New Mexico Activities Association member schools will have the opportunity to participate in powerlifting for the 2020-21 school year. Here is some of the general information:

What lifts are included in the competitions? The squat, bench press and deadlift (and must be performed in that sequence, and completed within the same day and without interruption).

Is it open to boys and girls? Yes, both boys and girls are allowed to participate.

Are eighth-graders allowed to participate? No. For safety considerations, eighth-grade students will not be permitted to participate. Powerlifting will be for nigh school student-athletes only.

What are the bodyweight categories? The following weight classes will be utilized: Boys: 114, 123, 132, 148, 165, 181, 198, 220, 242, 275, 308, heavyweight. Girls: 97, 105, 114, 123, 132, 148, 165, 181, 198, 220, 242, heavyweight.

How many lifters compete for each team? Each team (varsity, JV and C-team) is allowed a maximum of 12 competitors, spread throughout the range of the 12 bodyweight categories. There must not be more than two competitors from any one team in the same bodyweight category.

Is there a limit to the number of lifters that can participate? Schools may permit an unlimited number of participants to lift, but shall submit for scoring no more than 12 total participants per gender per team (V, JV, C) and no more than two participants per weight class.

How is it scored? Point scoring for team competition shall be 7, 5, 3, 2 and 1, respectively, for the first five places in any bodyweight category. In the case of a tie in team points, the team having the greater number of first places will be ranked first. In the case of a tie between two teams having the same number of first places, the team having the most second places will be classified first, and so on throughout the ten places.

Who records the scores? Coaches at each respective school shall be responsible for conducting their own competitions and ensuring all NMAA powerlift regulations are followed and that all lifts submitted for scoring are clean and legal.

Do teams compete against each other in person? No, this is a virtual/home-site only competition. Schools may conduct virtual competitions involving other schools if they so choose (i.e., online conference/meeting platforms).

How many attempts does each lifter get? Once official lifting has commenced, the lifter shall have three attempts on each lift. Each lifter will take his first attempt in the first round, his second attempt in the second round and his third attempt in the third round. Lifting order within each round will be determined by the lifter’s choice of weight for that round. In the event of two lifters choosing the same weight, the lifter who weighs less will go first. If unsuccessful with an attempt, lifters must wait until the next round before they can make another attempt at the same weight or go up in weight. The heaviest successful lift shall be recorded on the NMAA score- card and submitted to the NMAA for official recording purposes.

Are uniforms required? Lifters shall wear a T-shirt and shorts combination consisting of material that is non- supportive. Supportive is defined as either the type of material used in the construction of the garment, or the excessive tightness of the garment when worn by the lifter, or a combination of the two. Non-supportive compression shirts/shorts are recommended. The uniform must be school approved and shall not have any pockets, buttons, zippers, or a reinforced collar or seams. Lifting suits shall not be permitted. Full length leg stockings, tights, or hose are strictly forbidden.

Will there be any time/contact restrictions for athletes during the powerlifting season? No. Once the powerlifting season commences on Oct. 5, athletes will be considered in-season and there will be no contact restrictions for those participating in powerlifting.

Will COVID-Safe guidelines be provided? Yes. COVID-Safe guidelines will be provided and will be in accordance with the NMAA and state regulations.

When does it start? The first official day of fall sports is Oct. 5. The competitions won’t likely begin until November to allow the athletes time to prepare. Schools may conduct their lifts at any time throughout the competition week and shall submit their results to the NMAA on the official NMAA powerlifting scorecard no later than the following Monday.

When are the tentative competition weeks? Week 1, Nov. 2-8; Week 2, Nov. 30-Dec. 6, and Week 3, Jan. 4-10. Final week: Feb. 1-7.

Local coaches are on board

“I think powerlifting is a great idea and something to get the kids involved in right now,” Cleveland High wrestling coach Evan Copeland said. “I am going to recommend it to the wrestlers and try to encourage as many of them to participate in it. I think that we will have a few boys and girls interested in competing in powerlifting.

“I do not know who will be the coach; the NMAA is suggesting the football coaches and wrestling coaches spearhead powerlifting but I think that Heath (Ridenour) will have more of his athletes interested and involved, so I am nominating him at this time,” Copeland said, jokingly.

“There may be a few of the lower weight classes and some of the girls’ weight classes where the wrestlers can fit in.”

“I love the idea of powerlifting,” agreed football coach Heath Ridenour. “I think it is a great way to get a lot of kids back into competition before their spring seasons roll around. Evan and I have talked about it and we know the benefits of powerlifting and getting the kids back in the weight room as soon as possible.

“We are 100 percent on the same page. I am sure several things will get ironed out in the coming weeks regarding who will coach it. I anticipate several coaches having a heavy hand in the program.”