Pan Ams 2005: Initial Observations of the New 1K Rule
By Leo Temoshenko


At the 2005 Pan Am Championships, the new 1K rule was used. I was the Head Marshall for all but one session. I could see both the warm-up room and the platform; and entered all attempts from the coaches. The following are my initial observations on how the new 1K rule effects competitions.

Timing warm-ups under the new 1K rule is challenging at best. The amount of increase between attempts seemed to be less, the number of changed attempts seemed much higher, and the number of misses seemed to be higher. Let me explain.

At international competitions, almost no one turns in what they are actually going to start with. Nothing new here, but you may wish to ask whether the 15K/20K rule will be used. This is the rule which says women have to start within 15K of the total they turn in; and men have to start within 20K of the total they turn in. At the Pan Ams, the 15/20K rule could not be enforced because a number of countries did not turn in any totals. However if the rule is used, one will have a good idea of what a lifter has to start with.

Since one only has to do 1K more then their competitor (plus or minus due to bodyweight), the amount of increase between attempts is small. For women at the Pan Ams, the increase was about 1-5K between first and second attempts; and then 1-3K between second and third attempts. For men at the Pan Ams, the increase was about 3-6K between first and second attempts; and then 1-5K between second and third attempts. Jumps of greater then 6K was rare.

The number of misses seemed to be higher due to the small increases. At the Pan Ams, the overall success rate (men and women) was about 60 percent. For the women, the success rate per weight category varied between 55 percent and 63 percent. For the men, the success rate per weight category varied between 56 percent and 77 percent. It appeared that the tighter/closer the competition, the lower the success rate.

In tight/close weight categories, the number of changes was incredible. Almost every lifter used the 2 changes per attempt which is allowed by the rules. And once the changes started, almost all the countries were lined up to make changes until they could not make any more changes.

One needs to be timely in declaring and changing the lifters attempts. Declaring an attempt means turning in the weight a lifter wants for their next attempt. Changing an attempt means turning in a different weight from the declared. After a successful attempt, the lifter is given the automatic 1K increase. Regardless of whether or not this makes that lifter the next lifter, the automatic increase becomes the lifters declared attempt once the bar has been loaded and they have been called. If the coach/lifer reports a different weight after that, then that is a change and not ones declared attempt. So a coach /lifter can easily lose a real change.

There were 12 countries at the Pan Ams. 11 Pan Am countries plus AUS. Many of the coaches of the South American countries were from Bulgaria, Cuba and the former the Soviet Union. Given that, I think that much of this will be representative of what will be seen at international competitions in the near future.