I'm on the pro-wraps side in terms of what's raw and what's not, but I like it better when the meet does not allow them.
You here your name on deck, psych yourself up, put on the belt, and squat that barbell. No more worrying about timing when to put the wraps on or when the left one's more loose than the right one. You just get up there and squat.
A true raw squat (starts at 8min 34s) :-):
(NSFW, its a nude fat man squatting a nude squat "world record")
Classic is what IPF calls raw competing. As such in the "classic" era before ply gear there were wraps. So I can see an argument made for allowing wraps, although I'd rather be without them.
Wraps force the knee to stay straight. When the knee is in flexion, the wrap is applying an extending force. Belts and shoes do not do this.
A squat suit is essentially a "hip wrap", forcing the hip joint to stay extended and applying an extending force when the hip is in flexion. This is the same as a wrap.
In my head I classify equipment as either supportive or assistive. Supportive equipment merely supports a part of the body that stays in a static position during a lift. Belts and wrist wraps fall under this category. Assistive equipment resists flexion at a joint that is moved through a range of motion as part of the lift. Knee wraps, squat suits, bench shirts, elbow wraps, etc. fall under this category.
I'm fine with the fact that a belt and shoes allow you to lift more weight because belts and shoes aren't actively working to move the weight on their own.
If USAPL was the only fed in the USA (or one of maybe two) instead of being one of 40 feds, there would be more USAPL meets. Regardless, I agree it's frustrating if you want to continue to lift in the same fed year round.In my area USAPL only puts on one, maybe two meets a year. And if you compete with a team or a group, then only half of you will compete at a time, so we have to go to a fed that puts on more meets a year.
But that's not competing. That's lifting for fun. There isn't anything wrong with that, but it's not competing. You're not competing if you don't care that someone who half-squatted more weight than you in a suit of armor claims that he beat your squat. You're just lifting.Bottom line is that for a vast majority of competitors, competing is fun and a way to challenge yourself, and the only thing that matters is hitting PR’s… so in my mind, it doesn't matter what the next guys is wearing or how deep he is squatting...
On a serious note, Mark, haven't people been arguing about this very topic since the mid 70's? I know I read somewhere about how in the first national meet, they allowed knee wraps, then the next year they were disallowed, then like 2 years they brought them back again. Granted, the knee wraps at the time were like ace bandages (so I've been told) and no where to the extreme of todays difference, but on some level these debates have existed since the beginning. Now that I think about it, wasn't the first fracture in Powerlifting due to arguments over whether they should be drug tested? I forget what it was called before, but eventually split into the USPF and ADFPA (or something like that).
Nope. Just wanted to show off my fellow norwegian. Well, actually - why is'nt powerlifting an olympic sport? I find that hard to understand, when you have things like judo and volleyball going on.
Judo and volleyball don't use incomprehensible-to-the-viewing-public supportive gear and spotters. Powerlifters are associated with steroids. There is already a barbell sport in the Olympics. All the weight classes would require too high a medal count. Enough?