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USA Weightlifting Joins United Masters Weightlifting Federation

September 6, 2023 Update - Please scroll down for some answers to frequently asked questions about our new partnership.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (September 6, 2023) – USA Weightlifting (USAW) announced today it is joining the United Masters Weightlifting Federation (UMWF), delivering on its commitment to providing USAW masters members a clear pathway for international competition. 


The UMWF, based in Australia, is led by individuals with decades of experience administering world-class weightlifting competitions. With USAW joining the UMWF as a National Federation member, USA Weightlifting masters members will have the opportunity to compete in a World Cup event on the Gold Coast of Australia in June 2024 and a World Championship event in Fiji next September. Under UMWF guidelines, a new 30-34 age category will also be featured to expand member opportunities for participation.


“We’re thrilled to join the UMWF because they are intentionally taking a very inclusive approach to growing and supporting our sport at the masters level,” USA Weightlifting CEO Matt Sicchio said. “Partnering with the UMWF provides our masters members with world-class international competition opportunities. Furthermore, we are excited to see how committed the UMWF is to clean sport.”


The UMWF is planning to apply Anti-Doping rules set by the International Weightlifting Federation and partner with WADA Code Signatory agencies to collect samples and manage results. 


This partnership with the UMWF gives USAW’s more than 11,000 members aged 30 years and older the opportunity to test themselves against fellow weightlifting athletes from around the world, see old friends, and make new ones.


“We are very happy to be able to provide an opportunity and pathway for Masters lifters from all countries to continue competing at an international level in a friendly atmosphere of inclusivity and comradeship whilst each lifter strives to be the best they can,” said Coral Quinell, President of the UMWF.


USAW’s partnership with the UMWF comes after efforts to engage with the International Masters Weightlifting Association (IMWA) were rejected outright. 


“Despite a long history of USAW members participating in IWF Masters, the recently-formed IMWA is explicitly excluding USAW members,” Sicchio said. “We cannot be more excited to take a different approach, in partnership with UMWF, to provide our members a welcoming and inclusive pathway to international competition.” 


USAW remains committed to serving its masters members and providing opportunities for them to participate in, and give back to, the weightlifting community by competing domestically or internationally, engaging as a coach, and serving as a volunteer or official.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Masters age and bodyweight categories will the UMWF recognize?  

WOMEN 

MEN 

50kg 

60kg 

55kg 

66kg 

60kg 

73kg 

66kg 

82kg 

73kg 

90kg 

81kg 

98kg 

87kg 

109kg 

87+kg 

109+kg 

 

AGE GROUPS 

30 to 34 

35 to 39 

40 to 44 

45 to 49 

50 to 54 

55 to 59 

60 to 64 

65 to 70 

71 to 75 

76 to 80 

80 years plus 

 

Will USAW adopt UMWF age and bodyweight categories for domestic competition? How will qualifying for UMWF events work?  

USAW will not alter the current IWF recognized bodyweight categories for domestic competition. USAW will continue to recognize 35+ years of age as Masters and will not feature a 30-34 age group at domestic competitions, however qualification for UMWF events will be available to members 30+ years of age.  


USAW will accept qualifying totals, based on actual bodyweight from valid USAW qualifying events. For example, a male 50-year-old with an actual bodyweight of 64.5 can compete at the NAOS1 in the 67kg M50-54 category. The actual bodyweight will also make the athlete eligible to register in the new UMWF 66kg category.  


Separately, a 32-year-old athlete can use their actual bodyweight and a total from the open division of a USAW National competition to register into a UMWF event in the 30-34 age group.  

What USAW events will be considered as qualifying events for UMWF events?  

Athletes can qualify for UMWF events from any USAW national competition including Masters National Championships, North American Open Series and North American Open Finals. Qualifying periods and totals will be established and published as we receive event information from the UMWF.  

Is there a membership cost for UMWF participation?  

No, the UMWF is not charging individual or member federation membership fees. USAW membership will be needed to enter USAW’s domestic qualifying events. Once entries open for UMWF events, USAW will provide member information directly to UMWF based on the event registration lists, so no direct action to establish an individual UMWF membership is required. 

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