This document is a digital representation of the official IPL Rulebook. This document has been digitized to permit automatic translation of this document. This document is provided as a reference. In ALL instances, please refer to the official IPL Rulebook, which can be found here: Official IPL Rulebook.
Part 7. REFEREES
Item 1. General Rules
7.1.1 The referees shall be three in number, the Head Referee (or center referee) and two side referees.
7.1.2 The same referee must be seated throughout an entire flight once it starts. No referee changes can occur once a flight has begun. However, the only exception to this rule is if a record-breaking attempt is being made and the required referee classifications are not met by the existing seated referees (i.e. two National or International referees for a National record).
7.1.3 The correct command used by the Head Referee to alert the time keeper, announcer, and the lifter everything is correct and ready for the lift to begin is “Platform Ready”.
7.1.4 In all three lifts the Head Referee must sit off to one side of the lifter, never in the center of the platform.
7.1.5 Once the bar has been replaced in the racks or on the platform at the completion of the lift, the referees will announce their decisions by means of the lights; White for a “good lift” and red for “no lift”.
7.1.6 Before the contest, the three referees shall jointly ascertain that:
7.1.7 a the platform and competition equipment comply in all respects with the rules. Bars and discs are checked for weight discrepancies and defective equipment discarded.
7.1.7b the scales work correctly and are accurate.
7.1.7c the lifters weigh in within the limits of weight and time for their bodyweight category. 7.1.7d the lifters costumes and personal equipment comply with the rules in all respects.
7.1.7 During the contest the three referees must jointly ascertain that:
The weight of the loaded bar agrees with the weight announced by the MC. Referees may
be issued with bar loading charts for this purpose or a computer-generated bar loading software may also be used and projected on to a screen that is in a clear and visible location, from the platform, for the three referees.
7.1.8 Prior to the commencement of any lift, if any official observes a minor oversight after the lifter has been called to the platform by the Head Referee, the lifter will be allowed to complete their lift uninterrupted. After the lift, the official will call the lifter over and both give a verbal warning, along with instructions on how the lifter must correct the issue before returning for their next attempt.
7.1.9 Prior to the commencement of any lift, if either side official observes an infraction, they will call attention about the fault to the Head Referee. The Head Referee observing an infraction may act alone. In either case, the referees will be called together to inspect the lifter. If the fault is considered to be an infraction, the lifter will make all necessary corrections prior to being allowed to lift while the time clock remains running.
7.1.10 If the fault is considered a purposeful intent to cheat, the lifter shall be disqualified from the competition. How the fault will be considered, and the action to be taken, will be at the discretion of the Head Referee. If any referee has reason to doubt a lifter’s integrity, he must at the completion of the lift, inform the Head Referee of his suspicions. The three referees may then re-examine the lifter’s costume and personal equipment. If the lifter is found to be wearing or using any illegal item, the lifter will immediately be disqualified from the competition.
7.1.11 Referees shall abstain from commentary and not receive any document or verbal account concerning the progress of the competition.
7.1.12 The lifter or their coach may request the reason for a “no lift” decision from any of the Referees immediately following their lifter’s attempt. Such request must be made before the next lifter’s attempt begins, so as not to interfere with the progression of the competition.
7.1.13 A referee shall not attempt to influence the decisions of the other referees.
7.1.14 The Head Referee may consult with the side referees, or any other official as necessary in order to expedite the competition.
7.1.15 At his discretion, the Head Referee may order that the bar and or platform be cleaned.
7.1.16 Prior to the commencement of the squat, if either side referee does not accept the bar placement on the lifters back as correct or safe, they will call attention to the Head Referee. The lift will be stopped, and the Head Referee will make the final determination.
7.1.17 The selection of a referee to act as Head Referee in one category does not preclude his selection as a side referee in another category.
7.1.18 Referees will be uniformly dressed as follows:
7.1.19 The official IPL referee’s polo shirts are as follows: red for Regional referees, blue for National referees, and grey for International referees.
7.1.20 Black pants (dress slacks or Docker style) or black shorts (dress shorts, Docker or cargo style) are only permitted. Shorts must be 3/4-thigh or longer (no short shorts or gym shorts allowed). At National, World, or Invitational meets (Example: Mr. Olympia, all Expos,
or any meet World Records can be established), all referees (male or female) must be dressed in black slacks or “Docker” style pants. No Shorts are allowed. Only black shoes are allowed. A black leather belt, if needed and the provided IPL/IPL referee shirt must
be worn. Men’s shirts must be tucked in at all times. Women’s shirts, which are shorter, maybe left untucked.
7.1.21 Shoes, boots or tennis shoes must be black. No sandals or open toed shoes allowed.
7.1.22 All apparel items will be neat and clean at all times. Men will be clean shaven or have the appropriately groomed facial hair.
7.1.23 Cell phones or other similar electronic devices are not allowed while judging.
7.1.24 Officials not judging shall remain outside the judging area while on a break.
7.1.25 It’s the Meet Director’s responsibility that all referees are properly dressed. Any referee not properly dressed cannot judge but may be allowed to assist at the score table. Failure to comply with dress code may result in disciplinary action under section 7.1.28.
7.1.26 All IPL judges and staff will refrain from posting, responding too, or using any form of social media in a negative way when talking about any of our lifters, other officials, or the Organization. The integrity of the Organization requires we hold everyone to the highest
ethical standards. Failure to follow these standards could result in loss of all judging credentials, and/or loss of membership.
7.1.27 Should any disciplinary action be required for any rules, or policy violations by any official, it would be – first offense, verbal warning, second offense, loss of judging privileges for 6 months, third offense permanent loss of judging certification or official position held.
7.1.28 No IPL official may judge in any other Organizations competitions that has not previously taken, and passed said organizations written/practical tests prior to the competition
date. Simply “grandfathering in” without previous testing does not count. Failure to comply could be seen as a conflict of interest, and you could lose your IPL credentials.
7.1.29 All International referees are allowed to conduct practical examinations. National referees are eligible to conduct practical examinations 1-year from the date they passed their national referee examination. It is the responsibility of all Meet Directors to confirm that any official administering a practical examination is qualified to do so.
The Head Referee is responsible for giving the necessary signals for all three lifts. Signals required for the three lifts are as follows:
7.1.30 Commencement: A visual signal consisting of a downward movement of the extended arm, together with the audible command of “SQUAT”. The hand will start above the referee’s head, and move swiftly downward at the exact same time as the command is given. It will remain frozen in this position until the lifter completes the lift.
7.1.31 Completion: A visual signal consisting of a swift backward movement of the hand being brought past the referee’s ear, together with the audible command of “RACK”. The arm may not move from the downward position until the lifter has shown complete control, then the verbal command and arm movement must be in complete unison.
7.1.32 Commencement: A visual signal consisting of a downward movement of the arm together with the audible command of “START”. The hand will start above the referee’s head and move swiftly downward at the exact same time as the command is given. It will remain frozen in this position until the lifter has demonstrated they are ready for the next command.
7.1.33 Intermediate: A visual signal consisting of an upward movement of the arm together with the audible command of “PRESS”. The arm must remain at full length above the referee’s ear, frozen without movement, until the lifter has demonstrated they are ready for the last command.
7.1.34 Completion: A visual signal consisting of a backward movement of the arm together with the audible command of “RACK”. The fully extended arm will then swiftly be brought back behind the referee’s ear at the exact same time as the command is given.
7.1.35 Commencement: No signal required.
7.1.36 Completion: A visual signal consisting of a downward movement of the arm together with the audible command of “DOWN”. From the starting position above the referee’s head, the fully extended arm will be swiftly lowered until being pointed directly at the platform, at the exact same time as the command is being given.
7.1.37 During the deadlift the side judges may sit in the best viewing position, but never directly on the sides. They may be in the front corners or just slightly behind the lifter.
7.1.38 In all three lifts, it is important that the arm is fully extended at all times, all movements are
swift and coordinated at the exact same time as the verbal commands are loudly being given, that there is never any distracting, and never any un-necessary arm movement between commands that could distract or confuse the lifter during their lift. The first arm position for each lift will be in place prior to each lift beginning and will not be done so that it could distract the lifter.
7.1.39 While not being required at all meets, any meet that due to a high noise level, the lifters may be having difficulty hearing the “Platform Ready” command, the Head Referee should use a hand command directed at the lifter consisting of a swift movement of the arm from the fully
extended position pointing at the lifter, to bringing the hand behind the referee’s ear, so the lifter will know the platform is ready, and their clock is now running.
Referees – General Rules Continued
Examples of faults that should be considered a minor oversight are:
Socks overlaid or touching the knee wraps or knee sleeves. Thumb loops not being removed prior to the lift.
The leg length of the singlet exceeding proper requirements. Deadlift socks not completely covering the top of the calves.
Wrist or knee wraps applied as to obviously exceed allowed dimensions.
Examples of infractions that must be corrected prior to the lifter making their attempt are:
The lifters suit/singlet straps not being worn over their shoulders.
Items forgotten to be removed that may have been worn for warm-ups or to maintain warmth (e.g. hats, rubber elbow sleeves, etc.)
Raw lifters not wearing a t-shirt while squatting or benching. No socks, or ankle socks, being worn during the deadlift.
A lifters bench belt being worn backwards so the buckle will give them an additional false arch.
Examples that should be considered a purposeful attempt to cheat are:
The use of more than one lifting suit or any suit that has been altered beyond the specs within the rulebook (Raw, Classic Raw and Single Ply only).
Wearing more than one-pair of underwear or illegal support briefs (Raw, Classic Raw & Single Ply only).
The use of more than one shirt or an illegal supportive shirt or illegal undershirt.
The use of more than one-pair of wraps, more than one ply (wraps sewn together) or wraps over regulation length.
Any additions such as body wraps, towel inserts, bracing, etc.
Presence of oil, grease, liquids, or lubricants other than chalk or approved powder.
Item 2. Qualifications for a Referee Regional Referees
7.2.1 Must be a member of the IPL in good standing.
7.2.2 Must be recommended by your Regional Chairman and approved by either the Federation President or the National Referee Chairman.
7.2.3 Must be at least 18 years of age, and have completed in at least two or more sanctioned competitions.
7.2.4 Must take the Level I written examination and practical examination (approximately 200 lifts) administered by the Referee Chairman (or designee) during an IPL sanctioned full power meet.
7.2.5 Must achieve a passing score of 90 percent or better on both the written and practical examinations.
7.2.6 Must complete the practical examination within 90 days of taking and passing the written examination. If you are beyond 90 days, you will need to contact our Referee Chairman.
7.2.7 Must assist in at least one weigh-in session.
7.2.8 Must officiate in at least one regional, National or IPL meet each year to keep accreditation current. Any official that has not judged at least one competition within a 12-month period must re-take the written test based on their current level status to refresh them on all current rules.
7.2.9 Must stay current and updated on all IPL rule changes.
7.2.10 Are responsible to maintain a record book with the names and dates of all meets, along with the number of flights they officiated in.
7.2.11 All referees must register or renew their IPL membership annually in order to maintain their current qualifications.
7.2.12 A referee who has been inactive for a period of four years, or who fails to register or renew their IPL membership annually, will forfeit their credentials.
7.2.13 Must be a member of the IPL.
7.2.14 Must be recommended by your Regional Chairman and approved by either the IPL President or the Referee Chairman.
7.2.15 Must be a Regional level referee for a minimum of two years.
7.2.16 Within those two years, must have judged at a minimum of eight meets, with an average of four flights per meet.
7.2.17 Must take the level II written examination, administered by the Referee Chairman and must pass with a score of 90% or higher.
7.2.18 Must officiate in at least one IPL meets each year to keep their accreditation current.
7.2.19 Must stay current and updated on all IPL rule changes.
7.2.20 Are responsible to maintain a record book with the names and dates of all meets, along with the number of flights they officiated in.
7.2.21 Must register or renew their IPL membership annually in order to maintain their current qualifications.
7.2.22 A referee who has been inactive for a period of four years, or who fails to register or renew their IPL membership annually, will forfeit their credentials.
7.2.23 Must have completed a minimum of 2 weigh-in sessions, 4 flights of working the lifters cards during the meet, 4 flights of running the meet computer during the meet, and 4 flights of expediting at a meet.
7.2.24 Must be a member of the IPL.
7.2.25 Must be recommended by your Regional or the National Referee Chairman and approved by the IPL President.
7.2.26 Must be a National level referee for a minimum of four years.
7.2.27 Within those four years, must have officiated in at least fifteen IPL sanctioned meets, and judged a minimum of 75 flights.
7.2.28 Within those four years, they must have judged a minimum of two Regional, two national and one world competition.
7.2.29 Must take the Level III written examination administered by the Referee Chairman and passed with a score of 95% or higher.
7.2.30 Must officiate in at least one IPL meets each year to keep their accreditation current.
7.2.31 Must stay current and updated on all IPL rule changes.
7.2.32 Are responsible to maintain a record book with the names and dates of all meets, along with the number of flights they officiated in.
7.2.33 Must register or renew their IPL membership annually in order to maintain their current qualifications.
7.2.34 A referee who has been inactive for a period of four years or who fails to re-register or renew their IPL membership annually will forfeit their credentials.
7.2.35 Must have completed a minimum of 4 weigh-in sessions, 8 flights of working the lifters cards during the meet, 8 flights of running the meet computer during the meet, and 8 flights of expediting at a meet.
Item 3. Early Advancement Program
7.3.1 The IPL offers an Early Advancement Program (EAP) that could allow officials to advance to the next level at an accelerated pace. All applicants requesting the EAP must first have the prior approval of either the National Referee Chairman or the President. Having met these additional requirements does not mean someone will be guaranteed the opportunity to use the EAP.
7.3.2 Regional to National – minimum of 16 meets, 64 flights, 1 year: 4 weigh-in sessions (day of meet does not count, 24 hours is preferred), 8 flights working lifter cards, 8 flights running meet computer, 8 flights expediting
7.3.3 National to International – minimum of 30 meets, 150 flights, 2 years: 8 weigh-in sessions (day of meet does not count, 24 hours is preferred), 16 flights working lifter cards, 16 flights running meet computer, 16 flights expediting.
7.3.4 The “Apprentice Program” – This is for anyone that at this time does not plan to judge lifters during meets but does want to assist Meet Directors by being allowed to help at weigh in sessions, work the table, and expedite during meets. The written test is still required, but no practical test is administered. Anyone that is currently an Apprentice, may change their status over the next 12 months and become a fully certified judge by requesting permission from the Referee Chairman, and then passing a practical test.