Since the emergence of CrossFit, people all over the world have been discovering Weightlifting and starting to compete in it separate to CrossFit, which is great for growing the sport. However I have found that because the IWF (international weightlifting federation) rule book is about 60 pages long and incredibly boring, many people are completely unaware of some of the competition rules.
As well as being a coach and lifter I am also a qualified national referee so here are a couple of really important rules you need to be aware of if you’re planning to compete in Weightlifting and don’t want to be ‘red lighted’ unnecessarily.
Here are the 3 I see broken the most often:
1. Press outs: This is the most common thing people fail a lift for. Essentially the bar must go overhead in one motion straight to locked elbows, any ‘re bending’ of the elbows i.e bending after they have straightened is a press out.
If you struggle to straighten your elbows then this must be pointed out the the referees BEFORE you lift so they know you have a poor lockout and they do not mistake it for a re bend.
2. Lifter must be stationary with feet in line at the end of a lift: Basically you must be standing still with your feet in line to complete a lift (both snatch and clean&jerk) and for the referees to give you the down signal. If you are either not still and your feet are not in line you will not be given the down signal to complete the lift.
3. Elbow touches: During a clean the elbow must not touch the knee at any point. This is a safety point, as in extreme cases this can cause a broken wrist. if the referees see an elbow touch they will fail you straight away and not allow you to complete the lift.
Please note that the rules are worded in a far more complex way in the officials book but I have simplified them to make them easier to understand.