The Need For Refs and other suits


By IDFPA Secretary, Tomás Cuddihy


The WDFPF European Powerlifting Championships held on the 18th and 19th of this month were a big success. Well run by Andrew Scully and his team. Andrew says a good comp depends on the spotters and loaders and I think he is right. The Worx crew had things running like clockwork and everyone felt safe. Especially the lifters on Platform B who had Irelands strongest powerlifter, James “THE BEAST” O’ Connell spotting them and the IDFPA’s head ref, Mark Lacey. Andrew was there too working away, hiding behind a beard.


Tom Coyle came down to help with the refereeing and testing and John West was also present.There were a lot of good lifts. The standard is very high. I was refereeing so I actually missed a lot of the action. My focus was on hips and pauses and commands. I know Indra Sudarminto was excellent and I did see Ayshea Ullah deadlift an incredible 205kg, raw and drug free. She was unlucky, this time, to be red lighted on the lift but that woman is amazing. She totalled well over 400kg, 430kg to be precise. That is fantastic strength: 160kg squat, 70kg bench, 200kg deadlift. Wow!


There are a lot of superb Irish squatters and deadlifters. I personally think we are lacking in the bench. Maybe two of our heavier male lifters can get or go over 200kg in the raw bench. Why? I think it’s the lack of ‘to-spec’ benches throughout the gyms in the country. If you find a gym with a bench that is built to powerlifting specifications stay put for you have struck gold. Train on that bench and your numbers will climb.


Here is something that I hope won’t cause embarrassment but every female powerlifter should wear a pad as part of their equipment to avoid sprinkling the platform and if your coach has never told you this then reconsider his/her coaching skills. The plumbing between male and female lifters is different and even if a female lifter thinks her bladder is empty the intra-abdominal pressure of a maximum lift will squeeze every last drop out. I don’t think anyone has found the optimal way to train drug free female powerlifters yet either. Should the volume and frequency differ from the way males train? The answer to that is I don’t know but if I was a female powerlifter, aside from being absolutely gorgeous, I’d be intent on finding out. For now ask Ayshea. She is definitely doing something right.


As most know the IDFPA has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. I am open to correction on this but I think in 2011 there were about 50 members and now, four years later, there are about 500 members. The infrastructure has struggled to keep up with this expansion. We need more national refs. We need more international refs. We need more admin people. We need more writers to provide articles. We need more photographers, video takers and editors, more of everything really.


If you think you have any of those skills or interests then please step forward. If you have any ideas on how to improve things let’s hear them. With regionals approaching people will be needed to run those comps. No one on the committee can continue to attend every event. It would be too much to ask. Unlike some of our competitor federations no one on the IDFPA committee gets paid for the work they put in. In fact it costs us to attend comps and it costs us to do the work we do. That isn’t an issue because we love what we do. The IDFPA is a not for profit association.


In order to keep the numbers attending competitions to a reasonable level and to keep the experience enjoyable for the lifters regionals are necessary and to run those regionals officials will be required. Next year the IDFPA will host the WDFPF World Championships in Killarney. Remember the old WW1 recruitment poster? Well, your association needs you. Yes you. If you can, please do.


Mark Lacey will certify anyone interested in becoming a national ref. As will I. National refs with some experience should consider doing the international refs exam. Ask and we can see about putting your name forward. If you think you can help in any way please give Peter Lucey a shout.


Great days lie ahead for the IDFPA, there are challenges, sure, but standards are constantly improving. Those challenges are being met and you, dear reader, are part of that. Keep the faith, give what you can and you’ll get it back twofold. The IDFPA belongs to you as much as anyone so own it and build it.


Disclaimer: much of the above is mere opinion. I may be and often am wrong in matters of training. No small animals or children were hurt in the making of this article.





Author Tomas Cuddihy (IDFPA Secretary) 
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The Need for Ref's and Other Suits