Running A Powerlifting Meet (Part 3)
How to do it right
And… We’re back, ladies and gentlemen! Quite some time passed between Part 2 and today. Well, as we all know, the world stopped for a moment. But it looks like we are getting back on track. That means more info for you wannabe powerlifting meet runners!
The most important of them all. There are literary no excuses not to have proper equipment here. You can’t have shitty plates, bar, deadlift platform or rack. Imagine doing deadlift on slippery rubber mats? Yeah, not going to work.
There is also the issue of space. Make sure there’s plenty around it. There are literary zero reasons for the judges to be just a few feet away. Sit back, leave space for the athlete and spotters. Good example of this are big IPF meets. Because as much as I like to see a pretty front judge during my squats or deadlifts, I do not want to stare down at her crotch during my lift. Oh, and did you know? Some people throw up during the lift… Imagine all that going straight into your face… So, yes, please, for the love of good, move back.
From aesthetics side, a well-designed background (with sponsors and what not) is a nice thing to have. Why? Because both in videos and photos, it looks great! Dark tones work well. Trust me, some broken wall or piece of equipment behind the lifter will not enhance the quality of the meet.
Speaking of videos. Live translation nowadays is also a must. With commentary, if possible. And with live scoreboard (a rare sight). You know, so, that the ones at home can follow the meet. Facebook and/or YouTube are excellent choices.
From the other side of the platform, make sure you have enough seats for the audience. And make sure you isolate the audience. Same as with warm up area, as it tends to bleed into competition area. Not a bad idea to provide some beverages and snacks (to buy). When meet is in a full swing, running around getting a drink is not something powerlifting fans want to do.
This is somewhat of an abstract thing, but general meet flow is what either makes it or breaks it. Be prepared to handle unexpected interruptions, problems, breakdowns. For example, sometimes athletes protest judge calls. There has to be a jury they can appeal to. Not the main judges, who are already judging the next athlete.
Another thing that’s important is to make sure announcer calls athlete names right. Especially if there are similar names. It is also important to make sure all athletes can hear the announcer. And that at least 2 next athletes are announced. Especially if the meet allows knee wraps or other gear.
To ensure everything goes smoothly, there should be a designated go-to person for questions athlete may have. If there is no such person, every athlete will interrupt judges, announcers, spotters and so on. But they already have important jobs, am I wrong?
Are you running a commercial meet? Or a national championship? One requires good prizes. Another — not so much. But also it depends. Decide that in advance and announce all of it. Are you awarding only Top 3? Total or in separate events too? Are you awarding Best in Class only or Best Overall? Will there be team prizes?
What are the prizes? Don’t skimp on medals. The $1 medals with a printed plastic event name on them is so 1990s… Make custom ones. So, that people will remember your event. Speaking of remembering events, giving away t-shirts for all participants is a great idea. Print sponsors on them if you want. It’s still cool.
As for the actual prizes. If you are running a commercial event, money prizes are good. Sports supplement prizes are good. Sport related equipment is good. Generally, it’s the value of the prize that’s appreciated. A high-quality hand watch? Why not? It’s all good.
Last, awarding athletes should show respect to them. Don’t just bunch them together and give out 20 medals in one go. That’s not how sports work. There’s a reason we have Top 3. Use elevated award platform. Let them step on it. Award each one by one. It’s their moment. They worked for it. Appreciate and respect that.
To be continued
I’m sure there are more things that can be said on how to run a meet. This is just the basics. A new meet is coming up soon and I’m sure I will get new ideas on how to improve powerlifting meets. When that happens, expect Part 4.