Prior to the 2012-13 school year, powerlifting was considered a non-sanctioned sport, and regional and state competitions were conducted and regulated mainly by the Louisiana High School Powerlifting Association (LHSPA).
The sport actually began in the United States and Britain during the mid-1950’s after the number of participants and fans began declining for weightlifting.
In the sport of powerlifting, participants are separated based on their gender and weight, and they compete against others who are in their same weight classification. The athletes take turns lifting different weight amounts, which are measured in pounds.
It’s much more than lifting heavy weights off of the ground; there are three different lifts contested in powerlifting meets: the squat, the bench press and finally, the deadlift.
To many, the sport seems easy, but like any other extracurricular activity, powerlifting athletes undergo rigorous training and practice in order to excel.
Today, in Louisiana, the powerlifting season begins in December and ends with the state meet held the second weekend in March. The sport includes both male and female athletes who train each year for a chance to be called “the strongest high school lifter in the state” according to body weight.
To qualify for the state meet, lifters must first compete in one of four regional competitions held in late February. For a lifter to qualify to compete in the state meet, he or she must finish first, second or third in his or her respective weight class at a regional competition.
Those not finishing in the top three in their individual weight classes can qualify for the state meet if they are one of the next best three Division 1 (5A), II (4A), III (3A), IV (2A) and V (1A or below lifters in their designated weight class. Each region may qualify up to nine lifters per weight class for the state meet.
This year, regional powerlifting meets (north, south, east and west) will be held on Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, at various locations throughout Louisiana.
The north regional meet will be held in Pineville, and the south regional meet will be held in Chalmette. The east regional meet is set to take place in Walker while the west regional meet will take place in Church Point.
The state championships for all divisions of powerlifting will be held March 14 – 16 at West Monroe High School in West Monroe.
This year’s state meet is an inaugural one for the event as the LHSAA recognizes powerlifting as a sanctioned high school sport in the state for the first time. This state meet will be overseen and governed by both the LHSAA and the LHSPLA.
For more information about powerlifting, visit Section 17 of the 2012-13 LHSAA Handbook or visit the Powerlifting section of our website at www.lhsaa.org.
For more information about the LHSPLA, visit their website at www.lhspla.org.