Understanding The Athlete Card For Olympic Weightlifting Competition
For those of you new to weightlifting competition, let’s sort out the athlete card. These will be used at all levels of competition, and although they may look a bit different, you’ll find the same necessary information.
The first time you’ll encounter the card will be when you weigh in. The card will have your weight class and session, group such as senior, masters, or junior, and your entry total, along with other info like date of birth.
You’ll be asked to verify your bodyweight is correct and sign off on it. You’ll then be asked to enter and sign off on your opening snatch and clean & jerk weights. Keep in mind you can change these later up to two times. Typically you can simply enter what you plan on doing; if you’re unsure what you’ll be able to lift that day, or want to be sneaky for the sake of the competition, you can enter lower numbers and change later.
Keep in mind the 20kg rule, which requires your opening total be within 20kg of your entry total. For example, if your entry total for the meet is 139kg, your opening lifts must add to at least 119kg.
Lot numbers are randomly generated after the verification meeting. After weigh-ins, those lot numbers will be replaced with start numbers that preserve the lot order—the lowest lot number will become 1, the next number 2, etc. Be sure when making changes at the marshal’s table to refer to the lifter by start number, not name.
Keep the start number in mind for opening attempts because multiple lifters opening at the same weight will take attempts in order of lowest to highest start number. Later, if multiple athletes are on the same attempt number and their previous attempt weights were also the same, the start number will again determine lifting order.
After each successful attempt, the marshal will enter 1kg more for the next attempt as the automatic increment. You must declare a weight, even if you want to keep the 1kg increase temporarily, in order to get your 2 possible changes. If you don’t declare the attempt weight within the first 30 seconds after the athlete is called for the attempt, you forfeit changes and must lift the automatic 1kg increment.
In the case of a miss, the automatic entry will be a repeat of the missed weight. The same rules about declaration and timing apply even with a 2-minute clock. All weight declarations and changes require a signature, so don’t wander away.
Remember too that most weightlifting coaches are fairly nice people, so ask questions if you need to—in any case, they’d much rather help you than deal with a mistake slowing the competition down for their lifters.