T Nation

Organizing a PL Competition?


I work for the fitness and recreation department at a university and we are planning a powerlifting competition for our students. Unfortunately, not one person (including myself) in the committee organizing this competition has ever competed and we have many questions on how exactly to run an efficient meet. We are following the IPF rulebook as closely as possible for guidance.

One problem we have not resolved yet is how to distribute weight classes. In the rulebook, there are 11 categories for men and 10 for women. We were thinking about straying from this and creating our own categories to better represent our student body. We don?t expect many lifters and we thought 21 different classes would distribute the competitors too thinly. One popular solution was to have two categories- a best overall lift and a best ?pound for pound? for bench, squat, and total. What do you guys think of this?

Also, we would like to bring in officials to judge the lifts. We are not sure where to start or who to contact about officials. Lastly, how much are typical entry fees for a small competition such as this? Thank you for your help.


bodyweight to weight lifted percentage


Sorry, you can ignore the question marks surrounding pound for pound. They were originally quotations. We would compute a percentage of weight lifted versus bodyweight.


Don't worry too much about finagling with the weight classes. Keep in mind that there are various formulas to normalize lifts from different classes to arrive at a best lifter. Besides, it's pretty typical to only have only 1 to 4 lifters in any one class, at least in state-level meet. Keep the flight sizes to no more than 10 or so. Alow ample time for warm-ups.

Get some heavy, taller guys to spot if possible. You don't have to be Kazmeier to spot- but it's really scary watching 4 160 pound kids try to catch a falling 800 lb barbell before it crushes somebody. Also, if this is the firm meet you are putting on, consider maybe a push-pull or a bench only meet- this might make for a simpler set-up.


Where are you located?

I would probably advise against changing the weight classes unless you go over/under by formula. Example: <198, >198 is a common break up for the mens division.

You typically will have a mens open division by weight class with a best lifter award based on formula, and the rest of the divisions by formula utilizing categories (Womens, Masters, teen, Junior, Novice, whatever.)

You should probably consider a best lifter award for these categories as well. Obviously, fewer categories/divisions is better. Especially at your first competition.

Wilks formula is the standard. A simple google search is all it takes to find a chart. It is easy to utilize.

We direct several meets a year, so if you want more specific advice, feel free to pm me. We can correspond via email.

Good luck.


Thank you for the help, I didn't know something like the Wilks formula exsisted.
We also thought about putting on a bench press only meet, but we included the squat to maybe get some of the guys to actually do legs.