Guys this message is not intended to replace the rules clinic that is given at each meet. However these are a few of the more common reasons for receiving red lights.
- The biggest and most common reason for a red light is lack of depth. The rule on depth is that the hip joint has to break parallel with the top surface of the knee. LEANING IS NOT SQUATING. Some lifters tend to lend forward until their chest touches their knees, but unless the hip sinks below the knee, you are still not deep enough. Don’t confuse how far down your head is with how low your hips are.
- Standing in one place with a max load on your shoulders will zap you of hard earned strength. But you will not get a “squat signal” until the head ref thinks that you are settled and ready to squat. The most common and easiest way to signal that you are ready is to wait until you are ready to squat and then look directly at the head ref. Otherwise you may be held for a few extra precious seconds while the head ref determines that you are done adjusting.
- Then there is the obvious “beating the call”. Where a lifter squats or racks before he or she is instructed to do so by the head ref.
- Avoid "Rolling Starts" . Give your lift off guy a chance to get clear of the head judge before your start your attempt.
- Being held at the bottom by a judge can kill your bench. The bar must become motionless. There is not a 1 count or 2 count. If you bring the bar down under control you will be able to achieve the "motionless state" a lot quicker and thus get a quicker "press" command. To much spend in the descent tends to make the bar bounce or rock back and forth. Until the bar is motionless you will NOT get a "press" command.
- Foot faults are very common. The feet have to remain flat throughout the lift. Although foot placement is a personal preference, having them pulled back toward the rack tends to stabilize the body and decreases the body’s tendency to move the feet.
- Head fault. Once the bar starts to descend the head can not come off of the bench.
- Butt off the bench. During the execution of the lift the buttocks may flex and raise the body up so long as the buttocks remain in contact with the bench. If we see daylight underneath, then it is a bad lift.
- Uneven extension- At the completion of the lift both arms have to lock out at the same time. If you get “uneven” during the push phase, at the referees discretion you may be allowed to continue and given an opportunity to catch up the lagging arm before lockout. However if your extension becomes unsafe the spotters will be told to take the bar.
- And again the obvious “beating the call”. Pressing or racking before being instructed to do so.
- The “Hitch” is a very common infraction. During the execution of the lift the bar is allowed to stop. However during that stop if there is any leaning back, dipping under or raising and lowering of the shoulders, you will get a red light for “hitching”.
- At the completion of the lift the body must be erect. Some lifters like to over rotate and lean back. The danger in that practice is that as you lean back the body tends to unlock the knees in an attempt to maintain balance. If the knees unlock, the lift is no good.
- And once again “beating the call”. You must wait for the head refs signal before returning the bar to the platform
And finally for the fans. We want you to cheer on your friends and family members. However yelling technical instructions to them while they are lifting sometimes drowns out the judges commands. In particular NEVER yell “press” to a lifter as they are performing their bench. If they press on your call and not the refs command, the lift will be red lighted.