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The sport of high school powerlifting was originally promoted as a competition designed to break the monotony of football off-season programs. Strength training is a vital component to the preparation of an upcoming football season and competition seemed to be an extrinsic motivator to becoming stronger. Therefore, football teams would assemble at a common site during the off season months to demonstrate individual and team strength. One such event took place in 2012 under the direction of Coach Mike Reed, who at the time was a football coach at Monticello High School.

The Arkansas High School Powerlifting Association began July 23, 2011 with a high school powerlifting meet between Star City High School and Monticello High School. This association basically follows the rules of the USAPL federation and the LHSPLA Association. One exception is the AHSPLA will conduct its meets with lifters competing “RAW”. Raw means lifters compete with no supportive equipment or apparel. Lifters may use a 4” maximum width lifting belt only.

A Little Bit About Powerlifting As A High School Team Sport In Arkansas

Competition at a Powerlifting Meet is promoted to measure three areas of human strength. There are three different lifts performed during competition: Squat-lower body strength, Bench Press-upper body strength, Deadlift-total body strength.

Each lift is evaluated by three platform officials who determine if the lifter properly executes a lift. Remember, as in many sports the final determination of success or proper execution is often a judgment call and therefore subject to human error. However, three opinions are used to determine the success of the lift. The final determination depends on a majority consensus of these three opinions (2 out of 3 determines whether a lift is good or bad). White lights are used to indicate a good lift; red lights are used to indicate an unsuccessful attempt.

Each lifter will make three attempts in each lifting category. When all three categories of lifting (i.e. the squat, bench, and deadlift) have been completed the lifter’s best successful lift in each category is added together to determine the lifters “total” which is used to rank the lifter among other lifters in the same weight class. The position of the lifters rank in a particular weight class determines the amount of team points the lifter earns (if any). Points are awarded to the Top 5 lifters in a weight class in the following manner:

1st-7 pts., 2nd-5 pts., 3-3 pts., 4th-2 pts., 5th-1 pt.