall the updated processes will be a very possitive move. Thanks for the explanatory info Mike.

Buddy McKee

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