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Monday, July 18, 2011

Referees - Qu'est que c'est?

I just got back from the National Championships (  I medaled in the snatch).

For many athletes, a big disappointment was the refereeing.  It was inconsistent between sessions.

Exihibit A: 48's and 53's A sessions vs 63's and 69's  A sessions
The competition started off with fair judging. However, some notably borderline press outs were approved as good lifts in the 48 and 53 A sessions.  One that stands out in my mind (because of some good lifting) was Kelly Rexroad's second attempt snatch where the bar was caught with a slight bend in both arms then straightened to a lockout.  Good for Kelly, she seemed to have an awesome snatch day, going 3 for 3.

In the 53kg a session, there were several obvious press outs that were not called- more than one straightening of the arms from a 90 degree angle at whicht he bar was caught. I believe that one lifter who split snatched, actually, paused while the bar reached her thighs and was not called.

In contrast, in the women's 69kg A, Amy Anaya caught 92kg. From a bystander's position, the weight did seem tough for her, being caught a bit out of position.  However, she didn't do a clear press out. Her arms shook slightly, pronating and rotating, as she stood-up.  There was some loosening then tightening of the shoulders and upper back.  Still, no significant lock, unlock of the elbows; any elbow movement was discernably less than Kelly's second snatch. 

Another big disappointment was the "press out" call of Danica Rue's 1st attempt at 115kg clean and jerk.  There was a slight readjustment of her left arm, and it was not a pressout.  In the same session, Kathleen O'Neil , who jerked 80 kgs,  had a larger elbow movement which was called as a press out then overturned for a good lift by the jury.  Again, inconsistency leads to unfairness.  If you give one lifter the lift, then the lifter with smaller elbow movement should also get the lift approved.

On a personal note, I was called on a pressout on my clean and jerk.  Let it be said, I am really flexible and my jerk is really fast and explosive.   I caught the lift and stabilized it with lat movement. Any elbow movement was far less than the "good" lifts called in the 53kg A session.  The jury would not overturn it.  I was also informed that the next lifter had a much bigger pressout and was not called.

Finally,  Joe Carron, a respected, senior referee indicated that referree clinics are held on a regular basis -- however, the attendence is ZERO!! That's right, 0 -- as in none of the National referrees attend to sharpen their skills.

 Solution: make referree clinics mandatory for anyone who wants to continue to referee on the national level.  Standardize the objective criteria for press out calls in the United States of America.  If we're going to judge our athletes tougher than IWF ref's then we should set our own criteria and have pamphlets showing the degree of elbow flexion allowed.  OR, judge consistently with the IWF community.

Also, while I'm on regulations, the unitard rule is not a bonus for most lifters:
Apparently, even though a lifter may wear full body covering, we're still enforcing things like making sure your knee wraps don't overlap your singlet.

 I mean, really?  Really?  I can wear a unitard with knee wraps, but I can't let my knee wraps touch my singlet.    FYI- we saw atleast 2 lifters wearing a unitard -- Kulsoom Abdullah and Anne Lehman.  I believe Anne had knee wraps over her spandex pants.   So, I could have worn spandex pants and have my knee wraps cover my spandex pants, but I can't let knee wraps touch my singlet.  Really, does this compute?

I guess the unitard didn't really revolutionize anything for the already internationally competing lifter.  Where's our upside?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was your third C&J red lighted for the knee wraps touching the singlet, or for a pressout? I remember someone distinctly pulling the wraps up while standing over the bar, thought it was you but not sure.

To be honest though, you had a lot of movement in the right elbow on your last jerk, I thought the press-out call was fair (although I will agree other lifts were called inconsistently)

Gwen Sisto said...

The knee wrap issue appeared on my 2nd clean and jerk. My third was called on a press out.

I had less elbow movement than other "good lifts". The though proces I using is :
If arm movement is < prior "good lifts", then lift = good.

My goal is to shed light on a systemic issue and not to whine (too much). Looking at international standards, our ref's should be less conservative.

Anectdotally, I have another example from the Arnold where a photo sequence shows a good lift, but the lift was called on a press on www.ristosports.com/blog.

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