• Powerlifting became an
official Special Olympics North
Carolina sport in 1990 at the
Summer Games in Raleigh.
Several volunteers who
manage competition here in
North Carolina travel the world
overseeing the powerlifting
events for the Special Olympics
USA and World Summer Games.
• After mandatory weigh-in’s the day before, various
events are held over two days of competition at the
state level. Lifters do all of their events in one day.
• All athletes are put into competitive groupings, called
divisions. Divisions are determined by gender, age, and
All awards are given as each morning or
afternoon session concludes. Athletes report
directly to an awards area after each event.
What are the types of lifts?
Powerlifting competition involves three lifts:
• Squat: squatting down and coming back up
with proper form
• Bench press: lifter lies on the bench with feet on
the floor then lowers and raises the bar with both
arms from his/her chest
• Deadlift: moving from a semi-squat position to
a standing position with the barbell and weights
starting on the floor and then lifting t o mid-thigh
Only athletes and
coaches are allowed
on the stage during
required to cheer as
loudly as possible
after each lift!
How is each lift scored?
Lifters are given three attempts to successfully
complete a lift
Three officials will judge each lift in order to determine
if proper form was used. Proper form is indicated by
white light, while improper is indicated with a red
light. The light box is located on stage.
A lifter needs at least two white lights in order for his/
her lift to be determined successful. Two or more red
lights indicate a lift failure and the lifter must repeat
the weight lift successfully before moving up.
A mathematical formula, called the Wilkes Formula, is
applied to get the score if weight classes are combined.
Do You Know…
Lifters are divided into “flights” to shorten time between
lifters’ attempts. Typically, lifters in the lower weight class
compete first, and heavier weight classes compete last.