USA Powerlifting (formerly American Drug Free Powerlifting Association, Inc.) is the leading powerlifting organization in the United States. USA Powerlifting is a member of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), the governing body of powerlifting internationally. The IPF is comprised of member federations from eighty-three countries on six continents.
Distinct from weightlifting, a sport made up of two lifts: the Snatch and the Clean-and-Jerk, where the weight is lifted above the head, powerlifting comprises three lifts: the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. Powerlifting competitions may be comprised of one, two or all three of the lifting disciplines.
Athletes are categorized by sex, age and bodyweight. Each competitor is allowed three attempts at each lift, the best lift in each discipline being added to their total. The lifter with the highest total is the winner. In cases where two or more lifters achieve the same total, the person with the lightest bodyweight wins.
USA Powerlifting is responsible for sanctioning local and regional events where powerlifters can compete in hopes of qualifying for the national level events. USA Powerlifting sanctions several National Championships in all age groups, giving athletes a chance to see how they fare against competitors across the country. Top competitors are selected by USA Powerlifting to compete in seven IPF world championships- the World Men’s and Women’s Powerlifting Championships, World Junior and Sub-Junior Powerlifting Championships, World Master’s Powerlifting Championships, the World Bench Press Championships, and World Master’s Bench Press Championships.
USA Powerlifting, through its affiliation with the IPF, also sends a national team to participate in the World Games. The World Games is an international multi-sports event hosted by the International World Games Association (IGWA), under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The event consists of official sports and demonstration sports selected from those not included in the Olympic Games. The Games are held every fourth year, following the year of the Summer Olympics.
In the United States, USA Powerlifting has representative chairs in 44 states. Each state chair is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of USA Powerlifting’s local competitions, state championships and state records. USA Powerlifting operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. An Executive Committee, headed by the President, is responsible for the operations of the organization. The Executive Committee acts as the official liaison with the IPF and oversees national competitions and national team selections. Additional responsibilities include directing the national office and supervising sponsorship and membership activities.