How To Run a League Match

I’ve been asked a couple of times how to run a league match. The rules for the league are all on the website –  but how you run a match is up to you. This is how we’ve done it when we’ve hosted matches at Bethnal Green.

We’ve always weighed in then just got on with it. The rules state that you have half an hour but this hasn’t seemed necessary in the matches I’ve been involved in and I think we’ve started fifteen minutes after the weigh in has ended.

I like to run the matches in two groups. This means four lifters lift in a round robin format (every lifter takes their first snatch then every lifter takes their second snatch etc).

When using round robin it’s important to decide when a lifter can put their attempt in as this can confer an advantage. We’ve had each lifter give their openers in then they give their next attempt in at the end of the round with each lifter allowed as many increases as they like before the next round starts. Once the next round has started no further changes are allowed. This allows a sort of bidding process to take place between rounds if there’s a close competition going on but doesn’t allow the heavier lifter the advantage of seeing if their rival is successful before announcing their next attempt.

If you want to get the match completed as quickly as possible it is fastest to run the first group’s snatches, then second group’s snatches then switch back to the first group for clean & jerks and finish with group two’s clean & jerks. This allows the second group to be warming up as the first group is snatching or clean & jerking so saves time but requires more platforms. We’ve always just run the group one snatches. Given them time to warm up for the clean & jerk then run them and group two snatches and clean & jerks next. This takes a bit longer but allows team mates to support each other and also provides some new loaders as the first group finishes before the second group starts so can take over loading duties.

I like two groups as four lifters makes a decent but not too long break between attempts in the round robin format. The round robin confers the least possible advantage on the heavier lifter so i think is much fairer than running a rising bar where the heavier lifter will know exactly what they need to win after the lighter lifter has finished and can choose the right weight to win without having to do even one kilogramme more than is necessary.

One more thing we have always done at the matches I’ve been involved in concerns refereeing. Officially the rules are the same as for any other comp but with no clothing requirements (except that you must be able to judge pressouts and that the lift is finished so clothing must either be tight fitting or leave the elbows and knees uncovered. Obviously no pulling straps either ). We’ve been a bit more relaxed until a lifter gets their first successful lift then applied the rules properly. This means that a new lifter can drop the bar before the down signal (but after completing the lift) or press out a bit and still be given the lift. Once they’ve got a lift on the board though the refereeing should be strict to ensure fairness. This is just so those new to the sport get a bit of leeway to settle in to the competition.

That’s how I run my matches. How you run yours is up to you, if you’re home team manager.

However you run a match it needs to be fair and not designed in some funky way to advantage your team (All the away lifters lift in group 1 then all your lifters lift in group 2 for example). Remember rule 1!

If you’ve got any questions please post them on one of the Lifting League facebook pages and we’ll get back to you straight away (ish).