Category Archives: USAWA Daily News

The “Dreaded Red X”

by Thom Van Vleck

Nobody was immune to getting the dreaded Red X from Bill. Even Al got one!

Nobody was immune to getting the dreaded Red X from Bill. Even Al got one!

My roots in the USAWA go way back.  My first meet was a 1979 “Odd Lift” meet put on by the founder of the USAWA, Bill Clark.  But before that my Uncles and their friends often lifted in Clark’s meets going back to the fifties. Clark founded the USAWA but he actually didn’t start the “Odd Lifts”.  That goes back to Ed Zercher, Sr who was a great lifter in the 30’s and after.  But even before Ed was in his first contest he had a buddy in his old neighborhood in St. Louis named John Wille. In the 1920’s they hung out in the same neighborhood and they did acrobatics, lifting whatever was available, and made make shift weights out of scrap metal.

Today we look to the internet.  The USAWA has a great website.  Al Myers does a lot of work to keep this thing going and having regular updates.  But for 50 years it was “Ol’ Clark”.  Bill was old school in an old school way that made a lot of old school stuff seem new!  He never touched a computer.  For 50 years he put out old fashioned newsletters.  For you young guys, that means he typed up the newsletter on a typewriter, then he copied the news letter (on a Mimeograph and later a copy machine), and he would put them in envelopes, actually lick the stamps (because they didn’t just stick on like they do now) and mail them to your actual mailbox (not the “mailbox” that your e-mail comes to).

I remember looking through all the old newsletters my Uncles had.  Reading about the lifts, the lifters, the meets and random thoughts (and sometimes rants) that Clark would have about steroids, improper judging, or whatever he thought was undermining the integrity of the sport.  If you sent him a letter, be careful, he’d put it in the newsletter!

He operated all this on a shoe string budget and his own sweat. He probably spent a lot of his own money.  But he did ask donations.  You could get the newsletter if you sent him even just a few bucks to pay for the stamps!  He would also include in almost every newsletter a little rant about “bucking up” and make jokes about not being a deadbeat.

He would have a list of people that gave money.  He would even put how much they gave.  I think to give credit to those who gave more than their fair share because they loved the sport.  Those that gave often really valued the information and back then there was no internet and finding out much of anything about weightlifting was about impossible).  He also would “Red X” the guys who hadn’t “paid up” for some time.  He would put what he called the “Dreaded Red X” on the front of your newsletter.  It kind of reminded me how teachers would mark up your papers with red ink when you got something wrong.  The funny part was he would often keep sending guys newsletters for a long time.  Especially so if he knew someone was on hard times.  Like my Uncle Wayne.  Clark could be really nice that way.

In some ways I think Ol’ Clark got vilified a bit for his “Red X” and other things he did when he would call out guys for not following established rules. He sometimes had a way of making a remark about it the next time you would see him to let you know his displeasure….one might even call it a snide remark.

But you know what.  Now that I’m older.  Now that I’ve been in the position of running organizations that get by on shoe string budgets and I’ve put in long hours to run highland games, strongman contests, lifting meets as well as three different weightlifting clubs (Jackson Weightlifting Club, Truman State Irondogs, and the A.T. Still University Osteoblasters) as well as other Church and community organizations that ONLY happen because the people involved reach in their pockets and pull out some cash that includes more than a few drops of sweat…..I get it.

That bring me to present day.  When Ol’ Clark ran that newsletter you saw the stamp.  You knew it cost money.  You knew the paper, the ink, the copies, and all that went into it cost money so I think it was easier to see how much all of it cost.  Well, now Al Myers stepped in and took it over some 8 years ago.  He created a website, then got a better one, and did a lot of work to keep it going and at what cost.  I bet a lot more than the stamps Ol’ Clark used.  At the least, I would say both men work (worked) equally hard.

So what can you do?  Send him a few hundred bucks!  Well, that would be nice but I think the best thing we could do as an organization is support the guys that make it happen.  Not just Al, but our officers, judges, etc.  We do this by following the rules, getting meet results to Al in a timely manner, make sure our meets are as legit as we can, write a good story for the meet results for the website, maybe send Al a good story or anecdote for the website (like how people would send Clark a letter) and he’d put in on the website.  Buy Al a beer, slap him on the back….heck, I bet a thanks would go a long way.

Otherwise, people like Bill and Al get burned out.  They love a sport and after awhile they feel unappreciated and frustrated and next thing you know…..well, let’s just try and do our part and keep the USAWA great.  It’s only as great as the people who run it and the people who are a part of it AND appreciate it!

Double Decathlon

By Al Myers

MEET RESULTS – Bill Clark’s Double Decathlon

Yesterday in the snail mail I received the results from Bill Clark’s meet, the Double Decathlon, which was held on October 10th and 11th. This meet challenged lifters over an array of 20 different odd lifts over 2 consecutive days in the middle of the week with lifting starting at 5 PM each day. Two USAWA registered lifters lifted – Bill Clark and Joe Garcia. Two other non-registered lifters also took part, but are not listed in the official meet results because they are not members of the USAWA.

MEET RESULTS:

Bill Clark’s Double Decathlon
October 10th and 11th, 2016
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, MO

Meet Director: Joe Garcia

Meet Officials: (1-official system used) Joe Garcia and Bill Clark

Lifters:

Joe Garcia  Age 63, BWT Day 1 210 lbs. Day 2 211 lbs.
Bill Clark  Age 84 BWT Day 1 223 lbs. Day 2 224 lbs.

Lifts Day 1  Joe Garcia  Bill Clark
Deadlift, Reeves  235  165
Pinch Grip  100  60
Deadlift-Fulton DB, 1 Arm
Deadlift – Ciavattone  305 165
Deanna  325 235
Anderson Squat  315
VB Deadlift – 2 Bars, 1″  315 215
Kennedy Lift  315 315
Rectangular Fix, Fulton Bar  70  28
Saxon Snatch  75  —
Lifts Day 2
Peoples Deadlift  325 275
Pinch Grip, One Hand  50R  30R
Bearhug  205  80
Dinnie Lift  523  253
Anderson Press  205  —
VB Deadlift – 1 bar, 1″, 1 Hand  210R  180R
Weaver Stick  4.4R  2.5R
Shoulder Drop  65  —
Ziegler Clean  85  —
Piper Squat  45  —
Total Weight  3882.4  1838.5
Adjusted Points  4254.7  2342.9

Note: All lifts recorded in pounds. R and L designate right and left arms.

Extra record day lifts for record:
Bill Clark: Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Left Arm  90 lbs.
Bill Clark: Vertical Bar DL – 1 bar, 1″, Left Arm  180 lbs.
Bill Clark: Hip Lift 725 lbs.

Sanction Protocol

by Al Myers

I have been getting some sanction requests as of recent where the proper protocol of sanctioning meets has not been followed.  Nothing that has been a major problem – but I want to take time today to OUTLINE the proper procedures in applying for a meet sanction.  I am bound by the USAWA Rules and Bylaws to grant USAWA meet sanctions according to certain guidelines, which must be followed. The following are the most important stipulations from the USAWA Rulebook and the USAWA Bylaws:

VIII. The Competition

3.  To be an official sanctioned USAWA event, an application for meet sanction must be completed and returned with the sanction fee to the USAWA Secretary for approval by the executive board.
4.  All sanction requests must be sent in for approval at least 30 days prior to the scheduled event.
5. All sanctioned competitions must have a Meet Director.   A single person or multiple people may be assigned the Meet Director. This position is stated on the sanction application. The Meet Director will be the contact for the USAWA Secretary.
8.  The Meet Director is responsible for verifying that all competitors are current USAWA members, and must submit new member applications along with the membership dues to the USAWA secretary.
11.  The Meet Director will select the lifts for the meet as outlined in the sanction application.  The lifts may be official lifts of the USAWA or exhibition lifts.  Exhibition lifts are not eligible for records, but may be used in scoring for the competition.

BYLAW ARTICLE 18 – SANCTIONS

A.   All USAWA Competitions and/or events must be sanctioned.
B.  The sanction fee is $30 and must be sent to the Secretary/Treasurer for approval.
C.  The sanction request form must be completely filled out and signed by the contact individual for the competition/event.
D.  Sanctioned USAWA competitions and/or events must not be sanctioned with any other organization (with the exception of the IAWA).  Violation of this will result in loss of USAWA sanction.

It is very important that when a sanction form is sent to me for approval, that ALL the necessary information be present.  This is the checklist:

  • Sanction Form filled out, signed, and dated
  • Entry Form or list of events, date of competition, time schedule, and location
  • Announcement for the website
  • Include the Sanction Fee of $30

It is also not a wise thing to announce a meet in other avenues before your sanction request has been approved. That is getting the “cart in front of the horse”.   There are several reasons why a sanction request might be denied – and all for good reasons.  An example would be if you picked a meet date that fell on the same day as one of our USAWA Championships, or our National Championships.  It has been the policy of the USAWA not to have local meets interfere with these big meets.  Another reason a sanction request might be denied is that you want to have the meet before “the 30 day window” of time (See rule VIII.4 above).  This time period was put in the Rulebook for this reason – to give adequate time for ANYONE to make arrangements to attend the meet.   We are trying to run an upstanding organization, and having meets “pop up” on short notice looks bad, and doesn’t give our meet schedule any credibility.  I will stick to this rule, and will deny sanctions for meets under the 30 day notice.  Like the old saying goes, “your lack of planning DOES NOT constitute an emergency on my part!” (OK – maybe that’s MY ole saying).

A sanction is official once the meet/event has been put on the USAWA website’s schedule of events.  If you want to put on a meet, don’t hesitate to contact me prior to sending in the sanction request.  I will do my best to help you with this process.  If these Sanction Rules are followed, I won’t have to be the “bad guy” by turning down sanction requests;  but it’s my job to follow and enforce the rules and bylaws set forth by the USAWA.

Protocol for Meet Results

By Al Myers

There has always been some inconsistencies in how meet results have been turned in to me. Usually this is not a big problem as if I have questions I will send emails or make phone calls to get the answers.  However if some pertinent information that is required is missing  – lifts may not be eligible for records as this information is needed for the record list.  So what I’m saying today is important!

Simply put – this is the format I would like to see all meet results submitted to me to follow:

MEET RESULTS:

Name of Meet
Location of Meet
Date of Meet

Meet Director:  “Name”

Meet Announcer/Scorekeeper: “Name”

Meet Officials: “first state whether the 1-official or 3-official was used, and list names of all officials.  Only list certified USAWA officials.”

Lifts: “list events in order they occurred and use the OFFICIAL USAWA name for the lifts as stated in the USAWA Rulebook.”

WOMENS DIVISION

 Lifter Age BWT Lift1 Lift2 TOT PTS

MENS DIVISION

 Lifter Age BWT Lift1 Lift2 TOT PTS

TOT is total pounds or kilograms lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight adjustments.

Other information that is very important and needs to be included with meet results:

  • Lifters names spelled correctly in meet results
  • For record days make sure to identify lifters as male or female
  • Make clear whether the lifts were recorded in pounds or kilograms
  • If a lift is a one arm lift, make sure to state right or left arm used
  • Only submit results for lifters that are USAWA members! Submitting results for non-members may result in meet sanction being revoked
  • Age must be declared in years. Do not submit age group only.
  • Bodyweight must be submitted in pounds or kilograms. Do not submit bodyweight class only.
  • Always list lifts with official USAWA name as specified in Rulebook

I’ve made a PDF of these guidelines for meet promoters to print off – meet-result-protocols

I’ve also included this meet result protocol page  under the section “forms and applications” for easy reference.

*** PLEASE SEND IN MEET RESULTS IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN EVENT***

I should recieve meet results the following week after a weekend competition. After that it is “old news” and appears to me that the meet results must not be that news worthy and/or important to the promoter. I’m very busy myself yet I always get the results on the website within a couple of days of recieving them, so that’s not an excuse to me.

*** PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK THE MEET RESULTS FOR ACCURACY***

Turning in accurate meet results is the responsibility of the promoter. To many times errors are found after the meet results have been published.  This creates additional work for me to edit these mistakes after the meet results are on the website.

Gold Cup 2016: My Take

by Thom Van Vleck

gold-cup

Thom Van Vleck inducts Chad Ullom and Al Myers into the Hall of Fame at the awards banquet for the 2016 Gold Cup.

I was recently honored to be asked to help out at the the 2016 Gold Cup.  To be honest the main reason for me to be there was to induct my friends Al Myers and Chad Ullom into the Hall of Fame. An honor they both deserved and I hope I did them justice with their induction speech.  They are very deserving.

I helped out with the set up, take down, and other logistics of running the meet. It was held in the old Union Pacific train depot in downtown Abilene, Kansas.  A very historic city and a great place to hold a meet.  The location was perfect, the meet was well run, and I don’t think you could ask for a better set up for some great lifting.  Al Myers was the Meet Director and he did a great job and had lots of help.  Steve Gardner announced and he is very smooth on the microphone and his knowledge of the lifts makes him the right man for the job.

I also had the privilege of judging most of the meet.  I am a level 2 judge and I have judged at some big meets over the years for the USAWA and IAWA.  I take it very seriously.  Judging also gives me a front seat to all the action (plus I don’t have to load….I’ve done my fair share of that,too!).

All in all, another great meet.  While Al did a great job this was like every other USAWA meet I’ve ever been a part of.  Everyone chips in to make it happen!  Great job to all!

 

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