Learning to simplify things – on non-sanctioned meets in Brazil

I’ve recently fully assumed the presidency of our local powerlifting organization, the “Aliança Nacional da Força” (National Strength Alliance). When I say “fully”, I mean that I already was nominally the president but had different agreements with other members concerning the actual control I would exert. The organization was created in 2009 and we had gone through three different organizing committees that never took off. The attempts to decide and do everything collectively never worked. So here I am, now, “fully president” and things are working well.

We organized the first WPC national championship in May and are ready to hold the first national IPL championship in October. It suddenly sank in on everyone what I had been saying for the past many years: doing things the right way takes time, energy, money and a lot of experience. We can have just so many sanctioned meets in a year – not more.

How do we fulfill the need for meets all over the country? A lot of people come to me now and say they finally understood what a “backyard powerlifting meet” means: a fake championship that displays a certain sanctioning body banner but does not follow rules of any type. How do I handle this, now that they understand it? And how do I handle my many students who want to organize simple powerlifting events at their gyms or cities?

I decided to write a simplified rulebook for them. Less or no weight classes (they can use relative strength formulas to rank lifters), no age classes, simplified personal equipment, simplified support and disk requirements, etc. The only sacred items are the lift execution rules.

People can simply download the simplified rulebook and have fun. Or they can request our/my help. If they do that, get supervision, and follow our instructions, then they get to have their results published with us, certificates and a somewhat better recognition.

I called this the “simplified supervised meet” program. The meets don’t get any sanctioning body recognition, but they have a local supervision and credit, in the sense that I can certify the lifters lifted what is published there and that the meet was kosher.

I’m not sure what will happen. I just released the program. Many people shared it and cheered. Maybe they will use it – one way or the other. Maybe it will help to raise the local standards in the sport.

Who knows.


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