The official rules of the United States Police and Fire Championships (USPFC) are based upon the rules of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), which shall be employed except when they conflict with the rules of the United States Police and Fire Championships. Throughout the rules of the USPFC whenever the worlds “he” or “she” occur such reference is deemed to apply to either sex.


  1. Lifts: The United States Police and Fire Championships recognizes the following lifts:

(a) Bench Press    (b) Dead Lift    (c) Push-Pull – combination of (a) & (b)

  1. Competition takes place between lifters in categories defined by sex, bodyweight and age.
  2. Rules apply to all competitions sanctioned by the United States Police and Fire Championships.
  3. 4. Attempts: Each competitor is allowed three attempts on each lift. The lifter’s best valid attempt on each lift counts towards his competition total. No fourth attempts are permitted for the setting of records. The winner of a category shall be the lifter who achieves the highest total. Lifters failing to achieve a total are eliminated from the competition. If two or more lifters in an identical category achieve the same total, the lighter lifter ranks above the heavier.
  4. Age Categories: Age grouping is determined by the lifter’s actual age on the first day of the USPFC.


Individual; Men         18-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69,

                                          70-74, 75-79, 80+


Individual; Women  18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+


  1. Changing Divisions (Age): A 30+, 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+, or 80+ has the option to compete in the 18-29  division and must so state on his or her entry form. All changes the competitor wishes to make must be completed prior to the beginning of the USPFC.
  2. Registration: Competitors will not be permitted to register for the Bench Press or Push-Pull Competitions at the weigh-in venue or the competition venue. Officials conducting the equipment check and the weigh-in are not authorized to alter any documents supplied through official registration channels.
  3. Eligibility: Only persons eligible to enter USPFC competitions shall compete in either the Bench Press or Push-Pull competition.
  4. Registration Cards: USPFC competitions are closed events hence no Powerlifting Federation membership cards will be required for participation.
  5. Inspection of Costume and Personal Equipment: All competitors shall submit their costume and personal equipment for inspection prior to their admission to the weigh-in room.


Note:  All Bench Press and Push-Pull events sanctioned by the USPFC are “RAW” or non-supportive competitions. The use of supportive apparel is not permitted. This exclusion includes, but is not limited to: specialized bench shirts, support shirts, reinforced lifting suits, specialized support briefs.  Wrist wraps (3”x 12” or 3”x 24” or 3” x 36”) will be permitted.  If the wrist wraps have a thumb loop, the thump loops must be off the thumbs prior to gripping the bar.   Knee wraps (3” x 78”) will be permitted during the dead lift.  Both knee wraps and wrist wraps must be approved by the USPFC during weigh in.




MEN:          56.0 kg Class up to           56.0 kg                                       123 ½ lbs & under

60.0 kg Class from           56.01 kg to      60.0 kg               132 ¼ lbs & under

67.5 kg Class from           60.01 kg to      67.5 kg               148 ¾ lbs & under

75.0 kg Class from           67.51 kg to      75.0 kg               165 ¼ lbs & under

82.5 kg Class from           75.01 kg to      82.5 kg               181 ¾ lbs & under

90.0 kg Class from           82.51 kg to      90.0 kg               198 ¼ lbs & under

100.0 kg Class from         90.01 kg to      100.0 kg             220 ¼ lbs & under

110.0 kg Class from         100.01 kg to    110.0 kg             242 ½ lbs & under

125.0 kg Class from         110.01 kg to    125.0 kg             275 ½ lbs & under

+ 125.0+kg Class from     125.01 kg to    unlimited            Over 275 ½ lbs


WOMEN:   44.0 kg Class up to           44.0 kg                                       97 lbs & under

48.0 kg Class from           44.01 kg to      48.0 kg               105 ¾ lbs & under

52.0 kg Class from           48.01 kg to      52.0 kg               114 ½ lbs & under

56.0 kg Class from           52.01 kg to      56.0 kg               123 ½ lbs & under

60.0 kg Class from           56.01 kg to      60.0 kg               132 ¼ lbs & under

67.5 kg Class from           60.01 kg to      67.5 kg               148 ¾ lbs & under

75.0 kg Class from           67.51 kg to      75.0 kg               165 ¼ lbs & under

82.5 kg Class from           75.01kg to       82.5 kg               181 ¾ lbs & under

90.0 kg Class from           82.51 kg to      90.0 kg               198 ¼ lbs & under

+ 90.0+kg Class from       90.01 kg to      unlimited            Over 198 ¼ lbs



  1. Costume

A lifting costume shall consist of a one-piece non-supportive full length lifting suit such as a wrestling singlet or weightlifting costume. It shall have lets of a minimum of 3 cm and the legs may be longer than 15 cm but may not reach the knee. Only costumes officially approved by the USPFC Technical Committee shall be permitted for use in the Bench Press and the Push-Pull competitions. (See samples for all authorized costume and personal gear on page 23.)

  1. T-Shirt

A T-Shirt shall be worn under the lifting suit during the performance of the Bench Press for both men and women. The T-Shirt shall be made of cotton or polyester, or a combination thereof, but not of stretch material or denim. It shall not have sleeves that terminate below the elbow or up at the deltoid. The T-Shirt shall be plain but may have your department logo on it or be the official T-Shirt of the Games. That which is offensive or likely to bring the USPFC into disrepute is not allowed. A sponsor’s logo must conform to the technical rules of the USPFC. Specialized Bench Shirts or other supportive type shirts are not permitted.

  1. Belt

Competitors may wear a belt.  If worn it shall be worn on the outside of the lifting suit. The main body shall be made of leather, vinyl or other similar non-stretch material in one or more laminations which may be glued and/or stitched together.  It may not have additional padding, bracing or supports of any material concealed within the laminations of the belt. The belt may have a buckle with one or two prongs or “quick release” type buckle. The maximum width of the belt is 10 cm. The maximum thickness along the main length is 13 mm.

The lifting belt will be the only supportive gear permitted.

  1. Briefs/Supporters

A standard commercial “athletic supporter” or standard commercial brief of any mixture of cotton, nylon or polyester, but not swimming trunks or any other garment consisting of rubberized or similar stretch material (except in the waistband) shall be worn under the lifting suit. Provided that:

  1. Any support to the body of the lifter which may be provided by the “athletic supporter” or briefs is limited to the lifter’s lower abdominal wall.
  2. The garment does not have legs and does not extend down the lifter’s thighs.
  3. Shoes/Boots

Lifting shoes or boots shall be worn. Shoes include boots, support shoes, trainers, gymnastic slippers or any foot covering that has a patterned molding or foot type outline that provides an innersole. Shoes with metal spikes or cleats are not permitted. Height of the heel shall not exceed 5 cm.

  1. Knee Socks

Knee Socks shall be worn while dead lifting. Socks shall not be of such length that they come in contact with the kneecap. Protective covering may be added to the inside of the socks to cover and protect the shins if they are determined at equipment check to be of no aid in the performance of the lift.



  1. Medical Tape: contingent upon the approval by the Jury, Official Doctor, Paramedic, EMT personnel on duty may apply medical tape to bodily injuries in a fashion that would not grant the lifter undue advantage. Medical tape may not be used as aids to the lifter in holding the bar. In the absence of Jury or Medical personnel, the Chief Referee shall have jurisdiction over the use of medical tape.
  2. The use of oil, grease or other lubricants on the body, costume or personal equipment is strictly forbidden.
  3. Baby Powder, resin, talc or magnesium carbonate are the only substances that may be added to the body and attire.
  4. The use of any form of adhesive on the underside of footwear is strictly forbidden. This applies to any built-in adhesive, e.g. glass paper, emery cloth, etc., and to include resin and magnesium carbonate.
  5. No foreign substances may be applied to the powerlifting equipment. This takes into account all substances other than that which may be used periodically as a sterilizing agent in cleaning of the bar, bench or platform.



  1. The inspection of costume and personal equipment for each and every lifter in the competition may take place at anytime prior to or during the weigh-in.
  2. All items mentioned previously under costume and personal equipment shall be inspected.
  3. Any item considered unclean or torn shall be rejected.
  4. The referees shall record each item on the official inspection sheet. The inspection sheet shall be given to the Jury at the end of the inspection period.
  5. If, after the inspection, a lifter appears on the platform wearing any item not listed on the Inspection Sheet, other than that which may have inadvertently been passed by the referees, the lifter shall immediately be disqualified from the competition.
  6. Hats/caps are strictly forbidden to be worn on the platform during lifting, items such as watches, costume jewelry, eye wear and feminine hygiene need not be inspected. Standard commercial headbands may be worn while lifting, however such headbands must be declared and listed during the check of personal equipment.



  1. The bench shall be placed on the platform with the head end facing the front or angled up to 45 degrees.
  2. The lifter must lie on his/her back with shoulders and buttocks in contact with the bench surface. The soles and heel of his/her shoes shall be in contact with the floor or blocks. This body position must be maintained throughout the lift. Their hands and fingers must grip the bar with “thumbs around” grip while the bar is positioned in the racks. This grip must be maintained throughout the lift. (See sample of only legal grip on page 25.)
  3. To achieve firm footing, the lifter may use flat surfaced discs or blocks not exceeding 30 cm in total height to build up the platform. Slight or very minor foot movement is allowed for on the platform or on the blocks.
  4. Not more than three and not fewer than two spotter/loaders shall be on the platform at any time. After correctly positioning himself, the lifter may enlist the help of the spotter/loaders in removing the bar from the racks. The lift-off if assisted by the spotter/loaders must be to full arms extension.
  5. The spacing of the hands shall not exceed 81 cm measured between the forefingers (both forefingers must be within the 81 cm marks). If in the case of some old injury or anatomically the lifter is unable to grip the bar equally with both hands he must inform the referees prior to the lift-off for each attempt and if necessary the bar will be marked accordingly. The use of the reverse grip is forbidden.
  6. After removing the bar from the racks, with or without the help of the spotter/loaders, the lifter shall wait with elbows locked for the Chief Referee’s signal. The signal shall be given as soon as the lifter is motionless and the bar is properly positioned. For reasons of safety, the lifter will be requested to “Replace” the bar, together with a backward movement of the arm, if after a period of five second he/she is not in the correct position to begin the lift.
  7. The signal to begin the attempt shall consist of a downward movement of the arm together with the audible command “START”.
  8. After receiving the signal the lifter must lower the bar to the chest, hold it motionless on the chest with a definite and visible pause. (Motionless means stopped). The Chief Referee will then give the audible command “PRESS”. The lifter must then return the bar to full extension of the arms with no excessive/immoderate uneven extension of the arms, both arms locking out simultaneously/together. When held motionless in this position the audible command “RACK” shall be given together with a backward motion of the arm, and at this time the spotter may assist in replacing the bar.
  9. If anatomically, the arms cannot be fully extended the lifter shall inform the referees prior to each attempt


Bench Press, “Push- Pull”

The ONLY LEGAL GRIP for the Bench Press in any United States Police and Fire Championships event shall be as follows:

  1. As a lifter grips the bar, the palms shall be facing outward and away from the face at all times.
  2. As a lifter grips the bar, the thumbs shall be placed around the bar toward the palm side of the hand with the thumbnail in close proximity to the tip of each forefinger.

Causes for Disqualification of a Bench Press

  1. Failure to observe the Chief Referee’s signals at commencement and completion of the lift.
  2. Any change in the elected position during the lift proper, i.e., any raising movement of the shoulders, buttocks, from the bench or feet from the floor/blocks-discs or lateral movement of the hands on the bar.
  3. Heaving, bouncing or sinking the bar into the chest after it has been motionless on the chest and the “PRESS” has been given, to make the lift easier.
  4. Any pronounced/exaggerated uneven extension of the arms during the lift.
  5. Any downward movement of the bar in the course of being pressed out.
  6. Failure to press the bar to full extension of the arms simultaneously at the completion of the lift.
  7. Contact with the bar or the lifter by the spotter/loaders between the Chief Referee’s signals, to make the lift easier.
  8. Any contact of the lifter’s feet with the bench or its supports.
  9. Failure to comply with any of the Rules of Performance.





  1. The lifter shall face the front of the platform with the bar laid horizontally in front of the lifter’s feet, gripped with an optional grip in both hands and lifted until the lifter is standing erect.
  2. Upon completion of the lift the knees shall be locked in a straight position and the shoulders back.
  3. The Chief Referee’s signal shall consist of a downward movement of the arm and the audible command “DOWN”. The signal will not be given until the bar is held motionless in the apparent finished position. If the bar is shaking when at the knee area, although not exactly pure, this is not a cause for failure.
  4. Any raising of the bar or deliberate attempt to do so will count as an attempt. Once the attempt has begun no downward movement is allowed until the lifter reaches the erect position with the knees locked. If the bar settles as the shoulders come back this should not be a reason to disqualify the lift. (See sample, page 27.)


Causes for Disqualification of a Dead Lift

  1. Any downward movement of the bar before it reaches the final position.
  2. Failure to stand erect with the shoulders back.
  3. Failure to lock the knees straight at the completion of the lift.
  4. Supporting the bar on the thighs during the performance of the lift. If the bar edges up the thighs but is not supported this is not reason for disqualification. The lifter should benefit in all decisions of doubt made by the referee.
  5. Stepping backward or forward, although lateral movement of the sole or rocking feet between ball and heel is permitted.
  6. Lowering the bar before receiving the Chief Referee’s signal.
  7. Allowing the bar to return to the platform without maintaining control with both hands, i.e. releasing the bar from the palms of the hands.
  8. Failure to comply with any of the Rules of Performance



Weight class must be declared on the entry form. All changes the competitor wishes to make must be completed prior to the beginning of the USPFC. Participants should be encouraged to adhere to the weight class designated on their Entry Form but will compete in the appropriate category after weigh in.
  2. Weighing in of competitors shall not take place more than 24 hours prior to competition for the specific weight category. An additional weigh-in shall be held two hours prior to the actual competition and shall last one and one-half hours. (See samples for check-in and weigh-in area on page 30, and weigh-in schedule on page 31).
  3. If not already done, lots will be drawn to establish the order of the weigh-in. The lots drawn also establish the order of lifting throughout the competition when lifters require the same weight for their attempts.
  4. Weigh-in will be in secret and the lifters allowed in one at a time. The weigh-in room will be locked and the only persons allowed in are the lifter and his/her coach or trainer. The weigh-in results will not be made known until after all weigh-ins are completed.
  5. Lifters shall be weighed-in nude or in briefs. For reasons of hygiene the lifter should wear socks on the scales platform. The platform may also be covered with paper toweling. In meets where women compete, adjustment in the weigh-in procedures shall be made to ensure that all lifters are weighed by officials of their own sex. Additional female officials may be appointed for this purpose.
  1. Each lifter can only be weighed once, except those greater or lighter than the category limit. They are allowed to return to the scales. They are allowed one and one-half hours at a maximum from the beginning of the weigh-in session to make proper weight. The lifter in question must wait until all lifters have been weighed once and then those re-weighing may have as many opportunities to re-weigh as time allows, in an orderly fashion with consideration given to lot numbers. Only one re-weigh will be allowed if the time limit has expired.


  1. A lifter who is too heavy or too light will move into the appropriate category, provided that that class has not competed already.
  2. If there are no other lifters in the class which the lifter entered, the lifter will remain in that class and, upon successfully completing his/her lifts, receive a gold medal. If a number of lifters have applied but only one or two show, they may not be moved. They must lift in the age category which they indicated on their entry form.
  3. When two lifters register the same weight at the weigh-in preceding a competition, and during the competition achieve the same total, they shall be re-weighted with the lighter lifter taking preference.
  4. Lifters should check bench press rack heights, and, if needed, prepare the use of foot blocks/discs if desired prior to the start of the competition. The rack height sheet and noting of the use of foot blocks/discs should be initialed by the lifter or his/her coach.





4:30 pm – 6:30 pm                              Day prior (Tuesday)                            Early Weigh-in (or)

7:00 am – 8:00 am                               Day of competition (Wednesday)      Late Weigh-In

9:00 am – 9:30 am                               Each lifter must attend                       Rules Briefing

10:00 am                                                                                                         Lifting Starts



4:30pm – 6:30 pm                               Day Prior (Wednesday)                      Early Weigh-in (or)

7:00 am – 8:00 am                               Day of Competition (Thursday)         Late Weigh-In

9:00 am – 9:30 am                               Each lifter must attend                       Rules Briefing

10:00 am                                                                                                         Lifting Starts



Two scales officially certified as accurate (within one year preceding the competition) shall be provided at the location. A copy of the scales certification SHALL BE AVAILABLE ON-SITE and to be given to the USPFC Director for the Bench Press/Push-Pull.


The Round System (Bracketing)

  1. At the weigh-in, the lifter or his coach must declare a starting weight for each of the events in which he has entered. They must be entered on the speaker card, signed by the lifter or his coach and retained by the officials conducting the weigh-in. If the lifter is entered in the Bench Press event only, he will be given five blank attempt cards. If entered in the Push-Pull event, he will be given three cards for the Bench Press and five cards for the Dead Lift. Each event is distinguished by a different colored card. Having made his/her first attempt at a lift, the lifter or his coach must decide upon the weight required for his second attempt. The weight must be filled in where indicated on the card and submitted to the Competition Secretary or other appointed official before the one minute time allowance has elapsed. The same procedure is to be used for the second and third attempts for each lift. Responsibility for submitting attempts within the time allowance rests solely with the lifter or his coach. In the Bench Press only event, the fourth and fifth boxes are to be used for the two permitted changes in the third attempt, if required. In the Push-Pull event, fourth and fifth boxes of the Dead Lift card are to be used for the two permitted changes in the third attempt, if required.
  2. Where 10 or more lifters are competing in a session, groups may be formed consisting of approximately equal number of lifters. However, groups must be formed when 15 or more lifters are competing in the same session. A session may be composed of a single bodyweight category or any combination of bodyweight categories at the discretion of the responsible competition officials.
  3. Each lifter will take his first attempt in the first round, his second attempt in the second round, and his third attempt in the third round.
  4. When a group consists of less than 6 lifters, compensatory time allowances shall be added at the end of each round as follows: For 5 lifters add one minute; 4 lifters add two minutes; for 3 lifters add three minutes. Three minutes is the maximum time allowance permitted. For compensatory time where groups are involved, unloading the bar will take place at the end of the compensatory time, reloaded, then the one minute to begin the lift.
  5. The bar must be loaded progressively during each round on the principle of the rising bar. At no time will the weight of the bar be lowered within a round except for errors as described in item (h) of this section, and then only at the end of the round.
  6. Lifting order within each round will be determined by the lifter’s choice of weight for that round. In the event of two or more lifters choosing the same weight, the lifter with the lowest lot number will lift first. The same applies to third round single-lift Bench Press attempts and third round Dead Lift attempts, whereby the weight may be changed twice, subject to the bar not already been loaded for the lifter’s originally chosen weight.
  7. If unsuccessful with an attempt, the lifter does not follow themselves, but must wait until the next round before they can attempt that weight again.
  8. If in a round an attempt is unsuccessful due to a wrongly loaded bar, spotter error or equipment failure, the lifter will be granted a further attempt at the correct weight. If the fault is a wrongly loaded bar and the attempt has not actually started, then the lifter shall be given the option of either continuing at that time or taking another attempt at the end of the round. In all other cases the lifter shall take his/her extra attempt at the end of the round. If the lifter also happens to be the last lifter in the round, he/she shall be granted a three minute rest prior to making his/her attempt.
  9. A lifter is permitted one change of weight on the first attempt of each lift. The change of weight may be higher or lower than that originally submitted and the order of lifting in the first round will change accordingly. If he is in the first group, this change may take place at any time up to within five minutes before the start of the first round of that lift. The following groups are accorded a similar privilege up to within five attempts from the end of the previous group’s last round of that lift. Prior notice of these deadlines shall be announced by the speaker. If proper notice of these deadlines is not given, then an announcement authorizing such changes shall be made and a lifter may make a change within five minutes of such announcement.
  10. A lifter must submit his second and third attempts within one minute of completing his preceding attempt. The one minute will begin from the time the lights are activated. If no weight is submitted within the one minute time allowance, the lifter’s next attempt will automatically be the same as the proceeding “NO LIFT” attempt and/or will automatically be assumed at 2.5 kg more than the preceding “GOOD LIFT” attempt.
  11. Weights submitted for second round attempts cannot be changed. Under this rule once a second attempt has been turned in, it cannot be withdrawn. The bar shall be loaded to the turned in weight and the clock will run.
  12. In the third round of the single-lift Bench Press, and the third round of the Dead Lift in the Push-Pull competition, changes are permitted. The change may be higher or lower than the lifter’s previously submitted third attempt. However, these are only permitted provided the lifter has not been called to the bar already loaded to his previously submitted weight. If the bar is declared “READY” or words to that effect by the Chief Referee, then the lifter is committed to the attempt.

Note: On the principle of the rising bar, should the lifter fail his/her second attempt or should the lifter declare that he/she “forfeits” his/her second attempt, the weight cannot be lowered when the two (2) weight changes of third attempt are permitted.

  1. When two or more groups take part in a session upon a single platform, lifting will be organized on a group repetition basis. No time interval will be allowed between rounds other than that necessary for arranging the platform.


  1. Three unsuccessful attempts in either the single-lift Bench Press or either lift in the Push-Pull event will automatically eliminate the lifter from the competition.
  2. On the completion of an attempt, a lifter shall leave the platform within 30 seconds. Failure to comply with this rule may result in disqualification of the attempt at the discretion of the referees.
  3. If, during competition warm-up, a lifter suffers injury or in any other way exhibits signs of a condition which may unduly jeopardize the lifter’s health and well being, the official medical officer has the right of examination. If the medical officer considers it inadvisable for the lifter to continue, the medical officer may, in consultation with the Jury, insist on the lifter retiring from the competition. If present, the lifter’s team manager or coach must be officially informed of such a decision.
  4. Any lifter or coach who by reason of his misconduct upon or near the competition platform is likely to discredit the sport shall be officially warned. If the misconduct continues, the Jury, or referees in the absence of the Jury, may disqualify the lifter or coach and order the lifter or coach to leave the venue. If present, the lifter’s team manager must be officially informed of both warning and disqualification.
  5. The Jury and Referees may, by majority decision, immediately disqualify a lifter or coach or manager if they are of the opinion that any misconduct is serious enough to warrant immediate disqualification rather than an official warning.


All appeals against referee’s decisions, complaints regarding the progress of the competition or against the behavior of any person or persons taking part in the competition must be made to the Jury. The Jury may require the appeal to be made in writing. The appeal or complaint must be lodged with the President of the Jury by the team manager, or coach, or in their absence, the lifter. This must be done immediately following the action upon which the appeal or complaint is based. It will not be considered unless these terms are met. If deemed necessary, the Jury may temporarily suspend the progress of the competition and retire to consider its verdict. After due consideration and upon reaching a majority verdict, the Jury will return and the president will inform the complainant of its decision. The Jury’s verdict will be considered final and there will be no right of appeal to any other body. Upon recommencement of the competition which had been suspended, the next lifter shall be given three minutes to commence his lift.



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