Important Info_IPF Technical Rule change for Bench Press starting 2023
11th January 2023
IPF Technical Rule change for Bench Press starting 2023
This information is for referees, coaches, athletes and Meet Director.
The 2023 rule change states:
2. The lifter must lie on his back with head, shoulders and buttocks (the picture PROPER STARTING POSITION & SETUP show the minimum acceptable) in contact with the bench surface. The feet must be flat on the floor (as flat as the shape of the shoe will allow). His hands and fingers must grip the bar positioned in the rack stands with a thumbs around grip. This position shall be maintained throughout the lift. Foot movement is permissible but must remain flat on the platform. During the set-up on the bench, the athlete is not allowed to place his/her feet on the bench
From 2023 an athlete will no longer be able to place their feet on the bench to set up their starting position. Referees shall inform the athlete that they cannot place their feet on the bench if the athlete attempts to do so.
The photo below is the minimum acceptable starting position. The next two photos are not acceptable as a starting position. Referees will need to determine the proper starting position between these two examples. Please also note (as per the present rule) that the lifter will not be able to un-rack the bar unless the thumbs are around the bar. Once the starting position has been established and the “Start’ signal given this position must be maintained throughout the lift. Any lifting any raising movement of the head, shoulders or buttocks from their original points of contact with the bench. Note: The buttocks do not have to lift clear of the bench top to receive ‘no lift’
If your athlete is using the bench top to establish their starting position this will no longer be allowed and therefore the practice should be eliminated in training.
If you are presently using your feet on the bench top to set up please eliminated the practice during training and develop an alternative setup.
The second change to the bench press is:
After receiving the signal, the lifter must lower the bar to the chest or abdominal area whereby the underside of both elbow joints is lowered level with or below the top surface of each respective shoulder joint (the bar shall not touch the belt), hold it motionless, after which the Chief referee will signal the audible command “Press“ The lifter must then return the bar to straight arms’ length elbows locked. When held motionless in this position the audible command “Rack” shall be given together with a backward motion of the arm. If the bar is lowered to the belt or does not touch the chest or abdominal area, the Chief Referee´s command is “Rack”.
This fault has been added to the ‘red fault’ for a ‘no lift’. Once the bar is motionless on the chest or abdominal area a Chief Referee will need to quickly establish if the fault is present. Please remember the ‘Press’ signal is not determined by the lifter reaching require depth of their elbow, it is still determined by the bar being motionless on the chest or abdominal area. Do not delay your ‘Start’ signal because you are trying to determine if the lifter has met the require depth. If you determine the athlete has not complied to the rule then a ‘no lift’ is given if the lift is completed.
If your athlete now employs a high arch technique and is unable to comply with the requirements of the rule a lowering of the arch or a lowering of the point of contact to the chest area to where the requirements are meet will need to be established during their training.
If you do not have a coach, you will need to devise a way to determine you comply with the rule once the bar is motionless on your chest or abdominal area.
With the requirement that side referees may need to position themselves at the back of the platform, please ensure there is enough room at the back of the platform to accommodate the side referees establishing their position.
Side referees may need to position themselves around the platform so they can see the required reference points to determine if the lifter has met the rule change and your raised arm is visible to the Chief referee. Your position will need to be where the safety rack does not obscure the reference points (top of shoulder joint and underside of elbow joint). Remember you must only establish if your side arm complies to the rule not both. A suggested position for side referees would be around the 450 angle to the back of the bench so they can observe the elbow.
Access PDF format here
Any Inquiries? Contact your state Technical Committee Executive and Non-Executive Committee (powerlifting.org.au)