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Rules draft: weightlifting
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
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« on: September 30, 2008, 12:28:02 am »

The rules for our weightlifting meets have now been folded into the Virtualmeet.net Technical Rules. The current version (0.87) should be considered a first draft only in respect to weightlifting. This thread is here for gathering feedback: is anything missing? could anything be worded better? spelling mistakes?

THE TIME TO DETERMINE HOW VIRTUAL WEIGHTLIFTING WILL LOOK LIKE IS NOW! Once the rules start being actively in use changing them will be harder.

A few notes/questions on the weightlifting additions:

  • The clothing rules are currently identical with those for powerlifting: this means T-shirt and shorts, no singlets. Does this work or do you think singlets should be allowed? We prohibited singlets for powerlifting some time ago to underscore that we lift RAW and to remove the possibility to pass supportive gear as a non-supportive singlet. Personally, I think we should strive towards keeping the rules as simple as possible; having the same clothing rules for all lifts sure make things easier than having lift specific clothing rules. But if singlets are needed, we should certainly allow them. Thoughts?
  • Since this is common practice in weightlifting, the draft suggests using the Malone-Meltzer age coefficients (which start giving age handicaps after 30 years of age) for weightlifting. For the powerlifts, we use McCulloch (which starts at 40). I suspect the explosive strength required for weightlifting may deteriorate faster than the maximal power required for powerlifting so this discrepancy is probably in order, but thoughts on this would be welcome.
  • The weightlifts and weightlifting total will be calculated using Mel C. Siff's weightlifting formula.
  • To my knowledge, there are no established total ranking classes in weightlifting to match the Elite-Class IV powerlifting classifications standard. The total ranking is thus a regular flat ranking in weightlifting. If anyone knows of any similar system in weightlifting that may be applicable, please let me know.
  • The maximum length of a weightlifting meet is 1.5 hours, i.e. the same as for other two-lift meets. Is this ok?
  • Is the current shoe rules also adequate for weightlifting or are they too restrictive?

    Quote
    e)   Shoes: Shoes must be worn on all lifts with the exception of the deadlift where deadlift slippers are also allowed. Any shoe or boot with an underside exceeding 5 cm/2 inches at any point, and shoes with metal spikes or cleats are forbidden. The use of any form of adhesive, including sand paper, emery cloth etc., on the underside of footwear is forbidden. Resin, magnesium carbonate, and “stick-type” sprays are not allowed on footgear. A spray of water is acceptable.
  • Is the terminology used in the rules correct? For example, should Olympic weightlifting be used more judiciously over weightlifting?
  • Do the technical rules and fault list for the snatch and the clean and the jerk look good or should anything be changed?

Besides these major changes, the rules set is the same as that for powerlifting. You still have to video tape your lifts from a good angle, weigh-in as usual, remember the day's newspaper etc. etc.

Over to you. Changes can be folded in up until the meet sign-up deadline expires on Thursday for this weekends weightlifting meet.
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Kat Ricker
Lifter
 
United States United States Female 79 posts
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 05:03:54 pm »

I think shorts and t-shirts will be fine, altho something sleeveless would be more natural, because of the shoulder movements. The powerlifting shoes section is pretty funny if you read it for weightlifting... as if anyone would use adhesives or a spray of water for this.  Grin  You could say weightlifting shoes are acceptable but not required. FYI generally a hard-soled shoe is what you want, so sometimes you'll see lifters in army boots or bowling shoes.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 09:31:03 pm »

Thanks Kat, you brought up some good points. As a reference and comparison, here is the current shoe rules from the International Weightlifting Federation:

Quote
4.2 WEIGHTLIFTING FOOTWEAR
4.2.1 The competitors must wear sport footwear (called weightlifting shoes / boots)
to protect their feet and give them stability and a firm stance on the
competition platform.
4.2.2 Weightlifting footwear must be made in such a way that they do not give the
athlete an unfair advantage or additional support other than what is specified
in 4.2.1.
4.2.3 A strap over the instep is permitted.
4.2.4 The part of the footwear that covers the heel may be reinforced.
4.2.5 The maximum height permitted on the upper part of the footwear, measured
from the top of the sole, is 130 mm.
4.2.6 The sole must not extend from the footwear by more than 5 mm at any point.
4.2.7 The footwear may be made of any material or combination of materials.
4.2.8 There is no minimum or maximum height of the soles.
4.2.9 There are no restrictions in regards of the shape of the footwear.

We probably need to loosen up the shoe rules for weightlifting, but the question is whether we should go with the same rules for powerlifting or whether to separate them... As I wrote earlier, I think it would be great if we could have a single set of clothing rules that are shared between all lifts.
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Chip Conrad
Registered member
 
United States United States Male 5 posts
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2008, 04:33:48 pm »

Not that I enjoy lifting in a singlet BUT it might make the weightlifting easier to judge.  It shouldn't be required, but possibly allowing a singlet might be helpful for judges. And you won't see anyone trying an Oly lift in a squat suit unless they've invented a straight-legged first pull.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2008, 08:17:18 pm »

And you won't see anyone trying an Oly lift in a squat suit unless they've invented a straight-legged first pull.

Very good point! We will go with the no-singlet rule for this meet since we are so close to it already, but we should consider this further after the meet.
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Vadim Rudometov
Staff  [Russian Translator]
 
Moldova, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Male 7 posts
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2008, 05:01:03 pm »

Thanks for the Oly lifting, guys! IMO it's a brilliant idea.
What I'd like to know is are there any strict requirements with regard to the split/squat styles and the full squat/power squat variations? The point is our gym's policy restricts dropping weights, so I had to learn always to maintain full control of the weight above my head which is a lot easier for me when I'm not in an ATG position. It would be great if you let me do at least my 'snatch' with straight or slightly bent knees. The C&J is a lesser issue in this sense. 
 
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2008, 08:10:27 pm »

Thanks for the compliments Vadim. Smiley I completely agree that the decision to include weightlifting was one of the best ones ever as it has brought another vibrant dimension to Virtualmeet.net.

It would be great if you let me do at least my 'snatch' with straight or slightly bent knees. The C&J is a lesser issue in this sense.

The basic answer is straightforward: you can do any variation of the lift that is allowed as per the rules but we will not make rule exceptions for any lifter unless it is because of physical limitations such as a handicap. Even though these are not official meets, I think it's important for our credibility that we have a firm policy on the technical rules. But your question is really whether the rules allow this kind of lift variation or not. If I understand what you are saying correctly (I may not), then yes, you don't need to drop into a squat or split. What matters is that you get the bar from the floor overhead to locked elbows and locked knees in a single motion without pausing or resorting to pressing. While some styles will naturally be more beneficial from a leverage point of view than others, you can accomplish this in many ways.

Does this answer your question?
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Vadim Rudometov
Staff  [Russian Translator]
 
Moldova, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Male 7 posts
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2008, 09:32:34 am »

Yes it does.
So I understand that, when doing the snatch, as l long as I fix the bar overhead in one single motion: elbows locked, no pressing, the rules allow partial knee bent or no bent at all, right?
Thank you.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2008, 10:23:54 am »

You can bend or not bend during the movement, but you need to finish by pausing with the bar fixed overhead AND locked knees.  Here are the rules for the snatch, I bolded the most relevant part.

Quote
1. The bar shall be laid horizontally in front of the lifter's feet on the floor. A thin rubber mat
not exceeding 2 centimeters/0.8 inches in thickness is allowed under the weight plates if
needed to protect the floor, but the bar may not be elevated off the floor in any other fashion.

2. The bar shall be gripped using a double overhand grip (the back of both hands pointing
away from the lifter). A traditional or hook grip (wrapping the fingers over the thumb of
each hand) may be used

3. In a single motion the bar will be pulled from the floor to overhead, with elbows locked out.
The bar may slide along the thighs and the lap during the lift. The lifter may split or bend at
the knees; however the lift is not complete until the legs and arms are fully extended.


4. After a visible pause in the final position with arms and legs extended and the feet on the
same line, the lifter may lower the bar to the start position by any safe means.
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Vadim Rudometov
Staff  [Russian Translator]
 
Moldova, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Male 7 posts
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2008, 11:30:21 am »

You can bend or not bend during the movement...
That was exactly my question. The process. The result we can all see on TV or youtube.
Legs, arms, torso--every thing's straight and tight until the judge's signal.
The world class competitive lifters (i.e. the humans dealing with extreme weights) almost always go into full squat. As you say, it's biomechanics.
The point is I never saw an event performance when an athlete would do partial squat/split. I only read that sometimes, in order not to aggravate a knee injury, for example, they do partial movements.
Instead of raising this 'scientific discussion' Grin I should have put it this way: do you accept "power snatches" (and "power cleans" in the 1 phase, to get into the rack position)? Because, for instance (I quote wikipedia):
Quote
The power clean, a weight training exercise not used in competition, refers to any variant of the clean in which the lifter does not catch the bar in a full squat position (commonly accepted as thighs parallel to the floor).


       
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 11:41:20 am by Domkratos » Logged

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Kat Ricker
Lifter
 
United States United States Female 79 posts
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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2008, 04:00:04 pm »

I agree. The lifts are full squat in competition. Partials/powers are for training. Otherwise, who would do full?

Variations that might be allowed typically include split vs. nonsplit jerks, for instance, but not an option not to go down.

I vote it should be that way here.
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Chip Conrad
Registered member
 
United States United States Male 5 posts
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2008, 06:26:12 pm »

At the highest level of competition, which is the level that most of us are subjected to viewing, thanks to TV, you'll almost always see a deep squat under the bar, since this is the most efficient way to get under the weight.  But at regional meets, there is a great deal of power movements, since super deep squats simply aren't in the cards for everyone. 
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2008, 08:03:18 pm »

Having seen my share of frame-by-frame sequences of the Olympic lifts in MILO, I appreciate what Chip is saying above. When the weights are big enough, you won't be able to do much better than pull the bar to around chest height (give or take) and the only way of getting it overhead is to dip down deep under the bar to catch it overhead at whatever height you can get it to. Indeed, the picture captions in MILO never fail to mention how the lifter is "racing to get under the bar" showing the bar still going up and the lifter on his way down.

I find the rules for the Olympic lifts to be quite the contrast to those for powerlifting. In powerlifting, acceptable stance widths, arches, foot motion, bar placements etc. etc. need to be clearly defined to, among other things, enforce a certain minimum range of motion. Compared to that,  the rules of the snatch are basically just "fix the bar overhead with extended elbows and knees". The squat style is accepted as the most biomechanically efficient way of doing so and what I gather most weightlifters train for, but the rules do not actually mention anything about squatting down except for noting that you can bend your legs during the lift if you so wish. I'm guessing that it is common for beginning weightlifters to lift more without squatting deep as the squat introduces a huge skill and timing factor, but in the long run you have to learn to squat down to get the weights to an appreciable level.

If we were to only accept lifts where the lifter squats down, we would face the interesting problem of defining legal depth for the Olympic lifts. It would also break the basic idea of our rules being as close as possible to the real thing by creating our own representation of the lifts.

So, power snatches are certainly legal in our meets as they are also legal in real-world weightlifting meets.
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Kat Ricker
Lifter
 
United States United States Female 79 posts
WWW
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2008, 08:27:28 pm »

I understand and respect everything that's being said here. But personally, I don't want the amount of weight I power snatch to count the same as if I snatch. Lord knows, I'd fare so much better if I power snatched in a meet. I know how much simpler a power snatch is for me to perform, and how much more weight I can move. But if I couldn't respect my record that way.

To me, it would be like benching in powerlifting with the option not to have the bar come down to the chest, yet competing equally against lifters who are touching and pausing.

Would you consider different classes according to form, or perhaps there's a different formula for scoring the two?

I may be the only one who thinks this way, but I think it's a healthy discussion at any rate...
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2008, 10:17:35 pm »

Kat, I understand what you're saying and I don't think you are alone in feeling this way. In many ways, I think this is the same dilemma that many powerlifters, including myself, have wrestled with in regard to whether to use the maximum arch the rules allow or to retain a decent range of motion one can feel proud of when bench pressing. But ultimately they are still different as an elite weightlifter should be able to actually lift more using the "purist" approach whereas the small archer will generally always lift less. Weightlifting is a highly technique dependent sport and most serious weightlifters are likely to embrace that by learning how to squat down properly. In this sense, power snatching just doesn't cut it even if one could lift more that way.

I think your suggestion to have different formulas or classes make perfect sense in that regard. Indeed, for bench pressing we offer both regular meets and military bench meets where the arching is basically prohibited and the feet are required to be kept in the air at all times. But how this could be implemented in practice for the snatch and/or the clean and jerk is far from clear. Whereas military benching has a precedent, to my knowledge this hasn't.

As I wrote above, if we go down this road we need to clearly define at least legal depth (parallel as per the Wikipedia link Vadim mentioned above?) as just saying that a squat or split is required is too fuzzy for judging. If we were to do this it would have to be separate meets as coming up with a fair formula to compare snatches to power snatches is not a trivial task. The question is also whether there would be interest in these kinds of meets and whether they make long-term sense as most(?) serious weightlifters will probably attempt to squat under the bar regardless of which meet type they are in. This would also make the rankings rather interesting... I would be inclined to conclude that this would introduce needless complexity to the meets we are offering while not bringing in much more than an extra seal of approval for using classic technique.

Anyone have any thoughts or ideas in this regard?

This is indeed a very valuable discussion in that it helps put the finger on the fundamental questions at a very early stage where it is still easy to make changes.
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