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I guess I’ll just start writing whatever seems important here as “notes to self” and then organize it all later. First, because I don’t have a “note to self” file on my computer. Second, because maybe some of the input can come in handy.
We were at Westside Barbell today but that’s not what I will discuss here. It’s one small item of my perception concerning the general attitude of very high performance powerlifters in the US towards competition.
All perception is biased, mine not any less. As someone opposed to hegemonic control in sports governance, I am happy with having multiple alternatives of environment, rules, gear use, etc. What sank in today is that this choice is very well used by American high performance PL since they seem to follow numbers. Good places to lift are those where you have high numbers. Period.
I thought consistency of rules would be a hot item, but it’s not. They take it for granted. I take it that the lack of consistency is not something they are much familiar with: it is more a South American and European concern.
It is one of the things that made me swear never to compete in Brazil again, since either you have “anything-goes” United Backyard Powerlifting or “random refereeing” IPF (“I don’t like you, I’ll pick a rule item to back my red light).
Not an issue here.
Mostly, the order of priorities in American PL (high performance, that is) decisions as to where to lift is: 1. Are the numbers good?; 2. How far from home?
Which makes me think that you need environments for everybody, but having the qualifiers standards raised very high in certain meets may lead to an interesting situation, organization-wise: few very strong lifters, easier to manage flights and more exciting battles on the platform.
Variety is healthy. It leads to all sorts of competitive environments and situations, but certainly it will eventually select certain extremely high standard meets where only the best athletes lift. Or won’t it? Will these be places that attract those people who already got enough attention in wider, less selective environments, won nice titles and now decided they had enough of the ego trip? Is that their “Wimbledon”?
I don’t have an answer to that yet – I need to learn more from them to add more pieces to this puzzle.