How to Qualify to Represent the USA at International Championships

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Do you want to represent our country and the USAPL by competing on a national team? There are eight primary international championships that the USAPL participates in. Here’s everything you need to know about how to qualify, purchase team apparel, and remit all team fees . Your Team Head Coach or Manager will give you instructions on what you need to do as a team member and the deadlines for each team.

National Teams:

Qualifying Criteria & Team Selection

Our goal is to field the most competitive teams by adhering to a fair and consistent qualification and selection process. These processes are subject to change and must always first be approved by the USAPL Executive Committee.

Men’s & Women’s Open Teams

The current Open National Champions from the Women’s and Men’s Open National Championships will automatically be a member of the USA Team. If the National Champion of any weight class is unable to honor this appointment, then an additional team member will be selected under the same condition from a rank order listing of all remaining unappointed national competitors. The order will be determined by calculating each lifter’s highest average placing over the past three IPF World Championships, based on his or her total at this qualifying National Championship (Carpino ranking). The lifter with the highest ranking who is not already on the team will be appointed to the USA team, regardless of weight class representation.

2014 Sub-Junior and Junior Team Selection Process

As you know, the subs and juniors select from multiple divisions and multiple championships.  While this helps our talent pool, it also makes things potentially complicated when picking a team.  Our system over the last two years gave us a competitive team.  However, it was far too complicated and unfair in some places.  The following process simplifies the system while eliminating the risk of taking a weak lifter.

  1. The 3rd place average total from the previous 3 world championships will be the benchmark total for lifters to achieve to be automatically selected.
  2. The best total in each weight class from the selection meets will receive the invite to worlds provided they have achieved a 3rd place average total.
  3. Lifters who don’t have the best total in their weight class or who didn’t achieve the 3rd place average will be ranked based on their total vs. that average.

Example 1:  

The 3rd place average total is 800 kilos.

Lifter A wins collegiate nationals with an 815 kilo total.

Lifter B wins junior nationals with an 825 kilo total.

Lifter B would automatically receive the invite to worlds since he has the best total and has achieved the 3rd place average total.

Lifter A would go into the alternate pool.  He achieved 101.8% of the 3rd place average total and will be ranked against other alternates using that percentage.

Example 2: 

The 3rd place average is 605 kilos.

Lifter A has the best total from all of the selection meets with 595 kilos.

Lifter A would go into the alternate pool with a percentage of 98.3% and will be ranked against other alternates using that percentage.

As in prior years, the bodyweight limits at HS nationals will be changed slightly to mirror those of the IPF weight classes.  This process has worked well for us since its inception in 2011.


Men’s & Women’s Masters Teams

The Masters women lifters appointed to represent the USAPL at the IPF Master’s World Championships will be chosen on the basis of highest total achieved in each weight class at the Women’s National Championships (within the two prescribed IPF age groupings, 40-49 and 50-59 years), irrespective of any age group divisions contested that day. Lifters 60-69 will be placed in a pool and the top 5 based on wilks will be selected for the team. Lifters 70+ will be placed in a pool and the top 5 will be selected based on the wilks formula. An individual who is 39 years old at Women’s Nationals and will be turning 40 in the same year MAY be able to compete at the IPF Master’s World Championships per the IPF’s rules of age eligibility. If a lifter of this age is eligible and wishes to compete for a world team position they must notify the team manager of their eligibility and will be included in the pool. All others must enter the Master division to be eligibility for a world team position.

The Masters Men lifters appointed to represent the USAPL at the IPF Master’s World Championships will be chosen on the basis of highest total achieved in each weight class at the Men’s Masters Championships, within the three prescribed IPF age groupings of 40-49, 50-59 and 60-69 years irrespective of any age group divisions contested that day. Lifters 70+ will be placed in a pool and the top 5 will be selected based on the wilks formula. An individual who is 39 years old at Masters Nationals and turning 40 in the same year MAY be able to compete as at the IPF Master’s World Championships per the IPF’s rules of age eligibility.

If the lifter with the highest total is unable to honor this appointment, then the lifter with the second highest total in that weight class will be selected. If the lifter with the second highest total in that weight class is unable to honor this appointment, the additional team members will be selected from an alternate listing of all remaining unappointed National competitors. The order will be determined using each competitor’s Wilks total, based on his or her total at this qualifying National Championship. The lifter with the highest ranking who is not already on the team will be appointed to the USA team, regardless of weight class as long as there are no more than two lifters per weight class.

Men’s & Women’s Open Bench Press Teams

The current Open Bench National Champions from the Men’s and Women’s Open Bench National Championships will automatically be a member of the USA Team. If the Bench National Champion of any weight class is unable to honor this appointment, then an additional team member will be selected from a rank order list of open lifters from Bench Nationals, Powerlifting Nationals, all NAPF, and all IPF contests from the previous 12 months prior to Bench Nationals. The order will be determined by calculating each lifter’s highest average placing over the past three IPF World Championships, based on his or her bench at the Championship used. The lifter with the highest ranking who is not already on the team will be appointed to the USA team, regardless of weight class representation.

Men’s and Women’s Junior and Sub-Junior Bench Press Teams

Lifter benches from Bench Press, Collegiate and High School Nationals Championships will be considered along with the Women’s and Men’s Teen/Junior National Championships in determining the USA Team attending the IPF Sub-Junior/Junior Bench World Championships.

Sub-Junior/Junior division lifters appointed to represent USAPL at the IPF Sub-Junior/ Junior World Championships will be chosen on the basis of highest bench achieved in each weight class at any of the aforementioned championships. The totals achieved in these five National Championships from lifters who fall within the prescribed IPF Junior category will be considered in choosing the USAPL Sub-Junior/Junior World Team. If the lifter with the highest bench is unable to honor this appointment, then the lifter with the second highest total in that weight class will be selected. If the lifter with the second highest total in that weight class is unable to honor this appointment, the additional team member will be selected from a rank order listing of all remaining unappointed National competitors. The order will be determined by calculating each lifter’s Wilks. The lifter with the highest Wilks ranking who is not already on the team will be appointed to the USA team, regardless of weight class.

Men’s & Women’s Masters Bench Press Teams

The Master Women and Men lifters appointed to represent USAPL at the IPF Master’s World Bench Press Championships will be chosen using the following criteria:

  • M1-M2 Women: Best bench in each weight class in preceding year in Master’s divisions of Bench Press Nationals. Each IPF age group will be considered as a separate team. For example, if there is no M1 lifter, M2 lifters may not be automatically substituted. Rather, open positions will be filled from the alternate pool of ranked lifters.
  • M3-M4 Women: 5-M3 Women (60-69 years old) and 5-M4 Women (70 years and over) will qualify to represent the USAPL at the IPF Master’s World Bench Press Championships based on the Wilk’s numbers achieved at Bench Press Nationals.
  • M1-M3 Men: Best bench in each weight class in preceding year in Master’s divisions of Bench Press Nationals. Each IPF age group will be considered as a separate team. Please see the example above.
  • M4 Men: 5-M4 Men (70 years and over) will qualify to represent the USAPL at the IPF Master’s World Bench Press Championships based on the Wilk’s numbers achieved at Bench Press Nationals.

An individual who is 38-39 years old at Bench Press Nationals MAY be able to compete as at the IPF Master’s World Bench Press Championships per the IPF’s rules of age eligibility (see page 5 of this document). If a lifter of this age is eligible and wishes to compete for a world team position they must enter as a guest lifter in the M1 Master’s division. All others must enter the Master division to be eligibility for a world team position.

Each highest qualifier will be offered a position on the team. They must respond to the coach/manager by a published date. This date will be published within one week of the qualifying competition. If those offered a position decline, or fail to respond by the deadline, the highest ranked alternate will be offered a position on the team.

Alternates will be selected based on Wilk’s number rank within the alternate pool they are in. No other factors will be considered.

If the alternate pool from Bench Nationals is exhausted prior to a team being filled, athletes from Master’s Nationals (for men) and Women’s Nationals (for women) will be added to the alternate pool. This may only be done if the alternate pool from Bench Nationals has been exhausted.

If, following this procedure, teams remain unfilled; athletes from the previous year’s World Master Bench Press Championships will be added to the alternate pool. This may only be done if the alternate pool, which includes athletes from Bench Nationals and the appropriate National Championships as defined above, has been exhausted.

If following this procedure, teams remain unfilled; any USAPL member in good standing may be added to the team at the coach’s discretion. Athletes added at the coach’s discretion might not displace an athlete who has been previously selected.

2014  Classic (Raw) World Teams

The implementation of the new IPF weight classes at Raw Nationals allows for a clear and fair system by which to select the World Team. Those athletes who win their weight class and division (Open, Sub-Junior or Junior) will comprise those who will be the first to be invited to represent the USA at the 2014 IPF Classic World Championship.

If an athlete is unable to accept their position: All other competitors at Raw Nationals will be placed in a rank ordered list using each competitor’s wilks total. The athlete with the highest ranking who is not already on a team will be the next to be invited regardless of weight class as long as there are no more than two lifters per weight class.

NAPF Powerlifting Team

The primary aim of the North American Championships is to develop future world team members. Secondly, we want to establish a competitive environment for any national caliber lifter who is looking to gain international powerlifting experience. The thing that makes the NAPF Powerlifting Championships unique is that we can bring lifters to compete in the Tournament of the Americas which a non-scoring branch of the championships. Although these lifters will not be eligible to contribute to the USA team point total but they will still have the same benefits as everyone in terms of medaling and having their results added to the IPF rankings.

The coaching staff will actively recruit the top three lifters from the previous year’s Men’s, Women’s, Masters and Raw National Championships. However, any lifter with a total at any national championships may contact the coaching staff to declare their intentions of competing. Once the coaching staff has acquired a complete list of all individuals who want to compete, we will rank everyone for every possible division. We then assign the lifter with the highest total to each weight class and division the only exception is the reigning national champion will have priority regardless of rank, per the NGB.  All lifters that don’t fit into a scoring team will then be filled into the Tournament of the Americas.

NAPF Bench Press Team

First selection goes to USAPL Men’s & Women’s Open, Masters, Sub-Junior & Junior Bench Press champions.

Second selection criteria are the second place in the USAPL Men’s & Women’s Open, Masters, Sub-Junior & Junior Bench Press champions.

Third selection criteria are chosen from bench press results from USAPL powerlifing national championships.

Fourth selection criteria are coach’s choice from any USAPL sanctioned competition.