As you all know, USA Powerlifting is run primarily by volunteers. Judging is one of the areas that we, as an organization, cannot do without. While the current core group of referees has always done a great job and gone above-and-beyond the call of duty to volunteer their time at our state and local meets, it is a large burden for so few to always carry, particularly in light of our unprecedented growth as an organization over the past couple of years. I feel this is an appropriate time to outline the referee certification process and to let everyone know that we are always looking for people interested in becoming a USAPL referee.

The minimum requirements to become a state referee are listed on the USAPL national website; they are as follows:

1. Candidates must be a minimum of 18 years of age. Candidates must be current members of USA Powerlifting. Registration cards must be presented to the state chairperson prior to test administration.

2. Candidates must have approval of their state chairperson to take the test.

3. Candidates must be actively involved in the sport of powerlifting for a minimum time period of one year in one of the following capacities: athlete, coach, meet director, or scoring table official.

4. Candidates must pass the written and practical sections of the state referee test. A minimum score of 90% is required on each section. The state referee examination is an open-book test.

5. When necessary, retest arrangements may be made after a minimum of six months following the previous test date.

We are looking to increase the number of referees we have in Ohio. I must stress that we are not just looking to increase numbers - we are looking for interested members who have the potential to become excellent referees and who will be committed to helping more than just once every few years. Our organization prides itself on fair and consistent judging. It is not enough to have the appropriate rules and procedures written in a rulebook. Those rules (all rules - the major ones AND the seemingly insignificant ones) must be enforced at all times and applied in a consistent, fair, objective, and professional manner. It is important to note that enforcing the rules as written and being “lifter friendly” are not mutually exclusive ideas. When rules are bent or a competitor gets a “gift” on a lift, his or her competition is disadvantaged and it is no longer a level playing field; that is NOT lifter-friendly. If you are interested in exploring the possibility of becoming a USAPL referee in Ohio, please fill out the application below. If approved, the first step will be determining a meet in Ohio at which the exam can be taken. The exam consists of a 50-question open-book written exam (you are allowed to use the USAPL rulebook) and a practical exam in which you will sit with an examiner in the side referee position and adjudicate 100 attempts (40 squats, 30 bench presses, and 30 deadlifts). To pass the exam, the candidate must score at least 90% on the written portion and 90% on the practical portion. Following the exam, all test materials are mailed to the chair of USAPL’s Referee Committee for grading after which time the results are sent to the candidate. Thank you all for your support of USA Powerlifting of Ohio.