a. Technical Committee

Only current or former athletes in Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Fitness and Children's Fitness can be GSF judges!

  • The Technical Committee is responsible for attending a technical meeting prior to the competition.

  • Technical Officers act under supervision of a Chairman of the Technical Committee.

  • Before each competition, the Chairman of the Technical Committee must satisfy himself that the Technical Officers and Referees on duty have a complete knowledge of their role and any new regulations contained in the current edition of the handbook. 
    In every Continental or World Championship, both at the weight-in and the administration table an overview is, kept by a control giving GSF Official who is informed concerning the problems own to this specific matter.

  • All Technical Officers must be GSF Referee category 1.

  • A Technical Officer shall be mastering the vehicular language (English) of the Federation.

  • Technical Officers will be responsible for:

    1. Examinations of referees.
    2. Appoints the Referees for International Competition.
    3. Trains Referees.

  • At World Championships and International competitions, Technical Officers will be appointed to preside over all aspects of the competition. They shall ensure that the technical rules are correctly applied, consider and rule upon any appeals, and generally oversee the competition and refereeing. A reserve member will also be appointed to act in the case of another’s absence.

  • The Technical Officers may, during the competition, by majority opinion, replace any referee whose decisions, in their opinion, prove the referee to be incompetent. The referee concerned will have received a warning prior to any action of dismissal. 

  • If a serious mistake occurs in the refereeing, which is contrary to the technical rules, the Technical Officers may take appropriate action to correct the mistake. They cannot overrule or change the decisions of the referees but can grant an extra attempt to the lifter by authorization.

  • At least one, by preference two Technical Officers shall be present at all lifting sessions.


The Technical Committee is responsible to control the used materials and technical deals:

  • The platform and competition equipment complies in all respects with the rules.

  • Bars and discs are checked for weight discrepancies and defective equipment discarded.

  • Scales work correctly and are accurate.

  • The lifters weigh-in within the limits of the body weight categories, and within the time frame of the posted weigh-in sessions.

  • Any lifter’s costume or personal equipment, if requested, is inspected and approved or rejected.

  • That speaker-announcer, timekeeper (if not a referee), marshals/expeditors, scorers, record processor and loaders/spotters understand their duties and the rules that may pertain to them.

b. Referees

  • Any national Referee that wishes to take a test become an International Referee, must notify the Chairman of the Technical Committee. They will be placed on a waiting list and notified of the next available opportunity for them to take the test.

  • National Referees who successfully pass 3 & 2 of the International Referee test will qualify to become category three (1) International Referees. Further advancement to category two (2) and one (1) will depend upon the performance of the referee at International level. Only when the Technical Committee and the Chairman of the Technical Officer are satisfied that the Referee is full competent at that level, will advancement takes place.

  •  GSF referees may have their refereeing status revoked upon consideration of their performance and abilities by the Technical officers of the GSF.

  • All international referees, (cat 1, 2 or 3) who do not referee an international event for 2 consecutive years, will lose this international referee status, and if they wish to continue as an international referee they must re sit the referees test.

  • Any  GSF referee whom trough his actions, showing bias towards a lifter or partiality will be suspended.


All referees in World Championships and International competitions will be uniformly dressed to include the following:

  • Men winter: Dark Blue Blazer or cardigan with GPA Referee badge on the left breast (pocket) and trousers with a white shirt and tie.

  • Men summer: White shirt and trousers, ties optional.

  • Women winter: Dark Blue blazer or cardigan with GSF Referee badge on the left breast (pocket) and skirt or trousers with a white blouse or top.

  • Women summer: Dress, skirt or trousers and a white blouse or top.

  • The appointed GSF Contest Officials shall determine whether winter or summer dress will be worn.

  • Referees on the platform will not allow headgear (hats, caps etc...).


Referees on duty:

  • There will be three referees, the head referee and two side referees.

  • At World and International Competitions, only GSF Referees will adjudicate the lifting. Two referees of the same nationality or relatives cannot be selected to adjudicate on the same platform at one time.

  • The selection of a referee to act as head or side referee in one session does not preclude the selection of the same referee from being head or side referee in another session.

  • The head referee is responsible for giving the necessary signals for all three lifts for indicating to the speaker and timekeeper when the bar is ready, for communicating to the speaker the verification of world records, and any special decisions upon performance decided by the referee.

  • The head referee may consult with the side referees, the appointed GSF Contest Officials or other official as necessary in order to expedite or facilitate the running of the competition.

  • The head referee must bear in mind the need to be easily visible to the lifter performing the Squat and Dead lift and be positioned accordingly. To avoid any distractions to the lifter the head referee should remain motionless between signals.

  • The head referee shall communicate all decisions taken in cases of loading errors, incorrect announcements, spotter errors, or other platform altercations of the speaker to make the appropriate announcement. Such decisions shall be first discussed with the other platform referees.

  • The three referees may seat themselves in what they consider to be the best viewing positions around the platform and should remain seated during the execution of the lift, (don't ask the spotter to move. to get a better view. lifters safety shall take priority over any thing else).

  • The side referee should not impose upon the spotter’s duties but should make adjustments to their own seating position and may lean sideways or forward during a lift to obtain the best viewing vantage.

  • Side referees during the squat must be positioned exactly to the side or front of the squatter and not to the rear. Spotters for the squat must provide a window for the side referee to view the Squat. Obstructions to viewing must be corrected before the lift begins.

  • The weight of the loaded bar agrees with the weight announced by the Speaker. Referees may be issued loading charts for this purpose.

  • Lifts are credited as “good lift” or “no lift” and all other aspects of the competition run in accordance with the rules of performance.

  • After the competition, the three referees shall sign the official score sheets, record applications, and any other documents requiring their signatures.


A referee observes a fault sufficient to give a cause for disqualification of the lift, the procedure is as follows:

  • The referees may stop the lift for discretionary safety. The head referee shall signal the lifter with a downward motion of the arm and the audible command of “Down” for the Dead Lift and shall instruct the spotters to take the bar on the Squat and Bench Press, only if safe and appropriate to do so.
  • Prior to the commencement of the Squat or Bench Press, if any of the referees do not accept any aspect of the set up of the lifter, they will call attention to the fault as previously described. If there is a majority opinion among the referees that a fault exists, the head referee will not give the signal to commence the lift and will inform the lifter to “Rack” the bar. A head referee sees a fault that may not be visible to the side referees, e.g. hands holding the collars or discs on the Squat or a grip in excess of 81cm on the Bench Press, may act alone in informing the lifter to “Rack” the bar. If requested, it is required of the head referee to quickly confirm the nature of the fault and to explain this to the lifter or coach. The lifter will be reminded within his remaining time that he can repeat his attempt with the fault corrected. Note: for the above reasons it is important that the timekeeper stops timing the attempts on the Squat and Bench Press only when the lifter has received the commencement signal.
  • Prior to the commencement of a lift, if either of the side referees observes an obvious infraction of the rules regarding costume or personal equipment they will call attention to the fault to the head referee. The head referee observing an infraction may act alone. In either case the referees will be called together to inspect the lifter. If the fault is considered a purposeful intention to cheat, the lifter will be disqualified from the competition. If the fault is considered an oversight or genuine mistake, the lifter shall correct the fault before being permitted to proceed with the attempt. The lifter’s time allowance will not be stopped to effectuate the correction. The way the fault is considered and the action taken will be at the discretion of the referees on duty.
  • Procedure when a referee is blocked out of viewing a lift in progress. If during the lift a spotter unintentionally gets in the way of a referee’s view, so that he does not actually see the lift, the referee should give the lifter a white light, and the spotter is warned.
  • Referees shall, if requested, explain to a lifter or coach the reason or reasons why a lift was judged “no lift”. All that is required of such an explanation is an accurate statement, debates will not be entered into, and an explanation will not cause distraction of the referee from the attempt of the next lifter. Referees shall abstain from any other commentary and not receive any document or verbal account concerning the progress of the competition.
  • A referee shall not attempt to influence the decision of other referees. Once any lift has begun, each referee will withhold his individual judgment until the completion of the lift, indicating such with a red or white light. Under no condition should a referee raise his hand after the lift has commenced unless to insure the safety of the lifter.
  • If any of the referees suspect without certainty any infraction of the rules regarding costume and personal equipment they will not act until after the lift has been performed. The lifter should then be inspected. For a fault deemed an oversight or genuine mistake the lifter’s attention should be drawn to the fact and warned about repeating the infraction in any subsequent attempts. The attempt may be disqualified at the referee’s discretion. Should the same infraction be repeated after a warning, the attempt shall be disqualified or infractions deemed as a purposeful intention to cheat, the lifter shall be disqualified from the competition.