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 Local, State, Regional and National 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.  

We are not just looking to increase our Referee base – we are looking for interested members who will be committed to helping more than just once a year.

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 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 have an interest in becoming a Referee, the minimum requirements and certification process are as follows:

1. Candidates must be a minimum of 18 years of age. Candidates must be current members of USA Powerlifting.  (Current Membership Cards must be presented to the State Chair prior to test administration.)

2. Candidates must have approval of their State Chairman 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, Meet Volunteer or Coach

4. Candidates must pass the written and practical sections of the state referee test. A minimum score of 80% is required on the written test and 90% on the practical portion of the test.   

The written exam consists of a 110 question open-book, online exam with questions covering the   USAPL-Rulebook-Version 2019  and a practical exam in which you will sit with a National or IPF Referee during a meet and adjudicate 100 attempts (40 squats, 30 bench press and 30 deadlifts).

You should read the rulebook completely before taking the test. To pass the exam, the candidate must score at least 80% on the written portion and 90% on the practical portion.

5. Once you have passed both the written and practical portions of the test you will need to complete SafeSport training and provide your completion certificate to the National Office and complete the Verified Volunteers background check.

Finally, congratulations, your credentials will be sent to you shortly!   You can find the referee polo at  USA Powerlifting E-Store – Referee Polos

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

Apply – 

Please fill out the application and submit it.   Application Form – Referee Test  

Questions, contact Rodney & Miryam Elm azstatechair@gmail.com

Becoming a referee is a great way to give back to the sport and gain a wealth of knowledge. Your participation is much appreciated.  Thank you for your support of USA Powerlifting, Arizona.