Checklist for Running a Power Lifting Meet

Strength Tech

These materials comes from our Strength Tech Institutional Weight Room Design Manual. It provides a lengthy checklist in sequence order of how to prepare for producing a power lifting meet, how to run it, and what to do when it is over. The original materials were copyrighted in 1991. It has been slightly updated and your comments are very welcome.

No Liability is assumed by Gary Polson, Polson Enterprises, Strength Tech, Inc. , their corporate officers, or employees for errors in data on this site nor in the safe and/or satisfactory operation of facilities, equipment, or meets designed or operated from information on this site.

  • A. Steps to Putting on A Powerlifting Meet
  • B. Site Selection
  • C. Equipment
  • D. Personnel
  • E. Publicity and Meet Promotion
  • F. Safety
    A. Steps to Putting One On
         1. Decide who will be invited
             a. Area schools
             b. Your school only
             c. Individual lifters
             d. Specific federations
             e. Age and caliber of competition
             f,  Women
             g. Youth
          2. Decide what lifts will be performed
              a. All 3 lifts
              b. Bench Press Meet
              c. Deadlift is dropped from some meets
          3. Will this be a sanctioned meet?
               a. Better caliber of meet
               b. Access to insurance
               c. Access to referees
               d. Specific equipment rules (bench shirts, wraps, suits, briefs) better defined
          4. Select date
               a. Well in advance
               b. Clear date with local calendar
               c. Clear date with major groups invited
               d. Clear date with any exhibition lifters
               e. Clear date with facility
           5. Select site - See Site Selection Section
           6. Evaluate / Acquire Insurance coverage
               a. Lifters
               b. Meet promoter
               c. Site provider
               d. Coaches
               e. Medical staff
           7. Acquire sanction for meet from governing body
           8. Select awards and trophies
               a. Determine number of weight classes
                    Kilograms       Pounds
                        52                   114.5
                        56                   123.5   
                        60                   132.5 
                        67.5                148.75
                        75                   165.25
                        82.5                181.75
                        90                   198.25
                      100                   220.25
                      110                   242.5
                      125                   275.5
                      145                   318
                      145+                 318+
                b. Determine number of divisions
                     1. Open
                     2. Novice
                     3. Drug Free
                     4. High School
                     5. Teenage
                     6. College
                     7. Masters Age Groups
                     8. Women
                 c. Determine number of special awards
                     1. Best overall lifter
                         a. From the light classes
                         b. From the heavy classes
                     2. Best female lifter
                     3. Best bench press
                     4. Team trophies
                     5. Thank you plaques
                          a. Referees
                          b. Site
                          c. Major Sponsors
                          d. Exhibition lifters / Special Events
                 d. Order awards and trophies
             9. Make financial arrangements for site rental
            10. Invite vendors to display equipment and accessories
                  a. Sell both spaces
                  b. Provide spaces for free? Vendors add to the atmosphere
            11. Establish entry fees
                  a. By division
                  b. Team entry fee
                  c. Late entry fee
            12. Obtain local sponsors
                  a. High School Lift-a-Thon
                  b. Local boosters
                  c. Sell advertisements in meet program
            13. Invite guest / exhibition lifters
                  a. Accomplished lifters (motivate others and draw crowd)
                  b. Body builders sometimes invited
                  c. Other special events
            14. Decide if "Round System" will be used
                  a. Lifters lift in "Flights"
                      1. Groups of about a dozen lifters form a "Flight"
                      2. Lifter follows same person each time in flight order
                      3. Flight system is usually dropped in the deadlift
                  b. Round system is more demanding on loaders
                  c. Round system meets go faster
                  d. Round system is easier on lifters in big meets
                  d. Round system is easier on elite lifter (doesn't follow himself)
             15 Make personnel assignments - See Personnel Section
             16. Monitor those working on the meet publicity - See Publicity Section
             17. Invite lifters
                   a. Distribute and post
                       1. Meet promotional flyers
                       2. Entry forms (with entry cutoff date)
                   b. Call teams
                   c. Personally invite people to lift
                   d. Inform of limited number of entries to be accepted
                       1. If limiting meet size
                       2. Makes meets more controllable
                       3. Meets run faster
                       4. Fewer platforms and staff needed
              18. Week before Meet Day Checklist
                     a. Be sure meet T-shirts are printed  
                     b. Be sure meet program is printed
                     c. Be sure all equipment needed has been found
                     d. Touch base with the site management
                     e. Touch base with anybody involved in food / concessions preparation
                      f. Touch base with any media to cover the meet 
                     g. Touch base with any photographers or video production groups expected
                     h. Check on any drug testing equipment or related provisions
                      i. Check on the referees
             19. Day before Meet Day Checklist
                    a. Verify all equipment is ready
                    b. Contact all staff personnel
                    c. Be sure the site is ready
                    d. Call all teams expected
                    e. Pickup cash boxes with change (concessions, admissions, t-shirts)
                    f. Monitor extreme bad weather status
                        1. Notify teams of alternate plans
                        2. Do not force meets in dangerous travel conditions
                    g. Verify road marking signs for the meet are ready
              20. Meet Day Checklist (some done night before)
                    a. Setup all equipment
                    b. Greet lifters and teams
                    c. Verify all personnel are ready to help
                    d. Conduct weigh in (obviously be properly prepared for females)
                    e. Conduct a "Rules Session" for lifters
                         1. Explain rules
                         2. Explain "Round System" if used
                         3. Introduce referees
                         4. Introduce medical personnel
                         5. Introduce meet director
                         6. Introduce "runners" who will be getting attempts
                         7. Explain responsibility for providing spotters (meet or lifters responsibility)            
                     f. Record squat rack options for each lifter
                        1. Record "Pin setting" or height they want the bar at
                        2. Record if lifter wants squat racks 'In" or "out" 
                             a. "In" means they will grip the bar outside the uprights
                             b. "Out" means they will grip the bar inside the uprights
                    g. Run the meet
                    h. Breakdown and remove all the equipment
                    i. Cleanup site
                    j. Thank everybody for their help
                    k. Sometimes a hospitality session (meal or party) may be thrown
             21. Day after meet checklist
                   a. Inspect site
                       1. For left behind items
                       2. For cleanliness
                       3. For damages
                   b. Thank
                       1. Teams for coming
                       2. All of your help
                       3. Guest lifters and special acts for coming
                       4. Referees
                       5. Sponsors
                       6. Vendors who showed equipment
                       7. Media that came out
                   c. Mail out results to
                       1. Area Media
                       2. Teams
                       3. Powerlifting USA
                       4. Sanctioning organizations
                   d. Reflect on the entire process
                       1. Make a list of what you would do different next time
                       2. Get some rest

    B. Site Selection 1. Capacity needed a. Lifters b. Spectators 2. Warmup Room 3. Weigh In Room 4. Locker Rooms for both sexes if needed a. Lockers 1. For clothes storage 2. Locks provided b. Large clothes changing area with ample seating c. Good temperature control d. Restroom facilities 1. Numerous toilet stalls 2. Lots of paper towels 3. Lots of toilet paper 4. Competitors use toilet facilities a lot a. Trying to "make weight" b. Frequent clothes changes c. Are often very nervous e. Showers 1. Soap provided 2. Towels provided 5. Spectator restrooms - both sexes 6. Site has doors to accommodate large equipment 7. Adequate parking (free parking) 8. Seating for spectators with a good view 9. Site finances, rental fee, etc. 10. Heavy duty floor for stable lifting 11. Easy entry from outside to spectator area 12. A place for a spectator ticket booth 13. Good control of lifter area (keep spectators out) 14. Concessions area a. Restaurant in the facility b. Nearby fast food c. Place for a concessions stand d. Vending machines 15. Lots of water fountains 16. Availability of ice a. For injury treatment b. For concessions c. For cooling items and drinks brought by lifters 17. High lighting levels a. Inspires lifters b. Improves safety c. Better photography (especially video) d. Spectators see better 18. Good strong climate control system a. Can handle the crowd heat load b. Outdoor sites are risky 1. Bad weather 2. Lifters struggle for visual reference points (squatting) 3. Seating may not be available 4. Hard to sell tickets and control the crowd 5. Electricity may not be available 6. Background noise problems 7. If it all goes well they can be spectacular c. Extreme heat or cold 1. Effects the lifters performances 2. Effects lifters "grip" 3. Heat exhaustion 4. Heat makes lifters tired and sleepy 5. Cold makes it difficult to stay "warmed up" 6. Cold may lead to pulled muscles 19. Electrical Outlets a. PA system b.Computers c. Ice machine d. Concessions e. Scoreboards f. Referee indicator lights 20. Security of site 21. Insurance coverage of site 22. Within reasonable distance of lifters invited 23. Area hotels and motels 24. Pay telephones available for lifters 25. If in a hotel - complementary rooms for staff, hospitality, etc

    C. Equipment 1. Weight lifting equipment a. Location 1. Warmup room 2. Competition Platform a. May need 2 platforms b. 2 platforms speed up a large meet c. Platforms may be raised for visibility 1. Be sure it is easy for "Wrapped Lifters" to get on or wrap up there 2. Steps / stairs are bad (drained lifters, trip, etc) 3. High school type stages may work 4. Stability for large weights is very important 3. Use the same brand of equipment in all areas a. Bench presses are all the same b. Squat racks are all the same c. Bars are all the same b. Quantity of equipment 1. Enough warmup plates (and stations) to not rush the lifters 2. Enough plates to run heavy lifts on both competitive platforms 3. Additional backup small items (collars and small plates) c. Specific Items 1. Bench presses 2. Squat stands or power rack a. Hydraulically operated jack stands b. Manual stands with height adjustment capabilities c. Be sure they are very stable 3. Weight trees 4. Weight plates - Kilo plates may be required by some organizations a. 100 pound or large kilo plates for big lifts b. Numerous small plates for warmup areas and competition area 5. High strength olympic bars 6. Deadlift Bar Jack 7. Chalk box 8. High quality chalk and a lot of it 9. Chalkboard (and chalk) or digital display to indicate this attempt 2. PA system 3. Drug testing equipment 4. Concessions equipment a. Pop machines b. Ice c. Sandwiches 5. Tables a. Score keeping clerks table b. Admissions gate (ticket booth) table c. Trophy table d. Concessions table and eating area tables e. Vendor display table f. Sales tables 1. T-shirts 2. Video tapes 3. Sanctioning federation membership cards g. Weigh in recording table 6. Spectator seating 7. 3 chairs for judges 8. Lockable cash boxes stocked with change a. Concessions b. Admissions c. T-shirts 9. Vacuum to clean up with 10. Wire brush to clean chalk off bars 11. Cleaning wrags a. Damp ones to wipe platform clean b. Lifters may wipe shoes on them 12. Disinfectants and blood spill kits to cleanup any spilt blood 13. Portable fans if needed 14. Ticket booth a. Tickets b. Cash box c. stamp and ink pad 15. Referee indicator light board 16. Computer a. Meet software b. Printer c. Manuals d. Surge protector e. Fuses 17. Calculators 18. Radio headsets for expeditors and clerks a. Expeditors get next attempt from lifter b. Reduces footwork 19. Written printed information a. List of all pre-registered lifters and payment status b. Bar load sheets in kilos or pounds c. Best lifter formulas (schwartz -men, malone- women) d. Kilo to pound conversion charts e. Sanctioning body rule book 20. Body weight scales (certified) 21. Tape measure 22. Cameras and video equipment if needed 23. Sheets of 1 inch plywood for lifting platform 24. Rubber matting to cover plywood platform 25. Spare lifting suits 26. Spare knee wraps 27. Heavy duty chairs or benches for lifters to "wrap" in a. Small bench to elevate feet when wrapping b. Tarp to keep chalk and powder off the floor in this area 28. Rope and plastic posts or Safety Cones a. Rope off areas to keep spectators out of b. Increases safety 29. Overhead projectors to display results 30. Heavy duty extension cords 31. Duct tape 32. Scoreboards 33. Pencils 34. Clipboards 35. Ice coolers 36. Ice 37. Hammer and nails 38. T-shirt sales posters 39. Stopwatches 40. Towels

    C. Personnel Needed 1. Setup crew 2. Breakdown crew - take down when meet is over 3. Cleanup crew to clean a. Weigh in room b. Competition area c. Warmup area d. Locker room e. Spectator seating f. Concessions area g. Lobby and hallways h. Parking lot 4. Spotters (several crews) 5. Loaders (several crews) 6. Weigh in a. Referee b. Clerk 7. Equipment Check referee 8. Meet Director 9. Platform manager (for each platform) 10. Scorekeepers 11. Expeditors to get lifters next attempts 12. Referees a. Three per competitive platform b. Some backups to relieve them 13. People to sell items at the meet a. Federation membership cards b. T-shirts c. Concessions d. Admission tickets and stamp their hands e. Meet programs 14. Admissions Control People - Ushers a. "Watch" the door b. Keep people in the front sitting down 1. Not blocking view of others 2. Not blocking cameras 3. Not blocking meet personnel view c. Keep people out of the score table area d. Keep spectators out of competitive areas 15. Announcer / MC a. Have a primary announcer 1. Clear voice 2. Helps crowd learn about individual lifters 3. Helps crowd encourage lifters b. Have someone to relieve them 16. Medical personnel a. Athletic trainer b. School Nurse c. Physician d. Drug test personnel 17. Publicity / Meet Promoter - See Publicity Section 18. Photography crew a. 35 mm b. Video 19. Registration Clerk for a. Pre-meet registrations b. Meet day registrations 20. Treasurer to handle all funds a. Income 1. Entry fees 2. Sponsor donations 3. Lift-a-thon monies 4. Advertising sold in meet program 5. T-shirt sales 6. Ticket office receipts 7. Video tape sales monies 8. Concessions monies 9. Vendor booth space monies b. Expenses 1. Site Rental fee 2. Meet Sanctioning expense 3. Referee travel expenses 4. T-shirts a. Shirt cost b. Printing costs 5. Video tape costs 6. Film costs 7. Supplies a. Chalk b. Plywood c. Duct tape - tape wiring down 8. Printing expenses a. Meet promotion flyers b. Entry blanks c. Meet program 9. Advertising expenses a. Local media b. National Magazines (PL USA) 10. Trophies and awards 11. Security a. Personnel b. Equipment (locks, ropes, chains) 12. Insurance 13. Concession expenses 14. Food for staff and referees 21. Security personnel 22. Meet results preparer a. For mailing to media b. For mailing to teams c. For posting d. For mailing to PL USA

    E. Publicity and Promotion 1. Print documents a. Flyer announcing meet b. Meet entry form c. Video tape order form d. T-shirt order form e. Meet program 2. Post flyers promoting the meet a. Post in area gyms b. Post in YMCA c. Post in fitness equipment stores d. Post in college gyms e. Post in college hangouts 3. Deal with the local media a. Media types 1. Radio 2. Newspapers (city papers, area papers, campus papers, shop &swaps) 3. Television 4. Internet Powerlifting web sites b. Let them know about the meet and invite them c. Follow up on the invitation d. Send them free tickets for their use and promotional distribution 4. Design the entry form and announcement to include: a. Meet name (annual?) b. Where c. When (weigh in time and start times) d. Sponsors e. Meet Director's name f. Meet sanction organization and sanction number g. Waiver of liability 1. Signed by parents of minors 2. Waives meet director, facility / site, sponsors, everybody's heirs 3. We suggest you get legal advice on your liability form h. Tell them if meet will use "Round System" i. Detail the trophies and awards (including best lifter awards) j. List all qualifications for entry (age, qualifying totals, sex, divisions, drug use) k. Team qualifications l. Tell off items that will be available at the meet 1. T-shirts 2. Meet Video Tape orders (tapes shipped later) 3. Vendors 4. Federation cards 5. Meet programs m. List the entry fees (on time and late entry) n. List entry cutoff date o. List any entry number limits (only first fifty lifters, etc) p. Address and phone number to send entries to q. Lines for them put their divisions, weight classes, team entry etc r. Tell them about any special hotel deals s. Tell them about food availability t. If it is an annual meet you might tell them some history u. Area map if needed 5. Distribute the entry forms 6. Meet Program a. Sell advertising in it b. Design it 1. List past meet history a. Meet records b. Previous great lifters 2. List teams anticipated 3. Space to record lifts in 4. Basic rules for the lifts 5. Kilo conversion chart if needed 6. Photos of past lifters 7. Advertisements 8. Most of the information on the entry form and meet announcement 9. Information about the Meet Director and Meet Promoter 10. Times for the various sessions 11. Date of meet 12. Bodyweight classes and divisions to be contested 7. Design Meet T-shirt 8. Put up road signs the day of the meet to mark the way 9. Put up a welcome sign outside the building 10. Assist the media on meet day a. Introduce them around b. Help them through the "free pass" gate c. Help them with any equipment problems they may have d. Be sure their food costs are covered 11. After the meet a. Mail results to local media, teams, area gyms, meet sponsors, PL USA b. Thank the media for coming c. Thank teams for coming d. Be sure all of your advertising media bills are paid

    F. Safety 1. Safety Inspection a. Secure floor in lifting areas b. Squat stands are solid and safe c. Crowd control is in place 1. Security personnel 2. Controlled admission to area 3. Some areas roped off d. Electrical inspection 1. PA system 2. Computer system 3. Referee indicator light board 4. All wiring is duct taped down - prevent tripping e. Bleacher seating in good condition f. Crowd not to large for building capacity g. Fire extinguishers present and current dated h. Telephone available i. Medical personnel 1. On duty 2. Properly equipped 3. Stretcher available 4. Staff experienced in meet type medical problems 5. Aware of local emergency phone numbers 6. Aware of nearest hospital with staff on duty at this time j. Portable fans if very hot k. Security officers on duty l. Weather conditions are appropriate (do not force bad weather travel) 2. Adequate insurance coverage for all parties 3. Spotters a. Instructed in proper spotting technique b. Instructed of hazzard of knocked down squat stand c. Instructed of how fast a suit can fail in the squat d. Instructed of how fast a shirt can fail in the bench e. Instructed how to do job and stay out of referees view 4. Rules Meeting before meet with lifters a. Explain correct safe performance of lifts b. Reinforce correct spotting technique to their spotters c. Introduce medical personnel d. Instruct lifters and staff to inform Meet Director of safety hazzards and injuries

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