High School Powerlifting Weight Classes
*Note: As of 2016 THSPA (Boys) has changed weight classes. The weight classes no longer end in .5 lbs. For example, 148.5lbs class is now truncated to 148.00 class. Please refer to the THSPA rulebook for clarifications.
As of now, According to the THSWPA (Girls) rule book, the weight classes have stayed the same ending in .5lbs
Texas Boys Rule Book (Page 13): http://thspa.us/Documents/2016%20THSPA%20Rule%20Book.pdf
Texas Girls Rule Book (Page 13): http://www.thswpa.com/Documents/THSWPA%20Rule%20Book%202015-2016.pdf
We will soon be correcting our national chart below
The highlight of our day is reading the emails that our readers send. This website is fueled by those emails! Topics of discussion vary from hamstring development, bake sales, or state rule differences. Sometimes we may overlook some of the obvious information that our readers are curious about, but may be critical pieces of information for new lifters and parents.
A common request or question that we have revolves around high school powerlifting weight classes. Remember, We take attributes and differences in each state (including weight classes and rules) to create our rankings formula.
Below is a “reference guide” to weight classes (upper limits) for many of the organizations. This “reference guide” is nothing more than a visual representation that each state does a few things differently. I cannot promise that we do not have a typo (and/or each organizations rulebook).
We have also thrown a few rule differences for each state into the discussion.
This information was assimilated January of 2015. Disclaimer: This is not a definitive guide and may not be updated if an organization changes their rules.
A little back history: Many of these weight classes end in quarter (.25) and half pounds (.5). Why? The odd incremental weight classes are conversions from kilograms (metric system). 1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds
For example the weight class 123.5 pounds was derived from 56 kilograms. 56 X 2.2046 = 123.4576, it was then rounded to 123.5 to establish the weight class.
Texas High School Men’s & Women’s Powerlifting Association (THSPA & THSWPA).
The Texas High School associations have moved all weight class weight allowance to end with a half pound (.5). We can only assume this was done 1) to eliminate mass confusion, 2) to keep the original weight class names (114, 123, 132, etc), and/or 3) to not require classes like the 105.75 to cut an additional .75 pounds if the decision was to truncate all decimals and go with 105lbs flat.
Other notable rule differences: Full equipment and allowance of squat briefs. State Champions are awarded at every classification (6A, 5A, 4A, etc).
Louisiana High School Powerlifting Association (LHSPLA)
Per the LHSPLA rulebook, the weight classes ending in quarter (.25) & three-quarter (.75) have been rounded to .3 & .8, respectively (page 13).
Other notable rule differences: State Champions are awarded at every classification (5A, 4A, etc). Powerlifting is recognized as an official sport by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA).
Reference: LHSPLA Rulebook, Retrieved 1/15/15, Page 13.
Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA)
Mississippi has traditional weight classes, but with some distinct differences. Instead of having a 275lb & 275+lb class as the maximum weight classes for the boys, they have a 308lb & 308+lb class.
Mississippi has a local and regional season during the months of January & February. They then have North and South State Championships in March. During this competition, athletes are allowed 2 additional pounds or what they refer to as “swelling”. For example, a 114.5lb lifter may weigh in at 116.5lbs at the North/South State Championships.
Each lifter who also makes it to State Championships (April) is allowed an additional 2 pounds in body weight. That same 114.5lb lifters may weigh 118.5lbs at this meet.
Other notable rule differences: State Champions are awarded at every classification (6A, 5A, 4A, etc). Powerlifting is recognized as an official sport by the Mississippi High School Athletic Association (MHSAA). Bench shirts are not allowed in competition.
Reference: MHSAA Rulebook, Retrieved 1/15/15, Page 2-3.
Wisconsin High School Powerlifting Association (WHSPA)
The WHSPA state meet is a sanctioned USAPL contest and uses traditional USAPL weight classes.
Other notable rule differences: Bench shirts are not allowed in competition. School classifications are not considered when awarding state champions. There are three team classifications based on size of school.
Michigan High School Powerlifting Association (MHSPLA)
The MHSPA has “broken up” some of the weight classes. For example, the traditional 148lb class has been split into a 145lb and 155lb classes. In addition, the boys traditional weight class of 198lb class has been split into a 194lb and 207lb class. I could not find details of these weight classes in their rulebook, but based on 2014 state meet results. These weight classes have been truncated to eliminate fractional upper limits.
Other notable rule differences: Supportive equipment is not allowed. They are considered “Raw”. They also have regional based weigh-ins the Thursday night before the state meet.
Reference: Rules & Regulations
Pennsylvania State Coaches Powerlifting Association (PSCPA)
Traditional weight classes (114, 123, 132, etc) are used in Pennsylvania. We are not aware of the details of these classes.
Other notable rule differences: There is both an equipped and raw division at the state meet (April)
Reference: State Meet Information
Oklahoma Football Coaches Association (OFBCA)
Similar to Michigan, Oklahoma has “broken up” the 148 and 165 pound classes, but into 3 different weight classes (145, 157, & 168). They have also eliminated the 114lb class.
Reference: Powerlifting Rules
Ohio High School Powerlifting
Non-traditional weight classes are used in Ohio.
Reference: Kenton Invitational Flyer
Kansas Eight-Man Football Association (KEMFA)
Other notable rule differences: The Clean is used for competition instead of Deadlift.
Reference: KEMFA Powerlifting Site
Washington State High School Powerlifting (WSHSPL)
WSHSPL uses traditional weight classes.
Most other states follow USAPL rules for High School only competitions. States such as Georgia, Alaska, Massachusetts, & Florida are examples of states that may not have independent organizations and follow USAPL sanction rules.
International Weight Classes
Starting in 2011, the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) created and adopted new weight classes. Fewer number of weight classes were created (for various reasons) resulting in retiring old records and a “trickle down” to national organizations.
Starting January 1, 2015, the USA Powerlifting Association (USAPL) adopted these weight classes for all USAPL events (local, state, and national), EXCEPT High School only meets.
Reference: USAPL Lifter’s Handbook, Page 16
If you have any questions, please comment below or send an email to Trey@PowerliftingHigh.com